April 2012

Bookshelf28 Apr 2012 11:44 am

The Book of Man by William Bennett

There was a commercial on TV when I was younger featuring Charles Barkley and the tagline, “I am not a role model.” It was a rather groundbreaking and controversial message for the time – and imagine, it was an ad for sneakers – but what really came to light was a general abducation of responsibility for public figures. No longer did they have to try to be worthy of emulation or practice positive behavior. They weren’t role models anymore – at least, not all of them – but moreso, they weren’t heroes.

Now, with my own two boys, I’m even more sensitive towards this need. Boys need examples of men to look up to. Men of courage and integrity, who do what’s right, regardless of the cost. And there are only so many Tim Tebows in the world (one, actually).

Bennett recognizes this shortfall as well and has put together this extensive volume chock full of character profiles, literary passages, poetry, Scripture, and essays all providing examples and evidence of good, manly behavior in all aspects of life. The Book of Man offers ample material to share with the next generation and exemplify how to maintain proper perspectives and priorities as we navigate life at work and at play, in our families and our country and pretty much everywhere in between. I’m going to enjoy sharing these entries with my boys for years to come.

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf27 Apr 2012 11:47 pm

Proverbs Reconstructed by Gus Dallas

Growing up, I went through my Bible with a set of colored pencils and, specifically for Proverbs, I underlined or highlighted the passages based on a set of high-level topics to which I thought the text applied. Red was for love, Green was for money, and those are the only two I remember off the top of my head. If nothing else, it made for a very colorful book of Proverbs. With all that practical advice packed into one book, how else are you supposed to find what you’re looking for?

Well, now there’s this book, which extracts every (presumably – I didn’t add them all up) verse from Proverbs and groups them by thematic category for quick reference. It’s somewhere between a concordance and Bartlett’s Familiar Quotes. Most of the topics offer examples of good and bad usage and, fittingly, I can see the good and bad arguments about this approach. On the positive side, I can quickly share all the Proverbs about bears with my son (it’s his favorite animal). However, pulling the verses out like this removes all context and reduces the powerful advice offered by this book to a series of organized soundbytes.

I think it has a place and I’ll enjoy it for the positives.

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&business&leadership27 Apr 2012 11:10 pm

Pershing: Commander of the Great War by John Perry

It’s been a little while since I read a biography and I had intended to keep a steady flow of them going as I continue my reading cycle. Be that as it may, I was happy to pick up with The Generals series as I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of these books. This one centers on one of the two SIX-star Generals in the history of our nation: General Pershing. Who? exactly. You don’t hear much about him, but in reading this biography, it’s hard not to respect and admire the man who lead the efforts to defeat the first German stranglehold on Europe and the world.

He clearly wasn’t a perfect man – he certainly had his flaws, but he also left behind a legacy (and blueprint) for effective leadership. A blueprint I’ll call the Fs of Leadership (because I gave into the allure of alliteration).
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americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television25 Apr 2012 10:51 pm

six contestants left, and it looks like they’ll be singing Queen songs… it’s apparently a huge honor… oh, this is weird… they’re performing a medley with Queen members… maybe they won’t sing Queen songs when they compete… or maybe they will… this is an odd opening to the show… anyway… off we go…

Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds to Mars

Jessica Sanchez starts things off in black and white singing Bohemian Rhapsody… the stage show is weird and the arrangement is… interesting… she disappeared entirely during the rock middle, but she was good on the slow parts… Steven says rock isn’t her thing, but she sounded beautiful… J-Lo says the vocal was beautiful, but she needed to rock out a little more… Randy loved it because she didn’t sing any runs…

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Dove Awards&GMA Week&MUSIC19 Apr 2012 05:20 pm

And we’ll wrap things up with some of the Song Categories. I must be quick as time is escaping. As a reminder, if you have Spotify installed and want to follow along, here’s the playlist for most of the nominees. Off we go.

Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year

NOMINEES: Hallelujah (Lecrae),Intoxicated (JayEss),Please Don’t Let Me Go (Group 1 Crew),Riot (Tedashii),Overdose (Lecrae)

THOUGHTS: More proof that Lecrae should be Artist of the Year, right? 2 of the top 5 Rap songs of the year?

WINNER: Lecrae, probably for Hallelujah.
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Dove Awards&GMA Week&MUSIC18 Apr 2012 11:45 pm

Okay, poor planning on my part. But I’m burning the bottom of the candle, and diving into the Dove nominations for album categories. As a reminder, if you have Spotify installed and want to follow along, here’s the playlist for most of the nominees. Off we go.

Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year

NOMINEES: Backlight (Tedashi),Captured (FLAME),Culture Shock (Jai),Rehab: The Overdose (Lecrae),The Whole Truth (Da TRUTH)

THOUGHTS: This is really indicative of the style of hip hop that is selling these days – the thicker beats and harder tones – and perhaps the lack of a really strong label presence for the likes of Braille, Playdough, and such.

WINNER: Lecrae, especially since he’s such a longshot for Artist of the Year.
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americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television18 Apr 2012 10:37 pm

so… we’re back and all seven from last week are back… and the little intro thingie there was totally a nod to the new Thousand Foot Krutch album that released yesterday, The End Is Where We Begin… anyway, a nice mention of Dick Clark’s passing… and we get to hear two songs each? really?… a song from the 2000s and a soul classic if I heard that right… off we go…

Let The Sparks Fly by Thousand Foot Krutch

Hollie Cavanagh picks Rollin’ in the Deep because it’s never been done before (sarcasm)… she’s struggling to control her breathing and the arrangement was not to my liking… Steven says it was perfect and beautiful and what we were waiting for… J-Lo agrees that she let loose and didn’t think at all… Randy says it wasn’t perfect, but it was the first time she had emotion…

Colton Dixon goes Gaga with Bad Romance, hoping to recapture that rock element… i like the arrangement – particularly the half-time for the bridge – and he kept it pretty tight the whole way through… Randy says it was a Colton concert, job well done… J-Lo says his pitch was a little low in some spots, but it was really good… Steven says in order to get to the other shore you need to lose sight of the first one and Colton is doing that really well…
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Bookshelf&reviews18 Apr 2012 12:03 pm

All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill

I’ve been a dad now for about a decade. What more is there to know? Well, first, there’s knowing that it’s a never-ending process, akin to climbing a mountain to catch a glimpse of the peak.

In All Pro Dad, Merrill, a former NFL player and founder of Family First, uses his initials to provide an alliterative plan of action for fatherhood with the goal of becoming a hero to your kids. His seven Ms outline a life reflective of God’s values and one that will improve your impact on others, specifically your wife and children, and shore up a lasting legacy. This is a book filled with practical advice for intentional living and yet another reminder to properly balance your life’s priorities and invest in your family moreso than your work, or hobbies, or other things that will fade away.

Merrill offers this gameplan sprinkles with insights from leaders in business and sports who have discovered the importance of seeking the right things first. The book walks you through the theoretical steps of discovering your identity, purpose, and goals and then offers a few applications for each of the seven Ms in the appendix.

Fatherhood is a responsibility like none other. The impact you have on your children – for good or for bad – cannot be overemphasized. This book offers a pretty sound framework to help develop your personal parenting style, but more importantly, it begins the discussion, both internally and with your family.

peace… love… bdg…

Dove Awards&GMA Week&MUSIC17 Apr 2012 11:10 pm

One of my traditions here at theTRu is that of predicting (and griping about) winners for the Dove Awards. Since this year’s awards show is right around the corner, I’d better get on the ball before it’s all over. So, I’ll dive right in – only touching on the major categories and maybe a few extras that pique my interest. If you have Spotify installed and want to follow along, here’s the playlist for most of the nominees. Off we go.

Song of the Year

NOMINEES: Alive (Natalie Grant), Blessings (Laura Story), Celebrate Me Home (The Perrys), Glorious Day (Casting Crowns), Hold Me (Jamie Grace), I Smile (Kirk Franklin), I’ve Been Here Before (Ernie Haase & The Signature Sound), Please Forgive Me (Gaither Vocal Band), Who Am I (Jason Crabb), Your Great Name (Natalie Grant)

THOUGHTS: Well, there’s a lot of Southern Gospel represented here, some old and new standbys, and one fresh face. Speaking of, I can’t listen to Hold Me without singing Neil Sedaka’s Calendar Girl in my head. There, I said it. I’m not sure I would’ve picked any of these songs to be perfectly honest, but I’m at a loss for replacements.

WINNER: Blessings should win. Glorious Day is likely to take it home, though.
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Bookshelf14 Apr 2012 11:51 pm

When Work and Family Collide by Andy Stanley

If I’m honest, I’ll admit that I cheated both work and family to read this book…

I listen to Andy Stanley’s leadership podcast as well as the “Best of North Point” podcast and one of them recently featured the topic contained within the pages of this very book. And since I work for a company that strongly emphasizes (at least in word if not deed) the importance of a proper “work/life balance,” it really struck me as quite relevant and intriguing. I mean, I’ve heard what the corporate world has to say on the matter and I – like most of us – know what I would like to believe I practice, but what does the Bible have to say about it?

Stanley, who’s quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, covers the topic of priorities and maintaining a healthy focus on work and family by providing examples from Daniel and offering practical advice. It’s clear from the statistics on family life that this is a problem plaguing the masses and one that needs to be addressed more openly. The book is convicting without being accusatory and offers suggestions without being overbearing. It’s also a pretty quick read, partly because – if you’re at all like me – you’ll be captivated and engaged from cover to cover. (If you don’t believe me, get started with a sneak peek now). Very worthwhile investment.

peace… love… bdg…

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