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All posts in Books

Get Your Copy of Altar Ego

You can get the “Altar Ego” book by clicking the link below. Note: the Kindle version is only $7.99. Don’t know if you use a Kindle, or even the Kindle app (free on your phone), but it revolutionized my reading.

What Happened to May?

So where did the month of May go???

May 2010 would have to by far be the quietest month of my blogging history. I started the month by stating, 

Honestly, I'm in a pretty busy season right now. I'm really not in a place where there has been much time to share on WholeHearted. I'm seeking the Lord, listening a lot, reading a lot and soaking up all that is around me right now. I've been making some changes in my schedule lately and have been making an attempt towards helping my mind to be less "busy" so that my heart can actually "be" with those I'm with. This is much harder than it would seem. Your prayers for me are so appreciated.

That pretty much summed up what happened to May for me. I have been trying really hard to focus on where my heart is, what God is up to in me and around me and just didn't feel the need to share it with the world. 

Another thing that I have been working on is reorganizing the way that I go about all the things that I do. Over the past year I have noticed that i'm not in my 20's anymore and that I actually do have limits (I am aware that you already knew this about me – I just didn't believe it about me – for some reason there are times that I actually feel invincible). It took me 6 of the 12 months to actually admit to "me" that maybe what I'm dealing with actually has something to do with being just a little older and a long term case of burning the candle at both ends. 


LeadingonEmpty.1
With all of this in mind I really have been thinking a lot about "the long haul" in ministry and knowing that I want to be able to give all for all of my days and there is indeed a way to make that happen. I'm really thankful for Wayne Cordiero's book, "Leading on Empty – Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion". Funny thing about the book was that I bought it and stared at it for MONTHS. Have you ever had a feeling about something where you just "knew" – that was me with this book. I knew I needed to start reading it but knew that it was going to teach me something that I would rather not learn. As much as I hated to admit it almost EVERYTHING he spoke about in the book related to the place that I have been for a while now. I am finally realizing that you can't be "on" 24/7. If I really want to make a difference in this generation I'm going to have to be healthy and passionate enough to make it for the long haul. Know this: I am trying to grow in this area.

After all, there is a family that I love more than anything on this earth who needs me (long term); there is the love of my life whom I expect to grow old with (long term); and there are tens of thousands of people in this region who need to meet Jesus and I am fully convinced that I have a major part to play in that – I better be making preparations now!

What I’m Reading

Readers are learners and readers are leaders. Leaders who aren't reading aren't learning to their potential. The reason I read as much as I do is that I feel as if i'm already behind the curve in the area of intelligence (hold the jokes – I know all about it – it ain't easy being me   :)).

With that thought in mind, here are the books that I've been in over the past few months:
  • Prayinghyde Praying Hyde: Missionary to India – This book was given to me this past spring by my man, Chris Schofield, Director of Prayer for the NC Baptist State Convention. He gave Donnie Paschall and myself a free copy saying, "this is the book that drove me through seminary". Anytime that Chris suggest something to read I take it seriously. Love that dude. This book will drive you to your knees and remind you how amazing God is and the way that he wants to use us.  
  • Essentialchurch Essential Church: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts – In the spring of 08 I attended a breakout session at the NC Evangelism Conference with Dr Thom Rainer, CEO of Lifeway. I've always been a fan of Dr. Rainers writing – his study and research has always intrigued me. During this session he basically presented the findings that were the basis for this book – they left our jaws open and our hearts heavy. I don't know about you but I want church and relationship with Jesus to be at the forefront of the next generations' lives.
  • Madchurch Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic Still reading this one… I'm taking it in one chapter at a time and allowing it to challenge and bring much reflection into my current phase of life and ministry. As I said in a previous post, I read the intro and wept uncontrollably – something in there touched a very deep place in my spirit. 
  • I recently finished reading Tony Morgan's new book, "KIlling Cockroaches". Tony is always a really great read. I love the way that he uses a very blog-like format. The book isn't broken up into chapters, rather, it's broken into columns based on their subjects. So much wisdom built into this book and many challenging thoughts from someone I consider huge in the arena of ideas. I was reminded that as a leader I shouldn't be doing everything – there are others who can do certain things I do BETTER than I… stop doing what your doing to kill a cockroach; call the exterminator and stay on task. 
  • Fastgrowingchurches Planting Fast Growing Churches by Stephen Gray – I picked this one up last week while I was at convention offices for the National Day of Prayer. This book is a quick read (1 day for me) but is packed full of the hows and why's of starting churches right. If you've been reading or followed me for long, you know that church planting is something that I definitely feel I'll be involved with one way or the other in the future. I SEE NO OTHER WAY THAT GOD REDEEMS OUR NATION IF NEW CHURCHES AREN'T PLANTED AND MULTIPLIED.  

Systematic Lastly, on the way of deeper biblical knowledge, I am reading Sytematic Theology: an Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. This book is amazingly easy to understand – I highly suggest it for anyone wanting to REALLY learn the truths of bible doctrine, which should be important to all. Hope this helps or challenges you in some way. 

The Shack

The shack Knowing that I may possibly be the last person to read "The Shack" by WM. Paul Young, I finally gave in last week. I'm glad I did.

I am a reader. I am not a fiction reader. I should be but for some reason reading fiction at times brings guilt as there is always something out there I need to be reading that isn't fiction, ya know?

I am so impressed by the writers imagination. The story is captivating, heartbreaking, inspiring and at times breathtaking. I loved the way Young dove into the depth of God's love for us.

I don't want to go deeply into the story, you have to do yourself a favor and read it for yourself. I will however say that I can see how people are so inspired by the story. "The Shack" is the story of a man named Mackenzie Phillips, faithful husband to Nan and father of five kids. A tradgedy happens to Mack's family that leaves him in the throws of depression and the overwhelming sadness that often accompanies tradgedy. The happening leaves Mack with many hurts, doubts and questions concerning the incident as well as God. The major happening in the story is that God decides to do something about it.

You really gotta check this book out!

I am also aware that some people are offended by the route that the author takes to describe God in the book, totally missing the heart of what the writer was presenting. One word: Fiction. It's a story. A story interwoven with theology and questions, but none-the-less, a fictional work designed to entertain as well as make the reader think and hopefully discuss the complexities of the book. I was actually inspired in that God was willing to do whatever was necessary to reach Mack (sounds familiar to another story of God going to great lengths to reach us, doesn't it?). God is not looking for your ritual – He is always interested in relationship.

Warning: at the end of chapter 11 I was torn up!!! Check it out for yourself.

Books

I try to pass on what i’m reading – Here are a couple of books that would be a great read.

Big_idea The Big Idea: Focus the Message, Multiply the Impact
In_a_pit

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

Good_to_great

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t (thanks Tim!)