Recliner Recommendations – December 2017

Recliner Recommendations

It’s almost a new year! 2017 is closing out fast. I have racked up my fair share of books, podcasts, and other resources. And I wanted to share a few recommendations for 2018.

Here’s what I am currently reading, listening to, and pondering. I hope you enjoy one of these for yourself.


I am currently listening to The Road Back to You by Cron & Stabile

It is a great primer on the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a personality profile self-assessment tool. If you are unfamiliar with it, then this book is a great place to start. Those who want a deeper approach might try Richard Rohr’s book on the Enneagram.


I’m sort of a podcast junkie. Here’s one I have been listening to more recently. Kevin Kruse’s podcast on leadership offers some great practical advice. Each podcast is short and leaves you with something to apply now.


I’m not a big television or movie buff. However, I do binge Netflix occasionally. My latest? Broadchurch starring David Tennant (Dr Who) and Oliva Colman. Excellent mystery show that pulls you in on the first episode.


My reading has been slow the last few months. I’m in the middle of a few books. My current read is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a fun book and easy read on creativity. If you need a kick in the pants and a good locker room speech, then read this book!

A quote I’m meditating on: You are not required to save the world with your creativity! (Elizabeth Gilbert)

A scripture I’m preaching on soon:

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” – 1 Kings 17:1

Let me know a few of your recommendations in the comments below. I’m always looking for new podcasts, books, and YouTube channels.

Happy New Year!


33 Year Wait List


In those days…

Now in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the Roman world.

Joseph belonged to the line of David and he went to Bethlehem to register with his wife, Mary. She was very close to delivering their firstborn son.

In those days…

It was 25 years since Octavian had been crowned Caesar Augustus; king of the Roman Empire. He declared that the entire Roman world should come and register their allegiance to him as Lord and King. But God had a sense of humor.


In those days…

There were no hotels or Holiday Inns. Some could be found along the busy Roman roads. Small towns, like Bethlehem, would not have “inns”. People built guests room or upper rooms that were more like a modern day loft. Sometimes their guest rooms were on the roof.

In those days…

It was time for the baby to be born. And there was no room in the upper room. It was probably full of extended family members; each one who had come to pledge their allegiance to Caesar Augustus by registering their family.

I wonder if Mary told Joseph that the only gift she wanted this Christmas was a little privacy. Who wants twenty onlookers when you are in labor?


Mary gave birth and laid Jesus in the manger. It was the best they could do for a little privacy.

Here the true Lord and King rested in a feeding trough. While Caesar demanded the people come from afar to pay him homage, the One True Lord and King volunteered to come from afar and dwell among us.

That night, there was no room in the upper room. But He would be worshipped and glorified. Thirty-three years later, there would be room in the upper room. Here the Lord and King would celebrate the Passover. But instead of being worshipped and glorified, he would be betrayed and condemned.


Christmas is more than celebrating the coming of our Lord. It is the story that prepares us for the Good News of Easter. It points us to Jesus and it offers us hope for salvation.

Let Christmas open your eyes to the bigger picture; the story of truth and grace that is found in the Resurrected King.

7 Things Dyslexics want You to Know


I have been married for 26 years. My husband is dyslexic. But, no, he doesn’t think we’ve been married for 62 years. However, I’ve lost count of the number of times he has said he wished people understood dyslexia better.

“I wish people understood that dyslexia…”

“I wish people would realize that dyslexia…”

Recently he was frustrated because someone was talking about their “disability” which was similar. He told them that he does not have a disability. Rather, he has been given a challenge by God that requires creative problem-solving.

So here are seven things that dyslexics (like my husband) would like you to know.

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We are not stupid

People with dyslexia are not stupid. It’s true that most of them would struggle with a traditional IQ test. However, that has more to do with the way we have structured the IQ test and little to do with what is being measured. Traditional intelligence tests are timed and rely heavily on one’s ability to read well and read quickly. People with dyslexia struggle to read quickly and timed tests lower their score. But tests that are orally given without time limits will offer better results for the person with dyslexia.

We are not lazy

For a long time, educators accused persons with dyslexia of “not trying hard enough”. If they studied long enough, then they would not have as much difficulty in their classes. Students were either labeled as lazy or troublemakers. Those students who had positive personalities were often passed on to the next grade (like my husband) even though they were still struggling to read and write. It’s only been in the last decade or so that educators have discovered creative teaching strategies to help their students.

It’s not about reversing letters

Dyslexia is a brain problem. The neuropathways misinterpret what the eyes are seeing. Recent research suggests that those with dyslexia see letters and objects more three-dimensionally than the rest of us. For whatever reason, the neuropathways see one-dimensional letters as three-dimensional objects. My husband struggled to read and write. But he rocked at geometry. Triangles, rectangles, and octagons all look the same no matter which way you turn them.

It also isn’t limited to writing. My husband trains and teaches martial arts. I can’t tell you how often he turns right when he should turn left when he’s practicing forms (patterns).

They are wicked problem solvers

In a world dominated by reading and writing, people with dyslexia have to find creative solutions to everyday life. Speech to text and autocorrect have been a form of freedom for my husband. He has been able to run a small business more proficiently because of these tools. People with dyslexia have been able to make progress in their careers because of computers and tablets. The only “A” my husband ever had in school was in computer class (not including woodshop and auto shop). A company has recently developed a new typeface and font that is dyslexic-friendly. You can check it out here.

He has also solicited me as his problem-solving partner. He knows he cannot trust his eyes, so I often proof-read for him. And he will call me to get the correct pronunciation of a new client’s name before he calls them. I wish people without dyslexia were as diligent on people’s names.

They are usually creative, hands-on people

Since people with dyslexia see things three-dimensionally, they are typically creative people. My husband can take something apart and put it back together again even though he has never built it before. At our house, we say to give it to Rob if it’s broken because he can fix anything. I think I have only seen him use directions twice in my life. He intuitively looks at something and knows how it should be assembled. Likewise, he responds well to any learning techniques that are kinetic in nature.

Early detection is key

Unfortunately, early detection is key. There are 37 common traits for people with dyslexia. Often, these traits are lumped in with other diagnoses and it delays a proper diagnosis. There are tools and resources available so that students can flourish. However, students need parents that will be pro-active. My husband was not diagnosed until he was in high school. By then, he was far behind the rest of his peers. He would encourage parents to get their children tested.

We will always have to problem solve. We will never be “cured”. 

Until medical science advances enough to heal these type of brain disabilities, people with dyslexia will always have to utilize coping strategies. It doesn’t simply go away. You don’t “grow out of it”. And fatigue, stress, and health can increase the effects of daily tasks. People with dyslexia will always be finding strategies to apply to their daily life. So please be patient.

I can tell you from experience that there will always be good days and bad days. Sometimes my husband can laugh at himself. Other times he is embarrassed. One time he spent an hour creating signage. When it was done, I realized every single “N” was backward and upside down. He looked at it for 5 minutes and still couldn’t see what I was talking about. Then other days, he repairs something that everyone said was unfixable and he struts around for an hour.

After 26 years of marriage, we have found our rhythm. I get to be his proof-reader and he is my Mr. Fix-It. It works. And people with dyslexia need to know they can make it work, too.

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