Tag: book review

42 Seconds by Carl Medearis [Book Review]

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Most people probably think of Jesus’ interactions with people in the big ways, but what about the small ways? Is it possible that Jesus made just as big of an impact on people’s lives in the small exchanges as he did in the big, long sermons?

Carl Medearis thinks so. In his new book, 42 Seconds The Jesus Model For Everyday Interactions, he claims that the average length of a conversation Jesus had with a person was a mere 42 seconds. Not even a whole minute. Not much time at all. Within these fleeting seconds, Medearis proposes, there are some ways an impact can be made on a person’s life, with each chapter posing a question. I like how Medearis uses questions to structure each chapter, and he gives stories from his own life and other people’s lives. The stories are easy to relate to, and even though the author makes suggestions on how to follow the “42 Seconds” conversation model of making a difference, he’s honest on how he falls short on his own suggestions. The book is easy to read, the chapters are short. Each chapter begins with a “Nonstarter” – something that Christians might be tempted to do  (i.e. “Try to impress “), countered by an “Opener” –  the alternative (i.e. “Be vulnerable”). The good thing about the suggestions given is that they aren’t radical life changes you have to make in one day, but they’re all small steps you can take at your own comfort level, wherever you are.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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PREPARE Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture

As Americans, it’s easy to feel free, but J. Paul Nyquist wants American Christians to be aware of changes to their religious liberty. In his new book, Prepare, he explains why American Christians need to ready themselves for changes to their way of life, and why they need to get ready for religious persecution.

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Why, you may ask, is this necessary, when American Christians are free to worship as we please, where we please, how we please? Nyquist explains that persecution is not just physical harm or death, but it comes in many other forms. With this understanding, persecution is coming for many American Christians. He urges those in America to decide how they will respond to this when it happens. He lays out some responses to persecution and explains how large cultural changes in America have happened.

Overall, Prepare is a well-written, thought-out book. For those paying attention to the issues of religious liberty in society at large, a lot of what the author is saying will make a lot of sense.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Want to Love Your Work?

Do you want to love your work, or at least enjoy it a little more?

So much of our waking lives is spent at work, but for many people, work is downright drudgery. Still others wish that they could move into a field that would align better with their interests and skills. The idea of work that they could love is just that… an idea.

CEO Robert Dickie wants you to love your work and has some ideas on how you can pivot into a career change. His new book Love Your Work recognizes:

“the Great Recession “refugees” who worked hard, followed instructions, and did everything they were told to do…only to wake up one morning… Instead of being passionate about what you were doing, maybe you found yourself just getting by. You noticed the world changing around you…” (page 5)

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To be clear, there is no microwave method for career change success. This book is best meant for those who have some time to calculate their next move, rather than those who are jobless with no time to consider what they want to do next. Dickie acknowledges this, advising that those who need a job fast will need to create a short-term plan first rather than a long-term one.

But for those looking at the long haul, Love Your Work has a lot of ideas. Dickie gives suggestions on how to acquire additional skills or certifications without racking up an enormous amount of debt. He also wants you to be aware of the changes surrounding technology and believes that these are going to be very influential in the work world; even if you don’t work in technology, he believes changes in the tech world are changes you need to be aware of and he gives links to news sources for the industry.

Love Your Work is unique in that it shows a Christian angle in some ways. For example, Dickie uses examples of Bible characters to show the importance of integrity, and he explains how the fruits of the Spirit relate to having emotional intelligence.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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What Color is Your Parachute 2016: Book Review

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How to Overcome Hardships in Your Job Search

What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles is updated every year. Job-seekers and career changers consult this book for answers on how to steer their career in a better direction. Here’s what you may find in this year’s revised edition of the book.

Lots of reflection: Bolles encourages the reader to look inward, to reflect, to ponder on what you already know, what you like, and how you prefer to work. I’m a reflective person, so if you are too, you may have already answered some of these questions.

Thoughts on job-searching with a disability: Bolles says that “everyone has a handicap”. He seems to view a handicap as something that makes one job-seeker different from the other; he doesn’t seem to truly acknowledge that some jobs do require a physical ability (such as driving) that you don’t have that the employer wants.

Information on starting a business: This section was appreciated, but could have been more extensive. This practical advice could have been far more helpful than advise to “penetrate networks” and go on “informational interviews”.

Words on your mission in life: I’m a Christian, so I appreciate an attempt to integrate work and faith, but this section left me puzzled. It was more about how each human’s reason for existing is to love others, not about how to find your own calling. Bolles seems to suggest that if you’re not following God in the small details of everyday life, you’ll never know what your vocation should be.

What to do if you lack experience in your chosen field: This is the most frustrating omission that could be made for both career-changers and millennials alike. If you’ve seen entry level jobs that require knowledge of a specific software and three years of experience, you understand how frustrating this can be. Bolles acknowledges how many people are now competing for a single job (Is it 100?) But other than suggesting networking, Bolles doesn’t address how to overcome a lack of experience, nor does he seem to understand how the economy is changing for the worse for job-seekers. He seems to believe that people are working part-time because they want to (not because the economy is creating part-time jobs), and he doesn’t address the fact that many college grads are working in jobs that do not require a degree. For the most part, 2016’s version of What Color is Your Parachute is significantly out of touch with reality. If you don’t need to work and you have lots of experience, this book might benefit you, but otherwise, this book is not practical.

FTC  Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.

Book Review: Life with a capital L by Matt Heard

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What makes the difference between a life with significance, and a life that is mundane? Is there a connection between the Bible and the problems that face humanity? What does it mean to live life to the fullest?

Matt Heard addresses these questions using thought and feeling in Life With a Capital L. It’s an overview of life where he addresses freedom, the heart, beauty, worship, time, and brokenness. There’s a lot of wisdom packed into these pages, so much so that I was surprised when he referenced himself as “middle-aged”, as I was expecting someone much older having accumulated these life lessons. Heard has taken stories from his journey and assembled them into Life With a Capital L, creating a life manual to provide notes for things you can watch out for, or things that you already know but can be glad to have someone else acknowledge.

On a scale of five stars, I rank this book four out of five, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a thought-provoking, stimulating book.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

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