Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Book Review: "Everyday Greatness" by Stephen R. Covey & Reader's Digest

"Everyday Greatness" is a collection of short stories gathered from the archives of Reader's Digest, compiled by David K. Hatch with commentary and insights by Stephen R. Covey.

It's an inspirational volume with stories by personalities including Alex Haley, Betty Ford, and Ed McMahon; but, also from people you may have never heard of. Some stories tell of triumph over adversity and long odds, some of gathering inspiration, and all have a life lesson. Each story is followed by the insights and commentaries of Covey, who expounds on the lessons and sometimes offers suggestions for application in everyday life.

The stories are divided into seven main categories:

  • Searching For Meaning
  • Taking Charge
  • Creating The Dream
  • Teaming With Others
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Blending The Pieces. 
Each main category is further divide into three sub-categories, each containing three stories. In between are hundreds of quotes reinforcing the main point of that section.

All in all it's a great read. It's easy to read a section and pause to think about the life lessons presented in that section. It's also a great conversation piece as the morals and points of the stories are easily applied in many situations of life. Some of the stories are just plain interesting, too.

"Everyday Greatness" is a great book and I highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: I am a member of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program. Although Thomas Nelson Publishing provided the book at no cost to me, this review is my honest opinion of the work

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hospice Care After-Care Bear

A friend of mine from work recently lost her father after an extended illness. As you can well imagine, this put quite a bit of stress on her and her family.

The other day, I went into her office and saw a teddy bear. A golf-themed teddy bear. Knowing she doesn't play golf, I had to ask her about it. She told me the bear was made from a shirt which belonged to her father. Someone from the hospice care group called after her father passed and asked her for a shirt which she felt was special to him. Volunteers with the hospice organization made the bear from that shirt as a way to help her go through the grieving process.

As she relayed the story to me, I got a bit misty myself. What a great way to lend a hand to someone during a troubled time.

Hats off to the volunteers who do this kind of thing for people - you are doing a great thing. Thank you.

Photo credit: Eric Lucas

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hilarious Monty Python Joke in Church

While it is true that most churches would never have a funny Python moment, I'm glad I go to one where it's possible.

I live tweet during our Sunday services at church. For those unfamiliar with "live tweet," that means I get on twitter under our church's account and tweet selected highlights of the service. We find it's an interesting way to reach out to the world. Most of the time it's rather routine, me tweeting and every so often we get a message or a retweet.

Today, however, there was a very funny surprise. During the service I tweeted this:

2nd of 3 kinds of faith: Jehovah Jirah faith: "My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ." Phil. 4:19

A few minutes later, this appeared in the church's twitter stream by a user called "StoningBot:"

@vcftemple has been found guilty of uttering the name of our Lord, and so, as a blasphemer, is to be stoned to death. *throws a stone*

This is a reference to a part of Monty Python's "Life of Brian" movie. Here's a clip of the scene from YouTube:

I went to check out the profile for "StoningBot" and found that it is, as the name implies, a bot. It's purpose is to search for tweets which include the word "Jehovah" and automatically responds with the reply as above, substituting the name of the tweeter each time. As of this writing, the count is 201 tweets since the bot started on October 8th at 6:58pm (central time).

Does someone have too much time on their hands? Or, is this a way to bring a bit more humor to the world? Perhaps it's a little of both.

Either way, I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing during the middle of the service as I thought about that scene from the movie. Thanks, "StoningBot" for giving me a good laugh today.