Friday, April 25, 2014

Making Happy by Drs. Les & Leslie Parrot

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Worthy Publishing.

Is it possible to have a happy marriage? It sure it but only in the movies, right? What if it was proven that happiness can be cultivated? Drs. Les & Leslie Parrot have done just that.

In their new book, the Parrots give research on how being happy is more about making active choices to be happy than it is about circumstances making one happy.

Whether it is counting your current blessing, trying something new like dancing, cooking, or hiking, celebrating each other, serving, or dreaming, the Parrots show that it is the memories that make a marriage happy.

From there, the Parrots give a three week study guide on how to improve/increase the “happy factor” in a marriage. While not easy, the effort put forth should draw a couple closer together which in turn will up the happiness in a marriage.

I really enjoyed the wisdom that came in the form of simplicity. It is often the little things combined that are the most potent and this book is no different. I was challenged to make an effort in the little areas of life so that my marriage will be one of happiness and growth.

I would suggest that soon to be married, or recently married couples read this book so that a strong foundation can be laid. This should lead to a happy marriage and ideally one that does not have a lot of history to overcome because the little things were neglected.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Drucker & Me by Bob Buford

*I received this book as a complimentary copy from Worthy Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

When it comes to management there is one name that is well known and respected: Peter Drucker. His influence, being started more than half a century ago, is still being felt by many people.

Imagine if you had the opportunity to sit down with this management giant and learn from him. Bob Buford did just that and this book is about his learning, being challenged by, and befriending Peter Drucker.

Throughout the book, Buford gives account of how he learned from Drucker’s unique ability to see into the future and project where society was headed. Whether it was corporate growth, economics, education, and how Buford should run his business, Drucker had the innate passion to get the most from others. He was a leader when many were trying to be task masters.

What I found quite interesting is Peter Drucker’s influence on churches or more specifically mega-churches. I have often felt that church need the leadership qualities of managers in the corporate world who attend their respective churches. Reading of how Drucker felt the same was both fascinating and eye-opening.

Knowing that the church needed great leadership, Drucker was used by Buford as a resource to pastors who wanted to know how to grow but do so effectively and efficiently. Seeing how Drucker wanted them to succeed challenged me to not limit myself to a certain area but use my talents wherever God so directs me.

I would love to see this book in the hands of every teacher, mentor, leader, coach, and pastor in the world. Such wisdom would be a great asset to those who desire to lead others.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Killing Jesus by Stephen Mansfield

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Worthy Publishing.

During his holy week of 2014 many will read, watch, and listen to the story of the crucifixion. They will be reminded of what Christ did on the cross for their lost souls. Yet many, having been exposed to this recalling many times, will simply tone out the story, their minds being lost due to repetition and tradition. Perhaps they should read Killing Jesus by Stephen Mansfield.

This telling of the death of Christ, merges Biblical accounts, and historical records, to weave an exciting and insightful look into the life of Christ and those who wanted him dead. Mansfield has given vibrancy to the plot behind Christ's crucifixion, giving the characters some history and motive that might be lost just from reading Scripture.

With such excitement and intrigue, I found myself reading a story with a perspective I had not experienced. I was catapulted into the story, seeing all the plots and espionage that would culminate in the killing of Jesus. Seeing just how bad people wanted him dead has given a new appreciation for what all Christ went through for me. A great book to read.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Power of a Half Hour by Tommy Barnett

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah's Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Thirty minutes. It may not seem like a long time and that is a good thing; if used properly. Tommy Barnett knows that 30 minutes can be the difference between getting something done and not doing it at all. In his book The Power of a Half Hour, Barnett encourages people to block tasks into 30 minutes segments.

Whether it is a meeting, project, reading, praying, or even remaining quiet, Barnett has found that 30 minutes is an ideal time maintain focus and not mentally wander. Thirty minutes, when properly utilized, can be the difference between breakthroughs and mental block.

Barnett gives examples of how taking just 30 minutes can be the difference between running your life instead of it running you. Take for example a life mission. If a person's mission is to be the best grade school teacher that she/he can be, taking a daily, thirty minute reflection can align proper perspective on what the person is trying to achieve. This then can be used to make sure that things that matter are addressed and things that do not matter are negated.

This is the goal of Barnett's book: to get people back enjoying their lives. I found this so applicable to my life that I have already started to see tasks as thirty minute blocks so that I can finish and accomplish what I set out to do. A great book to remind us that we control our time and life can be enjoyed when properly scheduled.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Courageous Grace by Gayle Haggard

*I received this complimentary copy from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for this review.

What would you do if your spouse was cast in a national scandal? How would you respond when it came out that a homosexual affair occurred? Gayle Haggard, through a difficult process, chose to extend grace. The book is then about her studies on grace, how she practically applied it her life, and how the reader should apply it to his/her life as well.

Grace is much needed in the church today as many will be vehement against a leader when he/she falls without giving grace. Christ himself gave grace to a woman caught in adultery but many feel that leaders must maintain an almost God-like perfection. Haggard challenges this notion with the truth that God has extended so much grace to us that we in turn should be willing to extend grace to others.

It may be a leader or it may be the co-worker in the cubicle next to you. Either way, instead of asserting our rights we should be more apt to love and give grace as a default. This book gives suggestions for that and an example of someone who understands that giving grace may not be easy but it is the right thing to do.