Memorizing Extended Scripture

First Corinthians takes about 60 minutes to read aloud. It took me about 14 months to memorize the whole letter, and I’ve been spending the last several months reciting the entire letter each morning to lock it in.

Andy Naselli shares some wisdom on how to memorize an entire book of the Bible. I’m not undertaking 16 chapters, but I am starting the process of memorizing Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 13-14; Galatians). Just in the first couple of weeks of memorizing the opening verses, I’m starting to see things I’ve never noticed before.

(via The Gospel Coalition)

Bullet Journal

I enjoy using technology – especially when it helps me work more efficiently and effectively. I have noticed that I have the tendency to jump from one task manager app to the next. The grass is always greener, apparently. As I jump back and forth, I tend to dump anything and everything into the task manager, and when I eventually make it back around to the app, it is filled with the fires of overdue tasks and projects. It’s not that I’ve forgotten to do everything – I just have a big mess of cluttered and unmanaged digital work to deal with. The set it and forget it nature of these apps can get the better of me more than I’d like to admit. Sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) I am more interested in working on the task manager than I am working on the tasks themselves.

For the last month I’ve been trying out the Bullet Journal as a way of staying a little more connected to my work. It is forcing me to be more in tune with everything and it is easier to see when I am allowing too much onto my plate at one time.

The official Bullet Journal website has some basic instructions.

This video offers a simple presentation of how to get started. It’s surprisingly fun to set up. It is simple and effective.

Five Big Benefits of Blogging

Most new bloggers don’t realize the demands a blog can place on time and creativity. However, once the discipline of blogging is developed, it can benefit you in other aspects of life. Maintaining a blog practically forces you to develop routines and content plans. These routines can be mimicked in your dietary planning, workout regimens, personal discipleship, and relationships. A successful blog may not always mean more page views. Personal growth through the discipline of blogging can be success in and of itself.

In 2016 there were 4 months when I didn’t publish a single blog post. There were 2 months where I only posted one single blog post during the entire month. I published 24 posts from January-October. I published 16 posts in December and 1 post per day in January so far.

Over the course of most of 2016, I lacked discipline with my blog. It simply wasn’t a high value for me. Looking back, I can see missed opportunities personally (growing myself) and professionally (helping others grow), but I’m OK with how the year went. I am discovering the truth of the quote above. As I have shown greater discipline over the last month to publish something more regularly (at this point, daily), I’m finding it more natural to be disciplined in other areas of my life too. The final sentence is correct – page views are not my greatest measure of success – my own personal growth through the process of publishing regularly is my measure of success. I hope you’ll find what I write to be helpful. It is helpful to me just to write and publish in the first place.

(via Auxano)

Books I Read in 2016

  1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  2. Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  3. Praying the Bible by Don Whitney
  4. Food Rules by Michael Pollan
  5. The Big 50 by Arliss Dickerson
  6. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
  7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effectice People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
  8. Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
  9. Apostolic Church Planting by J.D. Payne
  10. Pioneering Movements by Steve Addison
  11. The Five Temptations of a CEO by Patrick Lencioni
  12. Eat & Run by Scott Jurek
  13. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse
  14. Building a Discipling Culture by Mike Breen
  15. H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick
  16. Do More Better by Tim Challies
  17. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  18. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
  19. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
  20. The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken
  21. Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
  22. Be Mean About The Vision by Shawn Lovejoy
  23. Deep Work by Cal Newport
  24. The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler
  25. Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Intro by Chris Sim’s
  26. Crush It: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion by Gary Veynerchuk
  27. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard
  28. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
  29. Church Planting by the Book by E. Elbert Smith
  30. Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations by Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright
  31. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  32. Living Forward by Michael Hyatt
  33. The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
  34. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
  35. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
  36. Church Planting Movements by David Garrison
  37. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
  38. Prayer by Tim Keller
  39. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  40. Onward by Russell Moore

Thinking About Social Media

My friend Evan Blackerby shared this link today from Time about an Australian gal named Essena who apparently was an Instagram super-hit (500,000+ followers) and just locked down her platforms and plastered them with the message, “Social Media is Not Real.” She was about as successful as you can be and felt empty nonetheless, prompting her to do this shut-down.

If Essena pulled herself off of social media, Seth Godin was never on social media. He’s written something like 17 books and has a massively popular daily blog. And he’s been doing it for years without interruption, and the blog isn’t his biggest thing.

I have a range of thoughts about social media, from whole-hearted endorsement to deep reservations, depending on the use case and platform. Social media has become so ubiquitous so quickly that, by and large, we have no idea what it is doing to the world and what it is doing to us. It offers us some unique ministry and networking opportunities, for sure, but what would break without it? Is it breaking us?