All leaders are readers, so here’s my Summer 2014 reading list. This is a great list to grow and lean from, so dive in and keep reading!
- Chaos : Mapping a Clear Direction for Your Church in the Midst of Transition and Change by Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson examines how to effectively lead your church through the process of change. This is a great book on change that addresses transitions in building new facilities, changing your staff structure, adding new services, and the transition to becoming a multisite ministry. This is one of the best books I’ve read on preparing a church for change and next level ministry. Scott Wilson encourages you to lead with confidence, courage, and commitment through the challenges that come with change.
- The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times Hardcover Robert J. Morgan (Author)
“The Red Sea Rules” reveals that even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations, God promises to make a way for us. His loving guidance will protect us through danger, illness, marital strife, financial problems, or whatever challenges Satan places in our path.
Using the Israelites’ story in Exodus 14 as an example, Robert Morgan offers ten sound strategies for moving from fear to faith. The ten rules will give you hope and remind you that God is still in control. A great book to read especially when you back is against the ball.
- Think Your Way Up: 21 Mental Habits of High Performance People by Jinneh Dyson
Dr. Jinneh Dyson is one of the best speakers I know and she is as equally respected as a great writer in her new book entitled, “Think Your Way Up”. This book is broken up into three simple steps: Think Up, Train Up, and Turn Up. It’s filled with stories and healthy mental habits that will motivate you transform your mind. Prepare to think your way up and become a forward thinker. A great read for those who are ready to develop a new way of thinking.
- Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to Building an Audience, Selling More Books, and Finding Success as an Author Chuck Sambuchino.
With my first book being weeks away from release, I learned a great deal from Chuck Sambuchion’s book. This book is a comprehensive guide for using social media and other means to build the awareness of you and your work that can be a prerequisite to publishing. If you’re a new writer, get started building your platform now. Don’t wait until your book is ready to go, and find out the hard way you should have started sooner. This is a great resource for writers. The case studies make this book extra special. Make the purchase and dive in ASAP!
- The Old Man and The Sea Paperback –by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal — a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.
Hemingway’s strikingly contemporary writing style puts you on the sea in the boat with the old man. This classic novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.
This short novel is vibrant and full of energy. Of course, this is the standard “man against nature” story, but it is told with such a craft that it captivates you and makes you appreciate the writer Hemingway was.
- Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition: A Workbook (Pathways in Spiritual Growth by Steve Harper
This workbook describes major features in John Wesley’s devotional life, and it illustrates how you can apply his ministry to your own life. With my recent trip to London (Summer 2014) and a visit to John Wesley’s home/church, this book is guided me into having a richer daily devotional life. Structured around Wesley’s “Means of Grace,” the seven-week study workbook covers amongst other topics, prayer, scripture, the Lord’s Supper, and fasting. This book is changed my life and grew my relation with Christ to be more intimate; a great read to strengthen your walk with Christ.
- Being Leaders: The Nature of Authentic Christian Leadership by Aubrey Malphurs.
Leadership expert Aubrey Malphurs has written a working definition of Christian leadership based on research, experience and the Bible. This is a great book and clearly shows how Christian leadership differs from secular leadership. It is more about “who” you are as a leader than what structure you use; however, I feel the best part of this book is the audits and surveys. This book is practical, helpful and inspiring. Make this book a recommended read for yourself and your leaders.
Two days ago, I reached another milestone in my life as a graduate candidate at the one hundred forty-second commencement of Indiana Wesleyan University, as I received my Master of Arts Degree in Ministry/Leadership from Wesley Seminary. My last college graduation was on April 26, 2003, and through God’s favor over my life, eleven years later, on the same date, I walked the stage again and removed my tassel from left to right. As a three-time college drop out, I am reassured that with God, all things are possible. I am grateful for this learning experience and the training received in order to help me grow as a next level leader. I am honored to be a world changer who was trained by the number one private school in the state of Indiana! Next, I would like to formally express my gratitude to the president, faculty, and staff of this prestigious campus of higher learning, and highly recommend Indiana Wesleyan University as a wonderful school that has the potential to make a great impact on your scholastic journey and ministry calling. For more information, please visit their website at www.indwes.edu.
On January 1, 2014, my mother, Jewel Lindsey, transitioned into her Heavenly home; however, her life, love, leadership and legacy lives on with us forever. She was more than just a mother; she was a teacher, leader and coach. She was a great mother, but now she is a legendary mother who taught with her words, wisdom and walk. “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue” -Proverbs 31:26.
The old saying is true: “some things are not taught, but instead caught”. Our home was a university, church and seminary school. It was a place of learning, growing, discipline and development. She shared many insights that have guided our family for over a half of a century. Below are a few principles from Jewel Lindsey that I caught:
1. Don’t Play With God; always respect Him.
2. Always Remain Respectful.
3. Stay in Church.
4. Shine Your Shoes; look presentable!
5. Lock Your Doors; think safety first.
6. Don’t Take No Wooden Nickels; Let no one cheat you!
7. Always Love Your Family.
8. Roll like A Big Wheel in a Georgia Cotton Field; Enjoy Life!
9. Be Resilient in Hardship; Never Give Up in Life!
10. Love People; don’t be fake.
Every day I strive to live out what she taught and to pass these same timeless, yet transferable principles down for others to follow. The old saying is true: “Methods are many, principles are few. Methods always change, principles never do”.
These principles of wisdom and life can help build character and strengthen the lives of current and future generations. They have shaped my values and core beliefs. Jewel Lindsey has been a model, mentor and motivator to many.
A lot of cool people were born on January 28th, such as Rick Warren, Anthony Hamilton, Creflo Dollar, Rick Ross, Elijah Woods, J. Cole and William J. Lindsey, but none were like my momma, Mrs. Jewel Lindsey! Happy 76th Birthday to the greatest mother of all time!
That’s right, 76 years ago, on Jan. 28th my mother, Jewel Lindsey was born, and 48 years ago on that same day, I was born. What are the chances that a child could be born on the same day, date and month as their mother? 1 out of 20,000, and I am honored to share my birthday with my mother.
Happy 76th Birthday Mom,
We love and miss you like crazy. You are the best, greatest and sweetest mom ever.
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
The moral of the story: Don’t place blame on someone for what you can do; take responsibility and do your part.
One of the realities of life is death. We live and then die or we die and never truly live. Alan Sachs stated, “Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives”. The sad tragedy of death is that most people die, and never really live. On January 1st 2014 I was awakened to a phone call that I will never forget; it was my youngest sister telling me that our mother had just passed away unexpectedly. This was another reminder of the reality of death. My mother, Jewel Lindsey, wasn’t just a person who just died; she actually lived for God, ministry and her children.
There’s an old poem about the man who never lived:
“There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played
He never risked, he never tried,
He never sang or prayed.
And when he one day passed away,
His insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived,
They claimed he never really died.” – Anonymous
Before you die, I recommend that you live your life to the fullest. The average person’s lifespan is 25, 550 days.We all receive 24 hours per day and 168 hours per week. Moses asked God to teach him to number his days so that he could gain a heart of wisdom (Ps. 90:22). It’s not how long you live, it’s how well you live, and it’s not the duration of your life, it’s your donation towards life.
Jewel Lindsey gave so much of herself away by helping, loving and encouraging others. In the words of Mahalia Jackson, “If I can help somebody, as I pass along, If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song, if I can show somebody, how they’re travelling wrong, Then my living shall not be in vain”. Due to the donations my mother deposited into this world, she will be remembered for generations to come.
Before you die what will you leave? What will be your mark? How will you be remembered? What words will be scripted on your tombstone? How will you be commemorated? What will your eulogy be? What will be your tribute? My mother Jewel Lindsey will be remembered for her life, love, leadership and legacy.
How do you define greatness? Two words: servant hood.
Serving others by showing small acts of kindness is the way to a life of greatness. A life that is all about you may be a good life, but when you unselfishly begin to serve others, it transitions into a great life. When was the last time that you helped someone without desiring anything in return? When was the last time you sacrificially went out of your way to serve someone in need? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, “Life’s most urgent and persistent question is, “What are we doing for others?” and Jesus once stated, ”Whoever wants to be first must be servant of all” (Mark 10:44).
It’s not about “serve me”; it’s about service. Jesus, who modeled the greatest leadership skills of all time, stated that he, himself, “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). He not only talked servant hood, he walked servant hood. He became the epitome and exemplification of servant hood and leadership. Robert Greenleaf, who once specialized in servant leadership stated, “Good leaders must first become good servants”. When we serve others we add value to their lives, lift them out of dark places and give them hope. In the process of serving others we also begin to graduate from a good life, to a great life and eventually into a legendary life.
Do you want to be great? Well, in the words of Mother Teresa, ”Pick up the broom and sweep the floor!”
Today, I would like to honor the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday for changing the world and leaving a legacy. Thank you for your dream, leadership and faith!
Below you will find an excerpt from his final speech,“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”.
“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
And so I’m happy, tonight.
I’m not worried about anything.
I’m not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”
I grew up in an urban community on the North side of town called “The Hood”. Yes, I am from the urban inner city community. My parents moved a lot when I was in elementary school, so I ended up going to six different elementary schools. Growing up in our home, education, reading, and homework was expected; however, it wasn’t a value. Due to this, I developed a mindset that caused me to believe that I could go to school not to earn an education, but only to pass. I was a “C” student on purpose. I never developed study habits, and I didn’t know of anyone in my neighborhood that was apart of a study group, so I didn’t enjoy reading. I would rather have watched TV and sports, simply rode my bike, or played basketball and football in my neighborhood. I looked at reading as boring, not something that was fun or entertaining. These choices left me limited, average, mediocre, and employed at average jobs with below average pay. My conversations were limited due my lack of reading skills. I felt intimidated by people who could read, and I lived with a lot of regret. The truth is that I wasted time watching hours and hours of sports when I could have been reading.
Today, reading has stretched my mind, enlarged my thinking, and broadened my horizons. It has caused me to think bigger and has helped me expand my vocabulary. I learned that reading could be fun, exciting and adventurous.
Thomas Carlyle stated, “The greatest university of all is a collection of books”.
Reading has also advanced my career to become Self-employed. Today, I run massive growing organization, manage 5 full-time employees, and 15 part time employees.
Reading has caused me to learn to love education more; therefore, I discovered the need to further my education by going back to college to pursue my Bachelor’s and Masters degree, and in 2014 begin a rigorous Doctoral program.
My life has been impactful and successful because of reading. I believe that all readers are not leaders, but all leaders are readers. Read to achieve and read to succeed. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, “There is no friend as loyal as a book”.