Monthly Love: March

67692-Hello-March-GalaxyTaking a play from the delightful Amy Peterson, this is my new monthly column celebrating my favorite things for the month. This is a completely arbitrary list, in no particular order, but it’s a list of all things fun and beautiful for the month of March.

1. Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Both endearing and witty this new sitcom follows Kimmy Schmidt just after she is rescued from a cult, where she had been kidnapped and kept in a bunker for 15 years. Her explorations of the world, the boring, routine world in which we live, are hilarious and her perpetual optimist is beautiful. Tina Fey’s writing is brilliant and Ellie Kemper’s performance is spectacular. Without reproducing what she did in 30 Rock, Fey has given us another great example of witty and meaningful comedy. The show won’t be for everyone, so do some research before you dive in, but Krista and I binge watched season 1.

2. “J’ai Deux Amours” by Madeleine Peyroux

Peyroux does a beautiful job on this French jazz song. It’s an older song. I first heard it from the 2009 Motion Picture An Education. But it’s still a warm song that greets me in the morning on my way to work. It makes me think of spring and perhaps that’s why I’ve been so in love with it this month.

3. Worldly Saints by Michael Wittmer

I loved this book by Wittmer. It really is pop-theology at its best. Wittmer communicates a healthy theology of heaven, and a healthy perspective on earthly pleasures like no other book I’ve read has. He does it simply, but not simplistically. He avoids the technical jargon, but not the important theological issues. I was delighted to get this from Zondervan and loved reading it. You can read my full review here.

4. The Trial of Jean Grey by Brian Michael Bendis

The Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men in one comic! Bendis continues his great story telling in this piece that takes an old X-men story line and breathes some fresh life into it. Moving the story into the cosmic galaxy he takes us on a wild journey with both action and wit. I love the new Guardians, and I believe my affection is rooted entirely in Bendis’ phenomenal writing.

5. Richard Clark

My dear friend Rich announced this month that he will be leaving Christ and Pop Culture. When we started CAPC years and years ago I had no clue what would become of it, but I knew Rich had the potential to make it something big. He has. His influence over the magazine and website cannot be overstated. His faithful leadership as a EIC has cultivated not just some amazing writing, but an amazing community. He will be missed, but Christianity Today is gaining a phenomenal editor and a great thinker.

6. The Smokehouse Burger from Kavan’s Bar & Grill

Since I’ve started eating healthy I don’t do many hamburgers anymore. But I broke down and ate this sandwich last month and don’t regret it at all! Dripping with barbecue sauce, topped with a fat onion ring, and grilled just right this was the best thing I ate all month! Well, except for maybe the truffle fries I had in Cleveland. Okay, so I cheated a couple times last month.

7. Jonathan Holmes

I was delighted to make the acquaintance of Jonathan. He is the pastor of counseling at Parkside Church in Cleveland. I had made contact in order to seek some guidance on developing our counseling ministry with more depth. Jonathan not only had lots of insight to share, but he gave it out without cost or concern. He was incredibly gracious, supportive, and friendly. His counsel has already made a difference at Cornerstone and I look forward to getting know him better over the years.

8. Disney Infinity

We don’t play a lot of video games at our house, at least not usually. Krista and I got the kids a game for Christmas called Disney Infinity and Z got the newest expansion pieces for his birthday. I confess to love playing with the kids. Whether we’re playing as the Toy Story characters setting up a space station, or playing as Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon to defeat the evil Sakaaran we always have fun. It has become a special way that the kids and I play together. Changing out characters, accomplishing feats, and simply getting excited at new features of the game. It’s been a fun bonding time for us.

9. Biggby Coffee

While I am still looking for the perfect coffee shop I have nonetheless been enjoying Biggby’s coffee. I have had my regular fill of espresso’s and house blends. Even if the local Michigan-based franchise is a bit too commercial for me, they do have some quality tastes. This month Biggby celebrated a birthday and customer’s reaped the benefits. Thanks Biggby.

10. Gravity Falls

Our family has a couple of television programs that we all watch together. They are mostly kids cartoons because…well kids. We watch The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles together every week, we’ve watched Phineas & Ferb together for years, but recently we picked up this Disney cartoon too. It’s clever, hilarious, and eccentric. Think Nickelodeon’s 1990s teen sitcom Salute Your Shorts meets the X-Files meets Phineas and Ferb. It’s been fun for the whole family, and Kristen Schaal’s Mabel makes the show absolutely endearing.

11. Brad Hambrick

Pastor Brad is doing some of the best work in the area of Biblical counseling. He excels at combining both practical and spiritual work in counseling. His evaluative tools, in particular, have been a tremendous help to my ministry. Add to his brilliance and insight a gracious spirit and a humble servant and you’ve got a real gift to the church, not just his church, but all churches. Thanking the Lord this month for Brad.

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