Wednesday, May 16, 2012

All Pro Dad, Mark Merrill

All Pro Dad, by Mark Merrill, founder and President of Family First, opens with this quote from Chuck Noll, "Champions are champions not because they do anything extraordinary but because they do the ordinary things better than anyone else."  This book tells you how to do those ordinary things, of being a dad, better than anyone else. 

Merrill lays out seven essentials required to be a hero to your kids:
  1. Makeup
  2. Mindset
  3. Motive
  4. Method
  5. Model
  6. Message
  7. Master
Merrill, not only details these 7 essentials, but he artfully walks the reader through practical guidance on how to improve in these areas.  Each chapter ends with a "huddle up" section, these are questions that a father can discuss with his children to gauge where he is at in these seven essentials. 

The book includes many quotes and conversations with sports figures, and leadership personalities, that make this an attractive read to the male demographic. 

The strongest part of, All Pro Dad, is the fact that, the author, Mark Merrill, does not speak to the reader from a  hightened, lofty, expert position.  He is very free in describing his own shortcomings in the seven essentials, even as he was writing the book.  Often times I feel like I have valuable advice to pass on, but I shouldn't because I don't always "get it right".  I appreciate the authors openness and honesty in this material.

This is a book that I look forward to sharing with all the fathers that I do life with.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Love and Respect Experience, Dr. Eggerichs

The first thing to notice about this devotioanl is its pleasing appearance, nice bound with a leather cover, it's a beautiful book, perfect for the man who loves books because of the way they look on the shelf.  This is a great addition to that collection!

This book is separated into 52 devotionals. It is set up this way to be studied, with your wife, one day per week, throughout the year, or as a daily study. The devotionals offered are typical, marriage fare.  Nothing spectacular or earth shattering.  There are four Appendices which offer very helpful and valuable information. 

All in all, The Love and Respect Experience, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, is an asthetically beautiful book, that serves as a great tool to get the married couple into having devotions together.  This devotional would propbably be better read in light of Dr. Eggerichs marriage book, Love & Respect.

Order this title from The Love & Respect Experience: A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

5 Sacrifices

The book of Leviticus focus on three themes: holiness, atonement, and worship.  The opening 7 chapters deal with the various sacrifices and offerings that Israel was to offer to God.  Here is a brief guide to the 5 sacrifices and offerings and what they were all about.

  1. Burnt offering -  effected atonement, emphasized total devotion to the Lord
  2. Grain offering -  petition for God's blessing, and a dedication of the fruit of his/her labor to God
  3. Fellowship (peace) offering -  offered in the fulfillment of vows, emphasized covenantal fellowship
  4. Sin/purification offering -  offered in "repentance" for unintentional sins (negligence, ritual impurity)
  5. Guilt/reparation offering -  atonement for unintentional sins against God's commandments

Future posts will focus on a chapter-by-chapter look at Leviticus and will delve more deeply into each of these sacrifices.  We will discuss what they meant to Israel then, and what they mean to us today.

Ray Stedman, says this about the book of Leviticus, "That word wholeness has power to awaken desire within us. We long to be whole people. Don't you? Don't you want to be what God made you to be, with all the ingredients of your personality expressed in balance? That is what the book of Leviticus is all about."

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Monday, January 16, 2012

2011 End of Year Reading List

For the past several years, I have made it a habit to keep a record of any and all books that I read throughout the year.  This is my favorite blog post of the year, my year end reading list.  Below you will find a listing, picture, and description of each book, as well as, a link to check out more information on the book.  Enjoy!

"Revival of a Dead Church" by Len Gaston Broughton.  Published in 1900, this book gives practical advice on how to revive the spiritually dead church and community.

Doing Virtuous Business: The Remarkable Success of Spiritual Enterprise, by Thomas Roosevelt Malloch. Malloch starts by defining what 'virtue' really is, then proceeds to explain how businesses can have increased success by behaving virtuously.  For a complete review check out Doing Virtuous Business on a sister blog.

Poke the Box, by Seth Godin.  Many of us have great ideas, dreams, and ambitions, however, they are never fulfilled because we never start, or we wait for permission.  Godin's book will inspire you to just start!  See also the post,  Be A Presentation God.

Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible, by Steven Furtick.  Based on the prayer of Joshua, where he prays for the sun to stand still, this book is a call to an audacious faith.  A faith that God can do the amazing, even beyond anything we can imagine, even to causing the sun to stand still!

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, by Darren Rowse, and Chris Garrett.  A practical book on blogging.  Clearly outlines the entire blog process from starting, creating great content, to making money. You can check out there sites at, and, these are always a great source for information, and advice on all things blogging.

The Rules of Work, Expanded Edition: A Definitive Code for Personal Success (Richard Templar's Rules), by Richard Templar.  Templar outlines 108 rules for being successful in the workplace.  From handling opposition, to controlling your mouth, to having a plan, and taking care of yourself, it's all covered here!

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir. . . of Sorts, by Ian Morgan Cron.  This is Cron's memoir.  Very entertaining read.  For a full review, and author interview, check out this post, Ian Morgan Cron.

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, by John Wesley.  The Bible calls us to be perfect as Christ is perfect.  What does that exactly mean? Can anyone really attain to perfection? This classic work from, a foremost leader in the Christian faith, outlines what it means to be perfect.

Read This Before Our Next Meeting, by Al Pittampelli.  How many countless hours are wasted in meetings?  This book shows you what the meeting should really accomplish, and how to hold an effective meeting, so that there is less time spent in meetings, and more time doing work that matters.  Check out the website at

How to be a Presentation God: Build, Design, and Deliver Presentations that Dominate, by Scott Schwertly.  By far, the best book on presentations that I have ever read. Very thorough, with lots of good advice, and new information.  For a complete review, check out the post Be A Presentation God.

Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich: Create Winning Ads, Web Pages, Sales Letters and More, by David Garfinkle.  This book shows the most productive advertising headlines (297 of them!), and how to apply them to your particulary situation or venture.

Faith of Leap, The: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure & Courage (Shapevine), by Alan Hirsch, and Michael Frost.  A discussion on being missional, and a call for the church to once again be the church.  Hirsch and Frost offer much insight on what it means to be the body of Christ, how we are to serve, and the 4 components that are required for a strong faith community.

Rhinoceros Success, by Scott Alexander.  A short but powerful read, on achieving success.  The information is uniquely presented, and will open your eyes to some success practices that should be a part of your life!

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!, by Robert Kiyosaki.  Thsi book offers some great advice on how to achieve financial success.  Kiyosaki states that the number one way to financial success is a proper financial education, and this book is a great place to start being financially educated.

The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice, by Brendon Burchard.  Burchard reveals the secrets of the expert industry, and provides a clear plan of action for anyone looking to enter the expert field! Visit his site at

That's it, my 2011 reading list!  The periodicals that I subscribed to this year are Inc. Magazine, GQ, and Christianity Today.

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts? 

What did you read this year? What is a book that you consider a "must read"?

See previous reading lists at my other blog:

Year End Book Review 2009
Year End Book Review 2008

Friday, December 23, 2011

Church Mob Mentality

How the church of today resembles the mob:

1.  Has a founding family, with a "godfather" type as pastor.  It is assumed the son will take his place.  Access to the "godfather" is limited.

2.  The larger families, lord over smaller, sometimes giving the appearance of helping, this too, however, can be an attempt to cement control, and further prove the power of the larger family.

3.  If your an outsider, your out, no special treament or knowledge is presented.  Once your in your in,  you become priveledged to know the future of the church, you are made to feel that your approval is valued.  You may even be granted rare access to the "godfather" himself.  If you last long enough, you may eventually be considered a "pillar" of the family. 

4.  As an insider you see all the works and learn the players (know the hit men, and see the hits, often the "family" tries to pull you into the hit, so that the element of control is enhanced).

5.  As a mere footsoldier for the family, direction comes from the "godfather" through others, and you are expected to only carry out what you were tasked with.

6.  Independent thought, or attempts to improve the process/organization/family will be met with some sort of minor punishment (broken knee caps, or amputated pinky finger); in an attempt to discourage any action outside of what is mandated by the "godfather".  These attempts will be seen as a personal offense toward the "godfather" or a threat to the other high ranking family members. This is typically spiritualized as "taking some time off to prevent ministry burn-out".

7.  Continued independent thought (even to the betterment of the "family"), will be considered offensive.

8.  At this point a hit will be put out on you.  From here it will only be a matter of time before you find yourself in a cement coffin, or face down in a drained pool.  Do not attempt to explain your actions, or wonder why you had no chance to discuss the issues.  You have stepped on an ego of a higher ranking family member, than yourself, you will be prevented from being heard.  You will wonder what your offense might have been, the family will justify it as "creating a coup to overthrow the godfather" or "lack of unity with the family".