In order to start exercising the writing muscle a bit, I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions for top-5 lists.  You know, prompts to get the brain going.  The first one is from my friend Lori, who suggested…


Top-5 Books I Read In 2015

I need to let you know that I am not including the classics by folks like C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer and others that I re-read every year…so this is only books I read for the first time this year.

My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer, by Christian Wiman

Favorite quote: “Christ is God crying I am here, and here not only in what exalts and completes and uplifts you, but here in what appalls, offends, and degrades you, here in what activates and exacerbates all that you would call not-God. To walk through the fog of God toward the clarity of Christ is difficult because of how unlovely, how “ungodly” that clarity often turns out to be.”

Lit: A Memoir, by Mary Karr

Favorite quote: “What hurts so bad about youth isn’t the actual butt whippings the world delivers. It’s the stupid hopes playacting like certainties.”

Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations About Sexuality and Spirituality, by Deb Hirsch.

Favorite quote: “When discipleship is narrowed down to jumping through behavioral hoops and ticking the right theological boxes, grace is squeezed out, and we come to see God as just plain impossible to please, like some nasty first-grade teacher or harsh, authoritarian parent. When we reduce Christianity to a negative system where fasting becomes more sacred than feasting, law wins out over grace, and correct theology becomes more important than divine encounter, we in effect become the modern-day Pharisees—whose ministry Jesus was set against.”

Searching For Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding The Church, by Rachel Held Evans

Favorite quote: “This is what God’s kingdom is like: a bunch of outcasts and oddballs gathered at a table, not because they are rich or worthy or good, but because they are hungry, because they said yes. And there’s always room for more.”

Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life (and Comedy), by Judd Apatow

Favorite quote: “The greatest gift you can give is your story,” and that, for me, was the turning point. That became the premise of my work. That’s when I realized that maybe the things that I think are boring about myself are interesting to other people. Hearing what’s in your mind truly makes people feel less alone and gives them hope for things that they want to do and get through things that are difficult.”


Top Five Movies I Saw in 2015, Ranked.

However, I reserve the right to revise this list as I still have to see Brooklyn, Joy, The Hateful Eight, The Revenant and The Big Short.

Also, these aren’t given as necessarily an “Oscar-worthy” list, but rather simply my appreciation for a good story well told.

  1. Love & Mercy
  2. Inside Out
  3. Straight Outta Compton
  4. Spotlight
  5. Red Army