a year in review v2.09

So for the first time in my life I made New Year’s Resolutions at the beginning of 2009 and actually stayed focused on them throughout the year. There were three of them – here’s what they were:

  • Read 24 Books In 2009
  • Do A Physical Activity For At Least 5 Minutes Each Day
  • Go On A Mission Trip

Well, I didn’t accomplish everything 100%, but I was pretty happy with how things panned out.

Starting with the books, I read or listened to the following books throughout the year:

  1. William P. Young – The Shack
  2. J.I. Packer – Knowing God
  3. Charles Fishman – The WalMart Effect
  4. Bob Woodward – The War Within
  5. Stu Weber – Four Pillars Of A Man’s Heart
  6. Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers
  7. Doris Kearns Goodwin – Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius Of Abraham Lincoln
  8. Jack Coughlin – Shooter
  9. Malcolm Gladwell – The Tipping Point
  10. John Bunyan – John Brown
  11. Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Life Together
  12. Greg Mortenson w/ David Oliver Relin – Three Cups Of Tea
  13. David Ignatius – Body Of Lies
  14. Donald Whitney – Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life

Not quite 24… I got hung up on some really long ones midway through the year. There were some winner books in there, and some that were just a waste of time. I wrote about The WalMart Effect earlier in the year, which I thought was really fascinating. Other highlights were the Abraham Lincoln biography, Outliers, Life Together. Body Of Lies was a waste, and so was Shooter.

Three Cups Of Tea by Greg Mortenson was a particular standout title. This book captured the life of Mortenson, from his early days as a climbing aficionado to his life-threatening K2 summit attempt. Following that ill-fated debacle, Mortenson was saved by a remote village of alpine Pakistani’s who nursed the climber back to health. Endeared to the villagers, Mortenson grew to know them in a way no other Westerner has before, and through this close relationship realized what a dramatic detrimental effect the lack of proper education has on the people of Pakistan. Greg dedicated the next decades of his life running the Central Asia Institute, a non-profit foundation that builds schools (which educate both boys and girls) in the remote towns of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It becomes apparent throughout the book how critical proper, non-biased education is to these people, not only for the well being of the citizens, but because the lack of education can be linked directly to the rise of terrorism and jihad-schools in these areas. Mortenson believes that the ONLY way to end terrorism in the Middle East is through education, and the importance of what he continues to do through the CAI is apparent in this book.

I started running this year! That was a first, because, well, I hate running. But Steph and I tried to run regularly, especially throughout the spring and summer this year. I stayed pretty consistent on doing something physical most days of the week, but it’s an area I need to continue to improve on. Ongoing goal for next year I guess.

And finally, we made it to Greece this year on a mission trip supporting the International Mission Board for the Baptist Church. I wrote about this at earlier in the year as well right here. It was a fantastic trip and a life changing experience!

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