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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens









To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee










A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens










The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasScreen Shot 2014-09-05 at 5.33.19 PM









What are your favorite classics? […]

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For many people, summer is a time to catch up on some good reading.  I enjoy reading books that keep me sharp, books that feed my soul and books that are simply great fun.  Here are a few you might want to grab to take with you to the beach, to the office or to your favorite chair.

Strengthening The Soul Of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton.  This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time about caring for your soul.  Ruth rightly observes, “If Jesus were speaking to us today, he might also point out that when leaders lose their souls, so do the churches and organizations they lead.”



All Is Grace by Brennan Manning.   […]

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1.  Calico Joe by John Grisham.









2.  Fall Of Giants by Ken Follett.









3.  The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani.









4.  The Education Of Little Tree by Forrest Carter.










5.  The Wind Through The Keyhole by Stephen King. […]

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Top 5 Leadership Reads of 2012



1.  Movements That Change The World by Steve Addisson.









2.  Barefoot Church by Brandon Hatmaker.











3.  The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.











4.  7 by Jen Hatmaker.










5.  The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. […]

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We’re winding down with only a few shopping days left before Christmas.  In my opinion, one of the best gifts we can give to someone is a great book to read.  Just this week I gave each of RiverTree’s Elders three of my favorite reads of the year:  Barefoot Church by Brandon Hatmaker, 7 by Jen Hatmaker and The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.

So, if you’re still searching for that perfect gift or simply want to pick up a great read for yourself . . . here are a few I recommend.

Calico Joe by John Grisham.  Grisham remains one of my favorite authors–I read everything he puts out.   […]

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“A gift with the power to change Christmas.”  That’s what the book, The Sparkle Box, claims.  And I agree!

My friend, Jill Hardie, wrote this book.  I know her family’s story.  The difference the tradition of giving gifts to Jesus has made in their lives.  I also know how it has enhanced Christmas for my own family.

Based on Jesus’ words that “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me,” The Sparkle Box offers a practical way for all of us to give gifts to Jesus.

You can find out more at […]

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Greg Boyle’s new book:  Tattoos On The Heart–The Power of Boundless Compassion is an absolute MUST read.

For the past several decades Boyle has worked in one of the most gang-infested areas of LA.  His call has been to fight despair and meet the world with a loving heart.  To help gang members overcome shame and to remain faithful in spite of failure.

Tattoos is a collection of real life stories of transformation.  Of hope and despair in the midst of murderous gang activity.  Written in very readable prose, Boyle’s accounts are both heart-rending and restorative.  His essays about universal brotherhood and redemption are moving examples of the power of the unconditional love of Jesus in difficult times. […]

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Paul Tough chronicles Geoffrey Canada’s efforts to transform a community by transforming its children.  Whatever It Takes records the birth of the Harlem Children’s Zone and Promise Academy–both endeavoring to educate kids that have the odds stacked against them as a result of poverty and lack of parental involvement.

A few interesting quotes . . .

“Each era of state-sponsored generosity toward the poor in American history has been followed by an era in which government aid was judged to be part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

“There are more poor white Americans than poor black Americans . […]

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Okay, based on the title alone, this is not one I would have picked up.  My friend Gary told me I had to read it . . . so I did.  Thank-you Gary!

Tea is the true story of the epic life adventure that Greg Mortenson is living. Greg gets lost coming down off the mountain after a failed attempt at summitting K-2.  He finds himself in an obscure village of Pakistan that is pretty much cut off from the rest of the world.  After receiving incredible hospitality (which included sharing “three cups of tea” with the leader of the village), he promises the leader of the village that he will return to build a school for their children. […]

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“A fierce conversation is one in which we come out from behind ourselves into the conversation and make it real–” that’s how Susan Scott defines authentic communication in her book “Fierce Conversations.”

She also writes, “The goals of fierce conversation are to . . . *Interrogate reality *Provoke learning *Tackle tough issues *Enrich relationships.”

Scott gives some great insights into why our conversations tend to stay at a surface (and thus often meaningless) level. For example, “While we tell ourselves we are softening the message so as not to hurt someone else’s feelings, we are really trying to protect ourselves.”

She concludes that, “The best leaders talk ‘with’ people not ‘at’ them.”

If you want to sharpen your communication skills then this is an important read. […]

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