Archive for the ‘Identity’ Category

McNeal, Reggie. Get a Life!: It Is All About You. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group. 2007. 179 pp.

Dr. McNeal is one of my favorite authors, so I’ll be reviewing a few of his books in my blog. To be honest, I am definitely not objectively critical toward his books, and my reviews will undoubtedly reflect that. In each review I’ll share a few insights from each book, and what impact it had on my life.

The books centers around five key questions that we need to return to frequently throughout our life:

1. Why am I here?
2. What is really important to me?
3. What is my scorecard?
4. What am I good at?
5. What do I need to learn?

For me, the three best, most insightful ideas in the book were:

  1. Passion distinguishes people from the pack. People with passion stand out from other people who are involved in the same work or activity without it. For the latter it’s just a job or something they have assigned to them. For the people operating from passion, it is an expression of who they are and what makes them tick. (page 12)
  2. Talent matters. Developing a strengths philosophy begins with a clear and honest assessment of your talent. This is the flip side, the antidote, to the philosophy of self-imposed mediocrity through trying to achieve “balance” in your strengths.(page 102)
  3. The single best strategy to avoid dying before you are dead is to practice lifelong learning. If you want to get a life, the learning needs to be intentional, guided by what you want to accomplish. . . Specifically, this learning quest will help you make your next move, knowing how to get to where you want to go in life. (pages 131-132)

As I read this book, I realized how much passion was missing from my life. I had already struggled with burnout and boredom, and tried to deal with it improperly, instead of dealing with the root issues. I was not living from my strengths.

I especially was not maximizing my talents. In an effort to be humble and servant-hearted, I had downplayed some natural leadership gifts. I felt guilty about preaching, and enjoying it, because American missionaries are supposed to have the nationals do that. Of course, multiplying leaders must be my task, and humble servanthood is the heartbeat – but I was expressing both of those values in unnecessary ways.

This book was one of the primary prompters for me to go back to seminary (Columbia International University) Just beginning, at age 41, with family and ministry pressures, was a significant victory. Now, God and my professors willing, I’ll finish this spring, and I’m already looking forward to a Ph.D.

I had two copies of this book, but I gave both away already. However, Get a Life! is available here: Get a Life! at Amazon

Who Am I?

Posted: October 13, 2010 in Fishing, Hiking, Identity, Sports

First blog. First post. Kinda scary. Gotta write something original, interesting, creative. Or not . . .

I’m a husband – 18 years now to the sweetest woman I ever met. I’m a dad – 3 sons and a daughter – 2 of them teenagers right now – smart, bilingual, well-behaved, sweet kids (usually). I’m a follower of Christ. I’m a missionary. I’m a pastor. I’m an American living in Poland. I’m a cheesehead, Badger/Packer/Bucks/Brewers fan. I like music – any kind. Really. I love sports. All sports. I love to read, especially fiction, especially sci-fi/fantasy. I dream of writing a book myself. 

Other interests? Wow – a long list. Wood. Woodworking (those are inherited). Old cars. Old books. Hiking. NOT fishing. Hunting – when I was a kid in the U.S. Just being out in the woods/mountains. Militaria – planes/ships/tanks. Strategy games. I’m interested in the things my kids are interested in (except FISHING).   American football. Soccer. Baseball. Basketball (that order – oh, and Badger hockey). I love a good wisecrack – a zinger. I’d rather hear a great impromptu insult than a stand-up routine (that’s inherited, too, I think). I don’t like to fish. My parents do. My kids do. My friends do. They catch fish, though.

I have no idea what I’ll post on – interested myself in discovering that. Sports? probably. My kids? Definitely. Ministry? maybe. Life as a “stranger in a strange land”? yeah.