28. March 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: 52 in 52

This week I decided to read Joel Osteen’s book, I Declare.  Joel catches a lot of flack for being so positive and always seeming so happy.  Many religious people criticize Joel because they don’t think he preaches a strong enough message on repentance.  Well, I know Joel and his wife Victoria personally.  Don’t hate if you don’t know!  Those who do the criticizing don’t know Joel and his ministry very well.  Lakewood Church and all the Osteens do from Houston is incredible.  People are being saved and lives are changed around the world because of their influence.  I love what they do and support them fully.

This book is one of the best Joel has written.  Don’t get me wrong. The others are good but this one is very inspiring and relevant to people’s lives right now.

We have what’s called the Declaration of Independence in the United States of America. It separated us from the rule of Great Britain and allowed us to become the nation we are today.  One specific line near the beginning says this: “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”  That “Creator” is God of course.  Our country was built on the values set in the Bible.

We also have a spiritual Declaration of Independence, which Jesus paid the ultimate price for.  The scriptures tell us who we are and how we are to live in that independence.  Not independence from God, but from the enemy.  It’s really our dependence on God that distinguishes us as independent from the world and its system.

I said all that to say that Joel’s book, I Declare, is a personal journey in speaking independence over our lives.  I do hope you’ll read it and speak its 31 declarations over your own life!

Okay, reading 52 books in 52 weeks is not easy! Can I just say that?  Reading through my 11th book in 11 weeks, Altar Ego by Craig Groeschel, wasn’t easy either.  But on the other hand, it was very rewarding.

I love how Pastor Craig writes.  He’s so engaging and his story telling is fantastic.  I love how he brings real life stories into the mix.  Craig is a genius at taking something very basic and transforming it into a life lesson.  His practicality is fantastic.

I would get this book for anyone who is facing inner challenges.  My favorite chapter is on labels.  So many of us struggle with labeling ourselves and then living under the scrutiny of that label.

This is a fantastic book for someone who is beginning the journey as a believer.  It’s very easy to read and it’s full of the Bible.  I hope you’ll pick up Altar Ego and have a great read!









We recently had a great guest at Freedom House.  His name is Dr. Robi Sonderegger (pronounced Robbie).  Dr. Robi is a clinical psychologist.  Not one of those, look at the ink blot and call out what you see, types. And no I didn’t spend the weekend on the couch being psychoanalyzed.  Dr. Robi loves Jesus Christ with all his heart and also has a passion for the Church of God.

One of the things I like to ask people who I believe have tremendous international influence, is what they are reading and where they get their inspiration from.  Dr. Robi suggested that I pick up a book called, The Brain That Changes Itself.  Well, I did and read it the best I could.  It was a little “techy” but not too bad.

The gist of the book is that our brains are not fixed into a certain way of thinking.  We can, in fact, change patterns that have been learned over years and even decades.  The term repeatedly explained in the book is “plasticity”. It’s the idea that the brain is like a muscle and can be worked out.  Now I am an avid work out person.  I train at least 3 or 4 times a week and sometimes more.  I know how our muscles, with the right training, can grow and be changed for the good.  This well written book digs into this possibility.  From autism to dementia, scientists are digging deeper and deeper in the complex field that deals with our brains.

Last week was just crazy.  I did a lot of traveling so I had to fall back on a smaller book to keep pace with my reading.  It was a great little book that I’ll reference for a while.  Honestly, I have no idea where it came from.  It was published by Compendium, which I have never heard of.  It’s called Drive.  It’s a book of quotes from all different types of people around different subjects.  If you can find it, it would be a great addition to your library.  Here are a few of the quotes.

“Failure is a natural way of mapping the unknown.”

– Jack Matson

“Committed people rule out excuses.”

– John Newman

“As long as you can start, the juice will come.”

– Ernest Hemingway

“You owe it to us to get on with what you are good at.”

– W. H. Auden

“Believe in something big. Your life is worth a noble motive.”

– Walter Anderson

These are just a few of the many quotes.  I really enjoyed this little book.  Get it if you can!