July 2010

Joe’s #7: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

July 29, 2010 // 0 Comments

I have a man crush on John Gottman and I actually have no idea what he looks like. Hold on, I’m going to go and google his image. John Gottman’s research and writings have changed the way I counsel, they’ve changed the way I am a husband to my wife. Having said that, a lot of his writings are dry. This book is no exception. His seven principles are not earth shattering, although I’d encourage to google his 5:1 ratio or use it in all of your relationships. Gottman’s seven principles in this book are fairly straightforward (my thoughts are in parenthesis: 1. Enhance your love maps 2. Nurture your fondness and admiration 3. Turn toward each other instead of Away 4. Let your partner influence you -The two kinds of marital conflict (this isn’t actually a principle but understanding this is important 5. Solve your solvable problems (does that mean there are unsolvable problems?) 6. Overcome gridlock 7. Create shared meaning All in all, I think everyone will find this book to be a satisfying read and for almost everyone there will be at least one “ah-ha” moment where it speaks directly to something going on in their relationship. […]

Ron’s #31: The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

July 26, 2010 // 3 Comments

Let me begin with what I think is Nicholas Carr’s main statement in this book: “What can science tell us about the actual effects that Internet use is having on the way our minds work?…Dozens of studies by psychologists, neurobiologists, educators, and Web designers point to the same conclusion: when we go online, we enter an environment that promotes cursory reading, hurried and distracted thinking, and superficial learning. It’s possible to think deeply while surfing the Net, just as it’s possible to think shallowly while reading a book, but that’s not the type of thinking the technology encourages and rewards” (115-116). Carr has written an engaging book that explores how our Internet habits are changing how we think. He tells how he noticed a shift in his concentration levels after his immersion in the Internet world of links, clicks, and tweets. This English literature major found that he had trouble concentrating on a novel beyond a few pages. After years of training his mind to follow links and read news blasts, he was troubled that he could no longer read deeply. This led him to write an article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” which he expanded into this book. The […]

Ron’s #30: Radical by David Platt

July 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

My friend Mark put it best: Radical is Crazy Love with more theology.” As much as I liked Crazy Love, David Platt’s Radical addresses similar themes better. The subtitle for this book is “Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.” We as American Christians are so quick to settle into our comforts of success, society, and stuff that we forget that we are not our own and that we belong to another. We are nestled deep into this world that we forget that we are to live for the next one. David Platt reminds us that we are to live radical lives as Jesus was Himself a true radical. We should be willing to sacrifice our money, status, and time to be kingdom-obsessed.  He makes an important distinction between giving and sacrificing. Anyone can give a few bucks or an hour, but to sacrifice means something completely different. Three parts of this book are especially worth reading. The chapter titled How Much is Enough? American Wealth and a World of Poverty shows how much excess we have as Americans. 26,000 children will die today of starvation or other preventable illness. Two billion people live on under two dollars a […]

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