First time playing Ticket to Ride tonight with Amber! Pretty fun game.

A 2018 Media Review

According to my records, I finished 20 books, 5 graphic novels, 21 movies, and 6 TV series in 2018.

Here are my favorites:


On the Thirty-nine Articles: A Conversation with Tudor Christianity by Oliver O’Donovan - Wonderful historical essays on how we can engage with a document hundreds of years old that nevertheless continues to have profound relevance for Christianity today.

The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change Your Life, and Achieve Real Happiness by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga (Audible Audio Edition) - I was disappointed with the authors’ jabs at religion, but appreciated the insight into Adlerian psychology. I came away with several very helpful insights. I plan on re-reading this one.

Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines That Shape the Church for Mission by David E. Fitch - This turned into a summer sermon series at DMAC.

Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World by A. J. Swoboda - Beautifully written reflections and practical advice on rest from a Christian perspective.

The Holmes-Dracula File: The New Dracula, Book 2 by Fred Saberhagen (Audible Audio Edition) - Super light, fun (yet still smart) read that finds Sherlock Holmes and Dracula teaming up to fight a conspiracy to infect London with the plague! Lots of clever twists and turns on familiar mythos. What’s not to like?

Graphic Novel

Captain America: Secret Empire by Nick Spencer and Steve McNiven - Incredibly crazy and immersive story that really had me wondering what was going on. An interesting take on Cap, and fun way to get back into comics this year.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi - This deconstructed Star Wars in a good way. I get that it was super divisive, but I loved it from beginning to end, especially the subtle message of non-violence that comes through.

A Quiet Place - Absolutely riveting, was on edge every single moment. Beautiful story of parental love in the worst situations.

Venom - Wasn’t expecting to like it that much, but honestly I had a blast.

Spiderman - Into the Spider-Verse - Great story, great voice acting, amazing art. Hands down the most interesting and creative adaptation of the comic medium to film I have ever seen.

Christopher Robin- A touching film to see with the kids. I shed a tear in the theater as the enduring power of friendship and love was explored.

TV Series

Daredevil: Season 3 - Most shows I watched this year were meh at best, but this was a standout. Amazing action, a step up in acting, and a fitting conclusion to the best superhero show on the small screen.

New Girl: Season 6 - This show continually strikes the perfect balance between silly and sweet, and the exploration of the Nick/Jess relationship in this “off again” season kept me rooting for a reunion.

🍿 Just saw Aquaman with Amber. What a fantastic fantasy adventure film! Jason Momoa owns the title role with infectious glee, and director James Wan gives us a ton of mesmerizing and immersive visuals (although the CGI de-aging in places is creepy as usual).

I fully intend to watch this movie again (which is saying a lot for me). Second best DC film for sure, right after Wonder Woman.

The Christmas fun continues with tea, pipe, and novel.

☕️ Trader Joe’s Candycane Green Tea
💨 Sutliff Christmas Spice in my Cassillero
📚 Dark Fire by C. J. Sansom

Just getting out of watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with my 8 year old son. Quite possibly my new favorite superhero movie…in the top three for sure! Loved the story, the action, the voice acting, and the incredibly beautiful and thoughtful art. Hands down the most interesting and creative adaptation of the comic medium to film I have ever seen.

🍻 Christmas cheer, Christmas beer. A wonderful Irish stout.

Merry Christmas to all! It’s been a wonderful day around the Hale House. I love watching our kids enjoy giving and receiving gifts, and I love having a day with nothing on the schedule except enjoying each other’s company. Amber made a delicious breakfast and got me incredibly thoughtful presents. I so enjoy our simple way of celebrating Christmas Day. I have really needed this.

“Jesus, Lord at thy birth.” Love that line.

I am really loving facilitating pre-marital counseling for a couple I am performing the wedding ceremony for in February. Today we talked about the ceremony and I love the traditional elements they are choosing to keep in the liturgy, as well some some of the unconventional-yet-meaningful additions they are making. This book has been a great guide through the conversations so far.

You know what’s great about most personal blogs like the ones hosted at compared to other more comercial websites? Very little or no ads. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against advertising in principle but sites like Wired, Mashable, and even the Atlantic have made their sites such a chore to read. I love the clean aesthetic that’s encouraged in this new blogging movement.

🍻A new one. Came in the Winter seasonal pack, but would make a great summer beer. Tastes of citrus and melons.

Spending some time chaperoning my daughter’s class field trip to the Science Center!


Watching my kids through the screen on my phone instead of in the world is not an even trade.

Support this book explaining the traditions of Christmas!

My friend Chris is writing an awesome book to help individuals, churches, and families understand and practice so many of the traditions around Christmas that we often take for granted and sometimes have even forgotten!

Chris is passionate about helping people enter the worship of the historic church in meaningful ways, and he is a super thoughtful writer and researcher.

I am really excited about his book—I backed it immediately and you should too!