Dear Pastor Steve,

I am writing you this letter to share my testimony, to share my story of continually seeking the truth and of losing my Christian faith. It has taken me a long time to get to a place where I can reflect on my experience with Christianity in a way that is clear-eyed and fair, seeing both the good and the bad in the right balance. My hope is to share this with you in an honest and open way that reflects the joy, light, love, meaning, and purpose that fill my life today.

I am writing this…

I love gear of all types and relish the chance to carefully evaluate the things I use and consume in my everyday life. Many items come and go in our lives as I find a better option or notice that an item as turned the corner from being an item that I cherish to instead be “stuff” that’s weighing me down. This list is for the things that I love, the things that continue to bring me joy, and that have stood the test of time over many years in my life.

Note: Some of the links in this story…

Reading books is the single best way I’ve found to keep learning and growing intellectually as an adult. While I also enjoy podcasts, lectures, documentaries, and articles, books offer a unique opportunity to think someone else’s thoughts deeply and try them on for size, and you can do this with humanity’s brightest and most creative minds, both living and dead. This is one of the most interesting and uniquely rewarding parts of the human experience.

A few years ago I resolved to start reading more books, and I knew what success would look like: tall bookshelves full of hardcover books…

When I started working at Amazon 7 years ago, one of the first lessons in my orientation was about the Amazon.com flywheel. It looks like this:

The metaphor of the flywheel is used to describe a self-reinforcing system where improving any one of the variables will lead to improvement in the others. At Amazon, increasing selection improves the customer experience, which increases traffic, which draws in sellers, which further increases selection, and the cycle repeats. …

Nathaniel Jones

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