Quick thoughts on books read/listened to in 2019

Plan - The One Year® Chronological Bible – 2 year process this time through.
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill – one hour per week with 6-10 "Ironmen" slowing going through this treasure. We had some really good deep dives into what Hill wrote/claimed and what a Biblical perspective would infer. Thanks to Paul Martinelli and Roddy Galbreath for their version of the study guide we used and class they taught in Jan/Feb. Thanks to the Ironmen: Dan Forbes, Brian Henson, Scott Carly, Gary Seale, Dale Miller, Joey McGirr, John Russell, Wiley Russell, John Becker, and Ryan Ransom. 

Remembering Death, by Matthew McCullough – a good reminder and some refreshing new thoughts. Thanks David George Moore for the email that I'd enjoy this book. I did.

Think Learn Succeed (Audible), by Dr. Caroline Lea... – such a good book. A wider and deeper look at the author's "Switch On Your Brain" I read in 2017 and have referenced many times since. This book did not include any scripture references. I'm not slowing listening, reading and taking her course on "The Perfect You." Cathy has joined me.

A Company of Heros, by Tim Keesee – Thanks Brian Henson for this recommendation. Sobering read.

Leaders Who Last, by Dave Kraft – Thanks Brian Henson for leading a few of us through the discussions.

The Science of Getting Rich (Audible), by Wallace ... – Thanks again to Paul and Roddy for the live Facebook lessons through this read. So much wisdom that many will miss simply because of the title.

Spiritual Warfare by Brian Borgman & Rob Ventura – Thanks for recommendation from Tim Challies Blog.

What Works When "Diets" Don't, by Shane Idleman – really good book, written by a passionate pastor.

Leadershift (Audible), by John C. Maxwell – sometimes I just need to listen to John Maxwell. The audible included a bonus session that was worth the purchase itself.

Liberating Prayer, by Neil T. Anderson – I've continued to pull on what I've learned from this and will continue.

The Lies We Believe, by Dr. Chris Thurman – reread. I've referenced this book many times since first reading it in 1990. Author has updated it with a 30th anniversary edition. I've started reading and enjoyed it until he got started contradicting himself about his dislike for having a positive attitude and his personal bashing. I haven't finished the new edition.

Waking The Dead, by John Eldridge (Audible) – 4th or 5th reread over past 20 years. Continues to be an important reminder.

The Bondage Breaker, by Neil T. Anderson – 3rd time through. Last time in 2016.

Change Your Heart Change Your Life, by Dr. Gary Sm... – honest and open. Incredibly transparent.

The Complete Guide to Fasting, Dr. Jason Fung and ... – practicing Dr. Fung's teachings. Thanks to Dan Forbes for recommendation.

Leadershift, by John C. Maxwell - I read again in preparation for making changes. 

To Pixar and Beyond, by Lawrence Levy – very good read about Steve Jobs

God, What Are You Doing? by David George Moore – Dave, I've wondered that many times. 

Can't Hurt Me, by David Goggins – wow. Goggins is an incredible human being. I pray for him. He inspires thousands and thousands.


Do you know what you believe?

You should, because you're living it out. You're living out your beliefs, your convictions. Maybe by default, but you are living them out.

Convictions. We could say our convictions are those habits, manners and behaviors we could be accused and convicted of.

Do you want to change your behaviors? Start by identifying what you genuinely believe, where you want to be, how you want to act and then establish disciplines you can be convicted of. 

We operate off our convictions.

I contend most of us can't truly speak into our beliefs, what convicts us.

Something to ponder...We are spiritual beings, gifted with an intellect, living in a physical body.

If you can get a grip on that. If you believe that...then you must consider growing your entire self.

...it’s not just being more effective at completing daily tasks, being a better sales person, making more and better calls (my current struggle), having a good marketing campaign (another struggle). 

If we believe we’re spiritual beings, gifted with an intellect, living in a physical body, we owe it to ourselves, and God, to grow our entire selves.
Don’t disregard this, at least consider it before casting it aside. 

I believe it was Jim Rohne who said “some things are too important to be left un-researched.”

This is important.

Our Most Powerful Tool

The mind is our most powerful tool.  It has two parts - the conscious and the subconscious/unconscious (other than conscious). The mind can distract us or keep us focused.
It’s the mind that allows the late night ice cream binge or the discipline to eat right all day.
The mind will awaken us, without an alarm at 4:45 to start our morning routine, or the mind can cause us to sleep in and rush panicking into the day.
We can be conformed to this world by going with the norm of our existing thoughts and the world around us......or we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Renewing of our minds is a powerful principle. It’s out choice, our decision, our outcome! What we focus on, we’re more likely to get. Do our actions and habits produce the positive results we want? If not, change the way we think, practice daily disciplines to renew our mind. As a result, new actions and habits will follow.
What’s going into our mind through our senses is changing who we are in the inside that we live out on the outside. Who we are on the inside will determine who we are on the outside.
We cannot always change what just happened us, but we can control how we respond by controlling how we renew our minds.
We will all be different 5 years from today, than we are today. That difference is determined by who we associate with, what we watch, what we hear and what we read.

Pondering - Leadershift

I read Maxwell's "Leadershift" as I was shifting into a new role 6 months ago.

This new role has been an emotional shift and I'm surprised I've lasted. My 12WkYr Coach, coming into the new job, recommended my only goal should be "to show up every day."

Wise. Simple and wise.

This morning I find myself looking through this list of shifts Maxwell writes are necessary.












These recent months have further confirmed my belief that we (humans) perform best when we "manage processes and lead people." John gives a good explanation of my belief on page 1....

"Management systems and processes tend to be linear. They assume that similar inputs will result in similar outputs. In many situations, this holds true. Leadership, however, requires a more nuanced view of the world because it involves people: what motivates them, what their interests are, and how engaged they become."

To that end....I think I know what I'm rereading this weekend.

Time Stealer (adapted from Today Matters Bible Plan by John Maxwell)

There will always be distractions in life because we know from scripture that the agenda of the enemy is to steal, kill and destroy - (John 10:10 NIV). Because of his agenda to steal from us, the enemy knows if we can waste time then our purpose will never be realized, and our destiny will be aborted. 
Procrastination is a time stealer, and it simply means to put off intentionally doing something that should be done.
I have been guilty of this often, and  I have missed many wonderful opportunities to excel. In the Bible, (Matthew 25:1 – 13 NIV), a story of procrastination gripped my heart because of the greatest opportunity missed. 
The following parable was a real eye-opener for me because I realize every day we are gambling away our future with the notion we still have lots of time while being distracted by unimportant things like social media, television, games, text messages and the list can go on. Today I want to encourage you to look at what you are investing your time in and ask yourself, "What am I putting off intentionally that could hurt my future that I should be doing right now?" Once you have identified it simply decide not to put it off anymore; redeem your time!
The parable of the ten virgins tells of the preparation for the bridegroom's return. Five of the virgins were prepared with their lamps and oil, but five did not have oil. The story points out that the bridegroom was a long time in coming and the virgins became drowsy and fell asleep. Then suddenly at midnight, the alarm was sounded that the bridegroom was on his way. They all awoke, and the five prepared put their lamps together for his return. But the five who had sufficient time but intentionally put off getting the oil was left stranded and never made it to the wedding. 
Prayer: Lord, help me today to not be like the five virgins that gambled with their future. Help me to break off this time stealer of procrastination from my life and thank you for your hearing me!
Adapted from Today Matters Bible Plan by John Maxwell

The Way You've Been Taught To Plan is Likely WRONG

I quick research (Google) on “business planning” overall says the same-old-thing…..1 year plans, 3 year plans, even 5 year plans.
That worked for Columbus and the Pilgrims. They’d need something, send a courier across the sea to England and 6-8 months later, get it. No big deal if it was another few months, ok. Everything moved slowly.

It worked for Ford and Carnegie. It even worked for Jobs and Gates, but they and others changed the scope of planning.
Today’s planning has to be short-term, with shorter-term checks and balances.
Today’s business moves FAST. Planning and goals must be short-term, vision long-term. 
Moran and Lennington have nailed it in their book “The 12 Week Year.” They propose a 12 week plan that’s carried out through weekly plans carried out with daily execution.

And it works!
To the point behind the 12 Week Year, there might be a place for long-term planning but I’m not wasting my time imagining where.
I get planning. I get putting together some good what-if scenarios. I get having big hairy audacious goals. But that’s not planning. Planning is what we do to prepare to carry out those goals, intentions and aspirations.
And planning more than a few weeks is lazy. Pure laziness because the planners know they need to plan, but they know the 1 year plan is useless after a few weeks, even a few days. Yet, they don’t want to take the time to continuously re-engage in he planning process.

So, why waste time making a plan you know can’t be carried out?
Who can put together a plan, divide it up into quarters and expect to follow it to any extent?
Definitely not an engaging salesperson. It’ve been using the periodization technique describe in The 12 Week Year for over a year. Actually, I’m in my 5th 12th Week Year.It’s a game changer and I’m not sure that 12 weeks isn’t too long. Business moves fast. Competitors most fast. New opportunities come at the engaging salesperson and they come FAST.

To that end, be great-in-the-moment.

My Method of Navigation Planning and Structure - adapted from The Law of Navigation by John C. Maxwell

1. I plan to plan.

2. I determine my primary purpose in each role

3. I assess the situation.

4. I prioritize the needs.

5. I ask questions.

6. I set specific goals.

7. I clarify and communicate.

8. I identify possible obstacles.

9. I plan no more than twelve weeks.

10. I schedule everything I can.

11. I budget everything I can.

12. I measure lead and lag indicators.

13. I study the results and make corrections where necessary.

14. I do less and obsess.

Remember, anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course - John C. Maxwell

The Transforming Power of Mental Renewal


Jordan Raynor: Passion - Competence ≠ Calling

Passion - Competence ≠ Calling

Discerning Your Calling

Devotional 3 of 4
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith." Romans 12:6 (NIV)
Last week, we saw that identifying our passions are key in the process of discerning our calling. But passion without competence is worthless. In Romans 12:6, Paul said, "Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly." We have largely ignored this verse in the Church today, choosing to define calling as simply what we are really passionate about, rather than the intersection of both our passions and giftings.

Our work won't feel like a calling until we reimagine it as service to our Caller and the world. It's impossible to serve someone well if you aren't gifted at your craft. You may be really passionate about wanting to fly an airplane, but if you've never been to flight school, you won't be serving others by taking the controls in the cockpit. You may really want to be an entrepreneur, but if you've started multiple companies and have consistently lost investors' money and laid off employees, are you really serving others through your chosen work?

In order to best glorify our Creator and serve others, we should do the work we are best at, work that God has equipped us to do exceptionally well. In her classic essay, Why Work? renowned British novelist Dorothy Sayers said, "The Church's approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours, and to come to church on Sundays. What the Church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables."

Nobody starts their career knowing what they will be exceptionally good at. We learn what giftings God has given us through continual trial and error. Individual failures don't necessarily mean that we aren't gifted and called to a particular line of work. But if we are to glorify God and serve others through our vocations, we should be in a continual process of analyzing where our passions and giftings align. It is that intersection that brings us one step closer to discerning our calling.

Jordan Raynor
Author, Called to Create

Is Interest on Home Equity Loans Tax Deductible?

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The Internal Revenue Service recently advised taxpayers that interest on a home equity loan used to build an addition to an existing home is typically deductible, while interest on the same loan used to pay personal living expenses, such as credit card debts, is not. Click here to view the announcement.  Here are three examples from the announcement:
  • Example 1: In January 2018, a taxpayer takes out a $500,000 mortgage to purchase a main home with a fair market value of $800,000.  In February 2018, the taxpayer takes out a $250,000 home equity loan to put an addition on the main home. Both loans are secured by the main home and the total does not exceed the cost of the home. Because the total amount of both loans does not exceed $750,000, all of the interest paid on the loans is deductible. However, if the taxpayer used the home equity loan proceeds for personal expenses, such as paying off student loans and credit cards, then the interest on the home equity loan would not be deductible.

On a quote: Dallas Willard

I've squinted this morning on this quote from Dallas Willard..

"The main thing God gets out of my life is the person I become. The main thing I get out of my life is the person I become."

I need an emoji for astonishment!

At first hearing this, I was taken back. I'd never thought of it/life/things that way and wanted to object.

But I had to consider the sources. First, it's a quote from Dallas Willard. Second, the quote was quoted by Max Anders in his sermon on Life's Purpose.

What if it is true? What if I did agree?

"The main thing God gets out of my life is the person I become. The main thing I get out of my life is the person I become."

Then, my friend John Becker sent a text with....

"Today, instead of 'What am I getting out of this worship?', maybe we should ask 'What is God getting out of my worship?" '
- Rick Atchley

Piling it on! I love it when I see God's plan coming together.