Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Money, Possessions and Eternity

alcorn
by Randy Alcorn
– Why does the Bible say so much more about money and possessions than it does
about any other thing – what did Jesus know so much about money and possessions
that he wanted us to know?
– If Christ is not Lord of our money and possessions, He is not Lord at all.
– If a widow woman came up to us and said she wanted to give her last two coins, we
would probably tell her to keep them. So many times Jesus said the opposite of what
we think when it comes to money and possessions.
– How we handle money is a measure of our spiritual life.
– Jesus sat close to the treasure box and watched as they put money in – he didn’t just
happen to be there, he sat there and watched on purpose. He is interested in what
people give and what people do with their money.
– What we do with our money is very important and will determine our influence in
eternity.
– Money makes a horrible master, but it makes a good servant if used right. So if God is
our master, we use the money according to what pleases him.
– Poverty does not equal piety. Spirituality is a matter of the heart, not necessarily the
possessions one has.
– In 90% of divorces, money plays a role.
– Materialism doesn’t make us happy.
– Materialism is first and foremost a problem of the heart.
– Greed is actually idolatry, worshiping and idolizing money.
– The problem is not that God doesn’t love the rich rather the rich many times do not
love God. Why would they need God when they have money? Therefore God said
that you cannot serve him and money.
1 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– We can withstand almost anything that is thrown against us except for having too
much. 95% of people can withstand persecution, but they cannot withstand
prosperity. Prosperity kills people.
– Those that have wealth and prosperity often think they are the exception to the rule.
Therefore they fall into immoralities and many sins.
– John Wesley said that many will not preach against the love of money. More money
could have been the reason for no revival – when the people had no money there
was more revival.
– If prosperity is what represents God’s approval, than Jesus and Paul are on God’s
blacklist and Hitler and drug dealers are the apple of his eye.
– God does not promise to make us healthy or wealthy. Yes, God is a good and may
bless us financially, but he does not have to bless financially. Many times the problem
is not how much money one gets, but how much money one keeps. God gives to us
so that we can give & help others.
– The greatest treasure is Christ. Paul counted everything as loss for Christ.
– If I want my heart to be in one spot, than I need to put more money there than in other
areas. If you wish you had more of a heart for missions or a specific ministry, than
support in that area and your heart will follow it. Money leads, the heart follows.
– If I am faithful with a little, I will be faithful with much. The question is not what would I
do with $1 billion but what am I doing with that money I currently have?
– If I cannot be at entrusted with money, I cannot be trusted with eternal riches.
– Servants should know that the money is not theirs, they are just caretakers of what
has been entrusted them. And because they do not own these possessions, they are
accountable to their masters for what they do with them – one day standing before
them to give an account to their masters.
– How we handle God’s assets today has tremendous bearings on eternity.
– Unwise stewards are lazy, but wise ones are diligent; knowing, loving and respecting
their master.
– In eternity, it will not matter how many contacts we made or how much we have, but
what we did with what the master gave us.
– Have we extended the invitation again to God to be owner and Lord of all?
2 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– God is the owner of all of the money that he has given me, not just a percentage.
Money is not God and I am not God, God is God. I am his money manager and must
use all of it out he wants.
– We should be attached to the world that we are going to, not the world that we are in.
Many people will have a problem leaving what that they have.
– Pilgrims are unattached, they are travelers and not settlers. We must remember that
our home is not here but there, and so is our reward.
– The real question for the Christian is: “where is your home?”
– Old Testament Christians only started with the tithe, they did not stop with it – so why
should New Testament Christians stop there?
– New Testament guidelines for giving:
1. Start giving. It’s a sad statistic that 4 out of 10 church members give nothing.
2. Give generously. Some will call it being fanatical, but Jesus calls it love.
When the woman broke the alabaster box, even the disciples criticized, but
Jesus said wherever the Gospel is preached she will be remembered.
3. Give regularly. Many people do not give at all, but most that do give give
sporadically. Systematic giving is very Biblical. Why should we pay our house
rent early or late if we are going to be out of town, yet if we miss church we
just skip giving to God altogether.
4. Give deliberately. Find out how we can help, who we can help and what can
be done. If we give attention to more simple things, how much more attention
should we give to the things of God.
5. Give voluntarily. Paul told the Christians to give what they could for the gift
to those in Jerusalem, he wasn’t saying give here instead of to your church,
he was telling them to give in addition to what they give to their church. As
your heart is moved, give above and beyond what you normally give.
6. Give sacrificially. There are three levels of giving: according to our ability,
less than our ability, and beyond our ability. Few Christians give sacrificially.
Giving or donating something we don’t want is not giving, it’s just getting rid of
it so we can get something better. Giving sacrificially is parting with the new
and keeping the old.
7. Give excellently. Like anything else, we can learn to get better at it. We can
learn to give more, be more systematic and more frequent. We try to get
better in other areas, so why not try to make giving an area in which we get
better and strive for excellence.
8. Give cheerfully. God takes delight in those that take delight in giving. The
people of God see a need and give gladly to it.
9. Give worshipfully. Cornelius worshipped by giving. We give because God
first gave to us, His Son. Giving comes from the heart of gratefulness. It is a
reflexive response of God’s goodness to us.
3 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
10. Give proportionately. When there was a need in Corinth, each one of the
disciples gave according to what he could. It is not so much as how much
someone gives, but how much they give proportionate to what they have.
God does not only look at what we give, but what we keep.
11. Give quietly. Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6 that when we give, we are to do
it privately. In Matthew 5, he told us to let our light so shine before men so
that they could see and glorify God. The point is not that others see us, but
what is our motive for giving. If our motive is just for men and not God, we are
wrong. But our giving can glorify God.
– When God gives us more, we often say it is a blessing, but it also could be a test.
– 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 teaches that he gives us so that we can be generous giving to
others.
– God gives to us not so that we can build our kingdom on this earth rather build his
kingdom in heaven.
– God’s teaching on money is not for the rich, but for all. God did not elevate the rich
young ruler or belittle the poor widow woman who gave.
– We’re not to feel guilty that God has given to us but we are to feel responsibility
because God has given to us.
– Helping the poor has always set the Christians apart from others.
– Giving should start at your local church, the place where you are spiritually fed and to
whom you are accountable. That doesn’t mean that you should not give elsewhere,
but you should at least start your giving at your local church.
– If you wait to give until you find a perfect ministry, you never will. It is far better to give
something than withhold giving. Yes, study and find out about good places to give to,
but make sure you give.
– Our money either facilitates us to serve the Lord or it prohibits us from serving the
Lord.
– Nothing wrong with being rich, but there is something wrong with wanting to be rich.
We say we wish we could be rich and Jesus says it’s hard for a rich person to be
saved.
– Giving is the only antidote to materialism.
4 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– God has made us to be conduits; our mistake is to think that the conduits should be
outlined in gold.
– We should live more simply and give more generously because we are God’s
pipeline.
– We forget that we are God’s deliverers… it is like FedEx forgetting that they are
supposed to be delivering the packages they carry in their truck.
– The reason to live more simply is not so that we can say no to things but so that we
can say yes to God.
– God provides excess not so that it could be stored up but so that it could be
distributed to those in need.
– John Wesley believed that when a salary increased, a Christian’s lifestyle should not
increase rather his giving should increase.
– The average American family dedicates almost 1/4 of it’s spendable income on debt.
– The Bible warns strongly against debt.
– Debt destroys many marriages, families and lives, yet so many people are prone to
continue getting into debt. It’s like a bug zapper that attracts all the bugs with the light
and then destroys them.
– The debt mentality comes from 6 key assumptions:
1. We need more than God has given us.
2. God does not know what our needs are.
3. God has failed to provide our needs, forcing us to take matters into our own
hands.
4. If God does not come through the way we think he should, we will have to
find another way.
5. If we were able to pay off today’s debts, than surely we will be able to pay off
tomorrows as well.
6. Our circumstances will not change, we will stay healthy, we will keep our job
and God will likely increase our salary.
– If God provides our needs, than he can provide everything. There’s a difference
between our needs and our desires. If we do not have what we want, maybe we do
not need it or maybe God wants us to pray to him about it.
– Debt holds back and prohibits many from giving to God and God’s work.
5 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– Debt does not give people freedom to respond and go or do what God wants them to
go or do – go to the mission field, start a ministry, go full time in ministry, move, etc.
– Consequences of debt:
1. Debt lingers. Fun at the beginning to have that new boat, but then it just sits
around.
2. Debt causes stress. Doctors and others will back up the truth that the more
someone is in debt, the more stress and problems he has.
3. Debt causes denial of reality. We use our card to buy a car, use the same
card to buy gas, use the same card to get insurance, all while we are trying to
build up our savings.
4. Debt leads to dishonesty. The phrase “the check is in the mail” happens far
too often.
5. Debt is addictive. Very likely someone that is in debt on one salary will be in
debt with two salaries. Debt is not an external problem but an internal
problem. Debt is not a problem of insufficient funds but insufficient self-
control.
6. Debt is presumptuous. The Bible teaches us to live by faith, but the
borrower lives by presumption.
7. Debt deprives God from saying no or providing through another means.
There are other means to getting something: saving and waiting on God.
8. Debt is a loss of opportunity. It’s a loss of opportunities, eternal rewards,
diminishes giving and loss of helping others.
9. Debt ties up resources and makes them unavailable for the kingdom of
God. Too many people say that they would love to give more, help or be
more involved but their money is tied up in debt and other things.
– We think that we will only have to return the money that we borrow, but the fact is that
we will have to return back much more than just the money that we borrowed.
– Here is a 10-step pattern for getting out of debt:
1. Repent. Acknowledge that you’ve taken money from other places instead of
waiting on God.
2. Immediately give God the first fruits.
3. Don’t incur new debts. Operate on the principle of, “if I can afford it now than I
don’t need it”.
4. Systematically draw up a plan to get out of current debts. Seek wise counsel,
put a plan into motion, liquidate any assets you can, and begin working to get
out of debt.
5. Perform plastic surgery on your credit cards. If your cards are a temptation,
get rid of them.
6. Stop rationalizing your debt.
6 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
7. Move slowly but surely. If its necessary to go in debt for something, make
sure you get counsel and take it slowly.
8. Learn the difference between spending and saving. Just because something
says it is on sale does not mean you save anything, you’re still spending.
9. Make a list of the debts and contact your creditors. Prioritize and schedule to
pay them off. Most creditors will work with you since they get nothing when
someone goes bankrupt. Prioritize and eliminate the small loans as fast as
you can.
10. If you have done everything else, and you still cannot pay it off, consider
getting other income. Get a second job, start selling things, etc.
– Just because you can afford something does not mean that God wants you to get it.
– The only biblical debt we should have on a daily basis is a loving our brethren –
Romans 13:6
– Postponed giving is usually postponed obedience, which is disobedience.
– Retirement and savings can be wise, but we must be careful to not trust more in the
market and our own methods than in God.
– We should not pass on wealth to our children unless we have passed on wisdom to
our children.
– Teach and show generosity to your children.
– 7 out of 10 Americans die without a will – plan what will happen with your money and
possessions when you’re not here.
– We should raise up a generation of givers, not takers.
– We should teach our children about money, how to get it, the importance of it, etc.
– We should teach our children to give, save, tithe, use wisely, etc.
– Martin Luther said he had held many things in his hands and lost them all, but what
he placed in God’s hands will never be lost.
– We should decide to make that that which will be important when we die to be
important right now.
7 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn
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The Motivation Mastery

blif-square-orig
by Chris Widener
– The media, peer pressure, and everything around us is telling us what we should be.
We must grow on the inside in order not to doubt so much.
– When we can accept who we are, we can do almost anything.
– About anything that you want in life is attainable with taking just a few steps.
– Grow who you are – don’t just try to be somebody else, decide to grow as who you
already are.
– When you are comfortable in your own skin, you do not have to pretend to be
something else.
– No one can do everything alone, you have to have help.
– You have to win in your mind first before you can go out and win elsewhere.
– If you’re not confident, you will become fearful.
– Fear is normal but you have to decide to focus and think about the right thing.
– Attitude will determine your success.
– Turn your fear into focus – remember why you were there and what your mission is.
– Your competitor today might be your ally tomorrow.
– Near flawless execution is a result of all this preparation.
– People that are so passionate about things will overcome the fear and obstacles. You
must be passionate about whatever you’re doing.
– W.I.N. — Work It Now
– Don’t just make sales without making customers.
– The golden rule (doing unto others as you would want done to yourself) is super
important, but there is another rule that is super valuable as well: the platinum rule –
do to others as they would want you to do to them. This is adaptability, getting on their
level and helping them that way.
1 Te Motvaton Mastry by Chris Widener Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– You are alive and grow according to your curiosity and imagination.
– 1 idea + right contacts = unlimited results.
– First you have to have a dream, then you must have a team, then you will have
multiple screams.
– Every seasoned player should have a rookie to help and every rookie should have a
seasoned player to learn from.
– Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent… So learn from it.
– Listen to the right people and get the right influence, not just any influence.
– One of the worst things that you can do is to believe the press about yourself.
– If you want to learn something, go listen, watch, or be with those that are doing it.
– Failure is an event not a person. So learn from failure.
– Failure is like fertilizer, you can use it to grow.
– Instead of talking the whole time, ask people questions.
– Most awesome deals are learnable: sales, financial, etc.
– All success are combinations, recipes and formulas.
– Successful people fail over and over again whereas unsuccessful people only fail
once or twice before they quit.
Big 3 for success:
1. Take responsibility.
2. Write goals and make plans, working on them every day.
3. Develop yourself to lifelong learning.
2 Te Motvaton Mastry by Chris Widener

Ordering Your Private World

order
By Gordon MacDonald
Excellent book… but I have very few notes I took on it and apologize. I will go back thru
it again later to make better notes.
– We often think about ordering and fixing our public world (our time, habits, etc.), but
there is a greater problem and one which many people do not think about and that is
our private world.
– If we do not order our private world, everything else will fall apart.
1 Ordering Your Privat World by Gordon MacDonald

The Power of Discipline 7 ways it could change your life

7way
by Brian Tracy
– Success is tons of discipline.
– Do what you should do when you should do it whether you feel like it or not.
– You can know all about any subject, but unless you discipline yourself to do what
you’re supposed to do you will never succeed.
– With self-discipline you can rise above the average, but without self-discipline it
doesn’t matter how many good qualities, background or finances that you have, you
will never go above average.
1. Self-discipline and Goals
• If you do not know where you are going, you will not know how to get there.
• You will hit every target that you do not aim for.
• A goal that is not written down is like smoke, it just vanishes away.
• Set a deadline for your goal, a time when you want to achieve it. And then set
steps needed to acquire that goal.
• Organize a list by both sequence and priority.
2. Self-discipline and Character
• Hold a higher expectation for yourself more than anyone else and be more lenient
with everyone else.
• When you are under serious pressure is when your true character is revealed.
• Guard your integrity more than anything.
• Circumstances do not make a man, but they do reveal one.
3. Self-discipline and Time Management.
• If you do not conquer yourself, you will be conquered by self.
• Cannot manage time, you can only manage yourself.
• Time lost cannot be regained.
• You cannot save time, but you can spend it differently.
1 Te Power of Discipline by Brian Tracy Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
• Procrastination is the thief of life.
• You could tell the value that something has to you by how much time you spend
doing it.
• It is only by looking how you spend your time will you and the others know what
is important to you.
• The more you discipline yourself to use your time wisely, the happier you will feel
the better quality of life you will live.
4. Self-discipline and Personal Health
• The five “P’s” of health health:
1. Proper weight
2. Proper diet – eat to live, don’t live to eat.
3. Proper exercise – this is important to your health and life. Exercise a
minimum of three times a week.
4. Proper rest – most people do not rest enough, going to bed too late and
not getting enough rest. You need brakes and vacations to recharge.
5. Proper attitude – The more optimistic that you are, the better your health
is. An optimistic person has a better immune system, shielding against
disease and sicknesses. And optimistic person bounces back quicker to
sicknesses problems. Look for the good in every situation.
• Eat less and exercise more.
5. Self-discipline and Money.
• The majority of financial problems is because of a lack of self-discipline and self-
control.
• You must rewire your brain to save
• Spend wisely instead of just spending money because you have it.
6. Self-discipline and Courage.
• Courage is not the lack of fear but controlling that fear.
• Everyone is afraid, but the courageous person will still do what needs to be done
in spite of that fear.
• We can learn to do the opposite of fear.
• If you will imagine doing something, you could say “I can do it” instead of “I can’t
do it” – every time you say “I can’t do it”, it will override fear and build your
courage and boldness.
• There are two types of courage you don’t need it: courage to start (step out and
launch) and courage of patients (to continue on until you have accomplished it).
2 Te Power of Discipline by Brian Tracy Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
• The only way to defeat fear is to face it head-on.
• The companion of fear is worry.
7. Self-discipline and Responsibility.
• Accepting responsibility is one of the hardest things we can do.
• 85% of people never take responsibility for themselves; they blame, complain
and criticize. People get burned by hot coffee and sue the restaurant, fall down
because of negligence and sue someone else, etc. We cannot go through life
blaming everyone else.
• It takes tremendous self-discipline to take responsibility for what happens instead
of blaming others.
• The difference between success and failure is a choice. We must learn self-
discipline to do what we should whether we feel like it or not.
3 Te Power of Discipline by Brian Tracy

Public Speaking to Win

speak
by Dale Carnegie
– Nearly everything powerful in life comes down to how you say it, your persuasion.
– Have an air-tight knowledge of the subject you’re speaking about.
– Use plain language, illustrations and stories.
– Appeal to your listeners by talking
– Preparation requires thinking, studying, and getting to know your subject well.
– What topics should you speak on? Anything that interests you.
– When preparing a speech, collect 100 thoughts about the topic and discard 90 of
them. Be over prepared.
– Notes will distract or destroy any intimacy between the speaker and listener’s. Be very
cautious of using notes. Notes should be the emergency tool, something you have to
make you feel safe but you do not necessarily use them. If you do have to use notes,
make it very discreet, glancing only every once in a while where nobody can detect it.
– Get comfortable with your talk. Walk around practicing it. Rehearse it in your head
and be ready.
– Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is one of the most
important ingredients in selling something or getting something done.
– Every time we speak, we determine the spirit of our listeners. If we are lackadaisical,
they will be as well. If we are not concerned, they will not be concerned either. If we
are reserved, they will be as well. But if we are excited and convinced about what we
are speaking about, our spirit will be contagious.
– Do not lean against the table, do not rock back-and-forth, stand up straight and tall.
Control yourself physically to show that you are at ease and in control, if not they will
know that you are nervous and unprepared.
– Look at your audience as with a sense of what you are saying is urgent and
important.
– Use gestures, they will reveal importance, enthusiasm and excitement.
1 Public Speaking t Win by Dale Carnegie Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– The finest thing that you can do in your speech is not physical or mental, it is spiritual,
loving people. If you can love others and think of others while you’re speaking, it will
make the greatest difference.
– Use certain words while you’re speaking, keywords. Vary your tone of speech going
up and down. Slow down at times and speed up at other times, but do not stay
monotone. Pause before and after important parts of your speech.
– Before your speech, get rested up. It is not good to go before others when you’re
tired.
– Eat sparingly before you speak. Do not eat too much, just enough to nurture you.
– Stand near your listeners, get them all together, breakdown the formalities and be
close to them in order to speak intimately to them.
– The gestures of the speaker should be depend on the character of the speaker. Do
not act like someone you’re not.
– It is seldom that a story is funny, it is often how the story is told that makes it funny.
– Never start a speech by apologizing. Why insult a group of people by telling them that
you are not ready or did not prepare enough, etc.
– Arouse your audience with the first sentence of your speech. Catch their attention
right away.
– Study how magazine and newspaper articles hook readers with their titles. You can
learn more from them then you can from listening to multiple speeches.
– Be very clear, talking in terms that the people understand.
– Talk to the people about subjects that interest them. Remember that everyone’s
favorite subject is themselves.
– Always remember that your audience will be only interested in the subject to the
degree that you are interested in the subject.
– Be distinctive. Do not just use coined phrases that everyone knows, say it in a fresh
way.
2 Public Speaking t Win by Dale Carnegie

Start

start-front-cover-book
by Jon Acuff
– Instead of waiting until you are asked to do something or that a certain time comes,
just go ahead and start now.
– People that we think are geniuses were not able to make any shortcuts, they just
started learning at a earlier age.
– Stand on the shoulders of giants.
– Work harder and smarter.
– Luck is a word that lazy people use to describe someone who has worked hard to
make it to where they are at.
– Your practice will determine how you play in the game.
– Don’t climb the entitlement letter – if you have to tell people do you know who I am,
you yourself have already forgotten.
– Both doubt and fear are like muscles, if you keep using them they will only get
stronger.
– You must kill doubt and fear or they will kill you.
– Be lead, be taught, be a learner.
– Learning from others is something that will catapult you to the next level.
– Volunteer and take every opportunity you get to do what you enjoy.
– You’ll never become good if you do not practice and persist.
– Do not spend more time promoting what you do than practicing what you do.
Promoting will make others think that you are a master, practicing will make you a
master.
1 Start by Jon Acuff

Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts

before
by Les and Leslie Parrott
– We sometimes say until death do us part, but with so many divorces and struggles in
marriage, we should really say until divorce do us part.
– If we spend as much time planning our marriage as we do planning our wedding,
things may be different. The lack of planning in a marriage has stunted many
marriages.
– There are myths in marriage.
1. We expect the same expectations after marriage that we had before marriage.
Before someone gets married they want to do everything together and spend
every waking moment together, believing that’s how their marriage always will
be but that is not the case.
2. Everything in life and marriage will only get better.
Things do not just magically get better, you have to work through them. The
person you are married to is not perfect it might not be how you imagined, so
you have to work through things.
3. Everything bad will just disappear – Cinderella story mindset.
Many people marry to avoid or escape from unpleasant situations. Most
everyone gets married to improve their well-being but both individuals of the
same thought episode (want to escape or avoid home situation) leads to
frustration.
Marriage in one way is just a way of living, we do not expect to have a rosy
life outside of marriage so why should we when we get married.
4. My spouse will make me whole
These are the people that believe they will be nourished and made whole by
being married. They want to be nourished instead of nourishing.
– Love without intimacy is just an illusion.
– Each individual has their own idea of what love is and the wise spouse will figure out
the definition of their spouse’s love to be able to fulfill it.
– The most powerful sex organ that you have is your brain.
1 Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Les and Leslie Parrot Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– Lifelong love does not happen by chance, it’s something that must be worked out by
two individuals working together.
– Three practices that meaningful marriages practice to have lifelong love:
1. Practice meaningful touch.
This is the language of passion.
Successful marriages are diligent to practice meaningful touch.
2. Complement your spouse daily.
Complements feel good, both to give and to receive.
3. Continue dating
Love does not sustain itself, it takes time and effort. Schedule lunches
together or special time together.
– Not listening to your spouse or your marriage. We have a habit of not letting them
finish their idea or jumping to conclusions. Love is cultivated. Listen not just to the
story they’re sharing but to the feelings that come along with what they’re saying.
– Unconditionally accept. Your spouse should not have to walk on egg shells thinking
that if they do not do something exactly how you like it there will be a blowup or they’ll
not be loved.
– Focus on what you have in common instead of the differences. Instead of thinking or
stating that you like sweets and they like salty, talk about how you are both involved in
a specific area, both enjoy a specific hobby, etc.
– After three doctors studied over 6,000 marriages and 3,000 divorce, they concluded
that when a couple has determination to get through something, they almost always
do. Commitment is the mortar that holds them together.
– Happiness in marriage has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with will.
– Life always has un-forseen circumstances that will come your way, and as a couple
you have to determine that no matter what, you will get through them.
– Blaming your spouse for things just takes the responsibility off of yourself and will not
solve any problems.
– Marriage was never meant to make you happy, you are supposed to make your
marriage happy.
2 Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Les and Leslie Parrot Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– Couples report that the number one problem in their marriage is the breakdown of
communication. Whether you sync or swim in your marriage will depend on your
communication skills.
– It is so important to learn how to communicate so that your spouse will listen and how
to listen so that your spouse can communicate.
– Nonverbal communication consists of 58% of the communication. The tone in which
you say it consists of 35% and only 7% consists of the words that you say.
– The best way to know how your spouse feels is to put yourself in their shoes. That is
empathy and will help you understand them.
– The communication skills can be narrowed down to six tools:
1. Make “I” statements, not “you” statements.
2. Practice reflective listening.
3. Understand and accept the differences between men and women.
4. Apologize when necessary.
5. Power down and get off line.
6. Communicate through touch.
– Communication is not what you say but what your partner understands what you said.
– Conflict is inevitable in a relationship, but we have to learn to fight in a fair way.
1. Do not run from strife. Avoiding it or not talking about it will not solve the problem.
We have to talk about it.
2. Choose your battles carefully. Although love may be blind, marriage is like a
magnifying glass. Couples cannot decide on what movie to watch, what to eat,
where to go, etc. Learn what can and should be changed as well as learning
what should be overlooked. So before you gripe about something, ask yourself if
it is worth starting a fight over. Some things are gender issues, some things
should be overlooked and something should really be changed.
3. Define the issue clearly. Before you fight, make sure you are clear about what
you’re fighting about – is the argument really about something that happened
yesterday or is this a real issue?
4. State your feelings directly. Do not be general, tell your spouse your exact
feelings and why.
3 Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Les and Leslie Parrot Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– It is not so important how you started the argument as it is important how you exit the
argument. Learn to defuse the argument instead of keeping it going.
– A couple that prays together will almost always get through problems and have a
better marriage.
– While praying with each other is important in marriage, praying for each other is just
as important.
4 Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Les and Leslie Parrot