Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley

This short and engaging book is written by an influential pastor to help the next generation build a strong foundation for leadership.  But the lessons here don't just apply to church leadership.  Whatever field you work in or sphere of influence you have, there is wisdom to gain.

Andy Stanley has identified 5 essentials for leaders of the next generation.  In a nutshell, as a leader "you must discover and play to your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.  You've got to be courageous, and you've got to be clear in the midst of uncertainty.  You need to find a leadership coach.  And along the way it is absolutely essential that you maintain your character".   Through sharing his own experiences and various biblical stories, Andy teaches upcoming leaders how to identify and develop these traits.

One of the points that resonated with me the most is finding the courage to say NO.  He writes "Don't allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential".  It's hard to say no because we are afraid of disappointing people or missing out on something.  A leader must have the wisdom and courage to say no to good things when they are not in line with his or her vision.  Easier said than done, right?

If you are a leader, or think you might have the potential to become one, this is a great book!  I will close with a prayer that Andy and his family say frequently...May God give you and I the wisdom to know what's right and the courage to do what's right, even when it's hard.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Undaunted by Christine Caine

Wow...this book is a keeper!  For those who have ever felt unwanted, paralyzed by fear, pain, or disappointment, or unqualified for the task God has called you to - this book is for you!  After overcoming the challenges of coping with her adoption, abuse, and miscarriage, Christine Caine is qualified to teach on overcoming these daunting circumstances and more.

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.  It is the perfect blend of the author's own experiences/lessons learned, and teaching from God's Word.  I was challenged to be open to divine interruptions in my life, not letting fear of the unknown hold me back.

Christine says "God has set before each of us an exciting and world-changing mission...He wants to work in us, to equip and empower and qualify us, so that he can work through us." God awakened a passion in Christine's life for the oppressed.  In the book, she shares about the adventure of starting a non-profit organization called A21, which serves to prevent and protect victims of human trafficking.  (For more info, click here.)  Her story opened my eyes to the horrors that are happening in our world today.  Maybe God is calling you to support this ministry, or maybe your passion lies elsewhere.  What is standing in your way - keeping you from doing what God is calling you to do?  This book will give you a great perspective to move forward...undaunted.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

New Worship Song

Elevation Worship releases their new CD, Nothing is Wasted, on February 19th! 

Here is my favorite song (that I've heard so far).  I hope it's recorded in this version.  A full band is nice too, but I love this sound! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Couple After God's Own Heart

There is no shortage of books on marriage.  What makes A Couple After God's Own Heart book and workbook by Jim & Elizabeth George unique is that it focuses primarily on biblical couples and what lessons we can learn from them.  Each chapter highlights one couple, explaining what the Bible says about them and drawing applications from their strengths and weaknesses.  While many of these couples are well-known (such as Adam & Eve and Abraham & Sarah), there are also some couples less talked about such as Manoah & his wife and Aquila & Priscilla.  Even for those who have read these stories many times, it is beneficial to see them afresh while focusing on the specific applications we can make to our marriages from their lives.

Jim & Elizabeth George write in a way that is easy to follow and understand.  Sometimes their imaginations run a little wild while re-telling the biblical accounts (telling how they imagine the story playing out), but there are always biblical references included for readers to refer to the biblical text and be able to separate fact from fiction.  Each chapter draws specific lessons for wives and lessons for husbands.  There is also a 30-Day Couples Devotional included at the end of the book.

In addition to the book, for couples who want some structure and extra reinforcement, there is an Interactive Workbook.  Each chapter in the workbook corresponds to a chapter in the book and takes 5 days to complete.  Each day includes brief reading, discussion questions, and a prayer. There are also specific action steps to complete each week.

While I personally can't say that I learned anything new from the book, I did enjoy looking at these biblical couples from a new angle and being encouraged by the Georges' wisdom which comes from 40+ years together! 

*Thank you to Harvest House for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book and workbook in exchange for an honest review.