newthingsold

The wise man is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things both new and old.

Review: The Maxwell Leadership Bible, NIV

This is a review of the Maxwell Leadership Bible- NIV 3rd edition.

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About a year ago, I had the opportunity to review the updated third edition of the Maxwell Leadership Bible. The edition I reviewed was the NKJV translation. I was impressed with the way they editors had updated the color scheme, some of the language in the notes was tweaked, and new articles and resources were added. I still stand by my thoughts. This third edition, which uses the 2011 NIV translation update, has the same updated content. Rereading and reviewing it again reaffirms my initial impressions.

But I like this one better. First, from a design and mechanics aspect, I like this NIV version better. The burgundy leather gives it a weighty, authoritative appearance. From the outside, it just has a different look from the hardcover edition. It seems well-suited to appear on a desk, or on the bookshelf behind the desk.

The leather cover and sewn binding make its use in reading more convenient than the hardcover too. The leather-cover edition lays flat, whether set on a tabletop or on the readers lap. Even when reading the articles at the end, the pages don’t flip closed. The pages are the same paper as the hardcover, but the softer leather cover makes flipping through pages easier and more convenient, too.

When the updated NIV was released in 2011, I was not a fan. Since then, I have warmed up to it. I will go a step further to say that for the Maxwell Leadership Bible, the NIV seems like a more suitable translation to use. The flow of the wording in the text of the Bible in the NIV seems better matched for John C. Maxwell’s teaching style and the choice of wording used in the articles and features. The NKJV preserves its updated, but-still-formal wording, which is fine. I love the NKJV and have a profound appreciation for it. But the “writing style” of the NIV matches better with Maxwell’s writing style. The two complement each other for a leadership/spiritual growth resource such as this.

If you have the choice between the NKJV hardcover or the NIV leatherbound Maxwell Leadership Bible, 3rd ed., I recommend choosing the NIV. There are many benefits in this one, and not just the reading contents. It’s a comfortable, enjoyable read that will challenge you in many ways as you grow in leadership.

I received my copy of this book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for reviewing it. I was not obligated to write a positive review; the opinions expressed are the reviewer’s.

 

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Ending well.

There are twenty-one school days left in the school year. The year is eight-nineths over. This is my last year in the building I am; the school district is consolidating and I the middle school I have been in will now be a part of a junior-senior high school configuration in a different building.

So now I feel like I have double-pressure to end well.

End well because it is the end of the year. Also end well because I am done in this building.

What is your process to end well?

Review: “The Lotus and the Rose”

This is a review of the book The Lotus and the Rose by Lama Tsomo and Rev. Matthew Fox.

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I approached The Lotus and the Rose knowing a little bit about Rev. Fox and quite a bit about Christianity. I know nothing about pretty much nothing about Buddhism, and less than that about Lama Tsomo. After going through this book, I am not sure whether that is a benefit or a detriment to my comprehension of the material in the book.

The concept for The Lotus and the Rose is pretty straightforward. Friends religious spiritualists Matthew Fox and Lama Tsomo -Christian and Buddhist, respectively- sat down for a series of conversations in different contexts and settings. The transcripts of their dialogues were collected, arranged by theme, and published as one volume. What jumped out about me, what I appreciated about this book, was how each of the two, Fox and Tsomo, overflow with love for their beliefs and for each other. Their mutual respect and friendship as well as their deep expertise appears evident in the words they speak. The topics they cover are vast, from meditation to transcendence, from spirituality to science, there are few stones Tsomo and Fox do not unturn.

Some of what they discuss does get pretty dense, and if the reader knows little to nothing about either Christianity or Buddhism -as is the case with me and the latter- it can be relatively easy for the eyes to glaze over and the reader to zone out. Especially since I was not familiar with the vocabulary of Buddhism, it was hard for me to follow Tsomo at times. Be prepared for that.

Overall, The Lotus and the Rose is a conversation between two people who model how to learn from each other. That is something that our society needs right now, and if there is one bright spot -regardless of the things either Fox or Tsomo says that I disagree with- in this book, I would say it is that. Prepare for information, insight, and things that make you think. If you feel like your brain is starting to check out, pause, and reengage later. This is not one you want to read passively. Read it with a critical eye prepared to question any and everything on the page.

I received my copy of this book for free in exchange for publishing a review of it it. I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.

4.13.2019 Stream of Conscious

I should have brewed the coffee from the D.R. that Gam brought me. I need to clean the pieces of the espresso maker. I wonder what time Kizzy is getting up? Coffee is good. What a weird couple of dreams I had last night. I need to go over those essays this weekend. Why did they consider doing that? The furnace sounds like a continuous exhaling snore of a sleeping dragon. Coffee.

Review: “Call Down Lightning”

This is a review of the book Call Down Lightning by Wallace Henley.

In evangelical circles, the topic of revival comes up now and then. It seems to be on Henley’s mind, too. Tracing the historic revival in Wales in 1904, Henley lays out an outline for how revival can happen, and along the way points out how the United States could be setting itself up for religious revival now. Call Down Lightning is informative and interesting, but I felt that it was just okay.

Henley presents a work that is part historical research, party present-day commentary, part biography, and part revival sermon. Henley spends a lot of the book focusing on Evan Roberts, one of the catalysts for the Welsh revivals -Henley does give others credit in a chapter in the later half of the book. Throughout, Henley uses lightning as an analogy to revival, and brings in interesting facts about the natural phenomenon to connect his points.

I picked up this book not knowing anything about the Welsh revival. That was what drew me to the book; I wanted to know a little bit more about church world history. In this short volume, there is plenty of it. It started to feel a little repetitive by the end, though. I felt the book was kind of slow until about Chapter 11. So be prepared to slough through Call Down Lightning. There were times where I found myself having the thought, “I know this guy is passionate about revival happening again; I just wish his writing made me believe it more often.”

Call Down Lightning is an all right read. Be prepared for fun, exciting moments. Also be prepared for a little boredom and wondering when the next chapter starts. But in the end, be prepared to get something out of it.

I received my copy of this book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for reviewing it. I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.

#30SongChallenge – Day 13

Day 13: A song that is a guilty pleasure

Artist:  Michael W. Smith

Song:  “Go West Young Man”

Album:  Go West Young Man

No explanation needed. I like this song. Maybe more than I should.

#30SongChallenge – Day 12

Day 12:  A song from a band you hate

Artist:  Nickelback

Song:  “Leader of Men”

Album:  The State

Okay, so I don’t really hate Nickelback. They are an easy target (they got caught plagiarizing themselves…come on!). But I don’t hate them. There isn’t a band I actually hate. These guys might be the closest thing to one I do, though.

But this song is from a time before Nickelback became synonymous with jokes about Nickelback. And it is my offering for today. I love the 90s!

 

I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would; a review of “The Theft of America’s Soul”

This is a review of The Theft of America’s Soul by Phil Robertson.

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I read Phil Robertson’s previous book, Happy, Happy, Happy! during the zenith of the Duck Dynasty craze. That book was okay. Fast forward five years after his second book, UnPHILtered (which I did not read), and now comes The Theft of America’s Soul. Curious to see what Robertson might have to say after the excitement of the Duck Dynasty frenzy has settled, I picked up the book. I read it in under two days; I could have read it in one day but life happens.

Woven together as a book that is one part memoir, one commentary on current events, and one part evangelical Christian apologetics, The Theft of America’s Soul fills in some of the holes in Phil Robertson’s life created in Robertson’s previous two books. But those gaps in Robertson’s story that he fills in are only the starting point, as he uses them as a Bible-centered springboard to critique what he sees as faults in the prevailing mindset of mainstream America. He calls out a need for Christian conviction and taking a stand for truth, as well as the need to stand for morality and unity. Robertson references the race riots in Ferguson, MO, the Harvey Weinstein debacle, the Las Vegas and Texas church shootings, among other events in our very recent U.S. history. But when he discusses them, it does not feel forced or contrived, but easy and conversational, the way Robertson’s tone is throughout the book.

The Theft for America’s Soul does have some parts where the pace seems to slow down. Chapter 6 on virtue, 8 on unity, and 9 on faith in the workplace feel a little repetitive at points. That might simply be because Robertson wants to make sure that his readers haven’t missed the points he is trying to emphasize. But if you’re like me, you catch them the first time.

On the whole, The Theft of America’s Soul is a respectable read. If you are a person of faith, you will undoubtedly feel encouraged and maybe even inspired. If you are not, this book will help you perhaps better understand a person who the media -and maybe even Phil himself- has painted as a backwoods “river rat.” In either case, the potential reader is bound to get something out of this book.

I received my copy of this book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for reviewing it. I was not obligated to give it a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.

Technology makes life. Easier?

As I am staring at the screen trying to figure out what to write, a red box popped up on the monitor. It said, “You haven’t written anything yet!” Thanks for the reminder. Is this supposed to inspire me by pressuring me?

I think to all the different times that Siri has sent the wrong message in talk-to-text messages (“I put the bacon in the frying pans” vs. “I put the baking in the frying pants”).

Earlier this week I set the coffee maker before going to bed. When I woke up at 5 the next morning and walked downstairs, the coffee pot had turned off three hours ago. I was unaware that the coffee maker had lost power earlier in the day, and while the clock had been reset, the brew timer had not.

And then, any time my phone’s batter percentage drops below 50 percent, I experience a level of soft panic and worry irrationally that my phone will not be able to last until I get it on a charger.

For all the ways that technology is supposed to make life easier, it sure has its moments.

Just sayin’…

Review: Maxwell Leadership Bible, 3rd ed.

This is a review of the Maxwell Leadership Bible, 3rd Edition published by Thomas Nelson.

I am a lifelong student of the Bible, and also an individual who serves in various leadership functions in the church I attend and the school where I teach. One of the easiest ways I have found to develop personally as a leader and Christian is to read books on leadership and books on faith. The Maxwell Leadership Bible is an exceptional blending of the two book types. John C. Maxwell is a noted leader who has spent his entire life teaching leadership principles from a foundation of the Bible. Just reading the notes and articles included in this Bible is enough to know that Maxwell knows his stuff.

The edition that I have uses the New King James Version text as its foundation (Full disclosure: I really like the NKJV!). Then, throughout the text are mixed in short biographies on people of the Bible and who they demonstrate (positively or negatively) leadership traits. Also, the text includes short articles, one-page readings, and margin-inserts connected to leadership principles, as well as to the 21 Qualities of Leaders and the 21 Laws of Leadership, for which John Maxwell is known. There are an impressive amount of additional articles and leadership resources int he back of the Maxwell Leadership Bible, as well as sorted indices for where one can find features on the 21 Qualities and 21 Laws.

I like study Bibles. I like them when the supplementary materials do not distract the reader from the page. The Maxwell Leadership Bible does a good job in its layout to help prevent the reader from feeling distracted or overwhelmed. This edition also takes advantage of the Thomas Nelson Comfort Print font. That’s actually the only big noticeable difference for me between the previous edition and this one. That and the color scheme of the pages. But those two things, though small, make a surprisingly big, positive difference.

Paraphrased, John C. Maxwell writes that no matter what a person does, he or she is a leader in some capacity. The Maxwell Leadership Bible is a quality resource for anyone who identifies with the truth in that statement.

I received my copy of the Maxwell Leadership Bible for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for reviewing it. I was not obligated to write a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.