Things I Think

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55 Responses

  1. Jtk says:

    Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch, the oldie, is still bouncing around my head. Couldn’t finish Bowden’s anthology, Michael. You stinker, for encouraging me to read it…

    A young descendant of El señor de los cielos in juarez just finished “El Sicario” though, a younger minister im helping. It helped him and he got a lot out of it.

    Voice of the Martyrs put out an animated series on different Martyrs and heroes…amazing. Really powerful. I’m going to raise kids with a unique perspective.

    The events of my life and ministry (persecution) are flavoring my intake and it is HELPING!

    In tears regularly over Christmas music…not the cheesy stuff.

    But a few songs have really helped. Oddly enough, Reformed guys, Michael.

    But it’s rap:

    Some Christian perspective on persecution to rap has helped so much.

  2. Michael says:

    “A young descendant of El señor de los cielos in juarez just finished “El Sicario” though, a younger minister im helping. It helped him and he got a lot out of it.”

    Wow…that’s intense…

  3. Sher Starr says:


    Always a treat to read your thoughts (almost like reading your diary, but don’t need to steal the key to get in!?)
    I LOVE #9! (11th commandment should be “Thou shalt not be petty!) Let’s get t-shirts made!!

    I pray all is well with you and that your health is improving. Am still looking forward to that cup of coffee when I get up to Oregon!

    Sher ???☃️

  4. filbertz says:

    The holidays were a bold experiment in our new normal. We survived intact.

    Unity in the ‘family’ is not about uniformity, but the choice to affirm the work of the Spirit in each other.

    Jesus was an iconoclast, revolutionary, and subversive. Most of us are tame, timid, and tepid.

  5. Michael says:


    Thank you…this is kind of like my diary now that I think about it…
    We have too many folks sweating the small stuff…when you get sick,one of the blessings is that you realize that most things are small stuff.
    Looking forward to some coffee with you…but I’d wait until spring…it’s cold here!

  6. Michael says:


    “Unity in the ‘family’ is not about uniformity, but the choice to affirm the work of the Spirit in each other.”
    Amen and amen…
    I’m glad you made it through a daunting season, even though there will be more to come…blessing on you and yours, my friend.

  7. Jason Vreeke says:

    Favorite book for the year is “Unashamed” by Lecrae Moore. I also really liked “Cold-Case Christianity” by J. Warner Wallace, “Rise” by Trip Lee, and “The Real Face of Atheism” by Ravi Zacharias. Only four books this year for me. 2017 will be better!

    Favorite movie is a tough one. If I had to choose a faith-based movie it would be “Priceless” with Joel Smallbone of For King and Country. But probably the film I enjoyed the most this year was one I had to watch in my film class. It was a 1988 crime documentary called “The Thin Blue Line.” I had never seen it and confused it with The Thin Red Line in times past. I really enjoyed the film and you might like it as well if you enjoy true crime like Dateline NBC and the like.

    Favorite music for the year is a toss up between the album “Anomaly” by Lecrae and For King and Country’s latest offering. “Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.”

    I have begun reading this site almost everyday and I imagine that, unless there is much protest, that I will also comment from time to time.

    Jason Vreeke

  8. Dan from Georgia says:

    Number 10:

    I know this is going to paint me as really worldly and shallow, but I have not read a book this year. Reading tends to put me to sleep. I read more for education and information than for devotion anyways so reading thru a whole book hasn’t been a goal (BTW I work as a scientist so no snarky comments about not being very intelligent). For movies I have been into Gone With The Wind this year. For music, I listen to mainly hard and classic rock (e.g. Thin Lizzy), and also Trance (Solarstone and Richard Durand for example)

  9. Reuben says:

    Thought 10

    Book: God Is Not Great, How religion poisons everything, Christopher Hitchens
    Book 2: Men Explain Things To Me, Rebecca Solnit
    Movie: Batman Vs Superman (have not seen Star Trek Beyond yet…)
    Music: Endless River, Pink Floyd
    Music 2: The Very Best of Prince (memory lane upon his passing)

    I have been reading much less since I left the endeavor to affirm or strengthen my faith. Looking forward to Lawrence Krauss’ new book, The Greatest Story Ever Told… So Far

  10. Michael says:


    Welcome aboard…we’re always glad when folks decide to join in by commenting as well as reading.

  11. JasonVreeke says:

    Thanks Michael. I also have just registered.

  12. Dan from Georgia says:

    Yes I forgot Star Wars for movies as well as Prince for music. This has got me thinking about making a goal to read more devotional material this coming year. Thanks Michael!

    Number 1: can’t believe peolple are still arguing politics.

    Number 2: makes me think about the verse in the Bible about living at peace with others as far as it depends on you/me.

    Number 7: amen

    Number 8: I have no problem with imagery of Jesus (sans the handsome blonde hair and blue eyed one), and I love the old artwork (tryptichs for example) depicting Jesus.

  13. Michael says:


    I didn’t read as much this year as usual…I’m also using audio books more.
    I think the Batman and Captain America movies were all I watched…

  14. Dan from Georgia says:

    just an FYI: watched Treasure of the Sierra Madre a few nights ago (Humphrey Bogart)…great study of how greed can ruin lives.

  15. Theophilus says:

    “I can’t make you love me if you don’t” there are a lot of people I don’t love in a sentimental way (and many more who do t “love” me” . But when we live in the same house we still need to get along….I have disagreements with my brother and we re divided about several things. But he’s still my brother.

  16. pstrmike says:

    As I wrote to Jordan Taylor on the CCA Narrative thread, this split is about how we live out our doctrine. That is what methodology is, the expression of our doctrine. Whether that doctrine is in fact biblical or not is an another question.

    I didn’t watch enough movies to have a favorite.

    music – three way tie

    Romero, from The Project.

    Live Acoustic version of Hotel California

    I Still Haven’t Found what I’m Looking for

    Favorite book:
    Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser
    One of the most genuine and realistic writings on what is a spiritual life in Christ.

    I’ve read about 22 books this year. I’ve also read four DMin dissertations.

  17. Theophilus says:

    I think filbert’s comment is pretty right on.

  18. Michael says:


    I think methodology is part of it for some of the associated players.
    For the primary players,it’s a raw power play.

  19. Michael says:


    How do you really love someone without a measure of sentiment?
    I submit that such is impossible…

  20. Michael says:

    This is the only Christian music I listened to this year… “Mystic Chapel”…

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    #20 and #16 Thanks! It mean a lot to us… more than you’ll ever know.

    I try to read one or two books a week, so its been about 63 books in the past 12 months.
    The most remarkable book I’ve read this year is Springsteen’s memoir ‘Born to Run’. It is beyond honest, written clearly in his own voice… it’s just outstanding.

    As for music, it would probably be a tie –
    Melissa Etheridge ‘Memphis Rock and Soul’
    Leonard Cohen ‘You Want It Darker’
    For Melissa, get in your car, turn it up loud and drive…
    For Leonard, go into your prayer closet and prepare to meet your God…

  22. Michael says:

    I must confess that I had never heard Cohen until he passed…catching up on what I missed is one of my New Years resolutions…

  23. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Jason Vreeke…a husband and father…good for you.

    Go back to KWVE and tell Frank to quit goofing off.

    1. Books

    a. Rebel Yell – the biography of Stonewall Jackson. A must read if u r a civil war buff. Also if u want to see the bible lived out in the life of a believer.
    b. Born to Run – the Boss brings prose to his autobiography.
    c. Furry Freak Brothers join CCA – When Drugs Explain Everything.
    d. A Millennial Gets Job – the Sad Journey of. 21 Year Old.

    2. Movie –
    a. Love and Mercy (I know it came out in 2014, but I just saw it.

    3. Music – zippo, especially when one recognizes that rap/hip hop ain’t music.

  24. Michael says:


    I’m blissfully speechless… 🙂

  25. Duane Arnold says:

    Oh yes, best single – ‘Human’ by Rag ‘n’ Bone Man

  26. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    If Duane can add a category, then so can I….nyehhhh

    Second best hit from a true artist who died in 2016 – “Where’s the Money” – Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks

  27. Jeff, I haven’t been at K Wave since 2005, but if I was, I would definitely still be goofing off. After all, as the great, wonderful and wise Bob Cadman often said, “radio isn’t brain surgery” good for me I guess huh? Hope you are well Jeff.

  28. Rob says:

    PP, I like your #5.

    I find the judgemental desire to drag people through a knot-hole backwards, completely lacking in grace, compassion, and utterly useless towards demonstrating forgiveness, let alone working towards restoration.

    I think in the modern internet age, we can shame people to the point where we demolish their hopes of rebuilding their lives, regaining their dignity, even finding employment etc.

    I agree there is no need to name and shame individuals publically, beyond the boundaries you have outlined.

  29. Michael says:


    “I think in the modern internet age, we can shame people to the point where we demolish their hopes of rebuilding their lives, regaining their dignity, even finding employment etc.”

    That is profoundly true and something we all need to address…

  30. David H says:

    Music – Cody Jinks “I’m Not The Devil”. “Authentic” Country music of the best kind.

    Reading – various books on physical fitness. My son, 18 years old, dragged me, kicking and screaming, into the gym seven months ago. I’m more fit than I’ve been in thirty years.

  31. Paige says:

    We “survived’ a less than epic Christmas after an insanely overly busy week leading up to it. For the first time in my adult life, I didn’t see my kids or host a meal. Loved it. End of an era… what a relief. I’m ready to be the guest instead of the constant host, chief cook and bottle washer…

    Music: we listen to David Nevue and pay the yearly subscription. My other favorite music is when all my sons are in the house jamming.

    My fave book last year is “Stand Taller, Live Longer” by Dr Stephen P Weiniger.
    I tried to read several theology books and nearly died of overwhelm. I’ll stick with Sola Scriptura. I am looking forward to starting the reading schedule for the new year.

    Just watched OPBs Richard III. Benedict Cumberbatch is an amazing actor.

  32. Stephen says:

    Books: Too numerous to remember, actually. I’d GUESS 30-40. I’m currently reading 3 others right now:
    “Power Through Prayer,” by EM Bounds,
    “On Being a Pastor” by Derek Prime and Allister Begg, and
    “Humility” by Andrew Murray.

    One of the most interesting books that I read this year that is not Christianity-based was “Sled Driver,” which is a memoir of an SR-71 pilot.

    Movie: I have 2 small children and no family/babysitters to take care of them, for the most part (long story)…so no movies this year.

    Music: Sadly, I hear them on the radio but really don’t pay attention to who wrote and/or performed them. For the most part, I don’t even know how new they are…lol.

    (Yeah, I’m not a very interesting person…although I *am* quite busy, so perhaps that’s a bit of an “excuse.”)

  33. John 20:29 says:

    haven’t finished the thread, yet… but a comment on Theophilus’ observation on love… off the top of my head i don’t have the list of attitudes/emotions that are translated “love”
    i think it IS possible to love without emotion (it’s pleasanter with emotion – and more hurtful at times) … there is IMV a thing called impersonal love … i love the Church because they all love this incredible and unspeakable gift that we’ve been given thru God’s plan of salvation AND the God Who’s given it to us – i’d go to bat for any one of them who was in danger, in a heartbeat … but within the Church there are some folk that the less time that i have to spend with them, the better … for any number of reasons … on a personal level i don’t love them because i don’t even like being with them and their besetting sins may be harming others, too … on a personal level there are folk that i love being around that don’t even care about the hereafter or the unknown possibility of facing their Creator naked and guilty – not talking about lowlife or gross folk, just those nice people who make the day pleasanter – pray for the lost whether we like them or not – AND – pray for the Church whether we like ALL of them or not, eh? 🙂

  34. Francisco says:

    Favorite movie of the year was 13 Hours. I’m hearing that Rogue one is also pretty good. Planning on checking it out this week.

    Happy New Year Michael.

  35. Xenia says:

    name your favorite book, movie, and music for the year.

    Favorite book: My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir. John Muir is currently my favorite author.

    Movie: I don’t really go to movies very often.

    Music: Adieamus (Carl Jenkins) I especially like “Cú Chullain”

    I’ve read over 100 books this year, mostly on the topics of Orthodoxy/ Celtic history/ horticulture. Murder mysteries make up a large percentage of the 100.

  36. “name your favorite book, movie, and music for the year.”

    My favorite book is the one I am reading currently. “The Last Innocents” – subtitled The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Movie – The last big person movie I saw in the theater was Mama Mia in 2008. Movies are too expensive and takes away money I could give to orphans and widows. 😉
    Last night I watched Beverly Hills Cop with my son – that was good.

    Music – I don’t listen to much at all. If I listen to something on purpose, it is usually my Dire Straits CD

  37. Jeff Sheckstein says:


    Dodgers in ’60’s? Junior Gilliam, Larry Sherry, Wally Moon.

    Dire Staits?

    Mama Mia?

    Time to join the 21st century. Do u know that Obama was elected President?

  38. Jeff,
    I have yet to hear a compelling case listing benefits of participating in the modern arena. Do you have a modern option to top Dire Straits? Btw – Larry Sherry lived up the street from me when he died several years ago – and I grew up learning to throw a ball with the famous Larry Sherry pitchback.

  39. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Got one for my 9th birthday. It always pitched back anywhere but my glove. I was raised in the west side and BH and used to take the 91s bus down sunset to Chavez ravine when I sat in bleacher seats for six bucks.

  40. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Let’s see. Around the horn.

    Gil Hodges, Charlie Neal, Dick Trazewski/Don Zimmer, Junior Gilliam, Johnny Podres, Roy Campanella/Johnny Roseboro, Don Demeter, Wally Moon, and can’t remember who was in left.

  41. When I was probably 13 -17 my mom would put me on the bus in Whittier that would drop me at 5th & Spring and the I would catch the stadium bus – and then make the return trip.

    Today, I thing my mom would be tossed in the pokey for child abuse. Those years, ’62 – ’66 — bleachers $1.50.

  42. My mom was 8 yrs ahead of Larry Sherry at Fairfax high.

  43. Maury Wills was the SS – Tracewski came in ’63 to take 2nd base as Gilliam was moved to 323rd to fill the void when I forget who got traded.

  44. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Was Sandy there?

    My “pop pop” went to schule off Cochran and the Miracle Mile, just down from May Co. And the Farmers Market.

  45. Sandy wasn’t at Fairfax – he grew up in Brooklyn.

    My Said a was not too far. He lived off of Beverly and I think 3rd – behind old Gilmore Field – which later became the CBS studios. Hey, he was a10 min walk to Canters.

  46. Auto correct is terrible with Yiddish. It should say my Zaida.

  47. There is Hope in Him says:

    Paige #31, sure appreciated your honesty. I worked on Christmas but enjoyed the evening. As for my favorite book “Shadow of the Moon”, old book M. M Kaye, just got through reading America’s First Daughter and now reading My name is Mary Sutter. Because I work in the medical field all day, when I read I just want to not think so reading for me is an escape. Favorite movie, really do not have one. Favorite music, Christian Hymns, rock n roll and Classical depending on my mood.

  48. nathan priddis says:

    8. Iconoclast Jesus.

    Iconoclast are not nice people to have around. They break things. They are never going to be welcome in church, and the place will always be a mess when they leave.

  49. Tracey says:

    Unfortunately in the church the concept of “family” often stops at sentiment. When there are real tests, like the sexual abuse of a child by a church leader or pastor or a woman leaving her abusive “Christian” husband, any notion of family is abandoned and the victims are often met with silence, while the perpetrator is embraced and protected by the church family. Imo, often in those cases, sentiment trumps love.

  50. Surfer51 says:

    My favorite all time timeless 30 minute worship session:

    Read all of Clive Cusler’s books.

    Cusler and friends work is adventurous and entertaining, light reading.

    Into my third Jack Reacher book by British author Lee Child. My wife gifted me with all of his books.

    Child’s work is dark and real, not edifying at all.

    Just finished one that dealt with human traffickers and pedophiles.

    Reacher isn’t just tough; he’s supertough.

    No one gets away with anything when he is around.


    Iconoclast Christians are usually very receptive to spiritual revelation from the Holy Spirit.

    They can be outspoken and adamant.

    They never fit in with well-established status quo and always get invited to leave and start their own church if they don’t like how things are.

    Most of them are prophets set in the Church by the Holy Spirit.

    “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.”
    1 Corinthians 12:28

    God seems to have a ranking of a sort in the above list.

    If the ranking is reality, then it would seem as if prophets are of a greater importance then the teachers which are abundant these days.

    Using the tern “iconoclast” and it’s definition, it is not hard to see the importance of prophets to the Church.

    Most people don’t believe they exist today, but I see them everywhere, doing God’s work at overturning the tables of those who set up the status quo.

    I know Michael doesn’t think of himself as a prophet, but some of his criticism and opposition against beliefs and practices that are widely accepted by others would indicate otherwise.

    He is a straight shooter who tells em’ like he sees em’.

    An iconoclast turning over the tables and such.

    Reread all of his “Things I think” postings over the years and it becomes readily apparent that he is indeed iconoclastic in every sense of the term.

    That is a very authentic good thing indeed!

    Favorite movie:

    The Nativity Story.

    It truly brings out the reality of the story by putting flesh and blood on it. We get a good look at what it was like.

  51. Dan from Georgia says:

    Iconoclast- next time I will look up that definition of the word before commenting…(looks down sheepishly)…

  52. Captain Kevin says:

    I’m late to this party, but here are my favorites:

    Book: Trusting God Even When Life Hurts, by Jerry Bridges. Daniel Fusco’s new book made for fun and thought-provoking devotion time with my First Mate. Have only read about 5 books, plus a whole slew of education professional development crap.

    Movie: Independence Day 2. Casablanca. Just can’t beat Bogart and Bergman. A 2012 version of Treasure Island was really impressive. Followed the novel better than any previous tries.

    Music: Hands down favorite is the new album by Casting Crowns called The Very Next Thing! Usually, I like just a few songs from an album, but for me, every song on this one is a winner lyrically and musically.

    Happy New Year, Michael and PhxP friends!

  53. Dan from Georgia says:

    Captain Kevin…always gotta love Casablanca!

  54. John 20:29 says:

    i used to read voraciously when i was housebound with babies… very little of it was materiel published on the Faith… with the exception of His magazine an Inter Varsity publication…
    don’t reach much anymore… i come here to find out what to think 🙂

    that said, there is a book just out that i am starting … looks to be worth investing my time – even at my advanced age…
    “The Way of the Strangers” by Graeme Wood

    the two things that i want to get smarter on are the above subject and the change in the economic dynamic that is unfolding… it looks like there’s trouble ahead for Pension Funds and Insurance Companies that may affect us more than that implanted chip thing … dunno

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