Amazon’s Top 100 Books To Read Lists

Amazon just published two lists of the top 100 books to read in a lifetime. The lists were put together based input from GoodReads’ readers and the Amazon editors. I’ve put together my thoughts on the lists here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


#reading, #top-100-books

Blogging By Outline


I thought you might be interested in this. Earlier, I posted a query on how to blog quickly and efficiently in one sitting. I’ve got a little bit of an answer (word limit), which I have modified a little to be a strict outline form. Here’s the basic idea:

Catchy Title
Main Point
Allegory or Anecdote to include
Relevant verse(s) (fewer is better)

Point 1

Point 2

Point 3


Song to link to
Pix to use

I’m finding that this is forcing me to be concise and take less time composing. I research/journal to the outline point, and then switch to WordPress to expand on the outline. (Actually, I start with my journal and iPad, and then add links and pictures from the laptop – later in the day even is do-able.)

WordPress on the iPad can be a little flaky (doesn’t autosave, for example), so I’m careful.


Hope you find this of interest!

#blogging, #general, #inspiration, #journal

Composing posts in less time, one sitting- how?

Hi all,

I’m finding that it’s taking too long to put a post together, which is resulting in having to break away in the middle. When I get back to it, I’ve lost the (whatever you call it, inspiration?) for the idea. 

Wondering how you all “practice” blogging so that the post actually gets (researched, outlined, written)?


#blogging, #creative-writing, #inspiration, #writing

Hope For Life

A new post on Sharing God’s Story, Hope For Life

Thanks for reading and your comments!


#general, #journal, #life

A Milestone for Sharing God’s Story

Hey All,

I’ve reached a big milestone: my 200th post! Please check it out!


A Post About What To Title My Next Post

I have an amazing story to tell, but I just can’t choose a suitable title. I humbly ask for your opinions:

The Story: An incredible, unbelievable display of persistence resulting in … a success against all recommendations (AKA really, hope), and a follow-up “God Thing” (a message) that just adds to my list of reasons to believe.

The Contending Titles:

You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Or Can You?
In which I describe a situation (confidentially, of course) where an individual’s amazing display of “persistence” resulted in a “success” (of sorts), which, upon further consideration, turns out to be real true hope (or an allegory of hope), but at a terrible personal cost IMHO…

This (crazy/foolish) sense of (crazy/foolish) hope
In which I describe my revelation that persistence and hope are, indeed, the same thing – or more closely related than I had previously thought, with a punch-line proving God is – though I’m not sure where the “crazy/foolish” part really fits in…

Really Real Reason #nnn For Believing in God
In which I focus more on the after-the-fact incident (the “God Thing”) as one of a series of God Things throughout my life reinforcing my faith. (And by the way, I turn 55 next month. I’ll have lived 20,075 days at that time, each one a miracle in itself. By “Really Real” I’m narrowing the list down to those above-and-beyond divine interventions.)

So, which one of these titles would catch your attention enough to stop and read? (And no, I’m not against three posts about the same event! 😉 )

With gracious thanks,
Marshall at Sharing God’s Story

Just one more…

Okay, this is blatant, but I need just one more follower to hit 100. Anyone?

Much love…



You Input Requested…


I’m working on a project to match songs with the 12-steps of recovery programs.
Please comment with your thoughts on any of these!

Pre-Steps: representing how bad things have become
Time We Have Wasted On The Way

Step 1: Admit our powerlessness, recognizing our denial that we have a problem

Step 2: Coming to believe in a/the Higher Power

3: Making a decision to turning our lives over to this Higher Power

4: A searching and fearless moral inventory

5: Confessing/admitting our defects

6&7: Being ready to have and asking our Higher Power take our defects away

9: Making amends to others

10: Daily review

11: Time to get to know our Higher Power and the purpose for our lives

12: Sharing our experience/the message of the steps

Coming To Life On Easter, The Epitome Of Second Chances

When I was a lad, my favorite holiday was Thanksgiving because it seemed, of all the celebrated days, to have the only practical (and understandable, to my child’s mind) explanation. It was The Day to eat and be grateful for it.

If I recall, the Fourth of July was my second-favorite day, because it, too, was in remembrance of some tangible thing, our country’s hard-won independence, and because it featured the very visible baseball games and hot dogs and fireworks. And, since I was a sweets-loving kid (as much as Mom and Dad permitted), I suppose Halloween would’ve been a runner up (for the candy), along with Christmas (only for the presents).

For a long, long time, Easter had little meaning for me. It was just some made-up (but yes, anticipated) rite of Spring. Oh, how that now has changed! This morning, I had, for the first time (I’m pretty sure), a quiet revelation about it.

April 16, 2008 (or it might have been the 14th) was the day I entered into recovery and was exposed to the healing and transformational power of God, and his plan of salvation. To put it more accurately, I should say that that was the day I began to understand Good Friday; Christ on The Cross, paying the penalty for all my sin(s). And for nine years, I’ve thought and dwelt obsessively only on that part of God’s New Deal. (And in effect, only on what I had unforgivably done to nail Christ there.)

This Easter morning, during my quiet time and at a sunrise service, I considered this day and its real significance. The Work of Christ was not in just taking the punishment for all that’s wrong in the world, but in the equally important act of rising again. The Resurrection, the epitome of second chances.

Because, really, the one without the other is a half-finished job. It’s incomplete (and dare I say, almost meaningless – in a way) to have sin just taken away without the rebirth of new life. Good Friday without Easter is like the night without the following dawn.

The lesson is important on this Easter day, 2017, because it symbolizes a return of me. Dear Reader, you may have noticed that I’ve been absent on Sharing God’s Story. This is due to my being… out, of sorts. My thinking this morning revealed to me that the old doubt and disbelief had been creeping back into my mind and soul, taking my body along with it, exactly like feasting on Good Friday without drinking in The Third Day and living again. I had lost The Light, the passion of belief from my early days of faith. I had lost sight of God; my eyes focused, instead (and again), lustfully on this world.

I pray that this figurative resurrection, one of an uncountable number of second chances, will continue. I have, at least, continued journaling, and have a backlog of topics to blog about. Please rejoin me in Sharing God’s Story In My One Small, Salvaged Life.

Journal Quote, June 25, 2009

“Some people greet the morning with a smile,

but it’s more natural to protest its presence with sleepy sulkiness.
‘Who asked you to come again?’ We feel like saying to it, as if it were a most unwelcome guest.”

  • Brendan Francis Aidan Behan, drunken Irish author

Currently, I can relate far too closely for my own comfort.