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!

The Answer is Still Hope

Daily we’re bombarded in the media with disturbing headlines…

  • Gradually, the freedoms of our nation are being chiseled away in the name of security.
  • Our unemployment rate is at an all-time high, while the value of our dollar is at an all-time low.
  • Consumer confidence is at an all-time low, while prices for things are at an all-time high.
  • The divorce rate is at an all-time high.
  • The murders, shootings, and stabbings, litter the front page of every morning paper.
  • Abortion continues to be legal.
  • Political corruption is rampant in our government officials.
  • The Muslims have declared war on the western world
  • The US has declared war on terrorist countries
  • Iran wants to bomb Israel off the map
  • There’s genocide being committed in the Dar Fur region
  • Every day we hear about famines and droughts taking lives
  • Natural disasters, rather than bringing out the best in people, have brought out the worst, with looting, pillaging, price gouging, and hidden political agendas.
  • Every day another drug deal goes bad
  • Every day another child dies in a drive-by shooting
  • Every day another school or place of business gets shot-up
  • Every day another terrorist threat is discovered
  • The children and the elderly in our country continue to get the short end of the stick
  • Justice seems to favor the criminal
  • Our prisons are over-crowded
  • People are losing their homes
  • Banks are going out of business

Yet, everyday people get up and do their dead-level best to keep their chin up. The odds never seem to be in their favor. What on earth (or in Heaven) could ever breath hope back into people’s lives? What if anything could remedy the pain of feeling of being violated?

The Apostle Paul wrote, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” I Co. 15:19.

  • This world doesn’t need a powerful political figure…
  • This world doesn’t need a powerful political system…
  • This world doesn’t need more money, more programs, or more tax breaks…
  • This world doesn’t need more change, just for the sake of change, what this world needs is HOPE!

Peter said in his first epistle (3:15) – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

The answer is hope! Let’s point people to the real hope that spans beyond this world – it’s the hope that drew Christ to the Cross at Calvary…YOU!

As long as there are “YOU’s” in this world, there is hope…

  • People whose lives have been forever changed
  • People who have been given a reason to carry on
  • People who have drank from the freely from the well and now have living water flowing from their own souls
  • People who have everlasting joy and peace
  • People who have hope

While hope is one of the greatest of all commodities on the planet it’s futile if it’s not shared with others. People everywhere are waiting, knowingly or unknowingly, to hear a message of hope.

If you’re born again of the water and of the Spirit, you contain the hope that humanity needs in earthen vessels. Let’s not withhold this hope from mankind.

Jesus read a passage in Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Jesus was the fulfillment of this Old Testament prophecy, but today, the Spirit of the Lord is not just “upon” us…He’s in us; reaching out to a lost and hurting world through us! It’s up to us to complete the mission Jesus started, until the day of His return!

The Strength of the Mighty Redwoods

The northern California coast plays host to the world’s tallest and most majestic tree, the Redwood. Known for its enormous height and beauty, the secret to the strength of this giant can be traced to its extensive root system. Towering up to 350 feet, the Redwood’s root system is surprisingly shallow. Buried no deeper than 6 to 10 feet below these skyscrapers, you will find a convoluted network that travels for miles beyond each individual tree to intertwine into a sophisticated root system. Seldom if ever, will you find a Redwood by itself and if you do it won’t be standing for long. Each tree weighing in at nearly 500 tons, their intertwined roots provide the stamina and stability that enable these ancient landmarks to stand for millennia. With a lifespan of nearly 2000 years, the success and longevity of this kingly tree is a direct result of the tapestry of interwoven roots that connect with other Redwoods.

It’s interesting to point out that despite the shallow nature of these roots, in the sandy soil of California; these trees have survived for centuries not independently but collectively. Jesus often referred to nature to illustrate points in his teaching and the example of the Redwood is no different. Were we to pattern the network of Bible-believing Apostolics in the Michigan District of the A.L.J.C. after these hearty pines, we would soon realize that our strength doesn’t come with standing individually but as a unified body. The Apostle Paul stated that we are members of one body. Yes, we are miles away but even a shallow yet strong network of roots could provide us with the stability and stamina we hold in such high regard when we view the Redwoods of California.

With the advent of computers, email, pagers, and cell phones, we’re left with little excuse for not keeping in contact with one another. If we bind together, we too can stand as pillars of truth in this life and the life to come. Let us take to heart the lesson the Redwoods teach us; united we stand and divided we fall. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Yes, saint of God, let us build a strong network of love, prayer and support one for another and while distance may seem like an obstacle to you and me, God is everywhere present and nowhere absent. God bless you all.

Onward — RDM

July 5, 2008 – Smoky Mountain Knife Works then on to Hilton Head

We woke with the anticipation of officially heading towards the thrust of our vacation this year: Hilton Head Island. We woke to showers in hopes they would taper off by the time our started down the road. Now, no trip to Sevierville, TN is complete without stopping by the Mecca of all knife stores Smoky Mountain Knife Works 2320 Winfield Dunn Parkway Sevierville, TN 37876 Tel. 865-453-5871.

We initially made a trip there and spent roughly 2 hours, but we had to make one more pilgrimage there. Nathan wanted a knife with an “assist-open” feature. Typically, there is a spring in the mechanism that enables the user to “flick” the knife with your finger to open it. This is similar to a push-button feature found on switch blades, but is legal in most states. He settled on a Buck knife (about $70.00) and I too got a a couple of new knives. I’m fond of Gerber, SOG, Leatherman, Kershaw, Columbia River, and Buck knives.

  • Nate’s New “Buck Tempest” – See Pic HERE
  • My New “Buck X-Tract” – See Pic HERE
  • Plus several others

On our way out, we were stopped by a camera crew, it looked like a local Channel 10 News (WBIR) crew. They wanted to know if the high gas prices effected our travel plans. Of course, it did impact our trip, but only in that we had to budget extra money to offset the fuel prices. They also asked us how we liked Tennessee and what kind of plans we had. I’m not sure if they’ll air the footage or not, but it was sort of cool being interviewed.

From there we spent about 8 hours getting to Hilton Head Island to check into our villa. I drove all the way with a few stops for lunch, gas, and bathroom breaks. We ran into some weather on the way. We had some difficulty getting into the actual resort area since it wasn’t on the GPS, but all in all it was a good trip. We’re getting about 24 MPG, travelling at about 70 MPH.

Gas prices throughout where we were travelling were from $3.87 up to $4.05. Still beats Michigan’s $4.20.