It’s hard to believe that we are at mid-year already. I wanted to share with you some of my favorites from the first half of 2017 in a variety of categories. Except for books, these are all items that were released or took place in 2017. For books, I include my favorite books that I’ve actually read thus far during 2017. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think of my list and share some of your favorites.
Music ~ I enjoy music in a variety of genres. My favorites thus far are:
Albums ~Top Pick: Crooked – Propaganda
Here are the rest of my favorite albums (in no particular order) thus far:
- The Joshua Tree (Super Deluxe) – U2
- Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Deluxe Edition) – Beatles
- Triplicate – Bob Dylan
- The Misadventures of Fern & Marty – Social Club Misfits
- Cinco – Jim Gaffigan
- Flowers in the Dirt (Special Edition) – Paul McCartney
Songs ~ Top pick: Blessings – Lecrae (featuring TY Dollar $ign)
Here are the rest of my favorite songs (in no particular order), thus far:
- Revival – Third Day
- I’ll Find You – Lecrae featuring Tori Kelly
- My Song is Love Unknown – Fernando Ortega
- Your Cross Changes Everything – Matt Redman
- Your Love Defends Me – Matt Maher
Concerts ~ Top Pick: U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour at Soldier Field in Chicago with the Lumineers opening.
Musicals ~ Top Pick: Hamilton in Chicago
Books ~ In this category, while many of the books were published in 2017, I list the best of the books I actually read in 2017. My favorites thus far are:
Top pick: The Legacy of Luther, edited by R.C. Sproul and Stephen Nichols
Here are the rest of my favorite books (in no particular order), thus far:
- The Gospel According to Paul: Embracing the Good News at the Heart of Paul’s Teachings – John MacArthur
- Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God – Courtney Reisigg
- Learning to Love the Psalms – Robert Godfrey
- Calling to Christ: Where’s My Place? – Robert Smart
- Discipleship with Monday in Mind: How Churches Across the Country Are Helping Their People Connect Faith and Work – Skye Jethani and Luke Bobo
- Between Heaven and the Real World: My Story – Steven Curtis Chapman
- Leaders Made Here: Building a Leadership Culture – Mark Miller
- Workplace Grace – Bill Peel and Walt Larimore
- Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear – Scott Sauls
- Reset – David Murray
- Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
See what I’m reading now.
Movies ~ I usually see at least one movie a week. Here is the best – and the worst – of what I’ve seen thus far:
Top Pick: Hidden Figures
Here are the rest of my favorite movies (in no particular order), thus far:
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
- The Case for Christ
- A United Kingdom
- Beauty and the Beast
- Get Out
- Baby Driver
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Unfortunately, there have also been a few poor movies I’ve seen as well. Here are the two worst movies I’ve seen thus far:
- The Resurrection of Gavin Stone
- The Zookeeper’s Wife
Top Pick: The Profit. Season 4 is finally here. If you are not familiar with this show, read more about it here.
Top Pick: Albert Mohler’s The Briefing. Each weekday morning, Albert Mohler hosts a podcast providing worldview analysis about the leading news headlines and cultural conversations. This is required listening for me. Check out Dr. Mohler’s website.
Also, I was happy to hear recently that Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent podcast Revisionist History returning for season two. Listen to the first episode “A Good Walk Spoiled” here.
Top Pick: Tim Challies’ Ala Carte. This is required reading for me each Monday through Saturday. Challies includes helpful Kindle deals, links to a good variety of helpful articles and a quote. Check out Tim’s website.
Another blog that is required reading for me each day is HeadHeartHand from David Murray, author of the excellent new book Reset.
Recommended New Teaching Series
The Lord’s Prayer by Albert Mohler. In this twelve-part series, Dr. Albert Mohler shows that the pattern of prayer Jesus provides is few in words, yet massive in meaning. His prayer reflects true theology and proper doxology—a perfect guide for our own lives. I listened to this series as our book club was studying Tim Keller’s book Prayer.
Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer. See my review of this excellent new documentary.
Dispatches from the Front: The Fourth Man. If you are not familiar with this set of videos from Frontline Missions and Tim Keesee you should be. For more information go here.
Top Pick: Ligonier Ministries National Conference: The Next 500 Years. Watch or listen to all of the messages here.
These are my favorites in a variety of categories. What about you? Please share your favorites.