Category Archives: Book review

Love Does

Love Does by Bob Goff

I am constantly reading books. And I typically enjoy most of the books that I read. However, sometimes there are ones that really impact you. They move you to do something. This was one of those books. 

I had heard about Bob from Donald Miller’s blog and his books. I have to be honest. Bob seemed larger than life. He seemed like someone who was so amazing that you could tend to get irritated with him. Why? Because you automatically think that you could never be like him. You want to. Deep down, you want to be as generous and giving and whimsical, but you just can’t. There are always a million excuses why you can’t. And Donald Miller is describing him as the person who has had the greatest impact on his life. Ever! Donald Miller. The one who has written amazing books that have impacted people all over the world.  

But then I read this review on Bob’s website:

“For anyone who’s wanted to change the world but thought they needed money, a committee, and permission to get started, Love Does shows what can happen when you decide to do instead of plan, act instead of strategize, and fiercely, invisibly fight for the possibility God has gifted you to uniquely see.”

So I ordered the book. And, I loved it right away. Bob has a way of making you feel like his friend. He has a way of writing in a manner that helps you see that he ISN’T larger than life. He is a normal person. But he chooses to LIVE life. In a secretly incredible, awesome way. Bob starts off by explaining how his office is on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland. He talks about how most people never go there when they visit Disneyland. They always think they will get to it next time. Then, I love what he says.

” Tom Sawyer Island is like most people’s lives, I think: they never get around to crossing over to it.”

He goes on to explain, “Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy and the kind of things that love does is something most people plan to do, but along the way they just kind of forget. Their dreams become one of those “we’ll go there next time” deferrals. The sad thing is, for many there is no “next time” because passing on the chance to cross over is an overall attitude toward life rather than a single decision. They need a change of attitude, not more opportunities.”

Wow. Can anyone else relate to that?? 

This book hit home with me. I have been continually reminded of how we can make a difference right where we are. We don’t have to move to Africa. We don’t have to start a non-profit. We don’t have to have a huge dream. The bigger difference sometimes is made right where you are. With the people who are in your life. Your family, your neighbors, your coworkers, your acquaintances. We can all make a difference. We just have to be willing to do it. Here are some of my favorite lines from the book. There are so many great words of wisdom in here!

“God usually chooses ordinary people like us to get things done.”

“I used to think God guided us by opening and closing doors, but now I know sometimes God wants us to kick some doors down.”

“Actually, the real game of Bigger and Better that Jesus is playing with us usually isn’t about money or possessions or even our hopes. It’s about our pride. He asks if we’ll give up that thing we’re so proud of, that thing we believe causes us to matter in the eyes of the world, and give it up to follow  Him. He’s asking us, “Will you take what you think defines you, leave it behind, and let Me define who you are instead?””

“I used to think religion tasted horrible, but now I know I was just eating the fake stuff.”

“Jesus doesn’t invite us on a business trip. Instead, He says let’s go after those things that inspire and challenge you and let’s experience them together.”

“It seems that what God does most of the time when He has something to say is this…He doesn’t pass us messages, instead He passes us each other.”

“I used to think I needed to record stories, but now I know I just need to engage them.”

This doesn’t even cover half of the passages that I have underlined and gone back to in this book. It is so engaging and powerful. I want to share this book with as many people as possible. So, I am giving away a free copy. Just leave a comment below, or on Facebook. Retweet this on Twitter. I’ll randomly choose a winner by Tuesday.

I am confident you will get something out of this book. If you’d like to learn more before you order the book, or win it here, here are some additional resources. My friend Kristen, or Keeks, is doing a chapter by chapter review of the book on her blog. That’s how good this book is!  And my friend Andy also did a great podcast  review. Stop over there and check them out for additional views on the book.

How do you engage stories?

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Filed under Authenticity, Book review, Dreams

Get Noticed – A guest post

I am excited to have my fellow Platform Launch Team friend, Heidi Kreider, guest posting today. Heidi is a Wife, Mom, and Author. You can follow her blog here or follow her on Twitter here. I am also honored to be hanging out on her blog today. I’d love to have you jump over there to say hi and check it out.

Do you have something to sell and you don’t know how to market it?  Or… do you just have something to say and you don’t know how to get the word out?  Are you tired of spinning your wheels and feeling like you are going nowhere?  Or, have you exhausted all of your available options and you feel as though you are up against a brick wall?

I had been there, done that and had just about given up when I read this… Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt.

Systematically, in an easy to understand and follow format, Michael Hyatt comes along side the struggling entrepreneur, writer, artist, blogger, or leader and guides them through the process of building a platform on which to stand, rather than trying to market their product or idea.

In Michael’s own words… “I have good news. Marketing is dead. Okay, maybe I am overstating my case. Marketing may not be dead, but, in the world of social media, it has morphed. Dramatically.  It is the new marketing. Marketing is no longer about shouting in a crowded marketplace; it is about participating in a dialogue with fellow travelers. Marketing is no longer about generating transactions; it is about building relationships. Marketing is no longer about exploiting a market for  your own benefit; it is about serving those who share your passion— for your mutual benefit.”

Written in the style of building an actual platform plank-by-plank, Michael Hyatt offers his expertise from years in the publishing world as CEO and now chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers.  Starting from the ground up, Michael built his own platform as a much sought after speaker and writer.  In his newly released book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, Hyatt shares his wisdom, insight and even the mistakes he made along the way.

This is a must-have book for anyone with something to say or something to sell.  Available through all major retailers, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World goes on sale this week.  Buy it this week, and Michael Hyatt is throwing in a few extras… get 7 free bonuses worth $375.98.

Stop spinning your wheels pursing traditional marketing strategies that no longer work in our rapidly changing world and pick up a copy of Michael Hyatt’s wisdom.  You can’t go wrong.

***Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thanks for a great post, Heidi! It has been fun getting to know you, and realize that we have a connection through mutual friends.

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Filed under Book review, Michael Hyatt's Platform

Step up on your platform

Michael Hyatt is an inspiration. If you’re not familiar with him, he writes about intentional leadership on his blog,  which has hundreds of thousands of followers. He knows what it takes to share his message, and build a tribe of followers.

That’s why I was excited to read his new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. If there is anyone who can effectively teach us about getting our message heard, it is Michael Hyatt. He has done it well, and is graciously offering his insight in his new book.

“For the last five years, if I ever had a question about platform building, social media or standing out amidst the clutter, I turned to one place-Michael Hyatt. As an author who turned a blog into a book and made countless mistakes along the way, I couldn’t get my hands on Platform fast enough. Michael Hyatt has written THE handbook to one of the biggest cultural revolutions in the last fifty years.”
-JON ACUFF, Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of Quitter

The great thing about this book is that it is not just for writers or bloggers. Artists, musicians, creatives, business owners, and anyone with a message to share, can gain critical, behind the scenes advice. Similar books may give you the motivation and inspiration to try something new. However, they rarely give you the practical steps and every possible resource to make it happen.

If you’re like me, you may have mixed feelings about the word platform. It has been used poorly by some people, and it can also seem somewhat self-centered. Michael had some great advice to help us understand the benefits.

1. A platform provides visibility – it makes it possible for everyone in the audience to see you.

2. A platform provides amplification – It enables you to be heard above the roar of the crowd.

3. A platform provides connection – Social media now creates engagement and intimacy that has never been possible before.

When I read this book, I felt like I was given an insider view to Michael’s success. He seemed like a friend sitting down and giving me every incredible resource to help me move forward. In fact, there is so much information in the book that you will most likely keep this as a reference manual to refer back to again and again. I am reading through the book for the second time, and  I will continue to come back to it after I have completed the previous steps.

Not only is Michael sharing his incredible insights, but for THIS WEEK ONLY, he is also giving you over $375.98 in bonus gifts! Who can say no to that? The book itself is worth ten times its price. This is an incredible deal.

Make sure that you purchase the book before midnight on May 25th in order to get the bonus gifts. I promise it will be worth it!

“Michael Hyatt has given much of his professional career to helping others achieve their potential. And he helps others by pioneering a way and then teaching people his way. In Platform, he’s accumulated the best of his counsel and advice. If you’d like to expand your influence, read Platform and then read it again.”
DONALD MILLER, New York Times Best-selling Author of Blue Like Jazz

***Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Filed under Book review, Michael Hyatt's Platform, Platform Launch Team

Michael Hyatt’s Platform Launch Team

This week, I was chosen to be on a team of people who will help Michael Hyatt launch his new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. I was shocked and honored, to say the least!

If you are not familiar with Michael Hyatt, he writes about intentional leadership, productivity, publishing, and social media. He is the Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishing, and held the title of CEO until last year, when he chose to step down to pursue his writing and speaking full-time.

Michael has over 400,000 monthly readers on his blog, and  over 900 people applied to be a part of this launch team. 100 were selected. As a part of this team, we received an early copy of the book, and have been sharing our notes and reviews. It has been an amazing experience so far.

In addition to extremely experienced bloggers and authors on the team, Michael and his wife, Gail, have also been active in the conversations. It has been really neat to interact with everyone and share our conclusions and helpful to-do lists from the book. This book is overflowing with expert ideas to build a platform, and it is truly a unique experience to hear from the author directly.

The book can be applied to your business, personal, or professional life. I will be using it as a reference guide, and I highly recommend it. If I can implement even a small portion of what is recommended, I know that it will have a huge impact.

Platform will be released the week of May 21st. But don’t buy it yet! Michael will be offering an amazing set of bonus gifts when you purchase the book during the release week. Until then, you can sign up to receive important book updates at www.michaelhyatt.com/platform. I will blogging more about this next week, so stay tuned!

Have you ever been a part of a launch team? If so, what did you learn?

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Filed under Book review, Leadership, Platform Launch Team

Book Review – Going Deeper, Becoming a Person of Influence

This was my first Gordon McDonald book. He took a unique approach. It is a fictional book, but based on the real story of how he helped transform his church and cultivate a group of “deep people”.

I love the story, and the details about how they went about the process of investing in a core group of people. They realized that there were plenty of good, well-intentioned people, but not very many of them were deep people. They wanted to be examples of how to live a life centered around Jesus and share life together. They wanted to develop exceptional leaders who had spiritual maturity and who would know how to inspire others to grow deeper in their faith.

The book follows the process through which Gordon and his wife develop the idea of growing deep people, how they bring in others to join them, and how they present it to their church board. The decision to cultivate this group of people would require that he step back from some of his traditional duties. It is a great example of how an idea starts with a prompt, and then grows as you are more willing to talk about it and get the opinions of others.

This part from the preface encompasses the main idea of the book. “When you think about it, we do seem to know how to get unchurched people to visit our buildings and enjoy our programs. We even appear to know how to persuade many to acknowledge personal faith in Jesus. But some are saying that what we do not know is how to produce the deep people who are supposed to emerge after that. We do not produce them, at least, in the quantities that are necessary to the challenges of our times. The result is a growing scarcity in spiritual leadership. And the implication is that without an abundance of deep people- spiritual leaders – tomorrow’s organized church could be headed for irrelevance…..What might happen if a church made the development of deep people its highest priority?”

You learn about a core group of couples and singles who go on a journey with Gordon and his wife to spend one night per week for an entire year together. They focus on studying the bible, discussing leadership, and learning to care deeply for one another. They also go through some challenging and turbulent times, and learn the need to show grace and love to one of their members.

If you are looking for a great book that will challenge you to think differently, then this is it. It was an easy read, but the concepts presented are also very encouraging. I would highly recommend it.

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Filed under Book review, Faith

The Grace of God by Andy Stanley

The Grace of God
by Andy Stanley

You’ve heard about grace.

You’ve received grace.

But what does it really mean to live with grace?

In his book, The Grace of God, Andy Stanley walks us through scripture in a unique and very applicable way. He uses stories from both the Old and New Testaments to show us example after example of grace. He has a wonderful way of sharing these stories in a new light that make them completely relevant to modern day circumstances.

Over and over again, Andy gives examples of people in the bible who did not deserve grace, but they received it. That is true for all of us. None of us deserve grace. But, we thirst for it. After life has left us with unfulfilled desires and dreams, we often face an unquenchable thirst. “God’s response to the thirsty soul is grace.” I loved that! What a great image for us to visualize.

This book is a great reminder that grace is meant to be shared. God calls us to extend his grace. “When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing. But when correctly applied, it seems to solve just about everything.”

I would highly recommend this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Filed under Book review, Grace