Category Archives: books

Books I Have Read In 2015!

It has long been a goal of mine to read 1 book per month for an entire year. Every year I have really great intentions, but never actually get to a place where I intentionally set aside the time to read. I’m learning that I need time for personal development. And so do you. If you aren’t making time, start making the time.

At this point in 2015, 4 books are in my rear view mirror with many more ahead of me. I wanted to share the books that I have read so far this year. This is not intended to be a review of each book, although that might be a great future post, it is simply a list of where I’m at so far and what is immediately in front of me.

Done Reading |

 

 

[No More Dragons – Jim Burgen]

Real life ministry book. Don’t read if dirt under your finger nails makes you queazy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Give God Some Credit – Brett Andrews]

The story of New Life Christian Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[United Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity – Trillia Newbell]

For those with a passion for racial reconciliation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Finding Your Way Back To God – Dave & Jon Ferguson]

For whatever reason you may have become disconnected from God, this book helps you find your way back.

 http://www.yourwayback.org/

 

 

 

 

Up Next |

 

 

 

[Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – Frederick Douglass]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Ready. Set. Grow. – Scott Wilson]

 

 

 

 

 

 

[The Cost of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoeffer]

 

 

 

 

 

 

[The Master Plan of Evangelism – Robert Coleman]

 

 

 

 

So that’s what I have read so far and what’s up next. What are you reading? What are your other suggestions for books to read this year?

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Books Available!

I’m parting with several books that I have had in my library.  Rather than sell them online, I thought I would give you the opportunity to ask for one first.  So, if you are interested in any of the following books, let me know.  First come, first serve.  You can message me with your requests at stan.rodda34@gmail.com.  All I ask is that you pay for shipping if you live far away from me.  =)

  1. I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt  –  Antonucci
  2. The Leadership Lessons of Jesus  –  Briner & Pritchard
  3. Blue Like Jazz  –  Donald Miller
  4. Too Small To Ignore  –  Stafford
  5. Jesus Wants To Save The Christians  –  Bell (eBay)
  6. Guerrilla Lovers  –  Antonucci
  7. When Leadership and Discipleship Collide  –  Hybels
  8. The Prodigal Hugging Church  –  Wright
  9. Taking A Stand  –  Knowles
  10. The Purpose Drive Life  –  Warren
  11. If You Want To Walk On Water, You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat  –  Ortberg (eBay)
  12. Planting Growing Church for the 21st Century  –  Malphurs
  13. Faith In The Game  –  Osborne (eBay)
  14. Emerging Churches  –  Gibbs & Bolger (eBay)
  15. In A Pit With A  Lion On A Snowy Day  –  Batterson
  16. Creating Web Sites  –  Crowder & Bailey
  17. Building A Web Site For Dummies  –  Crowder

There you have it.  Let me know.

In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day!

In A Pit

“What if the life you really want, and the future God wants for you, is hiding right now in your biggest problem, your worst failure, your greatest fear?”

This is the tagline of the book by Mark Batterson, “In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day.”  The book is based on a biblical character named, Benaiah.  He once chased a lion into a pit while it was snowing, and killed him (2 Samuel 23:20, 21).  With this in the background, Mark writes nine chapters on this simple verse in the Bible.  Simply put, this book is fantastic if you are struggling with confidence or fear about a decision in your life.  The stories that Mark shares are a true encouragement to get out there and chase after your dreams.  The book is filled with great one liners and inspiring stories, all designed to help you be courages and take some initiative and chase your dreams.  Or a lion.

The downside to the book is that it seemed a little on the repetitive side.  After all, it’s hard to write on nearly any topic with only a one-line story as inspiration.  At times the book felt like it would have made a great article or series of blogs, but not necessarily a book.  So you need to be ready for some repetitive language and some concepts that will repeat themselves.

Overall, this is a great book for those needing that extra nudge of encouragement to chase something in their life.  I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Risk > Failure!

If I told you that risk was greater than failure (r>f), would you believe me?

Some of you would.  More of you wouldn’t.  For many of us out there, risk is equally associated with the possibility of failure.  And most of us out there want no part of failure.  We are taught and trained to believe that we must succeed and that failure is not an option.

But what if I told you that failure was a great option?  What if you began to believe that your failures were simply steps forward and that they were necessary for you to be successful?

Seth Godin says it this way in his new book, “Poke The Box,”

Seth Godin

Risk, to some, is a bad thing, because risk brings with it the possibility of failure.  It might be only a temporary failure, but that doesn’t matter so much if the very thought of it shuts you down.  So, for some, risk comes to equal failure (take enough risks and sooner or later, you will fail).  Risk is avoided because we’ve been trained to avoid failure.  I define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance…and if you have anxiety about initiating a project, then of course you will associate risk with failure.

Honestly, sometimes I get stuck.  I am afraid to fail.  There are probably many reasons for this.  Some linking back to how I was raised.  My beliefs growing up were that when I made mistakes (sinned), that somehow God was then against me and all of the work was on me to make things right with God.  I grew afraid to mess up, paralyzed, afraid to move for fear of getting out of line with my God or my family.  As a result, I fell in line (for the most part) like a good soldier.

My story has lead me to where I am today.  I have been in full-time ministry for 9 years.  The first 8 years of ministry, I took a lot of risks.  I made poor decisions and many of them did not pay off.  Those failures have fed into my feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.  My thoughts go something like this, “How could God use such a failure?  How can God use someone who has made so many mistakes?  Surely God will just find a more talented, qualified person to do amazing things.”

Sometimes, my thoughts win.  I fail to risk everything for God.

Other times, my heart for risk wins.  I succeed and risk all I have for God.

Does that make me bi-winning?

I want to risk everything for God.  I hate the status quo.  I despise common.  I abhor same old.

What if Jesus was afraid of movement and collisions in life?  What if Rosa Parks allowed a fear of failure to keep her from sitting right where she belonged?  What if failure prevented Martin Luther King Jr. from having a dream?  What if fear paralyzed our Presidents in times of crisis when we need them to be our fearless leaders the most?

Mr. Godin has nailed me on this point.  I’m tired of being afraid of failure.  It’s not a good feeling.  I want to do more.  I want to risk more.  Why?  Because God created me for risk.

When I “push the envelope”…God sends another box of envelopes.

When I stand on the edge of the cliff…God sees a bigger cliff around the corner.

When I turn over a new leaf…God sends fall.

When I shift a paradigm…God says that’s just the beginning.

Even when I think I have risked as much and gone as far as I can go, God can do more and wants me to accomplish more.  He wants the same for you.

Ephesians 3:20 – Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Are you risking everything to make your marriage a success?

Are you risking everything to bring your children up in the right way?

Are you risking everything to make sure you are a good steward of your finances?

Are you risking everything to tell your friend, neighbors, co-workers and family about Jesus?

Are you risking everything to make sure God has your entire heart?

Are you risking everything to love the unlovable?

Are you risking everything to make sure that God’s name is made great?

Are you risking everything for the mission of God and His Kingdom?

Poke The Box!

I opened my mail today and found my own copy of Seth Godin’s latest release, “Poke The Box.”  It came from amazon.com a lot quicker than I thought it would.  I opened it and began to read.  Then I kept reading.  Then I read some more.  In between a couple of fights, dinner and bedtime, I read some more.  Before I knew it, I had read the entire, eighty-four page, manifesto in one sitting.  I absolutely consumed that book.  Just to keep it real, it was a fairly simple read.  However, the content was more than that.  It was a great challenge.  A challenge and a call to our generation to, “Go.”  A challenge to initiate.

In his New York Times article called, “They Weren’t Careful What They Hoped For,” Barnaby Feder used an early example of the term, “slacktivism.”  Slacktivism is defined as, “the desire people have to do something good without getting out of their chair (Feder 2002).”  In other words, we don’t lack the market to make a great change.  We don’t lack the world that needs great change.  We don’t lack the resources or the network.  We don’t lack the finances or even the avenues by which we can employ a great change.  What we lack is the initiative.

I once changed my Facebook profile picture to one with a pink ribbon on it for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I post links on my Twitter and Facebook accounts that lead people to great articles and stories about grand causes.

I watch videos on YouTube that have to do with great causes and sometimes if I’m really motivated, I click the “thumbs up” button.

All of those things are good, but they don’t require any initiative to actually create a change in the world.  There must be more.  In fact, there has to be more.  Now, I need to actually DO something with what I know.

I haven’t blogged in quite awhile, but I will try to post more of my thoughts on this book soon.  For now, I will leave you with one of the quotes from the second page of the book.

Imagine that the world had no middlemen, no publishers, no bosses, no HR folks, no one telling you what you couldn’t do.  If you lived in that world, what would you do?  Go.  Do that.

So, what would you do?

Poke The Box

Favorite Quote!

I love quotes.  I want to hear some of your favorites.  Post your favorite quotes here.

More Reading!

Earlier this year I posted a short blog with some of what I have been reading lately.  You can check that blog out here.  Untamed

I’m on to some new books now.  I have a long list of books I’d like to read.  I just started reading a book by Alan and Debra Hirsch called, “Untamed.”  So far it has been a fantastic read.  If you like church and your Christianity, as-is, then this isn’t a book for you.  There are definitely some challenging things in the book and will push your view of discipleship to the edge.

Exponential

I’m also going to read “Exponential” by Dave and Jon Ferguson.  I don’t know anything about the book, other than I picked it up while at the Exponential Conference in Orlando.  So my guess is, it has something to do with that.  Either way, I’m excited about diving into it.

Plan B

And the last book that is on my immediate radar is “Plan B” by Pete Wilson.  I have been following Pete on twitter for quite a while now.  I really enjoy the stuff he posts and am excited about getting into this book as well.  Since I was able to grab a free copy at Exponential, Pete even signed it for me.  ^_^

Okay, so those are a few of the books on my radar screen.  What about you?  Any new reads?

What I’m Reading!

I posted a short status on facebook the other day.  I asked what people were reading these days.  I was amazed at the response I got.  So many people reading so many different things.  I had quite the list of books to look through.  My thought was that I could post the same question on my blog and reach even more people with the question.  So here’s something to get you started.

I recently finished “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.  Excellent book by the way.  I would recommend it for anyone who is looking to step up the game of their company or church.  I’m currently in the middle of Jim Putman’s “Church is a Team Sport.”  Very good read.

All this to say, what are you reading?  Name of the book, author and even some of your thoughts would be awesome.

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