Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Review: The Eric Trap

I know I do a lot of book reviews on this blog, but I get free books to do so. I love books and I love free, so it is a great situation for me. :-)

Since I am fairly new the world of KidMin, I am constantly looking for resources to explore to help me be more effective in my new career direction. So when I read on Kenny Conley's blog, that I could receive an advanced copy of this book to review on my blog I was all for it. :-)

The Eric Trap is a collaborative effort by Jim Wideman, Kenny Conley and Sam Luce. I do not know any of these gentlemen personally, but as I entered into the world of KidMin their names kept popping up so they must know what they are doing.

If you read nothing else on this blog read this: THE ERIC TRAP IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS ON KIDMIN THAT I HAVE READ. Seriously, I think anyone who is remotely involved in Children's Ministry should read this book (or even if you have walked by the children's wing in a church.) :-)

The Eric Trap follows the a week in life of Eric Newman, a gifted children's pastor, who is struggling in his ministry. After each Eric narrative, there is then a chapter written by a different author addressing the areas where Eric struggled: Delegation, Leadership Under Authority, Activate Parental Leadership, Measuring Success, and Order Your Priorities. As I read this book, I felt myself identifying with Eric in so many ways...I think the title could have almost been THE AMY TRAP. :-) I also appreciated how the authors had systematic questions at the end of each section to help the reader evaluate where they are an how to improve in the areas. While I did not complete these exercises on my first read, I have every intention of returning to those sections and perhaps even working through some of them with the members of my team.

I cannot say enough about this book. Be sure to get your copy at the Orange Conference later this month or on Amazon.

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 9, 2012

FIVE DAYS!!! (and a few other things...)

All right people, you only have FIVE days until the best day of the year!! Of course I am talking about MY BIRTHDAY!! No worries, you still have plenty of time to shop for a gift. Seriously, I am turning 42 on Wednesday and this birthday is bothering more than any others. Weird, right! I think it might be because my dad had his first heart attack at 42 and since I have some of his DNA I guess that weighs on me a little...especially since I don't always have the healthiest of habits. Regardless, I am excited about having another year on the planet and, of course, getting cake and ice cream. :-)

Besides my birthday, here are a few other happenings in the life Amy 4.0:

*Since I mentioned my not so healthy habits, I thought I'd share a victory. I decided to give up candy for lent. This was huge for me because I am a candy addict. I was really proud of myself that I was able to accomplish this (with a couple of minor slip-ups) with God's help. I have never given anything up for lent so it was good for me to experience that.

*Anna is still not a fan of costumed characters as you can see from the picture at the Bunny Dome in downtown South Bend. Anna couldn't stop talking about seeing the Easter Bunny and we waited in line to see him. However, once we got inside the dome, she wanted nothing to do with the Easter Bunny. We didn't want a repeat of Christmas with Santa (you can see the photo here) so we didn't force her to sit on the Bunny's Lap. :-) Not sure how she is going to respond to Disney Characters.

*Speaking of Disney, I think we have a tentative date for another trip. Well, looking at Mark's schedule, I think a trip will probably happen in February right after Anna turns 4. We always said we would go again when Anna was 4, just didn't realize that it would be immediately after her birthday. :-)

*We headed to Chicago for a couple of days during Mark's Spring Break because Papa and Mimi flew into Midway airport to visit for the week. We visited the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier and just walked around the city and saw some of the sights. I think Anna liked riding the CTA bus more than anything. I was really glad that I was able to take a couple of days off that week since it was right before Easter and Easter is like the Super Bowl for churches. :-)

*On Monday, I got the whole day to myself. We had the day off from work since the weekend was so busy with church activities. Anna wanted to go to preschool and Mark had to go to work so that left me all by myself. I think the last time I had a whole day to myself was before I met Mark in 2005. I enjoyed the day by going to see The Hunger Games and taking a nap. Mark will usually go to see any movie I want for my birthday, but he straight up said that he wouldn't see that one. That is OK, there is new Zac Efron movie coming out, so maybe he will go with me to that one. :-)

Enjoy the weekend and don't forget to shop for my birthday gift! :-)