Archives For Books/Magazines

Book Review- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by: Marie Kondo

I would normally consider myself a professional organizer who’s lack of consistency with it gives the perception that I am not. I love the idea of a clean home and we clean our house every week. There does seem to be a difference between the IDEA of a clean home and an ACTUAL clean home.

We have four kids who all have different levels of a hoarders mentality. If they say that was inherited from myself or my wife, we will deny that to the grave! The reality is that every sat my wife try to wrangle our kids and work them into a cleaning frenzy to tackle the daunting hurricane of legos, books, dirt, garbage, and clothing.

My wife believes in cleaning a little bit each day, but for 8 years I have worked from home and learned that I am quite possibly the worst housewife on this planet. When I got this book to review I was intrigued and excited to learn something that might transform our dysfunctional and disturbing system.

Jumping right into reading I learned that this woman was going to get right into it. She is a bold, simple and very clear writer. Many of the insights give you a picture of a small Japanese home in Tokyo, but eventually you begin to realize that what she is saying makes perfect sense.

She instructs that the concept of tidying up a little daily is foolish and will never result in cleanliness or sanity. Instead she recommends to take everything in categories like, clothes or books and then put them on the floor of one room. Afterwards you are to pick up each item to determine if you will keep it or discard it. So what is the criteria? How long since it has been used? Is it broken or dirty?

No… She says to simple hold it and ask “Does this SPARK JOY”

I am greatly intrigued by her approach to each item, how she organizes and how she folds clothes. My wife is currently reading the book and we plan to attempt this. The clothes should be easy, but I think the books may be hard for me. Kondo says that the less books in your home the greater the impact of the content.

I am going to rate this book a PRE- 5 out of 5 stars because while I loved the book, the rating may change when I attempt to actually do this in my home. Stay tuned…

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this BOOK free from Blogging for books to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Framing Faith
From Camera to Pen, An Award-Winning Photojournalist Captures God in a Hurried World
By Matthew Knisely

I have the privilege of following Matt on the social media platforms and being his “friend” on facebook. This was actually how I first heard about this book. It has been interesting looking through that lens (no pun intended) as I read through these pages.

Matt is a photojournalist and a storyteller. The main reason why I grabbed this book to review is because of my fascination with photography, the arts, speaking and storytelling as well. I loved the clarity that was in this book in regards to intentionality of capturing “worthwhile” moments and encountering God in the midst of the chaos of life.

Over the years I have also had these epiphanies around “carpe diem” or the recognition that each moment matters. I really liked this book and his phrasing. I would have loved to have seen more of his “art” in the book because I think it FRAMES clearly as a visual example his text.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this BOOK free from booklookbloggers to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Foundations in Comic Book Art: SCAD Creative Essentials (Fundamental Tools and Techniques for Sequential Artists)
by John Paul Lowe

I have the privilege of reviewing this from a semi-professional view in that I used to work in the comic book business. Recently I have craved to get back into comics and illustration so when I saw this book come up in a list of books for me to review, I grabbed it.

Lowe is really good at communicating and visually the book is of higher grade than most books of it’s kind that are out there. Materials and techniques are covered and what is nice is that while it has an emphasis on comics it also covers the gamut of visual art.

It covers so many topics and techniques and is rich with content. It is not a how to draw book which is also nice. So while it is basic to intermediate in nature it also has value for people who have been drawing for years.

Being a guy who went from classic pen and ink to pretty much all digital, I was glad the topics covered software and techniques that could be used traditionally or with a computer.

I would recommend this book for anybody interested in visual art but especially for those who love sequential art. This is one of the better books on this topic that I have read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this BOOK free from bloggingforbooks to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

stripper

How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness: Serving People Just as They Are
By Todd Stevens and Erin Stevens

I was looking through the available books to review and came across the genius marketing title of this book. I know about strip church and organizations like “hookers for jesus” so I decided to dig in a bit more. It was then that the covers’ small print came into view. “and Other Acts of Kindness: Serving People Just as They Are”.

It was that line that compelled me to grab this book and quite frankly I was not prepared for the roller coaster it had me on. As a PK I have been doing ministry my whole life. The last 18 years have been spent doing ministry alongside my wife. Not even a year ago I co-founded Ember Church and have spent many hours praying with my co-pastors about the unique vision God has given our church. We have done a few “outreach/missional” events that were just for the sake of loving our community and were floored at the difference in response compared to a “need based” event. We knew we were onto something about what God wanted us to do. It was just difficult to really flesh out what this all meant.

I started reading this book and God just hit me. This is it! These guys figured it out. It is so simple, but such a challenging and lofty God sized vision. Friendship Community Church calls it “servant evangelism”. It doesn’t sound revolutionary and honestly it is more ancient than it is modern. It is Jesus’ way. It is all about love.

Here is why I love this book. It doesn’t just give the biblical way of loving and serving. We preach that every week. They went practical too. The Steven’s lay out what worked, what didn’t, success and failure in a way that truly challenged my view of outreach. They lay out one section on intentionally loving your enemy and going a step further than praying for them.

I am still wrapping my head around this book because I think I have stumbled onto the voice of God in regards to a mindset we want to cultivate in our church. Love others and be ready at all times. It is much more than that and I know that sounds like just a simple and basic statement, but it’s often the simple things that we forget. It is the simple things that we stop because we have been paralyzed with apathy and self.

This book took me to a place I haven’t been to in a long time. I ordered 4 more copies for our staff and I am looking forward to reviewing and praying through the implications of their journey on our church.

This is a 5 star book and a must read for any church leader.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this BOOK free from booklook bloggers to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

dadisfat

Dad is Fat: by Jim Gaffigan

“In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald’s, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children”

I am a HUGE gaffigan fan. I love his standup comedy and his outlook on life. The dude straight up cracks me up. I remember the first time I heard his “Hot Pockets” sketch a few years ago and I am pretty sure Jim still owes me a new pair of pants.

Needless to say I was so excited to get this book, and after rave reviews from friends I could not wait to dig in.

So I jumped into reading it through the lens of a chunky dad with 4 kids. I found myself smirking and thinking “yeah thats kinda true… I would agree with that”. I got about 3 quarters of the way through and one of the quotes on the back came back to me.

The quote said the book was “laugh out-loud funny”. Here I was almost done with the book struggling with the realization that not only was I not laughing out-loud, but I was pretty sure I didn’t laugh inside either.

In the end it was a nice read with some good humor about what it is like to be a dad with a ton of kids and married to an amazing wife…But thats not what I signed up for. I wanted an excuse to buy new pants and I didn’t get it.

I regret to say this, but I give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this BOOK free from Blogging For Books to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”