Heroes of Faith Challenge Winners (Get Inspired!)

The Heroes of Faith Spring Reading Challenge at Gracepoint Berkeley church is officially over. In all, we had 14 people finish, with some people completing twice.

Here are some noteworthy statistics/awards:

  • Most favorited Heroes of Faith: George Mueller (Christian Heroes Then & Now) and Corrie Ten Boom (The Hiding Place)
  • Post-College finishers: 5
  • College Student finishers: 7
  • Elementary Student finishers: 2!
  • Female finishers: 12
  • Male finishers: 2
  • Most represented ministry: tie between Klesis and Koinonia Berkeley with 3 each.
  • Double finishers: Seniors Emily Rah and Krystal Han, from a2f Berkeley and Koinonia Berkeley respectively
  • Most senior finisher: Sarah Kim (?? years old)
  • Youngest female finisher: Julia (9 years old)
  • Youngest overall finisher: Wesley (8 years old)

With their permission, I am featuring our youngest finishers and their mini-reviews. I hope you’ll be inspired to pick up some more books!


 

Julia (holding her favorite biography) celebrating her completed bookmark with two of her friends!

Hi, my name is Julia. I’m 9 years old and in 4th grade. The heroes of faith book I liked the most is about William Wilberforce. I liked that book the most because when he really starts to understand the true meaning of what it is like to be a Christian, lots of people are asking him to present a bill against slavery to Parliament. After like a week he finally decides that he will present the bill. He decided to do that because this guy named Thomas gave him a copy of his essay to read. After he read all those words he started studying slavery. He learned all of these crucial facts about what people were doing to slaves, and that is what led him to the point when he presented the bill to the others.

Throughout half of his life he fought for others to have their freedom even though people kept on rejecting the bill. He still persevered, he brought up the bill several times, and had lots of supporters too. He eventually succeeded and it became a law officially.

This inspired me because he was a really bad person before. He would never study and his tutor would make fun of him if he studied or went to church or even read the Bible, so William would just gamble away and drink a lot. But when he met his old friend Isaac, he turned into a Christian and wanted to help all slaves get their freedom.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone.


 

IMG_0119
Wesley not only reads Heroes of Faith biographies, but plays baseball too. 🙂

Wesley is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. Here is his mini-review of his favorite book from the challenge:

 

My favorite Christian Heroes book I read is about Jacob Deshazer because he was stuck in jail for many years and then he told a lot of people about God in China. When he was in jail for many years, he got to read books and one of them was the Bible. He read it 15 times before he gave it to someone else. This is how he became a Christian. I also thought it was cool that he was part of the Doolittle Raiders who first attacked Japan with a B25 bomber.

 

 

Farewell to the Spring Reading Challenge

There’s been so much going on over at Gracepoint Berkeley church these days that the official end to the Heroes of Faith Spring Reading Challenge came and went yesterday and I didn’t even realize it!

Several lessons learned, the most important one being that when a challenge is too long, people lose momentum. I thought that having a longer time period to read the requisite books would translate to more people completing the challenge, but the opposite happened. Perhaps procrastination has something to do with it too!

Lesson #2 is that the hype man exists for a reason. I didn’t want to keep beating people on the head with the challenge, but because I didn’t hype it up everywhere I went, people kind of lost steam, and most just…forgot about it.

Don’t worry! I’ve learned and have some ideas for the summer reading challenge. So stay tuned!

With regards to the Heroes of Faith challenge, *EVERYONE* gets an extension until Friday, May 19th to complete your reading and to post a mini-review of your favorite amongst the books you read. So it’s not too late! You can fill out the challenge completion form and post a comment on the main page of the challenge. (If you already posted on the Alas post or elsewhere, that’s ok! You don’t have to repost.)

***by the way, all the people who have completed the challenge thus far have been women. Just sayin’!***

 

 

Alas! The Spring Reading Challenge

Even though no one took me up on guessing what our next reading challenge at Gracepoint Berkeley church would be, I’ll tell you!

So many of us were challenged and inspired by the many Christian heroes of faith we learned about at our respective winter retreats, and I’ve noticed biographies flying off the bookstore shelves! To keep up the momentum, our spring reading challenge is going to be the Heroes of Faith Reading Challenge.

If you click on the link above, you can find the details on what you need to do in order to complete the challenge. In short, you only need to read 5 new books on any Christian heroes of faith. They don’t have to be about 5 different people. If you want to get super deep into one hero’s life, that’s totally fine.

My hope is that you’ll be inspired to greater faith as you read about these real people living out their commitments to love and serve God…and grow as a reader, too! 🙂

If you don’t know where to start, here is a short list of books you definitely can’t go wrong with!:

john-wesley-web
Our key quote for the reading challenge. (You can find it on your bookmark!)

 

Excited for all of us to continue being inspired through this challenge.

Oh, and yes, for those of you who are highly motivated by the prize, you can win multiple times. The more biographies you read the better for your soul, so it’s a win-win for you. 🙂

If you remember, I’m working on my goal to read all of the Christian Heroes series this year. I’m starting with all the women’s biographies, and I’m currently reading about Isobel Kuhn.

Which hero of faith are *you* going to read about first?

 

1st Anniversary of Bibliopolis U

Last year, after the college winter retreat at Gracepoint Berkeley church, we launched Bibliopolis U for the college students and post-grads. Since then we’ve had a few book fairs and three reading challenges — remember our Free 5th Book Challenge? How about the Summer Bingo Challenge? And of course, our most recent Winter Reading Challenge.

Bibliopolis U took the reading revolution churchwide, and many people have shared that they have read more books this past year than in a long while (or ever)!

To commemorate an awesome year of reading, and to jump start an even more awesome one to come, I invite you all to share about the best Christian book you read in 2016. It’s ok if you can’t decide your absolute favorite — just pick one you liked a lot!

You can fill out the form to submit your review/recommendation, and some of these will featured in our bookstore and on the blog. This is *YOUR CHANCE* to be on the wall, even if you haven’t been able to complete any of the reading challenges! Even if you read just one book, it’s technically the best book you read in 2016. 🙂

This is not limited to the people at Gracepoint Berkeley church, but open to everyone across our Gracepoint Ministries.

Looking forward to all of your responses! Don’t be shy, ok? 🙂

Did you have an awesome reading year? Share your reading wins below in the comments!

Goodbye to the Winter Reading Challenge!

Over at Gracepoint Berkeley church, the first ever Winter Reading Challenge ended last Friday. Thanks to everyone who participated! I was personally blessed and encouraged by people’s comments. Many went well above & beyond the 2-3 sentence comments, and I feel like I got to know some of the people who were posting. 🙂

It was the most challenging challenge we’ve had thus far — reading 5 books in 5 weeks — and we had 37 people complete it. We even had several people complete the challenge two or three times!

They’ve won their very official looking gift certificates to the GP Bookstore:

bu_giftcertSince we don’t have those nifty polaroid looking pictures like we have for past challenges, I will list them here on the official winner board.

  • Amanda Gee
  • Angel Lam
  • Anna Liu
  • Brandon Fong
  • Carol Yang (Homegroup RED-HD, woot!)
  • Chris Le
  • Chris Liu
  • David Lee
  • Elaine Escalona
  • Emily Huang (making us Emilys proud!)
  • Emily Rah (another Emily!)
  • Grace Choi
  • Hallie Honma
  • Hannah Ling
  • Hernan Kim
  • Jana Guan
  • Jenn Chen
  • Jenny Young (most senior winner – TOTC Sisters represent!)
  • Jessica Gao
  • Josephine Gao
  • Joshua de la Paz
  • Kaylin Le
  • Kevin Lin
  • Krystal Han
  • Laura Kim
  • Lillian Ji
  • Louis Chen
  • Marty Krakora
  • Michael Kramer (most # of books logged)
  • Mike Park
  • Percival Chen
  • Roanna Lin
  • Sally Cho (twin winners!)
  • Sarah Cho (twin winners!)
  • Stephen Cheng
  • Victoria Chan
  • William Shen

For those of you who are into stats, here is a breakdown:

  • Total winners: 37
  • By gender:
    • Sisters: 24
    • Brothers: 13
  • By class:
    • Freshmen: 2
    • Sophomores: 4
    • Juniors: 8
    • Seniors: 12
    • Beyond!: 11
  • By ministry group (includes ministry staff):

There were a total of 298 books officially logged for this challenge! There were also 35 books people submitted on the form but did not post comments for, and countless other people told me they had been reading but hadn’t logged. I actually didn’t log any of my reading either! 🙂 All of this to say that we read a whole lot as a church this winter break, and I’m looking forward to reading even more this spring.

Can you guess what our Spring Reading Challenge will be? Post your guesses and/or suggestions in the comments below. 🙂 

Winter Reading Challenge Update & 2017 Reading Goals

Happy New Year, everyone! I bring you a mid-winter break update on the Winter Reading Challenge. So far we have 10 people who have completed 5 books, and many more who are almost there. You have until Friday, January 13 to complete the challenge!

Congrats to the following winners:

As a reminder, you do need to fill out the google form, as well as a comment on the blog FOR EACH BOOK. There are many people who have done one or the other. Unfortunately, those do not count. You need BOTH in order to officially log your books for the challenge.


With a new year, that means it’s time to set new reading goals. Some of you might know that I just celebrated my 40th birthday. So, during my 40th year, one of my reading goals is to read the remaining 40 of the 44 Christian Heroes: Then & Now books!

What reading goals have you set for 2017?

Recommendations from Pastor Ed Kang

Sunday at Gracepoint Berkeley church‘s college worship service, Pastor Ed Kang gave some suggestions for ways to make the most of the precious gift of winter break that college students have. When I was in college, I definitely did not appreciate and consider the reality that the time in college is the ONLY time I would ever have this gift of a month-long vacation!

Among some of the suggestions, Pastor Ed recommended some books. First, he suggested winter break would be a great time to read through the entire Bible. Then he recommended Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, and Miracles, all by C.S. Lewis. And if that was too intimidating, to start with The Screwtape Letters.

 

It brought back memories to my freshman year of college a “few” years ago, when Pastor Ed issued the same challenge to start building up my faith by reading C.S. Lewis books.

Which C.S. Lewis books are your favorite? Which ones are you going to tackle this winter break?