2014: Movies, Books, Games, and Good Listening

As another year nears its end, I thought it would be fun to toss out a few things that have been particularly memorable/enjoyable for me. Here I’m thinking more in terms of books and entertainment.  So without further ado:


• Edge of Tomorrow (Or, Live. Die. Repeat) was a total surprise hit for me. I hate to admit it, but I do like Tom Cruise as an actor; and in this sci-fi grab-your-popcorn action flick, he delivered an excellent performance. Check it out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

• Interstellar? I’m sorry, but no. I was really looking forward to this movie, but it totally let me down. So if you’re going to insist on watching a show about outer space, go with Gravity. It is far more entertaining.


• Speaking of movies, perhaps you’ve heard about the forthcoming release of Unbroken. I plan on checking it out. But look. If you haven’t read the book Unbroken, I need you to stop right here, open another window in Amazon and order it. Don’t think about it. Just do it. It is easily one of the best books you’ll ever read.

• I’m nearly finished reading Tortured for Christ. This is the powerful first-hand account of a pastor who was tortured in communist Romania for his faith. It is a gripping read, not to mention convicting. I cannot even begin to imagine having to face the things Christians were confronted with in those terrible days (mid-20th century).

• On a more theological note, the deacons at our church have been assigned the book The New Testament Deacon, by Alexander Strauch. This is a great study on the subject of the diaconate. It is carefully argued, clearly written and convicting. I would heartily recommend the work to other deacons looking to remind or sharpen their understanding of the office.


• Ah, yes, games. As I write this, 120 new cards for the popular and deliciously fun game, Hearthstone, have just landed. Various goblins and gnomes of all shapes and sizes, with all manner of trickery and weaponry, are spicing up Blizzard’s runaway hit. New cards were needed. And now they are here.

• If you’re a sucker for tower defense games (like myself), Kingdom Rush Origins is a must have. Play it on your phone or tablet and be prepared to hoot and howl and groan for hours on end.


• John Piper’s messages on Romans 8 at this year’s 2014 National Conference: Look at the Book: Reading the Bible for Yourself are superb. Allow yourself the treat of hearing God’s amazing promises for His people in this colossal chapter.


  1. Jeff Kessler December 9, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    Amen to your comment regarding “Unbroken”.

  2. Debbie Lees December 9, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    I can’t agree more about reading “Unbroken” by Lauren Hillenbrand. She also wrote “Seabiscuit” which also became an excellent movie. My dad was a bombardier in WW II. My sister bought the book as a result of her book club – she did so to get a better understanding of what our dad went through. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down – it’s a page turner and an easy read, but painful as you re-live the life of this hero. It is a must read before you see the movie. My nephews were very close to our dad and, in fact, are staying up with the WW II reunion group – now run by the children and grandchildren. They said they’d wait for the movie. Granted, I want to see it on the big screen, but shame on Angela Jolie for leaving out the most critical part of Louis Zamperini’s life. He had a most powerful encounter with the Lord but she didn’t go there….WOW! You have to read to book to read about it!

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