Archive for September, 2010

Stronger by Jim Daly

September 27, 2010

Have you ever noticed that people learn better through stories?

We have so much to learn, but sometimes we have so many barriers to learning that it is hard to understand what God is trying to teach us.  This is especially true when we are under stress.

Life isn’t easy, and sometimes it is just down right hard.  In the midst of the stress, we have a choice – and Jim Daly has written a book to help us see the difference.  Jim tells us that we have a choice when life throws us a curve ball.  We can become beaten, bitter, or broken.

Stronger will teach you through the stories of people who have faced real life and discovered how to lean on God.   These stories are encouraging, helpful and insightful.  They reach past the walls and deliver the message.

You can check out the video here:

I loved this book.  It is well written with biblical and current day examples.  Jim manages to reach us in the most difficult places and show us how to lean on God in the midst of it all.  If you are in a difficult place, you will be encouraged and helped by this book.

You can buy the book on Amazon.com

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Stilettos and Integrity? How about Sneakers?

September 13, 2010

Friday is wear your sneakers to work day!  Welcome guest blogger Rosemary Flaaten with this fun, provocative article.

By the fifth block I was done. Although my four-inch stilettos made my legs look long and lanky, they also made my previously innocuous little toe scream with pulsating pain. Walking to and from my business luncheon in fancy high heels had been my biggest mistake of the day. Where were my sneakers when I really needed them?
The craze started over 20 years ago when women, following the lead of the Silver Screen, started donning their sneakers in place of stilettos. The wise woman prized comfort over fashion, elevating her “right” to wear sneakers from her front door to her desk without anyone giving a second glance. It didn’t matter how matronly she looked or how disjointed her business appearance, functionality was given prominence.
So why have my sneakers been collecting dust in my front closet while my stilettos need new heels?
As I pondered this question, I realized that my choice between stilettos or sneakers is indicative of a greater question regarding my integrity at my workplace. Sneakers are stable, no nonsense, functional and take-me-as-I-am footwear. Stilettos are representative of my desire to fit the business mold and improve my appearance. In essence, I hope to portray a version of myself that looks better than reality. Likewise, how often are the choices I make around telling the truth or shading the truth based on my desire to fit in, to make myself look better or to prop up my lagging competency?
It has become socially acceptable to fudge the truth (even just ever so slightly) in order to increase our likeability.  Robert Feldman, in his book The Liar in Your Life, quoted a study indicating that the average person lies three times every ten minutes in a conversation. The intention of these lies is not to manipulate. Rather, people lie so that they come across more interesting, likable and desirable.  Sounds a little like stilettos.
Our propensity to shade or embellish the truth has strong ramifications in our workplace. When the boss calls to see if we’ve done the big project and we respond “Yep, just about” when we know that we’re only about 25% finished, we may find ourselves in a situation where we must continue to shade the truth in order to save our skin. One lie is seldom enough. When (not if) our untruthfulness is discovered, we will have a much more difficult task rebuilding the eroded trust.
If deception is telling and living a life of lies, then living honest is conveying truth no matter the consequences. Living honestly means we live authentically; but integrity takes this a step further. Unlike children who lie to get themselves out of sticky situations, integrity calls out greatness and gives evidence of maturity. In the workplace, we start with honesty, add authenticity, and then our character culminates with integrity.
In defense of all stiletto-loving working women, please don’t interpret my use of this metaphor to suggest that stilettos are wrong and sneakers are better. Rather, on this “sneakers at work” day, may it be a reminder that being a person of integrity will always be better than trying to make yourself look better. In the long run, sneakers will take you further than stilettos. Not just my feet will attest to that truth!
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ROSEMARY FLAATEN’S successful book, A Woman and Her Relationships won The Word Guild Award, which is Canada’s top Christian literary honor. Now she writes A Woman and Her Workplace to help women process their  9-5 relationships. A dynamic speaker—Rosemary challenges women of all professions to view their work as a calling and their workplaces as opportunities to live out Christ’s love. Rosemary lives with her husband and three children in Calgary, Canada.

The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

September 7, 2010

Do you sometimes feel like the world is full of platitudes?  You are special – you can make a difference – the list is long.

Andy Andrews is a great writer who inspires people not through platitudes, but through fact.

The Butterfly Effect is a delightful little book that will not only convince you that your life matters, but also it will show you why.

Andy takes us up the effect trail and shows us proof that people’s insignificant actions can have eternal impact.

I loved this book.  I would classify this as a gift book – but if you want a tool to lift someone’s head, I would recommend The Butterfly Effect.

Want more information?  Check out the Author’s Website, which includes a trailer for the book,  or Amazon.com.

You Changed My Life by Max Lucado

September 3, 2010

I found a book that I think everyone should read at least once.  In addition, speakers will want it as a resource.

Max Lucado has written a gift book.  Listen to the introduction:

“This book is for someone special.  You…. you made a difference in the life of the one who gave you this book.  You shared words of wisdom, gave of yourself, mentored, led, walked alongside a hurting friend, took time to notice when others didn’t.  You did something for someone else.  Your words, actions, time – whatever it was, you gave willingly, fully, selflessly.  You changed a life.  And what you did mattered.  Your actions mattered to the giver of this book.  But more importantly, what you did mattered to the One who matters most.  “God is fair, he will not forget the work you did and the love you showed for him by helping his people.” (Hebrews 6:10 NCV)

The rest of the book is about how marvelous people changed the lives of others by giving of themselves.  Some of the stories are one page (about 150 words), some are two pages.  All of the stories are inspiring and encouraging.

Do you have someone in your life you want to thank?  I’ve found just the gift.  Check out the author’s website.  Here’s where you can buy it on Amazon.com.

Cool things to check out

September 2, 2010

The book trailer on this site is really cool and encouraging.  Check it out.

I never thought I’d like Focus on the Family, but I have really enjoyed many of their radio programs this year.

Shana Schutte is a new author who is going on a tour around the U.S.  Her new book is called “Betrayed by God, Making Sense of Your Expectations”.  I’ve been thinking a lot about expectations lately.  This book sounds like it would hit the spot.

If you are a writer, I strongly recommend Chip MacGregor’s blog.  He is encouraging for writers, and he explains the world of agents.

There is a new type of marketing.  I think it is important to learn.  It explains how people expect to be approached with new information.  Here are some of the places you can learn about it:

So – what have you found that is cool or brings you joy?

On Guard by William Lane Craig

September 2, 2010

There are two basic sides to evangelism.

1.  Relationship – introducing people to God as a person.

2.  Logic – convince people that God is the right answer, that He is real and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

On Guard takes the latter approach.  Here is a clip from their press release:

“American society has already become post-Christian,” writes Dr. Craig. “Belief in a sort of generic God is still the norm, but belief in Jesus Christ is now politically incorrect.” Packed with stories of Dr. Craig’s encounters with religious skeptics, On Guard provides more than philosophical arguments.  It relates real life experiences that illustrate the themes of our current culture. Dr. Craig maintains: “If the Gospel is to be heard as an intellectually viable option for thinking men and women today, then it’s vital that we as Christians try to shape American culture in such a way that Christian belief cannot be dismissed as mere superstition.”

Here are the people I think will like this book:

  1. College students
  2. People who  ask deep questions and want to think through the complex.
  3. People who like logic – Craig likes logic, and uses this logical approach to convincing people of God and His approach.

Do you want to be able to talk with conviction and knowledge when you discuss God with those God brings your way?

Check out these web pages:  Reasonable Faith. William Craig’s Virtual OfficeOn Guard on Amazon.com