Three Books to Hack Your 2021

(This post was originally published on the Baptist Convention of New England’s blog on December 31, 2020. You can find it here.)

hack: a strategy or technique for managing one’s time or activities more efficiently*

“Auld Lang Syne” swells in the background as you sweep the last bits of Christmas into storage, making way for countdowns and confetti. It’s time to break out your fancy glasses and talk about the dreams you plan to turn into goals, pandemic or no pandemic.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a handful of resources tailored to multiply every ounce of energy you put into meeting those goals? A way to get the biggest bang for your buck?

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Prepping for the End Times, Part 2

“The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world … Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise God-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.”

(Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyred in 1945)

If you spend a few minutes searching YouTube for doomsday preppers, you’ll find everything from the sensible to the bizarre—or frankly frightening. Tips on gardening, first aid, canning, storage, and survival skills abound, along with weaponry training, hiding tactics, and bunker tours (but WHY WOULD YOU NEED A BODY CHUTE, KEVIN?). No, we are not living in the dystopian world of The Hunger Games; this is how real people around the country are readying themselves.

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Prepping for the End Times, Part 1

I originally intended for this to be a stand-alone post, but once the words started flowing, I discovered how much I wanted to cover… so prepare yourself for a cliff-hanger at the end and a continuation next week.

“Rayford Steele’s mind was on a woman he had never touched.” Thus begins the Left Behind series that debuted (can you believe it?) 25 years ago.

The saga created plenty of buzz in Christian circles when it first hit bookstores. People who had previously shied away from prophetic passages in Scripture now gobbled them up (with just as much confusion as before, but with heightened appetite). Many found themselves pondering terms like rapture, tribulation, and millennial reign for the first time. We might not have known we were taking a course in eschatology, but our basic framework for the unfolding of final events was being built page by page.

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Seasonal Living

In the middle of a pandemic, little excitements take on a larger-than-life quality. One thing I’m inordinately giddy about right now is an idea for a new creative undertaking: seasonal family notebooks. I scooped up four sturdy art journals on sale last week and haven’t stopped dreaming of the beautiful resources I’ll turn them into over the next few years. They’ll essentially be a repository for our family culture, curated collections of goodness specific to spring, summer, fall, and winter. While each notebook will feature unique entries based on its season, all four will include the following:

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