In Spite Of Book Review by Jeff Bush

In Spite Of

By John and Joann Ashley

 

– When we arrived at Johnny’s incubator there was an elderly nun standing next to him
and talking to him. When Joann got to her feet to see Johnny the nun turned and
said; “Are you his Mother? He is so sweet, I have been visiting with him and he has
such a sweet personality, and just think, God chose you to be his mother.” To my
wife, this petit nun was the angel God sent to minister to her. That sweet lady
reassured Joann that God has blessed her with this special child and that he had
such a sweet personality. At the time Joanne thought, ”How could she know that?”
However, the nuns words were prophetic. We certainly have been blessed. Johnny
had the sweetest personality of anyone we know. Had she said to Joann, “Oh, I am
sorry so sorry,” or had spoken words of sympathy or played into the sorrow that
Joann was feeling; she probably would have discouraged Joann and probably made
the situation much worse. May this be a lesson to all of us, to choose our words
carefully when trying to help someone experiencing grief. — Page 20

– To anyone who may be in a similar situation today, the old saying, “one day at a
time” is so true. It is very easy to get caught up in all the tomorrows that may never
come. Try not to allow yourself to dwell in the future. Today will be hard enough to
deal with. And if by chance today is a good day, ENJOY IT! We can ruin a good
today by fretting about the rough tomorrows. Believe me, I am the king of destroying
a perfectly good day by prioritizing tomorrows. The truth is, tomorrow may never
come, and if it does come, it will have its own set of issues to be dealt with. Focus
on today and let tomorrow take care of itself. I heard an old pastor once say, “Worry
is like a rocking chair. It doesn’t get you anywhere, but it gives you something to do.”
Very true words. — Page 26–27

– So many questions enter our minds at times like this. The biggest question is
“Why?”, but we also want to know the answers to the “What?” questions. What
caused this to happen? What will be in the future? Again, most of our questions go unanswered when we ask them. We try to figure out all of the possible scenarios and
most of the time we are wrong in our predictions. — Page 27

– There is one question that I would like to address that is asked less frequently, but
the answer is more readily available. That is the who question. Who allowed this to
happen? Who made my child this way? The answer many times seems
counterintuitive, but the real answer is that God created our son the way He did for
His purposes. — Page 27-28

– We won’t always get our answers when we want them, and many times the answers
we get aren’t the ones we are looking for. We may never fully know the “Why” or the
“What”, but we can always trust in the “Who.” Joann loves a quote that she read
somewhere; “God gives us something better than the answers to our questions, He
gives us Himself.” — Page 29

– You see there is no reason to compare pain and grief. I read somewhere that the
“worst kind of grief is the grief you are going through.” The worst kind of grief is not
losing a child or getting diagnosed with cancer. It is the grief you are experiencing at
the time. Your grief is the worst grief you can experience. — Page 37

– The most important person we had to learn to share her feelings with was the Lord.
You see He knows our thoughts anyway so trying to pretend that we don’t have them
is futile. Coming to God and being completely honest isn’t the easiest thing to do.
We may have to confess our anger toward Him, admit we don’t understand and ask
Him the “Why” questions. You know what? He can handle it! He is not offended by
our anger in times of trial. The “Why” questions don’t bewilder Him. Talking things
out with the Lord is a step towards healing. — Page 40

– When we experience tragedy and grief in our lives, we need to find those that will let
us talk. When someone we know is going through a difficult time in life, we need to
open ourselves up and allow them to talk, again and again. — Page 40

– Keeping ourselves busy is a good way to help us from being discouraged by our “In
Spite Of” situations. — Page 105

How To Lead When You’re Not in Charge Book Review by Jeff Bush


How To Lead When You’re Not in Charge

By Clay Scroggins

 

– Most people are standing around waiting until they get the chance to lead, but you
must start leading right now where you are.
– If you’re not leading because you are not in charge, it is your own fault.
– Leaders don’t sit back pointing fingers, leaders lead with or without the authority of
leadership.
– You do not need authority to have influence.
– Positional authority does not always equate to effective leadership.
– Influence always outpaces authority.
– Each of us are responsible to do something where we are. It does not require a fancy
title or corner office.
– How we see ourselves affects how we follow or lead others.
– Who are the voices that are speaking to you? Those around you and those you are
letting influence you greatly affect who you are and what you will do.
– Your identity is the right identity when you let God speak into you more than you let
others speak into you.
– Ambition does not wait for authority to show up.
– God wants us to actively engage instead of sit back and wait until we have a position
to do something.
– You must weigh your own desires and ambitions. For whom are you leading? For
yourself or for others?

– Are you really wanting what God wants for you, even if that means never leading
from a position of authority?
– Everyone is in charge of leading something, even if that means being in charge of
yourself.
– When you think someone is leading badly you will look for areas to justify your
feelings.
– Your boss is not in charge of you, you are in charge of you.
– If you feel you are not being led well, you might want to ask if you are leading
yourself well.
– No one can lead you further than you can lead yourself.
– It’s easy to blame someone else for not leading well, but own your ambition and
learn to lead yourself well.
– Model follower-ship. If you want to lead well, you should ask yourself the question,
do you follow well?
– You will not lead yourself well by accident, it is intentional.
– Whether your boss goes all in or not, you should. You should be all in so much that if
you left, people would be very surprised.
– What if God wants to accomplish something in you more than with you?
– You can learn where you are; you do not have to be the boss to learn. It would be
tragic that you leave somewhere without learning.
– If you feel frustrated because you do not have the power you think you should have,
or even thought you would have, don’t let it stop you from doing what you can do.
– Seeing what you do have will help you instead of dwelling on what you don’t have.
– There’s a confidence in knowing God has you where He wants you.

 

– You can be convinced that God is up to something greater than what you know or
can see.
– Trust in God and hope for the future are the two legs that we can stand up on.
– Having the attitude that you’re going to sit back and wait for a train wreck to happen
is not the right attitude and will never make you a good leader.
– You can have the right attitude regardless the circumstances.
– Humility is good for all of us. You are probably not ready for the leadership you think
you should have.
– Romans 13 says that God sets the leadership. Although you may not always
understand, realizing God is in control will put your mind at ease.
– We should be encouraged to pray because we know God is ultimately in charge.
– If you think you should be promoted and have not been promoted yet, maybe there
are things God wants to teach you. Maybe there are still things to learn.
– Stop thinking as employee and start thinking as an owner.
– There is a razor thin line between thinking critically and being critical. If critical
thinking is an advantage, being critical is a snare.
– Stop giving people grades (judge) and start giving them a hand (help).
– Don’t play the waiting game, you will lose opportunities to lead.
– You do not have to be in charge to take charge.
– To break out of passivity, you need to do CPR:
C — Choose. Choose something and begin working.
P — Planning. You can take charge of your calendar in many areas to become
proactive instead of reactive. Instead of finding a problem, find a solution. Think
of a plan that will lead to the solution. Never present your boss with a problem
without having a plan towards the solution.

 

R — Respond. What is your bosses biggest stress? How can you help to
respond and relieve those areas?

– If you can find an area that you can make better, one in which no one else seems to
care, you will be appreciated. Good leaders take initiative and pick up what others
don’t want to pick up.
– You will not passively find what you do not actively pursue. You will not bump into
leadership or wait your way into it. Make use of the time God has given you because
what you are doing now matters greatly.
– If you are going to challenge your boss, avoid statements that shift blame or use
words such as “everything” or “everyone.” Avoid ultimatums and convince your boss
you are on the same team.
– If you do have to challenge your boss about something, you need to ask yourself
some questions: Do you like your boss? Do you respect him? Do you have his best
interest in mind? Does he/she know that? Philippians 2:3-4 is a great insight on how
you should put the other person’s interest ahead of your own.
– Whether you like your boss or not, you should be convinced that God put him in that
position. If there is something you need to challenge him/her about, and you do not
have the right relationship, stop, and work on that before you challenge him/her.
– Champion others publicly and challenge them privately. Do not confuse these two.
– Recognize that you may not have all the information. Many disagreements have to
do with not having all the information.
– Prepare to be ok with a “no.” What if you are told no? If God, your boss, or others
say no, it might mean “not yet.”
– Great leaders know how to lead when they’re in charge because they were leading
well before they were in charge.

 

– Leadership starts where you are right now.
– A title does not mean you are a leader.
– Ask yourself what kind of leader you want to be tomorrow and start working on areas
today. You are building a reputation right now where you are, whether you are in
charge or not.
– You can tell the character of a leader not by how they’re treated by their equals but
by how they are viewed by those under them.
– The best leaders are learners.
– You can learn just as much from a terrible boss as you can from a good one.
– As you are leading now, so you will lead later.

Fluent in 3 Months Book Review by Jeff Bush


Fluent in three months

By Benny Lewis

A language should be lived, not taught. 

Languages are not a barrier rather a bridge to cross in order to communicate with  others. 

Check your motivation concerning the language you want to learn. Is it because you  think you will be impressive or is it because you want to communicate with the  people?  

You don’t know a language, you live it. 

If you have a passion to learn the language, you will do what you need to do and no  obstacle will stop you.  

Don’t believe the myth that you are too old to learn a language. There’s no proven  age limit for language learning. 

Not having an accent is not your goal. You can still learn the language and  communicate well.  

Talking trumps technology. Just because you can translate something on your phone  does not mean you cannot or should not learn a language. 

Successful language learners continue on despite the challenges. 

You will likely not learn a language in three months, but the point is to set a goal. You  do not have to say fluency in three months, maybe say “understand” or “be  conversational.”  

Most people do not learn a language because of laziness or staying in an ex-pat  bubble. 

The world is a book and those who don’t learn the language are reading only one  page of the book. 

Life begins where your comfort zone ends. 

You need virtual immersion as well. Find news, TV and radio in the language you’re  trying to learn. 

A stranger is just a friend that you have not met yet

There’s no such thing as “ready” when you are learning a language, you just have to  begin speaking with what you know and learn more from there. You will never be  completely ready. You learn by doing, and the next time you’ll make fewer mistakes. 

Don’t talk yourself in shyness. Just open your mouth & try instead of overthinking it. It’s not about blending in perfectly but standing out less. 

Even with a good accent, if you do not learn the visual rules of how people look, act,  and move, you will always still be seen as a foreigner. 




Digital Minimalism Book Review By Jeffrey Bush

Digital Minimalism

Subject By Cal Newport

– The average person spends a minimum of two hours a day on social media, looking
at their phone a minimum of 85 times.

– Declutter your life by taking a 30-day break from media.

– Silence and solitude. It would do you good to be unplugged from the noisy world of
media.

– Everyone needs a time of solitude.

– Solitude is not just a physical separation, it is being alone with your thoughts.

– We live with solitude deprivation – a moment of being alone with our own thoughts.

– Earbuds have become a backdrop throughout the entire day, a way to ignore the
world.

– It is not a coincidence that since the time of smart phones, anxiety has become
much more prevalent.

– When solitude is absent from one’s life, mental health is far worse.

– Solitude is an important ingredient in human life. Humans are not wired to be
constantly wired.

– Practice by leaving your smart phone at home. The phone is not as important as you
might think.

– Practice by taking a walk. It is not so much about exercise, but a time to have
solitude. Take the walks alone, but preferably without your smart phone.

– Practice journaling. Write down ideas, reflections or a letter to yourself. This frees
you from outside input and leaves you with your thoughts.

– Although it may seem paradox, much social media makes many lonely and less
happy.

– The more social media someone uses, the more isolated that person feels.

– Our minds trick us by thinking it is just as important to communicate digitally with
someone, but nothing takes the place of talking or being present with them.

– We don’t have to be anti-technology, but we should be pro-conversation.

– Real conversations take time, and you will not be able to do as much as those you
follow online.

– Our sociality is simply too complex to be outsourced to a social network.

– Prioritize leisure activity (sport or hobby) over digital consumption.

– The first step in stopping or better maintaining social media is to remove the social
media apps from your phone.

Burnout Book Review By Jeffrey bush

Burnout

By Teddy Alva

– There are several warning signs for burnout, some of which are not being able to
sleep, not being able to wake up, not having desires for much, etc.

– Prevention is possible, so it is possible to do something before you reach burnout.

– Make time every single day to recharge your batteries.

– Before you burnout, you should take some time out. You need personal time every
day.

– There’s a limited amount of time for things that you can do. Realize you cannot do
everything.

– A few things that will help you avoid burnout: getting enough sleep, getting personal
time, exercise, and eating right.

– A recovery for burnout is to take time away from whatever is causing you stress.

– A vacation can be good, but it can also be stressful because you have a mountain of
work when you return. Maybe consider staying in town and unplugging.

– Every case of burnout can be a learning experience.

– Take a 20-minute walk. This gives you exercise and time alone.

– Limit your noises. Although the internet offers many good things, it brings many
stresses and negativity.

At Your Best




   At Your Best

By Carey Nieuwhof

 

It is said that 70% of American adult workers are experiencing some kind of burnout.  Stress, and its cousin burnout, are spreading like a pandemic.  

If you don’t think that stress costs you anything, you are wrong.  

Your excuse might be that you are just in a busy season, but seasons have  beginnings and endings. If saying it’s a season is always your excuse then it’s not just  a season rather your life. Something needs to change. 

Time off will not heal you when the problem is how you spend your time on.  

Time off, vacations and sabbaticals are not the solution for an unsustainable pace; a  sustainable pace is the solution.  

You get aggravated when other people don’t value your time, but the real problem is  that you don’t value your time.  

Hijacked priorities happen when you let other people determine what you get done.  

Many people have not learned to say no, or to say no in a way that does not offend  others and burn bridges.  

Be truthful about time. We say we can’t do something or couldn’t finish something  because we didn’t have time. The truth is we have time but waste or do not prioritize  it.  

We love excuses, but excuses kill hopes, dreams and goals.  

You can make excuses or you can make progress, but you can’t make both. 

Stop saying you didn’t have time and start being truthful by saying you didn’t make the time.  

Although there are times that you cannot control (work), you do have control of much  of your time (before and after work, at home or with family).  

Focus on the time and things that you can control not the things you cannot control.  We give more attention and time to things in life that are urgent yet not so important.  

The wrong things will always want your attention. The hard thing is to make sure the  right things get your attention.  

If you’re waiting for the optimal time to do your best work, that will never happen.  Turn off all notifications when you are trying to get work done.  

Good sleep is still one of the best things to help you be more productive.  A focused you is a is a better you.  

Control your calendar so that others do not control you. If you do not plan and live by  your calendar, you will begin living by other people’s agenda.  

Other people’s needs do not have to become your guilt. 

You become what you repeatedly do.  

You have to block out time for priorities and what matters to you.

Above Life‘s Turmoil Book Review By Jeffrey Bush

Above life’s turmoil

By James Allen

 

You can transform everything around you if you will transform yourself. Every man thinks, acts, and lives in exact accordance to that which he believes. He that criticizes and condemns believes in hatred towards others, not love. Belief always proceeds action. 

Whatever you are in your secret thoughts, be it good or bad, you will eventually be in  your deeds. 

You choose by your thoughts what you will entertain. 

No man is wise because of another but because he chooses that himself. No man is  hindered or suffers because of another, he is hindered or suffers because of himself. 

The man that thinks hateful thoughts brings hatred upon himself, the same goes for  love.  

If a man cannot govern his inner self, he will not be able to govern other areas. It is by self-control that a man rises higher and higher.  

Let a man use self-discipline, and he will live better.  

Your greatest hindrances are your own passions and delusions. 

There are three things which a man must be content with: 

  1. With whatever happens  
  2. With his friendships and possessions  
  3. With his thoughts  

There are three things which a man should not be content with:  1. With his opinions 

  1. With his character  
  2. With his spiritual condition  

Brotherhood cannot exist when we are self-seeking. 

There are four enemies destructive to brotherhood:  

  1. Pride 
  2. Self-love 
  3. Hatred 
  4. Condemnation 

There are four chief qualities of divine brotherhood:  

  1. Humility 
  2. Self-surrender 
  3. Love 
  4. Compassion 

Blessed is he who has no wrongs to remember, no injuries to forget, and whose pure  heart no hateful thought about another can take root and flourish.  



When Good Men Get Angry Book Review

When Good Men Get Angry  

by Bill Perkins

Anger management is a lack of understanding God‘s omnipresence in your  life. 

To control your anger you must understand who you are in Christ.  Lack of respect is a large reason many men become angry. Pride feeds your flesh, which in turn feeds your anger. 

An arrogant man believes he is always right. 

Anger gives people a sense of control. 

Most people cannot feel compassion for the person when they are angry. Choose forgiveness. 

Bitterness fuels anger. 

Pray positive prayers about the person you are angry against. Bitterness and love cannot be fostered in the same heart. 

It’s easier to forgive someone you decide to understand. Decide to process  your anger alone with God. 

Bury the past so you can celebrate the future.