A Look Around the Web

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A Look Around the Web will be a Thursday post of articles found throughout the Internet that hopefully you will find interesting and helpful. This is just another way for this site to be a resource.

9 Magazines Worth Subscribing To – Trevin Wax, an author, blogger and editor at Lifeway Christian Resources shares magazines that he has found helpful for him personally.

Toughest Leadership Roles – This is from Forbes magazine. Want to take a guess at what they see as the toughest leadership role?

The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying – Some interesting thoughts on what it means to be blessed.

An Improvement-Proof Gospel – “If you know and speak the gospel, you are a channel for God’s destroying of strongholds and resurrecting of lives. Every Christian who can articulate the gospel has the launch code and access to the button.”

Dying to Disciple: How Far Are We Willing to Go in Our Pursuit of People -Great article in helping us think about what it really means to be involved in the lives of others.

What does it mean to work well? Matt Perman, the author of the brand new What’s Best Next: How The Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done, discusses this question and more with Colin Hansen

Things You Do Every Day Matter

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God calls us to be abundant in doing good, but you don’t have to run to the hills and leave the world to do this good.

-Matt Perman in What’s Best Next.

 Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount that we are “the light of the world.” Therefore, we should “let our light shine before others, that they may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in Heaven” (Mt 5:14-16).

As Christ followers, we are to go about doing good. But where and when do we perform good works? Is it only on Sundays or when we volunteer at a soup kitchen? Matt Perman, in the beginning of his book What’s Best Next, seeks to answer these questions. He writes that “we tend to have a very narrow view of good works. We think that they are rare and special things that we do every once in a while, like going to Africa on a mission trip” (p. 76).

Understanding good works as only those special things we do every now and then is dangerous. It leads to living “disconnected lives.” As a result, we don’t see our everyday lives as venues for good deeds. One of the main reasons Perman wrote What’s Best Next was to help us to see everything in a “new light so that [we] can become an agent for good, right where [we] are, to the glory of God” (p. 80).

When we answer email, go to meetings, cook dinner, pick up kids from school, etc…, these activities are “not just things we are doing.” According to Perman, they are good works as they provide us with an opportunity to “make a contribution” and to leave “things better than [we] found them” (80).

“Good works,” writes Perman, “are not just spiritual things we do, or hard and rare endeavors.” Whatever “we do in faith, which includes the mundane activities of everyday life like raising kids, going to work, and even tying our shoes” can be considered good works (p. 78).

Perman helped me to see that the ordinary activities of my day might not be so ordinary after all. Returning a phone call might lead to an opportunity to encourage. Smiling at the check out clerk at the local store and sincerely asking about his or her day could be the first caring words he or she has heard all day. And organizing your schedule, your desk, and your to do lists, as mundane as these things may seem, are really the things that, if organized well, will result in freeing up more of your time to serve those around you.

So today, if you really begin to think about doing good, but you feel overwhelmed with the mundane tasks of work, remember that they may not be as mundane as you think. However, you still might need to think about getting organized and this is where What’s Best Next by Matt Perman can be of help. It has some practical tips that will help you in becoming a bit more ordered.

Remember that planning and organizing your days, weeks, and months are not ends within themselves. Doing these things matters, but they do so in that they lead you to more profitable work. And becoming more profitable and productive ultimately means you being “light in the world”–the doing of good to those around you.

 

 

Book Giveaway: What’s Best Next

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I am giving away 2 copies of Matt Perman’s new book What’s Best Next: How The Gospel Transforms The Way You Get Things Done. Enter your info below and I’ll draw a couple of names early tomorrow morning.

Also, I will send a free sample chapter of Perman’s book to all who enter their info.

You Really Should Care About Getting Things Done!

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Today, Matt Perman’s book What’s Bext Next: How The Gospel Transforms The Way You Get Things Done is being released. Should you get a copy? Personally, I think you should as it will challenge the way you think about being productive. Below is a simple synopsis of the book. I will be writing more specifically about it in my next couple of posts.

If you scan the list of leadership/management books being published today, chances are Matt Perman has read them. As a result of such research, along with Perman’s own personal leadership and management experiences, What’s Best Next is a book that needs to be consulted by future leaders, current leaders, and anyone else who seeks to do things for the glory of God.

The aim of What’s Best Next is…

To help you live the life that God has called you to live, and to live it with maximum effectiveness and meaning. If you are an executive, I want to help you be a better executive. If you are a homemaker, to be a better homemaker. If you are a pastor, to be a better pastor. If you are a creative professional, to be a better creative professional. If you are a missionary, to be a better missionary. And if you don’t know what life God has called you to live, I want to help you find it (p. 20).

Perman encourages his readers throughout this book to be people who care about personal productivity. He argues that because the gospel changes everything, then all areas of our life–“the workplace, business, the arts, culture, serving the poor, everything,” including how we get things done, should be affected by the gospel (p. 71).

It is Perman’s understanding of what it means to be productive that is most helpful. He concludes from the study of Scripture that to be productive is “to do good for others, to the glory of God” (p. 74). This others-centeredness is why Perman gives us practical instructions in how to develop a good weekly schedule, how to create project plans, how to manage workflow, and how to get your email box to zero everyday. He writes, “if you become more efficient with things (workflow system, etc…), you will have more time to give to being effective with people without feeling you are always behind on your tasks” (p. 49).

Understanding what it means to be productive is imperative. It is the key to knowing how and why to manage your workload. Therefore, Perman’s first chapters lay the foundation for productivity by helping us understand our calling. And for Perman, everyone has a calling. Whether you are a teacher or business person, you have a mission and purpose which is revealed to you in the pages of Scripture. If you do not understand this mission and purpose to which you are called, that is, that you are called to give God glory by serving others, then how you structure your calendar will be to no avail.

Perman brings What’s Best Next to a powerful conclusion as he helps us to see the relationship between our daily routine and the mission of God. He mentions that “making the most of our time right where we are transforms the world” (p. 317). The reason this is most significant is that many times, I don’t think workers in the secular arena (whatever that means) realize the impact they can have upon the world around them. Perman writes, “whatever your job is, wherever you are, it is both meaningful in itself and a means of advancing the gospel. It is through your work that God changes the world” (p. 319).

For more info about this book click here.

Purchase on amazon.

 

 

 

 

Welcome!

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1,203,450! This is how many times I have thought about starting a blog. What made me finally commit? Before I answer, let me tell you a bit about who I am.

First of all, I am married to a wonderful woman named Paige. We have been married for 24 years and have three teenage children: Krista (17), Justin (13) and Josh (13). Yes, our boys are twins!

I am currently the director of the Baptist Student Ministries at Texas Tech University. I have been in this position for 7 years. Previous to coming to Tech, I worked with the BSM at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. And previous to working at SHSU, I was on church staff as youth minister at several churches for over 12 years. If you add all that up, I have been in ministry for almost 22 years.

I am also a graduate of Texas Tech University along with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where I earned both a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree.

So why have I decided to start a blog? Let me give you a few reasons!

  • I want to be an encourager. The writer of the book of Hebrews writes that we should “spur one another on towards love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). I pray such “spurring” takes place here at this blog.
  • I want to be a resource. Hopefully, there will be things on this site such as book suggestions, other links, etc… that will help you in your daily routines of  following Christ.
  • I want to encourage theological and Biblical thinking about all of life. My journey of theological education has led me to see the danger of divorcing doctrine from life. Theology is not just for the seminarian, but for the cotton farmer in West Texas as well.
  • Ultimately, I want to spur on Christ followers to be disciples who make disciples who make disciples and so on and so on. Regardless of whether I post a book review, write an article, or reference other blogs, I pray it will be a catalyst for us to be and do what God has saved us to be and do.

So there you have it! Though it’s not a complete list, these are at least some of the reasons I am tackling this task of blogging. I realize that time will be the determining factor as to whether the reasons and purposes of this blog will come to fruition.

One more thing needs to be mentioned about this blog. I want it to be a dialogue, not a monologue. Feel free therefore, to post comments and thoughts. But as you do, please be respectful and courteous, even if you disagree with something.