After going through the books I already have and knowing which ones I wanted to add to my library, I have selected the following for the focus of my training.
Finance – Women & Money by Suze Orman
Health/Nutrition – Suzanne Somers’ Fast & Easy: Lose Weight the Somersize Way with Quick, Delicious Meals for the Entire Family!
Career Building – The Bootstrapper’s Bible: How to Start and Build a Business With a Great Idea and (Almost) No Money by Seth Godin
Spiritual – The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Relational – Everyone Communicates Few Connect by John C. Maxwell
Rounding out my working book bag are:
One Year to An Organized Life by Regina Leeds
Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuck
Problogger by Rowse and Garrett
The Message//Remix:Solo devotional guide
I’m also continuing my Precepts teaching and looking at adding a new class starting with Genesis for the fourth round!
For the past few years I have been in search of a leader. You know, the kind with integrity, vision, character and interest in developing others. So far I’m coming up blank. Don’t get me wrong there are hundreds if not thousands of books on building your dream life, improving your health, controlling your finances, creating your personal brand and having a richer life in all aspects. I’ve read more than I would like to admit to and followed the advice of, well to be honest, none really. So in lieu of a real life person in my life right now I’ve decided to pick some of the many books on my current reading list and see what happens if I really do what they say the way they say to do it. Kind of like the Julie/Julia project but with more subjects than just cooking. In an effort to be a well rounded person I’m looking at the following areas: Finance
Personal career building
So as I clean up my office tonight I will be selecting books for each area and reporting back on my assignments and progress.
Such a great opening. In three quick words you know exactly where you are. Knowing where you are is highly under emphasized. Over publicized but under emphasized. Thanks to Four Square and Hoot and Whrrl! the location of your cell phone is quickly shared with friends and followers but knowing where you are is a whole different matter.
Are you at the beginning? Can you feel the excitement building as the adventure is about to take off? Do you find yourself somewhere in the middle of your story wondering how you got there and who the strange cast of characters surrounding you are? Has a chapter come to a close with the words “they lived happily ever after”? or has it left loose ends to be addressed in the chapter to follow?
In the past week I wrapped up a very successful year long project bringing women from around the country together for a conference. A definite sense of completion and ending accompany putting the binder full of documents and memories on the shelf. On the other hand I find myself firmly in the middle of my story. As I face yet another birthday coming far to fast and too frequently lately, there is no illusion that there are more years ahead than behind me. I just don’t see 97 candles on my cake one day. But it is also very evident that I’m not done yet. Hence the new blog site and learning yet another piece of technology that I never dreamed of. A quick thank you to those who did dream of it, pursued it and now make it user friendly for countless writers and readers.
A very wise man taught me three key questions: Where are you going? How will you get there? How will you know you are there?
I don’t have an answer to any of the three but I know where I am at the moment.
In the beginning…
Following the call of God on their hearts men from around the country and around the world are heading to Colorado to spend time with Him. Using broken, wounded, restored men to share messages of encouragement and truth God shows His heart for the image bearers, for the ones He created to fellowship with Him.
Ignatius understood that the glory of God is man fully alive. This weekend His glory will shine brighter as more hearts are set free, as old wounds are healed and loose their power, as agreements as shattered and covenant takes their place.
Hearts are being fought for. Battles are fierce. There is nothing short of eternity in the balance for some.
And in that mix, walk men of integrity, of honor, of courage. Men after God’s heart. The Cowboys. The Kings. The Sages.
God is on the mountain and He’s meeting with His men…. sword
Do you remember the feeling of something brand new and exciting? I remember when we bought my very first brand new mini-van. It had 6 miles on it. 6! Can you believe it? I was so careful. No one was ever going to eat or drink in my new mini-van. The cup holders were an unnecessary feature. We were simply never going to have a use for them. Fast forward 8 years. Nuff said….
This morning I have been stirred by the offering of a new day. A brand new day with the fresh morning smell still clinging to it like the dew on the grass and the dried up clump of goo that keeps my eye from opening fully until it’s washed away with warm water. I love that new day feeling. I haven’t done anything I regret. I haven’t blown my “eating plan”. I have so much potential and endless possibilities to consider after that first cup of coffee.
But what I really want today is to cling to the promise God offers to make all things new. I want to see with fresh eyes this morning. I want Him to wash away all the goo and let me see with His perspective and His loving gaze on all the people who come into this precious gift of a new day. I want to embrace the good in life and in the newness God has placed in me. When He said He would make all things new that included me. I’m going to delight in my new day. It’s early. I have many good miles ahead of me and with my cup of coffee firmly in my cup holder, I’m ready to hit the road for adventure.
God only knows where my journey will take me this brand new day….
5 Cities That Ruled The World by Douglas Wilson
“The gripping and illuminative story of how five cities—Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York—shaped the course of global history.
History unfolds in a wide tapestry, but some patterns and threads stand out from the others for their brilliance and importance in the bigger picture. Five Cities that Ruled the World examines how and why a handful of cities—Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York—emerged in their respective times of influence to dominate the world stage, directing wealth and power, influencing faith and belief, commanding fear and allegiance, provoking wars and conquests, and shaping the world we live in today. Profiling their leaders, exploring their philosophies, following their armies into war, riding their merchant ships to ports of commerce, and watching as one eclipses the others, Douglas Wilson broadens our understanding and appreciation of these cities with piercing insights, curious details, and entertaining stories.” Book Sneeze
I chose to review this book from Thomas Nelson because I have traveled to 3 of the 5 cities and wanted to see how the history and impact of these cities was expanded in a historical and spiritual treatment. I enjoyed the first four cities but found my interest wasn’t held by the fifth long enough for me to finish the book within the first two months of starting it. I have only recently picked up where I left off and had to push myself to pay attention and plow through to the end. Based on the premise that each city ruled for approximately 250 years the first four cities era of dominance has wrapped up. New York still being a work in progress the final section didn’t have the same sense of closure and conclusion.
I’m glad I read 5 Cities but not high on my list of books to recommend. It’s a nice read and I enjoyed the perspective of Wilson. I would have liked to see a chapter on where the center of world power is moving next as New York’s time draws to an end. Maybe the next book….
Our pastor is teaching a series through the book of the Revelation. This morning’s passage was on the church at Laodicea. I’ve read this passage before and sat through many series on the letter to the seven churches. This morning God showed me something new and it nearly broke my heart.
This group of believers has often been held up as the lukewarm church. Some have gone as far as to say they weren’t a church but more of a social club or even a cult. But the Amen addressed them as a church and calling them anything less than what He calls them seems like dangerous ground to stand on. He goes on to say He knows their deeds. Sounds familiar. He is intimately knowledgeable about all the deeds of His churches but what shouted out to me from the pages this morning wasn’t the transgression of a church that had cooled but not frozen. All I could see in that passage this morning was the incredible passion Christ had for that church.
Those four little words at the beginning of verse 19 “Those whom I love!” The letter to Laodicea wasn’t so much about them as it was and is still about Him. All of the letters to the churches say the same thing. “You have fallen short but I love you!” “You have problems but I love you!” “You are My churches and I love you!”
Before anything else He was going to show John He wanted the churches in the condition they were in to know His heart. They were His and He loved them.
The only hope the fallen, failing, lukewarm, broken have is that He loves us. No matter where we started our journey, no matter where we are today, the message is still the same. See His heart for His people. Don’t let the failure of the church be the focus. It wasn’t His focus. His focus was still on loving them and reaching them. Why would He stand at the door and knock if He didn’t want to come in? He wouldn’t He doesn’t. He stands and knocks because He loves.
“To the angel of the church write….I love you!”
I’ve been having a little trouble getting into the “Christmas Spirit” this year. Couldn’t put my finger on the problem until this morning when I drove past a Nativity on the lawn of a local church. They put up the same display every year. It’s cut out painted plywood.
In the time it took to drive past the shepherd with his sheep, the three wise men and the little family in the center I realized what was missing. So far my Christmas has been very much like the nativity made of plywood. Very two dimensional.
It has length.I mean this is my 48th Christmas. I have a nice long history, some really good solid traditions and enough happy memories to consider Christmas a positive part of my life story.
It has height. There’s a very tall tree on the front porch soaking up water and waiting to push the boundary of my living room ceiling like those ambitious pines and firs of the past. I have 14 storage boxes of decorations stacked up in the living room to deal with before the tree can make it’s grand entrance.
But what I’ve been missing, what the plywood nativity so clearly reminded me, is depth. The deep eternal mystery of Christmas is what my heart was longing for. The richness of the Gift given freely but at a cost incalculable and immeasurable. So this afternoon with a fire in the fireplace and all those boxes of decorations my heart is remembering the meaning each represents. The love and thankfulness of Christmas through the years. The tall list of blessings and friends and joy this past year but all made real by the depth of the One who’s depth I will spend eternity celebrating.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the LOVE OF GOD that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May you have a 3 dimensional Christmas this year.
In 1970 cartoonist Walt Kelly famously paraphrased a famous quote for an Earth Day poster that featured characters from his long-running strip Pogo and mourned the sad state of the environment.”We have met the enemy, and he is us” it read. This came to mind last night during a discussion over dinner. I made the following statement “If your message and the message of your enemy are the same with only the names reversed you are the same as your enemy.” Matt asked me who said that. I said “I did, just now.”
It got me to thinking which usually gets me to writing. If the names were changed would I say some of the things I say? Would you? Our words are a reflection of our heart toward others but shout most loudly about our own heart first. Does the kindness in me see the kindness in you? Or does my insecurity about my fashion choices cause me to question yours? Does my mercy received reflect in my mercy extended? Does my quiet reserve look like your unfriendly coldness or does my unfriendly coldness look like your quiet reserve? Does my fear of your rejection cause you to reject me first? Or does my open acceptance make way for your own?
There is a line from a movie that says “People do not see the world as it is but as they are”.
Today I am considering the message…only the names have been changed.
In one word that sums up what I truly want for Christmas.
I want to spend time with people I love and who love me.
I don’t want anyone to think they have to spend time with me for any other reason.
I want to know those I love are safe and healthy and happy.
I want to be forgiven for every mistake I’ve ever made or wrong word I’ve ever spoke.
I want people to take responsibility for their own lives and stuff.
I want one real family not a bunch of fragmented blended legally related people.
I want traditions that have deep roots and long reaching branches.
I want Christmas to mean something.
I want miracles.