Outlive Your Life

Outlive Your Life by Max LucadoMax Lucado does an excellent job of conveying the simple truths of the Gospel in his latest book Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference. The author uses very simple and plain language to give us the why and how of getting back to the original message of Christianity. He uses a very conversational style that is a pleasure to read. He fills it with many personal examples from his and others’ lives as well.  This book is a call to action that every Christian needs to read and implement in their lives.

While reading the book, I was reminded of another book I recently read and reviewed The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. Mr. Stearns book is a little more missional minded but does contain much of the same call to action as Max Lucado’s. I greatly enjoyed reading both of these books and am very thankful to BookSneeze.com for providing me with complementary copies to review. It has definitely given me a new perspective on my faith and challenged me to live out my faith in a way that will make a difference in the lives of others that will ultimately outlive my life.

Change the World

The Boy Who Changed the WorldThe Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews is a colorful children’s book that talks about the impact even a small action can have on the world. The book is adapted from Andrews’ inspirational book The Butterfly Effect in order to bring it down to a child’s level of understanding. It is graphically and colorfully illustrated by Philip Hurst.

In order to illustrate his point the author tells the story of the development of a hybrid corn seed that has saved the lives of billions from starvation. He traces the events that led up to the development backward through time to the small act of a simple farmer who rescued a small boy from the hands of outlaws and brought him into his own family.

This story does a good job of showing how everything we do can have an impact. Every child needs to learn the lesson that they don’t have to be a president, or CEO, or Military Hero to change to world. They just need to be themselves and do what they can for others.

This book was provided at no charge for review via Book Sneeze

Everyone Matters

The Butterfly EffectI just finished reading The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters by Andy Andrews which I was provided by Book Sneeze to review. This book is a short inspirational book that covers a couple of real world examples of what science has called the butterfly effect. The book starts out with an explanation of the history behind the butterfly effect, but in short it says that the flap of a butterfly’s wings on one side of the world can start a chain reaction leading to a hurricane on the other side of the world. In other words, one small action can lead to a chain reaction that creates a world changing event.

The first example outlines a specific engagement during the Civil War that if not won, could have totally changed the outcome of not only that war, but also the makeup of the United States as we know it. If Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain had not fearlessly led a seemingly suicidal charge against an overwhelming enemy, it could have led to the Union losing at the battle of Gettysburg and more.

The second example is a more concrete example rather than a theoretical example. It traces the invention of  a corn hybrid that has prevented the starvation of billions back through history to the actions of a simple farmer who did what he felt he must to save the life of someone else’s child, never knowing the effect that it would eventually have on the world.

This book is a great reminder of the importance of each and every life. No one knows what a simple act taken today may result in generations down the road. Everyone matters.

Encouragement for Navigating the Sales Jungle

Jungle Warfare book coverI recently received from Thomas Nelson Publishing a complimentary copy of Christopher A. Cunningham’s new book Jungle Warfare – A Basic Field Manual for Christians in Sales. When I first chose this book, I thought that it would provide strategies for improving your sales techniques. What I found is that it is more of a devotional for those in sales to help encourage them and help them deal with issues specific to their field. It is a 22 day devotional followed by a section on dealing with specific questions a salesperson may face.

While the book was not what I was expecting, I did find it to be an excellant and appropriate devotional. I enjoyed the excerpts from the author’s grandfather’s Basic Field Manual on Jungle Warfare. I thought the references were appropriate to the topics of the devotionals and that the author chose Bible references that tied in well. Each day also leaves space for prayer reflections and personal thoughts. This is a definitely a book that is meant to stimulate further personal reflection, not just a quick read. I definitely feel this would be a good devotional for anyone in the sales profession to spend some time with.

Lead Like Ike by Geoff Loftus

Lead Like Ike by Geoff LoftusI recently received a complimentary copy of Lead Like Ike to review from Thomas Nelson Publishing. It’s subtitle is “Ten Business Strategies from the CEO of D-Day”.

This book takes a look at the leadership qualities of Dwight D. Eisenhower as he planned and implemented the D-Day invasion that became the turning point of World War II. The interesting approach that Geoff Loftus uses to analyze Ike’s leadership is by looking at the Allied Forces as if they were a corporation competing against another corporation in the form of the German resistance. This analysis provides a unique perspective regarding the interactions and planning phases of the preparations for D-Day.

It is very interesting reading about all of the various strategies and obstacles that were encountered throughout the process. I greatly enjoyed reading about the successes and failures leading up to the invasion and all of the conditions that surrounded Ike as he tried to plan this monumental strike. The author provides a lot of insight into the personal interactions that Ike had with his superiors and his staff throughout the process. While the story was very informative and intriguing, I did feel that the metaphor of the Allied Forces being a corporation was sometimes stretched a little too far. Often it seemed as if it was being forced into the mold instead of being a natural extension. I do believe that the lessons drawn are very relavent to today’s business world however and corporations could learn a great deal from reading this book and following the strategies employed by Ike during this process.