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I opened up our local newspaper and an article immediately grabbed my attention.

YouAreWhatYouDecide 205x300 Book Review: You Are What You Decide By Sean Brady

You Are What You Decide by Sean Brady

Three revelations, one after the other, rushed to my mind.

  1. “Hey, someone local wrote a book!” (I’m slowly writing a book too.)
  2. “Hey, that book is about a topic I’m interested in!” (Decision Making)
  3. “Hey, I know that guy!”

It turns out that Sean Brady, my one-time teacher, has made a career out of helping people make decisions. Since he taught the Middle School “Apex” program, he has acquired a wealth of life experience and specialized training that makes this unique profession viable.

The Company

Now “Mr. Brady” (he no longer lets me call him that) leads Prism Decision Solutions. Their mission is to “Provide dynamic group processes and state-of-the-art systems to accelerate group decision making.” In short, if your organization has a high-stakes, complex decision to make, Prism can lead you through to the solution.

The Book

Sean (I still want to call him “Mr. Brady”) has now consolidated years worth of decision-making research and development into an accessible resource. “You Are What You Decide” provides “8 Keys to Better Decision Making” that will help you navigate simple and complex situations in your personal and professional life.

But the book here:  You Are What You Decide: Eight Keys to Better Decision-making Book Review: You Are What You Decide By Sean Brady

Sean Brady 150x150 Book Review: You Are What You Decide By Sean Brady

Sean Brady – Author of “You Are What You Decide”

Why buy it? In Mr. Brady’s words:

This book is about how to improve deliberate, high-stakes decision-making.

Who doesn’t need help making decisions?

Here’s my “Quick Hits”:

  • The book was a quick read. You could knock it off in an afternoon.
  • The “8 Keys” are easy to understand and apply.
  • It is an entry-level book on decision-making, but extremely useful.
  • This book is serving as a launchpad for my continued study of the art of decision making.

It’s short. It’s simple. But it’s helpful.

I found myself quoting the concepts in meetings at work the week after I read it. And maybe more importantly, the concepts continue to resurface in my mind as I navigate personal and professional decisions.

Pick up a copy for yourself. Heck, I recommend picking up a copy for each of your teammates at work.

If we make better decisions, our lives will be enriched. After all, “You are what you decide.”

Books.

photo 6 1024x768 3 Books Im Reading Now   January 2014

3 Books I’m Reading Now – Joe Wickman

I love to read books. I love to buy books. I love to share books.

I’m constantly grabbing the next resource I can apply to my life, and then recommending them to people I love. But it never occurred to me to share what I’m reading until just the other day.

Here’s 3 books I’ve got my thumb in now. Hope you enjoy.

My Bible

ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Black) 3 Books Im Reading Now   January 2014
 3 Books Im Reading Now   January 2014 3 Books Im Reading Now   January 2014

Merry Christmas to me! This thoughtful gift from my wife marks a new setup for my personal daily devotions. For years I have used my favorite Bible App for my daily reading. This year I’m switching it up. Instead of doing a Bible-in-a-year plan, I’m taking my time to read and study slowly through less Scripture more intensely.

The wide, lined margins are perfect for note-taking. The single column of text allows you to annotate easily. It also lays open nicely, and just feels good in the hand. It’s the first book I look at in the morning. It’s a great tool, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

Buy it if:  You’d really like to jot notes in the margins of your Bible as you study and pray your way through God’s Word.

 

My Book About the Bible

The Gospel of John: Introduction, Exposition, Notes 3 Books Im Reading Now   January 2014
 3 Books Im Reading Now   January 2014 3 Books Im Reading Now   January 2014

The Gospel of John is my favorite book of the Bible. And F.F. Bruce’s explanation of it is absolutely illuminating. He draws on his deep and thorough understanding of the original language to open up understanding of the English translations in a way that causes me to lean in daily for fresh “aha” moments. Written in plain english, an everyday student of The Word, such as myself, can understand it without having studied Greek. That said, I am daily looking up words. It’s worth it.

Bruce’s exposition of the text is changing my life, opening up the meaning of John’s gospel in ways I never understood.

Buy it if:  You’d like to go beyond simply reading the Gospel of John and dive in head-first.

Give it to:  The serious Bible student or pastor.

 

My Book About Jesus, Religion and Real Christianity

Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough 3 Books Im Reading Now   January 2014

 3 Books Im Reading Now   January 2014 3 Books Im Reading Now   January 2014

I’ve been looking forward to diving into this book since I first heard of Jefferson Bethke.

This YouTube video was his debut to the world. Approaching 27,000,000 views, people around the world have shared it.

 

The book did not disappoint. Up front he admits he’s not a pastor or an academic. He doesn’t intend Jesus > Religion to be a scholarly work. Instead, it’s a gritty, no-nonsense look at the difference between sterile religion and real, life-giving relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Buy it if:  You’d like to let go of “trying harder, doing more and being good enough” and grab ahold of what God intended for you, grace.

Give it to:  Skeptics, non-believers, new believers, and anyone who wants fresh air to blow out the dusty remnants of religion from their hearts.

 

If you click through one of these links to Amazon and buy a book, I’ll get a few cents. Thanks!

I would never recommend something I wouldn’t pick up and use myself.

 A Praying Life   Book Preview

“A Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller

I just started reading, “A Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller.

It was recommended by a trusted mentor, so I’ve been looking forward to diving in. If the introduction and the first two chapters are any indication, I’m going to be recommending this book to a lot of friends.

Here’s a quote from chapter two that blew me away:

We keep forgetting God is a person. We don’t learn to love someone without it changing us. That is just the nature of love that reflects the heart of God. Because God’s love is unchanging, the second person of the Trinity, Jesus of Nazareth, now has a scarred body. The Trinity is different because of love.

Wow.

“God is a person.”

Not a human, like me and you. But He is a being. He is not an idea. He is not a concept. He is a person. You can’t have a relationship with an idea. But a person you can know, and you can be known by them.

“The Trinity is different because of love.”

Are you kidding me?

This profound thought penetrated my heart and mind in an instant. If there’s anything I think of when I think of God it is, “unchanging”. The theological term for it is “immutability”. Yet this God, whose character is unchanging, subjected Himself to physical change on the behalf of those he loved.

God. Changed. His love drove Him to take on the punishment that was due to me. He opened Himself up, took the blows, died and was raised. For me.

Nice opening salvo, Mr. Miller. I look forward to tracking through the rest of the book.

Want to read along? Drop the $10 and grab a copy of the book yourself. Buy it here. (I do not get a cut.)

Read Quotes from Paul Miller’s “A Praying Life”, and other great prayer resources, here:

I just asked my 10 year-old, “Who was Saint Patrick?”

 Meet the Real Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick’s Cross

Her reply? “Umm…” Shuffling awkwardly, eyes darting for an answer.

“Ok,” I followed up, “why do we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day?”

“Umm… because… he was the first Irish man to come to America??”

“Sigh…”

Most people have no idea why Patrick’s life was worth celebrating. For the record, he wasn’t the Lucky Charms leprechaun. He was a passionate priest who revolutionized the spiritual landscape of a pagan land.

Did you know…?

  • Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was a Briton from an aristocratic family in NE England.
  • He was was abducted and enslaved in Ireland by the Celts, a brutal tribal people.
  • After 6 years of enslavement he was able to make a daring escape aboard a boat sailing back to England.
  • At age 48, God called him back to Ireland to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the pagan tribes who had enslaved him.
  • Patrick and his band of missionaries set up Christian communities that welcomed pagans, loved them, included them.
  • They spoke the same Gospel they always had, but transformed their methods to open the eyes of a pagan culture.
  • Under his ministry, 700 churches were planted, 1,000 priests were ordained, and 30-40 of Ireland’s 150 pagan tribes became substantially Christian.
  • He also became the first public person to speak out against slavery, which effectively ended in Ireland in his lifetime.

The Roman church considered the Celts barbarians, impossible to evangelize. Patrick’s knowledge of their culture, gained by his years in slavery, told him otherwise. The pain of slavery and separation from home, family and life as he knew it was the one thing that God ended up using to turn the world upside down.

Saint Patrick’s life wasn’t about green beer, shamrocks or driving snakes out of Ireland. It was about bringing the hope of Jesus Christ to others by living out Christianity among them. This is the kind of true story that changes the world. This is the kind of story I want to live. This is worth celebrating.

You can read all about Saint Patrick, his heart and his life in George Hunter’s “The Celtic Way of Evangelism“. It’s a fantastic read.

I’ll allow this prayer of Saint Patrick summarize the focus of His life:

…Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.