With the start of 2016 it’s time to fill another bookshelf with books that I read this year. I am excited to jump back into reading and have a couple of books I am starting off with. The first one I am going to read is “Do Over” by Jon Acuff. I am also going to get back to my fiction roots with a western by Louis L’Amour. Anyways, I hope to do a better job reading this year and also doing some book reports on here. Here’s to more reading in 2016!
It’s that time of year again where we all sit down and come up with various things that we resolve to do new and differently in the year that awaits us. Last year I made several resolutions, and unlike many past years I am happy to report that I kept many of the ones that I shared with you at the beginning of 2015. The only exception being wanting to be even more healthy and lose much needed weight. Stress and life beat me on that one, but I am resolved for the sake of my family and kids to do a much better job of keeping that resolution in 2015.
The good news is that I did keep other resolutions. The first one that I blogged about was that I wanted to be a better reader this year. I took the book shelf challenge where you read for a year and fill a whole empty shelf with all the books that you read over the course of the year. I read well over 20 books this year and really enjoyed getting back to reading. My shelf looks not quite full, but that’s because I discovered the joy of reading on my tablet in the dark at night so that I wouldn’t wake up my wife. It is also much easier and quicker to get books that way when you live rurally. My goal this year is to read even more!
Another goal that I made and kept was to be a better note taker when in church. At the beginning of 2014 I bought a note book and diligently began taking notes in sermons or any other time I was able to listen to someone sharing God’s word. By the end of the year my notebook is full and I actually just bought a new journal/notebook and am excited to fill it with more teachings and insights from God’s Word in 2015.
Looking ahead at 2015, my main resolution is to try to become more balanced in life. To find the balance between work/ministry and being there to be the father my family needs me to be. I want to be the father that shows his kids a Godly example in every area of life and I want them to know how much I love them and will be there for them. I am truly excited to see what God is going to do in 2015!
At the beginning of this year I posted about doing the empty shelf challenge where I was trying to fill up an empty shelf with a variety of books that I would read throughout the course of this year. I have actually done quite well with this challenge, even better than I had personally expect. That being said their has been one thing that has actually aided me quite well in my reading goals, reading in the dark on my iPad.
I know their are many literary purist out there who love the good old paper books and won’t go over to reading on tablets. And I must admit for non-fiction books, especially good Christian literature I still prefer a book that I can highlight and make notes in. But being able to read by the light of the tablet in the dark when my wife, who tends to fall asleep early, is off in dreamland has greatly aided in the amount that I am able to read. It’s during these times that I catch up on my fiction in take. Reading a good story is a great way wind down after a long day and tablet reading has been a great way to do so. Also, if you are like me and live rurally and can’t always get to the store or don’t want to wait on the next book in a series to arrive by mail iBooks, Kindle Apps, and other tablet book services provide a great way to keep reading your series with no delay.
Even if you are a purist who loves your paper books keep reading them and buy them, but a good copy that you can have access to immediately and read in the dark on your tablet, computer, or even phone is a great alternative that I highly recommend!
Since the New Year 2014 kicked in I have been seeing several people posting about taking an “Empty Bookshelf Challenge.” This being clearing a bookshelf in your house as the start of the new year and then being purposeful in your reading to make sure by the end of the year. With the busyness of life, kids, ministry, and lots of other things, I am not the voracious reader that I used to be. So when I read about authors I like, like Jon Acuff and other men I respect like my pastor taking this challenged, I figured I would give it a try. So down in my basement I cleared a book shelf that I intend on filling with lots of reading over the coming year. To start off, I am finishing some reading that I began last year and put aside do to busyness. For starters I will be finishing “Not a Fan” and “Band of Brothers.” From there I have several more that I will be sharing with you. So like other challenges I have been on, I encourage you to join me. Let’s get reading together!
For the past few weeks I have been participating in a book study at work over the book Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. I have enjoyed being able to read and then have some really good discussion with several of my coworkers here at KMM.
As I began reading the book a couple of weeks back it dawned on me how I don’t read that much anymore. As a single person and even somewhat after I married Erin I was a pretty voracious reader. I tried to keep both a fiction and non-fiction book going at all times. Since my children have arrived, I have found excuse upon excuse to cut back on my reading. Some excuses are legitimate and others well, just not feeling like it or being worn out are not legit.
In one of the early chapters of Sanders’ book he talks about how a leader is a reader. To lead and develop education and stay informed a leader must read. Even if it’s reading those who we don’t agree with, so that we can understand opposing opinion. Sander’s encourages leaders to even start small by just marking out at least a half an hour a day to read more.
Since reading that I have tried to rededicate myself to reading more. I try to get at least the suggested half hour in or at the very least a chapter a day. Getting back into my reading had helped me feel more growth in my life and also it does give me a sense of accomplishment and I move along in a book and even finish them. I guess this is sort of a late resolution for this year, but it is one I am truly enjoying…