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Happy Birthday Blog

Fish Out of Church Turns 4

It was on this day four years ago I posted my first blog on fishoutofchurch.com. I now blog on a new domain but my blogging journey would not have been possible without that first post. I have learned so much from this experience and am so happy I decided to venture into the unknown world of sharing my story in a vulnerable way.

One of my favorite things about blogging are the people who have reached out to connect with me as a result of sharing my story. Hearing their stories has been refreshing to me. Another favorite part, that is kind of comical, is when I share a low point in my life and I get a messages saying how much that post encourages people! I always wonder, “what is it about me being discouraged that others find so encouraging?!?!” Of course I know people find it refreshing when you are raw, honest, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

I started blogging with the goal of creating 52 posts and turning those posts into a book. I thought if I could get that far then I might have enough content to create a full-length book. Since that time I have written hundreds of posts on numerous different topics, but publishing the Fish Out of Church story is still my top priority.

You may be wondering what is taking so long or why have I written other books if that is my goal? Good questions. The most obvious answer to me is that I do not feel the final chapter of the book has been written yet. I believe there is one more plot twist to the story that is yet to reveal itself to me. I can’t wait for that, to write it down, and share it with you.

Even though I have self published three books so far none of those are full-length books. I have one short story and two ebooks that I have turned into paperbacks. You can get one of them for free when you subscribe to my blog or get the others on Amazon.

If you have ever had the desire to write, even just a little, I would suggest you do it! We need to hear your story. Your voice counts! Write over the heads of your fears and let your words soar. Set them free from the cage of whatever fear has locked them up. Looking back on the past 4 years I am so glad I stepped out to write when I didn’t know if I was good enough, if people would read, or if what I put out there would be celebrated. You shouldn’t write just for you, but you will probably be the one to most benefit from the process.

Thanks so much for following along. I believe the best is yet to come for me and for you.

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New Year New Books: For Leaders

Here are three of my favorite books for leaders. I read them last year and think they would make a great addition to any leader’s reading list for 2018.

Extreme Ownership by Leif Babin & Jocko Willink

I first heard about Extreme Ownership from a friend. We were jogging and he was telling me about the first chapter. A group of U.S. Navy SEALS were leading an attack in the most dangerous area of Iraq when something went horribly wrong. The response from these SEALS caused me to tear up on the spot.

My friend gifted me the book and I have done the same for several others. It’s that kind of book. At first though, I didn’t think it was for me based on the title. I was interested in the subject but considered this an area I was already strong in. I didn’t think I needed another lesson in taking ownership. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

What I like about his book is not just the leadership lessons it teaches but how those principles are presented. Each chapter takes you through how the concept was applied by Navy SEALS in battle situations then in business meetings. I have found it changing how I relate to situations at work and even in my family.

It is a great book and one I recommend to every leader in 2018!

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

His TED talk is legendary but I finally decided to go through the book as well. If you ever stand on a stage or have to convince others to get behind and idea or product then I would suggest you read this book.

Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

I am embarrassed to say Amy actually bought this for me as a gift, and it took me over a year to begin reading it. I couldn’t figure out why she got it for me. Then as I kept reading other books this one was referenced over and over again like some sort of primer for leaders. I was sorry I waited so long to learn these principles on what and who causes good ideas to take off.

Malcom Gladwell’s podcast, Revisionist History, has also become my favorite podcast. If you have spent anytime with me in conversation in the last six months then you have most likely heard me share an anecdotes from this addictive podcast. Check it out here: http://revisionisthistory.com.

 

Bonus Book: The Way of the Shepherd by Kevin Leman and William Pentak

I didn’t read this book for the first time last year. I read it for the third time. We took our practicum through it and everyone loved this short parable that shares 7 biblical princes from shepherding that help you lead better.

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A New Year Not About Me

5 Ways to Make 2018 About Others

I read the headline of an article the other day that said Meghan Markle is not setting a New Year’s Resolution. I guess that is supposed to make the rest of us feel like we don’t need to make resolutions either. I didn’t read the article but if I was writing it I would say that she is marrying a prince in 2018 so she really doesn’t need a resolution. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

For the rest of us though, we are looking at 2018 and thinking about goals and how we can better ourselves. If you are like me, just about every New Year’s Resolution you have ever made is about yourself.

I noticed the end of 2017 my focus became a lot about me. Looking through my social media feed at the end of the year I noticed a lot of pictures of me and my family and not a lot of attention being brought to others. I don’t want that to happen again in 2018. So I want to resolve to make 2018 more about others. Here are 5 ways I am going to try to do that.

Be Interrupted

It’s never convenient to join in someone else’s moment of need. If you are waiting to have time for other people’s crises then you will never have time to be a help. You are either there or you aren’t. Accepting the fact that you will have to be inconvenienced to experience the joy of helping someone else is a given.

Celebrate Others

I want to genuinely celebrate other people’s wins and not just wonder about when I am going to get my next win. We all win when we celebrate each other’s wins. It’s a win, win, win.

Ask Why

When someone disagrees with me my usual response is to lawyer up so to speak. I start formulating the plan of attack to prove them wrong. The only problem with this is that I don’t learn anything in the process. Next time someone says something that disagrees with my perspective I want to ask why. Maybe I will learn something I never knew before.

Schedule Serving

I don’t want to just wait until I am inspired to serve or give. If this is a value then I need to schedule it. I also know that I cannot serve every time there is a need or I will end up burned out, exhausted, and no good to anyone. My goal is to find the best opportunities on my calendar for me to serve and commit to those.

Intentionally Collaborate

I want to bring other people into my circle. I don’t want to win by myself. I want a small group of accountability. Mentors and friends that are helping me along. I want to share my ideas with others that can accelerate them beyond what I could on my own.

Eat Away at Selfishness

Bonus: Does anything eat away at selfishness like giving? I want to be a bigger giver in 2018 and hopefully snap out of some of my selfish ways of thinking about money. I want God to give me resources not just to make my life better, but to make others lives better as well.

These are just a few random thoughts on making this New Year not about me. What are you going to do to not make 2018 about you? Is there an area I didn’t cover that you have ideas on how to make it more others focused? Let me know and share this post to see what others may add.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Roberies

Here is our virtual Christmas Card from our family to yours! We are excited to celebrate the birth of our Savior this Holiday Season and wish you all the best in the New Year. We also hope you get something special under the Christmas Tree as well. That’s never a bad thing!

 

I want to thank you for coming to this blog to read from time to time. Some may say that is the gift that keeps on giving.  🙂 I really enjoy sharing this journey with you, and I am looking forward to next year and many great posts. Merry Christmas!