Thursday, January 7

2009 Favorites

Favorite Blogger: Hand's down, my favorite blog in 2009 was Alan Knox's The Assembling of the Church. I follow 86 blogs in my Bloglines Feed reader. Out of these, there are some excellent writers, but the one that most consistently comes up with quality and thought-provoking material is Alan's "Assembling..." If I had a suggestion for Alan, it would be to maybe post only 2-3 entries/week. There is simply too much good stuff to absorb!
Favorite newly discovered music artist: Eva Cassidy. Until this past year, I had never heard of the her or any of her songs. She was only 33 when she died in 1996 of melanoma. I discovered her amazing voice and unique interpretations by doing a search for the classic song "At Last" (most often heard sung by Etta James.) Besides downloading Etta's version, I was blown away by Eva's interpretation of the song. To get a taste for her voice, listen to her rendition of "Fields of Gold."

Favorite 2009 quote: Followers want comfort, stability, and solutions from their leaders, but that’s babysitting. Real leaders ask hard questions and knock people out of their comfort zones and then manage the resulting distress.--Ronald Heifetz and Donald Laurie in “The Work of Leadership,” Harvard Business Review

Favorite 2009 books: I recently blogged my Favorite books for 2009 so will not repeat that list here. One category that was not covered in my original post is "Best Book in Spanish". This goes to Alan Hirsch for his masterpiece CAMINOS OLVIDADOS (The Forgotten Ways). I highly congratulate those responsible for making this important work available for the 400-million who speak Spanish as their first language.

Favorite media website: Commission Stories. Stunning stories about what God is doing around the world. The photography/videography is outstanding. Congratulations to all the team responsible for putting out these moving pieces. A glimpse into hell is their latest story.

Favorite movie: While drama is my favorite movie genre, Avatar was such a stunning visual experience, that it has to get my vote for best movie coming out in 2009. Avatar clearly sets a new standard for the giant screen, and will certainly go down in movie history as one of the greatest productions of all time.

Favorite YouTube video: Even though I first viewed this video back in 2007, Lifehouse's Everything Skit continues to be my favorite. I have seen it dozens of times and am still deeply moved every time I watch. Check it out...

Favorite song:
For someone whose hobby is searching the world over for new music, this is an almost impossible task due to my love for music in a wide variety of musical genres. In this category I have to go with just one of my 2009 favorites, Jesus Adrian Romero's "No Hay Paredes". I recently put together a video slideshow of the Guayaquil house churches using this powerful song. To see and listen, click here.

Favorite photo: This photo was taken by Curtis Sergeant at Seleucia, on the very beach where Barnabas and Saul set out on their first missionary journey. I find it highly symbolic and prophetic. One of these days, I hope to get around to blogging about what I see in this picture.

What were some of your own 2009 favorites? Share them in the comments section below.

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