Monday, July 26, 2010

Sight Word Game

Save this blog site for a game you can make for school.
This picture was taken from the blog site.

Common Really Means Special

Max Lucado has always been one of my favorite authors. He is gifted in seeing daily events and relating them to us so we see the hand of God in our common and everyday lives. He has taken this same approach with people of the Bible.
22 chapters are given with a look into the lives of people such as Mephibosheth (one of my favorites!), Abigail (a true role model for so many women today), Moses, Matthew, the woman who washed Jesus' feet, Jairus, and many more.
I have a confession that might explain why I love this book and why I have wanted it since I first saw it on the book shelf.
I am common.
I am middle to low income.
I am not brilliant but smart enough to do what I need to.
My house is nothing fancy, kind of falling apart in places.
We will never make lots of money.
We will always have just enough to meet our needs, if managed well
We aren't able to travel much....and never abroad (unless as a gift by my VERY GIFTED SISTER)
My kids aren't A students. They worked hard for average grades.
There are millions upon millions of people who are blessed as much as me.
But what Max shows us is how beautiful COMMON is! And how much glory the Lord gets from this. How much hope it gives to so many people. The mindset is, if God can do ALL of this and use this plain, everyday kind of folk, He can use you in a mighty way, in your own little place in the world.
While I would never be comfortable with telling anyone that they are limited, the truth is that many of us have boundaries, whether made by man or by God. Limits to ways we can serve Him. Abilities that can only be used in certain setting. Income, families, jobs, all these things and more have all limited me to be common.
But the word common is made to be beautiful and one can even see the blessing in it. My love for the Lord is increased even more, because while common on this earth, His love for me is not common. It is rare and personal. The love we share is unlike anyone else's love for Him. I have specific things, things that are known only to me, that I share with Him. Our love is not common.
I recommend this book for anyone battling with self esteem. A good dose of reality...that some people are a good dose of.....God does more with common people that He does with anyone else....will cheer up the heavy hearted. Read this book aloud to your teens. It defuses feelings of failure in both teens and mommies.
Thanks, Max.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Everyone Communicates Few Connect

One thing I have always told my girlfriends when giving advice about talking to the men in their family was if it is important enough to talk about, then it needs to be heard. Meaning, you have to say what you need to be heard in a way that the Martians, errrr, I mean men can understand. In their little Martian language. Face it, no one wants to walk away from a conversation and feel like they haven't been heard. This book was surprisingly beneficial to me in learning how to do that. I wondered if it would be a book geared mostly to business principles. It is, but the logic is that businesses are made up of what? guessed it- people. Learning to speak in a way that connects with a room full of people or with one special friend while sitting and having tea is something that can be learned.
John gives 5 Principles that will connect you with the listener. In truth, he teaches you cannot be selfish and be heard. Connecting is all about others (chapter 2). How very true. Connecting requires energy (chapter 4). Also true. Which is most likely why our connecting moments can be so rare.
Then John moves into 5 Practices of connecting. This is where he gives you ways to apply what you learned in the previous chapters.
My favorites about this book:
  • Little quotes in boxes scattered all over. I love quotes. I love little boxes on pages that feel like gifts within the text. These were great quotes and I am copying some into my journal.
  • Every chapter ends with a key concept. I like it when a chapter sums it up.
  • Connecting with 1 on 1 tips, with a group, and with an audience. Fantastic points and how-tos.

As an adult, I see the value of this book and I enjoyed the kick in the pants to focus and put some energy into connecting with people, those I love....those within my business world.....and those I am witnessing to. This is a fantastic tool to learn from.

I do heartily recommend the book for high school students learning to speak publically. I believe it would be a fantastic resource for a speech class or for those whose mission in life would require public speaking on any level.

Good job, John C. Maxwell. You actually took a boring subject and put it in a slightly despised category (self help) for me and gave me a good read.