An Easy Way to Read More Books Next Year

Tips on finding the books and the time to read them.

Do you like walking through used bookstores? I could do it for hours. Reading offers an author’s best thinking on a subject, but it comes at a price more than the book. I’m talking about time.

An Easy Way to Read More Books Next Year

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

For many years, December showed up and I realized I had read very few books that year. The past few years, I’ve set a personal goal to read 50 books by December 31. It was a crazy goal because I had “no time.” With a busy family, a full-time (plus) job, a demanding blogging and writing schedule, and lots of home projects on my plate, I held the goal loosely—but pursued it eagerly. Well, I completed the goal. (If you’re interested, I’ve listed the 55 books at the end of this post.)

But more importantly, I want to show you the strategy I used in hopes you can read more books next year.

I would also love for you to tell me how you read books and what books you enjoyed this year.

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The good folks at SourceFlix have produced another fascinating and educational video, explaining with history and archaeology the location of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.

Micah predicted it centuries before it occurred:

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity. —Micah 5:2

A God who can tell the future also knows your future. Trust Him today with what concerns you.

Why You Have Plenty of Time for a Midlife Crisis

My reflections on five decades of breathing air

Tomorrow is the big FIVE-O for me. (And I don’t mean Hawaii, thank you.) That’s right, after five decades of breathing air, I’m staring 50 in the face in less than 24 hours. Go ahead, ask me how I feel about it.

Why It’s Never Too Late to Have Your Midlife Crisis

(Photo by Photodune)

The only bit of trivia I know associated with my birthday is I was born the day Walt Disney died. Can you believe it’s been 50 years since then? Well, the time has flown by for me too.

I saw in the news a couple of weeks ago that the oldest living human (at 117) credited her longevity to eating 3 raw eggs a day and staying single. WOW. So, as a married vegetarian, I guess I’ll never make it to 117.

It struck me recently that if I live to age 76 (the average life expectancy for U.S. men), I’ve already missed my chance to have a midlife crisis.

Come to think of it, I actually have plenty of time for that midlife crisis—and then some.

So do you. Here’s why.

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Bethlehem—A Powerful Metaphor for Your Life’s Greatest Need

The place of Jesus' birth puts our priorities in their proper place.

Christmas cards and carols venerate Bethlehem as an idyllic, quiet place with “silent stars” above it and “deep and dreamless sleep” within its walls. A pleasant picture, for sure. But it wasn’t always so.

Bethlehem—A Metaphor for Your Heart

(Photo: Today’s little town of Bethlehem, courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Scripture’s introduction to Bethlehem isn’t pretty.

  • Jacob buries his favorite wife, Rachel, on the way to Bethlehem (Genesis 35:19).
  • The book of Judges mentions Bethlehem in conjunction with a corrupt priest who became a mercenary for idolaters (Judges 17:8-9).
  • Another account describes a Bethlehem concubine who, after leaving town, was brutally raped and dismembered (Judges 19:1-30).

Not a great beginning for the little town of Bethlehem.

But then, the scene shifts.

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Jesus’ Birth in a Humble Bethlehem Had You in Mind

What His ignoble birth means for you.

It must have seemed really strange. Honestly, it still does. Two thousand years of waiting for the Messiah, and He is born in a barn and laid in a feed trough.

Jesus' Birth in a Barn Had You in Mind

(Shepherd in modern Israel, courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

If it had been up to us, we would have given God’s Son a room in the finest five-star hotel in Bethlehem. But Jesus got only a one-star motel—and God had to provide the star!

When the shepherds hurried into Bethlehem to find the baby of whom the angels spoke, the wonder of God’s power must have seemed a strange contradiction to the conditions they found.

  • No halos hovered over Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.
  • Instead, they saw a poor couple surrounded by animals and the smell of manure.

Actually, the crudity of Jesus’ birth story offers really good news.

Because it had you in mind.

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