The Most Helpful Book on Productivity

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I am a big fan of being more productive, organizing your life for effectiveness and I’m always on the lookout for a helpful book in this area. What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman is one of the best books on this topic.

What sets this book apart from others on productivity:

  1. Its emphasis on understanding how the gospel impacts productivity.
  2. How the gospel frees us to be productive.
  3. It also brings together some of the best ideas from other books on productivity to show a better system that combines the strengths of different systems.

If I had one criticism about the book, it would be how much time he spent convincing the reader that it is biblical to be productive. I know why he did this and the reasoning is sad: Christians seem to think productivity, organization or systems are unbiblical and have no place in the church. Sadly, this is why most churches are ineffective and why business leaders often feel like they don’t fit in churches.

One of the best reminders I took from this book and it immediately changed my stress level was planning my day in advance. I tried doing this the night before, but I then laid in bed thinking about the coming day. I now spend my first 5-10 minutes each morning at my desk, praying through and thinking through what I need to accomplish and list what is most important and remove everything else from my calendar or to-do list for that day.

If productivity is a struggle for you, or if you want to take your productivity to the next level, I’d highly recommend checking out this book. You won’t regret it.

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N.T. Wright on Gay Marriage

This is so good:

You can read the transcript of the interview here.

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How to Forgive Your Father

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As I mentioned in a recent sermon, one of the hardest things for us as we see God as father is how we feel about our earthly father. That relationship impacts so much of how we see ourselves, the world around us and God. It impacts how we feel about ourselves and how we let others treat us.

As you take steps this week to let go of any hurt done by your earthly father and forgive him, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

One, remember your sin. It is easy to simply look at the brokenness of someone else and overlook our brokenness. As you forgive someone, you begin to come face to face with some of the things in your own heart. If you skip over these things or not deal with them, you will find yourself having a hard time understanding God’s forgiveness. Remember, God’s grace was extended to you and your sin, my sin, the sin of your father put Jesus on the cross.

Two, forgiveness does not mean you pretend something didn’t happen. Forgive and forget is a nice phrase, but I’m not sure it is realistic or biblical. We always remember something. It is part of our story, our life. We don’t simply pretend that hurt, broken promises, or even abuse happened. As you forgive and move forward, don’t pretend something didn’t happen as that will keep you from health and wholeness.

Third, forgiveness does not mean you have a relationship with someone. You can forgive someone and keep them at a distance, which you may need to do depending on the situation for your safety.

Last, God forgave you and this is the basis for letting go of anything. Why did God forgive you? He loved you and this forgiveness is what we are to extend to those who hurt us, including our father.

It may be hard to believe, but forgiving those who hurt you the most is not only something a follower of Jesus is called to, it is also the only way to living the life that God calls you to live. Many people walk around with hurt, that turns into bitterness because of something they won’t let go of. And that is not the life that God has called us to live.

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Cheap Kindle Books [6.9.14]

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Just in time for summer reading, here are some great ones:

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • Ah Monday morning.
  • Pastor, if you got some criticism this morning like I did, just let it go.
  • Excited that this weekend is Memorial Day weekend.
  • I’m off from preaching this week.
  • So excited to have my leadership coach Brian Howard in town to preach.
  • He’s one of the smartest leaders I know and if you don’t already, you should check out his blog.
  • We’re going to take a break from our Galatians series this week and he’s going to talk about reconciling relationships from the book of Philemon.
  • Speaking of Galatians, it was awesome yesterday preaching on Galatians 2 and the topic of justification by faith.
  • Such a huge topic and so crucial to Christianity.
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here.
  • So awesome getting to meet so many first time guests yesterday.
  • After 2 years of working on the project, I signed my first book deal this past week.
  • So excited for the road ahead and to get the book out.
  • I started training with a fitness coach that is being hugely helpful for my mobility.
  • Of all the areas I’m weak when it comes to working out, it’s mobility.
  • If you don’t have coaches in your life to help you grow in your weaknesses, you will never reach your potential.
  • I finally finished the book What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done.
  • I’ll post a review this week, but in short, if you are looking for a book on productivity, this is one of the best ones out there.
  • Christian or not.
  • Really helpful.
  • Over the next 2 months we will have some up and coming leaders in our church preaching.
  • So excited about who God has put at our church and the gifts they possess.
  • I’m also really excited about my summer preaching break.
  • It’s a blessing to me, my family and to our church in so many ways.
  • Time to get back to it…
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Make me Approve of You

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I preached on the need and desire for approval that we all have. Granted, we all feel it to different degrees. In my sermon, I mentioned how my desire to win, to be right, to have power and control always outweighs my desire for approval. It is still there though.

This blog post may feel more like a confession that I’m letting you in on. Hopefully this will be an encouragement to you or you’ll see yourself in it.

For me, I was convicted how out of my desire for power and control, I can very easily make my relationships about my approval of someone else.

I can be good at putting incredibly high standards on people, making them feel guilty so they will ultimately do what I want.

This is how I control things. In the end, it is also how I can easily help people sin by gaining my approval.

It is interesting when we talk about the idols of the heart or the sin in people’s lives, we focus on the person sinning. We should. They are responsible. In doing this, it is easy to let the people off who cause the sinning. Granted, someone seeking my approval is not my fault and they stand before God on that. I stand before God on how I cause someone to sin or stumble.

That is on me.

As I think about legalism, the gospel, the idols of my heart and hopefully as you think about those things, my hope with this blog post is to get you to realize in your quest for approval, control, comfort or power, you cause others to worship their idol by your actions. In your quest for comfort, you might help someone seek even more control so things don’t fall through the cracks because you are so laidback and letting whatever happens happen. In your quest for approval, you cause others to seek power because you are willing to be a doormat to their sin and ego.

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That Won’t Change You

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What an incredible week we had last Sunday at Revolution!

We broke through 400 as a church, had 2 baptisms, 7 people indicated they began a relationship with Jesus and we had over 25 first time guests.

I’m excited to see what God has in store for us this Sunday as we continue our brand new series Change as we look at Galatians 1:6 – 10 if you want to read ahead.

As you think about change in your life, at some point the idea of being free from something will come up.

I said last week: the reason most people fail to change in their life is they change the wrong things.

This week, we’ll take that a step further: the reason most people fail to change in their life is because they look to the wrong things to changethem. 

In our lives, we look to our willpower or circumstances (I’ll change when I get married, have kids or _____ happens) to change us. We look to other people to change us, (if they notice me, accept me, love me) that will bring change in my life. We look to a lifestyle, having a certain car, gadget, house, vacation or comfort to change us. We don’t just look to these to change us, we look to these things to save us as well, to give us hope and a future.

In the end, all these things give us what they promise to give us, not what we hope they will give us. 

If you or someone you know looks to something or someone other than Jesus as their hope for change, life, purpose, security or approval, this is a great week to bring them to Revolution.

If you brought someone with you last Sunday, shoot them a text and invite them back this Sunday.

Remember, we meet at 10am on Sunday mornings at 8300 E Speedway Blvd.

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Heaven is for Real

With the movie Heaven is for Real coming out this week, I’ve gotten questions on whether I think this book and movie is worth seeing and reading and if it is true. This is the best thing I’ve found on it.

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The Gospel is Not Just Doctrine

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We need to remember that doctrine is important, but it is just one dimension of the gospel. When we reduce the gospel to doctrines, facts, arguments, and bible verses, we refuse to embody the humbling, personally transforming power of the gospel. Blinded by our longings to be right, we can easily become imbalanced. As a result, we may know the truth about Jesus, but lack the power to personally change and lack an outward focus on loving others. So, while the gospel is doctrinal, it is also much more. -Jonathan Dodson, The Unbelievable Gospel: Say Something Worth Believing

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Slow Evangelism

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Part of the problem with evangelism is many Christians feel they need to get the whole gospel out in one conversation. The reason for this is many Christians are only ever in a position to ‘evangelize’ strangers, because all their friends are Christians. Evangelizing friends and neighbors, gradually, relationally, over an extended time, means that the breadth and beauty of the gospel can be expressed slowly without the urgency of the one-off pitch. -Michael Frost, The Road to Missional: Journey to the Center of the Church

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