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50 books in 52 weeks.

1356116829-1356116829_goodreads_miscI’ve been posting a lot of articles over the past few days in the Book Reviews section of my blog.
The reason is simple. I made a goal for myself and honestly it was a secret. I wanted to really increase the amount of books I was FINISHING this year.
I probably started over a hundred books last year and only finished ten. This year was all about doing it differently.
Therefore, I’ve come up with a goal for myself… 50 in 52.

This year I want to read 50 books in 52 weeks. Is it possible? I have no idea. It’s still better than ‘just trying to do better’. I’m like most of you and work better with a goal in mind. So, here I goal. Why don’ you try it with me?

I’ve got it broken up into categories like this…

10- FUN (fiction)

10-Leadership

10-Business

20-Non-Fiction (Biographies, Documentaries, other)

That is a sort of general guideline I’m working with. I don’t want to read nothing but leadership books but yet it’s not just going to be a bunch of science-fiction either.

It’s proven that reading anything makes your brain process information faster and more efficiently making you smarter. That’s why the top two ways of increasing your intelligence is to read and do puzzles. I’m not good at puzzles so…

Here we go.

I may work out a grading scale so you’ll know how much I have or have not liked them. We’ll see. This effort isn’t really to develop my critical skills but to merely DO what I’m always TRYING at.

As Zig Ziglar use to say, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

 

If you have any books you would like to recommend, let me know.

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Book Review: Entreleadership

EntreLeadership_WEBBook 8 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

Entreleadership (By Dave Ramsey)
Link to this book

Every business leader should make this part of their library. It’s helped me in more ways than I can write about here.
My personal favorite section is where Dave explains the difference between dreams, vision, and goals. I’ve never heard it put more plainly.

A dream is something you wish could happen but have no idea how it could be.

A vision is something you want to happen and you have a good idea how it can be.

Goals are things you have actionable, attainable plans to achieve and are charting your progress regularly.

Dave says that all three steps on this road to success are necessary but it’s important to not stay in any of these phases too little or too long.

Homerun.

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Book Review: The Lord of the Rings

lord-of-the-rings-trilogy-movie-poster-2003-1020187968Book 9, 10, 11  of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

The Lord of the Rings (by: J.R.R. Tolkien)
Link to this series

Just like I said when talking about the Hobbit, it blows my mind that entire college courses have been taught about these works.  At the beginning of the story Tolkien says he wrote this trilogy to provide more info about the ring which Bilbo had AND to try his hand at a long story. I believe we can all agree he did very well presenting both.

I wouldn’t call myself a fanatical fan. That title is usually reserved for people who’ve read the Silmarillion. That’s a compilation of stories Tolkien was writing when he died.

However, these books are most likely going to be a annual read for me. I usually do so during the holidays or summer when the idea is to break away from the normal flow.

 

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Book Review: The Hobbit

The-Hobbit-1024x1024Book 15 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

The Hobbit (by: J.R.R. Tolkien)
Link to this book

Bilbo Baggins. Gandalf. Hobbits. Gollum. It’s hard to imagine modern culture without these names. I wonder what Tolkien would’ve thought if he only knew how amazingly loved these books still are.
It blows my mind that entire college courses have been done studying these books.
I’m not going to go into any kind of explanation here. Just to say that the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are probably going to be annual reads for me for a very long time. It’s a great way to escape our world for a little while and travel through Middle Earth.

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Book Reviews: The Hunger Games

hunger-games1Book 12, 13, 14 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

The Hunger Games (by: Suzanne Collins)

Link to this book

This book series will always have a special place for me because we used the first movie (The Hunger Games) for part four of our series “Church at the Movies”.  The author said she first thought of the idea while flipping channels one night between soliders fighting in Iraq and reality TV. She said it seemed odd that two people about the same age were living completely different lives yet both competing for a prize. One was competing for their lives and the freedom of a nation while others were competing for their 15 seconds of fame.

While this trilogy is completely made up, it does present some great life lessons.
We’re taught to never doubt our abilities. We are also encouraged to see that given the right circumstances, greatness is waiting to be revealed in all of us. Katnis (the leading figure) never asked for everything which happened. However, she rose to the occasion.

This book makes me think of the great quote, “Some are born with greatness. Others have greatness thrust upon them.”

One person can truly change a generation if they are willing to pay the price.

This was a fun read and quite a few twists and turns. Definitely recommend it for your next vacation or down time.

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Book Review: American Sniper

american-sniper-u-s-navy-seal-chris-kyle-11Book 16 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

American Sniper (by: Chris Kyle)

Before telling you about this book it’s important to give you a fair warning. This was written by a Navy Seal. By his own admission in the book, Navy Seals are known for their colorful use of the English language. I cannot in good conscious tell you about American Sniper without first warning you that the language is adult from cover to cover.

Okay. Here we go.—>

This book is an amazing account of the most lethal sniper in American history. Chris Kyle’s honesty and transparency throughout each page is, at times, stagering.

He honestly talks about his faith, his family struggles, his guilt for those he lost in battle, and his willingness to kill the enemy without remorse.

Chris Kyle challenged me to have a clear resolve as to who we are and what we’re about. He didn’t waver on the essentials of life. He knew what he was and what he was gifted at.

Chris also earned my respect forever with his tireless outreach toward veteren’s once he retired.

He helped me understand that US veteren’s don’t want a handout but a hand-up. He also said the last thing a veteren wants is to be made to feel weak. Just treat them like the men they are.

Chris was sadly killed on a firing range in February 2013.

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Book Review: Stand Like Lincoln, Speak Like Churchill

0978076156351_500X500Book 7 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

Stand Like Lincoln, Speak Like Churchill (Great book on public speaking)
Link to this book

If you aspire to be a public speaker, this is required reading. This is possibly the most practical book on public speaking I’ve ever read. It’s also one of the very books that as soon as I finished reading it, I began again.

It’s really a textbook for speaking. My favorite was the way this author emphasized the “Power of the Pause”.  There’s almost nothing in this book that I’ve not attempted to put into my speaking tool belt.

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Book Review: Sun Stand Still

SSS_Series_-_Art_Preview_312x212_587x327Book 6 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

Sun Stand Still (By: Steven Furtick)
Link to book

This book will always have a special place for my family. Sun Stand Still came into our lives when we had made the decision to risk it all and plant a church 4 hours NorthEast from anything we had ever known.

We knew this is what God had spoken for us to do. However we needed…. something. It’s hard to say exactly what but we simply needed something. This became that ‘something’. It gave us a vocabulary for this revolution of our idea about what was possible.

Steven challenged us to believe doing something crazy for the glory of God was actually possible. Not only possible but expected.

We learned powerful phrases like, “If your dream doesn’t seem impossible chances are it’s insulting to God.”

I would recommend this book to everyone to read at least once. This has become a yearly re-read for me.

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Book Review: Ir-Reverend

Irreverend-book-coverBook 5 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

Ir-Reverend (By: Greg Surratt)

Link to this book

First of all, I love this guy. Before Greg Surratt was my leader as the president of the ARC he already had my respect as a great pastor and man of God.

Then I read his book. What can I say? It’s everything a great book should be. It’s encouraging, uplifting, funny, challenging, and then some.

I’m a sucker for good stories and this book is packed full of them. My favorite one would have to be when he took his staff to a movie theater to watch a ‘family movie’. Let’s just say there was a mix up in what they were suppose to be viewing! Classic greatness.

Greg also does a great job diving into the deeper issues of his faith with a transparent honestly which will leave you looking deeper inside yourself as well.

This book gets 9 out of 10 stars.

Well worth the read.

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QBQ

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Book 4 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)

I discovered this book while listening to a leadership podcast. It’s required reading for new employees at Dave Ramsey Inc.
Most likely I will follow this example when RLC begins having paid staff.

The main idea of this book is from a quote I heard long ago, “If its going to be its up to me.” Don’t wait on someone else to do the right thing or go the extra mile. It really is up to you.

It’s great for setting expectations of excellence and reaching for more not as an employee but as a team partner.

 

Here’s a link to this book.

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A Letter to RLC
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A Letter to RLC>>>

Hello. Hello.

What an amazing weekend at Real Life Church. It was so great to see everyone and all the new faces as well.  Here are a few things I wanted to share with you today.

#1-  Don’t be a slave to your thinking this week. Remember, you cannot help what crosses your mind but you can help dwelling on it. This week, make the effort to control your mind and not allow thoughts to control you. Rather, take them captive.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

#2- We praise God together for the two people who committed their lives to Christ yesterday. That never gets old and is always an awesome thing!

#3- Don’t miss AWANA and life groups this week. It’s amazing to do life together.

#4- Easter is just around the corner. It’s during this time of year when I always think about who I’m going to invite to church. Easter is one of those times of year when people are more likely to say yes when asked. Who are you going to invite to the big RLC Easter Celebration?

Look forward to seeing you all this week or this coming weekend.

Don’t forget about RLC VISION coming up this weekend immediately following the second worship experience.

 

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A Letter to RLC, All
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A Letter to RLC>>>

Hello RLC!

What an amazing weekend! It was definitely up there as one of my favorites for sure.  Here are a couple of things I took away:

#1- It’s important not to allow ourselves to be seduced by the good things in our lives. Make sure to get with someone this week and take a true, honest look at yourself. Where is God on your Top Ten list?
It’s been amazing to see how our current series SOUL DETOX has impacted so many lives.
What’s even more amazing is the best of this series is still to come! The next two weekends we will be discussing TOXIC THOUGHTS and TOXIC WORDS.
We’ve been talking about detoxing our souls but now it’s important to not let them become poisoned again. These two areas are among the most poisonous things we deal with from day to day. Can’t wait to share TOXI THOUGHTS with you this Sunday.

#2- Some have been asking about the message archive on the RLC website. Currently the latest messages have not been uploaded to the site. However you can still view the entire worship experiences on the RLC YouTube Channel. See the entire worship experience and enjoy it all over again.

#3- Two Worship Experiences. BIG SHOUT OUT to the amazing RLC Dream Team for pulling off another excellent week of Two Service Option Sundays. This has been a big step for the DT and they have responded in an amazing way. I love RLC!

#4- Easter is only 40 days away! Plans are being made now to make this Easter Celebration the best one yet! We’ve even considering offering a 3rd worship experience. Have you thought about who you are going to invite? This time of the year is the best for inviting friends and neighbors who usually do not attend church at all. Let’s not just go to church, let’s BE the church!

#5- Do you want to do more? Do you want to feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself where you can plug into something worthwhile?  Do you want to make a difference with your unique talents and abilities?
If so, why not join the team at RLC? At RLC, we believe that your design reveals your destiny. Let us show you how. With two services on Sunday  there have never been more opportunities for you to plug in and become part of the team. Want to know more? Email us here.

Hope you all have a great week and I look forward to seeing you this coming weekend!

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