What I’ve Read; Book Reviews

I love to read, as anyone who knows me can tell you. I could easily write countless posts on just what I learned reading. However, not many are the book nerd that I am.

For those that might be, I started doing reviews on my favorite books. Not all of them are Christian, I read across a diverse field over the years. If it had an impact on me, then I will review it.

Let’s get started.

Books I’ve Read on Leadership

The Code by Jocko; Book Review

If a book has really impacted me, then I want to share it with others.

Jocko’s stuff just pumps me up, and it will you too.

Leadership Strategy by Jocko; Book Review

I have been a supervisor for almost five years. During that time, I have read many leadership books and listened to many podcasts. The company I work for even sent me to a small seminar. 

All due respect to John Maxwell, but I need a field manual with tactics. Enter retired SEAL Jocko Wilinck. With Leif Babin, he wrote Extreme Ownership and The Dichotomy of Leadership. Two excellent and highly recommended books, however, not the one I’m talking about. 

Help! I’m in Charge; A Book Review

Last year, my pastor published a book on leadership. Before that, I devoured his iLead podcasts from a sermon series. Pastor Rod Loy has been mentioned in John Maxwell’s The 360 Degree Leader as a top-level leader.

Knowing him and seeing him live it out naturally led me to buy the book with the best title ever.

Boundaries for Leaders; A Book Review

If you can’t tell yet, I’m a big fan of the Boundaries series. Today’s book is actually the second one I read back in 2018.

It obliquely introduced me to Jocko’s extreme ownership with “ridiculously in charge.”

Every time I read the book, I see it from different perspectives.

Books I’ve Read By Rory Miller

Living in the Deep Brain: Connecting with your Intuition; Book Review

If I turn your book into a Cliff Note’s version just for me, it’s a good one. I’m always looking for a way to be more competent, think faster, and be smarter. 

Rory Miller, who wrote a book I mention often called ConCom about conflict communication, has a new book on training your intuition. I’ve reviewed one book of his already and mentioned this one in Triggers. 

I enjoy his work that much. 

Conflict Communication; A Book Review

Other than the Bible, there is probably no other book that I’ve read more or gave away than this one. It is also the book that made me realize the futility of arguing about politics. 

Christian Books I’ve Read

Heaven; A Book Review

When you think of Heaven, I can probably tell you what you’re thinking of. You imagine sitting on a cloud with wings, visiting with dead relatives and friends. Maybe even St. Peter checking ID’s at the Pearly Gates and hanging out with Jesus. 

If you’re from a Christian background, then standing around the throne of God and singing all the time is a thought that passes through your mind. That’s both appealing and unappealing. It sounds boring. 

Biblically, what is Heaven like? Randy Alcorn wrote a book called, well…

Heaven

The Insurgence; A Book Review

I recently read a book that requires some chewing on after I put it down. It was very “in your face.” A book about a more vibrant Christian life. It made it…manly, though not geared towards guys only.

The Ragamuffin Gospel; Book Review

If anyone was to ask, what Christian book do you recommend over any other, what would it be? It wouldn’t be a great theological tome like Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica. Or the current number one bestseller.

No, it would be a book that helped a beat-up me in 2014, right after I was saved. It was written by a priest who struggled with alcoholism all his life and returned to God’s extravagant grace. 

That book is…

Immediate Obedience: The Adventure of Tuning in to God; A Book Review

After I got saved, I asked (then) Pastor Jaime what I should read. Because I’m always looking for something to read. She said the book of Romans and Pastor Rod’s then-new book, Immediate Obedience.

Let me just say before we start, it’s like Christian basic training. Not only education but also application. Especially if you do the 90-Day Challenge. I’ll get to that.

Books on Parenting I’ve Read

To Grad From Dad by Dan John; Book Review

Dan John is known as a strength coach. He’s also a dad to two daughters, and a few years ago, he wrote a book for his oldest daughter. It was a hit, and friends convinced him to release it to the public. 

In 42 pages, he covers a gamut of parental advice. I read it over Father’s Day weekend because well, Samuel. Anything I could learn to teach him would make the $2.99 worth it.

Talk Now and Later: How to Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics; A Book Review

While Casey was pregnant with Sam, I lamented with a pastor at church about wanting to read parenting books by them. Especially Pastor Rod.

I had watched their kids grow up, and some still are, and they’re good kids. There must be a secret…

One pastor did write a book, drawing from his own parenting journey and as a pastor in kids and student ministry. When we dedicated Sam, it was one of the books gifted to us.

Boundaries With Kids; A Book Review

Are the kids making you crazy? Your own kids, other people’s kids, even the adult kids?

This book is a great resource for anyone that deals with kids.

Books On Social Commentary

Taking It to the Streets: Lessons from a Life of Urban Ministry; Book Review

I don’t like looking like I’m ignorant, even though I am. Whenever the protests popped off, the white people in my church started apologizing and asking questions. We’re a diverse church, proud of our unity despite the diversity. 

My response was to observe, learn, watch. The thing is, like most people, I don’t like being talked down too. 

That’s why I chose my information sources carefully. Black people in the church who were posting that I trusted, like Dr. Knott, Melva, Renee, Ryk, and Chris. 

Angry white people were snoozed, from both sides of the argument.

A friend, Kee, found a website, IVP Books, where to promote black authors, they gave away one book. I chose the one I’m going to review today.

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements; A Book Review

Since about 2008, politics in America have gotten more and more divisive. So much so, I have often mused to myself the idea of bringing back dueling. Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers, was killed in a duel. 

Political movements seem to be ramping up from both the far-right and far-left. Y’all

 need to get your crackpots, they’re making you look bad.

Eric Hoffer wrote a book on Mass Movements in 1951. It’s very insightful. Look at the quotes and try to see if it helps you understand what’s going on today. 

How (Not) to Be Secular; A Book Review

This book is really aimed at the curious, the philosophers, and the nerds. I took a lot of notes from it in the two times I read it. What book am I talking about?

Christian Case-Making Books

God’s Crime Scene; A Book Review

One of the first apologists (oops, he prefers Christian Casemaker, which sounds better admittedly) I came across after I was saved was J. Warner Wallace. I listened to all his podcasts, both Please Convince Me and Cold-Case Christianity.

Why did I like him so much? He’s a detective, and I’m a fan of Batman and Sherlock Holmes. This means he’s an evidentialist.

The book we’ll look at today is the second in a series, though it should be the first. It builds a case for a creator god, but not the God of the Bible.

Cold Case Christianity; A Book Review

What happens when an atheist detective who mocked Christians investigates the Gospels like one of his cold case murder investigations?

His world gets rocked. He didn’t want it to be true.

Except for the evidence from his years of investigating, it was staring him in the face. J.Warner Wallace turned that investigation into a book called Cold-Case Christianity.

Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions; A Book Review

We usually see debates like fencing or boxing: strike and counterstrike. Nothing is gained, just opinions playing to your tribe rather than making people think.

Some, like me, don’t get into these types of discussions because it’s exhausting. What if you can actually learn something and make the other person think through their claims?

Miscallaneous Books

Crash Test Girl; A Book Review

I think everyone has a celebrity crush. One of Casey’s is Jason Mamoa, though I don’t see why. I have a beard and tattoos too.

Mine was Kari Byron from Mythbusters. She wrote a book in 2018 called Crash Test Girl. The premise is using the scientific method to answer life’s questions. In the book, she looks at her life through that lens.

The Secret Blend; A Book Review

Six years ago, after a counseling session, our Pastor at the time, gave me a book. I love books, if you haven’t noticed. She knew that’s how to teach me something, give me something to read.

The book is a story with lessons on friendships, and it’s about coffee—five stars for coffee alone.

Books on Boundaries

Boundaries; A Book Review

In 2017, I was having an issue with boundaries. That issue was, could I be a loving Christian and tell people no? Or was I supposed to burn myself out like a candle?

A friend loaned me her copy of a book titled Boundaries. I took numerous scans of the pages for Evernote until I eventually got my own copy. It was that good, and I could mark up all I wanted.

Beyond Boundaries; A Book Review

Alright, so you’ve read the boundary books, and you’re ready to let people back in. How do you do that?

I recently read the book with that answer.

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