Monthly Mash Up (October 2017)

October has been a strange month. Aside from being sick for nearly two weeks, and a busy schedule, it was a slow month in terms of completing the books I’d previously started. Some of them were quite large, but that had nothing to do with their sitting on my desk untouched for days at a time. 

Below is a smattering of the books, podcasts and resources I did chew on in October. They helped me learn and grow this month, and I am sure they would be the same great help to you. 

Book

  1. Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, Ph.D 

Podcasts

  1. Here We Stand via Desiring God
  2. Renewing Your Mind with R.C. Sproul
  3. God Sovereignly Works through the Means of Human Actions via Stand to Reason Weekly Podcast

Internet

  1.  A Mighty Fortress Is Our God via Desiring God
  2. Whitewashed Heros via Desiring God
  3. What is Reformation Day? vis Ligonier Ministries
  4. Imposter Syndrome via Seth Godin

Life is spontaneous, now what?

Two years ago, I sat crunching numbers in a cubical while listening with wrapped attention to a short 10 minutes of audio from John Piper. That days episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast contained a snippet from one of Pastor John's epic sermons entitled What Is The Will of God and How Do We Know It? In it he answers the questions of knowing God's will in your life and how to then live. 

The sermon, and the snippet presented on the APJ podcast, offer great insight for tackling the most pressing issue facing our growth. "95% of your life", Piper says, "is unpremeditated: thoughts, attitudes, actions are spontaneous. They are just spill over." With so much of our life constituted of our doing things unplanned and without forethought how are we to ever live as Christ has called us to? How do we keep from responding in anger, being short, prideful, fearful, or apathetic? 

"There is only one way to live the Christian life." Piper explains, "Don't be conformed but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. It's our only hope. Life is too spontaneous." In short, the answer to the question of how to respond rightly, is that we can't. Not without running to the Father—spending time in His Word, and pleading with him to work it in us.

"If there is any stuff, junk, pride, left down there", Piper prays, "that is just causing the stuff to come out unbidden and unplanned, get at me down here, Lord." May that be our prayer each day. Let us beg The Lord to get at us at the deepest levels of desire and emotion as we feast on God's word, and spend time before His throne in prayer this week. None of us will be the men or women in Christ we want to be this week. However it is our hope that over many years of faithful devotion—we will come to resemble Jesus more and more. 

Have a great week my friends. Hopefully these two resources will be helpful and encouraging to you all. 

Welcome To 2017!

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to 2017 with excitement and eagerness. I can’t wait to see what it holds and all the Lord does.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing what has me excited about the new year, books I can’t wait to read, a little about goals, and even some advice for new and aspiring photographers. In the meantime, I’ve compiled a few posts that I hope will help you take some big steps forward this year.  

Tim Challies 2017 Christian Reading Challenge - This first caught my attention last year, and I enjoyed following along as Tim published updates throughout 2016. “Whether you are a light reader or completely obsessed, this 2017 Christian Reading Challenge is designed to help you read more and to broaden the scope of your reading.” Regardless of which camp you fall into, this challenge is a pretty awesome idea.

Do More Better Course - I took a course similar to this last year as Tim was publishing his book. This year Tim has made it even better by teaming up with the good folks at Ligonier. If you're looking to grow and improve at getting stuff done and living a life doing more good for the glory of God, this course and Tim's book by the same name, are game changers. 

Want To Be A Godly Man / Women? Here’s A Little Help - I wrote this post in answer to the question, how do I become a godly man? What I share here, is just as applicable for my female readers as it is the men and I pray that it helps you take giant leaps forward in your walk with the Lord this year.

10 Principles For Personal Productivity - We all desire to accomplish more this year, than ever before. In this short clip, John Piper shares ten principles that help him focus on the right things and get them done. “You don’t labor,” Piper says, “to get into a right relationship with God. You labor with all your might because you are in Christ.” May we keep this at the forefront of our minds this new year and as we strive to get things done.

I turned thirty this past year and took some time to reflect upon all the experiences, books and people who have shaped my journey. If you’re reaching a milestone this year or simply interested in what I learned by taking a look into my past, the links are below.

Turning 30: Three Men Who’ve Had A Profound Influence - People rub off on us every day. Some say we are the average of those we spend the most time with. I’m not sure exactly how the math works, but those we hang around impart something of themselves to us. In this post, I share how three men have impacted my life and what qualities they’ve had in common.

Turning 30: The Most Impactful Books I’ve Read - I’ve read hundreds of books over the years, yet the list of books that have truly moved the needle for me, is short. For a book to have this deep impact, so many things have to line up just right. In this post, I share which ones have had the most lasting impact on my life and some thoughts about why. These aren’t my favorite books, but simply those that have changed the path and direction of my thinking.

Turning 30: Impactful Experiences - Things happen. That’s just part of life, but often those things change you. No matter how dark or painful they may be, they make you into the person you become. In this post, I open up and share three of the most important experiences of my life.

Turning 30: Mentors From A Distance - Not every person who plays an important role in your life is someone you know personally. Their impact however, is no less meaningful than that of the people around you. In this post, I share how four men I’ve never met, shape me daily.

I’m praying that you have a remarkable 2017!

Happy New Year!