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Very Influential Person book review

VIP

The Bible says that God has “assigned to you an area of influence” (2 Corinthians 10:13). What will you do with it? O.S. Hawkins takes readers through what it takes to create a life of Vision, Influence, and Purpose in his newest book VIP.

When I picked this book out as one that I would review, I began anticipating its arrival in the mail. Finally, that day came when I could see this box in my mailbox and then a bitter-sweet experience took place. The sweet part was when I opened the box it was this book, the not so sweet part was the box was big the book was small. I sat down and read the book in one sitting. The book comes in at 118 pages and that is being generous.

Small book as it is, it does have some large nuggets of goodies. I enjoyed how O.S. Hawkins starts the book off explaining the problem with the assumed definition of V.I.P. and draws you into his reason for a new definition of V.I.P..

I will keep this review short in the same style as I mentioned the book was written as well, short. All said, I did enjoy the book and think it would be a good Graduation gift for students entering the work force. This is the idea I wrote down that I am thinking about using it for in the future. Another idea I wrote down was using it if you have an intern program at your church, use this as one of the books you take them through.

Enjoy. Now go and discover what area of influence God has assigned to you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Big Red Bible Review

ICB artwork

The Big Red Bible from Thomas Nelson is formatted for children, ages 6-12. The BIG RED BIBLE is an International Children’s Bible translation. One that children can read and understand. I enjoyed the vivid 3-D pictures throughout the Bible. These pictures helped in visualizing Bible stories and gave the reference where they could be found.

There is a Bible dictionary at the end which is useful anytime if looking for meanings of specific words. I also liked the other helps at the end of the Bible including ‘Memory Verses for Life’. I can see this as a valuable tool in reading to children in devotional settings and more. Here’s a Bible that the even the younger age kids will understand right along with everyone else.

The text is larger, which makes it a little easier for even some of the earliest readers to read. This also makes it a ton more fun for kids who can now follow along in their own Bible as people read out loud in theirs. Kids begin to build comfort in reading along in their own Bibles, they will want to keep taking them to church.

This Bible was a good one for our group. The main thing we would have wanted is more of the graphics that are in the Bible already.

Feel free to check out these links to continue to aid you in falling in love with this Bible.

ICB YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2YEOvzN1_4
ICB Link: http://www.tommynelson.com/kids-can-read-the-bible/

Whatever the cost book review

whatever the cost

The Benhams made nationwide headlines after Home and Garden Television (HGTV) canceled the show before its planned premiere in the fall of 2014. Some reports were that HGTV was alerted to a … story by RightWingWatch.org, which looked into the background of the Benham brothers and found them to be ‘anti-gay, anti-choice extremists.'”

David, co-author of the newly-released memoir, “Whatever The Cost,” said he and his brother quickly decided they “needed to hit the issue head on” through sharing their story.

The Benham brothers both attended Liberty University on baseball scholarships. The pair played with several major league organizations before establishing their nationally recognized real estate firm and moving into homes on the same block in Charlotte, N.C.

In their book, the brothers do describe how they would never discriminate against a gay person appearing on their reality show. Yet, they said they refused to bend on their principles in favor of traditional marriage, pro-life causes and other issues.

While working on the book, Scott Lamb, who was the writer who collaborated with the brothers over this book, said he learned the Benhams walked away from a sizable sum of money because they wouldn’t compromise their beliefs.

“In America there is verbal and financial persecution, but recently in Egypt 21 Christians lost their heads,” Lamb said. “Whether we live in Egypt or Nashville, we better have that mindset — that life means nothing and we better be ready to lay down our life.

Whatever the cost!

This was a great book to read for me. I enjoyed it from the moment I picked it up all the way through to the last page of the story. This is not a typical type of book that I would normally have read, but this one had me the whole way. It was such a challenge to read a modern-day David and Goliath type story.

A challenge for sure. Whatever the cost!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Dispatch a great tool for ministry

Dispatch Nov 2015

Allow me to share with you a fantastic tool that comes from INCM called Dispatch.

Dispatch is a curated selection of some of the latest ideas and products for children’s ministry leaders. It comes packed to the rim of the box and makes you feel like it is Christmas all year round.

Here are just a few of the items that came in this last box:
The Gospel Truth about children’s Ministry
7 Family Ministry Essentials
Strong in me CD

and so much more.

What are you waiting for, go now and get your box of goodies.

The 4 hour work week book review

4 hour work week

I cringed at the title of this book, The 4 hour work week, but still went ahead and leafed through it. I actually found myself seeing how some pieces of this book could be applied to my life, and so I decided to go ahead and read it.

Step 1: D is for Definition

In this section Ferriss tells us to do an important task: define what you want. And I agree that most of us live through life not knowing what we want; just following the crowd like a herd of sheep. This section was the motivational, make you feel good section. This wasn’t the how, it was the why.

Step 2: E is for Elimination
Okay, so he basically says to eliminate all the junk in your life. For example: watch less TV, don’t check your e-mail so often, don’t look at your phone a bazillion times a day, don’t surf the web for hours a day, etc. It focuses on some very straightforward techniques for eliminating most of the regular mundane activities that fill our professional lives. Here are seven examples that I liked:
I. Make your to-do list for tomorrow before you finish today.
II. Stop all multitasking immediately.
III. Force yourself to end your day at 4 PM or end your week on Thursday.
IV. Go on a one-week media fast.
V. Check email only twice a day
VI. Never, ever have a meeting without a clear agenda.
VII. Don’t be afraid to hang up a “do not disturb” sign.

Step 3: A is for automation
This is where I began to disconnect with Tim’s method of creating a “4-hour workweek”. He spends a good deal of time talking about having a VA (Virtual Assistant). In my profession of pastoral ministry, this would be a hard sell, so I didn’t spend much time on this.

Step 4: L is for Liberation
Here Tim combines all the parts to show you how to move more of your life to remote type living. I actually believe this is valuable as I have been able to carry out a lot of this myself already.

Here are some last closing key insights I took away:
• “Don’t ever arrive at the office or in front of your computer without a clear list of priorities. You’ll just read unassociated e-mail and scramble your brain for the day.” (This alone has saved me about 35 hours since I finished the book 2 weeks ago.)
• “Being busy is a form of laziness and lazy thinking”
• How to end a meeting on time

My last thought with this book was it does a great job of teaching a person how to self-promote, but it comes at a high cost of teamwork. I hope that one day Tim Ferriss can take a break from perfecting his self to experience the pleasure of cultivating community. And those who pursue all the things in this book will be able to learn the value of as well.

Remote office not required book review

remote_front-530x800

When this book Remote arrived in the mail I was excited to start to read it as I already had respect and enjoyed 37 signals as a company. Now after reading the book allow me to say this book did not add to my respect for a great company.

Let me say that I am one who already enjoys working remotely for my main job of being a Children/Family Life Pastor, where a ton of my volunteers live all over the city and hold several different work schedules so having the ability of working on the go comes in very handy. Also, I get the privilege of working for a completely online business called Kidology.org as a Ministry Coach, and as one of their Kidmin Pros. Seeing that such a large amount of my time is remote, getting the opportunity to read a book titled Remote I was excited. Then soon let down.

Remote is a book that had a ton of potential but unfortunately according to this reader feel short. Through the book I kept feeling like they would start a topic that I wanted them to go deeper on but we never seemed to go there. I know they wanted to make a book that anyone could pick up but that didn’t mean we had to stay at the extreme surface level that the book stayed at.

Basically, if you are looking for a book to show your boss who is very office bound in their thinking and working remotely is a foreign concept, this may be the book for you. If you are wanting anything more, then I would not think this book would be your best choice.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging For Books review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Leadership Handbook Book Review

Maxwell Leadership Hndbk.cover

The book, as its title suggests, The Leadership Handbook. 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs, is broken into 26 “lessons.” These are short chapters that you can breeze through quickly, but try to resist the temptation to do so. What should be the goal is slow down and work methodically through them. Having the knowledge is great, but the application of that knowledge is what shows wisdom (this discipline of slowing down and application is what makes you a better leader). Maxwell suggests that emerging leaders read one chapter each week for 26 weeks, and he suggests experienced leaders to take two weeks per chapter — one week for you and one week to mentor someone else about the lesson.

If there was one big obstacle that kept creeping back in for me on not slowing down with the reading of this book was it had that familiar feel of, “I have read this before” and I was very familiar with the lessons and disciplines that were being taught in this book. Then it came to me, I was very familiar with most of this book already due to reading a earlier book of Maxwell’s titled: Leadership Gold. If you the reader are not familiar with Maxwell’s work, you will find the material in this book helpful. However, if you are familiar with his work, you might be disappointed as I was.

Maxwell remains an author that when he comes out with anything new, I will at least review what it is to be over as I hold out for him to bring some new Leadership truths again some day. He is a great story-teller, user of quotes, and has a writing style that I have enjoyed since I started down my purposeful leadership journey back in the early 90’s.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookBloggers.com review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Raising Kingdom Kids book review

raising kingdom kids

I have had the great privilege of ready a wonderful and challenging book titled: Raising Kingdom Kids by Tony Evans. In this book it is clear that Evans understands that parenting is not easy, although it is rewarding over time, and it does come with its challenges.

No two children are the same even if they are in the same family, therefore, parents must be able to love, nurture, and train each child in the way of the Lord while at the same time helping them grow individually into mature, faithful adults. Often on the journey of parenting, fathers and mothers need encourage and perhaps, some advice on how to raise their children according to the Bible. It is this kind of practical help that Dr. Tony Evans gives in Raising Kingdom Kids.

Tony continues to discuss the biblical roles and responsibilities of parents and how they should not only raise their children to adulthood, but guide them along the way to successfully fulfill God’s plan and call for them.

Outside of this being just an incredible read packed with wonderful challenges, thoughts, and encouragement, one more item I want to make mention of before closing this review off is a not so often view the author takes. Unlike most Christian parenting books, this one is not aimed solely at a two-parent household. In several places, Evans makes a point of including single moms, dads, or even a blended family. I felt this was great due to the rapidly changing family structures. Again it was just another way Tony connects with his readers and allows you to feel he knows where you are, where you can be, and provides the suggested help to get there.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher Tyndale book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Finishing Well, Finishing Strong

Finish well finish strong cover

Finishing Well, Finishing Strong was one of the books that I am privilege to read lately over being very purposeful on how we finish in this game we call life.

I am a 46-year-old man at the time that I am writing this and the thoughts of what kind of legacy am I going to leave when I go to be with Jesus are thoughts I have more of now than when I was 25. I started very strong and determined as a young man to be successful and as I got older I wanted to also be significant. Now I know I can do both and that is where this book along with others have helped encourage me to do just that.

I appreciated the attempt that Grassi made to end every chapter with a personal activity and mentor activity. The suggested activities are both helpful and can prove to be practical. I think this book would be a good read for a men’s small group or can be used by a mentor as he spends time and disciples some younger proteges.

The author, Jim Grassi made me think about what I do, and what I want to do to finish strong and well myself. This book was a short and easy read, and held my attention for the most part. The information was presented in a consistent and engaging way, making steps to the personal application easier. Grassi conveys Biblical truth in discussing certain people within the Bible.

Just because you start well and start strong, does not mean that you will finish well and finish strong. You must have a plan.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Leadership Lessons Book review

Leadership Lessons book cover

Ralph Hawkins and Richard Parrott shine some light on the life of Saul, Israel’s first king and expose the tragic leadership failures of the man whom God chose to be the earthly leader of His people. Although King Saul is credited with some small successes, the authors term his overall reign as a “net-negative”. Bringing up the point that

it is not so much how you start but how you will finish.

Hawkins and Parrott list the ten areas where King Saul suffered leadership failure. These pitfalls are:

1. Saul Failed to Handle Authority Humbly.
2. Saul Failed to Break Out of His Tendency to Isolate Himself.
3. Saul Failed to Think Before He Spoke.
4. Saul Failed to Act When the Time Was Right.
5. Saul Failed to Lead the People, but Let Them Lead Him Instead.
6. Saul Failed to Promote or Make Necessary Changes.
7. Saul Failed to Love the People.
8. Saul Failed to A Be True to His Own Ethics.
9. Saul Failed to Admit Failure or Concede to David.
10. Saul Failed to Consult God.

In Leadership Lessons: Dr. Ralph Hawkins and Dr. Richard Parrott offer a practical leadership guide with proven steps that could help anyone in a leadership role. They tell the stories of King Saul’s leadership missteps and connect those stories with the challenges facing today’s leaders. In our current climate of rapid change, intense competition, you will find valuable advice that will give your leadership a firm foundation.

A quick run down comparison of Saul’s pitfalls and many Children’s pastors same pitfalls.
1. Handle authority humbly. Many cp’s once given more responsibility by their senior pastors begin to lord things over the same people who earlier on were treated like responsible co-team members
2. Isolate themselves. Get so busy with their ministry and separated from rest of church it creates isolation. The children’s pastor doesn’t change this.
3. Think before he speaks. Enough said on this one.
5. Not leading but being led. Often times cp’s can get so tired they don’t have the energy to lead like they have been called to and instead will go with the flow of the most vocal ones.
6. Not making changes. Again see earlier downfall and the cause can be the same, tired.
7. Not loving people. Due to various reasons, we can often times see people as here to carry out “our ministry” not the ministry here to help complete the people. Fall in love with he people or the first will happen quickly.
8-10, go ahead and complete the comparison. There are many!

This will prove to be another good leadership resource to add to my book shelf.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

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