Category Archives: Family

Three Books by Andy Stanley

If you’ve browsed around my blog much you already know I’m a big fan of Andy Stanley. He is a great leader and communicator. He has a way of taking complex concepts and making them simple, understandable, and practical (extremely relevant). You can find lots of great resources on his website. Today, I simply want to mention 3 books you should check out:

“Drawing on two decades of experience mentoring a rising generation, seasoned visionary Andy Stanley shows how to discover and play to your strengths, harness your fears, leverage uncertainty, enlist a leadership coach, and maintain moral authority. Capable men and women will eventually catch, pass, and replace the current generation of leaders. Embracing these essentials, you will not only excel in your personal leadership, but ensure a no-regrets experience for those who choose to follow you.”

“Let’s face it. With all the demands of the workplace and all the details of a family it’s only a matter of time before one bumps into the other. And many of us end up cheating our families when the commitments of both collide. In this practical book, Andy Stanley will help you. . .

  • establish priorities and boundaries to protect what you value most.
  • learn the difference between saying your family is your priority and actually making them your priority.
  • discover tested strategies for easing tensions at home and at work.

Watch as this powerful book transforms your life from time-crunching craziness to life-changing success.”

Deep & Wide provides church leaders with an in-depth look into North Point Community Church and its strategy for creating churches unchurched people absolutely LOVE to attend. Andy writes, “Our goal is to create weekend experiences so compelling and helpful that even the most skeptical individuals in our community would walk away with every intention of returning the following week . . . with a friend!” If your team is more concerned with who you are REACHING than who you are KEEPING, Deep & Wide will be more than a book you read; it will be a resource you come back to over and over!

Erich’s note: these are just 3 of the many resources by Andy that you’ll find helpful. Read them and then check out the others.

Your turn… What are some other resources by Andy Stanley that have impacted your life?

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Three Series that Focus on Relationships

Here are 3 series I’ve been listening to lately that focus on relationships:

  • Friending by Craig Groeschel and LifeChurch.tv

“Friends love you at your worst and can help you be your best, but many of us don’t realize the importance of whom we choose to surround ourselves with. The friends you have help determine the quality and direction of your life. Where are your friendships leading you? Come learn what the Bible says about Friending.”

Erich’s note: Make sure you check out the resources that go along with each message (great for personal study or small groups).

“While some of us loved our “growin’ up” years, others of us couldn’t wait to move out and start fresh. Either way, we want our Future Family to be a step up from our families of origin. Most of us want something better for our children. But what? When it comes to family, what does a preferred future look like? What exactly are we aiming for? Well, whether you’re starting a new family, leaving an old one, or wondering if it’s worth the effort at all, join us this Sunday as we go back to the drawing board.”

Erich’s note: We are going through it in our Young Couples 30s class at The Hills. Make sure you check out the discussion page for each lesson (great for small groups).

  • Sequels by Jonathan Storment at Highland Church of Christ

“There are over 1500 services for online dating today. We’ve invented internet dating, speed dating and even television dating. But more relationships are falling apart than ever before. Which begs the question, why is a culture that is so focused on falling in love, so bad at staying in love?” 

Erich’s note: I mentioned this series and Jonathan’s sermon podcast in recent posts. Make sure you get the free Sequels ebook as well.

Your turn… What are some other series you’ve heard recently that focus on relationships?

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Three Resources that Focus on Authentic Manhood

Here are 3 great resources any man would benefit from watching (from 33 The Series: A Journey to Authentic Manhood as Modeled by Jesus in His 33 Years on Earth):

This volume contains six sessions that explore the basic foundations of Authentic Manhood and God’s clear design for men.  It envisions and challenges men in a clear and compelling way.

This volume contains six sessions that provides men with a powerful perspective of their “story.”  It equips men to embrace how their past has affected their present and prepares them to deal with whatever the future may hold.

This volume introduces a framework and process that challenges and equips men to go below the surface, look deep into their hearts and explore areas that are too easy to ignore.

Erich’s note: 33 the Series is a multi-volume collection that is designed to be experienced by individuals or groups. Make sure you get the Training Guide that goes with each volume. I have used the first 2 volumes in this series with our Men’s Ministry at The Hills and we plan to do volume 3 later this year (we are in the middle of volume 2 right now, it’s very good). Our guys are loving what they are learning (and so are their wives). The material is amazing and the video production is outstanding. By the way, 3 more volumes are in the works and will be coming out during 2014: Volume 4: A Man and His Work; Volume 5: A Man and His Wife; and Volume 6: A Man and His Family. These messages are shared by a great team of contributors. John Bryson, Bryan Carter, and Tierce Green have been the presenters for the first 3 volumes.

Your turn… What are some other great resources designed to help men in their journey to authentic manhood?

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Three Resources Aimed at Helping Make Your Family Stronger

I recently shared some resources designed to help make your marriage better because I believe better marriages lead to better families. Today I want to mention 3 that will help make your family stronger:

“Family. We all have one. While some of us loved our ‘growing up’ years, others of us couldn’t wait to move out and start fresh. Either way, we want our Future Family to be a step up from our families of origin. Most of us want something better for our children. But what? When it comes to family, what does a preferred future look like? What exactly are we aiming for?”

Erich’s note: this is a great 6 week series that you can watch online. It also contains a discussion guide for each session that works great in small groups or classes. I’ll be taking our Young Couples 30s class through this series at The Hills Church beginning this Sunday, September 8 (10am in Room 206).

The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family is the story of Theresa and Jude Cousins. The couple is knee deep in the chaos of managing a family, a household and raising four children. Beyond the rigors of parenting, Theresa and Jude are overwhelmed by volunteer activities, business trips, family trips, soccer games, swim practice, birthday parties, play dates, Girl Scout meetings, client meetings, parent-teacher meetings, back-to-school nights, and in-law visits. As a result, they live in a constant state of hustle, with little free time to relax and communicate with one another. Theresa bears the brunt of the situation, and she has had enough.

After numerous declarations that things must change, Theresa finally has a revelation one day when Jude says, “If my clients ran their companies the way we run this family, they’d be out of business.” Theresa decides to take a different look at her husband’s consulting practice, with her eye on family life. Ultimately, she adapts his methodology for creating healthy organizations to the Cousins family, “the most important organization of all.” During the story, Theresa struggles to operationalize her theoretical breakthrough, trying to balance theory with application in the real, messy world of family life. She experiences ups and downs along the way, but eventually develops a model that works.”

Erich’s note: I briefly mentioned this book in a recent post that dealt with organizational health. I believe you’ll enjoy the practical advice he shares. Make sure you look at the book tools located at the bottom of the Frantic Family page.

  • Focus on the Family | Online Resources Dedicated to Helping Families Thrive (founded by James Dobson)

“Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles. We’re here to come alongside families with relevance and grace at each stage of their journey. We support families as they seek to teach their children about God and His beautiful design for the family, protect themselves from the harmful influences of culture and equip themselves to make a greater difference in the lives of those around them.”

Erich’s note: this one is mentioned last but definitely not the least. James Dobson and Focus on the Family have been providing resources to build stronger families for decades (you’ll want to book mark their page and go back on a regular basis for helpful resources). Take a look at this section on Parenting first.

Your turn… What are some other resources you know of that can help make families stronger?

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Three Books from Duck Dynasty

If you’ve never watched an episode of Duck Dynasty on A&E you really should check it out. Not only will they make you laugh but you’ll also learn more about faith and family along the way. Find out more about the show here. Here are 3 books from the stars of Duck Dynasty that I think you’ll enjoy:

“This book gives readers an up-close and personal, behind-the-scenes look at the family in the exploding A&E show—Duck Dynasty. This Louisiana bayou family operates Duck Commander, a booming family business that has made them millions. You’ll hear all about the Robertson clan from Willie and what it was like growing up in the Robertson household. You’ll sample some of Willie’s favorite family recipes from Phil, Kay, and even some of his own concoctions; and you’ll get to know the beautiful Robertson women. You’ll hear from Korie about the joys and hardships of raising a family, running a business, and wrangling the Robertson men while staying fashionable and beautiful inside and out. Discover more about the family dynamics between brothers Willie, Jase, Jep, and parents Phil and Kay. You’ll even meet a fourth brother who isn’t in the show.”

Erich’s note: the fourth brother, Alan aka @BeardlessBro, is now part of the series (he appeared in episode one of the 4th season which just happened to be the highest rated show to date and will make an appearance at our Men’s Conference at The Hills in January of 2014 — look for details later this fall). Alan’s book, The Duck Commander Devotional, will come out around October 15.

“This no-holds-barred autobiography chronicles the remarkable life of Phil Robertson, the original Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty star, from early childhood through the founding of a family business. Duck calls—though the source of his livelihood—are not what makes Phil Robertson the man he is today. When asked what matters in his life, he’s quick to say, “Faith, family, ducks—in that order.” It isn’t often that a person can live a dream, but Phil Robertson, aka The Duck Commander, has proven that it is possible with vision, hard work, helping hands, and an unshakable faith in the Almighty. Phil’s is the remarkable story of one man who followed the call he received from God and soon after invented a duck call that would begin an incredible journey to the life he had always dreamed of for himself and his family. In the love of his country, his family, and his maker, Phil has finally found the ingredients to the “good life” he always wanted.”

“You know him from the hit A&E show Duck Dynasty—now you can enjoy Uncle Si’s tall tales, crazy exploits, and quirky one-liners in one raucous collection! …Sure to please die-hard fans and curious newbies alike, Si’s one-liners are presented alongside fun, expressive photographs, as well as photos of his family. As you learn about his behind-the-scenes life, this smattering of zany stories will have you falling over with laughter and retelling them to all your friends.”

Erich’s note: I loved the first one (see the recipes at the end of each chapter — we enjoyed Willie’s Fried Bologna Sandwiches and plan to try the Willie Burgers soon), plan to read Phil’s soon (scanned through recently, looks like a great read), and recently pre-ordered Si’s book (it came in yesterday). If you don’t already watch the show you really should check it out. The Robertson family is from West Monroe, LA and are members and serve at White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ (faith and family really do come first).

Your turn… If you watch the show or have read any of these books take a moment to comment and share your thoughts. Thanks!

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