27 December 2009

100+ Reading Challenge 2010

In order to kind of jump-start my daunting task of reading the mass of books on my shelf that I own and have yet to complete, I have decided to join the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge from J Kaye's Book Blog. I only learned about reading challenges at all in October, so I was a little late to start on anything. The 100+ Challenge gives challengers a year to read pretty much any one hundred (or more) books, which is a pretty flexible enough set of standards for me to attempt. Feel free to go along with it by clicking the image or the hyperlinked text above.

Below I will list the books as I read them.  Hyperlinked titles go to my review of that book.  At the end of each item is the date I finished the book.


1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (Jan 10)
2. The Ruthless Realtor Murders by David A. Kaufelt (Jan 23)
3. The Night Room by E.M. Goldman (Jan 26)
4. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Jan 31)

5. The Bone Factory by Nate Kenyon (Feb 14)

6. The Liberation of Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey

New America by Michael A. Smith
Walking Thru Hale by Angie PelphreyBeast by Peter Benchley

The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
Buzz Riff: A Novel of Crime by Sam Hill
The Absolutes by James Robison
1984 by George Orwell

26 December 2009

A Surprise Christmas Gift

The first Christmas Rebecka and I had together as a married couple was only after a little over a month of being married and just over a year of dating. So, Christmas 2009 was a little more exciting than 2008 because we had all that time to get to know each other more, to be able to determine what to get each other as gifts. Both of us apparently very much enjoy surprises but are just as proficient at surprising other people. That made this Christmas all the more exciting.

Having simmered on the decision for quite some time now to some day learn to play the piano, Rebecka very sneakily got the ball rolling for me by prepurchasing a month's worth of lessons. She also bought me a Crosley record player with USB connection so I can start recording my growing collection of records to digital files.

I countered her surprises with a fish tank, something she has been debating on getting for the better part of this year and which she was not expecting at all. She was also hinting at needing an electric razor, although this hinting was a little more overt. Well...to the point of basically asking me to get her one. So, I did.

Above all, however, Rebecka ended up trumping all of the Christmas gift surprises with something the Tuesday before Christmas, December 22nd. I came home from work and did my usual after work routine while she was completing dinner preparations. As I came out in the hallway, she was holding up two sticks of the Clear Blue brand, both brazenly declaring "Pregnant" in crisp, blue, digital displays. She showed me two because she wanted to be absolutely positive. (She actually took another the next day, just to be extra-absolutely positive. This will be summarily followed up next week with a doctor's visit to provide blood-test proof of her extra-absolute positivity.)

Yes, reader(s): I am a father. Wow. That's the first time I really wrote it like that, and it is very strange to see, especially having come from my own fingers.

I do say "I am a father" here in the present-tense rather than the future tense because I have already fathered a new life. The entity currently growing within my wife's womb is a living organism, having been created through the fertilization of two haploid gametes--one from me and one from Rebecka. The embryo has a set of genes distinct from either of us, making a brand new person, though tiny and encased as he or she grows.

Ahead of us, Rebecka and I have the rather scary path of nurturing, training, and teaching our child to be an adult; to train him or her up in the way he or she should go. The person growing inside Rebecka right now is an evidence of the awesome workings of God's almighty power. He who has a hand so large that He can hold the entire universe is also small enough to deal with us in a personal, loving manner, even to the point of meticulously designing the little hands being formed in utero.

I pray that God will guide us to make the right decisions as we seek to depend more on Him while this child is in our care. We do not take this responsibility and privilege lightly. Please remember us as we strive to train our new child to become a person after God's heart.