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Showing posts from 2018

What I Read in 2018

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A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.
-George R.R. Martin Every year I like to track the books I read. It's always interesting to look back and remember all the authors and stories that have journeyed with me on yet another trip around the sun. Here is my list of books and authors from my 2018 list along with some highlights and recommendations.

[books in RED are stories I read to my 8yr old son, books in BLUE are ones I'm still working on, books with an * were audiobooks]
David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell*A Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns GoodwinMagnus Chase: Ship of the Dead, by Rick RiordanThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by CS LewisFalling Upward, by Richard RohrThe Silver Chair, by CS LewisA Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'EngleUnashamed, by LecraeEnneagram: A Christian Perspective, by Richard Rohr and Adreas Ebert*Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner*Superfreakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubn…

7 Free (or Cheap) Apps to Actually Improve Your Life in 2019

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I LOOOVE technology. It's amazing. I've been following a lot of tech YouTubers over the last few years just to keep up with everything that's happening in the field.

That being said, I'm also aware of how much technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. (See previous post.) In fact, check out this report from the Nielsen Research Group:
According to the first-quarter 2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report, nearly half an adults’ day is dedicated to consuming this content. In fact, American adults spend over 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media. Behind this surge are the growing use of new platforms, as well as the younger, multicultural generations who leverage them. That was as of July, 2018. And I doubt things have gotten any better.

Smartphones, screens, and communication technologies are here to stay whether we like it or not. The question is, as per the previous post, how can we use these devices in a way that…

Ditching Social Media to Regain Our Sanity

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Did you know that nearly 80% of adults in the US own a smartphone? That's nuts! Just a few years ago it was around 30%. Smartphones are getting better every year. They have better cameras, longer battery lives, clearer screens, and smoother designs.

I recently got Apple's new iPhone XR. It's an amazing upgrade from my nearly-three-year-old SE. But I've noticed something. Since I've gotten a new phone, I've been spending more time on it. Thanks to Apple's new Screen Time tracker, my screen time has nearly doubled! Yikes...

Have you seen the photographs of people with their smartphones edited out? Photographer Eric Pickersgill took photos of people in their everyday lives with their smartphones and then edited the devices out of the pictures. It's humorous in a disturbing and uncomfortable way. You can check out his full gallery here: https://www.removed.social

Every new year people try to make goals for self-improvement and such. Most fail miserably. But …

Biblical Enneagram Types: THREES

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Enneagram Type THREES are commonly known as "The Performer" or "The Achiever." Threes are driven by a need to succeed, or at least to appear successful. Threes aim to impress others with their skills, their knowledge, and their accomplishments. This is why the vice of Threes is deceit. Threes are expert "mask-wearers." Threes can become whoever they need to be in any given situation in order to fit in or to make others think highly of them. The danger for Threes is that they can become social chameleons to the point that they lose their own identity, deceiving others to the degree that they end up believing their own false persona. Self-deceit is the true vice of Threes.

But the gift of Threes is truthfulness and authenticity. Threes have really good BS-detectors. They can see through the charades of others because they are so accustomed to the games people play. Healthy Threes value honesty in their relationships and with themselves. They can give you a…

Messiah Is Coming, part 5

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If you haven't yet, read part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. But then sin and rebellion entered the garden, derailing God’s creation and breaking relationships. Humans would no longer share in the free and full relationship of love with God and each other. Evil had entered their hearts, dragging them away from God and driving a wedge between each other.

But God – don’t we love that phrase? – but God would not let his children suffer forever under the weight of their sin and brokenness and death. God would send a rescuer, someone of Eve’s own offspring, who would crush the head of the serpent once and for all. This One would deal a crushing blow to death itself, although he would endure the full force of the serpent’s venom in the process.

God worked through his people to prepare the world for the coming chosen One. Through Abraham, God promised a world-wide blessing. Thro…

Christmas Movie Emoji Challenge

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We played this game at the Mitchell Junior High FCA Christmas party today. The students did pretty well. Let's see how you do!

Below are 15 movies. You must guess the movie title based only on the emojis. Can you do it?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. ___________________________________________

So, how did you do? Want the answers? Of course you do. Scroll down.
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1. The Santa Clause
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas
3. Jingle All the Way
4. Home Alone
5. Polar Express
6. Muppet Christmas Carol
7. Home Alone 2: Los

Biblical Enneagram Types: TWOS

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The Enneagram Type TWO is commonly known as the Helper. Twos have a need to be needed. Hospitality is their jam. They are always ready to play host or hostess at a moment's notice. There's always more room at the table with Twos.

Twos are, outwardly, very others-focused. Helpers tend to focus on the emotions and needs of the other people in their lives, often to the neglect of their own needs. Helpers are always wanting to make sure others are taken care of and can be hesitant to make their own needs and desires known. I emphasize the outwardness of their actions because Twos (like many numbers) live in a place of tension between their outward actions and their inward motivations.

Twos will help clear the table and wash the dishes at a friend's house after the dinner party without being asked. But Twos, especially unhealthy Twos, can be resentful that no one else offered to join in. Twos are in that weird space of appearing humble but acting out of a sense of pride. They …

Messiah Is Coming, part 4

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If you haven't yet, read part 1, part 2, and part 3.
The history of Israel was a rough ride. You can read all the good, the bad, and the very ugly in the books of 1 & 2 Kings. God made a great promise to King David, but because of the foolishness of David’s own grandson, Rehoboam, the kingdom divided into two distinct nations – the 10 Northern Tribes formed the nation of Israel (also known as Ephraim), and the 2 Southern Tribes of Judah and Benjamin formed the nation of Judah.

The monarchies of these respective kingdoms were riddled with wickedness and sin. There was no one to keep the kings in line. They were answerable to no one, seemingly above the Law. So God raised up a school of Prophets who would be his mouthpiece to the kings. Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Amos – all these men and more were God’s means of speaking truth to the powers that be. But none would be more well-known or have a greater lasting impact than the priest-turned-prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah woul…