Thursday, May 27, 2010

Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell book “Failing Forward” helps to redefine failure and success, how to change your mind set regarding failure, embracing failure to your advantage and how to increase your odd s for success. As most of Maxwell’s books it content is clear and easy to read.

With this book you can tell he did reach out to all of his readers for their options regarding failure. Some examples like his other books are fine but this book is packed with quotes and stories of people who have sent him their life experiences. A few would have been fine but Maxwell included way too many. It really took away from the focus of the book. Don’t get me wrong the content of the book regarding failure is great material and very useful. The book would have sent a stronger and more helpful message had he kept a similar format as some of his other books and focused less on trying to include everyone’s story. People read his books to learn and improve, less stories and more content.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Map by David Murrow

The Map is really two books in one. The first 99 pages is an adventure story designed to capture your interest about finding the mysterious map. The story takes one man’s adventure in his attempt to find the map. He demonstrates that all great men have taken a similar spiritual journey. The second part of the book describes the three journeys need to travel and come to the end of the map.

The book is really a self help book for men, women beware this book may be of little interest to you. The adventure story was a quick read. I can see how it would help some men put them in a better mindset to read the last half. The adventure is really designed to trigger more of a person’s thought process an attempt to raise questions about one’s faith. My preference was the second part of the book that got into the meat of the reason why Murrow really wrote the book in the first place. The journey Murrow describes is based on the scripture according to Matthew found in the New Testament. His discovery, though not really new, was well written for most lay people to understand. My only word of warning would be read his other book “Why Men Hate Going to Church?” first. This will provide a better background around the purpose and why “The MAP” was written. When it comes to church most men need all the help they can get. This book is one method to help men search for their faith and spiritual development. The book obviously does not have all the answers but it does provide good suggestions of what men could do to. A must for men who are church goes or needing to understand why religion should be an important part of your life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mindhunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

With all the crime programs on TV you would think you have a good handle on what true crimes are or based on the show what motivates a person to do a certain crime. The shows on the TV will not do that but this book will. The book is based on John Douglas career through the FBI and the development of the Serial Crime Unit. In the early years of the FBI Douglas begins to develop a method of profiling a criminal’s traits, appearance and habits to certain crimes. He conducts interviews with convicted serial killers and begins to see several common patterns. Many of the true life examples he provides are very graphic and may not be suitable for people with a weak stomach. Overlooking the gory details the profiling of people to the crimes they commit is fascinating. The authors will take you through the childhood of the criminal, how he lives, his motives and traits and what they leave behind called the criminals signature. If you want to better understand from a lay person’s point of view what makes a serial killer tick this is the book that will help. It may give you nightmares or you might start taking a closer look at people around you but it is well worth the time to read.

Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow

If you are one of the few men that still attend church or you are a man who struggles with the idea of even going to church this book might provide you a great insight as to why men avoid going to church. Murrow goes into great details about the masculine and feminine side of a church and how a man does or does not fit within. In most examples regarding today’s churches men do not fit in the church comfortably. He presents facts about gender gaps within the church around presence, participation and personality. Over 61% of most churches are women run by women and that only 39% of a church attendance is men. Research is shared about what how biology teaches us about men, what social science teaches about men, men seeking greatness and the great pursuit of manhood. By this time your head is swimming and the main questions with two chapters to go is so how do we fit this? What can be done that will make a difference to me or my family? The last two chapters “Restoring the Masculine Spirit in the Church” and “Meeting Men’s Deepest Needs” will not deliver a fixed answer that will resolve every man’s questions or needs. What it will provide to most men is a better understanding as to what is needed and a practical approach if you truly have an interest in providing your family and yourself with a better spiritual foundation and how that will have a positive impact on your church.

I have taken some of the examples in the book and have applied them to the church I attend. If you are looking for short term quick fixes this is not the way. What I did find out was the several methods in the book over time did develop a better environment within the church for men. Within the church I attend men’s numbers are slowing growing and the gender gap is closing.