Monday, January 30, 2012

The Resolution for Men

The Resolution for MenThe Resolution for Men by Stephen Kendrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book that is a resource from the movie, "Courageous." If you have not seen the movie I would highly recommend it! The book goes through each part of the "Resolution." The "Resolution" was written for man to take a stand to be man of God. The "Resolution" covers a man in relationship to his wife, children, authority, church, others. It speaks about honor, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, kindness, respect, and compassion. This book is a must read for all men. I plan to put several quotes about this book in my blog when time permits. You can find my blog here,

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Below are some great quotes from this book:

God's calling for you as a husband was not to marry the woman you love, but to love the woman you married.  p. 91

Be aware that when you are fearful, frustrated, or fatigued, you are most vulnerable. Avoid tempting situations rather than trying to resist temptation.  p. 97

Don't follow your heart, lead it. The more you pray for your wife, focus on her positive attributes, and invest in your marriage, the more your heart will turn toward her.   p. 97

Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless. p. 138

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proven, and to be steady on all the battle fronts besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.  p. 139

Fearless of all consequences, you must do the right thing. You will need the courage of a lion unhesitatingly to pursue a course which shall turn your best friend into your fiercest foe; but for the love of Jesus you must thus be courageous. For the truth's sake, to hazard reputation and affection is such a deed that to do it constantly you will need a degree of moral principle which only the Spirit of God can work in you; yet turn not your back like a coward, but play the man. Follow right manfully in your Mater's steps, for He has traversed this rough way before you.  pp. 142-143

The question for believers is never, "Will God provide?" but "How is He going to do it?"  God provides in His own way and in His own timing, but He is always faithful to His role as Provider. If you need transportation to get to work, God may provide a car to you free of charge as a gift from someone. Or He may provide the money to buy the car. Or a way to earn the money to buy the car. Or send you a bicycle. Or change your job so you can walk or even work from home. But you can rest assured that He is on it and in the end will deliver what you need so you can get food on the table. And in the meantime, you need to walk by faith and stay busy asking, seeking, and knocking until He reveals what He has provided. But He will; you can rest on it.  p. 161

If you want to see a happy person, look at someone who has just been forgiven! They have a refreshing humility and joy that's hard to deny. Regret doesn't have the power to haunt them anymore. They sinned or failed others, but they've been forgiven and set free. It's a beautiful thing!  But there's another joy worth pursuing - the liberation you feel after forgiving someone who has deeply hurt you. When wounded people finally forgive, the dark clouds part in their emotions, and a breath of fresh air and sunshine rushes into their hearts.  p. 169

It has been wisely said: "Bitterness does more damage in the life where it is stored than the one on whom it is poured."  p. 174

But if you confess only so you can feel better and look better - if you are angry about the consequences - if you don't think you'd have done anything differently if you could go back and do it over, and if you make no changes to keep from doing it again in the future, then your repentance is not real.  Regret and tears don't mean repentance; change does.  p. 190

If you are a man of integrity, then you will speak the truth all the time, whether generally in broad terms or specifically when reporting facts. Whether much is at stake or nothing is at stake, you will be the same in public as you are in private.  p. 191

That word sincere, by the way, means "without wax." Ancient sculptors and pottery makers would hide imperfections in their work by pouring wax into the cracks of their fractured merchandise, then painting over the blemishes. After it was sold and used around heat, the wax would melt out, proving the piece to be faculty. But those craftsmen who made reputable products with no fractures would stamp SINCERE on the bottom to show that their work was "without wax" and was the real thing. It was solid. True. It had integrity.   p. 194

God never intended for you to live out the journey of your spiritual life alone. When you get connected to Christ, you also became spiritually connected to everyone else who is in Christ. "We, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another" (Romans 12:5). We are permanently joined together and deeply need each other.  p. 200

I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.
I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.
I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love  and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.
I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.
I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.
I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.
I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.
I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.
I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:25   (from the movie Courageous) p. 223

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Put Me In, Coach: Confessions of a Football Wife

Put Me In, Coach: Confessions of a Football WifePut Me In, Coach: Confessions of a Football Wife by Barbara Dooley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Any University of Georgia fan will enjoy this book. Barbara is the wife of Vince Dooley. Vince is the former coach and AD at the University. She is very frank and open in her discussion of their family. Having read the book I wonder how they (her and Vince) stayed married. I'm sure it was not as bad as it seemed. It really showed a different side of Coach Dooley. This book is copyrighted in 1991 and tells the story of the Dooleys starting with Vince, then a coach at Auburn, dating Barbara, who was an underclassman at Auburn. I highly recommend to any UGA fan.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Road More or Less Traveled: Madcap Adventures Along the Appalachian Trail

The Road More or Less TraveledThe Road More or Less Traveled by Stephen Otis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book is about two friends who hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT). They started in Maine and hiked to the end of the trail in Georgia. The book was a lot less than I expected. It was more about the "good times" off the trail than about the trail itself. However, I did learn some "new" things. Such as, most that hike the trail give themselves nicknames. The names the authors chose were "Futureman" and "Applejack." Also, the ones that hike the entire AT are called thruhikers. The authors sometimes use rough language (curse words) and some of the conversation was unacceptable. I really liked the map at the beginning each chapter. It was a map of the trail that highlighted the state that the authors were hiking at the time. The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpath in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine. The following states are part of the AT: Maine,New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee (the authors home state), North Carolina, and Georgia. This book really makes me want to hike the trail. I would not reread this book and do not recommend it. It takes months (average about six months) to go the distance. I've included a few links below that I found interesting.

AT Conservancy

The AT Home Page

AT Trail Maps

AT: State by State

AT Museum

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October Baby UPDATE

My wife and I saw this movie yesterday (2/23). It is a MUST see movie! It is about a abortion survivor  but it also teaches about forgiveness. The movie will be shown nation wide on March 23rd. In the Charlotte area it will be at Concord Mills AMC and Regal Stonecrest at Piper Glen. Many churches, youth groups, and Bible study groups are planning to attend together.

For more info visit official website here!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Man Who Could Do No Wrong

The Man Who Could Do No Wrong (Living Books)The Man Who Could Do No Wrong by Elizabeth Sherrill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I very much enjoyed reading this book. It is an autobiography of Charles Blair's life. The first part of his life is so encouraging and much to learn from this man. The second half of his life is tragic. Very similar to the Jim and Tammy fall from grace. He made a lot of mistakes. It seems he learned from them and he lists 10 lessons he did learn at the end of the book.

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Below are some great quotes from the book:

I have set before you an open door which no man will be able to shut. If you will walk through it in obedience I will bless you in so much that men will be amazed and glorify God! p. 103

 “Son, God doesn’t know anything about reaching cities. When He was on earth he reached individuals. And that’s how He seeks and finds us today.” p. 111 - Advice from Dr. Robert G. Lee, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church of Memphis, on how to build a church.

"But after His hearers have taken that step,” Dr. Louis Evans (pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian Church) went on, “if He then doesn’t give their newborn souls what they need to grow on, those people are going to keep moving. They’ve got to have nourishment and they’ll keep looking until they find it.” p. 114 - Giving advice on what Charles should be preaching on after most of the church are saved.

It isn’t the need we see that tells us what to do; it’s finding God’s will for our particular lives. p. 117

What I did not know then was that a Christian is in greatest danger not at his weak points but at his strong ones. Where we are strong we are also off guard. Where we are confident we are not often on our knees. p. 135

 Lessons in Listening
“I don’t believe God has us go through either success or failure for ourselves alone. My experience happened to come through attempting to build a geriatric center, but the things I learned could apply equally well to anyone in the act of building: a young couple building a home, a career woman getting started, the officer of an organization. All of us are in the process of creating. All of us can face some variation of the temptations which beckoned me.
Also I’ve spent time reviewing what happened at Calvary Temple. The process of transformation is still going on. I have not achieved complete, permanent release form old habit patterns, but I have some hearing aids I didn’t have before:

Test the spirit behind your dreams.
The Bible tells us to try spirits to see if they are of God (1 John 4:1). To this day I am confused as to whether that original vision for Life Center came from God or from my own ego. Seen as guidance, it appeared to have lots of confirmation. But there were persistent Christian voices challenging this.

Unity between husband and wife.
The primary person to question my dream was Betty. She objected with gentleness, because this is her nature. But I never doubted her position. We were not in accord. Today I would not dare violate the injunction of Ephesians 5:21, that we be submitted one to another. I never really prayed through this major project with Betty until we were of one heart and one mind. I never really submitted my dream until we reached the place where we could say, “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15:28) to proceed.

Seek a Body of spiritual peers.
The protection a husband and wife provide each other can be extended (or supplied, for the unmarried) by entering into relationship with a small group of men and women committed to life one another regularly to the Throne of Grace. Such a group provides not only support but—crucial in any time of building—correction. This is what makes spiritual peerage: not age or education or social position, but the willingness to speak the truth in Christ.

Are your co-workers a completion of yourself?
Or simply an extension? Ideally, in any Christian undertaking, there will be as many facets of Christ’s personality represented as possible. If I am called to leadership and find helpers who are simply echoes of myself, I double my strengths but I also double my weaknesses.

I spent too much time reasoning, not enough in storming heaven.
When time is short, the most important way we can use it is in prayer. In any crisis there comes a time when human logic is worthless. Then we need the tools which are available to us as children of God. More-than-usual doing must be balanced with more-than-usual praying.

Impatience was my biggest problem.
I simply couldn’t wait. Today I have committed myself to a new route: when my timing is thwarted I will divert my restlessness to prayer and do nothing until I have a clear directive from God, confirmed by the Body. Then we will put our feet where He has trod.

Catching God’s vision is only half the battle.
The second half is discovering His means for bringing it about. We know His objectives by revelation. The battle plan will have to come by revelation too. It will probably be different from any plan we could have devised. What human being, after all, would have thought of blowing trumpets before a walled city!

Beware of prior successes.
The success of yesterday tempts us to lean on a formula rather than on God. Moses struck the rock with his staff and water gushed forth. When he tried to provide water the same way a second time, God reproved him. Faith is progressive. At Calvary Temple we mixed fund raising with borrowing, successfully. At Life Center we repeated this mix—to our sorrow. We weren’t allowing God to take us another step in discipleship.

Faith versus presumption.
When we faced obstacles I kept telling myself that no great endeavor is without opposition. I’d “believe” my way through every difficulty. I made the mistake of having faith in faith. What God call us to, however, is faith in Him—and Him alone. I have to be certain that I am believing in God, and not in my own willpower.
To sum up: there are three things to listen for: The Dream. The Method. The Timing.
We must hear His voice on all three. And that can occur only through much listening. We did this naturally as we were building Calvary Temple. But by the time Life Center came along we were pretty successful, and certainly we were busy. We just did not take the scores, the hundreds of hours necessary to ask:
Is the dream His vision?
Is the method His way?
Is the timing His moment?

pp. 219-221

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

S.H.A.P.E.:Finding & Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life

S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for LifeS.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life by Erik E. Rees
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Erik Rees does an excellent job explaining how to find the S.H.A.P.E. that God made you. The letters in S.H.A.P.E. stand for: S-Spiritual Gifts; H-Heart; A-Abilities; P-Personality; E-Experiences. Eric is a staff member at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church. The church uses this concept to help their members find the ministry that best fits their S.H.A.P.E. Erik shares many good helps in the book to help the reader discover the way God created him. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested of finding his place in God's body.

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Below are some quotes from this book:

God doesn’t create anything without value. He is the ultimate craftsman. And he designed you specifically to fulfill a unique role in his ultimate plan to establish his kingdom on earth. p. 18

You are not only a masterpiece shaped by God’s own loving hands, but you are a unique work of divine art. Like an original painting or sculpture, you are a one of a kind. p. 19

Tom Paterson describes it: The fascinating thing to me is that literally everything God makes is unique – every human, animal, flower, tree, and every blade of grass. He didn’t clone anything. Even identical twins possess their own individual uniqueness. That ought to tell us that our individuality is a sacred trust – and what we do with it is our gift to God. Our best contribution in life – our “utmost for his highest” – can only be made as we allow God to finish his work in progress and perfect our uniqueness. To live without discovering our uniqueness is to not really live. I think God is heartbroken when his children miss out on the potential he has placed inside of them. pp. 20-21

Max Lucado ends his comments with these powerful words: “Can you be anything you want to be? I don’t think so. But can you be everything God wants you to be? I do think so. And you do become that by discovering your uniqueness.” p. 21

I define Kingdom Purpose as …your specific contribution to the body of Christ, within your generation, that causes you to totally depend on God and authentically display his love toward others – all through the expression of your unique S.H.A.P.E. p. 22

I remember the art professor telling us that when clay is pliable it requires just a small amount of pressure to shape it. The opposite also is true – when clay is stiff and resistant, a lot more pressure is needed to mold it the way the potter desires. p. 25

Here God gives us a clear, beautiful picture to explain his relationship to us. He is the master craftsman; we are like clay in his hands. His role is to carefully shape us; ours is to remain pliable, allowing him to do so (Jeremiah 18:1-6). p. 25

You were not created to conform. You were not created to compare. You were not created to compete. You were not created to compromise. You were created to contribute to God’s kingdom and make a significant difference with your life. You were created to just be you! p. 26

Let’s define a spiritual gift as a God-given special ability, given to every believer at conversion by the Holy Spirit, to share his love and strengthen the body of Christ. p. 34

Helen Keller once said, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” p. 46

John Eldredge said, “So if you had permission to do what you really want to do, what would you do? Just start making a list of all the things you deeply desire to do with your life, great and small. And remember – ‘Don’t ask yourself, How?’ How? Is never the right question; how? Is a faithless question. How? Is God’s department. He is asking you what? What is written on your heart? What makes you come alive? If you could do what you’ve always wanted to do, what would it be?” pp. 62-63

It didn’t matter whether what she did was noticed by others. That is never the point of serving God. Willing hearts are his delight. p. 68

“The difference between an ordinary day and an extraordinary day is not so much what you do, but who you do it for.” p. 69

Rick Warren writes: “The abilities you do have are a strong indication of what God wants you to do with your life. They are clues to knowing God’s will for you….God doesn’t waste abilities; he matches our calling and our capabilities.” p. 69

Andrew Murray made this analogy: “I have a pen in my pocket that is surrendered to its purpose of writing and must be surrendered to my hand if I am to write with it properly. If someone has a partial hold on it, I cannot write with it.” By the same token, if we hold back the natural abilities God gave us at birth – or if we use those abilities for purposes that don’t include God – those talents will not be used to their full capacity. pp. 72-73

Michelangelo said, “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” p. 76

Pat Williams – Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Significant achievements always involve a high degree of courage, focus, perseverance, and yes, risk.” P. 77

God gave you a unique personality. He did it intentionally as part of his process of creating the masterpiece of your life. p. 84

I have found that God always wants to do something “in us” before he wants to do something “through us.” p. 91

The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were not limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be so wonderful if there were not dark valleys to traverse. – Helen Keller p. 95

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. – Soren Kierkegaard p. 95

Max Lucado says, “God sees our life from beginning to end. He may lead us through a storm at age thirty so we can endure a hurricane at age sixty. An instrument is useful only if it’s in the right shape. A dull ax or a bend screwdriver needs attention, and so do we. A good blacksmith keeps his tools in shape. So does God.” p. 106

“Being tested by God reminds us that our function and task is to be about his business.” – Max Lucado p. 110

“The more we get what we now call “ourselves” out of the way and let him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become.” C.S. Lewis p. 115

“The absolute surrender of everything into his hands is necessary. If our hearts are willing for that, there is no limit to what God will do for us or to the blessings he will bestow.” Andrew Murray p. 115

“Give God a man buried in the snow of Valley Forge and God will make a Washington. Give God a man born in abject poverty and God will stand him in front of a nation and make a Lincoln. Give God a man born black in a society filled with discrimination and God will make a Martin Luther King Jr. Give God a child called unable to learn and God will make an Einstein.” – Brad Johnson p. 117

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” (Psalm 55:22). The word cast does not mean to merely hand our cares to God. Instead, God is telling us to heave them at him. It’s as if he is saying, “Bring it on! I can take it. Give them to me. I want them all. They’re not going to weigh me down.” pp. 120-121

Along with your worries, God also wants your wounds. He’s waiting for you to trust him with those things in your life that have brought you the greatest pain and caused lasting scars. Even if you believe the damage done is irreparable, Scripture says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3) p. 122

Someone once told me, “God doesn’t want to rub it in, he wants to rub it out.” p. 122

Frederick Buechner offers this explanation: “To confess your sins to God is not to tell him anything he doesn’t already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the bridge.” p. 125

When we operate out of our strengths, we often forget to include God, relying on our own abilities to accomplish tasks. But when we are asking to carry out tasks that require using what we consider our weak spots, our tendency is to go to God more quickly – and that’s exactly what he wants. p. 126

Ron Mehl, a pastor and faithful friend of God until the Lord took him home following a two-decade battle with leukemia, once asked, “If we had no shortcomings, could there be overcomings?” p. 126

Broken soil brings wheat, broken clouds bring rain, broken bread brings strength, and a broken person is what God chooses to use for His purposes.  ~ Pastor Brad Johnson p. 127

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once observed, “It is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform a service and that we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God.” p. 135

Gerald Hartis says, “Ministry is what we leave in our wake as we follow Jesus.” p. 135

Someone once said, “Your theology is what you are when the talking stops and the action starts.” p. 136

Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse, said, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” p. 140

Rick Warren notes, “Greatness in God’s book is not measured by how many people serve you, but by how many people you serve.” P. 140

John Ortberg points out our natural tendency to want all eyes on us, even when it comes to serving and showing humility while we serve: “We’d like to be humble…but what if no one notices?” And there’s the paradox. We all have chances to serve every day, but, as Thomas Edison once pointed out, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”  pp. 140-141

Abraham Lincoln once wrote, “To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” p. 141

“Spiritual transformation is not a matter of trying harder, but of training wiser.” – John Ortberg p. 153                                                                                                                                    

C.S. Lewis noted, “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” p. 183

D.L. Moody said: “There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do the little things.” p. 198

James Dobson writes, “Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility. Besides, living by that priority when kids are small will produce the greatest rewards at maturity.” p. 199

Booker T. Washington said, “Lay hold of something that will help you, and then use it to help somebody else.” p. 204

Casey & James Jennings put it so well: “We are the wire, God is the current. Our only power is to let the current pass through us.” p. 204

Francis of Assisi’s wise advice is worth remembering: “Keep a clear eye toward life’s end.” p. 205

If you are going to reach your full potential in Christ, you will have to concentrate focused attention on staying close to the Potter and remaining pliable in his hands. p. 210

“God will speak when you stop.” p. 212

John Ortberg writes, “Again and again, as we pursue spiritual life, we must do battle with hurry. For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it.” p. 212

The word Sabbath actually means “to catch one’s breath.” p.  213

John O’Donohue says, “To be spiritual is to be in rhythm, and that means being devoted to living by the 6:1 rhythm God established as the time of creation.” p. 213

Only a loving, kind and gracious God would insist that his children do something so completely valuable and beneficial – simply, rest! p. 213

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Monday, January 9, 2012

The Bulletproof George Washington

The Bulletproof George WashingtonThe Bulletproof George Washington by David Barton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

David Barton does a god job documenting the ways God protected our first President. Having just finished "Scared Fire," I did find this book, "The Bulletproof George Washington lacking a little. I still would recommend it to those who enjoy history and/or George Washington. Of course you should visit

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Finding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life Without Opening the Fridge

Finding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life Without Opening the FridgeFinding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life Without Opening the Fridge by Valerie Bertinelli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been a fan of Valerie Bertinelli since I was a kid watching "One Day at A Time." In this follow up book from "Losing It," Valerie tells how she not only kept the weight off but how she lost even more. This book is more then losing weight and maintaining weight lost, but it is more about her life. I found it very interesting that she seems to be seeking a relationship with the Savior. She mentions several times how she knows there is a higher power and sometimes prays. I know I will continue to ask the Lord to work in her life that she may indeed come to know Him in a very personal way.  If you are a fan you will enjoy this book!

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The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012