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How to read more in 2023?

  How can you read more in 2023? Maybe you admire those who read 1 book per day like D.A. Carson and Al Mohler. Maybe you have a stack of books that you want to read and it never gets shorter. Maybe you just want to go from reading 10 books a year to 25. How can you read more without just pure effort? Here’s my strategy: Pick 4-6 books and read 25-50 pages per day between them all. You might read 3-5 pages in some books and 20 in another. If your schedule allows, find different times of day to read in each. One book you might read along with your devotions. Another couple you might read before bed for fun. This makes the reading load lighter. If you read 50 pages per day, you will finish around 4-5 books a month and 60 in a year. If you read 25 pages per day, you will finish 30 books in a year. (This is different from skim reading that some people do to stay up on all the latest books. This strategy is for slower reading for knowledge and pleasure.) Here are some of the advantages I’ve

What to do with a Fresh Ham

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I'm not the only person googling for a fresh ham recipe, but most of the recipes I found don't turn out like a smoked ham. I learned the hard way that you have to smoke the ham if you want it to taste like something for Sunday dinner. I ordered our ham from the butcher and thought fresh was fine. It was not fine. Fresh hams and fresh ham steaks are nothing like what we know. If you cook a fresh ham steak in the oven, it turns out white and tough. Don't do it. This is what I do: Ingredients 1 Cup of non-iodized salt (I think I've used iodized salt in a pinch). 1 cup of sugar (brown sugar is good for this too) 1 Gallon of water You want to make enough brine to submerge the ham. You might need two gallons of brine. Instructions Combine ingredients in a saucepan, and cook on low until sugar and salt are dissolved. Let it cool. Pour brine over ham until brine covers it. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days. Smoke the ham on a grill with the temperature a

What to do with a Fresh Ham Steak

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We got a whole hog from a nearby farmer this summer. We have loved it, but I made a mistake when I told the butcher how I wanted it cut. I got the ham steak fresh, not cured and smoked (I also got the hams fresh and that's a different post). Because I had such a hard time figuring out what to do to get the ham steaks usable, I thought I would share what I've done and what I've liked. I'm not the only person googling for a fresh ham steak recipe, but most of the recipes I found don't turn out like a smoked ham steak.  My wife's main direction was to make it taste like a normal ham steak so she can use it in a recipe like ham and potatoes. This is what I do: Ingredients 1/4 Cup of non-iodized salt (I think I've used iodized salt in a pinch). 1/4 cup of sugar (brown sugar is good for this too) 1 quart of water Instructions Combine ingredients in a saucepan, and cook on low until sugar and salt are dissolved. Let it cool. Pour brine over ham steak until brine co

Book Notes: All That's Good by Hannah Anderson

     Summary This is a book about engaging with God's world with discernment. She uses Philippians 4:8 as the lens to look through. Her writing style is engaging and smooth. Why I read it I wanted an easy-to-read book after finishing a big theology book. I tend to read theology after my Bible reading before my family wakes up. I wanted something serious, but not 500 pages. I also have been trying to read books my wife enjoys and books written by women. This fit all of the requirements. Quotes Discernment helps us see the world for what it was made to be and believe that God is powerful enough to restore it to its intended purpose. 42-43   So too, with eyes of faith, we can look at the world around us and discern enough of its original beauty to know that it is good and worth our engagement. 43 But more than drawing us to themselves, beautiful things draw us beyond themselves to a reality greater than either of us. 128   Key Takeaways As good as the book was, it wasn't very quot

Brief Entry on Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Daniel Silva

This is the entry I wrote for my book list:  896. Portrait of an Unknown Woman , Daniel Silva. 8/13/22 * * * * (In some ways, this is the most fun Silva book in a while. It’s also the most sensual that I can remember--not explicit, just sensual. For that reason, I won’t be keeping it in the house with our kids around. One thing I really liked was that the fate of the world was not at stake. It was an art heist book, and the book was fun with those lower stakes. Silva says that these art heist-type books are where he plans to take the series, and I am glad for that.) *I'm updating my book list and plan to republish it soon.

Book Notes: Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins

    Summary I love this series. Gregor , book 2 in The Underland Chronicles, is an epic for young adults--probably the same audience as Narnia , Wingfeather , and Green Ember . It is a fast-paced, heart-tugging adventure story that takes place deep underground. This book has brains and heart. Like everything I’ve read by Collins, there isn’t a word in the wrong place. Nothing is wasted or confusing or missing. Why I read it I read and loved the first book in the series while we were on vacation. After reading several more serious books since then, I wanted a break to read a lighter book. I can't believe I waited so long to read this series since I loved Hunger Games . I've never heard anyone mention this book. f Quotes Gregor realized that the journey filled with squids and whirlpools and mites and serpents and loss, great loss, had change them. It had made the oath they had sworn in front of that furious crowd in Regalia real. 210   "Run like the River, Ripred," said

Book Notes: Emma by Jane Austen

   Summary This is my favorite Jane Austen novel. It feels like a modern situation and story. It is the story of a young woman who thinks she has the world figured out. Her attempts to craft people, relationships, and situations to her liking meet the chaos and complication of real life. When I finished it, the word that came to mind was “delightful.” It’s just a fun story. Why I read it I realized a year or so ago that my favorite books have tended to be literature, but I also realized that I don't read much literature. To correct that, I made a resolution this year to read all of Jane Austen's novels that I haven't read. This is the 5th of her 6 novels. Quotes If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. 445   The affection which he had been asking to be allowed to create, if he could, was already his. 447   Key Takeaways This is my favorite Jane Austen novel. This is long (500 pages or so) and worth reading. I would just read it along with something lighte