Debbie and I had a great time in Cancun celebrating our 15th Anniversary (Officially it is New Years Eve.). Four nights/five days in a tropical paradise was great. I could have easily doubled that, but I am not about to complain. There is lots to do here over the next few weeks that I am very excited about. I'm speaking this weekend in the second week of the Advent 09 teaching series at The Vineyard. Then full steam ahead to The Christmas Show Dec 21, 22 and 23. It's a free ticketed event, so head on over and reserve your tickets now at this link.
The last year of my life has been full of output - writing my first book, directing/producing a feature film, several dozen teaching engagements, etc. It has been a fun and adventuresome year, but too much output can wear a person down - even a performer type. I read four books on my vacation. There was a time in my life when I was reading about three books per week. That was a high "input" season. I'm hoping next year is a better balance of input and output. Regardless, it was good to read on the beach for a few days.
I have to say that I picked exactly the right books for my vacation. I read a collection of short stories from my favorite sci-fi author, Philip K. Dick. I don't read a lot of fiction, so that was a nice change of pace. I'll tell you the other three books if you don't make fun of me for reading them on vacation - we all rest in different ways:
1. The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
- Francis Collins is a Christian scientist who led the Human Genome Project. This book hugely strengthened my faith. I've said before that I struggle with doubt and I think most people just think it is me overstating some minor questions that I have, but it isn't. I'm a real-deal doubter sometimes. Most typical apologetic books don't speak my language, but I loved Collins. I recommend him unconditionally for anyone with a scientific mind struggling with the evidence for a Creator.
2. Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision - First an admission: I have tasted the N.T. Wright Kool-Aid and it is good. Wright is my favorite living theologian. I have a bit of a giddy schoolgirl crush on him. This book allowed me to step back and take a fresh look at Pauline theology. Most people aren't looking for that on vacation, but it is exactly what I needed. I'm going to re-read it soon, but I recommend it for any armchair theologian struggling with Kingdom or narrative theology.
3. Outliers: The Story of Success - Love me some Malcolm Gladwell. I've read all of his books and have enjoyed them. This one probably wasn't as mind-blowing as Blink or The Tipping Point, but I have found myself thinking about the stories in it through the day. I love Gladwell on his audio books. His voice is great.
Glad to be home. Time for some output now...off to start thinking about this weekend's message.