Category Archives: Books

Three Books by @DallasAWillard that Everyone Should Read

For the past year or so I’ve been going back through a lot of the writings and teachings of Dallas Willard (some great messages are available on YouTube and on this website). His teachings have impacted my life more than any other writer outside of the Bible. This week I’ve been re listening to a biography of sorts called Eternal Living: Reflections on Dallas Willard’s Teaching on Faith and Formation. With that in mind, this is a re-post from a few years ago that highlights an incredible trilogy of books.

This trilogy of books by the late Dallas Willard focuses on the spiritual life. The first one was written to make real and clear the intimate quality of life with God as “a conversational relationship with God.” Since that is something that doesn’t automatically happen, the second book “explains how disciples or students of Jesus can effectively interact with the grace and spirit of God to access fully the provisions and character intended for us in the gift of eternal life.” The third book presents “discipleship to Jesus as the very heart of the gospel.” This is a must read trilogy (I hope you’ll invest the time to check them out — not easy reads but well worth the time and effort):

“Being close to God means communicating with him, and this communication is a two-way street—telling him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but can also be so difficult. How can you be sure God is speaking to you? The key is to focus not so much on individual actions and decisions as on building our personal relationship with our Creator. Hearing God is but one dimension of a richly interactive relationship, and obtaining guidance is but one facet of hearing God. This updated classic, originally published in 1984 as In Search of Guidance, provides rich spiritual insight into how we can hear God’s voice clearly and develop an intimate partnership with him in the work of his kingdom. The reader will learn that divine guidance goes beyond the anxious, sometimes neurotic, quest for “what God wants me to do,” to having a critical role in my becoming a responsible co-laborer with Him, the kind of person He expects me to be. God is inviting us to reorganize our lives in a way that keeps us walking so closely with him that it becomes easy to know his mind and hear his voice.”

“To perform appropriately in the moment when you’re “on the spot” you must be preparing when you’re “off the spot.” We understand this principle when we think of great athletes or musicians, but rarely see it’s application in our own efforts to be a “good Christian.” The Spirit of the Disciplines presents a way of living that enables ordinary men and women to join with God and realize their highest aspirations of well-being and -doing. The key to this self-transformation resides in the practice of the spiritual disciplines. Readers will learn why the disciplines work and how their practice affirms human life to the fullest.The Spirit of the Disciplines places solitude and silence, prayer, simple and sacrificial living, meditation upon God’s word and ways, and service to others at the heart of the gospel. “We can increasingly resemble Christ in character and in power by following him in his overall style of life … This was the method of his earliest disciples, and it is as valid today as it was then.” After all, if Jesus regularly engaged in these activities, how is it that we simple humans expect to get by without them? To enter into the spirit and practice of the disciplines is to move toward the authentic life of faith in Christ and active participation in the Kingdom of God around us.”

“Is Jesus part of your daily life—here and now? Or, by failing to take him seriously, have you relegated him to the realm of the “hereafter”? In The Divine Conspiracy, biblical teaching, popular culture, science, scholarship, and spiritual practice are weaved together to capture the central insights of Christ’s teachings in a fresh way and show the necessity of profound changes in how we view our lives and faith. Christians for the most part consider the primary function of Christianity to be admittance to heaven. But a faith that guarantees a satisfactory afterlife, yet has absolutely no impact on life in the here and now, is nothing more than “consumer Christianity” and “bumper-sticker faith.” In an era when so many consider Jesus a beloved but remote savior, readers of The Divine Conspiracy will explore a revolutionary way to experience God—by knowing Him as an essential part of the here and now, an integral part of every aspect of our existence. The Divine Conspiracy calls us into a more authentic faith and offers a practical plan by which we can become Christ-like. It challenges us to step aside from the politics and pieties of contemporary Christian practice and inspires us to reject the all too common lukewarm faith of our times by embracing the true meaning of Christian discipleship.”

Erich’s note: You can read more about my thoughts on this book in the post Three Books That Have Impacted My Life the Most.

Your turn… If you’ve read any of these 3 books take a moment to share your impressions.

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Three Simple Rules for A Marriage You Love via @MichaelHyatt

If you don’t already follow Michael Hyatt, you should. In a recent blog post he shared 3 simple rules that will help any marriage (what leaders need to know about their most important relationship):

  • Rule 1: Prioritize Your Marriage
  • Rule 2: Understand Your Differences and Value Them
  • Rule 3: Get Outside Support

You can read the whole post on Michael’s Blog.

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Three Resources Every Man Should Go Through via @33TheSeries

If you’re not familiar with the 33 The Series resources by Authentic Manhood you should check them out. They provide the best resources for men I’ve seen anywhere. I shared the first 3 volumes here. Take a look at volumes 4-6 (fyi: if you have a subscription with Right Now Media you can find them there too — make sure you buy a Training Guide).

  • Volume 4: A Man and His Work
    Work and career play a major role in the life of every man. This volume of 33 The Series begins by recognizing the obstacles and tensions that men can experience in their work-lives and then unfolds a process that helps men move beyond the conventional perspective of work that can lead to dead ends and frustration. It leads them to a bigger, biblical vision of work that goes back to God’s original intentions.
  • Volume 5: A Man and His Marriage
    There are many important relationships in a man’s life, and none deserve more care, focus, and investment than his relationship with his wife. A Man’s marriage is meant to be and can be an incredible source of energy, joy, and intimacy. Whether your marriage feels hopeless and numb or is thriving and exciting, this volume of 33 The Series is for you because it looks at what God says about the whole thing. It lays out an inspiring picture of God’s vision for marriage that will change everything if you’re “stuck” and will encourage you if you’re already thriving.
  • Volume 6: A Man and His Fatherhood
    Being a dad is one of the most important and influential roles a man could ever play in his life. But being a good dad doesn’t always come naturally. That’s what this volume of 33 The Series is all about … setting you up to win as a dad. All six sessions are designed to help dads think strategically about how they play out their important role. It equips you with insights that will help guide you through key decisions and the great challenges of being dad.

Your turn… What other resources for men have you found helpful?

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Three Quotes from @BobGoff Part 5

Here are 3 more quotes from Love Does by Bob Goff:

  1.  I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes.
  2. I think God sometimes uses the completely inexplicable events in our lives to point us toward Him. We get to decide each time whether we will lean in toward what is unfolding and say yes or back away.
  3. We were all meant to save many lives. God is always trying to save lives, and it seems like He usually uses the least likely people to do it.

Your turn… What resonates with you from these 3 quotes?

PS: Guys, come meet Bob at our MENS CONFERENCE (January 27-28, 2017).

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Three Quotes from @BobGoff Part 4

Here are 3 more quotes from Love Does by Bob Goff:

  1. I used to think I could shape the circumstances around me, but now I know Jesus uses circumstances to shape me.
  2. I’ve learned that God sometimes allows us to find ourselves in a place where we want something so bad that we can’t see past it. Sometimes we can’t even see God because of it. When we want something that bad, it’s easy to mistake what we truly need for the thing we really want. When this sort of thing happens, and it seems to happen to everyone, I’ve found it’s because what God has for us is obscured from view, just around another bend in the road.  
  3. In the Bible, the people following God had the same problem I did. They swapped the real thing for an image of the real thing. We target the wrong thing and our misdirected life’s goal ends up looking like a girl or a wide-brimmed hat or a golden calf. All along, what God really wants for us is something much different, something more tailored to us.

Your turn… What resonates with you from these 3 quotes?

PS: Guys, come meet Bob at our MENS CONFERENCE (January 27-28, 2017).

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Three Quotes from @BobGoff Part 3

Here are 3 more quotes from Love Does by Bob Goff:

  1. I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.
  2. God doesn’t want failure to shut us down. God didn’t make it a three-strikes-and-you’re-out sort of thing. It’s more about how God helps us dust ourselves off so that we can swing for the fences again. And all of this without keeping a meticulous record of our screw-ups.  
  3. Things that go wrong can shape us or scar us. I’ve had some things go well in my life and some things not go so well, just like you. More have gone well than have gone poorly, but I’m not trying to keep score because I have a different way I measure those things now.

Your turn… What resonates with you from these 3 quotes?

PS: Guys, come meet Bob at our MENS CONFERENCE (January 27-28, 2017).

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Three Quotes from @Bob Goff Part 2

Here are 3 more quotes from Love Does by Bob Goff:

  1. I used to want to fix people, but now I just want to be with them. 
  2. …faith isn’t about knowing all of the right stuff or obeying a list of rules. It’s something more, something more costly because it involves being present and making a sacrifice.  
  3. The world can make you think that love can be picked up at a garage sale or enveloped in a Hallmark card. But the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. 

Your turn… What resonates with you from these 3 quotes?

PS: Guys, come meet Bob at our MENS CONFERENCE (January 27-28, 2017).

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Three Quotes from @BobGoff Part 1

I’m looking forward to our upcoming Men’s ConferenceBob Goff will be back with us again for the 4th time along with Erwin McManus and Michael Jr. With that in mind the next several posts are going to highlight some quotes from his book Love Does that will encourage you to get to the “do part” of your faith:

  1. Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy and the kind of things that love does is something most people plan to do, but along the way they just kind of forget. 
  2. …we need to stop plotting the course and instead just land the plane on our plans to make a difference by getting to the “do” part of faith.
  3. In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.

Your turn… What resonates with you from these 3 quotes?

PS: Guys, come meet Bob at our MENS CONFERENCE (January 27-28, 2017).

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Three Funny Video Clips by @MichaelJrComedy

I’m looking forward to our upcoming MENS CONF at The Hills. This year our special guest will be comedian Michael Jr. Check out these 3 funny video clips:

  1. The Mall
  2. New Baby
  3. Growing Up Poor

PS: Guys, come meet Michael Jr. at our MENS CONFERENCE (January 27-28, 2017). He will do a special pre-conference session at 4pm and then be part of the main session on Friday night. Invite your friends!

mens_conf_2017_slide

 

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Three Resources to Help Boost Your Productivity

If you’re looking for some ways to be more productive, you’ll enjoy these books:

  • Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies
    In this book you will learn: common obstacles to productivity, the great purpose behind productivity, 3 essential tools for getting things done, the power of daily and weekly routines and much more, including bonus material on taming your email.
  • The 5AM Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast by Jeff Sanders
    This book is a resource guide for high-achievers. It is for anyone who has a wild passion for life and is in search of a structured system that will hone those passions, clarify their big goals, and produce real, amazing results.
  • Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
    This book will change your life. There just isn’t enough time for everything on our “To Do” list—and there never will be. Successful people don’t try to do everything. They learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure they get done.

Your turn… What resources do you use to increase your productivity?

 

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