Books

Don’t Quit Your Day Job… Yet

jon-acuffI started “reading” Jon Acuff’s book Quitter this week. I say “reading” with quotes because I’m listening to the audiobook while getting ready in the morning and during my morning commute. I don’t really count this as reading a book by the way, like some people. You’ll hear them say, “I’ve read 42 books this year” and you know… they listened to them. They didn’t really “read” them. Slackers.

Quitter-jon-acuffWell, I slack off too once in awhile and like to listen to the books, especially when the author reads them. Tina Fey and Bossypants, hilarious. Jon Acuff reads this himself and the guy just cracks me up. We grew up on opposite ends of these United States, but I can tell we are from the same era. It’s like 25 years ago we were both sitting down on the family couch for TGIF watching Full House and Family Matters, just 3000 miles apart. He has another book called “Stuff Christians Like” that is all satire and good comic relief.

I’m only two chapters in, so I don’t have a ton of knowledge to share with you yet, but a couple nuggets I gleaned so far is that you need to discover what your dream job really is. In college, I thought I was supposed to be a pastor and so I went to Fresno Pacific and majored in Biblical and Religious Studies. Then, inbetween pastors, I lead our church’s college group of 150 so students for several months. All it took were those couple months and I knew full time ministry was not my calling. I then thought I wanted to be an Ironman triathlete and then realized I weighed 240 pounds and don’t particularly enjoy the running part. Jon Acuff had a similar experience. I absolutely love what I do now and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Instead of starting with the “WHAT” you want to do, look at “WHY” you want to do something. This was a great thing to consider for me. I thought about it for awhile and figured out why I do what I do. I am a Dad.

I love taking care of people and feel very protective over them even after knowing them for just a short while. I enjoying taking the stress out of my client’s lives by helping them dial in certain areas of their life or taking the responsibility completely off of them.

Another question he asked that was fun to think about was, “what would you do if you didn’t even get paid to do it”. For him, it was to be a writer. He claimed that he wrote a blog for 2 years without making any money, it was just the joy of it. I would honestly do what I do, maybe it would look a little different, but here are some thought provoking questions for you:

What would you do even if you didn’t get paid?

What are you naturally gifted at?

Do people compliment you for something that you do, but you discount it and say it’s nothing? Maybe it’s not.

Or another fun one: What would you do if you won the lottery? Not what would you buy (that’s fun too), but what would you then do with your time?

Thanks for reading!

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So Thirsty…

“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.

“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the Lion.
“May I–could I–would you mind going away while I do?,” said Jill.
     The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
     The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
     “Will you promose not to–do anything to me, if I do come?,” said Jill.
     “I make no promise,” said the Lion.
     Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
     “Do you eat girls?,” she said.
     “I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
     “I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.
     “Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
     “Oh dear!,” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
     “There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
-C.S. Lewis
The Silver Chair
Chapter 2

Summer Reading

ImageSummer really brings a lot of things with it. The desire to be outside, hang out late, swim and especially reading some good books.

I can’t remember exactly where I saw the recommendation (either Outside Magazine or Men’s Journal) for Cheryl Strayed’s new book, “Wild”, but it has been mesmerizing so far.

The story is about a woman who experiences the sudden loss of her mother in her early twenties. She loses herself in the process and somehow thinks it a good idea to go and hike over 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Our family did a lot of backpacking and hiking growing up, so her descriptions of the outdoors and especially the areas in California make me nostalgic for my childhood. So many of the subtle things that happen on the trail just put you there walking that 2 foot wide stretch of dirt trail.

I’ll let you know how the rest pans out…

Knowing Who We Really Are

This is taken straight from Brennan Manning’s devotional: Reflections for Ragamuffins. I really liked it and thought I would share.

Jesus’ freedom from public opinion and the nagging concern of what others might think enabled him to live with honesty and spontaneity. There could be no facade, no mask, no pretense, no sham, no playing of roles. For the Nazarene Carpenter, to have integrity meant to be genuine, to communicate authentically, to resonate with his feelings.
The injunction of Paul to “put on Christ” explicitly means not to conform to the spirit of this passing age. With utter single-mindedness and purity of heart, Jesus sought only to please his Father. He was unconcerned about projecting a “nice guy” image and surely not paranoid about hurting anyone’s feelings or stepping on any toes. He knew who he was, and he permitted nothing and no one to stand in his way of being himself.

Wonderlust – A Spiritual Travelogue for the Adventourous Soul

Wonderlust-vicki-kuyper
This book was given to me. Actually, by the publishing company who is distributing it, purely to review it on my blog. I was skeptical to say the least…

I got it actually awhile ago, but I kind of read it one chapter at a time inbetween other things. It's set up almost as a mini-Bible Study in that it has questions and a little journaling section in the back of each chapter. 

The book is filled with spiritual lessons that Vicki, the author, has learned over the years in her travels around the world. If you are at all interested in visiting places that the tours normally go and don't, then you'll like it. Some chapters are more spiritually focused and some are more detail about the place she is visiting. 

There were a couple spots from California which I had never heard of, but she actually did a chapter on Montana de Oro, which is where I proposed to my wife. 

She talked one time about her trip to Albertville, France to watch the Winter Olympics and Dan Jansen in the speed skating. If you remember, he went through several Olympic games and other races without winning a medal. Finally he one Gold and she talks about her conversion to being a sports fan and her reaction to him winning, later when she was home:

"From the couch in my family room, I was cheering him on like a wild woman. If my family hadn't known better, they would have thought they were in the presence of a sports fan. When I finally cross life's finish line, I'd sure love to see God cheer like that for me." – Vicki Kuyper

I don't know why, but that hit me.

All in all, it was a good book. I liked how much it changed, all the little details of international locations and insight into her life. It's not a "relevant generation" type book, but still very good. I give it 3.5 out 5 tuk-tuk rides!

New Book!

Pleasures01Jacinda and I had some great conversations Sunday and I’ve decided to take her through the book, “The Pleasures of God” by John Piper. I read the book a couple years ago and it was one of those, “never even thought about that before” kind of books for me. It caused me to ask more questions than I ever had before in reference to what I hear every week (the tradition that i am a part of) and what the Bible says about certain aspects of my faith(or, maybe a different tradition’s point of view).
Before this book, I thought an Arminian was a guy who eats Baclava and Hummus! I read the first bit last night and it got me all excited again. It’ll be fun to see what reactions she has to some of things Piper teaches.