Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Reviews From the Trip

"Captivating" & The Royal Wedding
I guess you could call this "Message to Men Part II" since I caught flack from the last one for not giving advise on how we are to relate to the other gender.  I wanted to make this post some months back when Prince William Windsor consummated his marriage to Kate Middleton, and it would have coincided perfectly with my visit to Ransom Heart Ministries.  After reading this book and after contemplating these things my self I couldn't agree more that men and women both equally reflect the qualities of God and bear his image.  This is a traditional view of men and women relations but in some ways its not, but as more sophisticated and deeper reasoning for why we do the things we do, why each gender has a hard time understanding that of other.  I'm not one to give advice, but the biggest thing I personally took from this book, that us guys are not doing enough of, was that women do bear the qualities of God, and the biggest one which we neglected is the desire for women to be the Father wishes to be pursued by us.  I think as men we forget this, we pursue in the beginning and lose our touch once we acquire.  So men, let us always continue to pursue our women and recognize it as a given and as a constant effort worthy of giving our energies to, they are a mystery to be enjoyed not a problem to be solved.

Royal Wedding
In regards to the Royal Wedding, which while reading this book I really wanted to blog about for some reason  A lot of people thought it was ridiculous the amount of media coverage the event was being given.  I initially took this position as well,. but after seeing it (I accidentally woke up at 6 a.m. in Colorado and it just happened to be on tv...okay?), my attitude changed.  How great is it for millions of people to witness a wedding, taking place in a church recognizing the authority of God?  The couple looked natural and calm throughout and I think for a time it re-inspired societies hope in marriage and that can never be a bad thing...

The Last Lecture
A good book written by Randy Pausch.  Aside from him being a Virginian, I had many reasons to like this guy.  Here is wisdom coming from a man who is about to die, as if his death bed is extended and we had a lot of brilliant things to say.  I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to read this book, while I'm young and hopefully have many years ahead of me to put his advice into practice.  We should all be so thankful for each day we are given to better ourselves.

Dale Carnegie's Way of Manipulating People
Okay that wasn't the title of the book obviously.  I highly recommend and enjoyed reading this as well.  However, I feel as though the advice he offers is somewhat common sense.  To steal a quote from a friend of mine though, most people don't employ these tactics.  I have run into "Empire Builders" over the years who are too obvious when they use these people skills and it comes off as unoriginal and disingenuous.  Therefore, the people skills in and of themselves are not fully bullet proof if they are not genuine.  People will read straight through you if your heart is not in the right place.  The only remedy for this is to get your heart and desires in the right place, make sure your reasons are pure before charming one into your way of thinking.  

The Confessions of St. Augustine
Very dense and very difficult to read at times (and boring), so I had to resort to buying the audio to this one.  I had a lot of driving time so I was able to finish it in no time because of that.  I believed I thought way too much about things until I dived into this work, now I feel like I have the spiritual intellect of a five year old.  This guy (St. Augustine of Hippo) literally goes through his entire spiritual life and from I could understand, even asks the Lord for forgiveness of the sins he was unaware of committing as a child.  He literally wrestles with almost every theological concept you can think of and doesn't fully commit to God until he feels fully assured that his own intellect is flawed and unavoidably always inconsistent.  A good book for the deeper spiritually minded folks.

The Rise of Teddy Roosevelt
A good book to read period, and relatively easy despite its length.  There are actually 3 volumes, Theodore Rex being the 2nd book followed by Col. Roosevelt.  Although I haven't read these other two, I don't think they can top the Rise of.  Everyone can  relate to this man's life in some way yet at the same time he was above most people.  The man didn't quit.  You'll easily be inspired if you read this book to go and conquer every demand of your life.  Reading this on the road, being in the Badlands and some unknown places out west perfectly fitted the feeling I got when reading this work.  Highly recommended.

I also took up reading Leadership Lessons of R.E. Lee on the trip as well as Robert Frost's poetry although I didn't finish these I read enough to get some out of them.  It was neat reading Leadership Lessons which many of the lessons meshed well with Dale Carnegies work and I read the real personal display of the lessons in reading Teddy Roosevelts biography, all three men spanning different time periods but saying the same things which reinforced the lessons.  The Lee book however, was a bit repetitive and a lot of the lessons seem to overlap with each other and the personals examples given by the author didn't always match with the lesson he was trying to describe, but nonetheless still a good book for those in business or management of any kind.

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