I love reading other people’s top ten lists and being exposed to great books so I decided I would write one this year. Doug Wilson once wrote, “You read widely to be shaped, not so that you may be prepared to regurgitate.” I found this astute observation so inspiring and have committed to reading more this past year. I am thankful for the Goodreads Reading Challenge which helps me set challenging goals and keep track of my progress. I utilized this tool for the first time this past year and found it to be so motivating. I highly recommend using it and setting a personal reading goal for the new year. Here are some of the books that have shaped me this past year (these are books I read this past year, not necessarily ones that were published this year). You can check out the results of my Reading Challenge here.
An essay from a twenty-year-old, Bible-college student from 1982—my mother, Peggy Sue. Continue reading
Short yet brimming. Solemn yet warm. Seasoned yet insightful. Continue reading
Here is a short list of some things you might not have known about me:
My precious mother passed away when I was 2 years old.
I grew up with seven brothers and sisters.
I am adopted.
In 1954, as the connection between smoking and lung cancer was becoming more discernible through research, the tobacco companies provided “A Frank Statement” to counterattack the bad publicity they were receiving. Siddhartha Mukherjee, in his book The Emperor of All Maladies, points out that this statement was anything but frank: “By half revealing and half concealing the actual disagreements among scientists, the advertisement performed a complex dance of veils. Obfuscation of facts and the reflection of self-doubt—the proverbial combination of smoke and mirrors—would have sufficed for any ordinary public relations campaign. But the final ploy was unrivaled in its genius” . . . they proposed more research and even offered aid and assistance.
My family of five has had the privilege of being involved in foster care for the past year and a half. We have had the joy of having three different girls in our home and currently have one of them with us. Whether it’s the fact that we have a lot of kids or that one doesn’t look like us . . . people notice and people ask questions. Whether it is from a stranger at the park or a fellow member at church, the question I receive the most is, “Why?” or “What made you want to do this?” Here are my personal reasons for being a foster parent . . .
The Shema, from which Jesus appropriated the greatest commandment, is found in the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is a restatement of the Mosaic covenant, which was grounded in Israel’s redemption from Egypt (Ex 2:2). This redemption was grounded in God’s covenant with Abraham (Ex 3:15). This covenant was the result of God’s gracious choice (Gen 12:1) and his plan to redeem for himself people from all nations through Abraham’s seed (Gen 12:3). Further, this covenant was rooted in God’s promise in the garden to defeat Satan with the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15). In this unfolding of redemptive history, God is actively restoring creation to its original design—a world filled with image-bearers who reflect the glory of their Creator. This is precisely what Jesus came to do.
What does it meant to be human? To err is human—yes, but even though the darkness pervades every corner of our being, sin is not essential to our humanity. Sin is a welcomed contaminant—something that has successfully baited us with high hopes of self-actualization and autonomy, but has in the end betrayed us and left us with self-afflicted adversity. Continue reading
The greatest commandment is a call to love. But what is love? Where do we look for an accurate and full understanding? Should we look to what the secular culture teaches about man or what the sacred Scriptures teach about God?
The greatest commandment is a high calling. Loving God with your whole heart, soul, and strength is no easy task. What is the groundwork for such a command? Is this command rooted in our ability to please God and earn his favor? Or is the basis for the command who God is and what he has already done?