Tag Archives: family

Three Books for Dads, Men and Leaders

Here are 3 books I’ve recently heard great things about; I haven’t read them yet but I plan to do so soon:

“Premier agent Drew Pittman loves sports. Maybe even more than you do. But an experience early in his management career convinced him that a life of significance is about faith, family, and football–and always in that order. So how do you make significance your game plan? Competitive sports are filled with lessons about motivation, perseverance, hard work, and collaboration–and these lessons are powerfully transferable to everyday life. Yet few men apply them to the most important arena they’ll ever play in: their home. In First Team Dad, Drew Pittman shares the principles that can change the game in your family, straight from a sports insider who has field-tested each and every one with his home team. With heart-pounding stories of unforgettable plays and one-in-a-million players, First Team Dad is your ticket to create a legacy of significance in your family.”

“The Western world is in a crisis of discarded honor, dubious integrity, and faux manliness. It is time to recover what we have lost. Stephen Mansfield shows us the way. Working with timeless maxims and stirring examples of manhood from ages past, Mansfield issues a trumpet call of manliness fit for our times. ‘My goal in this book is simple,” he says. “I want to identify what a genuine man does—the virtues, the habits, the disciplines, the duties, the actions of true manhood—and then call men to do it.’”

“For five hard years Christian leader Kevin Myers struggled personally and professionally. But it was during that time that God pointed out where he was going wrong and showed him the biblical pattern for living. It proceeded to transform his life, leadership, ministry, and relationships. During that time John Maxwell also became his mentor. Together, using a baseball diamond as an analogy for following God’s plan for life, Myers and Maxwell provide a clear path forward while helping you keep your priorities in order and your eyes on the prize. What is that pattern?

Connection with God: Winning Dependence
Character: Winning Within
Community: Winning with Others
Competence: Winning Results

Challenging, heart-felt, and insightful, Myers’ story will connect with anyone who feels their life is falling short of God’s promises. The hard-won lessons Myers learned, along with insightful comments and on-point application from Maxwell, will make it possible for you to win in this performance-based culture without losing your soul. There are no shortcuts or steals in the spiritual journey of life. HOME RUN is a guidebook for living life and learning how to succeed God’s way.

Your turn… What are some other books dads, men, and leaders should check out?


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Three More Books from Duck Dynasty

Duck Dynasty kicks off a new season tonight (June 11). With that in mind I thought I would highlight 3 of their recent books (you can find their first 3 here):

With the Robertson clan’s flair for down-home wisdom and their wholesome family values, this 365-day devotional reveals the heart and faith of this much-loved family from A&E’s hit show Duck Dynasty. Loyal fans of the Duck Dynasty family will relish this collection of inspirational messages for each day of the year. From patriarch Phil and matriarch Kay to their four sons—Willie, Jase, Jep, and Alan—and their beautiful wives and children, the entire Robertson clan contributes to this heartening guide. You’ll also hear from Martin, Godwin, and Mountain Man as they share their faith and their personal lives to encourage and inspire readers.

Compiled by the newest addition to Duck Dynasty—the oldest son and former pastor, Al—each devotional contains a brief message, a passage from Scripture, and a prayer. Not only are the messages motivational, but they are also laced with the characters’ trademark wit and revelations of their personal faith journeys. An ideal companion for Duck Dynasty fans, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who want to grow in their faith, The Duck Commander Devotional is certain to inspire you in your own faith journey.

The closer we look at the Robertson family, the more we discover the substance and authenticity below the surface of these well-known TV characters. In this enlightening book, Jase Robertson gives us a deep look behind his funnyman exterior. In addition to stories of life in the Robertson family and epic tales of hunting of all kinds, readers will get an inside look at Jase’s personal faith in the Creator of the outdoors he so dearly loves:

“My first thoughts about God came in a duck blind as I gazed upon the diversity and beauty of creation. There is nothing in nature that can be reproduced or equaled by humans. None of our computers, microchips, or cell phones can duplicate what God has put forth. Viewing the details of this magnificent earth is better than any sermon from any preacher I have heard about the evidence of God.”

More than a behind-the-scenes look at this beloved Duck Dynasty character, readers will be inspired and encouraged to implement Jase’s “good call” reflections on faith, family, and fowl into their own lives.

An Inside Look at the Robertson Women. In the pages of this book, you’ll find both fun and inspirational stories . . .

Kay shares the honest story of her relationship with Phil—and his wild and philandering years—and the challenges of being a teenage mother. Even more amazing, she shares the forgiveness she offered Phil and how they have now celebrated forty-eight years of marriage.

Korie tells of her first encounter with Phil when she was in just the fifth grade. At that first meeting Phil came right out and told her what good husbands his boys would make and that she should keep an eye on them. She also shares the reaction her parents had when she told them that she and Willie were getting married when she was only eighteen.

Missy tells the story of their daughter, Mia, who was born with a cleft palate, and their adjustments to this condition and Mia’s joyful spirit that inspires them all.

Jessica recounts her first conversation with Jep and how unimpressed she was when Jep bragged that his dad was the Duck Commander Phil Robertson. She told him she’d heard of Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, and Duck, Duck, Goose— but not the Duck Commander.

Lisa reveals the serious marriage problems she and Al had—problems that almost ended their marriage for good—and how they worked through those issues to have a more stable and loving marriage than she ever imagined possible.

Your turn… Share some thoughts on the Duck Dynasty books you’ve read.




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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 Worth Reading this Summer

I love reading, especially during the summer time; hopefully you do as well. Here are 3 books I believe you would enjoy reading this summer (descriptions are from the author’s websites):

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

Note from Erich: I read this one a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I’m thinking about reading it again this summer…

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Note from Erich: I read this one last year. It’s a moving, powerful story of resilience. Trust me, you’ll want to read this one: “Unbroken has spent more than 125 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, fourteen at number one, and counting. Only five nonfiction books in history have been on the list longer.”

Calico Joe by John Grisham

A surprising and moving novel of fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball… In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records. Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his Dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever…

Note from Erich: I read this one last summer while we were vacationing at my favorite place in the world: Destin, FL (actually I love the beach and haven’t been to one I haven’t loved yet… we just usually go to Destin when we can). By the way, John Grisham is one of my favorite writers (I usually save his books for vacation time). I was excited to hear recently that a sequel to his first novel, A Time to Kill, will be coming out in October — it’s called Sycamore Row. Any other Grisham fans out there?

Your turn… What are three books you would recommend for some great summer reading?

PS: I’ll be at summer camp with our student ministry from Sunday to Friday night so I might not be able to respond to your comments until the weekend but I’m looking forward to hearing your recommendations. Peace.


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