✪ If you are like me then you probably have a lot of books you read 70-80% but never finished. I had some extra time to get caught up with those this week.
✪ Send Me, I’ll Go: Letting the Mission Choose Your Direction – My favorite chapters are probably 8-10. This book powerfully shows how the church is commanded to ‘proactively declare the gospel to unbelieving individuals in an effort to make them maturing disciples of Christ’. From this position, that of the great commission being the paradigm for the church, the author argues that this should result in an increase of disciple-makers being exported into all the world, especially sent to those places where ‘unheards’ are in abundance, and the light of the gospel is dim. It pleads for those whose lives have been changed by the gospel to surrender their plans, interests, passions, and dreams so that they can be thrust into the gospel-dark places of the world. He doesn’t hold back on the cost of fulfilling such a task and calls us to be willing to pay whatever price necessary to make ‘maturing disciples’ of the nations. From the book: “the cultural mandate given in Genesis is like the original road that man was to follow before he got off course; the Great Commission is the new, “recalculated” course that the GPS has drawn to take us to our original destination, out of the mess into which we have got ourselves.” 
✪ done.: What most religions don’t tell you about the Bible – I started reading this book because they have it in Chinese. I finally finished it. It is a short book that is written more like an extended tract and presents the gospel with more information that a single page tract could. This quote from the book sums it up: “…it’s not about DO…it’s about DONE!” 
✪ Worship Matters (Foreword by Paul Baloche): Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God – I enjoyed this book. I have no music talent whatsoever, but I am helping lead those who do and learning how to teach them to lead in their respective music ministry, so this was a helpful book. From the book: “Being an artist is no justification for sin. If I care about my team, I’ll hold them accountable to pursue godly character and will help them grow.5 I’ll take the time to follow up on questions or concerns I have about someone’s behavior. If it turns out they’re unwilling to change, I’ll get a pastor involved and will possibly ask them to take a sabbatical. Their godly attitude is more important to me than their great musicianship.” 
✪ Lincoln On Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times – I loved this book. It examines the life of Abraham Lincoln and boils down his leadership style into several practical points that we can apply to our lives. It is helpful to see his life as the example of the leadership played out instead of just reading some principles. All striving leaders should read this book. From the book: “Abraham Lincoln was naturally inquisitive, and he possessed this inherent capacity to learn. He also had the desire to learn new things, which led him to be unusually innovative. It is no wonder that he changed the American presidency so profoundly in the span of only four years.” 
✪ My mother-in-law arrived and will be with us this week. We have loved her being here. The kids are enjoying their time with her!
✪ We restarted the Kids’ Club finally…on Sunday mornings. This will help with focusing on getting kids into church, as it is right before our morning service and keeping the focus on those who don’t have a church. We had a good turnout last week, even though we didn’t announce it until Saturday afternoon.
✪ My wife and mother-in-law made an early “Thanksgiving dinner” last night, and it was awesome!
✪ We are completely humbled from Sunday. The church had a pastor appreciation time for my wife and I during the second service. They gave me flowers to give to my wife and then had me publicly thank her for serving with me. Then they presented each of us with a plaque. Finally, each person stood up and said encouraging words about how God has used us in their lives. We are truly blessed, and all the glory goes to God!
✪ God is working in China. Consider coming and working with us! God bless!