The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told | Rick Beyer
Yes. A lot of the material in the book is known. Then there are a few things that I didn’t know. Personally, I enjoyed it because it was in bite-size chunks. When I say bite size, it was 2 pages max per story. I enjoyed the content and thoughts expressed behind it. It caused me to want to read accounts on many of these events on a deeper scale.
The first thing that you need to know is that this book is full of great, historical information of Abraham Lincoln’s political background from his time prior to the nomination through his assassination. The second thing is that you will notice plenty of similarities on the political climates of Reagan, both Bushes, Clinton, Obama, and Trump. The third thing is that this book is a long book. It is not a sit down on a Saturday afternoon type of book because of its length. I was amazed at the amount of detail that Goodwin portrayed all throughout the book. It characterized Lincoln as a human being who was prone to deep thought and jubilant conversations. Very few would say that this book was a 3 star. It is a 5 star even with the amount of content.
You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader | Mark Sanborn
This book is a must-read for the person who wants to be a leader in any fashion. This will challenge you to be a leader right on the spot that you are in. Mark Sanborn tackles these topics with both story and facts. Grab your copy today!
How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution | Joel Pollak & Larry Schweikart
Wow. Just a simple Wow. This was an amazing book on the rise, the fall, the rise, the fall, the rise of Donald J. Trump to the Presidency. This is a great expose on how Donald J. Trump overcame the odds and went on to become president. This is from the eyes and ears of one of the reporters from the media pool who traveled with the candidate all over the country and who interviewed both Democrat and Republicans on the candidate.
Grit | Angela Duckworth
Angela Duckworth performs with excellence in her book Grit. This book is a must read for those who bought into the lie that intelligence is the only way to the top. Duckworth touts that hard work and determination is the key to success. She reflects on her personal life experiences and ties them with stories of other individuals.
Hero | Meg Meeker, MD
This is an amazing book on the importance of fatherhood in a child’s life. Most books tend to bash either the father or the mother. This one, however, does not. Meeker breaks the balance between the importance of a Dad in a child’s life and the mom’s as well. This book is perfect for a father!
The World Needs Your Hustle | Kevin Buchanan
Kevin has a keen sense of humor that is matched with real-world experience. With action steps and ideas, he will help you take your hustle to a whole new level. This is a must read for a person who wants to do more than just live a mundane life. One thing I did like was that Kevin does not push his thoughts on you. He even encourages you that if you don’t want to change, that is just fine. Grab this today!
Kevin is a Nashville, TN native and hails with love for Oprah, Chick-Fil-A, and awesome shows on NetFlix. While not loving on those, he’s a dynamic speaker, author, and entrepreneur. You can find all things Kevin at kevinbuchanan.me.
The power of community. Each of these amazing people wrote their story about the importance of their community from the first #StartExperiement. It is a great, easy read on how they created this community that began with five people which exploded to countless more. You will get a feel of how the power of one can change a community.
The Power of Faith-Driven Success |
Isabel’s book was a good read for those who would like to know the connection on how to relate one’s energy and success along with faith. The first four chapters was an autobiography of her experience transitioning from Germany to the United States while implementing her spiritual thoughts regarding that transition. Throughout the book, Isabel connects success with scripture which was a huge plus for me.
Real Artists Don’t Starve | Jeff Goins
Wow! Jeff did an amazing job showing the disconnect between Starving Artists and Thriving Artists. The word Artist can be misconstrued as a person who only does drawings and paintings. The truth of the matter is that we are all artists when it comes to what we do on a daily basis and when we strive to take on our dreams. Goins breaks down the myths behind artists and builds a case that we can all take our “art” out in the marketplace while not having to reinvent the wheel.
A Non-Traditional Spiritual Digest | Dennis Botz
Dennis Botz takes an alternative look at how you and I view the doctrines of the church today with scripture and thought. In his first book, he exposes the lies that we often believe when I come to what the church teaches us. From grace to the end times, Botz shows us that our relationship with Christ is more about who we are in Him instead of what we are doing for Him.
Dennis has been happily married to his beautiful wife for more than 35 years and has two sons along with a daughter-in-law and grandson. He has a passion for learning and sharing things with people that will make a difference in their lives when and if applied. His passion for writing, editing, and researching was realized and developed while employed at a global non-profit organization that reaches a potential of 3.5 billion people daily with a message of hope.
Sweat, Sawdust, and the Millpond | Josh Hatcher
This a good compilation of poems that Josh collected for this e-book. It is a quick and easy read for those who are looking for something new to add to their shelves. These poems are not your normal, everyday poems that you may find on the internet. They are an exposure of the soul of men.
Manlihood: The 12 Pillars of Masculinity | Josh Hatcher
Josh has a great knack for bringing home what it means to be a man. In this book, Josh brings together the 12 pillars that are essential for a man to be all that he is called to be. Not only is it vital for men, but for boys who are on the edge of becoming a man. From integrity to how to treat a woman to sex to the value a man has in himself, you will find yourself captivated by this expose on how to be a man.
I was challenged to find respect in myself as a man. Not in a prideful way, but in a way that will make me a better husband, father, and altogether good man of God.
Wisdom For Men: 500 Chunks of Manly Knowledge | Josh Hatcher
This is a great resource compiled of 500 quotes from great people who are looking to expand on their creativity. This book has quotes from hard work and grit to vision and integrity. This book is not only for men, however, it is a great gift for the men in your life.
Josh Hatcher is the brains and the bronze behind manlihood.com which is a website dedicated to all things manly.
Josh Hatcher is a storyteller and master of practical advise. Since he was a teenager, writing has been his passion, writing self-help, poetry, and telling stories for more than 20 years. Relevant Books published “Cheap Ways To…” in 2001 – and Josh co-authored that book along with Margaret Feinberg, Jason Boyett, and Katie Meier. He’s also written numerous posts for RelevantMagazine.com, has written for New Man Magazine, and a number of other publications. Josh currently heads HatcherMedia.net – a creative marketing consulting firm, Manlihood.com – a site to equip, educate, and entertain men in an engaging way, and he works as a freelance journalist and graphic designer. Josh is also a singer/songwriter, backyard farmer, and father of four. You can find more information about Josh and his happenings at manlihood.com!
Your Brand Is Calling: Build a Personal Brand to Reflect and Connect | Mike Loomis
I am always looking for great books that will help someone be able to further their business and find their calling. This book is no different. Mike Loomis takes several aspects of the branding steps and breaks it down into easy to understand pieces while ending each chapter with thoughts and action steps. This book is great for any new or existing entrepreneur that is chalked full of information that will provoke you to thought. I appreciate Mike’s thoughts on how it doesn’t take a huge following on social media to be successful, however, there’s an emphasis to focus on the important things with your brand. Mike covers how to overcome those obstacles and help you to become the brand that you are wanting to reflect. Want a free brand review? Buy the book, leave a review on Amazon, and contact Mike through his website below.
Mike Loomis helps people launch their dream projects and books. Since starting and selling two businesses, he’s a strategic partner to bestselling authors, non-profits, publishers as well as startups, and aspiring messengers. He and his wife live in the mountains of Colorado with their pet moose. www.MikeLoomis.CO
Get Picked: Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Creating Irresistible Speaker Proposals | Aurora Gregory & David Pitlik
I had the honor was reviewing this book before it launched. This is a great guide fro those who wish to launch a career in public speaking or are already in the trenches. Aurora and David give an amazing expose about how to maneuver through the speaking circuit. Not just merely speaking because they have read books on it but through proven experience. From beginning to end, you will be taking notes.
Activating the Power of God’s Word | Kyle Winkler
Kyle Winkler is no stranger to the power of God’s word and the message behind it. Featured on TBN, It’s Supernatural, and many different programs across the globe. Traveling the world while teaching the word of God and instilling hope to the hopeless, Kyle has written this book to reach out to those who struggle with believing that God’s word is true, full of life, and active.
In this new book, Activating the Power of God’s Word, Kyle reveals the power of behind being able to speak the Word, believe the Word, and act on the Word. At the end of each chapter, Kyle offers a way to active the word whether it is knowing that you are a new creation in Christ or enjoying your everyday life. Unlike most authors in this genre, Kyle does not just write down the words to say that these things are true or even propose a false expose, he has lived it day in and day out. He talks not only about the characters of the Bible who actively walked through it, he tells his story.
One thing that I really enjoyed about this book is that each chapter includes a website that has a video teaching with it. Each teaching tackles the topic that he speaks on in the book which is a plus. In addition, the YouVersion app includes a 6-day daily devotional for absolutely free!
Finally, this is perhaps one of the best things I loved about this book. Being an established author, most find themselves repeating themselves from prior books. This is not the case. Kyle does not offer the same information as he did in Silence Satan. I appreciate that because when I read an established author, this is my common complaint.
You can pick up Kyle’s book wherever books are sold. However, the best place to grab it is at kylewinkler.org/amazon!
In a world where manhood is challenged and a society that diminishes the role of the father, this book is a welcomed treasure to remind the man that they were created to be. At the end of this review, there are pictures for you to use with quotes throughout the book along with the links to buying the book, getting the FREE YouVersion Bible Study, and the video introduction of the book.
Play the Man | Mark Batterson
In Play the Man, Mark Batterson tackles the topic of manhood with seven virtues of a true man.
1. Tough as Nails
It takes courage to do something that no one else wants to do. Batterson capitalized on the story of Charles Lindbergh who traveled in the Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. Without fail, this story reflected on the tough attitude of Lindbergh and tied Batterson’s vision of toughness in the Christian man. One of the major points that I took away was a quote in the first chapter saying “Most of our problems are first-world problems. ” Batterson believes that we, as men, must toughen up. Perhaps not in the physical sense but in the spiritual sense. The premise to show us that we need to take up our cross daily and follow Christ. In addition, our heart is to be tough as well. Not hardened, but to have tough love.
Another area is anger. “The key is getting angry about the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.” writes Batterson. So often, authors avoid the part where Jesus got angry with those in the temple. Batterson does not miss a beat talking about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Jesus’ decision was not to offend those that were following him or appease those who did not agree with him however it was to offend the Pharisees. It was to buck the system.
Batterson ends the chapter with talking about being tough-skinned and the fact that real men cry. It almost seems oxymoronic to say those two things in one sentence. However, it is the hope that we can become more thick skinned and have the same heart for things that break the heart of God. Becoming thickly skinned doesn’t mean becoming calloused. It means being able to quickly forgive an offense and calibrating your heart to break for the things that reach God’s, heart.
2. A Gentleman and a Scholar
This is perhaps my favorite chapter. I love learning which is one of the reasons that I enjoy reviewing books. This chapter talks about being filled with childlike wonder. Teddy Roosevelt is the featured gentleman in this chapter. He grew up frail and sickly but took matters into his own hands when he began to build his body and his mind.
One of the attributes that drew me to learn about Theodore Roosevelt is his love to learn. He would read an average of 500 books per year – including while he was President of the United States! Wow! The quote that stood out in this chapter from John Naisbitt is “Learning how to learn is the most precious thing we have in life.” The art of learning does not merely stop at college but is an ongoing process in life. Webster’s dictionary defines being a gentleman is “a man who treats other people in a proper and polite way.”
Batterson highlights briefly the rite of passage for his sons. Through this rite of passage, he took one of them to Roosevelt Island where there is a stone of his speech on Youth and Manhood. “All daring and courage, all ironed endurance of misfortune make for a finer and nobler type of manhood.” This is the premise of the entire book. He revealed something that I never thought about. I was always under the impression that God wants us to simply grow up and get on with life. Out of 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” In putting childhood behind us, we assume that are to lose our childlike wonder. However, it is far from true.
He expounds on this from how we should become more childlike instead of childish. To be childish is to be selfish and self-centered. However, to be childlike is to have wondered and to be available to learn more. Our moments are not filled with minutes spent but moments spent.
Batterson covers the topic of willpower in this chapter. Whether it is will power to not sin or will power to not overeat, the heart behind it is this simple quote from Pastor Jack Hayford, “make decisions against yourself.” Meaning, make a decision against your flesh! The premise of this chapter is that willpower helps you to be response-able to the things that are going on in your life. Viktor Frankl said, “Everything can be taken from a man, but one thing: the last of human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances.” As a man, there is a choice to make on how we approach the circumstances that we are in and be okay with delayed gratification, avoiding temptation, and being filled with integrity.
4. The Three-Headed Dragon
Raw passion – it’s a long, lost art in today’s men. Muted by work and the mundane, men no longer find the enthusiasm that comes with being a man. Perhaps the quote from Eugene Peterson regarding John Muir; “a standing rebuke against becoming a mere spectator to life, preferring creature comfort to Creator confrontation.” Muir was not a spectator to life but a proud participant. The Three-Headed Dragon that Batterson talks about are dragons that keep us from being full of that raw passion. The Dragon of Doubt keeps us wondering, the Dragon on Apathy lulls us to sleep, and the Dragon of lust keeps us wanting something more. Each of these dragons has an attribute that steals us away from raw passion.
In this chapter, Batterson talks about True Grit which he defines as “resilience in the face of rejection, fortitude in the face of fear. It’s a no guts, no glory approach to life, even in the face of impossible odds.” We are in a place in our lives that, like the previous chapter mentions, we are lulled to sleep with apathy. We don’t want to do the hard things. We want to do the easy thing. This chapter is stocked full of stories and antidotes from stories about Dwight Eisenhower to himself about True Grit.
The goal of a man comes from Genesis 1:28 which says “fill the earth and subdue it.” Through this, Batterson covers the topics on how to speak, how to be a good steward in every avenue in our lives, teamwork, and not settling down.
6. Born for the Storm
We are each called for a purpose and with a vision for our lives. Andrew Jackson said of his life “I was born for the storm and the calm does not suit me.” Why? There is no action – there is no leader. We are stagnant without some sort of storm in our lives. Batterson calls men to embrace the storms in their lives instead of running from them. As men, Batterson shares that we need friends, strength from God to stand faithful and be strong, to have a mission, and retreat.
Batterson talks also about a vision retreat. The goal is to take your family’s goals and vision, go away for a very short time, and find the key components through prayer and preparation. Through this, it will help a man to find what is important in his life and sustain a healthy balancing act in his family. One of the biggest takeaways for me was this phrase; “Boredom is often the first sign of sin.” When we don’t have a mission or a vision, we get bored and we stray into sin. Batterson said it frankly, “When you stop building altars to God, you start building monuments to yourself.”
7. Call of Duty
It takes moral courage to be a man of God. He has put a compass in you called the Holy Spirit and in men, this compass guides us through His power to do the right thing. There are several places that Batterson takes us; Washing feet like Jesus instead of washing our hands like Pilate, the Sin of Silence, Modeling, the Moral Compass, the power of conformity, and the courage of confession. We battle these areas with bold humility, having a “crash helmet”, and offensive plays.
Batterson spends the rest of the book dictating the Rite of Passage for a young man into adulthood. The first thing he tackles is being famous in his own home meaning that he wants to put his family ahead of everything else, aside from God. In addition, he talks about being a prayer warrior and a warrior for the kingdom. Showing these things helps guide father to help mentor/disciple the son. For the final chapters, Batterson speaks on the discipleship of his sons. This portion of the book is an intimate look into his life through guiding his sons into the entrance to manhood. “We must give our sons a clear definition, a clear picture, of manhood.”
The rite of passage is different between the different cultures. However, each of them spends an inordinate amount of time making sure that the boy knows when he becomes a man. It is clearly shown to him. They are a defining moment! Here’s a great quote from E. M. Bounds, “Men are God’s method, the Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.” Our jobs as fathers are to create better men! Creating better men doesn’t mean we define their faults but we celebrate their character. “We don’t find our identity in what we have done for God. We find our identity in what Christ has done for us.” Wow. How profound.
In closing, I’d like to quote Batterson’s final thought “When you play the man when you make the man you are lighting a candle for the next generation – a candle that shall never be put out.”
I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars for the content and the flow. Exceptional!
Each of these virtues and thoughts is captured through both the Bible and history. Recently, I was approached to read and review Play the Man as part of a launch team. I have had the honor to doing so for Mark’s book Chase the Lion and Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze’s book Smart Money, Smart Kids. Each time I have this opportunity, I enjoy sharing the attributes that I found throughout the book. But there is one thing that you can’t do just by reading this review is getting the complete feel of the book. You can order your copy today to get the full feel of it!
Praying Circles Around Your Children |Mark Batterson
Several months ago, I decided to take a challenge to read books that help shape the lives of our children. The first book that I reviewed was Smart Money, Smart Kids (NY Times Best Seller) by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze which was an amazing book. This month, I chose a book that centered around our children’s prayer lives. Sara and I have always had a devotion to praying for our children and teaching them how to pray. Somehow, it became ritualistic to me. Every night I became a repeat of the same prayer that I prayed the night before. There was meaning behind it because it was the word of God.
That was until I read this awesome book Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson, who is the pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. Batterson is an accomplished author who has tackled many different topics and this one, in my opinion, is one of the most important ones. It is so vital to pray for and over our children. As he pointed out, we are mere prophets of what our children will become. In Proverbs, we read that our words affect our future and that is certainly no different than with our children. Here are the primary points of the book;
- 1stCircle-Circling the Promises of God: It is very important that we know and prays the promises of God over our children. Batterson hit on this when he talked about his daughter to have holy confidence and when he talks about one of his son’s fears.
- 2ndCircle- Making Prayer Lists: It shows intentionality when it comes to praying for our children. I am guilty of not doing this one and it is a challenge. It is important to write down the vision and make it plain (See Habakkuk 2).
- 3rdCircle-Creating Prayer Mantras: Everyday, we want to pray for that vision for our kid’s lives and that the word of God will be ever present in their lives.
- 4thCircle-Forming Prayer Circles: Batterson reflects on the importance of the laying of hands while praying for our children. It is a physical connection of the prayer with the child. I would go further as to say that it is a tangible way to connect your child with God’s love.
- 5thCircle-Praying Through the Bible: Don’t stop at John 3:16 when praying for your children. The meat is in John 3:17.
Batterson leaves a lot to think about when it comes to praying for our children. I highly encourage you to grab this book while it’s hot. You can currently (at the time of this writing) purchase it on Amazon for 2.99 which is a bargain.
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church (www.theaterchurch.com) in Washington, DC. One church with seven locations. NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in theaters throughout the DC metro area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 10 books, including The Circle Maker, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase and most recently, All In. Mark is married to Lora and they live on Capitol Hill with their three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah. – See more at:http://www.markbatterson.com/about/#sthash.kDYt8H8Q.dpuf
Facing Your Giants | Max Lucado
Many men (and women) fight multiple giants in their lives; whether the Giants are lust, adultery, greed, pride, depression, lack, etc. There are times that a person can just become overwhelmed with the things that happen in life and feel that there is no hope. Men, especially, are afflicted with those giants and find themselves at a loss as to what to do. Today, I am reviewing the book called Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado. The New York Times Best Selling author took the time to break down the different giants that we face on a daily basis and provided an expose on the life of King David.
It may impress you that King David did not only face Goliath but multiple different Giants throughout his lifetime. Could you imagine being King David in this period of time? He did not have the Torah or the Bible to help him along the way. The only map that he had was his heart which he found got him into a lot of trouble. Lucado touches on the multiple times that David was led by his heart when it came to making decisions in the combat of these giants. Lucado gave an honest account on what it would have been like to be David in the midst of these trials and also included many of his personal stories in it. Lucado is often very candid about his shortcomings when it comes to the giants that were in his life. However, he seems to always show the grace of God and how God redeems what has been lost while fighting these giants.
This is a must read for those who are struggling to find themselves in the midst of the church while fighting their personal battles. I am never surprised by Lucado and his writings when it comes to encouraging the heathen and the well versed Christian. I feel that he often marries them together into one group thus leaving any division out of the equation on his writing.
You can pick up a copy of Facing Your Giants at your local Christian bookstore or on Amazon!
Silence Satan | Kyle Winkler
It is rare that I get to know the author in a one-on-one friendship, but this is one time that I can say that. Kyle Winkler is a dynamic speaker who is dedicated to sharing the love of Christ to the world who is in need of His love more and more every day. He recently released the book Silence Satan. Kyle talks about the different strategies to silence the attacks of the enemy. Speaking about his own life’s experience, he recalls of a time when he was battling with thoughts of worthlessness and identity crisis. God, through His word, led Kyle to the road of peace in showing him ways to Silence Satan.
In the beginning, Kyle reveals that strategy and the set-up of the enemy’s tactic to cause you to think that you could never amount to the love and grace of God. He helps bring you to a place of victory, talking about the blood of the Lamb that takes over the tactics of the enemy.
From this point, Kyle takes his new app into place to live in a place of victory. Kyle takes the practical application of the Word of God to defeat the enemy of his attempts to take the believer out. In the final chapters, Kyle reveals the complete armor of God which is the uniform of the righteous. I found it to be extremely important to talk about the armor of God for the believer because we, as a general term, do not completely understand where we stand before God.
Kyle also pinpoints the voice of truth. So often, as believers, we hear the voice of defeat more than we have heard the voice of truth. Kyle reveals the true voice of God. So often, we see God as this big monstrous creature in the sky who is ready to pound us at our every sin. The Voice of Truth tells us that God is crazy about us and desires to see us succeed.
Kyle finishes up this great book with the introduction of The Shut Up Devil! App. Kyle reveals the vital importance to speaking the word of God towards the tactic of the enemy using the story of Jesus and His temptation in the desert.
Chase the Lion | Mark Batterson
Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson was released as a Best Seller and I was given the opportunity to preview this book and review it with a group of other individuals.
I love the premise of this book “If your dream doesn’t scare you, It’s too small.” Mark wrote over a decade ago the book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars which covered the story of Benaiah, one of David’s mighty men, who chased a lion in the pit and conquered him. Batterson has used this story to cover what his dream and vision for what is now National Community Church in Washington, DC. Over the past twenty years, NCC has become known as the theater church and has been made the house of worship of the millennials.
Chase the Lion is all about allowing God to be the author and the finisher of the dreams that we have for our lives. Whether you are a Christian or not, this book will help launch you into greatness. Chapters include; Chase the Lion, A Dream Within a Dream, The Ripple Effect, The Door to the Future, The Game of Inches, The Decisive Moment, Frozen, Field of Dreams, On the Spot, The Lions Den, Fight Club, and the list goes on. Each chapter breaks apart the story of Beniah in 2nd Samuel 23:20-23.
Without ruining it for you, I will leave you this – if you have a vision for your life or are looking to accomplish your vision, this is the book for YOU!
The Lion Chaser Manifesto
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Run to the roar.
Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-given passions.
Go after a dream that is destined to fail
without divine intervention.
Stop pointing out problems. Become part of the solution.
Stop repeating the past. Start creating the future.
Face your fears. Fight for your dreams.
Grab opportunity by the mane and don’t let go!
Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.
Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails.
Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.
Don’t let what’s wrong with you
keep you from worshiping what’s right with God.
Dare to fail. Dare to be different.
Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.
Chase the lion.