Friday, January 31, 2014

Ingredients For Success

Written by Joseph James Slawek, CEO of FONA International and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, this book explores the business practices found in the parables of Matthew 25 (the parable of the ten virgins, the parable of the talents, and the sheep and the goats), ranging from "boldly yet compassionately tell the truth" to "use your talents responsibly or you'll lose them." Slawek's business experience as the leader of an international company, and his belief that the Bible has a lot to say about business, answers the question: how can a Christian business leader live out his faith in the workplace? (from the publisher)

My Review: For such a small book, I felt that the author packed in a lot of information that can guide a business owner who truly cares about his company and employees. Matthew 25 has always been a favorite of mine and I love the way Slawek uses the parables to make his point. I cannot speak as a business owner, but I have been an employee of several businesses over the years. Although I have always tried to work as if working for the Lord, I admit that it is much easier if your boss also feels the same way. Mr. Slawek appears to expect a lot from his employees, but is also generous.

The principles used, as viewed from a business perspective, make a lot of sense. I also like his outlook that one should strive for excellence, but not to be afraid of failing. His chapter on failure, mediocrity, excellence, and perfection made a lot of sense to me. I also thought he hit the nail on the head (for me, anyway) when he said that fear leads to procrastination. I must admit that I do put off doing things that I am afraid I will not do well. (I gave up on perfection years ago!) The book is a quick read, but one I feel could impact the way you run your business or even how you apply yourself as an employee.

Disclaimer - I received a free copy of this book through Kickstand Books, a division of Handlebar Publishing, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Joseph James Slawek is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of FONA International. He founded FONA International in 1987 with a desire to be both high tech and high touch, and it 's the difference that makes FONA special and successful. Joe's unwavering focus on FONA 's customers, employees and stakeholders, and his commitment to operating a values-based organization are driving factors in the success of FONA. In 1999 Joe was inducted into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in recognition of the unique corporate culture he established and the dramatic year over year growth it was driving−five times the industry standard. Over the last several years (2007-2011), Joe has led FONA to be the only full service flavor company on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the United States. In his personal life, Joe is actively committed to his family, his church and community service. He is a private pilot who enjoys recreational aviation and outdoor pastimes.(publisher bio)

12 Steps To Becoming A More Organized Woman

12 Steps To Becoming A More Organized Woman: Practical Tips For Managing Your Home AND Your Family is a revised and edited version of an earlier book written by Lane P. Jordan. Following the outline of Proverbs 31, Lane Jordan provides women of all ages with hundreds of time-saving tips and biblical advice on how to organize, manage, and balance their life and family roles.
• Includes practical hints on household and family management, plus tips on reaching out to the needy in the church and community, and developing a rich spiritual life.
• Discussion questions follow each chapter for group or individual use.
• An excellent resource for a Bible study or small group. 

My Review: I confess that I am more of a "Wannabe" than I am a truly organized person, so I was excited to be offered a chance to review this book. Am I reformed? No. But, I did find lots of useful, practical tips to help me become better organized. Divided into 12 easy to manage chapters, each provides several ideas to help you get more in balance and to eliminate being overwhelmed by it all. This is not a book that you just read and immediately make all the right changes; I see it more as a reference book I can use to help me implement the changes I want to make. I did not become unorganized in a few days, so I don't expect immediate results.

This is also a very good book to read as a small group or book club. At the end of each chapter there is a Scripture verse that is encouraging, questions that you can ask yourself---but would be terrific as a discussion with others, and it ends with Personal Application. Some of the suggestions are things I already do (or...have "planned" on doing), but I did find several ideas that I want to make part of my routine. More than just a quick-fix, this book can help you make a practical lifestyle change to become a much more organized woman.

Lane Powell Jordan, Author, National Speaker, Bible teacher, Recording Artist and Professional Life Coach, was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. One of seven children, she enjoyed gymnastics, cheerleading, scouting and piano. She is the former associate producer for Charles Stanley’s In Touch program.

Lane Jordan Ministries

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This book was made available to me by CWA Review Crew in exchange for an honest opinion.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Stephen M. Miller's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Here’s a Bible dictionary for people who hate Bible dictionaries: With its fast-paced writing and gorgeous pictures, you’ll wonder why more Bible reference books don’t read like a magazine. Stephen M. Miller's Illustrated Bible Dictionary is the latest project from best-selling author Stephen M. Miller, who combines solid Bible scholarship with a compelling journalistic writing style. From Aaron to Zorah (Samson’s hometown), here are some 1,400 entries on Bible people, places, things, customs, and ideas—all written for optimal clarity and enjoyment. This is a readable reference you’ll want to consult over and over again! (publisher's description)

A 10-minute Stephen M MIller interview at the annual conference of Christian Booksellers.

My Review: Since I tend to be  a trivia buff who likes a little background info, I was excited to receive this book in the mail recently. Flipping through, I was delighted with all of the illustrations, but I was expecting there to be good ones in a book called Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Then,  I stopped to read a few entries; the wit and down-to-earth writing style of Stephen M. Miller captured my interest and kept it. Whether you have been studying the Bible for decades or haven't a clue to what it is all about, this book not only hits the highlights, but may just make you want to go more indepth. This is an excellent reference and resource that you are sure to use frequently.

I love the book, and I found another endorsement that you may enjoy...

This is definitely a book you will want for your personal library or to gift to others who want to learn more about the Bible. It can be enjoyed by those as young as 12, but will appeal to adults as well.

To shop online:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author for review purposes . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.