Book Review: What Radical Husbands Do by Regi Campbell

Let’s face it guys, we never want to feel incompetent concerning anything we do. In fact, when we are not good at something, we often ignore it to focus on our areas of expertise. Perhaps this is a reason some men struggle in their marriages? How many among us can say we have mastered the art of winning, and keeping, our wife’s heart?

However, marriage is not a hobby or our latest business idea. We cannot afford to focus our attention elsewhere when our marriage is less than what it should be. We have to be intentional; even radical.

Regi Campbell’s book provides more than a strategy. It offers very practical advice which comes from real-life experience. This book was born out of a broken marriage restored. And regardless of where your marriage is today, there is hope for a happy and healthy future if you become a radical husband.

This is a short book and easy to read. It is full of practical advice that is immediately actionable. I would rate this book three stars out of five if I was only considering the quality of writing and publication. However, due to the content, I would highly recommend for all men who desire a better marriage.

Platform and Source

Living a life of influence is all about relationships; intentional, authentic relationships. We are met each day with an opportunity to impact the lives of others. If we are going to change the world we live in, if we are going to make a difference in the lives of the people around us we must have a platform and a source.

Photo by aafromaa

Your relationship with them is the platform. A platform is something that is given and earned. There are a multitude of voices in the world, more today than ever. Every person must choose which voices they are going to listen to. When someone trusts you and respects you, they will give you the platform to speak into their life. This trust and respect is earned through relationship.

Having a platform is not enough. Everyone has a platform with somebody. However, we are not all positively influencing those whom have come to trust and respect us. If our platform is going to be positive, we must have a source.

Our relationship with Him is the source. When I don’t spend time alone with God in prayer and study of His Word, I immediately notice that the positive impact that my life has on those around me begins to decline. I don’t have anything to give of myself if I don’t first receive from Him. I have nothing to pour out if I don’t first allow Him to pour in. It is Him working through me that allows me to be a blessing at all.

Change your world. Build a platform. Stay connected to the source.

Margin: A Book Review

There is nothing like a free book! Okay, maybe I should say that there is nothing like a free book that is also a book worth reading. Especially if it comes just when you need it. That is exactly what happened to me when I downloaded Margin by Richard A. Swenson, M.D. to my Kindle after Melanie Shock tweeted that the e-book was free for a day.

In this book Dr. Swenson makes a strong case (with a Christian perspective) against progress as we know it. That is progress defined and dominated by money, technology, and education. All three offer value but they do not do much to meet our transcendent needs. “What about the relational life?” asks Dr. Swenson. After all, life is all about relationships; with God, with ourselves, and with others.

“As we have already seen, progress builds by using the tools of economics, education, and technology. But what are the tools of the relational life? Are they not the social (my relationship to others), the emotional (my relationship to myself), and the spiritual (my relationship to God)? None of the tools of progress has helped build the relational foundation our society requires.”

Along with this false sense of progress comes the incredible rate of change that our society now faces. Change does not happen linearly, it happens exponentially. As a result “the circumstances of our age are quantitatively different from anything previously encountered, and the dramatic nature of this difference is consistently underestimated.”

“No one in the history of humankind has ever had to live with the number and intensity of stressors we have acting upon us today. They are unprecedented. The human spirit is called upon to withstand rapid changes and pressures never before encountered.”

These problems and others have combined forces to rob us of any remaining margin in our lives. The results have been catastrophic! We are on a collision course with self-destruction and the only way to avoid a disaster is to change our ways.

Progress and change have stolen our margin and we must buy it back. Dr. Swenson prescribes that we take a healthy dose of margin in emotional energy, physical energy, time, and finances. These medicines can be administered through contentment, simplicity, balance, and rest.

This book, written in 2004, carries even more relevance today than when it was written. Do yourself a favor and read this book. Restore the margins. Restore relationships.

A Man With A Plan: Reviewing Michael Hyatt’s “Creating Your Personal Life Plan”

I recently tweeted that I had downloaded Michael Hyatt’s first e-book, Creating Your Person Life Plan. A good friend of mine responded by asking my opinion of the book, asking if I thought Mr. Hyatt’s approach was Biblical. I’ve had other friends who suggested that goal-setting and life-planning of any kind were directly opposed to God’s Word.

I can understand the concern. After reading through Mr. Hyatt’s book, I must confess that I am not comfortable with all of the verbiage that he uses. For example, the subtitle of the book is “A Step-by-Step Guide for Designing the Life You’ve Always Wanted.” If I am responsible for designing my life, I’m afraid it will fall incredibly short of what it could be if I allow God to design it.

Also, Mr. Hyatt prioritizes his “life accounts,” stressing the importance of taking care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. His list looks like this:

1. God
2. Self
3. Gail (Spouse)
4. Children
5. Friends
6. Career
7. Finances
8. Ministry

Others would argue that “self” should come after others as we are called to be servants to all. The problem is in trying to list these accounts in order of importance. Rather than a list, I suggest we put our relationship with God at the center of our life. When our relationship with Him is correct, the other accounts are a natural outflow of this relationship.

That being said, Let me tell you why I love Mr. Hyatt’s book and how I have been using these ideas and resources for the past year.

If you know me well at all, you know that I am task oriented. I am a planner. I set goals and strive to meet those goals. I have been using the Life Plan format and the Weekly Review and Quarterly Review for the past year and I can honestly say that it has increased my focus and productivity by leaps and bounds.

The key is in how you use tools like these. Planning and goal setting can be dangerous or it can be beneficial depending upon your starting point. When I set goals, they are based on the vision and purpose that God has already revealed to me concerning His will for my life. I don’t use a Life Plan to design my life. Rather, I use it to move me forward in God’s revealed plan for my life.

And that has made all the difference.

Download a copy of Michael Hyatt’s e-book here.