Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best of Because He Lives 2015

Here are the most popular posts posted here in 2015.
A few posts you may have missed, so check them out.

- Favorite Reads from 2014
- Jerry Bridges on God's Grace
- Love is Patient
- Decorating with Books
- Places to Travel
- 30-Day Giving Challenge 2015

Happy New Year, dear readers!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Favorite Reads from 2015

This year year I read 123 books. That's the largest amount of books I have read since I started keeping track of what I was reading. I still can't quite believe I read this much this year.

I think there are two factors that contributed to this increased amount of reading for me:
- my county's library system has a nice audiobook setup that allows me to listen to audiobooks on my computer and mobile devices, and I took advantage of that this year.
- I made reading nonfiction books a part of my to-do lists each day. Some days it was just as simple as reading five pages a day. But those five pages add up over time.

Some of the books I read were rereads. Some were books that were new to me. Here are my favorites from this year.

Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges
This book has made a major impact on me and my understanding of God's grace. Here are two quotes to highlight some of what stood out to me. I enjoyed this book so much and learned so much from it, that I'll be rereading it in 2016.

How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
This book gave me a lot of food for thought in how I approach my teaching and working with kids. A must-read for teachers and parents alike. This also is going on my list of books to reread in 2016.

West with the Night by Beryl Markham
A memoir of life in eastern Africa before World War 1. An era in which aviation was still brand new. I loved Beryl's simple and yet fascinating story.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Markus' story is serious and yet heartwarming. Heartrending, but also hope-instilling. As hard as the story was at times, I loved this book. The movie is done gorgeously, but give the book a read, too. It's well worth it.

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
This young adult book is cute, funny, and compelling. A fun read that's not shallow.

Any books you read in 2015 that you recommend? I'd love to hear your recommendations.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Love Came Down at Christmas

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

by Christina Rosetti

Related posts:
A Christmas Carol
The Light of the World
Love's Eternal Wonder

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Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

30-Day Giving Challenge 2015 - Week 5

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Here are some of the ways I was able to give to others this past week.
Tuesday - sent out holiday cards to military personnel through Holiday Mail
Wednesday - donated to Read Indeed
Thursday - spent time with family
Friday - spent time with family
Saturday - spent time with family
Sunday - helped with the children's ministry at my church
Monday - wrote a note of encouragement to a friend

I've enjoyed taking extra time this month to focus on others. I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had to hopefully make someone's day just a little brighter.

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