Links, Books, and Other Things I Love – February 2017

Here are favorites from January and what I’m looking forward to in February. We share once a month at Leigh’s.

1 Second Everyday 

[If you can’t see the 1 Second Everyday video, click here]

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Around the Web

• 25 Words Turning 25 in 2017
by Erika Okrent of MentalFloss

“If you were born in 1992, not only are you as old as the Mall of America, the nicotine patch, and Super Mario Kart, you got to grow up with these words.”


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• 25 ways to be politically active (whether you lean left or right)
By AJ Willingham, CNN


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• 7 Ways Smartphones Can Enhance Your Spiritual Life
by Joe Carter

“We should not overlook the ways that smartphones can be useful for spiritual formation.”

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• Fight fake news

Where do you get your news? I try to stay near the center. I’d prefer it best if I could get only the facts, no spin either direction. But everything has a spin. Likely, even this graphic…. But it is a starting point.


On Reading

• 10 books that will change how you see the world

“Books can be our greatest mentor, of sorts, challenging us to become a more loving spouse, parent and leader.”

• A. N. Wilson recommends the best Christian books

“The British writer, A.N. Wilson, recommends books that have helped him understand what Christianity means and to truly believe.”



8 Books I Recommend
These are books I really liked from my January reading.


• Currently Reading

  1. When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
  2. Idiot Brain
    What your Head Is Really Up To
    by Dean Burnett
  3. Letters to a Young Muslim
    by Omar Said Ghobash
  4. Seeking the Light of God’s Comforter
    When Challenges Dim Our Hope
    by Lynn L. Severance
  5. You Can’t Touch My Hair
    And Other Things I Still Have to Explain
    by Phoebe Robinson

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Things I Love

New Tuesday Freedom Group

My daughter Jenna is co-leading a ladies’ small group through her church and invited me to join! I’m so excited to watch her in action and also become friends with sisters I didn’t know before.


Two Year Olds

One of our godsons turned 2-years-old in January. And the next day, one of our great nieces also turned 2.


Celebrating with Isaak


Emme turns 2

Love My Siblings

Family birthday parties for kids are also fun times with the adults, too. Here we are with my youngest sister and brother and spouses.

Coates Siblings 2017-01

Brent, Liz, Bonnie, Lane, Lisa, Jeff

100 Days of School

Jenna let me and her cousin Danielle come to school last week to help her kids celebrate 100 days of school. It’s as much an accomplishment for teachers as for students.


Crown of 100

You, too?


Credit: David Sipress, The New Yorker

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On the Blog

Unfollow a Friend to Keep a Friend?
Have you ever unfollowed a friend on Facebook to keep a friend in real life?

Slow But Forward – 10 Minutes a Day
I’m taking 10 minutes a day to organize my digital pictures. Whatever you’re trying to accomplish this year, remember small steps in the right direction will add up.

Do We Talk about Suicide?
“Every forty seconds, someone in the world dies by suicide.” Can we afford not to talk about it?

When You’re a Book Person, You Do This
We learn a lot about a person by the books they choose. Who they are. And who they want to be.

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What was one of your highlights from January? What are you looking forward to in February? Please share in the comments.

previous Links and Books

22 thoughts on “Links, Books, and Other Things I Love – February 2017

  1. Dianna McBride

    Loved reading here today as you summed up January 2017. My heart just rejoices for and with you as you watch that baby girl of yours in leadership rolls…whether it be at her school or in a Bible study. She is beautiful!

    And, yes, me too! 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Michele. These are fun posts to put together.
      That cartoon–sigh. It does capture me. I’ve tried paring back how often I look at my social media these days. That does help, although I don’t feel as in-the-know. But maybe that’s a good thing! ha.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Kalanithi is already tugging at my heart strings and I’m only on chapter 1. 🙁 My friend’s brother is currently battling lung cancer (and it’s what my dad died from), so sometimes it hits a little too close to home. I hope to make it through the whole book; he’s an excellent writer and story-teller and I know his content will also be outstanding from what I hear. Glad to hear you thought it was good.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You would be the one who could tease a story out of that, Floyd. 🙂 The water was a welcome sight after months of drought. It’s the runover from the lake behind our house (we named it Pebble Brook years ago), but it had totally dried up during the summer. So when I saw it was flowing again, I was very excited.

  2. Barbara H.

    I always enjoy your second-a-day videos. I only knew about 8 of those words. I can identify with that cartoon, too. I also keep up with some on social media to stay in touch with what they’re thinking (not everybody – that would drive me crazy. But family members and those I interact with more often), but I don’t want to argue or fuss or create contention between us, so that’s hard. But I usually communicate best when I’ve had time to let thoughts incubate for a while, so in a sense it helps me think about what or whether I’d like to say anything if we do talk about the issues.

    How fun to see your daughter in that capacity at Bible study and to celebrate 100 days of school!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m like you, Barbara: I communicate best when I’ve had time to think through things, not just spur of the moment babbling. I’m thankful when we can get that gift of time to let things simmer and come up with more measured responses.

      On social media, I heard a podcaster today telling that he still follows his friends/family on FB, but he hits the “Hide All Posts from ___” (whatever source they’re linking to that angers him. That way their personal statuses and family photos will still be visible in his timeline, but not their political forwards. I may try that, but typically the posts come from too great a source for me to think that will work. But we’ll see! Maybe it will help. (I wish I could just unsubscribe from all the “likes” that show up; that would likely solve 95% of the contentions that I feel.)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      2-year-olds can get an undeserved bad rap, yes? But they serve a special purpose in this world, to make us laugh (when they’re not our own kids) and to train us in patience when they are our own. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Julie. I try to be thankful that God unfolds the year for us only one day at a time; sometimes I want to see further ahead quicker, but I know it’s best that we can’t. 😉

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That cartoon really gets me, too. I want to stay abreast of all that’s happening, but it often just makes me crazy when I do. I’m still working on finding the appropriate balance.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      (Hmmm…my original reply to you on words disappeared. Ironic, yes? ha) I knew perhaps half of the list of the 25 words, but I’m wondering which ones will gain more traction through the years and which ones will disappear? There’s never any way to truly predict!

  3. Barrie

    I just love that New Yorker comic- it really is so very true- especially for this past January I feel! What a lot of fun you had in January though-and how nice that you are surrounded with family! I read your “When you’re a book person” post- how well articulated you put this- While I am a firm believer that you can never judge a person by what they read…you can still learn a lot! I read such a wide variety of books, I think it speaks volumes about myself, I must say~

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love that you read a wide variety of books, too, Barrie. There are SO many interesting topics out there! And so many great authors who can present them in ways that make me want to read them. 🙂

  4. Laura Thomas

    And there goes another month! How time flies—even in January! Thanks for sharing all your gems, Lisa—so many cool books and links and things. I read Louise Penny’s first book in the series recently and enjoyed it. My daughter lives in Montreal, which adds to to fascination 🙂 Blessings to you for February… stopping by from #CountingMyBlessings

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad you enjoyed Louise Penny’s first book, too. I’m going to have to make myself a note so I won’t forget to look up the next book in the series. I didn’t know you had a daughter in Montreal; that likely makes this all come to life more for you!

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