Friday, December 26, 2014

Best Books of 2014 According To...

I certainly don't endorse all of the books on the lists below; however, it's good to know what books others are soaking up. I usually have bookmarks in several books, and I'm thankful that this year I'm finding more time to read. I hope to soon complete Susan Cain's Quiet, Albert Mohler's The Conviction to Lead, and Byron & Robin Yawn's What Every Woman Wishes Her Father Had Told Her. I'm enjoying all three books and hope to complete several book reviews during the break.

Amazon's Best Books of 2014

Barnes & Noble Best of 2014

Christianity Today's 2015 Book Awards

goodreads Choice Awards 2014

The Gospel Coalition's Best Books of 2014

2014 National Book Awards

NPR's Guide to 2014's Great Reads

Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2014

The Wall Street Journal's Best Books of 2014

The Washington Post's Ten Best Books of 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Five Funky Lay's Chip Flavors

I tend to be what some might call an adventurous eater. Over the years I've eaten a wide variety of animals (and their special animal parts), both raw and cooked. Basically, if the animal wasn't endangered or alive, I would eat it (to the glory of God of course). When I moved to Korea in 2002, I started blogging about the unique dishes that found their way to my stomach. Although I've slowed down in my search for funky foods, I do enjoy trying different snacks that others might shy away from. Below are five funky Lay's chip flavors that seem normal to me now. With the exception of the sour plum and melon, I would be fine eating any of the chip flavors below. I think the sour plum and melon is a bit too funky, but the other flavors fall under the "I'll eat them if they're being served, but I won't buy them" rule. They're not cool ranch Doritos, but they are deep fried slices of potato. Yum.

Sweetie Barbecued Pork
Fermented Soy Bean Prawn
Italian Red Meat

Wildly Grilled Rib
Sour Plum & Melon

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thank You For Stealing My Wife's iPhone

Earlier this month, Megan had an iPhone 4 and a nice chunk of change swiped. That can put a little damper on your day, but we must rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances, right? Below are ten reasons why I am thankful Megan's iPhone is being used by someone else.

1. Friends encouraged us with gifts and words of kindness.
2. I was able to bless Megan with my iPhone 5.
3. I was reminded how all we have is simply on loan, and that a new home free from bills, anger, and prison cells is being prepared for me.
4. I was also reminded how wealthy I am, and how much of the world lives in extreme poverty.
5. I thought of Scripture that states how we have a Sovereign God of justice, mercy, hope, and peace.
6. I was tested and had to tap into the Spirit's power in order to have Christlike thoughts.
7. I prayed for the thief, Megan, and myself.
8. I fought my sin nature and focused on the finished work of the cross.
9. It gave me another opportunity to teach my children and 6th graders how we live in a sinful world that the Son of Man will restore.
10. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

Sea Salt and Chocolate Flavor Lay's Chips, Anyone?

One of the great things about living in the Middle Kingdom is how you're exposed to some peculiar snacks. Our local e-mart is scheduled to close at the end of the month so last night I took advantage of the reduced prices and purchased some sea salt and chocolate flavor Lay's chips. I'm glad the chips were on sale because I got ripped off. The chocolate flava' is funky, and I prefer more salt on my chips. Fortunately, my kiddos found the chips tasty so all was not lost. What I would like to see the Lay's company do is dip their chips in chocolate and wrap it crispy, salty, bacon. Now that would be a winner. Yum. If you're interested in learning more about the unique chip flavors found in China, check out these links: hot & sour fish soup, cheese lobster, fun wasabi shrimp, spicy green peppercorn fish, and seaweed.

Seaweed Pringles, Anyone?

The white American in me likes Pringles, and the Japanese in me likes seaweed, but there is not enough white American and Japanese in me to purchase seaweed flavored Pringles again. The seaweed flavor isn't strong, but the subtleness confuses me and messes up the Pringles. The Pringles are pretty though, and the green in them would present themselves well at any Christmas party. If you're interested in learning more about the unique chip flavors found in China, check out these links: hot & sour fish soupcheese lobsterfun wasabi shrimp, and spicy green peppercorn fish.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Are You a Spiritual Discerner? Matthew 7:1-23

The Parable of the Lost Son - Luke 15:11-32

How Do You Respond to God? Job 42:1-6

Wick's 2014 Highlights

It's that time of the year when I reflect on how our Father has blessed me. Here are past Wickersham highlights: 2010, 2011, 2012, & 2013

January - On the 21st we celebrated having Josiah for one year. He has rocked our world.

February - To the surprise of many, I announce that I would not be serving as the middle school principal after June. I am thankful to be able to return to the classroom and be one of Rose's teachers.

March - I started using an iPad at work in preparation for the August rollout for TIS students in grades 3-6. The larger screen enabled me to increase my Hill Climb scores exponentially.

April - A few other TIS educators and I attended a learning innovation symposium at Shekou International School in Shenzhen, China. I gained a better understanding of how iPads can be more than video game devices.

May - I coached Rose and a group of 5th-grade girls en route to winning the ISCOT elementary soccer championship. We are the champions, my friends. And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end. We are the champions.

June - Dr. Klootwyk performed ACL reconstruction and repaired the meniscus in my right knee, 16 years after he performed ACL reconstruction on my left knee. Both injuries are the result of playing the greatest sport in the world, soccer.

July - Megan and I celebrated ten years of marriage. Megan gifted me with some home decor that contained a Martin Luther quote: "Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave." I started crying like a baby.

August - I returned to the classroom after four years of being a middle school principal. To say I enjoy teaching sixth graders the Word and His world is quite the understatement.

September - For the first time in five years, I find myself coaching in some middle school soccer games. To my delight, the majority of the sixth-grade girls, including Rose, come out for the team.

October - Grace played in her first official soccer games, and I got to serve as her coach. Grace went into beast mode scoring eight goals while helping her third-grade squad to a 3-2 tournament record. I look forward to more fun on the field in the spring.

November - My Lady Eagles squad placed second in the seven team ISC middle school soccer tournament. The girls busted their butts all season, and we had a great deal of fun. After the soccer season, I added 6th and 7th-grade girls volleyball to my coaching resume.

December - My first semester back in the classroom after a four-year absence comes to a completion. I had a ton of fun and look forward to 2015!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Joshua Weigel's The Butterfly Circus

This morning I was told about this award-winning short film that stars motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic. I highly recommend spending 20 minutes to watch the film. My eyes got a little wet in the closing scenes. I think Tianjin's smog is getting to me.