platform | book review

Ever feel like you have something to share with the world but you’re not exactly sure how to go about it? We live in a media saturated society and it’s really easy to get lost in the shuffle. Well this past month I listened to a book that you might be interested in. It has definitely impacted my direction as a blogger.

Platform

Platform by Michael Hyatt

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts: 

So, you may know that I’m a lover of lists. I like things set out in bullet points or numbered items that are easy to scan, breakdown, organize and take in. This is one of those kinds of books. Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson, speaks from his expert knowledge of the publishing world and his personal brand building experience and gives step-by-step counsel on what branding is, why it’s important and why you need to do it if you want to be heard in this noisy world. If you’ve got a business or a ministry or you’re a creative who just wants to gather a following, this book is for you. Seriously.

It’s not a message for everyone but for a blogger like myself who’d like to spend my life doing work that I love, it was perfect. If you think that this book might be something you’d be interested in, here’s what you need to do:

Go to MichaelHyatt.com and see what he’s all about. Seriously, it’s a great site.

Go to Audible.com and download Platform and listen to it. Seriously, it’s a great book!

Or go to Amazon and buy a print copy. Seriously, I’m going to get one for my shelves, it was that good and I need it for reference.

I’m now a huge Michael Hyatt/Platform fan and I think some of you, dear readers might want to check out what all the fuss is about! It may change your life too :)

Happy reading, y’all!

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make it happen |review

Allow me to introduce you to my new favorite book:

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This book was recommended by a friend on Instagram and, I have to admit, the cover was so beautiful, I had to check it out on Amazon.  Then the subtitle pulled me in further – Surrender your fear. Take the leap. Live on purpose? Me, me, me!  I want to read that! That book is for me!  Needless to say, as soon as I had a new Audible credit, I downloaded it.  Man, am I glad I did!

Make it Happen by Lara Casey

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts:

Have you ever felt scared about pursuing a more purposeful life?  You’re stuck in the routine grind of work or you’re not sure what’s going to happen after graduation.  There are dreams tugging at your heart but you know that if you took that leap, you’d be free falling and you’re not sure how you’d handle the great unknown.  If you’re like me and you have doubts about your place in this thing called life then this book is for you.

Lara Casey tells her story.  The highs and lows.  The details she’d rather not remember much less see in print.  And it’s not that her story is anymore remarkable than anyone else’s but what drew me in was her honesty and the candid truth that God created each of us with a specific purpose.  The journey can get messy and scary sometimes but He still wants the best for us despite our not-so-good choices.

What also drew me in was her invitation to practical application.  I like practical books.  I don’t just like to know someone’s story, I want the manual that comes with the story and tells me how to make the successes work for me.  I want lists and bullet points, writing prompts and inspiring new ideas.  This book as it.  And that’s why it’s my new favorite.

I can’t recommend this book more highly.  It was soooooooooooo…ooo good!  If you don’t go to Amazon.com right now and order it, at least go to Lara Casey’s website and check out all her cool resources!  You’ll be glad you did :)

Stop chasing the world’s version of perfect and live on purpose for God.

Happy reading y’all!

This book counts towards the following challenges:

 

Operation Deepen Faith

I’ve been trying to make a habit of taking my goals in strides–one at a time, here and there–rather than all at once, thus overwhelming myself.  My final and the most important reading challenge is Operation Deepen Faith.

OperationDeepen

This is something I did not keep up with last year but I’ve already started this year.  Here’s how it works:

There are multiple sections and as the host says, participants don’t have to sign up for each one but picking multiple sections is encouraged!

  1. Wonderful Words of Life: Goal–Read the Bible
  2. How Firm a Foundation: Goal–Study 1 book of the Bible throughout the year
  3. Deep & Wide: Goal–Read multiple books in multiple translations
  4. Meditate or Memorize: Goal–Choose about a verse a week to reflect and meditate on
  5. Christian Nonfiction: Goal–Read different Christian nonfiction

Click HERE for full details.

I’m going to commit to

  • Wonderful Words of Life: Goal–Read the Bible
  • How Firm a Foundation: Goal–Study 1 book of the Bible throughout the year
  • Meditate or Memorize: Goal–Choose about a verse a week to reflect and meditate on 
  • Christian Nonfiction: Goal–Read different Christian nonfiction

I’ve already begun reading the One Year Bible and picking my verses and other titles.  My goal is to post monthly on my progress and maybe break down goals into quarterly tasks.

Now, I’m officially set with all my reading goals for 2015!

Happy reading, y’all!

everyday matters | book review

Whoot! Finished my very first book of the year! Well, it did contain mostly pictures BUT it was a book and it was a good book so I’m happy :D

Everyday Matters

Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory

Rating: 4.0 – 5.0

Danny Gregory is just a regular guy living in New York with his wife Patti and their 10 month old baby.  A tragic accident turns their lives upside down and Danny is forced to look at his life in a completely different way.  Needing an outlet to deal with the challenges and this new perspective, he turns to drawing.

Everyday Matters isn’t about the details of the everyday struggles that happen when your life is turned upside, rather it’s what goes on in your head when your faced with those struggles.  How do you cope?  What are you feeling?  What are you considering?  It’s like the author hands you a sketchbook and says “Wanna see what I did after the accident?”  And those moments aren’t very often brilliant–they’re messy, mundane, and seemingly insignificant.  But therein lies the beauty.  The accident forced Gregory to be more deliberate in living life, to pay attention to his surroundings, to pause, to muse, to consider, capture what he saw with pen and paper.  What he discovered was that life does go on and everyday has something about it to enjoy, something that matters!

As much as I enjoyed the book, I didn’t give it a five-star rating because it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be and I would have enjoyed a little more writing.  However, it was a book about drawing so I think the art was what it needed to be and I enjoyed the pictures as well!

There were a couple of word-bombs dropped, just so you know.  There’s no explicit content but it is adult life stuff so I’d still have to rate it closer to a PG-13 than just PG…(I’m trying to think what I’d do if I had kiddos…)…yeah, closer to a PG-13.

It’s a quick read, quite inspiring for the writer or artist.  It makes you want to take out pen and paper and get words and/or sketches out for yourself!  Definitely a good first-book-of-the-year :D

Happy reading y’all!

This book counts towards the following challenges:

narrative of the life of frederick douglass review//classics club

The Classics Club Spin was such a fun idea!  And I’m so glad this book was my #14.  On the practical side, it was short enough to fit into my crazy March days annnnnnd it’s on my TBR list so two birds, one stone.  Oh yeah!
Douglass book coverYou can’t come away from reading a piece like this without a greater desire to develop a more noble character, to be the kind of person who doesn’t give up or take ‘no’ for an answer, who reaches out for higher things, who knows that value isn’t determined by what other’s think of you.  Fredrick Douglass, was and did all of these things.  He is an American hero.

SPOILER ALERT: This post does contain spoilers!! You have been warned ;).

The story of Fredrick Douglass is one of heartache and injustice and triumph.  It’ll make you mad and want to knock a few heads together.  It’ll have you cheering when a young man refuses to be whipped by his inane master and fights back or when a group of slaves quietly learn to read on Sunday mornings.  It will have you thanking God that we no longer live in a time where it’s lawful for one American to own another.  It will have you wishing you could search out the evil men in every dark corner of this country and the world who are still making money from modern slavery.

I’m not going to spin out the history he shares in this autobiography – it’s a short enough read that you can learn of it yourself in no time at all – rather, I want to share a couple of the quotes that I found especially poignant and awful in their searing truth.

“From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.”

“I have observed this in my experience of slavery, – that whenever my condition was improved, instead of its increasing my contentment, it only increased my desire to be free, and set me to thinking of plans to gain my freedom. I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery; he must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceased to be a man.”

“Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears.”

But the part that got me the most was in the appendix when he talked about the “slaveholding religion of this land”.  The whole time I was like “Preach it!” It angered me to read about perhaps as much as it did Douglass to live through it.  This part, in my opinion, was THE best part of the book:

“I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of the land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of ‘stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.’ I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. . . . The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies and souls of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other—devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.”

BAM!  And that’s not even the whole thing, he goes on and it was…moving to say the least.  It’s like when the pastor says something that resonates with your entire being and you can’t help but say, “Well!” or “Have mercy!” or “Amen!”  That’s me anyway ;).

I read this book on my Kindle but really want to get a hard copy for my bookshelf!  It’s worth adding to the collection.  And I’m going to add Douglass’s other books to my reading list!!

Y’all have a blessed day!