Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Secret Principle to Achieving Success in Life,
Love, and Happiness
By Alexander Loyd, Ph.D., N.D.

OVERVIEW: Rooted in science, ancient wisdom, and proven therapeutic techniques to remove personal obstacles that sabotage us, Beyond Willpower offers a revolutionary forty-day holistic program based on more than twenty-five years of clinical experience. With this program you will identify and clarify what fundamentally defines success for you. Then you'll receive the three simple tools you need to internally shift from fear to love physically (using the Energy Medicine tool), mentally (using the Reprogramming Statements tool), and spiritually (using the Heart Screen tool). No matter how you define success – as a wealth, career satisfaction, healing of health issues, or resolution of relationship problems—Beyond Willpower will help you achieve it once and for all, quickly and for the long term. (From inside the front dust cover).

AUTHOR: Alexander Loyd holds doctorates in psychology and naturopathic medicine and has been a psychological counselor for more than twenty-five years. his private practice has become one of the largest of its kind in the world, with clients in all fifty states and more than 150 countries. He is the author of the international bestseller The Healing Code.

MY REVIEW: I want to begin my review with what William A. Tiller, Ph.D., professor emeritus at Stanford University said about Beyond Willpower: "Valuable information for everyone to access. This book is in perfect harmony with ageless wisdom: In all ways, to thine own self be true. Seek your answers to life's questions from within, rather than from the world without." I also want to agree with the words of Janet Atwoood, New York Times bestselling author of The Passion Test. She said, "This is a paradigm shift breakthrough, turns most conventional wisdom about how to achieve success on its head, and explains why so many things that have sounded good have failed to produce results over the last fifty years."

That being said, I need to clarify something about my own views of this book. Although, I agree with almost everything Dr. Loyd has to say, I have a much stronger view of the part God plays in healing and bringing peace to our lives than Dr. Loyd does—or at least more than he states in the book. He speaks of God, love and grace, which is good. I see God, love and grace powerfully packed into a bold, capital letter GOD. Maybe he does too. I'm not sure. I just want my Christian friends to realize that although I accept truth wherever I find it that as a retired minister I am not leaving my message from the Bible about God, love and grace and finding it now in psychology. The Bible is good. Psychology is good. The Bible is where I go first.

I recommend this book as a tool to help those who are burdened with stress and fear and don't know which way to turn.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Monday, March 16, 2015

It is not always a bad thing when a church is plateaued or declining. This is happening to the typical church today.

The typical church will have a ten percent attrition rate annually, regardless of its health. People move out of the area for various reasons and some die. So simply maintaining where you are is a sign of growth.

Another reason for a flat growth may be a decision that was made that didn't please everybody and the disgruntled moved away. But this isn't always bad. Sometimes the best thing that can happen is that certain people will find a church suited to their beliefs.

Then there are some churches that are limited in their growth potential because of where they are located. This doesn't mean that a church is not needed there.

Another reason may be the church is just in a season of natural ebb and flow. Over the years I have watched this happen many times. The pattern is to have a season of growth followed by a season of consolidation. It happens.

Every church doesn't have to be a mega church to be a true church of Christ.  Looking back I'm thankful that my children grew up in churches where they could love and be loved by both the young and those not so young. These were churches where everybody knew your name.

I believe there is a place for the mega church that is reaching out to those who were raised totally outside of organized religion. But we don't need to "kill off" a church that isn't really dying just to replace it with something we think will appeal more to the secular minded.

You want to be a part of a booming, growing, mega-church? Good. Go with God. Go join one!
Go "plant" one that you will lead and be loyal to.

But don't destroy a church of Christ because YOU deem it dead. Let the church be faithful to those things that led to its growth to begin with. Don't worry. Take heart. If you are in a church that has plateaued or declining it's not necessarily a bad thing.


Thursday, March 05, 2015

And 51 Other Leadership Principles 
To Revolutionize Your Workplace
By Tim Stevens

OVERVIEW: Fairness Is Overrated is organized around four categories of leadership thought that are crucial for every leader to learn: Part One: Be A Leader Worth Following. Part Two: Find The Right People. Part Three: Build a Healthy Culture. Part Four: Lead Confidently Through A Crisis. This book is an essential read for any leader at any level, whether you are leading a few or a few thousand.

AUTHOR: Tim Stevens is a team leader with the Vanderbloemen Search Group, an executive search firm that helps churches and ministries find great leaders. Previously he was the executive pastor at Granger Community Church in Indiana. During his twenty years there, he helped grow the church to more than 5,000 gathering weekly in three locations and saw a worldwide impact, which included a community center in downtown South Bend, Indiana, and more than 1,800 new churches in southern India.

MY REVIEW: I agree with Thom Rainer, author of I Am a Church Member and Autopsy of a Deceased Church, who said, "Business leaders, church leaders, all leaders: get this book and devour it immediately!"

Stevens distills his lifetime of service and learning into practical, unconventional wisdom that is needed by any leader. This is a book of short, powerful chapters that offer deep wisdom. It's about what matters in the heart of a leader. The principles in this book are written in an easy to understand way. I have read many books on leadership but never one this practical and useful.

I picked up the book thinking I would just read one or two of the short chapters. I found myself looking at the title of chapter after chapter and unable to put it down. Just when I thought I had read the best chapter of the fifty-two, I would read another one and think, maybe this is the best one. They all are needed and helpful. Maybe chapter fifty-two was most helpful to me. In that chapter Stevens lists what he calls the five stages of failure: Justified Reasoning. Questioning. Blaming. Redefining and Leading. I recommend you get your own copy of the book and decide for yourself. I'm sure you will find it as hard as I did to pick only one.

(I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

A Young Manager's Old-School Views 
On Success In Sports And Life
By Mike Matheny with Jerry B. Jenkins

OVERVIEW: The Matheny Manifesto is based on a frankly worded letter Mike Matheny wrote to the parents of a Little League team he coached. The letter was a cry for change that became an Internet sensation and eventually a "manifesto." In the book he builds on the letter by first diagnosing the problem at the heart of youth sports— hint: it starts with parents and coaches—and then by offering a hopeful path forward. Along the way, he uses stories from his small-town childhood as well as his career as a player, coach, and manger to explore eight keys to success: leadership, confidence, teamwork, faith, class, character, toughness, and humility.

AUTHORS: Mike Matheny played thirteen years as a catcher for four Major League teams, won four Gold Gloves, and holds the MLB record for most consecutive games witihout an error; 2015 will mark his fourth year as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. Matheny led the Cardinals to the postseason in each of his first three campaigns, winning the National League pennant in 2015. He and his wife, Kristin, are the parents of five and live in St. Louis.  Jerry B. Jenkins is the author of twenty New York Times bestsellers, including the Left Behind series. His writing has appeared in time, Reader's Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. He has collaborated on as-told-to autobiographies by Hank Aaron, Orel Hershiser, Walter Payton, Nolan Ryan, Mike Singletary, and Billy Graham.

MY REVIEW: This is a "must-read" book. It presents what is called an "old school" view and if that is what it is, I am old school all the way. The principals Matheny talks about in this book and lives out in his life, are sadly missing from today's society. They are desperately needed!

This book will benefit coaches, parents, young players—anybody seeking success. It is packed with winning insights and practical advice. Mike Matheny lists eight keys to success. They all are important. As a preacher, the one I liked best was FAITH. And I liked it that in his acknowledgments he wrote: "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! ( 2 Corinthians 9:15).

We are just getting into the new year (2015) but this is the best book I have read so far this year and I have already read several. It is easy to read, fun to read. And powerful!

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)