Publisher: Zondervan

Book Review:What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman

Posted July 5, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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ISBN: 9780310494225
Book Review:What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt PermanWhat's Best Next by Matt Perman
Published by Zondervan on February 21st 2014
Genres: Religion, Christian Life, Professional Growth
Pages: 256
Format: ebook
Source: Scribed
Buy on Amazon

Do Work That Matters
Productivity isn't just about getting more things done. It's about getting the right things done--the things that count, make a difference, and move the world forward. In our current era of massive overload, this is harder than ever before. So how do you get more of the right things done without confusing mere activity for actual productivity?
When we take God's purposes into account, a revolutionary insight emerges. Surprisingly, we see that the way to be productive is to put others first--to make the welfare of other people our motive and criteria in determining what to do (what's best next). As both the Scriptures and the best business thinkers show, generosity is the key to unlocking our productivity. It is also the key to finding meaning and fulfillment in our work.
What's Best Next offers a practical approach for improving your productivity in all areas of life. It will help you better understand:
* Why good works are not just rare and special things like going to Africa, but anything you do in faith even tying your shoes.
* How to create a mission statement for your life that actually works.
* How to delegate to people in a way that actually empowers them.
* How to overcome time killers like procrastination, interruptions, and multitasking by turning them around and making them work for you.
* How to process workflow efficiently and get your email inbox to zero every day.
* How your work and life can transform the world socially, economically, and spiritually, and connect to God's global purposes.
By anchoring your understanding of productivity in God's purposes and plan, What's Best Next will give you a practical approach for increasing your effectiveness in everything you do.

I first heard about the book on an ElleChat, and I was all like I MUST READ IT AND BECOME MORE GOLDY PRODUCTIVE.
I have to be honest at first I was kinda irritated when he spent the first half of the book telling that we don’t NEED to be productive to have God’s love. I was all like DUH, but then I thought about it, and a few people came to mind that I would like to shove this book under their noses and be all like SEEEEE….
Then I read on, and I came across one of the best explanations of Justification that I have read in my life. And I have read many. The way this author explains it though blows every other way I have heard it described out of the water. Seriously this man is a genius. For that reason alone I was all ready to buy a bunch of books and pass then on to all of the “legalistic” Christians I know. If only I had that much money.
Then I read on. I could sympathize with the author because I hit the same kind of “snags” that he did wit the Getting Things Done Method. All this time I thought it was just me and that I was too stupid to have a “mind like water, ” but nope it seems that many other people had the same issues that I had faced. That alone made me feel better.
Then we get to the part of the book where he gives us is a way of overcoming the issues that trip so many of us up in the GTD method. I don’t want to give alllll the details away because I want people to buy the book cause believe me this is a book worth buying and keeping near you. I will tell you this much, this man is a genius for coming up with the method that he did. I have implanted it into my workflow, and it had helped me tremendously.
One thing I was glad to have read was that it takes other people a couple of hours of writing or working on something to get into the flow. I had thought since I had read the book ‘Flow” that I was just not great with whatever I was doing and I lacked that something that people talk about when they are in their sweet zone. It turns out I was giving up too soon. He explained that creatives need long stretches of time to work on things and to reach that sweet spot. I had previously only allocated 2 to three hours a day for writing. After reading this, however, I sectioned off whole days just to write. No editing, nothing like that. Just pure unadulterated pouring of words on the page. I can finally say that I have discovered my sweet spot. It turns out that all these years all I had been doing was a warm up and not the actual sport.
Truthfully I feel that this is a book that everyone should read. If you are not a Christian, you can skip over the first part and just read about his methodology. It is genius. It takes GTD to whole new levels. If you are at ll interested in maximizing your productivity, then get this book ASAP!

Review: Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things by Sara Hagerty

Posted December 16, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ISBN: 9780310339953
Review: Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things by Sara HagertyEvery Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty
Published by Zondervan on October 7th 2014
Genres: Religion, Christian Life, Spiritual Growth, General, Inspirational
Pages: 208
Format: eARC
Source: publisher

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty is the story of a woman whose life expectations went unmet while her heart became re-acquainted with her first Love. God, who comes in the hunger that pain so masterfully produces, worked His way into her insides to write a love-story as universal as the barrenness that every life clothed-in-flesh wears.
 A back alley is an unsuspecting place for a brush with God. In the age of fingertip access to pipe dreams and a ceiling-less supply of ambitions, where do you find the God who was birthed in dirt and straw? Sara Hagerty found Him when life stopped working for her. It was after almost a decade of Christian life and ministry when she was introduced to pain and perplexity. God met her and moved her when life broke.
 Hagerty weaves in and out (not necessarily sequentially) stories of her conversion and teen years, dating years, infertility, adoption, early years of marriage, husband's business failure, and family health issues. The overall message is that all the tough times end up teaching her major lessons about herself and God.

my review

I rarely have such mixed feelings about a book. Normally I can tell you that I either liked it, or I hated it and I can tell you why. I really want to work on my faith. I understand that by faith I am-am more Danielle Laporte than Billy Gram. I mean I can read Pema Chadron and be all like omg she is BRILLIANT! But I read something like this book and there is SOMETHING that I have resorted to calling the holier than thou asshole test. This is where people tray and sound how the Lord had helped them but in doing so they make people like me who I will fully admit to being broken sinners feel like assholes.

For example, when I read someone like Pema Chadron I can relate to her and I feel like I am on the right path and that I am on the brink of an awaking. I feel good and I want to do good and I want all humankind to feel peace and joy and communion with our creator or the source as it is called in some circles. To me, the Creator IS the source so.

I read Something like Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet and I read about how to agreed to Give her life to the Lord at 16 and followed all the rules I feel like and asshole because at 16 I was battling drug addiction  and a mental illness and my single mother was trying to keep my ass out of Juvenile. (I am a productive member of society nowadays and I have never been in an adult jail so therapy  and medication really do work). I  feel like scum because of all I put my mom through. And that makes me not like the book.

To be fair, the writing is beautiful. It is an internal journey of a woman getting to the core of communion with God. It tells the story of how God peeled back layers and layers til what was left was a precious diamond that reflects God. I LOVED the language and how she described her internal journey. and yet…

I felt worse and worse. Like I wasn’t good enough. Like maybe I was unsavable which I know is not true. God has blessed me with a life beyond my wildest dreams and I now try and follow him, but I KNOW I am still broken in a fallen world and I will never reach the heights of holiness that this author talks about. I could feel the anger in me that all she lacked was getting pregnant. That is all she couldn’t get pregnant. I wanted to tell her to try fertility treatment or something. I hate to admit this, but I felt as if her problem was really not all that big a deal. I know couples who deal with this will disagree with me, but I somehow feel that that people who have suffered withdrawal from drugs and cancer patients and the lack have far more to deal with and so what if you can’t have a kid?

Again my feelings with this book stem from a personal nature. This is a beautiful book to read if you have only faced something of a similar nature. That language is out of this world and it is a beautiful story. So I gave it three stars.

final verdict




Review: Spring’s Renewal

Posted July 7, 2011 by Hillary in Amish, Book Reviews, Christian Fiction / 0 Comments

spring's renewal

When I said I like all sorts of books. I really meant all sorts. I have always been interested in how people of other sub-cultures live. When I saw this on a friends book shelf I knew that I had to borrow it. After all one way to learn about different people is to read about them right?

Tim is visiting his Uncles farm in Ohio. He did not want to go at first but his family encouraged him to go. He had a sweetheart he left back in Indiana so he wasn’t looking for anyone to love. Until he met Clara. Clara is different in that as a child she was badly burned. Many people in the community look down on her or pitied her but not Tim. He wonders why no one is courting her. As they get to know each other Tim must make a decision. Will he continue with his sweetheart Ruby Lee back in Indiana or will he go to Clara?

As a deaf reader I could sympathize with Clara. I know how well meaning people can make you more self-conscious about something than not.

I had to admit I was surprised by some of the things in this book. Like the romance part. I guess I had stereotyped the Amish into one big group with all adhering to ridged values instead of a group with its members having varying degrees of which they conform. Which is a mistake that a lot of people tend to make.

The romance in this book however was much more believable than romances in other books the author showed the up and downs a couple has before they finally realize their true feelings. I like the breadth that she took to show this.

Clara is shown as a strong woman in her own way. She made peace about her disfigurement and did not let it interfere with her love of teaching. This is a vital message for anyone that has something different about them. Through Clara we could see that what is “wrong” with you does not necessarily have to define or limit who you are.

This is not the only theme in this book although it is the main one there are many other side stories to hold and grip the readers attention. I will defientily be pick up the other books in this series.

A Purpose Driven Life

Posted August 31, 2010 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

A Purpose Driven LifeThe Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Published by Zondervan on August 1st 2006
Genres: Christian Life, General, Religion
Pages: 334

You are not an accident. Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind, and he planned you for his purposes. These purposes will extend far beyond the few years you will spend on earth. You were made to last forever!Self-help books often suggest that you try to discover the meaning and purpose of your life by looking within yourself, but Rick Warren says that is the wrong place to start. You must begin with God, your Creator, and his reasons for creating you. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.This book will help you understand why you are alive and God's amazing plan for you-both here and now, and for eternity. Rick Warren will guide you through a personal 40-day spiritual journey that will transform your answer to life's most important question: What on earth am I here for?Knowing God's purpose for creating you will reduce your stress, focus your energy, simplify your decisions, give meaning to your life, and, most importantly, prepare you for eternity.The Purpose Driven(tm) Life is a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st century-a lifestyle based on God's eternal purposes, not cultural values. Using over 1,200 scriptural quotes and references, it challenges the conventional definitions of worship, fellowship, disciple

0310276993.01._SX140_SY225_SCLZZZZZZZ_ If you are looking for advice career wise or personal growth this is not the book for you. However if you are looking on living for God this book is perfect for you.

It is written by Rick Warren a pastor at Saddle Back church one of the largest in the world. It explains how to live for God. The premise is that if you live for God then God will help you in other areas of your life.

It has references to bible scriptures and other references that pertain to the book’s theme. Let me be clear on this, it is not written from a fundamentalist view but rather from a sound Christian frame of mind.

The most important part that is stressed is that life here is a practice run for eternity. When one views it from that view point it makes some of our troubles seem more bearable. It also offers a message of hope. That no matter what your circumstances now may be, that there is a better way. I liked how he says there are no accidents of birth that if you are here on earth, God wanted you here. This is a refreshing change from many fundamentalist view points on how people are tainted with unpardonable sin if you were not born and raised in a strictly Christian manner.

It fails to give too much detail on how you can know what God wants you to do career wise but perhaps that was not the aim of the book. Still it would have been nice to have something about that.

According to the bible 40 days is enough time to take a significant spiritual journey. The book is meant to be digested at the rate of one chapter a day for 40 days. I read it in a few days since it was a library book so I cant tell you if it really was a great spiritual journey. I had friends swear by it so I guess for some people it works.

Overall you come away with a feeling of renewal and hope and in today’s climate that is a good thing.