Showing posts from January, 2019


My Top 10 Books of 2018

I like to read. I love to read. But very rarely am I happy with the amount of time I have to read. Many people are in the same boat, so it's always fun to give my suggestions based on the previous year's reading. I don't track what all I read in a year, given that I pick up and put down so many books. Sometimes I'm purposely dipping into a section of a longer book, or re-reading a section from an old favorite. And I start countless books and stop-either to begin again later, or to never pick them back up. This Top 10 list comes with caveats. Obviously it is limited to the books I finished in 2018, of which there were only 28. Second, I'm not including re-reads in the Top 10, otherwise The Great Divorce would likely be the top book. Also, I'm only allowing each author one Top 10 appearance, though Tim Chester and Sherman Alexie probably deserve to appear multiple times. And finally, I'm not counting in any of this the books my wife reads to our family

Fruitful Labor

I sat at the table, drinking my daily cup of coffee. Enjoying the treat of having cream in said coffee, I opened my Bible to Philippians 1. The pastor had preached from that chapter yesterday. Reading aloud to the four year old on my lap, verse 22 struck me. "If I am to live on in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me."   (ESV) In verse 21, Paul declares that, " to live is Christ, to die is gain." This is the better known verse. And in many churches we hear frequent reminders of why death is gain. "My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better" (v23). But why can Paul say to live is Christ ? Because of his certainty of the truth of verse 22. That is, there are no doubts in his mind that an extension of his life would serve Christ and His church. More life equals more fruitful labor. Is this true for me? Do I walk in that same confidence? Is my desire to live a long life tied to fleeting things like seeing my grandkids