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One of the big lessons of life is this: A sound guide to staying married, staying friends, or simply staying sane is to remember and honor the good in things before criticizing the bad.

This, from Archbishop Chaput, is worth reflecting upon and applying to many areas of life.

When I dropped (most) social media accounts last month, Instagram survived the cut.

But then I found myself still caring more than I wanted to about how people responded to my posts, and it became harder to reckon with the reality that IG is Facebook.

Just deleted my account.

My wife has listened to Marie Kondo’s book, and last night we watched the first episode of her new show.

Excellent television that bucks the trend of many reality shows. It was a slow-paced, unsensational episode that highlights relationships and the transformation of habits.

I can’t take these goofballs anywhere.

(Editor’s note: He loves taking these goofballs everywhere.)

My final New Year’s Bingo card had been printed and posted. Just a few revisions since my first version. You can read about it and more in my latest newsletter sent to subscribers today.

I am jumping on an idea I recently read about: New Year’s Bingo in place of resolutions. I may revise in the days ahead, but this is where I currently stand.

Some are things that are bound to happen, others will require more work.

Psalm 2 is a powerful reading for Holy Innocents Day.

What will the Son do to the wicked kings and princes?

You shall crush them with an iron rod and shatter them like a piece of pottery.

Matt 18:1-14 is equally powerful. Watch, lest you too become one who harms the Innocent.

Keep your friends close, and your heroes closer. Maybe even pinned to your backpack close.

John Grisham knows how to hook readers, better than you might think.

Last week I woke up in the middle of the night and had trouble falling back asleep. Why wife is a night owl in the midst of her busy season, so we crossed paths. I wanted to read something fictional and mindless so I could fall back asleep, and she reminded me that the last time I asked for that she bought me a used copy of The Firm.

About an hour later, I was on page 100. It is no surprise that a John Grisham novel is a page-turner. But the reason it was a page turner may not be what you think.

Next to no thrilling content is found in those first 100 pages. You get the sense that the novel is moving in that direction, but you aren’t deep into the mystery just yet.

Instead I was met with page after page of enormous salary package offers, signing bonuses, and the relentless pursuit of a new employee by a wealthy … Firm.

Much to my surprise, I was hooked.

I work for not one, but two non-profits. My Masters degree is among the least lucrative you can earn, financially speaking. The first 100 pages of The Firm, with all its recruitment of top talent with over-the-top offers, is something I simply will never experience.

And yet I was hooked. Probably because this is something I simply will never experience.

All that to say: I think John Grisham knows exactly what he is doing. Action and thrilling suspense can hook readers. But perhaps not as much as the allure of being pursued or the temptation of instant wealth.

This is an excerpt from an issue of my newsletter. You can check out more back-issues and subscribe here.

God willing and the people consenting, we have an ordination date: February 2nd.

Read more about ordination in the Anglican context here.