Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 By John Maxwell

225_350_book-2479-coverI am a dedicated reader of John Maxwell’s book. I try to get my hands on as much of his material as I can. So, when the opportunity to review his latest book arose, Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, I was excited. Plus, it was an update of a book that has had an impact on my life. I could not wait.

I was surprised to see how much of this book was Maxwell simply using material from other books that he has written in the last decade or so. If you have read anything from Maxwell during that time period then most of what is in this book will be a retelling of that material. While I am not disappointed, I was a bit let down as I was hoping for some new material.

That said, this book is a compiling of works Maxwell has written in the last 10 years and for those who are not familiar with Maxwell’s leadership knowledge this book is a great place to begin. For those who are familiar, it is a bit of the same old, same old.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke

12-ways-your-phone-is-changing-you-ggynui1aSince the introduction of the smartphone the temptation of distraction is now in the hand of each person. No longer does one need to go to a theater, amusement park, sports arena, or even outside. All types of entertainments await with the simple tap of an app. With all these lures seemingly ever present a question is asked of Christianity: does the smartphone make us better Christians?

Tony Reinke has written a timely, relevant book on the smartphone and its affect on the attention span of its users. As a smartphone user to other smartphone users, Reinke seeks to show that the device in the hands is simply a tool. Whether this tool is used for good or harm is entirely up to the user.

I appreciated the viewpoints in this book in that Reinke is not saying the smartphone is evil but rather an instrument that can be used of God. Reinke uses both the positives and negatives to show that a proper understanding of the smartphone is needed to better one’s spiritual development. Once this is one, a person can develop a system on how to use the mobile device for the glory of God.

*I received a complimentary of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Eats with Sinners by Arron Chambers

978-1-63146-832-2There has been a lot produced on living like Jesus. From bracelets, to wristbands, t-shirts, and DVD seminars, many things have been made so that Christians can be reminded and challenged to live like Jesus. This is not bad but it is possible to miss a key element of what Jesus did; Jesus ate with sinners.

In his book, Eats with Sinners, Arron Chambers takes an approach that is becoming lost in American Christianity. That approach is to eat, fellowship, with sinners. Invite them to eat with you and spend time with you. Go to where they are and interact with them. There is something powerful about eating together that building relationships. It is probably why Jesus did it and we should as well.

I have to admit that this was something that when I first read it seemed odd. However, after reading the reasonings of Chambers it made sense to imitate Jesus. Too often Christians try to get a non-Christian into a more formal setting like a church service. This may lead to uncomfortably. However, being invited into a home is less formal and can be more relaxed. This could lead to great conversation and relationship building and Chambers makes a great argument for this style of outreach.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn

TreasureGiving is not something that comes easily to a lot of people. Marketing in the United States seems to scream at us to accumulate as much as possible. Forget the welfare of another: you are on this planet for yourself. Jesus would say otherwise.

In his book, The Treasure Principle, Randy Alcorn gives ample evidence that giving is something that God not only wants but He also commands. It is in giving that we begin to see our selfish wants peel away and diminish. By letting go of our possessions we find joy in helping others and understand more of God’s character.

This book may be little in size but it is large in its message. I wish that more people would read this book and begin to give. The world needs it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

 

The Only Negotiating Guide You’ll Ever Need, Revised and Updated by Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty

NegoiateNegotiations can brings images of boardrooms where companies executives and lawyers hash out deals and agreements while trying to get the best they can for their companies. Or, it may involve bribing your child to eat his vegetables with the enticement of ice cream.

However, Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty, submit that we negotiate more than we realize and often where both sides are happy with the results. A husband may offer to take out the trash and the wife in turns will unload the dishwasher. A son may offer to rake the leaves if he can have his best friend over for a video game night. Examples like these are negotiations and many may not even realize it.

In their book, The Only Negotiating Guide You’ll Ever Need, Stark and Flaherty guide the reader through the negotiating process. From language to use, body postures to have or avoid, and even tips like writing down key data points, the authors intent is setup the reader for success in whatever negotiating environment in which they may find themselves.

Armed with this basic information, the authors then give 101 ways to use this information if varying circumstances. They allow the reader to see a potential way to put into use what they have just read.

I found this book quite helpful and would suggest that everyone read it paying special attention to information on listening and hearing. How much trouble could be avoided if we simply listened and asked the appropriate questions to clarify when talking to someone?

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Play the Man by Mark Batterson

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What makes a man? Many people have tried to give an understanding of what it is to be a man. Some have pointed to ancient cultures of warriors, politicians, and leaders. Others point to modern man and the ability to climb the corporate ladder and be successful in business. Still others point to athletics or the military to prove their masculinity.

In his book, Play The Man, Mark Batterson gives seven virtues that make a man. He does this by drawing references from scripture and pointing to how God designed men to be and how this fulfills the purpose for which they were created.

The area that really stuck out to me was that a man should not shirk his responsibilities to others. He is responsible to God, to his wife, and to his family. He is not to abdicate in anyway these responsibilities to the government, to others, or to no one at all.

 

This challenge is really beneficial to me because I am a father of three and want to be active in the development of my children. Sometimes it is easy to just watch sports and remove myself from their world. But having these challenges in my life to remind me that they are much more important than a sports game is something that I need consistently.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and exchange for my honest review.