Setting Yourself up for Setbacks – My 100 Book Challenge

Not trying to start with the excuses this early on, but had a rough week fitting in the minimum 2 books per week on my 100 Book Challenge, but had a breakthrough this week and made some great progress. See, that’s the thing with ambitious goals; you need to account for what you’re going to do when you do have set backs. With 100 books, my average of course has to be roughly 2 books every week with a 2-week margin for catching up if I miss that target. When the week started to get away from me I thought about what I would do if I ever did get behind.

What do you do when you get behind on your goals? Do you immediately throw in the towel? Do you punish yourself with negative self-talk? Do you see one setback as an overall failure, and toss the entire goal aside? Do you say, “What’s the use, and go back to your mundane, empty, and listless life?

I’ve learned personally, and experts and research have proven, those who naively set ambitious goals without taking into account the almost inevitable setback will likely not succeed. They almost go as far as to think they’ll “automatically” be a success and can be positive enough to overcome discouragement. They set lofty goals and think only about the achievement without considering the potential for discouraging obstacles. Sadly, the science says, those are the ones that fail.

However, those who anticipate they’ll run into obstacles can, in my own words, brace themselves for impact. You know you’re going to hit a wall sometime. This isn’t self-fulfilling prophecy mumbo-jumbo, but it is taking into account the occasional curve-ball life inevitably throws your way. Good hitters know how to hit a fast-ball. Great hitters learn how to CRUSH a curve-ball.

Now, these thoughts are overly simplified, but the principles were the mode of survival  for Admiral James Stockdale. He spent 8 years as a POW in Vietnam and was tortured 15 times. In his book, “Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot” he provides readers with a gritty account of his imprisonment and subsequent release.

From Wikipedia

“In a business book by James C. Collins called Good to Great, Collins writes about a conversation he had with Stockdale regarding his coping strategy during his period in the Vietnamese POW camp.[16]

When Collins asked who didn’t make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.[17]

Stockdale then added:

This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.[17]

Witnessing this philosophy of duality, Collins went on to describe it as the Stockdale Paradox.”

Try not to fall into the trap of being so focused on your goal you don’t take into account the resistance you will face. The attainment of the goal is great and will say a great deal about your grit, but the wisdom you gain along that journey is, in my estimation, just as valuable as the attainment of a goal.

In short, set yourself up for setbacks. Anticipate there will be challenges along the way. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. No matter the goal you set for yourself, don’t lose sight of the lessons to be learned along the journey; they’re often just as important as the goal itself.

Feel free to leave me comments on your best kept secret for achieving your goals when the temptation to give up strikes!

Turning Point’s 21 Days of Consecration – Week 3 Focus: Church

At the beginning of each new year our church, Turning Point Apostolic of Rochester, MI embarks upon a 21-day journey of consecration. We dedicate each of the three weeks to a specific purpose in this order: God, Family, and Church. The 21 days is observed with fasting in a variety of ways; Food Fast, Daniel Fast, Workman’s Fast, Media Fast, Sugar Fast, etc. Due to the complex nature of everyone’s health we leave it up to the individual to commit to the fast that best suits their abilities.

Here you can find Week 3 of 3 complete with scriptural links compliments of Bible Hub

Week 3: Church

Scope: Our focus for the next 7 days will be your church, Turning Point Apostolic Ministries. We often envision our set of priorities, God, Family, and Church, in terms of a 3-tiered structure, or a ladder of sorts. Our structure is different at TPAM, it’s set up more like concentric circles.

The Outer Ring = CHURCH

The Inner Ring = FAMILY

The Core = GOD

We sing the song by Israel Houghton, “Jesus at the Center of my life…” and that’s truly how we must live our lives, with Him at the core of everything we do, and everything we are. The closer you get to the center, the higher your priority. Everything emanates from the core, or the nucleus of our lives; GOD. Everything revolves around Jesus! When we keep Him at the center, everything else that flows from the center, will be properly aligned.

Each day this week will focus on a facet of our church. Take the time to prayerfully read through each passage, and unify with us on each of the various aspects of the “Outer Ring” that encompasses our lives.

Monday – Leadership: This topic is the first one of the week intentionally because as is often stated, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Without strong leadership, the focus of the remaining week’s prayers will be in vain. We must have strong, dedicated, focused, and highly committed leadership at TPAM. Leaders must always be willing to both lead, and to serve. Laser focus on the things that matter to our lives, and our walk with God, is essential.

Leadership includes our directors, teachers, team members, deacons, elders, and our pastors and their wives. Their roles cannot be overstated. They’re under constant attack in their own lives by the enemy, and must have a hedge prayed around them, and their own families as they seek to serve the church and their community, and yet maintain the delicate balance of family life.

Scriptures: Proverbs 11:14, Ezekiel 33:1-9, Jeremiah 3:15, Romans 10:14-15, Ephesians 5:11-16, 1 Timothy 2:1-8, 1 Timothy 5:17-18, Hebrews 13:15 – 18, 1 Peter 5:1-6

Prayer: Pray for wisdom, discernment, and for vision for the leadership at TPAM. Pray for a hedge of protection around our leaders’ families, relationships, health, homes, and finances. Pray for a balance of boldness and sensitivity towards the body of Christ. Pray for awareness of the times, and for courage to hold the line of holiness and separation from the world and its influence.

Tuesday – Members: The Bible explicitly teaches we are members of one body, the body of Christ. That comes with a diversity of gifts, callings, abilities, and talents. No one is more important than the other, but we are all at different levels of personal growth in God, nevertheless, He loves us all the same, and we all serve an important function in the body. There is room for everyone’s gift in God’s Church, but there is NO room for bitterness, unforgiveness, rivalry, jealousy, or gossip in the body of Christ. We need to encourage, uplift, support, and even “submit to” one another. And, most importantly, pray for each other.

Scriptures: Matthew 16:18, John 13:34-35, Romans 12, Ephesians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, 1 Peter 2:1-3, 1 John 4:7-21

Prayer: Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that God prosper and bless the church body. Seek God for ways to be a source of encouragement, growth, and support. Pray against the spirits that cause division. Pray for God to soften your heart toward anyone you have had a misunderstanding with. Pray for a spirit of humility, servitude, and love one toward another. Pray for the spirit of revival to stay steady in our midst, and for us to explode with growth in this new year!

Wednesday – Future Members:
As you look around our sanctuary each service there are a number of empty chairs. Those empty chairs don’t necessarily represent just current missing members of TPAM, they represent members that have yet to make our church their home for spiritual growth. Don’t be discouraged by the empty chairs, see that as a place for us to plant future members. God promised that if we planted and watered, He would give the increase. Let’s pray in hope. Let’s do our part to evangelize, invite, cultivate, and disciple future members. Remember, when we preach and pray to the empty pews of our church, we’re preaching in faith to the future members of God’s great church!

Scriptures: Matthew 28:18 – 20, Acts 2:36-47, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, 1 Timothy 3:15, 2 Timothy 3:10-17, Titus 2

Prayer: Pray for God to open doors for you to win souls. Pray for opportunities to share the love of Christ. Pray for your family members, friends, co-workers, and those you interact with each day for your light to shine and for Christ to be in all of your conversations. Pray for in-roads to share Christ with someone each day. Pray for your sensitivity toward someone that needs love, joy, and hope. Pray for boldness to invite someone to your church. Pray for wisdom and words to tell someone about the Lord.

Thursday – Former Members: A tender spot for many of us, our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, moms and dads, who have fallen prey either to worldly enticements and entertainment, or to false doctrine. It’s like a knife to the heart of a parent to watch their son or daughter backslide form the truth they’ve been taught from their childhood. It’s like a constant churning in your stomach at the thought of those who once contended for the faith, who have fallen back into a world that will use them, abuse them, and kick them to the curb. There’s nothing that hurts more than to see the pain and heartache they needless endure, because they refuse to turn their heart again to God. But, they are not without hope. There is still a chance for them to return. Where there’s life, there’s hope. Never quit praying. Never quit believing. Never quit looking for them to show up one Sunday. Like the father of the prodigal, look for them while they’re a great way off; they’re on their way. We have a Heavenly Father that is in hot pursuit of them, and will overtake them with His love and mercy!

Scriptures: 2 Samuel 21:8-10, Job 1:1-5, Jeremiah 3:22, Joel 2:27-32, Luke 15:11-32, Luke 18:1-8, Acts 2:38-39

Prayer: Never stop praying for your unbelieving family and friends. Pray for the spirit of tenacity like the widow woman and the unjust judge. Pray in faith and hope that your children will be restored to the faith. Pray for God’s mercy upon them. Pray for all of those who have gone out from us, that God will once again tenderize their hearts, and that they will be restored to the family of God…before it’s too late.

Friday – Home Missions/World Missions: Our mission is critical. Our church is in the middle a tumultuous time. Workers are needed now more than ever, both at home and abroad. We must strive to be reaching the lost at all cost. God didn’t call us to be rich and powerful. He called us to reach our generation; to reach our world! Success in the world’s eyes fades. Success in God’s Eyes is eternal. Only what’s done for Christ will last. We need pastors and preachers, evangelists, Sunday School teachers, and worship leaders. We need missionaries, church planters, and new pioneers of the faith. We must have another generation of Apostolics coming up beside us and behind us. We ought to be inspiring our children and grandchildren to aspire to the work of the ministry. Plant the seeds early. The harvest is ready. Are you raising the next generation that will be changing the world? Or, have you taught your family to settle for worldly pursuits of fame, fortune and popularity? Challenge yourself today to align your priorities toward things eternal that cannot be taken away from you.

Scriptures: Matthew 7:13, Matthew 22:1-14, Matthew 25:31-46, Luke 10:1-3, Luke 10:42, 1 Corinthians 3:9, Hebrews 13:1-3, 3 John 1:5-8

Prayer: Pray for wisdom to raise the next generation of Apostolics. Pray for future pastors, teachers, soul-winners in our faith. Pray for God to call future missionaries. And, pray for the works over all over America, and throughout the World. Pray for the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all organizations that are faithfully proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for the World Missions Department of the ALJC. Pray for all of our missionaries, especially those in Europe. Pray for new works to start up all over the globe. Pray this End Time Harvest surpasses anything we’ve ever seen.

Saturday – Rochester:
Our beloved Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland County, Macomb County, and beyond, need the Lord. But, before they’ll ever receive what we’re preaching, they need to know we love them, and most importantly, God loves them. We need to seek new and creative ways of engaging our communities. We need to be a light that is set on a hill that cannot be hidden. God planted us in Rochester, and Oakland County, for His Divine Purpose. He’s given us a burden to reach them, love them, and introduce them to Jesus Christ. Let’s not be complacent with past success. Let’s move forward in Jesus Name!

Scriptures: Proverbs 11:30, Matthew 5:13-16, 1 Corinthians 9:8-14, Jude 1:17-23, James 2:1-13, 1 Peter 4:7-19

Prayer: Pray the light of God’s love through us intensifies so strongly that our community cannot help but be drawn to it. Pray for God to reveal ways in which we can better serve, and demonstrate both our love and His love for our city. Pray God grant us a permanent church-home in Rochester/Rochester Hills that will be built as a refuge for our lost and hurting generation, a beacon of Christ’s Love to all; a place where Jesus is the center of it all!

100 Book Challenge Week 2 Progress – 5 of 100

I’d like to start this post with a caveat; my motives for this quest and even chronicling it on my blog are simply for archival purposes. A goal of this magnitude, at least for me, is daunting, and trying to capture which books I read and when is daunting as well. So I apologize if my posts, or even sharing this journey comes across like grandstanding. This is certainly not my goal.

I get asked a lot in my ministry about which books to read and to turn to for wisdom or advice, honestly, it just makes sense having this blog to point them to, not out of need for clicks, but more out of need for convenience and archival purposes.

So, I hope the spirit and sincerity behind these posts is felt and that in some small way, if you happen to stumble upon this blog and like it, that you’ll be blessed as well.

Week 2 of my 100 Book Wisdom Quest Challenge brings 2 interesting titles to the mix and both related to coaching.

1. “Uncommon – Finding Your Path to Significance” by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker – With the distinction of only 1 of 3 players to win a Super Bowl both as a player and a coach, Tony Dungy (with Nathan Whitaker) delivers a book jammed pack with wisdom from a player’s perspective and a coach based on his Christian values. You can tell he truly put his heart and soul into this book being at times very transparent about some of the challenges of maintaining his Christian faith through some serious hardships, not the least of which was the suicide by his 18-year-old son Jamie.

Tony’s integrity and sportsmanship shine through this book and reads like one huge book packed with advice for teenagers to adult men, from professionals to those just striving to be good, upstanding Christians. I have a great appreciation for men like Tony who can survive the world of professional sports with his integrity still intact. This book was extremely encouraging and insightful and would be an excellent read for fathers AND sons to read to emphasize how vital it is we live an “uncommon” life of honor and integrity in a world where it appears they’re in short supply.

2. The Coaching Habit – Say Less, Ask More Questions & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier – From the “Box of Crayons” Coaching and Consultant Firm’s founder comes this timely, concise, yet simple way to effectively coach in a variety of settings; from bosses and CEO’s to sports, to even your children, this book is both theoretical and practical. Michael’s clever style and wit brings culminates into the most valuable coaching question in the world; the AWE question…”And, what else?”

From this very memorable acrostic AWE, Michael expands his all-important question to include variations on the question to avoid sounding too mechanical and repetitious, and follows this up with a total of 7 important questions keying into such questions such as, “What’s the biggest challenge you see?” Or, driving it even closer to home, “What’s the biggest challenge FOR YOU here?”

Easily one of my favorite books so far, I will personally be drawing from this wisdom for many years to come. The major theme throughout is helping people discover solutions to their own situations while also guiding them to do so without dismissing your leadership.

Related Links:

In addition to these 3 titles, I am in the middle of doing daily devotions spread out over several books:

  1. “With Christ in the School of Prayer” by Andrew Murray
  2. “God’s Wisdom for Today – Scriptural Devotions”
  3. “Jesus Always – Embracing Joy in His Presence” by Sarah Young

Turning Point’s 21 Days of Consecration – Week 2 Focus: Family

At the beginning of each new year our church, Turning Point Apostolic of Rochester, MI embarks upon a 21-day journey of consecration. We dedicate each of the three weeks to a specific purpose in this order: God, Family, and Church. The 21 days is observed with fasting in a variety of ways; Food Fast, Daniel Fast, Workman’s Fast, Media Fast, Sugar Fast, etc. Due to the complex nature of everyone’s health we leave it up to the individual to commit to the fast that best suits their abilities.

Here you can find Week 2 of 3 complete with scriptural links compliments of Bible Hub

Week 2: Family

Scope: Our focus for the next 7 days will be on our relationship with FAMILY. From the onset of our church we set our priorities; GOD, FAMILY, CHURCH. We know when we have a strong relationship with God, and a strong family at home, we’ll have a strong church. It’s important however, as we pray and fast, that we ensure we don’t isolate these (3) elements from each other; each one is dependent upon the other.

Be sure and gain all the strength you can from each Sunday Service for the week. The message pastor preaches will be aligned to the particular focus of the fast, and it is expected that you spend time at the altar preparing yourself for that given week.

Monday – Our Homes

Scriptures: Joshua 24:14 – 15, Ephesians 2:19 – 22

Focus: Make the choice today. Be intentional. Make your home a sanctuary. Our homes must be dedicated to serving God. We are of the “household” of God; our homes should signify this in every way. This holds true for married couples, singles, and widows/widowers.

Singles – These principles and focuses are not unique to married couples. A single person’s home should be just as much of an example of godliness and holiness. In fact, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:32 – 35, a husband or a wife, if they’re not godly, can be a “distraction” from doing what God has called you to do.

Prayer: Seek the Lord for direction for your overall home. Ask God to reveal to you ways in which your home may better represent Him, His Kingdom, and His perfect will for you and your family. Pray for God’s protection and provision over your family, your home, and our health. 

Tuesday – Our Children

Scriptures: Genesis 18:16 – 19, Deut. 11:18 – 25, Psalm 127, Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:1 – 4

Focus: Godly Children – Godly parents raise their children to love the Lord and be faithful to Him in every facet of life. Your role as parents, aunts, uncles, mentors, leaders, cannot be overstated. Sure the church must do its part, but it’s incumbent upon all of us to raise our children in the fear of the Lord. Encourage your children to join you on this fast, and instruct them about these scriptures. Children, honor and obey your father, mother, teachers, ministers, and leaders.

Singles – Just because you are single does not diminish your part as a role model. Our children need to know how to live godly lives both as a married or a single. Step up to the challenge. You can demonstrate for them profound lessons on trusting in God for all things even when facing them as a single adult. Your role is just as vital as any other in our church. Pray for our children, pray for those you mentor and lead, and perhaps, before you know it, you’ll be praying for one of your own one day. 

Prayer: Seek God’s direction for your child’s future. Through prayer, filter each decision you make for your children, nephews, nieces, and students through the perfect Will of God. Children should pray for God’s favor, protection, guidance, and wisdom. And, children should pray for their parents, their teachers, leaders, ministers, and pastor.


Wednesday – A Godly Husband

Scriptures: Genesis 2:18 – 24, 1 Corinthians 7:3 – 5, Ephesians 5:21, 25 – 32, Colossians 3:19, 1 Timothy 5:8, 1 Peter 3:7

Focus: Godly Husbands – We’re commanded to leave and cleave as husbands, making your relationship with your wife one of your highest priorities. We’re commanded to love, and even “submit” ourselves to each other. Usurping the Word of God as your weapon, or endeavoring to demand respect vs. command respect is a recipe for a broken relationship. Seek to be the priest of our home, the godly example of your home, and your wife’s best and ablest protector. Never let anyone or anything come between your relationship with your wife, regardless of how noble the cause. Your relationship should mirror that of Christ and His Church.

Single Men – you’re not off the hook here. You may not be married, but you have an obligation to either be preparing yourself for your future spouse, or to remain faithful unto God, by remaining pure from worldly lust and ungodly passions. If it’s a spouse you seek, pray for God to lead you to the one He created for you, and until that happens, keep yourself for your future Mrs. Christian!

Prayer: Pray for godly wisdom and sensitivity as your wife’s husband. Pray for God to reveal ways in which you can grow closer to your wife. Pray both that you are the humble and godly husband she needs, and that she be the godly and tender wife that you need.

Thursday – A Godly Wife

Scriptures: Genesis 3:15, Proverbs 31, 1 Corinthians 7:3 – 5, Ephesians 5:22 – 24, Colossians 2:18, 1 Peter 3:1 – 6

Focus: Godly Wives – While Eve is often blamed for partaking the forbidden fruit, she didn’t do it alone. But in the middle of God’s Divine judgment, women are given a promise that a redeemer (Gen. 3:15) will come from them and her seed “would bruise the head” of Satan! That’s prophetic of the work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. Women, you are the continuation of God’s Divine Creation. You were literally created with a profound purpose; to be a help “meet” or suitable for her husband. What he lacks you supply. What you lack, he supplies. This is not a 50/50 proposal; rather it is a 100/100 proposal. While we all need love, men are told to love their wives, while wives are told to submit, or have respect for, your husband.

Single Women – you guessed it, you’re not off the hook either. You may not be married, but you have an obligation to either be preparing yourself for your future husband, or to remain faithful unto God, by remaining pure from worldly lust and ungodly passions. If it’s a spouse you seek, pray for God to lead you to the one He created for you, and until that happens, keep yourself for your future Mr. Christian!

Prayer: Pray for wisdom and sensitivity as a husband’s partner in your home and over your family. Seek to be the godly example to the younger women, and may your prayers be your family’s most vocal advocate before God’s Throne!

Friday – Our Finances

Scriptures: Leviticus 27:30, Proverbs 8:3 – 10, Proverbs 10:22, Proverbs 19:17, Micah 3:8 – 12, Luke 6:38, Hebrews 7:4 – 10

Focus: When giving to the Work of the Lord, be it your local church, or foreign missions, you’re not simply putting your money in a man’s hand, you’re returning a tenth of what God has blessed you with. Admit it, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not destroyed. We have what we do, and can achieve what we do, because of God daily loading us with benefits. Acknowledge Him as your sole/soul provider by returning your tithes and offerings unto Him, and see if He won’t open the windows of heaven’s blessings and pour them out upon you and your entire household.

Prayer: Pray for a renewed sense of God’s goodness in your life. Pray God increase you in direct proportion to your generous heart. Pray God create in you a conduit through which blessings will flow so that you in turn will be blessed and can bless others.

Saturday – Our Work

Scriptures: Psalm 37:5, Psalm 75:6, Psalm 90:17, Deuteronomy 28:1 – 14, Matthew 6:33, Philippians 2:14 – 15, Colossians 3:23, 2 Thess. 3:10 – 12, 1 Peter 5:6 – 7

Focus: We must never forget the source from whom all our blessings flow. Our work will never prosper without God’s Divine blessing upon it. Our careers are important, how we make a living is critical to our survival, but “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Endeavor to be a wise steward with your talents, your giftings, and abilities. Use them for the glory of God and He will promote you in due time. And, remember nothing you do for Christ is a waste. He always rewards the faithful.

Prayer: Seek God first in all things. Ask for wisdom (James 1:5 – 8) and favor in the right areas of your career, your education, and your occupation. Pray for favor in the eyes of those you work for and with. Pray you properly represent Christ in the workplace and your profession. Pray for a spirit of integrity, honor, and excellence. Do not pray for wealth as much as for wisdom to be a steward with the blessings God has already granted you.

Turning Point’s 21 Days of Consecration – Week 1 Focus: God

At the beginning of each new year our church, Turning Point Apostolic of Rochester, MI embarks upon a 21-day journey of consecration. We dedicate each of the three weeks to a specific purpose in this order: God, Family, and Church. The 21 days is observed with fasting in a variety of ways; Food Fast, Daniel Fast, Workman’s Fast, Media Fast, Sugar Fast, etc. Due to the complex nature of everyone’s health we leave it up to the individual to commit to the fast that best suits their abilities.

Here you can find Week 1 of 3 complete with scriptural links compliments of Bible Hub

Week 1: God

Scope: Our focus for 7 days will be on our relationship with God. We will focus on aspects that will draw us closer to Him, by utilizing God’s Word to help us incorporate repentance, renewed focus on set times of prayer, creating a family altar, purging ourselves of fleshly things that over time have crept in unawares. Setting the stage here is critical for the success of the remaining 2 weeks. To optimize the effects of this fast, please avoid the usage of worldly media, social media, and entertainment f or this entire week. Give it all to God!

Be sure and gain all the strength you can from each Sunday Service for the week. The message pastor preaches will be aligned to the particular focus of the fast, and it is expected that you spend time at the altar preparing yourself for that given week.

Monday
Scripture: Exodus 20:1 – 17, Deuteronomy 6:1 – 9
Focus: Keep God FIRST in your life. Confess and repent for things you’ve allowed to challenge His Divine Authority. Renew your Family Altar.
Prayer: Pray for courage to keep God first despite worldly pressures. Pray for strength to overcome fleshly appetites and desires.

Tuesday
Scripture: Luke 12:25 – 34, Psalm 20:7, Proverbs 3:5, Isaiah 12:2
Focus: Godly pursuits. Fight worldly distractions. Build solid trust and faith in God.
Prayer: Pray for strength to entrust every facet of your life unto God. Pray to build your life on things eternal.

Wednesday
Scripture: Mark 12:28 – 30, Matthew 15:8, 1 Peter 1:13, Jeremiah 24:7
Focus: Loving God with all your soul, mind, heart, strength
Prayer: Pray for opportunities to devote every aspect of your being to loving God.

Thursday
Scripture: Micah 6:6-8, 1 John 4:16, Amos 5:14 – 15, 1 Corinthians 14:33
Focus: Simplicity in your walk with God. Love the things God loves. Focus on the things God focuses on.
Prayer: Pray against confusion and complication of God’s plan in your life.

Friday
Scripture: Malachi 3:16, Deut. 8:11 – 20, Hosea 4:6, Jeremiah 2:32, Revelation 2:4
Focus: Rememberance of God in all things. Not leaving your “first love.”
Prayer: Pray for awareness of God in your life; to always be mindful of Him.

Saturday
Scripture: 1 Thess. 5:18, James 4:14, Romans 12:1 – 2, James 4:7
Focus: Sacrifice, Thanksgiving, Submission to God and His perfect Will
Prayer: Pray for a new revelation of godly sacrifice. Express Thankfulness; Seek a new found devotion to God’s perfect will in all your life!

100 Book Challenge Week 1 Progress – 3 of 100

As with virtually every endeavor that we start at the new year we dive in like “gang-busters” I have done just that with my 2017 100 Book Challenge. As of this post I have completed 3 books.

#1 – “Praying Hyde” by Captain E.G. Carre – This book left me desiring a deeper prayer life than ever before. John Hyde enveloped a lifestyle of prayer that left him in what seemed to be a constant conversation with the Lord. A missionary to India, he desired above all else souls, “lest he die.” At one point in his ministry he prayed to win a soul a day which God indeed honored. A year later John asked for double that. And yet another year later, 4 souls a day; and each time God honored his request. He prayed so strongly and so intensely, he developed a rare condition that literally caused his heart to relocate from the left side of his chest to just right of center. He embodied a life of a true intercessor. This book will highly motivate you to pray deeper and believe God for more answered prayer than ever before.

#2 – “Influencer – The New Science of Leading Change” by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfiled, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler – We too often underestimate the power of influence. Not only that, we miss opportunities to influence on many levels. Some assume influence is only about acting a certain way to elicit a certain response, but it’s so much more than that. Those seeking to influence change in their organizations, businesses, teams, churches, or even families will greatly benefit from this insightful and research-rich book. It is teeming with valuable and relevant data from a variety of well respected researchers. It can be used as a manual for both personal growth or even organizational and team growth. It’s more than theoretical, this is a practical guide for influencing the change you desire in your area of leadership. The authors have a successful training and consultant business called Vital Smarts. Their website and YouTube Channel offer a wealth of information for free.

#3 – “H3 Leadership – Be Humble, Stay Hungry, Always Hustle” by Brad Lomenick – If there’s one book you read this year on leadership this book is a must. Brad Lomenick is an encyclopedia of leadership knowledge and experience. Written from a very experiential perspective, and very transparent, Brad uses his highs and lows of leadership as the CEO of Catalyst. Driven by a near breakdown to take a sabbatical, Brad reveals truths from a variety of subject matter experts. Get your highlighter and notebook ready, this book will overwhelm you with leadership ideas that will “catalyze” you as a leader, and a balanced one at that. Personally, as a pastor, mentor, and leader of missions in Europe, I will be utilizing the tools shared in this book with my teams.

Brad even posted 15 New Books he recommends – You will likely see some of these titles on my 100 List.

H3 Leadership Book Website

In addition to these 3 titles, I am in the middle of doing daily devotions spread out over several books:

  1. “With Christ in the School of Prayer” by Andrew Murray
  2. “God’s Wisdom for Today – Scriptural Devotions”
  3. “Jesus Always – Embracing Joy in His Presence” by Sarah Young

100 Book Challenge – Recommendations are Rolling in

Want to send out a huge thanks to so many of my friends who have been submitting recommendations for the 100 Book Challenge. Here’s a sampling so far…

Recommended Books

  1. Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
  2. Blessed Life by Robert Morris
  3. Blessed Church by Robert Morris
  4. Tabernacle of Moses, Tabernacle of David, Tabernacle of Solomon by Kevin J. Conner
  5. Realign by Eugene Wilson
  6. Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee
  7. A Call to Die by David Nasser
  8. Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis
  9. Gods at War Kyle Idleman
  10. H3 Leadership by Brad Lomerick (Completed 1/4/17)
  11. Influencer by Grenny, Patterson, McMillan, Maxfield, and Switzler (Completed 1/5/17)
  12. Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley (Completed 1/26/17)
  13. If by Mark Batterson (Completed 1/20/17)
  14. Spirit Controlled Temperament by Tim LaHaye
  15. Let My People Grow by Tim Massengale
  16. Deep Calls Unto Deep by Watchman Nee
  17. These are the Garments by C.W. Slemming
  18. 7 Decisions by Andy Andrews
  19. Breaking Growth Barriers
  20. The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
  21. Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson
  22. Peaks and Valleys by Spencer Johnson
  23. Bill Drost the Pentecost by Bill Drost
  24. Before We Kill and Eat You by HB Garlock
  25. Insanity of God by Nik Ripken
  26. Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken
  27. Seventy – Everyone Needs a Team by Eugene T. Wilson
  28. Quiet by Susan Cain
  29. A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
  30. From Rome to Jerusalem by Douglas G. Hanscomb
  31. Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln by James C. Humes
  32. Essential Church? Thom Rainer
  33. The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel
  34. 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
  35. Uncommon by Tony Dungy & Nathan Whitaker (Completed 1/11/17)
  36. Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden
  37. Procrastinate on Purpose by Rory Vaden
  38. Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson
  39. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
  40. Ultimate Leadership Defining Moment by Nathaniel J. Wilson
  41. Found: God’s Will by John MacArthur
  42. Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala
  43. Future Edge by Joel Arthur Barker
  44. Your Pastor, Your Shepherd by James Lee Beall
  45. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller
  46. Prayer by Verbal Bean
  47. Works of the Holy Ghost by Verbal Bean
  48. Scary Close by Donald Miller
  49. Start with the Why by Simon Sinek
  50. God Dreams: 12 Vision Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church’s Future by Will Mancini and Warren Bird
  51. With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray
  52. The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier (Completed 1/10/17)
  53. Praying Hyde by Captain E.G. Carre (Completed 1/3/17)
  54. Scary Close by Donald Miller
  55. Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
  56. Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen and Alex Kendrick (Completed 1/18/17)
  57. Creating Community by Bill Willits & Andy Stanley (Completed 1/23/17)
  58. Bate of Satan by John Bevere

 

Recommended Authors

  1. Leonard Ravenhill
  2. John Bevere
  3. Gene Edwards
  4. Smith Wigglesworth
  5. John G. Lake
  6. Lester Sumrall
  7. Perry Stone

I know this list is sure to grow. The easy part is compiling the list…the hard part will be diving straight into the deep end!