It’s been a little while since I read a Max Lucado book, but I think Outlive Your Life might go down as one of his greatest works, if not his best. From the very first chapter to the end of the book he consistently looks at stories of the early church in the Book of Acts and how that group of Christians lived lives that were bigger than themselves. They changed the world around them.
I tend to read mostly non-fiction, leadership, or personal development books in my personal reading. So when Brea (my wife) and about half a dozen other people suggested that I read Same Kind of Different as Me, I hesitated. While the book is non-fiction, it’s more of a biography than anything else. I wasn’t sure if I’d really enjoy the book that much.
Let me tell you this: If you have not yet read this book, do yourself a favor and add it to you reading list. I got through it in about three sessions (albeit LONG ones). It captured my attention, my mind, and my emotions. The authors draw you into their lives and tug at your heart. It’s a story of transformation, compassion, and forgiveness. The main characters’ lives are extremely different, but they are drawn together through what can best be considered God’s will.
The main thing I took away from this book is that I need to step out of my comfortable bubble and start loving people who are different than me with the tangible love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, when I do this, I need to do it not because I’m better than anyone else (I’m not) or because others need it (they do), but because people matter. All people. People who may seem different than me, but really are the same.
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?
Over the past month or so I’ve been wanting to get back into blogging and trying to figure out what my personal blog should be focused on. What’s my niche? Why do people read my blog? What should I write about? It’s the type of questions that I believe every blogger asks at some point in the life of their blog.
Through the course of asking myself these questions, having a couple of conversations with a friend about a new joint-venture in blogging, and looking for some ideas to generate a little extra money on the side I decided to buy a copy of the book ProBlogger by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett. I’m glad I did.
The sub-title of the book is “Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income,” so I was expecting the it to be mostly a “I got rich blogging and here are the ways that you can get rich quickly, too” type of book, but getting rich quick was not really the main focus of the book. There are a few chapters on money-making blogging strategies, but the majority of the book is devoted to helping you figure out how to run an effective blog. In fact, throughout the book the authors stress that most successful/profitable blogs are the result of years of work.
The main takeaway that I got from the book was that the best blogs are ones that focus on a niche market. The more specific the niche the better. Beyond that, the book was filled with practical ideas on how to write content that people want to read and gave numerous specific examples on how to generate ideas for new blog posts.
Overall, I’m really glad I spent the time to read the book. I don’t know whether or not I’ll make even a dime from blogging, but it has given me some motivation to get back in the game, as you can probably tell from this new post.
If you’re new to blogging, a veteran blogger looking for ideas to get unstuck, or trying to figure out how you might make a little money writing in your spare time I highly recommend getting a copy of the book for yourself.
Check out the blog that inspired the book at ProBlogger.net.
rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the best books I’ve read on church leadership this decade. It has a great combination of theory and practice. Every church leader should read this book and consider whether or not his or her church has truly discovered its vision. I’m going to read this book again, at least one more time.
The basic concept of the book is that too many churches simply copy what either Rick Warren, Andy Stanley, or Bill Hybels have as their vision of what their church is about and try to apply their vision to their own church. The problem is that each person has a unique blend of giftedness and passions that will drive how they lead the church. What are stated as aspired values and vision may not be the church’s actual vision and values.
Do yourself a favor and read this book. It will shape your understanding of how to establish clear vision for church leadership.