I read 54 books in 2018: about one a week. I love learning and books are one of my favorite forms of learning. I tend to read five types of books: Christian Living, Theology, Leadership, General Non-Fiction, and Fiction. If you’re interested in tracking my reading, getting fuller reviews, and sharing with me your favorites, I use Goodreads and would be happy to have you friend me there. Here were some highlights for me in 2018:
1. According to Research People With "Too Many Interests" Are More Likely to Be Successful: This is really interesting and runs against the prevailing wisdom, "The warning against being a generalist has persisted for hundreds of years in dozens of languages. 'Equipped with knives all over, yet none is sharp,' warn people in China. In Estonia, it goes, 'Nine trades, the tenth one — hunger.' If being a generalist is an ineffective career path, why do 10+ academic studies find a correlation between the number of interests/competencies someone develops and their creative impact?"
2. How to Move from Bitterness to Forgiveness: Roger Barrier responds to an important question that plagues so many. He begins his post with this advice, "Don’t minimize the hurts in your life. Mourn your hurts. Express them to a trusted friend or spouse and allow you to be comforted. Jesus died for those hurts. Talk honestly about them. Who has hurt you the most? With whom have you not reconciled? Who does the Holy Spirit bring to your mind when you think hurtful thoughts? Jesus said, "Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
3. What Does it Mean to Be Baptized in the Spirit? Clear and helpful post by Adriel Sanchez. He reflects, "Understandably, people typically focus on the miraculous signs that accompanied the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. In doing so they often miss the big picture the Bible gives us with regard to this significant event in the history of salvation. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not primarily about speaking in tongues but about the beginning of a new creation, the advancement of a new temple, the giving of a new law, and the commissioning of a new group of prophets."
4. How History's Revivals Teach us How to Pray: This is inspiring. Davis Thomas reflects on a very different sort of prayer than most of us are accustomed to, "I was confronted with how the Bible appears utterly unfamiliar with casual prayer, prayer of the mouth and not the heart. Travailing prayer—the kind of burdened, focused pressing my friends in the Hebrides described—seemed closer to the heart of prayer in Scripture. A stream of this manner of praying flows from the early church all the way through the Reformation."
5. The Best Weapon is an Open Door: Rosaria Butterfield on just how significant hospitality is. She concludes, "Perhaps our everyday lives would reveal that the hand of God reaches into the hardest situations imaginable and that nothing is impossible with God. Hospitality is the ground zero of the Christian life."