Sons & Orphans

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My 5 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

Happy almost New Year!

Before 2017 begins, I wanted to do a quick overview of the past year. All in all, 2016 was my best year yet in terms of blogging. I published a total of 40 blog posts, the total number of views doubled from the year before, and the total number of visitors nearly tripled.

To everyone who reads this blog: thank you! Knowing that there are more readers out there than just my mom and dad is incredibly encouraging to me. (No offense, Mom and Dad.)

Now, without further ado, here are the top 5 blog posts from 2016:

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The Best Books I Read in 2016

One of my favorite annual traditions is looking back on the year and the books I read. All told I read about 24 books this year. (I think my goal was 30.) But I must confess: I abandoned a lot of books I started to read. (Don’t worry, I didn’t count them in that list of 24).

Starting a new book when I know I’m already at max capacity is one my favorite guilty pleasures. But because of that, I  relearned a valuable lesson: Don’t try to read too many books at once. It’s not sustainable.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the seven best books I read in 2016 (note: none of them were published in 2016): Continue reading

e.e. cummings on Giving Thanks for All Things


i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

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Makoto Fujimura on How to See Art with More Than Just Your Eyes


Several years ago, a Dallas high school teacher with a group of students asked renowned artist Makato Fujimura to help his students “see” the artist’s works. Fujimura, a pioneer in the Japanese technique of Nihonga, responded with the following letter.  Continue reading

Thomas Watson on the Six Steps of True Repentance

thomas watson six marks true repentance

Oswald Chambers, the early 20th-century Scottish preacher most known for the devotional classic My Utmost for His Highest, once called repentance “the foundation of Christianity.”

On the same topic, Martin Luther famously said, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

Perhaps most importantly, Jesus’ first words of public ministry were, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew4:17)

It seems crucial then, that believers should have a strong understanding of repentance and what it means to live a lifestyle of it. And yet, for most of us, we do not. Many young Christians—myself included—haven’t the vaguest idea what repentance truly is. (Or more importantly, what it isn’t.)

So what is repentance?

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