In this series, I share with readers resources (articles, books, reviews, etc). I do not attempt to list everything that I read or skim. The following might be helpful, insightful, interesting, or at least worth a glance.
I read this piece a few days ago and am still reflecting on this. “Colorado Teacher Shares Heart Breaking Notes From Third Graders.” Each note begins with the phrase “I wish my teacher knew.” I wonder what others might say regarding some of the significant people in their lives. For example:
Children – “I wish my mother/daddy knew…”
Church members – “I wish my preacher knew…”
A spouse – “I wish my husband/wife knew…”
See “11 of America’s Most Spectacular Libraries.” Wow!
You might read “On Jordan Spieth’s Bag: Part Caddie, Part Teacher and Encourager.” Part of the inspiring story of the 2015 Master’s champion. (New York Times)
Alice Walton has written an interesting piece entitled: “Can You Spot a Narcissist? It’s Not As Easy As You Think, Study Finds.” (Forbes)
Maria Popova has written a review of David Brook’s book The Road to Character. See “The Art of Stumbling: David Brooks on Character. . .” (I appreciate Maria Popova’s blog and find that she often offers a “nugget” that is worth my thinking or further reading.)
See Shane Parish’s post “Saying No: How Successful People Stay Productive.” Notice the emphasis in this post on scheduling. This post is very much in line with Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. For many of us, the issue is determining what things ought to be done and what things do we need to say “no” to.
See “Why You Should Commit 30 Minutes to Daily Learning (Without Fail).” Maybe I enjoyed this because I believe it in this so strongly. I try to learn something every day. I may read a book, listen to a podcast, or read a periodical. In a very short period of time, one can learn something.
From The New York Times, see Tony Schwartz’s article “When Employee Engagement Turns into Employee Burnout.”
Organizational Culture and Productivity
See “Toyota’s Jamie Bonini on Organizational Culture.” See what Manoush Zomorodi has done with these ideas in this post on her blog New Tech City. I find this helpful.
Reading and Podcasts
Right now I am reading A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry. This past week I also read a few short stories by Flannery O’Connor. One of the periodicals that I look forward to skimming is Books & Culture: A Christian Review. Excellent articles. I also become aware of a number of significant books through this journal.
Note that I am selective about what I include in this post each week. More than anything, I want to include links and resources that I think might be helpful to you in some way.
You may will find the following resources interesting or helpful. Most of these are resources that I have come across in my reading.
I recently read “The People’s Preaching Class” (The Christian Century). This post is about Fred Craddock, longtime professor of preaching and author of several important books on preaching. I will always cherish the week that I spent in Fred Craddock’s summer preaching class at Emory University. This class was not only inspirational but taught me much.
Jeri Dansky has written an interesting piece in Unclutterer entitled “Getting Work Done Using Time Blocking Techniques.” I will often set my 25 minute clock (app) on my phone. I find this very helpful so that I can focus.
See “On My Shelf: Life and Books with Tim Keller.” I have a great appreciation for Tim Keller’s writing. This is a sampling of what he reads.
From Mike Bickle see “E.M. Bounds Books on Prayer (Public Domain)”
I’ve learned much from Nancy Duarte! See “How to Tell a Story.” (video) These videos are usually helpful and practical.
From Newsweek, “Dying Dutch: Euthanasia Spreads Across Europe.” Very interesting and insightful article.
I was home with the flu last week. (I wouldn’t wish that on anyone!) There were a few sites that I stumbled upon while I was out. You may find these helpful (below). I also finished Wayne Muller’s book Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives and Ian Paul and David Wenham’s Preaching from the New Testament. Finally, do you read “How I Work” which appears at lifehacker.com each week? This is a great series. I read each one.
This may help
Note the recent New York Times Article, “If You Want to Meet That Deadline, Play a Trick on Your Mind.” The title alone caught my eye. Interesting piece on ways to manipulate your perception of time which can actually help you meet your goal.
Ann Handley wrote a good piece on creativity based on a video by Sir Ken Robinson. One particular sentence stuck with me from her post: “…creative people know that creativity finds expression in many ways.” Creative people, regardless of what they do for a living, look for different ways to do what needs to be done.
See this interesting post by Oliver Burkeman, “Why We Tell Strangers Our Secrets.” Also note the article in Harvard Magazine “Choosing Confidents” based on the same research.
See Shane Parish’s post “The Decision-Maker: A Tool for a Lifetime.” (I realize there is something to be said about spiritual discernment which really isn’t discussed in this article. However, I still find these kinds of posts interesting and even helpful.)
The following are eight of my favorite podcasts. (None of these are sermon podcasts. I do listen to sermon podcasts but do not listen to any one preacher regularly.)
1. Beyond the To Do List (Erik Fischer). Interview format. Practical and often provides me with a few ideas for improving the way I work.
2. The Exchange (Ed Stetzer). Conversation with various guests each week. Stetzer asks these guests very good questions related to faith, ministry, etc.
3. Pray-as-you-go. A daily podcast that is often very helpful to me as I begin my day.
4. Read to Lead Podcast (John Dumas). Interview format. Typically interviews authors of books related to leadership, productivity, etc.
5. Unbelievable? Typically this podcast is a discussion between two thinkers regarding some aspect of faith.
6. This is Your Life (Michael Hyatt). This helpful podcast is about leadership, productivity, and social media. Very helpful.
7. The Emotionally Healthy Leader (Peter Scazzero). A podcast that says much about systems as well as the spiritual disciplines.
8. The Portfolio Life (Jeff Goins). Good material regarding writing and productivity.
For several years I used Trello, which is a very fine organizational tool. However, I have recently began using Nozbe. The switch wasn’t because of any dissatisfaction with Trello. Rather, Nozbe is a tool which complements what I have gained from David Allen’s Getting Things Done. It also integrates nicely with Evernote.
Justin Zoradi has written an excellent post “9 Important Tips for Sometimes Writers.” (Guest written for Donald Miller’s blog.) This piece has a number of great practical suggestions. Also see “8 Great Writing Hacks Every Creative Writer and Blogger Should Know” by Ivan Dimitrijevic.
Deception and Brokenness
A sad story of broken humanity and sin. See this piece which recently appeared in the Dallas News: “The Rise and Fall of a North Texas Con Man.”
“When a Little Girl with Down’s Syndrome Showed What’s ‘Possible‘” by Amy Julia Becker.
I just finished reading The Truth Shall Make You Odd by Frank G. Honeycutt. (A book of reflections on ministry and integrity.) Presently, I am reading Rookie Smarts by Liz Wildman and Chuck DeGroat’s “toughest people to love.”
Hopefully, you had a great Thanksgiving. We were able to be with family in Dallas on Thanksgiving day. We also visited with two of our grandchildren and our daughter and son-in-law. I really enjoyed holding little Lincoln and wrestling with Brody.
1. This past week I have been reading The Truth Shall Make You Odd by Frank G. Honeycutt. I read several chapters from this book a few years ago and am now reading the entire book. Very insightful and helpful for reflecting on one’s ministry.
2. See “How to Make To-Do Lists Better, Faster, and More Fun” by Stephanie Vozza. Helpful.
3. Whether you like poetry or not, don’t miss L. L. Barkat’s piece from the Huffington Post “10 Great Titles for the Poet’s Wish List.” I have gained a real appreciation for poetry because of L. L. Barkat and her writing.
4. You might find valuable the article “How to Give a Stellar Presentation” which appeared recently in the Harvard Review.
5. See the piece by Maria Popova “C. S. Lewis on Why We Read.”
See “Where to Look for Insight” by Mohanbir Sawhney and Sanjay Khosla (Harvard Business Review).
J.R.R. Tolkien’s 10 tips for writers. Interesting and helpful tips.
See this infograph: Why You’re Still Bored. Very interesting regarding boredom, social media, and the culture.
Making a List?
Stephanie Calahan has written a good post, “I’m Sure You Have a To-Do List, But Do You Have a To-Be List?”
One More List
Rachel Gillett has written a good article “What Happened When We Created Daily Lists of Our Successes.”
Note from Presentation Zen: “10 tips for improving your presentations and speeches.” Very helpful.
Norvel Young, the former Chancellor and President of Pepperdine University had a way of bringing joy and energy to a room. Recently I was re-reading a portion of a biography about Young entitled Forever Young by Bill Henegar and Jerry Rushford. The authors quote Young as saying, “I stand on tiptoe looking forward to what God will do in my life in the years ahead.” I really like this.
Far too many people look backward instead of forward. Of course, it is fine to look back with thankfulness. It is fine to look back to learn and appreciate. Many people, however, look back with a nostalgia seems to view one’s best days of life as having already occurred. Yet, as believer, while we appreciate and learn from our past, we are called to lean into the future by our faith in God.
See “How to Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone.”
Do you read Books and Culture? (I read the print edition.) This publication really helps me stay abreast of many books I would otherwise miss.
Harding School of Theology
Saturday evening, HST hosted its annual dinner honoring the 50 year existence of this wonderful theological library. For many years Don Meredith has served as the librarian, along with Bob Turner and Sheila Owen. This was a night to honor the wonderful contribution this library has made for many years and today continues to serve many students, ministers, and many others.
You might enjoy a recent presentation I made at the Harding Lectures. “A Return to Leadership.”
How can I stay fresh and alive all of my life?
For 36 years, I preached primarily for three churches. The last twenty years were spent with the Crestview Church of Christ in Waco, Texas. It was important that I stay fresh and alive in order to do this kind of ministry. Staying alive, however, is not just an issues for ministers. Each one of us, as we move through the various chapters of our lives, ought to give attention to this.
The following are a few suggestions:
Continue to Learn
Learning can keep us fresh and alive. Take a class. Read a book. Watch a video series. Listen to a lecture. Take notes. Do something that will stretch you! So often men and women remain where they are because they refuse to do anything that takes effort, even if it will help them grow. I read books, skim numerous newspapers, and listen to podcasts. I have taken an art class, a history class, and numerous classes at a seminary. I took these classes long after finishing my academic studies. These were taken not to earn a degree but to learn and grow.