Monday Start: Resources for the Week

coffee_cup-1.jpg(Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day.  As our nation remembers the work of Dr. King, it is also a time for all of us who are believers to remember that the church is called to model relationships, regardless of race, where the Gospel shapes who we are and the way we treat one another.)

The following are resources you may find helpful.  I have read most of these in the last few weeks.


See “Top 10 Writing Quotes to get you started in 2016.”  I mention this because I regularly look for brief quotes that are inspirational and motivating.  Usually in a list like this, I will find at least one quote that I connect with.


If you are a Christian leader in any sense of these two words, I would encourage you to read The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzero.  I have read all of Scazzero’s books and each one has ministered to me in some way.  This particular book is his most recent and may be his best.


See this excellent article from Inc magazine: “10 Habits Remarkable People Give Up Every Day.” Helpful.

J. I. Packer

I have admired J. I. Packer for many years.  See “J. I. Packer, 89, Losing Sight But Seeing Christ.” Many years ago, I was a young minister and was dealing with a few people who had a perspective on the Christian faith that was unfamiliar to me.  I discovered a discussion regarding this perspective in one of Packer’s earlier books.  I wrote Packer and asked for clarification regarding this discussion.  Within days, he faxed (remember the “fax” machine?) a very helpful letter to me.  I have always been grateful.


In October, I read a piece by David Brooks in which he asked the question, “Who would you be and what would you do if you weren’t afraid?”  What a wonderful sentence to reflect on at the beginning of a new year!


I am a regular reader of Comment journal.  Typically I read the print version but they have recently upgraded their website where you can access past issues of the journal.

I especially enjoy the regular series by James K. A. Smith in which he reflects on books, articles, and various topics.  (I find him interesting, helpful, and thoughtful).  See his most recent article, “World View: An Annotated Reading of Your World.”



Monday Start: Resources for the Week


I’m not sure how he does this much reading. Nevertheless, you might be interested in this piece by Albert Mohler “Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books.”  It fascinates me to see the systems that others use for their reading.


Not surprising but still disturbing.  “Many Children Under 5 Are Left to Their Mobile Devices, Survey Finds.”  Also see the piece by Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times “Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family.”


Also see this feature article in The New York Times MagazineThe Displaced: Introduction.”  Very sobering look at the plight of 60 million people.

This May Interest You

Right now, I am reading Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel.  I just read Dr. Ruth Chang’s How to Win Your Child’s Heart.  (Kindle $2.99)  A good little book with some very important reminders about what it means to be a parent.  Just finished listening to John Maxwell’s new book (Audiobooks)  Intentional Living.  An excellent and helpful book. Maxwell is very biographical in this book.  Just listened to the latest Mars Hill Audio (vol. 127).  I especially enjoyed Kevin VanHoozer.  I look forward to each edition.  This audio resource has helped me appreciate the offerings from Christians who work in a variety of disciplines.

Do any of these interest you?  Hopefully.  Of course I am also interested in any nuggets that you have discovered recently. Please leave these titles/authors in a comment or on my Facebook page.



Monday Start: Resources for the Week


Some very interesting articles appeared recently regarding children, play, etc.  See “Schools Hire Consultants to Make Recess Safe, Structured, Sad” and “Kids Need To Get Out And Play.”  Also on the subject of children be sure to at least skim  (from the Washington Post) “Are parents ruining youth sports?  Few kids play amid pressure.”

Conversation and Technology

See the interview with Sherry Turkle in the Huffington Post regarding her new book Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.  The article is “Texting Isn’t the Problem: A Conversation with Sherry Turkle About Reclaiming Conversation.”


See Adam Toren’s “7 Healthy Habits that Maximize Your Productivity Every Day.”  (Reading these kinds of articles often reminds me of a bad habit I’ve acquired or a good habit that I’ve neglected.) See also “7 Invaluable Lessons from World Class Achievers.”


Be sure to read my recent blog post “What Good Parents Do.”  These are some reflections on the practices and habits of good parents.

Odds and Ends

I am reading Tim Keller’s book Preaching.  This is an excellent book written by a seasoned minister who has been preaching for many years.  I especially pay attention to Keller’s footnotes as he is apparently one who reads widely.

This weekend I read several two articles and an interview by James K. A. Smith in Comment (print edition).  (See online edition here.)  In particular I enjoyed his “An annotated reading of your world.”  I will quote one section of this article:

The world needs your (continuing) education, and your soul is starving for it.  We are remarkably well-educated dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants who could only dream of what we enjoy.  Let’s not squander our inheritance. (p. 11)



Monday Start: Resources for the Week

start3Why seminary?

Steve Norman has written a very fine post on some of the benefits of seminary.  Working with Harding School of Theology, I obviously believe there are great benefits that one can receive at a seminary.  See 4 Surprising Benefits of Seminary.

For your brain

These two articles deal with the kind of food that might enhance the brain.  See 7 Back to School Breakfasts that Boost Brain Power and Researchers Find 8 Superfoods That Drastically Boost Your Brainpower At Work.


Bill George, a Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School has written a good article entitled Self Awareness: Key to Sustainable Leadership (Huffington Post).

Being with people in grief and loss

Maria Popova has written a great piece in Brain Pickings.  See Barbara Walters on How to Be There for the Newly Bereaved and Brokenhearted.  (Maria Popova often writes thoughtful and useful posts that are helpful and interesting.)

American Culture

Terry Rush has written a post entitled Anti-Religion is a Religion.  Worth reading.

Public speaking and preachers

Don’t miss this fine post.  Volume and the Public Speaker: Be Heard and Be Effective.  This post contains important reminders to anyone who does public speaking.

Marriage and the dangerous question

See this post by one of my favorite writers, Gary Thomas —  The Question That Can Destroy Your Marriage.



Monday Start: Resources for the Week

Do you read Brain Pickings, or the Farnam Street?  If not you may be missing some great resources.  Each one these sites frequently offer interesting and helpful resources that I would otherwise miss.

Do you listen to Jeff Brown’s Read to Lead podcast?  Not only does he interview authors but he also asks them what they are reading.  I often come away with a valuable nugget this podcast.

Do you watch TED talks?  See this fine post “A TED speaker coach shares 11 tips for right before you go on stage.” (Michael Hyatt via Jordan Hubbard)

Do you listen to Audible books?  I have found this to be a terrific resource!  Listening to Audible books enables me to read far more than I would otherwise be able to read.

Don’t miss this.  “What You Can Do Every Night To Make A More Productive Tomorrow.”

Perhaps some of these will be helpful.


Monday Start: Resources for the Week

start (1)The Supremes — Much discussion regarding the Supreme Court decision last week regarding same-sex marriage. I found several posts helpful. See these two posts by John Mark Hicks.  This one was posted Saturday and this posted Sunday.  You might also look at this post by Harding School of Theology professor, Carlus Gupton.  Also from First Things see “After Obergefell: A First Things Symposium.”

Work — See Christine Porath’s piece from The New York Times, It’s Time to Be Nice at Work.” From Business Insider see “9 Things Successful People Do Right Before Bed.”

Leadership — See Jason Garrett’s video  “Jason Garrett Princeton Varsity Club Citizen-Athlete Award Speech.”  A good speech on leadership.

Risk —I love this quote I heard this week from actor Tom Selleck playing his character on a Blue Bloods episode.  At one point he said “Risk is the price you pay for opportunity.”  I really like that!

Not What I Would Expect — You might enjoy this interesting article from the New York Times.  “A Cleaner Fleet Week: What Do You Do With a Cultured Sailor?

Monday Start: Resources for the Week

start_button_greenIn 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)

The Narcissist

Alice Walton has written an interesting piece entitled: “Can You Spot a Narcissist?  It’s Not As Easy As You Think, Study Finds.”  (Forbes)

David Brooks

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.


Monday Start: Resources for the Week


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.


Monday Start: Resources for the Week

start.jpgYou 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.



Monday Start: Resources for the Week

start_button_gifI 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 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.)