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Hi.

Welcome to my blog. Here I share my thoughts on what matters to me.

Personal thoughts and how I am preparing for the year.

Personal thoughts and how I am preparing for the year.

Personal thoughts.png

Each January I take an intentional break from social media and most videos, games, and what I consider general distractions. During one month I do my best to focus on learning and planning. Each year this effort looks a bit different depending on where I am in life. I find this very helpful and I believe it has a significant impact on the whole year.

Eventually I hope to post more on this and more detailed thoughts on each resource and the insights I gained. For now I will only make a list with a brief description next to each item.
(the links are there simply to help you in case you are interested, I do not benefit in any way if you click or purchase any of these items)

Bible

Back in 2016 I finally received my copy of Bibliotheca. I had supported the original kickstarter campaign (so I paid a lot less than what it costs now) and expected it to arrive back in 2014 but long story short I am doing my personal devotional Bible reading from it this year whenever I am home. When I am away I read from the Andrews Study Bible which is my go to Bible on most occasions.

The reason why I am doing my devotional reading from the Bibliotheca is because it does not have chapter and verse numbers and I find that it offers me a different reading experience.

Supplemental Devotional Reading

As a Seventh-day Adventist I have been really blessed by the writings of Ellen G. White. I ended last year and began this year reading from the first six chapters of her inspirational classic Christ’s Object Lessons. I am reading from the version printed by the Andrews University Press and I was only able to find one copy available at Amazon. The content is the same, I just prefer that version because I like the design of the physical book. In case you want to search for it you can look it up by its ISBN 978-1-883925-99-4. A free PDF version is available here.

Those first six chapters renewed in my mind the importance of the word of God and strengthened my decision to make personal Bible study a top priority in this new year.

Currently I am reading Steps to Christ, one of my favorite books by Ellen White. I try to read it every year because I believe it reminds me of the basics and the beauty of the gospel. I have usually read from a paperback but this year I am reading from the bonded leather version. Once again, the content is the same. I received this copy as an ordination gift and I am enjoying going through and seeing what I highlighted the first time I read it and highlighting new portions this time around.

Theology/Philosophy

I am also reading books that offer a different perspective and cause me to think more deeply about things. One such book is God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism, by Abraham Heschel. I bought a used copy and I have been reading this painfully slowly for months now. This book is not a top priority, so I don’t get to it often, but it is so thought provoking. I love the way the author writes and thinks and I am enjoying this book. I like to read books that challenge me to think more deeply and to look at things from a different perspective.

Magazine Article

On a similar note I recently read a fascinating article from Liberty Magazine entitled “After Liberalism.” While reading the article I realized how little I know about philosophy, but I was still able to grasp the key idea of the article. I enjoyed it because it exposed me to a world I am not often exposed to (as a church pastor in south Georgia, USA) but one that many inhabit. I am grateful for that exposure and the thoughts it provoked.

Podcast

I have mostly taken a break from podcasts because I have been focusing more on audiobooks this month but I listened to one episode recently that I found very insightful. Now I feel like I need to mention this, this is not a Christian podcast, the host does curse a a few times. I do believe that the principles of essentialism, discussed in this episode, are worth pondering and that establishing clear priorities have a huge impact on what we accomplish in our lifetime. The podcast episode and several show notes are available here.

I have not read the book Essentialism, but I found this video very helpful.

Audio Books

One thing I am doing differently this January is that I am investing more in audiobooks.

I recently finished listening to Dare to Lead by Brené Brown. I am strongly considering buying the printed book and going over it with some of my local leaders. Once again, this is not a Christian book and does contain some language I would not use. But the leadership principles Brene Brown, describes seem very powerful and I will be implementing several this year with my local leaders.

An audiobook I am currently listening to is Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich. This book has been amazing so far and I look forward to finishing it. There is so much to be learned not only about the life of Bonhoeffer but about history and theology as well. I am thoroughly enjoying this book.


Feedback

This was quite different from what I usually post, so I would love to hear from you if you found this helpful at all. Would you be interested in more updates of this kind? Would you like a longer description of the insights I have gleaned from each of those sources? Let me know.

Lord of all, or not at all.

Lord of all, or not at all.

Priorities, Principles, and Productivity

Priorities, Principles, and Productivity