I now present to you the Third Annual brokenstainedglass Awards.
Here is a list of the Best of 2008:
Best album: Viva La Vida (Coldplay) Coldplay continues to rock. Some think that X and Y is their best album (and it may be) but this is the best album I heard this year.
Runner-up: God of The City (Passion) Fantastic set of worship songs, especially Hosanna and the title track, God of the City.
Best song: Your Love is Strong on the Spring and Summer EP (Jon Foreman) Late spring was the most stressful, heart-wrenching and difficult season of ministry I have ever had and this song was on repeat almost the entire time. I've cried through this song more times than I can count. I'm moved by the clear reminder that no matter what God's love is stronger than I can evenr imagine.
Runner-up: Doubting Thomas (Nickel Creek) I'm new to the Nickel Creek scene, but man, these guys are good. The lyrics are so honest and raw regarding doubt and faith. It reminds me a lot of Derek Webb's Mockingbird album a bit.
Best book of the Bible I've studied this year: Galatians. Getting Paul's message of freedom into my bloodstream on Tuesday mornings with the dudes has been fantastic. I hope it continues.
Best book (academic): A Community Called Atonement (Scot McKnight) I love anything put out by McKnight, but this one stretched me. I loved his insight on the community's role with one another and with the gospel. It surprised me, but this book grew me in ways I didn't expect.
Best book (non-academic): Telling the Truth: The Gospel As Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale (Frederick Buechner) I read this book just a month ago. This brotha is thick. It was a re-read for me, but it caught me at just the right place. It was exactly what I needed to hear. A short little book, but one that will take me weeks to unpack.
Runner-up: Faith & Doubt (John Ortberg) My dad let me borrow this one. I enjoy J.O. immensely, but this is his best book thus far. In the introduction he says the title of his book is boring, but the most important word in the title is the middle one. When I read that I knew it was going to be good...
Book That Changed Me the Most How I Lead and Pastor: The Tangible Kingdom (Hugh Halter) I went in skeptical and came out a cheerleader of this book. I'd recommend this to any pastor.
Best Church Leadership Book: The Multiplying Church (Bob Roberts, Jr) Borrowed this book from my brother and read this on vacation in August. This flipped my lid. I love Roberts' outward-focused passion on faith communities being 'glocal' in their contexts. Fantastic.
Best film: Changeling See it. It's hard to watch, but very moving.
Runner-up: The Bucket List Megan and I watched this in Hawaii. Quite surprising. This movie didn't get great reviews from the movie critics (but what do those critics know anyway?) but man, did this move us! I think we sat in silence for ten minutes after the credits rolled. I think I need to set a goal to watch this film once a year.
Best blog (serious): Eugene Cho I really like the way this guy thinks and leads.
Best blog (funny): Tie: The Naked Pastor - especially his thought-provoking cartoons - and, once again, Marko (does this guy actually do any work? I think he writes funny blog posts, updates Twitter and flies around the country. Just kidding, Marko. I know you do real work some of the time.)