What About the Books on Your Shelf?

If you’re reading this, chances are you read quite a bit. A growing question for you and other readers these days is how do you buy books. Traditional or digital? (My answer, yes) And then there’s the audio question. Does listening to a book count as reading it? (My answer, yes.)

In a coaching call this week, a completely different question surfaced. The agenda of the call was to determine the various kinds of books this guy wanted to explore reading in 2019. He wanted to determine other genres and topics than he normally chooses, even material that might be uncomfortable. When it appeared the list was about done, I asked him to think about what kind of books give him life, refresh him, maybe even recreate him. I thought I knew how he would answer the question. I was wrong.

I assumed he would talk about style or topics or genre. Instead, he responded by naming titles of several books he’d read that were still meaningful to him. As he talked about them, he realized a simple thing. A good thing to do as a reader is to re-read good books, books that breathed life into you, books that made a difference. So he decided that another source for his quest for building his library for 2019 was to take a look at the books he already has, books already on his shelf practically guaranteed to restore his mind, heart, or spirit.

What about the books on your shelf? Which ones fill you up? Which book have you always said you will read again and still haven’t? Which book are you craving? These questions just might lead you to some exciting reading-traditionally, digitally, or audibly. May the books on your shelf impact your 2019.

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Sabbath Webinar

Over the years, the subject of Sabbath has created some interesting conversations. This year, it’s gotten more intentional as I’ve led two groups through a coaching program about it and watched the participants walk away with a new perspective and personal plan about Sabbath.

For readers in the U.S. and around the world, it would be even more interesting to hear from one another about your Sabbath practices, or lack of it. Earlier today, I teamed up with fellow coach Tonya Waechter to share a webinar, part one of three, regarding Sabbath. You can watch it here: Webinar.

Tonya and I would love to hear your insights and then have you join us for webinar parts 2&3.

Realignment Day

Five weeks ago I self diagnosed a need. I had a need for a day unlike any day I’ve experienced before. This need was driven by various things. Did I need rest? Yes and no. Did I need time with God? More yes than no. What did I most need was my question. I took this to my coach and what I came up with was this: I needed realignment.

I’ve never heard of a realignment day, but it resonated with me. Since it was self diagnosed, that meant I had to come up with the “treatment plan.” I went into the day with some structure, but very loosely held. I knew prayer and reading would play a major role, but how long and with what content I wanted to be fluid and hopefully spirit led. I’ll share some of how the day went and give you something to consider for your own realignment day.

  • To establish why the title of realignment, I considered these definitions: 1. To place back in line, to bring back into line. 2. To rejoin as an ally. In the consideration, I looked at biblical examples of folks who needed and received realignment such as Adam and Eve, Samson, David, Jacob and Esau, Hosea and Gomer, Moses, Jonah, the prodigal son, and Peter.  This led me to a personal conclusion: I need to realign with how God sees people, with his grace, and with who I am in his eyes. This foundation led the rest of the day’s activities. These activities including reading, praying, and worshipping through music.
  • Reading: four scripture passages and portions of two books about these passages. Some of this was planned and some not. I knew that I was drawn to reading prayers and conversation between Moses and God. But in the moment I was led to other passages from Daniel, Job, and I John. These passages illustrated what is needed for realignment and how to pray for it.
  • Praying: confessional and covenantal. The truth about realigning with God is that he isn’t the one that got out of line. So realignment should include confessing where you got out of line and covenanting about staying in line. But before I wrote out those two prayers I started the conversation with God by asking him this: “What messages do you want to share with me?” To my surprise, he had a lot to say-a full page, a total of 13 clear and specific messages. Those alone were worth the effort and intentionality of the day.
  • Music: listening and creating. Again, to my surprise I was led to listen to one particular song throughout the day. Then as a result of reading and praying, a new song was birthed in my spirit. By the end of the day, where I ended up at a bayside park, not only was I realigned but I also had a song of offering to give back to God and to others what my realignment day had given to me.

Not everyone requires the same type of realignment, but I’m convinced we all need it occasionally. 

  • Are you due? 
  • What could assist you in realigning? 
  • How vital should a realignment day be in order for you to make it happen? 
  • What surprises could God have in store for you on your realignment day?

NO ONE Gets There ALONE (book review)

What a nice surprise this book by Dr. Rob Bell was. While checking out a recommended book on Amazon, his book popped up also. Not familiar with him, I was intrigued by the title. Knowing I have a commitment to reading a few coaching books this year, I went ahead and purchased it. Here are some quotes to illustrate why you could consider doing the same:

  • Everyone is an athlete; our office is just different. Some of us are corporate athletes, sales athletes, or entrepreneur athletes. Being an athlete is an attitude and awareness. It means looking through our own lens of life as an athlete.     
  • True competition is me vs. me.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy.   
  • When we focus on the differences between us, we are in comparison mode, believing we are better than or less than someone else.   
  • Talk about all stressful situations in non-stressful environments.   
  • When we are not all-in, we are just in the way.   
  • The chicken is invested in breakfast by supplying the eggs, but the pig is fully committed by providing the ham or bacon.   
  • Complaining is the first small sign of giving up.   
  • There are two types of pain, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

You can read this book because you are a coach. You could read this book because you need a coach. Or you could read this book to explore why you should consider being coached. 

For example, Dr. Bell’s section on faith may help you explore yours in a new way. And his approach to mental toughness is encouraging and tool-giving to all readers, regardless of your reading agenda. My personal best takeaway of the entire book was the section entitled “Focus on the Similarities, not the Differences.”

You’ll have takeaways from this easily digestible book. Give it a look and improve how you are getting there.

Safe People (book review)

I finished another great read from Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

One of the marks of a truly safe person: they are confrontable.

Safe people know that they are subject to change. They want to mature and grow over time.

Safe relationships are not just about trust, support, and sharing. They are also about truth, righteousness, and honesty.

To best deal with unsafe people, we first need to understand what causes us to be unsafe.

And that’s just from chapters two and three.

I came across this book while searching for a resource for developing a coaching program about relationships. Pretty sure this book is worthy. Here’s why:

  • Clear definitions, illustrations, and suggested tools for implementation.
  • Complete and thorough look on the subject.
  • You are not given the idea that you are perfect and others aren’t. It’s a look at yourself, if you choose to accept the opportunity.

Anyone would find this book helpful. Keep your ears open for a group coaching program on this subject, most likely coming this fall.

2017 Library

Throughout 2017 you’ve read posts referencing books I’ve read. Below is the library, in order which I read them. You’ll notice several books about coaching, which was required reading for classes I took during the year. Something else I noted this year on the list for the first time-whether I read the book on kindle (13) or hard copy (10). Something for the curious to know and chew on.

God is in the Manger, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (hard copy)

The Salvation of Souls, Jonathan Edwards (hard copy)

Christian Coaching, Gary Collins (hard copy)

Co-Active Coaching, Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, Laura Whitworth (hard copy)

Becoming a Professional Life Coach, Patick Williams, Diane S. Menendez (hard copy)

The Next Level, Scott Wilson (hard copy)

The God-Shaped Brain, Timothy Jennings (kindle)

The Critical Journey, Janet Hagberg, Robert Guelich (kindle)

Brain Savvy Leaders, Charles Stone (kindle)

The Phenomenon, Rick Ankiel and Tim Brown (hard copy)

The Myth of Equality, Ken Wytsma (hard copy)

Business for the Glory of God, Wayne Grudem (kindle)

Business by the Book, Larry Burkett (kindle)

The E myth Revisited, Michael Gerber (kindle)

1,000 Churches, Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im (hard copy)

How to Become a Rainmaker, Jeffrey J. Fox (kindle)

This Is Your Brain on Sports, L. Jon Wertheim and Sam Sommers (hard copy)

Awe, Paul David Tripp (kindle)

Law and Ethics in Coaching, Patrick Williams and Sharon K. Anderson (kindle)

Ethics & Risk Management for Christian Coaches, Michael J. Marx (kindle)

Effective Group Coaching, Jennifer J. Britton (kindle)

Rhythms of Rest, Shelly Miller (kindle)

The Rest of God, Mark Buchanan (kindle)

Real Sabbath: God’s Sovereignty

My latest reading has been on the subject of Sabbath. Why? It’s a curious subject; we all need it; and I’m putting together a coaching program on the subject.

The two books I’m reading through this month are excellent; they’ve made the resource list for the program. Here are links to them: The Rest of God and Rhythms of Rest.

To give you a taste of the goodness of these books and what you could look forward to in a program on this subject, here’s a quote from chapter four of The Rest of God:

Real Sabbath, the kind that empties and fills us, depends on complete confidence and trust. And confidence and trust like that are rooted in a deep conviction that God is good and God is sovereign.

To give the reader a practical way to seek the sovereignty of God and therefore achieve an attitude of Sabbath, the author gave this challenge based on the storyline found in Acts 3-4 (you might want to read that now):

To practice the sovereignty of God today when you pray, start with God. Survey what he has made. Recite what he has done. Proclaim who he is.

So I tried that this afternoon as a journal entry. Give it a shot and see if your mind and spirit aren’t entered into a deeper place of trust and confidence. 

The Phenomenon (Book Recommendation)

You don’t have to be a Cardinals fan, not even a baseball fan, to enjoy this book. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. It’s a true story about overcoming obstacles in life
  2. It’s a look at the professional athlete’s world that feels like any other person’s world
  3. It’s a story of perseverance
  4. It’s written well, written to keep your attention, and written emotionally honestly
  5. It contains life lessons for all of us, whether we are the struggler or the one walking with the struggler

“If a tire goes flat, does the reason matter?” @TheeRickAnkiel #thephenomenon

Here’s some people who should read this book:

  • Those directly impacted by anxiety disorders
  • Those working with young adults with high potential
  • Those coaching clients through life-altering seasons and incidents
  • Those addressing family-orientation obstacles
  • Those who are trying to answer the question, “What are you going to do?”

“All I had to do was look up. All I had to do was stop the fear from rising.” @TheeRickAnkiel #thephenomenon

Running Tuesdays: ’16/’17 Phrases

by Michael Wilder

On a 4×4 piece of wood, painted white, attached to the wall where I hang my medals, this verse reference is seen in black paint: 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

Out of that verse, one phrase sums up my 2016 running life and another phrase my future 2017 running life:

“…Surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…”

“…Run with perseverance…”

For 2016, I found myself in a very interesting spot. I have only been running for 6 years, and by no means am I an expert in the field of running. I always found myself reading or seeking advice from others. However, in 2016 I was thrust into a role similar to an expert but better, a coach. My longtime friend starting getting into running as a way to lose weight, but like most of us he fell in love with the sport and wanted to make it a lifestyle. Just assuming here, but my being an experienced runner with several races under my belt as well as our friendship led him to pick me as his running coach. After him sharing his desire early in 2016 to run a marathon, we both signed up for the Disney World Marathon for January 2017. After that moment I assumed this coaching role. We would train together during this year, he would call me throughout this year to get advice, and I held him accountable for his new running life. This coaching role in 2016 has been great for me. Why…because I was surround by a great friend who helped me change how I viewed running. I now see running as a journey in which I enjoy. I run now because I love the process/change. Being a “coach” made me see this process play out. It is funny how other people help you see things differently. I like being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

For 2017 I challenged myself to run with perseverance. I made a goal for myself to reach 1,000 miles by year’s end. Doing the math, that’s 20 miles a week. I never do 20 miles a week unless I am training for a marathon, in which for 2017 I have no current plans to do any races. This goal however is a year-long race that will require perseverance. There will be weeks in which I will not be feeling it, especially in the hot summer months. But I am determined to run the race marked out for me. I know I can, and at the end of this year I might have to buy myself the 1,000-mile medal to add to my collection.

Do You Know Your Values? 

I just finished reading a chapter in a book (Becoming a Professional Life Coach) I’m reading for one of my coaching courses. The chapter was entitled “Steering Your Life by True North.”  The following statement sums up the chapter’s intent:

It’s impossible to lead a fulfilling life that does not honor or that is out of alignment with our core values.

This question then rises: do you know your core values?  To clarify, core values aren’t the things you think you should value. They may not even be the things you currently have chosen to value. Your core values are the qualities that when lived you are unashamed and satisfied with how you’re living life.

To help you identify your core values, here’s an exercise from the chapter:

Think back to the qualities you had as a child. List 5 to 10 qualities that were true of you between the ages of 6 and 12.

You’ve been naturally drawn towards certain things ever since you were a child, and some qualities were just naturally part of you. You may have been naturally creative or thoughtful, or a lover of nature or beauty. You may have been a natural helper of others or may have been drawn to things that were new or different. Or perhaps you were an experimenter or explorer. These qualities may be among your core values or may be clues to help you identify them.

Sit down and quickly list 5 to 10 of these qualities right now. Circle all of those qualities that are still a part of your life and that come naturally to you. Include anything you would be and do if your work, time, and life supported you in fulfilling them. Also include things that people cannot stop you from doing.

May you know your core values! May you know your true north!