Monthly Mash Up (February 2017)

February is practically over, which means Hannah and I are ever so close to welcoming our first little into the world. As the countdown to Hudson continues, I’d like to share with you what I'm reading, pondering and enjoying. This has been something I’ve regularly shared with email subscribers but am now sharing as a monthly post on the blog. I hope the resources I share with here are helpful and brighten your day. If you do enjoy it, feel free to pass it along to family and friends.

Verse I'm Chewing On

 “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” - Psalm 34:8

Hannah and I are reading through the Psalms & Proverbs this year with our church. It has been great so far and I can’t wait to see how it continues to shape us. Psalm 34 in general is outstanding. What a marvelous example of how we are to worship The Lord. I can imagine David rocking back and forth with pure adulation for the Lord as he penned these words. Here’s a musical rendition by Shane & Shane to give you a taste of the richness and fullness of truth this Psalm captures.  

What I'm Reading

1. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller - We continue to read this with our community group. It has been awesome so far. It’s served as a reminder of things we learned in Merge.

2. Pronto by Elmore Leonard  

3. Riding The Rap by Elmore Leonard

4. Raylan by Elmore Leonard

5. Fire In The Hole by Elmore Leonard - I was a fan of the show Justified. In fact, it is my favorite TV Show. While the series was officially based on Fire In The Hole, these other three books containing the character Raylan Givens make their way on to the screen. I added these four to my list, when I learned the series was based on the writings of Elmore Leonard. They were fun reads with outstanding dialogue. You would expect nothing less from the genius of Leonard.

6. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney - I am reading this as part of a discipleship group. It has challenged many of my preconceived notions and inspired me to meditate on God’s Word with greater intention. I have been especially encouraged by Whitney’s recurring reminder that Spiritual Disciplines are means to the end of becoming like Jesus, not ends themselves. Forgetting their role quickly leads to performance and drudgery.   

7. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway - I’d never read Hemingway. Feeling ashamed I picked this classic up and began to read. I have been struck by the simplicity of his writing and storytelling. There is much to be learned in that regard, even if the tale depresses the hell out of me.   

What I’m Listening To

1. Stop Starving and Start Making a Living from Your Art: Interview with Cory Hugg - This is a great interview discussing art, gatekeepers and finding unique ways to make a living from your artistic endeavors with Cory Hugg.

2. Mumford & Sons: The Road to Red Rocks (Live) - I’d all but forgotten Mumford was still out there. This month I started listening to them again and found their music just as enjoyable as I did three years ago.

3. Words, Words, Words—The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe - Mike Rowe is outstanding. I was enamored with Dirty Jobs as a kid and now find his weekly podcast a must listen. This episode was especially enjoyable as Mike pulled back the curtain.  

4. Get Your Life Back —Sermon Series from Connexus Church - Carey Nieuwhof is the pastor of a church in Canada and host of the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast. I discovered both this past year and have enjoyed Carey’s interviews and encouragement. This month I turned my attention to learning more about the idea of dropping the pursuit of balance and instead embracing passion.  

New Practice I’m Trying

Keeping a Daily Logbook - This is different than a journal in that it is simply a quick jotting down of the small details of your day for later remembrance. Austin Kleon mentioned it in his book, Steal Like An Artist, so I’m trying it on. So far I’ve enjoyed the practice. I’ve stopped journaling for now and have found this a fun and energizing way to reflect on the day.

From the Internet

1. How can Christians show loving kindness to refugees and do justice for Americans? - The refugee crisis is real and concerning for many of us. Here Todd Wagner offers an excellent take on how we as should respond.

2. “NFL 2017” — Bad Lip Reading of the NFL - Always funny.

3. 10 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book - Helpful thoughts and ideas for tackling that book project of yours.

4. Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace - This interview made its rounds on the interwebs a while back but is worth revisiting. Simon shares some statistics and thoughts on the Millennial generation that are well worth our time and attention.

5. 5 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To - I’m always down for new podcasts and added two of Barnabas’ recommendation to my list.