I don't read nearly as much these days. Or maybe not as much as I'd prefer in some idealistic (unreal) world where I get to spend a few hours a day soaking up good literature.
Mostly, I'm reading Goodnight, Gorilla, There's a Rumble in the Jungle or Fancy Nancy. (Let's be honest. I actually like children's literature.) And at bedtime, Anna has fallen in love with (routine?) my narration of homegrown stories. (In case you're wondering, I'm a terrible storyteller. I wish I were that dad whose stories inspire her to one day look back and marvel at the whimsical, imaginative stories I cooked up at bedtime, but alas, probably not. I'm learning slowly, though, at least about what kind of story she will likely enjoy.)
But in the margins of here and there, I have found time for a sampling of books in 2016. Here are some memorable ones:
More of Less, Joshua Becker
A helpful guide on minimizing excess (possessions) so you can focus on what's most important…
toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us
to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the
nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his
widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and
lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” President Lincoln’s
Second Inaugural Address
“How are you doing
today?” she asked with a smile. “Not great,” I replied in haste, opting for
honesty over pleasantry. “I’m sad and angry,” I told the woman on my way to work.
Like many of you, I awoke today in disbelief. How could
*this* man be our President elect? How could our country – the great US of A,
land of liberty and justice for all - knowingly choose a man who unashamedly propagates racism,
xenophobia, sexism, isolationism, greed, fear and disregard for the stewardship
of this planet? What will we say to our children? I grieve with my friends and neighbors …
It's the most wonderful time of the year. For me, at least, it typically is.
I truly enjoy this Christmas season full of festive cheer: hanging lights on the fir tree, unpacking the ornaments and memories from a dusty Christmas bin, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, making snow angels, sipping egg nog, watching Home Alone, wrapping gifts. Christmas!
As I grow older, though, my eyes are obtaining new lenses to see the gorge that often lies between Christmas and Advent.
Though the wider culture doesn't use the term "Christmas" any more, in view of the diverse beliefs represented in Western culture, Christmas still stands a monolithic tree whose branches reach wide in the culture. We've built an entire consumer mindset as well as a strong dose of nostalgia from this festive season of giving, having transgressed a two-thousand millennia wide boundary water from the banks of Bethlehem's stable. For many, Christmas - or "the holidays" - is a wonderfull…