Sharing My TOP TEN From 2019

Sharing My TOP TEN From 2019

If you’re like me, you might have a little bit of extra time on your hands after the Christmas rush and before the New Year rolls in like a steam engine. These last precious days of 2019 are giving me the space to catch up on reading those articles or watching those videos that have been waiting in my ever-expanding “inbox.”

A few of my favorites rose to the top — in no particular order — and I thought I’d share MY TOP TEN with you …just in case you’ve got a little extra time as well — and I sure hope you do!

Some of these are familiar writers — some maybe not-so-much, but I think you’ll find something in the links below that you relate to or might need to hear. Many of these are people I know personally –giving a lot more credibility to their story for me. They’re real, down-to-earth people just like you and me who are wrestling through the stories of life and faith.

Pick one or two …or all of them, I hope. Take time this weekend to enjoy the journey through the words, art and music in the links below.


Before the year is over, you have to re-live the faith of a child through the pure heart of Linus Van Pelt in the Charlie Brown Christmas classic. I might have tried to get the family to recite our traditional Luke 2 along with Linus this year …but, alas, that did not go over well. So here’s to Linus and his all-time-favorite rendition of the true meaning of Christmas…

The Faith of Linus Van Pelt by Chris Yokel for The Rabbit Room


This Martin is not a relative of mine but I sure relate to her writing. She writes in real and raw words about moving from the country to a life in an under-resourced neighborhood in the city, adoption, messy ministry, and real-life-faith…

Resisting Miss Daisy by Shannan Martin at Shannan Martin Writes


Now, on to matters in our current news stories … My man, Roger, took hours of processing, discernment from the Spirit, and carefully thinking through how to approach a very controversial situation going on in America right now regarding President Trump, the evangelical camp, the editor of Christianity Today, real faith, and the deeper issues surrounding this mayhem. Please grab a spiritual heart monitor and consider what the Spirit of God may be speaking …

My Pressing Concern About Christianity Today  by Roger Martin, Jr. in More Conversations That Matter


My friend, Amanda, writes an honest blog post about her “new normal” as a young widow. Whatever your loss may be, her words are real for all of us and they give much-needed perspective and increased compassion for others…

It’s Not Real by Amanda Yourse


Debby Smith and I have traveled together through our emotional journeys for years now and her heart beats similar to my own in many ways. Her eloquently-written words in poetic style bring life and hope to my own feelings as I struggle to live so far from our children and grandchildren–especially during the holidays and special days of the year…

All Shall be Well  by Debby Smith


And speaking of Debby, years ago she recommended Richard Rohr’s writings to me and I’ve been a fan ever since. He writes with wisdom and grace and a deep contemplative spirit. I’m currently drawn to his series connecting the truths from the well-known AA 12-step program to the beauty and truth of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Each step brings us closer to the Father’s arms — free of baggage and self control. This 2-part series of writings will bring truths such as forgiveness –for ourselves and others — and surrender to a fresh understanding of our relationship to our Father and freedom in grace…

Twelve-Step Spirituality:  Part One  and Part Two  by Richard Rohr and other writers for Center for Action and Contemplation 


Now to lighten the atmosphere a bit with humor …our son, Roger III, has started a blog to share the wild and wonderful chaos of raising 4 small children with his wife, Jenny. As a meteorologist, he adds a forecast of severe weather into the mix of parenting. If you’re a parent and overwhelmed is now your first, middle and last name — this post is for you. He brings laughter to the chaos and wisdom for the road from their own real-life-stories that have taught them much as learned through trial and error. You’ll love it …and those kids are so adorable 😉 …

The Quiver of Chaos:  Episode 3 // Stress Management  by Roger Martin III


This other one of ours has a questioning, wrestling mind that proclaims truth in ways that challenge the status-quo Christianity. Her speaking and writing have become a powerful voice in our world today. With 2 books under her belt and another one in the making, I think her path has been marked clearly by God to speak truth in a real and honest way that is out-of-the-box and beyond the church walls of any “maintenance” Christianity …

Two Roads Diverged in the Gospel (and I Chose Neither)  by Carrye Burr 


This artwork speaks volumes ! Our daughter, Rachel, painted this after a visit with us here in Alabama. She listens with her soul and paints on canvas what the soul felt. It’s powerful and moving and hopefully challenges all of us to consider its depth of meaning and truth. She gives of herself to help those who are often left-out and lonely. Her heart is bigger than mine and she inspires me often to be a better listener and friend.

Art by Rachel Martin-Raddatz



Now this is just sheer creative genius! Last but not lease, I leave you with the incredibly gifted video production and original music of our son, Ben Martin. His ability to bring music and movement and story to life is beyond my imagination. His soul speaks through music on a very deep and contemplative path. And the little actors in this production are some of my favorite people in all the world. (I might be partial to my grands!) …

Aftermath (original music video by Ben Martin , a.k.a. Sunday Postman

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. smithjungle

    Thanks for sharing this. There is so much heart and soul in your family.

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Grace …all is grace , Debby 🙂 Thanks for impacting my “Top Ten” with your words. You continue to inspire me to good places. Love you!

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