The Best of 2014

As we wind this year down (thankfully) and get ready for 2015 here are some of my categorical favorites from this last year:

Best Album

Borderland — John Mark McMillan

This album continues to get playtime in my earbuds and continues to haunt me regularly. Several songs off this album are especially excellent, first among them is “Future/Past.” McMillan sings:

And you,
You are my first
You are my last
You are my future and my past

Honorable Mentions

  • Page CXVI — Good Friday to Easter: Their original song “Roll Away The Stone” is my new favorite Easter song. I will be strongly advocating that we sing it together at Woodside this Easter.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1: True, none of these songs are 2014 natives, but the album as a whole set the tone for the film, and they are fun classic rock tunes. Great summertime road trip music.
  • U2 — Songs of Innocence: It’s U2. Fantastic album. Free album! (Stop your petty whining).

Best Film

The LEGO Movie

While this film is a gigantic marketing piece, it’s also a brilliant, funny, engaging, and enjoyable film. The humor, pace, and story of the entire film is worth-while and I think well done. Plus, LEGOs. So we have that going for us. Everything, in this film, is awesome.

Honorable Mentions

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Chris Pratt’s other film in 2014. It was a refreshing twist on the super hero formula. Well done Marvel.
  • Interstellar: I am still thinking about this film from Christopher Nolan. There were some things I didn’t like about it, but the fact that I am wanting to see it again says a lot.
  • Captain America: Winter Soldier: The best spy-thriller movie since The Borne Supremacy.

Best Book:

The Psalms by Crossway Books, English Standard Version

It might not be fair to include an entire book of the Bible as the “best book” of 2014 for me, but this book gave me words this last year. It gave me words to talk with God about all that I was going through and enduring. It gave me words to properly cry out for help, justice, healing, and praise. The book of Psalms was exactly what I needed this year. Thankfully Crossway released a “Psalter” that is beautifully set and bound and will last as a prayer book for me for decades. This book has been with me all year long.

Honorable Mentions

  • Make, Mature, Multiply edited by Brandon Smith: A solid anthology of articles on various aspects of discipleship. An excellent resource from my friends at GCD.
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: Yes, I know it wasn’t written this year, but I read it a few weeks ago and loved it. Such a surprising and excellent story.
  • Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright: A remarkable and well researched book on the resurrection and our hope in it. I don’t always agree with Wright, but his work in this area of theology is sounds and precise. 

What were your best albums, films, or books this last year?