The Doc File

The online journal of Luke Dockery

Tag: 2011

Reading in 2011

Something I started doing a few years ago and have greatly enjoyed is keeping track of the books I read each year.

Here is my reading list for 2011:

  1. The Speed Of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, by Stephen M. R. Covey
  2. The Historical Books (Interpreting Biblical Texts Series), by Richard D. Nelson
  3. Joshua to Chronicles: An Introduction, by Antony F. Campbell
  4. The Art of Biblical History, by V. Philips Long
  5. A Biblical History of Israel, by Iain Provan, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III
  6. God’s Potters: Pastoral Leadership and the Shaping of Congregations, by Jackson W. Carroll
  7. Crossing the Wire, by Will Hobbs
  8. Leading the Congregation: Caring for Yourself While Serving the People, by Roger Heuser and Norman Shawchuck
  9. Accompany Them With Singing: The Christian Funeral, by Thomas G. Long
  10. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
  11. Crucifixion, by Martin Hengel
  12. Crazy Love, by Francis Chan
  13. The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine, by Alister McGrath and Joanna Collicut McGrath
  14. 1776, by David McCullough
  15. A Little History of the World, by E.H. Gombrich
  16. The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America, by Joe Posnanski
  17. Kingdom Come: Embracing the Spiritual Legacy of David Lipscomb and James Harding, by John Mark Hicks and Bobby Valentine
  18. Show Us How You Do It: Marshall Keeble and the Rise of Black Churches of Christ in the United States, 1914-1968, by Edward J. Robinson
  19. Reviving The Ancient Faith: The Story of Churches of Christ in America, by Richard T. Hughes
  20. The Death Collector, by Justin Richards
  21. The Problem of Pain, by C.S. Lewis
  22. The Greenest Island, by Paul Theroux
  23. Night, by Elie Wiesel
  24. Convicted: A Scientist Examines the Evidence for Christianity, by Brad Harrub
  25. The Restoration Movement in Northwest Arkansas, by Virginia Lynn Vego
  26. Baseball in Blue and Gray: The National Pastime During the Civil War, by George B. Kirsch
  27. The Way of Life: Church History, Reformation and Modern, by Everett Ferguson
  28. Gorky Park, by Martin Cruz Smith
  29. Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove, by William Baxter
  30. Youth: A Narrative, by Joseph Conrad
  31. The Conquest of the North and South Poles, by Russell Owen
  32. A History of Arkansas College: 1850-1860, by Robert Dockery
  33. Early Christians Speak: Faith and Life in the First Three Centuries, by Everett Ferguson
  34. Undenominational Christianity, by J.N. Armstrong
  35. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John Le Carré
  36. My Turn at Bat: the Story of My Life, by Ted Williams (with John Underwood)
  37. The Third Man, by Graham Greene
  38. The Fallen Idol, by Graham Greene
  39. More Strength for the Journey: A Daily Devotional Guide, by Danny Boggs, Kirk Brothers, Bobby Dockery, and Neal Pollard
Once again, I did a poor job of writing reviews of the books I read this past year, and that’s something I hope to improve upon in 2012. Regardless of my lack of reviews, there were a few books I read that I thought were great. The Art of Biblical History and A Biblical History of Israel were both excellent, and I would readily recommend them to anyone with an interest in biblical history. Other favorites for the year included 1776 (fascinating reading on the early days of the American Revolution), Night (gut-wrenching, personal account of the Holocaust), and The Soul of Baseball, which was possibly the best baseball book I have ever read (which is saying a lot). In the category of fiction, Gorky Park and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold were both very enjoyable.
On the flip side, The Death Collector was undoubtedly the worst book I read this year (the dangers of choosing young adult audio books for my drives to and from Memphis). The only other real disappointment for the year was The Alchemist, which I had high hopes for but ended up being weird and uninspiring.
Sadly, my overall book total decreased (down to 39 from 41 in 2010). Part of this was caused by an unproductive January, and also by the fact that I took one less reading-intensive graduate course this year. Hopefully I’ll reverse the trend and be back up over 40 books in 2012.
As always, I have some books set aside to read in 2012, but I always like recommendations for good stuff. Any ideas?
(For comparison’s sake, you can see the books I read in 2010, 2009, and 2008).

Ice Cream Offsets

Several months ago, in a post about how Christians should use their blessings to bless others, I mentioned that Americans spend $20 billion each year on ice cream, which is enough money to provide everyone in the world with food and clean water for a year.

That statistic blew me away when I first heard it, and after I referenced it in a sermon (shortly before I included it in the blog post), it became particularly convicting to me—I just couldn’t get over the amount of good that could be done if the collective money we threw away on ice cream could be channeled into helping others.

After being bothered about it for a while, I came up with the idea of “Ice Cream Offsets”. Based loosely on the (somewhat humorous) notion of carbon offsets, Caroline and I decided that we would scrupulously keep track of the amount of money we spent on ice cream for the remainder of the year, and then donate that same amount to an organization dedicated to fighting hunger.

Certainly I realize that this is not the most efficient way to combat world hunger—after all, I could just cut out ice cream altogether and donate even more money. However, I felt like this was a tangible way for us to take part in the solution of a problem, and theoretically, if every American did the same, world hunger would cease to be an issue (besides, we like to eat ice cream!).

So, here are our ice cream expenditures since late March of 2011, when I began to keep track (You’ll notice that Caroline and I are particular fans of Cold Stone Creamery):

  • Shake at Steak n’ Shake (3/27)—$3.00
  • Maggie Moos (5/14)—$4.50
  • Klondike bars from Wal-Mart (Uncertain date)—$3.00
  • Cold Stone Creamery (Uncertain date)—$9.32
  • Cold Stone (7/1)—$9.32
  • Cold Stone (7/14)—$9.44
  • Cold Stone (7/31)—$9.32
  • Cookies and Cream from Wal-Mart (8/23)—$2.00
  • Andy’s (9/4)—$6.00
  • Cold Stone (9/9)—$9.32
  • Cold Stone (12/31)—$9.32
  • Total for the year—$74.54

To “offset” the amount of money we spent on ice cream in 2011, we made a $75 donation to Lifebread, which is a neat organization that helps to fight hunger and poverty in Africa in a unique way, while also spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.

One final note: the intention of this post wasn’t to make you think how generous we are for doing this—a $75 donation didn’t require a great sacrifice from us and we don’t deserve any praise for making it. However, as Christians, I believe we are to look for ways to give more and more of ourselves all the time (including our time, our efforts, and our money), and this was one way for us to do this. Maybe it will encourage someone else to do something similar.

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