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Book Review: “Married for Real: Building a Loving, Powerful Life Together

by: ellis j. still

“What I had to do for myself, was to figure out my faults, and where they came from. I had to try to improve on those qualities  or at the very least try to keep them from affecting our relationship.”

                - Tamara George

Abingdon Press publishing company has afforded me the opportunity to review the upcoming new release “Married for Real: Building a Loving, Powerful Life Together” by Eddie and Tamara George.

Although my NFL football team is on the east coast (Philadelphia Eagles), I remember when Eddie George played for the Tennessee Titans. While his time in the NFL was extremely successful, his next career is just as successful. Eddie is currently the Founder and CEO of George Enterprises, a Landscape Architecture firm (my major in college & first career choice) that plans and designs new neighborhoods and communities.

Tamara (better known as Taj) is a former member of the singing group Sisters With Voices (SWV). With SWV, Taj has chart toppers such as ‘Weak’ and ‘Right Here’ to her credit. The group separated in 1998 to pursue individual efforts. Since then, Taj has earned her Bachelor’s of Business Administration, played a significant role on the CBS reality television series ‘Survivor’, and is an accomplished author of two books, including this one.

These things are what I know about Eddie and Tamara from a distant onlooker/admirer point of view. Married for Real takes a closer look at life behind the limelight… the challenges that they faced that you could never possibly see from watching them perform on stage or scoring touchdowns. You see their successes in public, but what you do not see is their struggles and triumphs in private. You do not see how Christ saved their lives and their marriage.

“Married for Real: Building a Loving, Powerful Life Together” is a funny & lighthearted, yet transparent look at marriage. It deals with what happens when we allow baggage of the past to go unaddressed, and speaks to how Eddie and Taj overcame tribulation. The book “grows out of the realities of life” – keeping it real… not always happy go lucky stories, but real life challenges that marriages face.

The book will quickly make you realize that a great relationship does not have to be (and will never be) perfect, and brings awareness to the fact that that men and women have totally different perceptions & thought processes on any given topic. It is written together as a couple, but also includes viewpoints from both Eddie and Tamara as individuals.

Married for Real is an easy read, with funny and descriptive storytelling. It is a must have for your library as a single person or as a couple.

Question:  How are you building a loving, powerful life with your spouse (or future spouse) together?

Click Here to view and/or purchase the book at The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore.

© 2012, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have a marketing connection to a brand, topic or product herein. Through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification

Book Review: “Live Loved: Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life”

Book review by: ellis j. still

Imagine how your life would change if you were sure God loves you!”

I have to be honest… this is the first literary work of Max Lucado that I have ever read. I get his daily devotional emails in the morning, but for some reason I have yet to pick up one of his books. Now I understand what I have been missing. “Live Loved: Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life” which is soon to be released on May 03, 2011, is a series of daily devotions that is a great testimony to love, what love is, and what love does.

The word “love” is often abused and misused in society. People use it loosely, and whose actions often indicate the opposite of what love really is. Dictionaries describe love as affections and emotions. In the bible, God describes love as a set of actions that would demonstrate the affections and emotions. Max Lucado discusses Love from God’s point of view as it relates to His love for you, your love for Him & others, and your love of self. Many people do not like “action” because it implies “work”. But Max lays it out where God’s love is reflective and attainable.

Max Lucado breaks Live Loved out into six areas of devotion that covers a broad range of topics: 

  • Love with a Steadfast Love
  • Love with a Perfect Love
  • Love with a Wise Love
  • Love with a Merciful Love
  • Love to Love Others

One thing that I have learned about Max Lucado is that he is plain spoken, and communicates in a way that is simple so as to better be able to grasp what he is saying to his audience. Live Loved touches on a wide variety of life’s issues, and allows for application to everyday life.

“Live Loved” is a great read, and a great way to start off or end the day (the devotionals are now part of my quiet time in the morning). This collection of devotionals by Max Lucado are all new, but based on his previous writings. If you are already an avid reader of John Maxwell’s work, you may find some redundancies. If you have not read anything of his before, this serves as a great introduction, and is a great investment in yourself.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Cor 13:4-7

Question: What literary works by Max Lucado have you or are you reading?

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have a marketing connection to a brand, topic or product herein. Through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
__________________________________________
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification

Book Review: “What The Bible Is All About”

Book review by ellis j. still

As individuals, before my wife and I got married, we both had a healthy assemblage of books in our respective libraries. We both like to read, so we tend to pick up interesting titles, even if the goal is to read them at a later date due to our hectic lifestyles. When we got married, the combined number of books we had were overwhelming. There are so many books in boxes, stored in the attic, that we plan to turn one of our rooms into a library / study, that is unless we move first. I came across this book that she has called “What The Bible Is All About” by Henrietta C. Mears, and I could not put it down.

Part of a popular series of reference books designed to supplement bible reading, it is a great reference/companion book for new and old believers alike. It helps you to break down the different books of the bible, but in an understandable and concise way. When I reestablished my relationship with Christ, I picked up a few companion books similar to this, but none were as effective as this one. Organized in a simplistic yet effective way, it allows for an authentic reading and comprehension experience without gimmicks. It will help you immensely in your bible study. Some of the highlights include:

  • Short summaries and purpose of each of the books of the bible
  • Key themes
  • Reading plans
  • Easy to understand – in bite-sized pieces
  • It is a great read, aiding in allowing the Word of God to come alive inside if you. 

“What the Bible Is All About” is a wonderful series of books that enhances your bible reading experience. The Living Bible Edition, which is the version that I have, is currently out of print, but the best-selling NIV version is available, along with a host of other translations and types. To view at a glance this and all of Henrietta Mears’ literary work, Click Here

Question: What is the Bible all about? How are you strengthening your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ?

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have a marketing connection to a brand, topic or product herein. Through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
__________________________________________
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification

Book Review: “The Mentor Leader” by Tony Dungy

Book review by: ellis j. still

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If you have read books that concentrate on leadership, you know that leadership is simply the ability to influence others. If you have not read any books on leadership, “Mentor Leader” (Tyndale House Publishers, 2010) by Tony Dungy is an excellent place to start. Leadership is not a formal position or role. We all show leadership in varying degrees… at home, at work, at the mall, on the golf course… everywhere in life where we have interaction with others. Moreover, there is good leadership and bad leadership, effective leadership and non effective leadership as well as sustainable results of leadership in the long run and temporary results of leadership. Leadership books frequently focus on the short term results (bottom line, sales, etc.) with the prominent motivation being self-centeredness, but the focus on short term results often come at the expense of long term stability and growth of the organization.

#1 New York Times bestselling Author Tony Dungy discusses a more sustainable leadership style… one that has been tried, tested, and proven to work for the past 2000 years. It is based on one simple premise:

“It’s not about me”

Leadership style can dictate the effectiveness of the leader. A mentor leader is not self centered, but more interested in developing and cultivating the people he leads, so that upon maturity those people will someday lead others that will birth new leaders. Mentor leadership focuses on building people up, building significance into their lives, and building leaders for the next generation. As a mentor leader, you have an authentic interest wanting the people that you lead to succeed. Creating good, grounded people, whose desire in everything they did was to make each other better – which in the author’s view, is a more accurate measure than short term results.

The book gives you tools to think about your leadership style, allowing you to reflect on questions such as:

  • How can I move from an authority-based model to an influence-based model of leadership?
  • What can I do today to build up the people around me?
  • Am I complimenting your strengths with the strengths of others?
  • Do I exhibit faith in what you are asking others to believe in?
  • What kind of role model will I be?
  • How am I affecting the culture of the organization?

The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy is a great read. Tony uses his success as a coach in the National Football League (NFL) to demonstrate how mentor leadership is effective in all areas of life. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Quiet Strength and Uncommon,and was the first ever an African American coach to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory. Coach Dungy established another NFL first by leading his teams to the playoffs for ten consecutive years.

Tony DungyDungy has been involved in a wide variety of charitable organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, Mentors for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Prison Crusade Ministry, and All Pro Dad. He also works with Basket of Hope, the Black Coaches Association National Convention, Indiana Black Expo, the United Way of Central Indiana, and the American Diabetes Association. He retired from coaching in 2008 and now serves as an analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America. He and his wife, Lauren, are the parents of seven children.

Question: In your strivings for worldly success, what are you doing to build for yourself a life of significance?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have a marketing connection to a brand, topic or product herein. Through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
__________________________________________
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification

Book Review: “Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game – Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness”

Book review by: ellis j. still 

Click image to purchase

Across the country, millions of African Americans are challenged by the quagmire of race which provides for an often unique set of challenges. It has been taught that as an African American you have to be the best… that African Americans have to work twice as hard in order to achieve the same levels of success as others. Furthermore, there is often an abandonment of personal identity and values in order to fit in with the greater professional culture and social society.

Today, frustration is a common theme due to the fact that even when you are the best at what you do and are positioned for elevation, the rules of the game often change, and African Americans often find themselves on the outside looking in while colleagues advance onward and upward. Much progress has been made over the years, and the metaphor of the “Glass Ceiling” has been shattered on many fronts. However, there is still much work to do, as African Americans are still unrepresented in many professions.

In today’s marketplace the “Glass Ceiling” metaphor no longer applies to the new millennium. Therefore, in order to become relevant to today’s challenges, the authors suggest a new metaphor – “The Ever Changing Game”.

“Black Faces in White Places” takes an encouraging and surprisingly new look at where African Americans have been, where they are today, and how to face the new Millennium. The book is not just for African Americans in corporate America or entrepreneurs, but for anyone who aspires to a dream of going beyond where they are now in their chosen profession or their personal lives.  It is a call towards greatness… an important resource for our generation, and for generations to come in a sense that it speaks directly to challenges and frustrations that are common among many African Americans today.

Authors Jeffrey A. Robinson, Ph.D, Dr. Randal Pinkett and Philana Patterson introduce us to strategies that will allow for the leveling of the playing field. Being excellent in the workplace, contrary to popular belief, will only get you so far and therefore the authors offers strategies to not only be more successful, but to be poised towards greatness. The book combines professional and personal life experiences of the authors with scholarly research, case studies, and interviews to provide a balanced representation of our current dilemma, followed by solutions that can be readily applied.

Black Faces in White Places is a great read in that it identifies and confronts the widespread challenges that are found in today’s workplace and in the personal lives of African Americans. Moreover, the authors give the readers a sense of “you are not alone” in their writing. Each strategy is broken up into smaller bite-sized components, allowing for short, mid, and long term reflection and implementation. Reading this book will propel you grow out of your comfort zone, and into levels of greatness that you thought was unattainable.

After reading this book, the reader will no longer have to be stuck in mediocrity, but be bound towards increase in all areas of their lives. It is not a book about dividing people, as some may perceive by the title, but diversifying your personal self.  It is an accurate snapshot of where society is today, and provides tools in how to navigate through the future. Thoughtful and insightful, it makes you realize that it really isn’t about “them”, but more about you, and how you strategize the different components of your life.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Dr. Randal Pinkett is the founder, chairman and CEO of  BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar consulting firm based in Newark, NJ, that specializes in program management, information technology and public policy. Dr. Pinkett was also named the winner of NBC’s hit reality television show, The Apprentice, with Donald Trump. Dr. Pinkett holds five degrees and was named to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s official shortlist as a potential running mate for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey. Dr. Pinkett attends First Baptist Church in Somerset, NJ, where he resides. He is happily married to his wife, Zahara, and they are both proud parents of their daughter, Amira. Dr. Pinkett firmly believes that “to whom much is given, much is expected,” so throughout his endeavors he places great emphasis on his desire to give back to the community.

Jeffrey A. Robinson, Ph.D. is the Assistant Professor and Assistant Director at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development,  Rutgers Business School. He is a business scholar, an entrepreneur and an advocate for community economic development. He has completed five degrees which includes a Ph.D. in Management and Entrepreneurship at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.  He is married to Valerie Mason-Robinson who reside in Piscataway, New Jersey with their three children and are active members of Abundant Life Family Worship Church of New Brunswick, New Jersey. He holds life memberships in the National Black MBA Association and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is particularly committed to supporting community building, entrepreneurship and the development of social ventures.

Philana Patterson is a business news editor for the Associated Press, with experience in print, online and broadcast journalism with an expertise in financial subjects. Areas of reporting expertise include investing, financial markets, personal finance, real estate and retailing. She has completed her degree in Journalism at Northwestern University and has written and edited for Patterson Media Ventures, Earl G. Graves Ltd., Bloomberg L.P., Dow Jones News Wires, The Daily Press, The Greenville News, and also performs ghost writing and book editing services and academic journal editing.

Question: What strategies are you utilizing to elevate youself and future generations to greatness?

Disclosure of Material Connection Based Upon a Review Copy: I have a material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned because I received a review copy (book, CD, software, etc.), or an item of nominal value that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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Thank you for taking the time to read this review. If you like what you read and you are not yet a Subscriber to my blog, why not subscribe now? All posts are original, there is no fixed schedule, so you would not have to check my blog regularly, and you will be receiving an authentic review of books, organizations and life experiences as a husband and entrepreneur. If you change your mind, it is easy to unsubscribe. Once you sign up, visit your email inbox to verify your email address. Check your spam folder if you don’t receive any verification emails. Thanks!!!
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