Liberty 2013 is quickly approaching at Freedom House.  We are doing some incredible things around our BIG GIVE this year the first week of May, 5/4 and 5/5.  Every year we give sacrificially toward Expanding the Vision that God has given us as a church.  Here is a video outlining our goals and what we are believing God to do through our sacrifice.

I just wanted to let you know out there in blog land that I am playing catch up because of Easter weekend and spring break. I spent some good time with my family which slowed down my reading. I will catch up this week on the 52 in 52. I am currently reading 2 books and will finish them by weeks end (Duck Commander and one by Ray Comfort – I can’t remember the title off the top of my head). Check in Friday or Saturday for a review.

It’s shocking sometimes how much we tend toward a certain trail of thought.  We want to be something so bad we end up disqualifying ourselves by our intensity.  I love this book.  It’s a read that’s simple yet inspiring.  It’s really short but riveting.  I do hope you will pick it up and take a read through it.

If we want to accomplish anything of value in the current world, we must go through the school of brokenness.  This school is for the development of the character needed to withstand the trials of the dream itself.  Tale of Three Kings looks at 3 different kings, David, Absalom and Saul.  Each one have their own issues and we can learn extremely important lessons from them.  Pick this book up and read it at least once a year.  It will take you a couple of hours to read and a lifetime to apply.  Enjoy!

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!

brain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Dip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s funny: Every book I’ve read this year has been so good. I have not been disappointed yet. Also quite intriguing is the fact that when I get to the end of a week, I’m introduced to a brand new book through a conversation, email, or something as simple as a Facebook comment. I had a huge list of books I compiled when I started the year, but it seems as if God has another agenda. Week-to-week inspiration!

“All our successes are the same. All our failures are too. We succeed when we do something remarkable. We fail when we give up too soon. We succeed when we are the best in the world at what we do. We fail when we get distracted by tasks we don’t have the guts to quit.”

–Seth Godin

This quote sums up the very inspiring and eye opening book, The Dip. It’s all about whether you should quit. Not fail, but strategically quit.

I’ve read books by Seth Godin in the past and they’ve always been interesting. Mainly because he’ll take something you kind of have a little bit of understanding about, and then unpack it or describe it in a way that is just plain cool. He puts meat on something you’ve been mulling in your head for years.

A “Dip” is when your endeavor gets to the point of no return, or to the point of peak pain. We all face Dips in many areas of our lives, including relationships and jobs. Dips can occur while writing a book, exercising or even in our diets. Most people walk at that moment, but the best in the world make it through the Dip. If you want to be the best at something, you have to go through some hard times. We sometimes look at someone’s success and think, “I could do that,” when in reality, even if we could, we wouldn’t. We’d let the Dip stop us. We don’t see the Dips someone went through to get where they are today–the price paid for success.

Get a copy of The Dip.  It’s an easy and very fun read, especially if you want to be the best!

scarlett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week I decided to reread a book I read a long time ago titled The Scarlett Thread. I’m preparing for our quickly-approaching Easter weekend, and I wanted to get a better handle on some of the Old Testament symbolism that paints a picture of Jesus.

This read is fascinating for anyone with questions about the prophetic voice of Jesus throughout the Old Testament. I love how The Scarlett Thread weaves a tapestry of Jesus throughout the Bible for us. It’s just incredible when you begin to see the shadow of Jesus revealed in the Tabernacle, the Passover, the sacrifices and so much more. Honestly, I love books like this. I walk away from them feeling so full, if you know what I mean.

If you want some good old fashioned Bible teaching, this is the book to grab! The Scarlett Thread will educate you on the Old and New Testaments, and challenge you in many ways. Each chapter can stand alone, and you’ll definitely feel empowered by the wisdom.

Enjoy!

the_power_of_habit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week I read Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habits.” Habits have caused great destruction, and habits have turned companies into global powers. Duhigg did his homework in studying the patterns that cause us to do the things we love, and the things that have caused us the most pain. It truly helped my understanding of why I like to do certain things like get a rice krispy treat at Starbucks after a good cup of coffee, or work out often, or even something as simple as wash my hair.

I had to buckle down and do some serious evening reading to finish this one on time!  It was a long read, but not hard. The book is about how the brain works (and I love that stuff), but it’s understandable, and it’s written in a way that will challenge you. I love how Duhigg uses real life stories and makes a personal connection to draw you in to the research. This book will help give you a good understanding around business habits, organizational habits and personal habits.

Great read.  4.5 thumbs up!