Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Have a New Teenager by Friday

                                                         By Kevin Leman

The information printed in this book will often make you think "this is just common sense" but then you will find yourself asking why you don't do it that way. Once again Leman has provided an excellent resource for those raising teenagers.

Since I have two teenagers in my house I found myself laughing at how accurate he is at what goes on in so many of our homes today. If you are struggling with a teenager or have one that is getting ready to become a teenagers this is a great read that will make you laugh while challenging you, inspire you and maybe give you the courage to try something new.

The first half of the book is something to think about Monday through Friday and then the second half addresses many of the challenges of living with a teenager today.

 I bought this in preparation for a seminar I am working on called “Raising Teens in this Wacky Crazy World” but hope we can apply some of the things I learned in my own home. As a pastor it will go on my books worth reading list.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Heaven is for Real

By Todd Burpo

    With Lynn Vincent

While I am sure many will wonder if this is a true story it is a wonderful story of a four year old boy that is misdiagnosed and almost dies before making a full recovery. Months later while passing the hospital his dad asks if he would like to go back to the hospital while they are there. Colton, his son, begins to talk about his experience with being in heaven with Jesus while he is there to the surprise of his parents.

The book is about the next several years as he describes people that he met in heaven, people that had died long before he was born and he knew nothing about. This included a miscarried baby that his mother had lost before he was born and he had never been told about. He talked about his grandfather that had died in a car accident in 1961 and can identify him from a photo when he is a young man. His dad is a pastor and will share his story of faith struggle during Colton's illness and his journey of trying to learn Colton's story without influencing what Colton remembered.

In this story you will see this young boys experience with heaven, God, Jesus, angles, those that have died and what he learned. I found the story compelling and a quick read that will make you think of many questions and maybe answer a few. It is a book worth reading.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Imagining Church

Seeing Hope in a World of Change

By Gary and Kim Shockley

Do you have a vision for what the church should be? There is a lot of controversy in our church today about what the church of the future should look like. Gary and Kim Shockley do an excellent job in this book of asking us to look to the future of the church and how we should determine what the church should look like without telling us how it should look. At first that may sound like it fails to do what we want and it some ways maybe it does. There are no recipes here, no this worked here so it will work for you, but many ideas on the process for deciding how your church can develop a plan for what God would like to see your church become.

Gary and Kim have started two churches and Gary now is the director of Path1, the United Methodist Church new church start consulting agency. While sharing their stories of both their experiences in the church and working as consultants with other churches they challenge you to be willing to look at the church in new ways. They will ask us to look at the way the church connects to the community, focuses on worship and funds its ministry in a new light.

I think you will find this will help you design a process that will allow you to lead your church into the future that God desires for you, a disciple making and growing congregation that is likely to look very different than how you have looks in the past.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Celebration of Sex

By Douglas Rosenau

If you want to have one book on your shelves dealing with sex and relationships this just might be the best book I have read.

While many Christian books deal excellently with the importance of relationship in marriage or the mechanics of good sex this book does both and an excellent job of tying the two together. I find it interesting how many people think that you will just know what to do and enjoy a sexual relationship with your spouse as if it is the most natural thing in the world and then find themselves disappointed it was not what they expected it to be.

Rosenau does a great job showing how this wonderful gift of God can be a tremendous blessing to our marriage. He does not shy away from topics that have often been ignored or undervalued like fantasy, erogenous zones, lovemaking cycle, the mess, mutual pleasuring, body image being orgasmic, desire and frequency, sexy after forty-five, disabilities, malfunctions, affairs and additions. It is all here in this one volume that will make you smile, laugh and maybe even cry as you realize what an awesome gift God has given us to share with our spouse.

If you want to have one book on your shelf, or in the nightstand so the kids don't see it, this is a great book for your library.

As a pastor I have had conversations on almost every topic in this book with someone in the last 15 years.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Mentor Leader

by Tony Dungy

You should read this book! I don’t know that I have ever made that broad of a statement before about a book. The truth is we are all leaders in someone’s life whether we want to be or not. Each of us in mentoring someone be it our children, the people we work with or go to school with. Someone is watching you and learning how to act.
While using his experience as a football coach at all levels this is not a book about football. It is about leadership and what it takes to be the kind of leader that develops other leaders. Dungy says “Unity of purpose and a desire to make other people better must start at the top if these goals are going to ripple through an entire organization.”
“Building a life of significance, and creating a legacy of real value, means being willing to get your hands dirty. …. Whether it’s your business, your school, your community, or your family, if you want to make a difference in the lives of the people you lead, you must be willing to walk alongside them, to lift and encourage them, to share moments of understanding with them, and to spend time with them, not just shout down at them from on high.” We must focus on the significance if we want to make a difference in the world we live in.
The marks of a mentor leader are character, trustworthy traits, competent, focused on integrity, secure in their own skin, and be authentic. He makes it clear that to be a mentor leader we must be willing to learn and to be mentored ourselves.
He uses Jesus as a model and is not afraid to show how his faith has impacted his work and helped him grow as a man and a leader.
I hope you will take the time to allow this book to impact your life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Insight on Romans

By Chuck Swindoll

I was thrilled to see that Chuck Swindoll was going to write a series of Bible commentaries and looked forward to this first one and was not dissapointed.
This is a great commentary for those that want to learn more about Paul's teachings and is written is such a way that I can recommend it for both lay and clergy. Lay people will like it because it is written in language that everyone can understand like all of Swindoll's writing but they will still learn a great deal about this foundational book of the Bible. Clergy will find it will help them present a message that the non Biblical scholar can understand and recieve insight from.
This commentary will challenge you, make you think and encourage you as you reflect on what Paul taught the church at Rome and has been used for years to teach those of us that have followed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's Your Ship

Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy

Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

If you are willing to be challenged to look at leadership in new way from someone who made changes in one the most traditional rigid organizations in the world, the US Navy, this book will make you think in new ways. While serving as the captain of the USS Benfold he transformed one of the poorest performing ships in the Nave to one of the best.

This is the story of the need to change with both those that had authority over him and those over which he held authority. Providing leadership that has an impact is the center of this story. In chapters titled, Lead by example, listen aggressively, communicate purpose and meaning, create a climate of trust, look for results, not salutes, take calculated risks, go beyond standard procedure, build up your people, generate unity and improve your people’s quality of life, he leads you through the process of change that he used.

As a pastor of a church in a traditional mainline denomination I found the wisdom here well worth the time it took to read this relatively short book. We often think that our progress and ability to make a difference are too limited by the traditions and structure of the church. Here is a look at someone that worked in that environment and made a difference.