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    Books I’ve Read So Far This Year (Part 2)

    Yesterday, I posted a list of the first 10 books I’ve read in 2018 (click here to see part one of the list).  Here’s the next group of books on the list:

    From Pride to Humility: A Biblical Perspective by Stuart Scott (not the former ESPN analyst) – This was another resource I picked up to prepare for teaching the Stretched Men Group.  This is actually an excerpt from one of Stuart’s larger works.  The concise nature of this book makes it a quick, easy, and useful read.  [Note:  I read the paperback version of this book.]

    The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren – I read this book several years ago, but I revisited it again as Isaac and I used it as our third book in his “Year of Discipleship”.  Rick Warren provides a very important text here in reminding us of our God-given purpose in life.  If you’re unsure of your purpose, you should read this book.  [Note:  I read the Audible version of this book.]

    The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni – I picked up a copy of this book for 50 cents (or a dollar) at our local library.  The title caught my eye as I have been growing in my leadership role and responsibility at work especially over the past couple of years.  Patrick Lencioni weaves an excellent story to help bring out valuable leadership advice – especially for those running their companies.  [Note:  I read the hardcover version of this book.]

    Finding Favor: God’s Blessings Beyond Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Brian Jones – I had the privilege of being part of the Finding Favor Launch Team.  As such, I had the opportunity of reading a pre-release version of the book.  This book changed the way I prayed about a specific situation in my life.  Brian Jones will challenge you too to think differently about God’s favor in your life.  [Note:  I read the pre-release digital version of this book.]

    Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff – This was my second time through this book, and Love Does was the fourth book in Isaac’s “Year of Discipleship”.  What a FANTASTIC book!  Bob Goff finds a way to challenge you, make you smile, and make you cry as he tells personal stories of sharing God’s love in whimsical fashion.  This is a must-read!  [Note:  I read the Audible version of this book.]

    The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod – I had heard about this book before, and I decided to give it a read.  This book confirmed many of the things I have already put into my morning routine.  The book also provided an inspiring look into the life of Hal Elrod.  [Note:  I read the Audible version of this book.]

    Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff – Having read Love Does, I knew I had to pick up a copy of Bob’s newest book.  This did not disappoint.  This is another must-read.  Bob’s stories will leave you in stitches, in tears, and inspired to love those around you.  [Note:  I read the paperback version of this book.]

    Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant – My friend, Ellory Wells, recommended this book to me a couple years ago, and I finally got around to reading it this year.  Adam Grant uses stories from the past to show how original people have had an impact on this world.  [Note:  I read the Audible version of this book.]

    How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie  – This classic was the fifth book in Isaac’s “Year of Discipleship”.  I had been introduced to Carnegie’s principles before, but this was the first time through this book.  I appreciated the common-sense reminders throughout the book of how we should treat other people.  [Note:  I read the Audible version of this book.]

    Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, And How to Reverse It by Robert D. Lupton – This book came at the recommendation of my friend, Shawn Smith.  Shawn and I share a passion for sharing God’s love in Guatemala.  When Shawn heard Leanne and I were wrestling through how to help in Guatemala, he suggested this book.  This book really challenged us and gave us new things to think about as we prepare to serve there again.  [Note:  I read the Audible version of this book.]

    Due to the overall length of this material, I will be breaking it up into a few posts.  Stay tuned for the continuation of my 2018 reading list.

    What book(s) have you read this year?  Share in the comments below.

    [Note:  There are affiliate links in this post.  If you make a purchase as a result of clicking on any of these links, I may receive a small affiliate commission.  This should not impact the pricing you see on any of these products.  Thanks in advance if you happen to purchase one of these books by clicking on one of the links above.]

    Books I’ve Read So Far This Year (Part 1)

    At the beginning of this year (2018), I set a goal to read at least 52 books – one book per week on average.  I’m happy to say I’m on track to achieve my goal.

    Reading is an important discipline.  It provides new and different perspectives for learning and STRETCHING.  It provides a fun escape to other times and other places.  And reading helps keep your brain flexible.

    Here’s a list of the books I’ve read so far this year:

    Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller – This book provides excellent tips on positioning yourself as a teacher or a guide for your customer.  It also teaches you to make your customer the hero of the story.  I really appreciated Donald Miller’s teaching in this valuable resource. [Note:  I read the hardcover version of this book.]

    Play the Man by Mark Batterson – I used this book as part of my Stretched Men Group (mastermind group for men).  This book lays out the framework for intentionally discipling your sons.  Play the Man inspired me to put in motion a “Year of Discipleship” with my own son that has included reading seven books and taking a life-changing trip to Washington State (more on that in a future post).  [Note:  I read the hardcover version of this book.]

    The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks – I read this book at the recommendation of Cliff Ravenscraft.  The book talks about dealing with your limiting beliefs in order to be the person you were meant to be.  Many of us get stuck in the routines of life.  We are often too scared to break out of these comfort areas to go after something bigger and better.  This book will make you think again about how you are living your life.  [Note:  I read the paperback version of this book.]

    The Book of Mistakes by Skip Prichard – I had the privilege of reading this book as part of the launch team for the book.  The book teaches important leadership advice through the masterful storytelling of Skip Prichard.  Once I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down.  [Note:  I read pre-release digital  version of this book.]

    The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make in College by Anthony ONeal and Rachel Cruze – This is the first book Isaac and I read together as part of his “Year of Discipleship”.  This book simply outlines important reminders for students as they make the transition from high school to college.  As this book was released as part of the Dave Ramsey organization, there are a lot of solid financial tips in this practical guidebook.  [Note:  I read the hardcover version of this book.]

    Let’s Stop Meeting Like This by Dick and Emily Axelrod – I received a free copy of this book to read in exchange for a review.  I liked this book.  It provides practical tips for running more effective meetings.  In my position, I sit in a lot of meetings, and I also facilitate a lot of meetings.  This book was a big help!  [Note:  I read the paperback version of this book.]

    The #1 Secret of Genuinely Happy People by Brian Jones – I received a free copy of this eBook when I signed up to receive Brian’s newsletter.  This book was simple, practical, helpful, and inspiring.  If you are looking for a quick and helpful read, check it out.  [Note:  I read the digital eBook version of this book.]

    Wealth Is It Worth It? by S. Truett Cathy (founder of Chick-Fil-A) – Common sense advice and stories from a true business person of character, Truett Cathy provides fantastic leadership and financial wisdom in this handbook.  [Note:  I read the hardcover version of this book.]

    No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green by Melody Green – This is the second book Isaac and I read together as part of our “Year of Discipleship”.  This biography tells the riveting story of Keith Green from his youth as a seeking Christian Scientist to his life of sold-out commitment to Jesus Christ.  [Note:  I read the paperback version of this book.]

    Motives of the Heart: A Biblical Study on Pride and Humility by Reb Bradley – I picked up this short book to help me prepare for some teaching I was doing for my Stretched Men Group.  This helpful resource dives into the Bible to find helpful teaching and verses on pride and humility.  [Note:  I read the paperback version of this book.]

    Due to the overall length of this material, I will be breaking it up into a few posts.  Stay tuned for the continuation of my 2018 reading list.

    What book(s) have you read this year?  Share in the comments below.

    [Note:  There are affiliate links in this post.  If you make a purchase as a result of clicking on any of these links, I may receive a small affiliate commission.  This should not impact the pricing you see on any of these products.  Thanks in advance if you happen to purchase one of these books by clicking on one of the links above.]

    Help for Your New Year

    New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.

    Charles Lamb

    It’s New Year’s Day, and it’s a time when many are considering how they want to start the new year.  What targets will we set for the new year?  What resolutions will we make?  Will they last, or will they fade away as the days and weeks unveil themselves in 2018?

    If you’re like me, your Facebook feed is filled with advertisements promoting planners, guides, books, and webinars that are “guaranteed to make you a new person in the new year.”  I’m not opposed to all of these things as I’m a very goal oriented person; however, it can be a real challenge to pick the “right” just for you.

    As I’ve been thinking about my goals for 2018, I’ve been thinking about dreams and goals in the following areas:

    • Faith – I want to be intentional in my relationship with God.  I want to make my faith a priority in 2018, and I want it to be the underlying current for the rest of my hopes and dreams.
    • Family – I want my marriage and my parenting to be all they can be, and I want them to have an impact that far exceeds the walls of my house.
    • Fitness – I need to be in good shape (and I don’t mean pear-shaped – although I like pears) if I’m going to be all I can be.  Dropping a few pounds and keeping a consistent exercise routine are essential for me to succeed in this area this year.
    • Function – This relates to my job.  I want to grow in my leadership and skill, and I want to do whatever I can to help my team members, my customers, and the company succeed in 2018.  I also want to make sure I’m thinking long-term in my approach to my function (my work).
    • Founder – You probably are getting the picture.  My goal areas for 2018 all start with the letter ‘F’.  When I say founder, I mean my entrepreneurial pursuits.  I have goals related to my writing, my speaking, my mastermind group for men, and other things I’m working on outside of my job.
    • Financial – In order to reach my dreams of being completely debt free including my mortgage and of being prepared for retirement, it’s important to set financial goals for this year.  Leanne and I are preparing to have both of our kids in college later this year which means this goal area requires extra attention to make sure we thrive through these years.
    • Fun – Yes, I said fun.  We can’t forget fun when we set our goals.  This means vacations, weekend trips, family outings, and even individual retreats.

    As you consider your goals for 2018, I don’t want you to feel lost.  I’d also hate to see you let apathy set in as you enter the new year.  It’s important to have a target at which we can aim.

    “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”  Zig Ziglar

    I’d love to help you sort out your goals for 2018.  In fact, I have a framework that will help you STRETCH in the new year.  Because I believe you aren’t really living if you aren’t stretching and growing.

    To help you get off on the right foot in 2018, I’ve created a 7 Week Stretch Challenge.  When you sign up for the Challenge, you’ll get a weekly email from me that will teach you some important concepts to help you STRETCH into the new year.  Each week, you’ll have one simple concept to work on that will help lay the groundwork for a better you in 2018.

    You have a choice to make.

    You can proceed as usual.  When you make this choice, you should expect a usual outcome.

    Or you can take the challenge and STRETCH yourself.  You can be a new you at the end of the year.

    What’s your choice?

    To sign up for the 7 Week Stretch Challenge, click here (or sign up below).

    What goals are you setting for 2018?  Share your goals in the comments below.