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BurnBush_052910_02a SMALLERBy ellis j. still

People sometimes say that dogs and their owners start to look alike over time. While I certainly hope that isn’t the case, I can say that we adopt mannerisms from each other. Here are five things that I learned from our family dog, Peanut:

  1. Bacon makes everything taste better. Everything.
  2. Life is fun. Live is a vibrant canvas from which to play around with. Sure, one does face life’s challenges, but only for a short time. Joy comes with the morning.
  3. Unconditional love is beneficial. Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, it does not boast, it does not become conceited, it does not behave dishonorably, it is not selfish, it does not become angry, it does not keep a record of wrongs,  it does not rejoice at unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
  4.  It is important to take time to refresh and explore the great outdoors. Go camping. Visit the local park. Enjoy quiet time with nature, and with God. Revive yourself.
  5. Get some rest. Exercise. Take care of your body. If you don’t take care of you, then who will?

Bonus: It’s ok to hit the reset button. He can be mad at us for leaving the house (even if it’s just to take out the trash) but as soon as we come back in he’s already forgiven us and ready to play.

Question: Are you a dog owner? What have you learned from your pet?

© 2014, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I may have mentioned. 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: “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

This is why I go to church…

by: ellis j. still

Recently I gave a speech at my local Toastmasters about my ancestors. In the mid 1800’s during the height of slavery, they taught themselves to read by studying the bible. They used to sneak bibles out of the house, and meet at a predetermined place (ravines, ditches, woods, etc.) to have church. Many of the famed accomplishments by slaves of that time were not on their own accord, as  most history books tell it, but out of their faith and fellowship with fellow believers in Christ.

Fast forward to 2011. On Wednesday, August 24, 2011, Tina and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary since we met. What is interesting is that when we met, I wasn’t looking for a relationship – on purpose.

At the time, it was maybe a year after I gave my life back to Christ. My life before then had been a mess… one of chaos and uncertainty fueled by bad choices, bad relationships, and addictions, simply because I did not know who I was. So when I got serious about my faith, I was purposely not looking for a relationship because I wanted to focus on growing in (and healing through) the things of Christ.

When I joined my church, there were many opportunities to get to know people and to make new friends. Othell Miller and I used to see each other all the time at church, and so he invited me to his birthday gathering at his house. Tina and I happened to be the first people there, we started talking, and it felt like we knew each other since the 5th grade. This friendship evolved into three-plus years of marriage.

Here are three benefits that I have experienced as a result of going to church:

  • Going to church creates relationships with people who are aligned in values, principles, and faith. These relationships expand far beyond Sunday, and into professional & personal arenas.  1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
  • Going to church helps the healing and delivering process, with the understanding that while no one is ever perfect, the goal to continually grow in faith & Christ and to be better than you were yesterday.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)
  • Going to church is fun. Where else can you go that has a youthful & vibrant atmosphere, an awesome band with spirited Praise & Worship, has ministry groups where you can get involved to serve others or hang out, and to unexpectedly and unknowingly meet your future wife? Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

There are many more benefits to going to church… too many to name here. But the #1 reason is because God said so, and God doesn’t say things without it being for our benefit.  Acts 2:42 (ESV)

Question: What are some additional benefits to going to church? What are you thoughts on the subject? What is stopping you from going to church?

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

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. 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 emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

Tinellis: The year of leather

By: ellis j. still

On Monday, August 1st, 2011, my wife Tina and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. This year we spent our anniversary close to home, and low key. We had already done an extensive amount of traveling thus far this year, and so we felt like we needed to pace ourselves. Year three of marriage is the gift of leather. I got Tina a new leather case for her IPad 2, and she got me a custom leather golf club cover for my driver. She cooked a ridiculous breakfast (I fell asleep on the couch afterwards) and surprised me with an anniversary dinner of all of my favorite foods (short ribs, mac-n-cheese, blueberry cheesecake, etc.). We spent time at the movies, seeing the new Smurf movie (we spent the entire next few days speaking in Smurf), and Transformers 3 (interesting how they integrated Star Trek with Transformers – “The needs of the many…”). Peanut was his usual unconditional loving self, wanting a lick our faces every time Tina and I kissed, and turning every hug into a group hug. Life cannot possibly get any better than this for Tinellis.

Yet also, this was a time of reflection. We are three years in, and have grown in many ways, both as individuals, and as a unit. There have been many times of laughter, and many times of pain. Many areas of strength and many areas of weakness. Many prayers have been answered, and many prayers that we continue to act in faith on.

I realize that there are many couples out there with stories to tell about how they have maintained their marriages for many more years than we have been married. Yet part of my point is to reiterate the fact that marriage is great. The world tends to paint a picture of marriage as a ball-and-chain mentality, and emphasizes how common divorce is. However marriage can be fun and joyous. Like anything in life, marriage is what you make it. I am having more fun as a married person than I have had my entire life. When Tina and I were dating and considering marriage, we had a conversation early on where we made a deliberate and conscious decision that there will be no divorce, and that we will continue to grow as a family in Christ.

When I think back on the past three years, these are some things that I have learned:

  • compromise means that everybody wins
  • it is important to maintain a balance between work, love, and play
  • keeping God as the head of your marriage is the single most important thing you can do to keep your marriage vibrant and prosperous
  • staying active in ministry / church activities is an important way to stay connected for spiritual growth

Question: What are you declaring your marriage to be?  How are you and your spouse guarding your relationship against divorce? Any thoughts?

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

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. 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 emails. Thanks!!!
ellis

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

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