My Top Books of 2019

I’m very hard on the books I read. Not physically, because I hate books that are anything less than pristine. But I’m hard on them in that I am very stingy with my ratings. On Goodreads, my average rating is 3.73, which has actually gone up over the last few years. I take that to mean I’m better at picking books, but who knows. Typically, if you are reading on topics that interest you and have done good research on a book, you should read very few books that you would consider to be below average (i.e. below a 3-star rating). But when it comes to differentiating 3 stars versus 4 stars versus 5 stars, the ratings are fairly arbitrary.

I only rate books 5 stars if I feel at some point in the future I want to reread them. That means they were impactful enough that they need multiple reads to take in, or that they were just that enjoyable. Continue reading >

Lessons at “the Land”

This was originally posted on my church’s blog. You can see the original post here.

One of my favorite memories as a child was time spent at “the land” my grandpa had in Stillwater. Every time we’d travel to Stillwater, we always looked forward to going to “the land.” Time there was filled with all sorts of activities: getting to drive the four-wheeler or the John Deere Gator, fishing in the pond, hunting for deer, shooting guns, and camping out regularly. I remember as a young boy we’d go “exploring” and think we were deep inside the wilderness when we never made it outside his 160-acre plot. It would seem so far from civilization, when in reality if we yelled, we were probably heard by someone. Continue reading >