Which book most impacted you and which one was most fun to read?

According to my Amazon account, I purchased 25 books in 2014. By my count, I finished reading 18 of them and I’m about to finish one more.

It’s easy for me to consume books without pausing to evaluate their impact. As I look back over 2014, one book has had the greatest impact and another one was the most fun to read.

Here’s the book that has had the greatest impact on me:

the rest of god

“Sabbath-keeping is more than time management. It is a fresh orientation to time, where we think with holy imagination about how the arc of our moments and hours and days intersects with eternity.” -Mark Buchanan (I posted about this topic here.)

Here’s the book that was the most fun to read:

divergent

I haven’t seen the movie yet but I can highly recommend the book.

One Simple Step

As you look back over 2014, what book has had the biggest impact on you and what book was the most fun to read? I’d love to hear from you.


When you subscribe to my blog, where I post once a week, I will send you two chapters that were cut from my new book.

Click HERE to subscribe and I’ll email you the two chapters.

6 Christmas Survival Tips

Is this your first Christmas without a loved one?

All the ‘firsts’ without a loved one are difficult. But the First Christmas can be especially challenging.

First Christmas

I recently asked a grief counselor from our church, Debi Dixon, to share some advice for people facing their “First Christmas” without a loved one. Here are 6 Christmas survival tips:

1. Have a Plan

It can be as simple as lighting a candle. Intentionally do something tangible to remember/honor your loved one.

2. Feel free to carry on traditions or do something completely different.

Some people find comfort in keeping traditions alive. Others find comfort from doing things differently. Give yourself permission to do what you need to do.

3. Don’t try to do too much.

Accept invitations but let people know you might cancel. Feel free to limit your activity. Don’t be afraid to leave when you reach your limit.

4. Don’t be afraid to cry in front of others.

5. Talking about your loved one can be helpful and a relief to others. Sharing favorite stories about your loved one can be helpful.

6. Don’t let others tell you how to grieve, do what you need to do. We all grieve differently.

For an encouraging message entitled “First Christmas” click HERE.

Check out griefshare.org for additional holiday survival suggestions where you can also sign up for a free daily 1-year grief devotional.

Is someone you care about experiencing their “First Christmas” this year? Share these six survival tips with them.


When you subscribe to my blog, where I post once a week, I will send you two chapters that were cut from my new book on forgiveness.

Click HERE to subscribe and I’ll email you the two chapters.

Don’t Let December Become a Blur

Are you busy? Of course you are. It’s December. We’re all busy.

blurry christmas tree

Photo Credit: Reagen Riggins

“I have visited the large offices of wealthy donors, the crowded rooms of social service agencies, and the small houses of the poorest families. Remarkably, within this mosaic there is a universal refrain: I am so busy. It does not seem to matter if the people I speak with are doctors or day-care workers, shopkeepers, or social workers, parents or teachers, nurses or lawyers, students or therapists, community activists or cooks.

Whether they are Hispanic or Native American, Caucasian or Black, the more their lives speed up, the more they feel hurt, frightened, and isolated. Despite their good hearts and equally good intentions, their work in the world rarely feels light, pleasant, or healing. Instead, as it all piles endlessly upon itself, the whole experience of being alive begins to melt into one enormous obligation. It becomes the standard greeting everywhere: I am so busy.” –Wayne Muller

The important question isn’t, “Are you busy?” Everyone answers, “yes”.

The important question is, “Are you finding rest?”

A lack of rest negatively impacts all of your relationships. You know you need rest when you stop caring about the people you care about.

A lack of rest is the enemy of intimacy.

“Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” -Dallas Willard

King David, who was after God’s heart, was extremely busy. After all, he was the leader of a nation. David didn’t have a problem filling his schedule. However, David realized that a full schedule without rest was disastrous.

So David encouraged us to “be still”, to “wait on the Lord to renew your strength,” and to “lie down in green pastures.” (A great book on this topic is The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan.)

When was the last time you had an unhurried conversation with God? Don’t let December become a blur.

One Simple Step

Find time for an unhurried conversation with God. Pour out your heart. Listen. Repeat. Take your time. Rest.


When you subscribe to my blog, where I post once a week, I will send you two chapters that were cut from my new book.

Click HERE to subscribe and I’ll email you the two chapters.