Notes from the Trail

Life, adventure and faith from southwest Virginia

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Campfire Talk

10 Recommended Books (that you may not have heard of) #2

This is the 9th book I’ll recommend you to read that you may have never heard of… “Team of Rivals.” Abraham Lincoln’s leadership style was such that he was unafraid of competition or in-fighting. He selected leaders for his cabinet who had their own followings. He earned their respect, and he led our nation through its most divisive years.

Mowing to country music

The last few times I’ve mowed, I’ve listened to country music. It’s been an amazing combination. Mowing is therapeutic for me. It’s one of the few things that I do in life that I get to see instant results. There’s… Continue Reading →

Graturday

Some posts are worth re-writing. A gratitude list never gets old, and it reminds you of simple and precious things.

Three attitudes that will change your life: Be gracious

The second post in this series focuses on the choice to “be gracious.” Being gracious is the attitude you adopt when the time has passed for assuming the best. Practicing courtesy when you’re wounded is not a default for the human heart.

So long, 2016

This is my annual “year-in-review” blog post, in bullet-point fashion. From a sermon in a slanket to the Razorbacks winning the first half of the Belk Bowl, it’s been 365 day of unexpected goodness and wonder, even amid grief and longing.

Top Posts of 2016

Here are the Top 10 posts on my blog from 2016, based on web traffic. I hope you enjoyed them. If you missed one, click and read. And if one that you liked more didn’t make the list, browse the archives and let me know which one you vote for as a top post!

Slow down, Christmas

Weeks before Thanksgiving, our culture jumps in the Christmas car and jams the accelerator down. Christmas decorations go on sale about Halloween, and we roar past Thanksgiving, barreling down upon December 25. Then we sit exhausted among leftovers and torn wrapping, wondering what happened, barely remembering the journey. Read along in my annual experiment to “slow down Christmas.”

A personal retreat

I had never heard of the concept of a personal retreat until 1996. I had served as a campus minister in Arkansas for about a year when my boss encouraged me to take one. When I asked what he meant, he described it as simply a few days to be quiet, to rest, to pray, read and enjoy my relationship with God. I remember distinctly his encouragement to not get frustrated if I fell asleep on the first day and felt like I’d “wasted” a day. He said that sleep may be the most spiritual thing I do initially on a retreat.

Nuff Said: Tech companies trumping Trump, Helping authors, Pastors who ignore phone calls, ways for busy moms to be in the Bible, Frankfurter Sandwiches and more

In this “Nuff said” entry, learn about how tech companies may be trying to stop Donald Trump, how Barnabas Piper (John’s son) recommends that you help authors, why pastors may ignore your phone call, and a few ways for busy moms to be in the Bible. Oh, and you’ll get a great song for those of you who like hot dogs.

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