Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What I Read In 2010

So here's a little list of what I read in 2010 and why you should or should not read them [I give myself too much credit. Really, you're an adult. You can pick what you want to read; these are just reccommendations.]

Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver - I had to read this for a class. I'm not going to lie, I wasn't crazy about this book. It's about a family that moves to Africa to become missionaries. The dad is a major fundamentalist, white-man's-burden-y kind of "Christian." The book is pretty slow and took me forever to get through because I didn't care enough about reading it. I most liked Kingsolver's use of point-of-view. For each chapter she writes from a different sister's point-of-view and writes in the style in which the character would write.

Blubber by Judy Blume - For my Children's Lit class. I read it quickly because it was meant for kids in elementary school, but I did not love it.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - This is one of my all-time favorite books now. It tells about a guy who runs away from his last final exam in college who joins the circus as an animal caregiver. If you can look past the language and other inappropriate elements, it's an excellent read.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White - Another for Children's Lit. I honestly don't think I had ever read this book all the way through before this year. I really enjoyed it.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - This one was also for Children's Lit and was my favorite from that class. The book is about a baby who crawls away from his murderer into a graveyard. The ghosts of the graveyard then adopt him as their own. It's actually quite a good book with suspense and good writing.

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan - I keep trying to read Ian McEwan books and enjoy them, but I don't. This book is about a guy who witnesses a death with a few other people and then one of the other witnesses stalks him. It's dull.

Percy Jackson's The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan - I read this because my little brother is reading the series. It was ok but a little simple. In every chapter there's a disastrous circumstance the characters get themselves into and then they miraculously find a way out.

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - Buying The Hunger Games was one of the best decisions I have ever made. This book takes place in a futuristic, Farenheit-451-ish society. I can't really explain it to you without ruining the joy that comes from reading it without knowing anything about it. Just do yourself a favor and read this series.

Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper - This book was pretty good. Piper's books have a lot of great truth in them, but I get frustrated when reading them because he continually goes back to the same phrase "God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him." Yes, this is true, but if Piper took that phrase and others like it out of his books, they'd be about 20 pages long.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - This was a re-read. I loved it, duh. I love HP.

Forgotten God by Francis Chan - I really don't remember a whole lot about this book because I was going through a weird time emotionally/spiritually while I was reading it. I remember liking it and I remember it having great truth, but I don't remember specifics. But I do, I do, I do love Francis Chan [as much as Kel loves orange soda.]

The Hole In Our Gospel by Rich Stearns - This book is excellent. I listened to it on audio book while I worked and it is one of the best books on the lack of church involvement out there. He talks about the church, his calling to missions, common issues in missions, and solutions to those issues. Great read.

In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson - This book is one of the reasons I am going back to Texas in less than a week. It talks about how we should face our fears head on for the glory of God.

The Magician’s Nephew; The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis - Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I love Lewis. I will probably finish Prince Caspian before 2011 too. My prediction: Awesome.

What did you read this year? What should I read next year?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Songs of 2010

Here's a little list of my favorite and least favorite songs of 2010.

Favorite Pop Songs

Grenade/Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars - I cannot choose between these two songs. They are both super adorable. Basically, I just want to carry Bruno around in my pocket.
OMG/DJ Got Us Falling In Love - Usher - OK, I'll admit it. I love Usher...well, at least pop/dance version of Usher.
Dynamite - Taio Cruz - Have I mentioned that I love dance songs? Because I do.
Animal - Neon Trees - OK, I definitely don't know the lyrics to this whole song but everytime it comes on [Yes, even on commercials] I get excited!
Back To December - Taylor Swift - Taylor Lautner, just take her back already! I love this song. I just, I love it.
Somebody To Love/Baby - Justin Bieber - Judge if you wish; these songs are catchy!
Yeah 3x - Chris Brown - I've only heard this song twice but, oh wow, I love it. It's so happy and fun. [Insert reference to Rihanna irony.]

Favorite 9-year-old-super-cute-I-can't-even-stand-how-cute-but-I-love-it song

Whip My Hair - Willow - Her video is precious. Don't lie, you can't get it out of your head either.

Songs I Wish Were Never Played

The Time (Dirty Bit) - Black Eyed Peas - Talk about songs that never needed to be remixed. I didn't like that song to begin with and this remix definitely didn't help anything.

Personal Music Discoveries

Andrew Belle - Try out songs like "The Ladder" or "Oh My Stars" then cue the swoon.
The Almost - Technically I had listened to The Almost a lot a few years ago but I started listening to the Monster Monster album. "Hand Grenade" and "Hands" are my favorites!
Ben Rector - He's just great. Do yourself a favor and give him a listen.
Lecrae - Thank you, Paul and Sarah. I really wanted to be able to listen to some rap without having to hear about drugs and money. I really like "Used To Do It Too" because, well, I used to do it too.
Mumford & Sons - Indie at it's best. They have beautiful harmonies and interesting subject matter. But if you get the CD, listen to "Timshel" twice and skip "Little Lion Man" (soooo much cursing).
Needtobreathe - NeedISayMore?
The Temper Trap - "Sweet Disposition" over and over and over and over.....also it was in (500) Days of Summer!!!

Songs I Wore Out

Don't Let Me Fall - B.O.B
I'm At Home - Chris and Conrad
Enchanted - Taylor Swift
When I Look At You - Miley Cyrus
Awakening - Chris Tomlin
How He Loves/Oh Happiness - David Crowder Band

What were your favorite and least favorite songs of 2010?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Whether or not you know it, you have most likely seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt [Inception, (500) Days of Summer, 10 Things I Hate About You, Third Rock From The Sun, etc etc etc]. Let me just say, I love him. [And I've called eternal dibs. So there.]

Whether he's dancing with a cartoon bird:

Or fighting some bad guy in zero gravity while wearing a super fly suit [Not to mention when he's smiling while flipping in the van.]:

This one couldn't be embedded so you'll just have to watch it on your own.

Yes, now you remember. You love him too. But remember, I already called eternal dibs.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Half-Marathon Training

I have these friends, Paul and Sarah, and they're basically the best thing since sliced bread. Well, they [along with Paul's sister, Amber, who is also pretty stinkin awesome] are training for a marathon and are excellent at making me wish I was an awesome runner too. So, now I'm going to train for a half-marathon. Once I get back to Texas I will start training [because it's warmer and I can actually breathe while running] using this training schedule because it's the only one I found that looks doable for me.

I am not a great runner, so I will be so excited if I get better! I decided to write about it on here because that way I will be held accountable for my running. So please, please, please ask me how I'm doing and I'll write on here about my progression.

Bonus: Once I run 5 miles consecutively, I will have completed #1 on my 101 in 1001 list!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Singleness

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”

I've come to the point [finally] where I see singleness as a blessing. It has taken me a very long time to let God soften my heart toward this. I thought that if I softened my resolve on wanting to have a relationship or wanting a husband ASAP, that God would take those things away from me. [Sigh.] I am so dumb.

He knows what will make me most satisfied: Himself. By keeping from me the things I thought I wanted, He has shown me Himself, the thing my heart truly desires.

And wait, there's more! [And you didn't think it could get better, right?] By allowing me to be single, God has given me a world of opportunities for His fame and for my joy. If I had been married, I would not have been able to pack up everything and move to Texas to meet the people who would point me to the person of Christ. I would not have so many possibilities for this summer. I mean, if it is His will, I can literally go to the ends of the earth this summer, which would not only be so cool, but would also bring Him glory!

This is not to say that I never want to be married, but I am so thankful to God that He has given me this time to enjoy Him and use my whole self for His work!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

BASIC.Holy Spirit

Francis Chan talks about the power of the Holy Spirit and the way the church does not use the Holy Spirit's supernatural ability. How can we make our church like the Acts church?

[Wow, that is large]

For more information and trailers of the BASIC series, go to