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TOP 10 Books I Enjoyed Reading in 2014

I am a self-admitted veracious reader. John Maxwell always says:

Readers are Leaders and Leaders are Readers.

After first hearing that quote a few years ago, I made it a goal to read about 40 books a year. I don’t always hit that goal but it’s always good to have one.

The books I read are not limited to non-fiction, self help books. Some of my favorite genres would have to be leadership books, mystery fiction, and historical biographies of great leaders.  My reading taste is really all over the place as you will be able to tell below.

Here we go. My TOP TEN favorite books this year in NO PARTICULAR ODER:

 

41BOOK ONE: 41: A Portrait of My Father

BY: George W. Bush

LINK: http://goo.gl/n9phLp

Info: I’ve always been a George Bush fan. He’s probably the best foreign policy president we’ve had in a long time. One of the things I admired about him the most is how he led by cultivating great relationships with people before asking them to follow. The world went too long without his memoire. While this isn’t that it is a great book about his life from the view of his son and former president George W. Bush. I especially loved all the little humorous comments and anecdotes Bush Jr put in the book about his mother’s famous bluntness and sense of humor. Barbara Bush deserves a book all by herself but for now, this will do.


allegiantBOOK TWO: Allegiant (Divergent Series)

BY: Veronica Roth

LINK: http://goo.gl/7DvXGc

Info: I had to finish the series. Don’t judge me. This book was probably my favorite of the trilogy mainly because it was finally over. Any series like this will be compared to the Hunger Games books and still a flash back to the Harry Potter series. People are always looking for the next big thing to get on board with. To me, this series wasn’t ‘all that’ even though the idea behind it was great. In the end, Allegiant served it’s purpose of keeping me distracted during those long training runs while I prepared for my first marathon. Hated the ending though… all I’ll say..


unbrokenBOOK THREE: Unbroken

BY: Laura Hillenbrand

LINK: http://goo.gl/YfE5TE

Info: This book needs it’s on blog post. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. First, I’m a sucker for good biographies. Second, I love a good story. Third, I love my faith and enjoy hearing about others who embrace faith in their lives. This book had all that and more. The author did a masterful job painting an early picture of a troubled Kid-Louie. Then, after everything he went through, the story ends with him investing back into troubled kids… awesome full circle. That’s just the beginning. There’s so many layers to this story.  What’s not in the book is that Louie tried for years to get his story out to the world. It wasn’t till the end of his life that everyone began to take notice. So, the only sad thing is he wasn’t able to receive the accolades he deserved.  Can’t wait for the movie to come out.


killing.lincolnBOOK FOUR: Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

BY: Bill O’Reilly

LINK: http://goo.gl/I1yw3q

Info: It’s a shame that many people will not read this book because Bill O’Reilly wrote it. Abraham Lincoln is my favorite president so when I heard Bill had combined well documented facts and new discoveries into one book written with the feel of a reporter telling the story as if it just happened… I’m in. I enjoyed the way he crafted the telling of all the events leading up to the assassination of Lincoln. There were several facts about Mary Todd Lincoln, Lincoln’s cabinet, his generals, etc. that really gave extra color to the story.


unleashBOOK FIVE: Unleash: Breaking Free From Normalcy

BY: Perry Noble

LINK: http://goo.gl/zLMii7

Info: Love him or hate him you have to admit… Perry Noble is real! He’s a breath of fresh air in a world that always tries to be so politically correct. His common sense approach to faith and life is probably what I love about him the most. When you hear him talk it’s not hard to understand how he pastors a church that’s probably going to become the largest church in America at some point. His passion for the things that matter is amazing. This book is probably going to become an annual read for me. Loved his challenge to take the leap into what’s possible.


crashthechatterboxBOOK SIX: Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others

BY: Steven Furtick

LINK: http://goo.gl/VIc9dG

Info: I’ll admit… I’ll always have a soft spot for Steven Furtick. I’ll probably read everything he ever writes. It goes back to his first book “Sun Stand Still”. At the time, I was thinking about doing the craziest thing ever with my life and was scared to death. (planting a church) “Sun Stand Still” taught me about the audacity of ‘all in faith’ and ‘going for it’ in life. Furtick’s book became my playbook for and new vocabulary for audacious faith and I still use the quote “If you’re dreams don’t scare you, they insult God.” (paraphrase) As much as I loved “Sun Stand Still”, “Crash the Chatterbox” might come close to surpassing it for me. I’ve never read an author who was so honest about his personal struggles and mental battles. Instead of making me think less of Steven it actually made me think “me too”. Loved it so much. Probably the most thought-provoking book on this list.


outliersBOOK SEVEN: Outliers: The Story of Success

BY: Malcolm Gladwell

LINK: http://goo.gl/wZhK2O

Info: This book made so much sense on so many levels. It both challenged me and helped me take a relaxing breath at the same time. No matter what you pursue with your life there are always those people who stand out as uncommonly successful. They are Outliers. People with uncommon opportunities and experiences at just the right time to make a big difference in their field of expertise. On one side it helped me say, “So it’s okay if I’m not as successful as they are. They are social oddities.” However, the question also arose, “Am I an Outlier in some way?” Loved the stories in this book.

Favorite takeaway has to be that in order to become a world class expert at something you have to apply 10,000 hours of your time working on your craft.


next.gen.leaderBOOK EIGHT: Next Generation Leader

BY: Andy Stanely

LINK: http://goo.gl/asJ7pj

Info: This will never be known as his best work but it’s one of my favorites. The main reason is because you get this sense of sitting across a table at a coffeeshop hearing Andy say these leadership ideas. He writes it as though he is pouring out practical experiences from years of leadership. Almost like he’s giving you his inside scoop on leadership life. I loved hearing him write out of personal experience and give his personal steps and guidelines. It’s a quick read and a lot of doable applications.


four.obsessionsBOOK NINE: The Four Obsessions of an Executive: A Leadership Fable

BY: Patrick M. Lencioni

LINK: http://goo.gl/pLxzni

Info: Patrick Lencioni has changed leadership writing forever. I love his approach of writing a story and drawing out leadership principles. That’s exactly what so many leadership books have been missing. There are many, many great leadership books with great theories but Patrick has helped flesh them out. By the time I finished this book, I felt as though I had been challenged and grown with the young executive. It made me want to be the kind of leader and coach the senior executive is. Great stuff.


21.laws.of.leadershipBOOK TEN: 21 Irrefultable Laws of Leadership

BY: John Maxwell

LINK: http://goo.gl/Bv9N5B

Info: I question anyone who claims to be a leader is not well read in the John Maxwell universe. If you don’t have at least 3 Maxwell books, you’re not really interested in leading. This book is now my favorite. This book and it’s companion book “21 Indispensable Laws of Leadership” make for a great foundation in anyone’s leadership life.

The most eye-opening leadership book to me is the LAW OF THE LID. If people stop growing it’s only because they’ve put a lid on their life.

 

Okay, so I took the time to give you some of my favorite books of 2014.

What do you think? Is there a book I should read next year that you enjoyed?

Tell me what you think. Also, don’t forget to share this blog on Facebook and Twitter so we can get more people’s opinions and get our 2015 reading list together.

 

 

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A Letter to RLC, Read Everything
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A Letter to RLC>>>

Hello RLC!
What a great weekend we have had together. This past Sunday was a true joy. Thank you to everyone for making it such a great success.

As we move into this week, here are a few things to share with you:

1. TOXIC 1- TOXIC THOUGHTS. As the New Year continues to take shape many of us at RLC have captured a “ONE THING”, a God-sized VISION for our lives in 2014. Getting an idea for what this is. The next step is identifying possible pitfalls and hijackers which will try to sabotage our progress. To do this we began a new series entitled TOXIC. The first part of the series talked about dealing with TOXIC THOUGHTS. We all sometimes deal with negative, discontent, fearful, and critical thoughts. Check out the RLC | PODCAST to discover how to deal with thoughts like these and how to replace them with the Word of God. RLC | Podcast from the RLC website here.

Toxic_-series.graphic


2. RLC | CONNECT. Don’t forget the number one way to stay up to date with all things are RLC is still RLC | CONNECT. That’s the weekly eNewsletter which releases on Friday mornings around 7:00am.

 


new.service.times13.  TWO WORSHIP EXPERIENCE TIMES. Don’t forget our TWO WORSHIP EXPERIENCE SCHEDULE. 9:30AM and 11:00AM. For a good seat be sure to arrive early.

 

 


21214. MIND | SOUL | BODY.

(1 Thessalonians 5:23) “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”

This past Sunday began our 21 Day Challenge we’re calling MIND | SOUL | BODY. The idea is to not only honor God with the first fruits of your year by fasting but incorporating everything in your life. For more information on this check out this link.

The first seven days we are diving into the Word of God BIG TIME. I read a study recently which said 86% of Christians do not read their Bible on a regular basis. Start of 2014 by making a commitment to yourself to not fall into that category. Here is the first seven day list:

Day 1: Acts 1-11
Day 2: Acts 12-22
Day 3: Acts 23 – Romans 4
Day 4: Romans 5-16
Day 5: 1 Corinthians 1-10
Day 6: 1 Corinthians 11 – 2 Corinthians 3
Day 7: 2 Corinthians 4 – 13


discover.special 5. SPECIAL DISCOVER | RLC TIME. Due to the possible bad weather, we rescheduled the monthly DISCOVER | RLC for this coming Sunday (1.12.14). Join Pastor Brandon and hear the story of RLC, the vision and mission of RLC, and what the future holds. We also have a great time of QandA as well as a FREE meal.  Check out this link for all details and how you can register for this free, engaging event.

 

 


first.wednesday 6. FIRST WEDNESDAY IS BACK. First Wednesday is coming this Wednesday night at 7:00pm.

This is something the RLC Family enjoys every month. This subject of this month’s FW is: FIRST.

Enjoy a great time of worship, prayer, Bible teaching, and communion.


 

I’m so excited to be a part of Real Life Church and witness all that God is doing in the lives of those who have to call it home. I can’t wait to see what is coming in 2014.

Don’t forget, you’re awesome.

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Read Everything
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A Letter to RLC>>>

Hello RLC!
What a great weekend we have had together. This past Sunday was a true joy. Thank you to everyone for making it such a great success.

As we move into this week, here are a few things to share with you:

One_Thing_-_Banner_11. HAPPY NEW YEAR: ONE THING. This past Sunday ended one of the greatest year’s in our churches history. There are so many WINS it’s impossible to list them all here.
While we celebrate each of them it’s also vitally important we don’t forget to look ahead and plan now to have the best 2014 possible. This year can be your best year ever if it’s your best year spiritually. This past weekend we challenged each other to not make a long “New Year’s Resolution List”. Rather to take one thing or idea and dedicate it to God as a way to get closer to Him this year. For more info on this, check out the RLC | Podcast from the RLC website here.

 


2. RLC | CONNECT. Don’t forget the number one way to stay up to date with all things are RLC is still RLC | CONNECT. That’s the weekly eNewsletter which releases on Friday mornings around 7:00am.

 


new.service.times13.  TWO WORSHIP EXPERIENCE TIMESDon’t forget coming back next Sunday is our TWO WORSHIP EXPERIENCE SCHEDULE. 9:30AM and 11:00AM. For a good seat be sure to arrive early.

 

 


21-days4. 21 DAYS OF PRAYER AND FASTING. Every year, the Staff of RLC come together to give the FirstFruits of our year back to God and dedicate 21 days in January as a time of increased Prayer and Fasting. During this time we pray for various things and believe God to do amazing things in our lives, our family, our church, our community, and our nation. For more information about this and how you can join this movement, check out the resource page on our website here.  This time of prayer and fasting begins this Sunday, January 5th.

 


 

I’m so excited to be a part of Real Life Church and witness all that God is doing in the lives of those who have to call it home. I can’t wait to see what is coming in 2014.

Don’t forget, you’re awesome.

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real
A Letter to RLC, Read Everything
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A Letter to RLC>>>

Hello RLC!

It’s been such an amazing blessing celebrating the Christmas season with you all this December. We have witnessed so many amazing things and enjoyed the presence of God together. From watching Elf and Polar Express to enjoying being the “Family of God” this past Sunday morning, there were too many great WINS to list them all.

Thank you for making Real Life Church a place where people can find God and others who are also passionately pursuing God together.

From our family to yours we hope you have a blessed Christmas.

 

merry_christmas_card1

 

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Marathon Training: Week One

Week One is COMPLETE!!! Yeah!!!

Musings-

This week was the first official week of my very first marathon training. Last week I did a lighter version of this week but don’t count it as official training. This week was great because everything was very manageable.  Even the long run is less than what I’m use to so things were pretty comfortable.
Very thankful to be doing this and it’s going to be a great journey.

Some people have hinted they would love to see me create a podcast chronicling my journey. If enough people show interest in this we’ll make it happen so let me know if you would listen to something like that.

That’s it for this week.

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK-

“Success = Preparation + Opportunity.” -Zig Ziglar
Nobody is in the right place at the right time. If you are waiting for that moment to come it never will. There have been people though who have experienced the opportunity of a lifetime and were prepared to take it. If you prepared with excellence and keep your eyes open and opportunity to use your skills will eventually present itself. The question is if you will be ready to take it when it comes.

 


 

This Week’s Training Schedule and Results:

WORKOUT ONE- Foundational Run- 3 miles

WORKOUT TWO- Foundational Run- 3 miles

WORKOUT THREE- Foundational Run- 3 miles

X-Training- 30 minutes

Long Run: 5 miles

Total number of runs: 4
Total mileage: 14 miles

 

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