June 23, 2014

Book Review

The Ultimate Conversation by Charles Stanley

This book is about talking to God through prayer. Its twelve chapters include something for everyone. The author starts with biblically describing who God is and ends with having an intimate relationship with God.

Each chapter has a principle or lesson to it. Scripture is used throughout the book to backup and explain the author's point. Most chapters also give an example from Stanley's life about the topic. Finally, each chapter ends with a prayer.

So often prayer becomes a list of things we want and we focus on those things rather than what God wants. Stanley provides an excellent prayer to start each day (page 169),

 "Father, I want you to guide me and lead me today. Speak to my heart. Make me sensitive to Your promptings and to what is happening around me in the lives of those I meet. Fill me with Your supernatural joy, and use me today for Your purposes. I surrender fully to You."

Even when praying for others we usually ask for what we want or what we think they need. Stanley provides and example to pray for others (page 243),

"We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world who faithfully proclaim the Gospel despite terrible persecution. Father, we ask You to keep them safe, encourage them, help them understand Your will for their lives, and show them how to walk in a manner worthy of Your name. Please make their work fruitful, increase their knowledge of Your ways, give them strength to endure, and create a heart of joyful thanks within them. May they lead many into growing relationship with You."

This is a great book for anyone interested in deepening their relationship with God.

June 01, 2014

Book Review

Fire Your Boss by Stephen Pollan and Mark Levine

The theme of this book is about taking control of your work life. The approach to this is outlined throughout the book in part one. Part two gives a few examples of the process.

In brief, the concepts are to fulfill the needs of your boss and always be looking for a better job. Forget about a career, you should not try to find your satisfaction in life from your job. Instead you should try to work less and make more money so you have time to do what fulfills your life during your personal time.

The authors list twenty factors to consider when comparing jobs, some are important, others may be important, and some are not important, but good to consider during a comparison.

Important Factors: income, opportunity for learning, paid time off, proximity, unpaid time off.
May Be Important Factors: disability insurance, health insurance, retirement plan, tuition reimbursement
Not Important Factors: amenities, auto reimbursement/allowance, challenging work, culture, environment, expense allowance, opportunity for advancement, stability, status, title

The book is almost 300 pages long. In reality, there is about 50 pages of material in it. The authors just keep stating the same ideas and examples over and over again. While I do not agree with everything the authors write, they do make some good points.

Overall, I do not recommend this book, simply because there isn't enough good information to make it worth while. It seems to me the authors just wrote a book to capitalize on their success from writing other books.