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Look what book I found in my local Tulsa Library!! You can find the authors blog at www.philipvickersfithian.com

This book changed my life. Not on some esoteric level where I’ve achieved level 5 laser lotus, but on the level of tackling that ever expanding to do pile that creeps into your brain and stays there.

In Getting Things Done, Author David Allen takes you through his system of organizing your life. From work responsibilities, to professional and personal goals, GTD walks you step by step through the process of collecting, deciding and doing. I’ve already seen some great results form implementing his system. I started reading this book a few weeks ago and I’ve tackled three books, 2 projects that have been nagging me for six months, purged half a file cabinet, and created next action steps for every conceivable “project” my mind can come up with before I finished.

This book was written in 2001 so it is a bit dated. References to PDA’s (personal digital assistants) can make the more nostalgic chuckle, and leave the newer generation puzzled. The basic skills and systems he encourages you to use can be easily transferred over to modern devices. I personally use my evernote account to Get Things Done and it works wonderfully.

I’d recommend this book to everyone and anyone. If you feel like you have to much to do, or feel like your commitments are causing you to much stress, pick up a copy of Getting Things Done and be prepared to revolutionize your life!

Here it is, part 2!!  Same format as last time.  I’ll be posting a few tweetable sayings from Andy Stanley’s Catalyst talk.  Let me know what you think!

1. It’s not the adversity but our response that makes us

2. Your current response to opportunity, adversity, and calling is currently making you

3. God is not going to make us future tense, but is currently making us

 

I think this might have been my favorite part of his talk.  We get it in our minds that someday, in the future, not right now, God is going to do some crazy miraculous single event that will forever alter the course of our destiny.  Two thoughts on that.  One, if your alive in Christ that event has already happened in the past, and it did forever alter the course of your destiny. Two, the idea mentioned above is not how it works!

We must realize that how we respond to situations currently, how we handle the adversity facing us now, will determine the type of person we are later.  You want to be a certain type of person 20 years from now?  Start being that type of person today! We are currently being made into the people we will become later.  Don’t wait to be useful to the kingdom, be useful now!

I’ve lived countless lives. I’ve lived so many now I’ll never remember them all as they deserve.

I’ve been a Warrior exchanging clashes of steel with my worst enemy.
I’ve piloted star ships through battles and sea vessels through storms.  I’ve flown aircraft through turbulence and dragons with horns.
I’ve been the head of an invading army, confident in my success.  I’ve been a lowly defender who refuses to give up.
I’ve hunted assassins and murders, murdering and assassinating in my own right.

I’ve walked through a wardrobe and been struck with wonder as a faun invited me to tea.
I’ve dined with elves and dwarves. Celebrating a rare unification of the races.
I’ve learned to fly and cast magic with both my hands and my mind.

I was there with Bilbo and Sam in the cliffs of doom,
I was there with Harry, as he first gripped a broom.
Through his eyes I watched Dumbledore, struck to his death.
I was there with a Grand Admiral as he breathed his last breath.

I’ve fought wizards and Sith Lords, gangsters and thieves.
I’ve hunted treasure and answers, picking locks with ease.

I’ve sat with Jefferson and Adams as they corresponded in old age
I’ve been betrayed by my country
And saved it numerous times too
I’ve hacked firewalls and servers, both for good and for ill

I’ve climbed down with Dante, dealing with the very pits of Hell
I’ve climbed into the belly of Satan, eager to escape.
I watched a man die, a man they called Snape.

I’ve sacked cities and razed villages.
I’ve erected castles and built governments.

I was there with Washington, on that fateful night,
When hundreds of Continental soldiers defeated the hessians mercenaries after a long Christmas Day.

I’ve served as an innocent mans attorney, a victim of racist charges
I’ve journeyed to the new world with glory on my mind

I’ve lived so many more lives, I can’t hope to relate them all.
What I can tell you, in fact I’m rather eager.
Is that you can live them to…

If you become a reader.

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book ~ Anonymous

This is my third book from Steve Berry that I’ve read. I really enjoy his writing. His books are fast reads with intriguing characters and plots that combine Conspiracy with Historical events that always seem to suck me in.

The Alexandria Link is the 2nd book in the Cotton Malone saga. Malone, a retired special forces operative for the justice department works as a bookseller in Denmark. In the opening chapters, it is revealed that a shadowy organization known as the Order of the Golden Fleece, whose members are all major players in the European financial and industrial sectors, is seeking the famed Lost Library of Alexandria. Legend holds that the lost library contains works that have been lost to the rest of civilization over time. The Order sets off a chain of events involving Cotton Malone, the Governments of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and their respected intelligence agencies. It was definitely a page turner. Started the book last night around 8:00 pm and finished today around 9:30 pm.

Steve Berry has managed to do it again for me. Intriguing characters, just the right amount of historical fact intertwined with fictional events and conspiratorial themes to keep me turning those pages. I’d recommend his books to anybody who is a fan of thrillers and fiction.

A few months ago I was privileged to attend Catalyst Dallas.  Catalyst is this amazing leadership conference started by John Maxwell that focuses solely on developing the next generation of leaders in the Church.  With an amazing line up packed in a short 2 day conference, I was overwhelmed with the amount of teaching to process.  I recently re-listened to the first session that was delivered by Andy Stanley.  Andy Stanley is a phenomenal pastor and communicator from Atlanta’s NorthPoint Church.  I want to just post a few “tweetable” principles and quotes from him with little to no elaboration on my part.  Enjoy!

1. Insight and information alone do not a leader make

2. Three things we will look back on that develop us as leaders

  • Unexpected Opportunity
  • Unavoidable Adversity
  • Unquestionable Calling.

3. Leaders are the first ones to step out and seize an opportunity

4. We learn almost nothing on our wrinkle free days or we learn the most from when we lose or make mistakes.

Probably the biggest takeaway from this section of his talk is this: We learn almost nothing and we never grow in our leadership during the wrinkle free days.  Let that sink in for a moment. When you are facing struggles, when things aren’t going the way you want them to, it is in those moments that you can grow the most.  It is in those moments that the Lord would have you learn something. Take charge of opportunities of failure and put them in your leadership tool belt. Adversity is unavoidable, it is only our negative reaction that can be avoided.  Seize those opportunities for growth!!  James, the brother of Jesus had this to say about trials.

Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:1-4

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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