The Life-Giving Leader by Tyler Reagin, A Book Review


About The Life-Giving Leader

The president of Catalyst Leader believes that the most impactful and most influential leaders are the ones who lead from who they truly are, not who they pretend or wish to be.

With clear biblical teaching and personal accounts, Tyler Reagin not only demonstrates the necessity of life-giving leadership, but also provides the steps you’ll need to begin knowing and leading from your truest self. From his experiences in high-impact leadership roles at some of our nation’s largest churches and ministries, Reagin has learned firsthand the importance of identity-based leadership. His desire is to help each reader become an empowered, confident leader that brings life and vibrancy to every room they enter. Whether you’ve got the corner office or you’re just getting started, Reagin gives you the tools you need to become an impactful and unique influencer right where you are!

My Review: When I decided to read and review this book, I was a little hesitant because I’m not a leader in the traditional sense. But, as I thought about it, I decided that I want to be a leader in how I live my life. With that in mind, surely I would find some parts of this book informative and enlightening?

That turned out to be an understatement.

As it turns out, whether I’m a “leader” in the traditional sense or not, I can and absolutely should still lead. I found that this book applied to me and the way I wish to live my life, very well indeed.

I have so many takeaways from this book.  One of the most significant for me was simply the idea of leading from your truest self. Knowing who you are and embracing your uniqueness, helps you to be an effective leader. God has given each of us passions, talents and gifts and we will live and lead best when we operate out of our uniqueness.

He didn’t create just a part of you for a unique purpose. He created all of you for 100 percent of your purpose.

As I said, reading this book, leader or not, not once did I feel that any part of it was irrelevant to my life. The author talks about four characteristics of leaders, sighting them as the 4 s’s. Sweat, sacrifice, surrender and serve. I want to exemplify these four characteristics in the way I live my life every day. He also speaks a lot about teams. But, whether you’re on a team or not, I believe this applies to all of our relationships. Putting others first, taking the time to know and value them, advocate for them and appreciate their unique gifts, are all things we should be practicing in all our relationships.

I loved this book. I think it’s a vital read not only for all leaders, but for all Christ-followers as well.

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah as part of the LIFE GIVING book launch team.

When Through Deep Waters by Rachelle Dekker: A Book Review

Alicen McCaffrey finally has the life her mother always dreamed for her: beautiful home in Santa Monica, successful husband, adorable daughter. Then tragedy blows her carefully assembled façade to pieces. Worse yet—Alicen feels solely responsible. At rock bottom, she decides to accompany a childhood friend back to Red Lodge, Montana, where they spent summers together as kids.

The peaceful mountain landscape, accented with lush forests and small-town charm, brings back happy memories of time spent with her beloved, eccentric Grandma Josephine. Alicen begins to hope that perhaps things could be different here. Perhaps the oppressive guilt will lift—if only for a moment.

But when Alicen starts hearing voices and seeing mysterious figures near the river in the woods, she begins to fear she’s completely lost her sanity, as it’s rumored her grandmother did. Or might there be more to Red Lodge than meets the eye? Could the voices and visions be real—and her only means of finding the healing she so desperately needs? Or will they prove to be her final undoing?

My Review: This is the first book I’ve read by Rachelle Dekker. The feeling I’m left with is intrigue, mixed with a little bit of eye-raising. I found the story gripping and very intense. It was fast-paced and kept my interest quite well. I felt that the character of Alicen was very well written and her emotional state very genuine. I found the way the author wrote about the spiritual realm and salvation to be very intriguing, but also a little confusing. It was hard for me to tell exactly what message she was trying to get across spiritually, as it felt a little “magical” at times. I’m fairly certain she was trying to portray the gospel message in a unique and somewhat poetic kind of way, but I think it may have been a little too…something. I absolutely loved the character of Louise and I so appreciated the friendship that she and Alicen shared. I think this book was well written and I definitely enjoyed reading it and look forward to more by this author.

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

As the Tide Comes In by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall: A Book Review

@WaterBrookMultnomah #Partner

This review is going to be a bit more emotionally driven than most.

This is a novel about loss and grief and the effects that grief has on us. It’s also a beautiful story of love and restoration.

This book was a timely read for me, as I just suffered a major loss in my life. Reading this book, I identified so much with Tara and the grief
she experienced. I found her emotions and reactions to be very realistic and true. Though the circumstances and details of her loss differ quite a bit from mine, it’s still grief and grief is a powerful and complex emotion. I really applaud the authors for handling this sensitive subject with such care and authenticity.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were all quite lovable and fun, the setting was beautiful and the story was complex.

The biggest take away I have from this book are a few excerpts where the characters are talking about loss and grief. These lines really hit home with me, so I’d like to share them.

(I removed a few spots of character detail, so that the reader isn’t distracted by it and can really let these words soak in.)

“It matters what condition a person lived and died in. Every crumb of love matters, and I’d dare say you gave a feast.”

“And they died knowing you loved them, knowing you believed in them, knowing you wanted the best for them. They died with happiness, hope and thankfulness in their hearts. Love did that, and you were love’s vessel.”

“No, your love protected and preserved for as long as it was in your hands to do so. The moment they went from this life to the next, God’s love met them without the necessary aid of a human vessel.”

“We are all vessels. We will carry something to everyone we come in contact with. Let’s choose to be vessels of love, patience, hope and faith. When it’s all said and done, whether you’re the one in the ground or a loved one is, the times you won’t regret are the times you loved deeply with patience and kindness and sacrifice.”

These words really hit home and fit my present grief circumstances quite well. I love the idea of being love’s vessel. That God would use me on this earth to show love to someone, that they would leave this world with happiness, hope and thankfulness in their heart. That I was able to send them from this world feeling loved, straight into the loving arms of their Heavenly Father. What an awesome gift God gives us. The ability to be love and to receive love.

This is a great book and a very emotional read, especially for anyone who has felt deep loss in their lives. I feel like I’m painting it as a sad book, and it’s not. It’s emotional, and if you’ve experienced loss, especially recently, it will hit home quite a bit. But, it is a very well-balanced story, ultimately one that is filled with hope, joy and love.

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

How to be a Perfect Christian by The Babylon Bee: A Book Review #PRHpartner

With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The OnionHow to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith.

Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your “holiness” as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern, American Christian community.

My Review: I have never laughed so hard, out loud reading a book. Ever.

If you’ve never read The Babylon Bee, you should know right now, it’s complete satire. Their timely articles are always hilarious, yet always spot on. Their book is exactly the same, hilarious, yet spot on.

The writers of The Babylon Bee do not hold back and do not shy away from poking fun at every aspect of Christian culture. It’s harmless fun, and pretty much true, so try not to be offended when they target you!

This book gives us detailed instructions on “How to be the Perfect Christian”. Each chapter is full of wise advice on how to set ourselves apart from the crowd and obtain perfection status. From finding the right church that will serve our needs, to looking spiritual online, this book gives us exactly what we need to rock Christianity!

Though this book is complete satire (and kudos to The Babylon Bee for flawlessly and unashamedly remaining so throughout the entire book!) the message in it is one of profound truth.

As Christians, we take ourselves too seriously. We too often try in our own strength to be holy, obtain perfection and appear “Christian”. We judge each other for our differences, we exclude others that aren’t just like us and we constantly compare ourselves to others. We work so hard at keeping up appearances and playing church, that we often forget who it’s all about. It’s not about us, our comfort, our status, our online presence, our political party or our anything. It’s about Him. It’s about Jesus, the only perfect one who has saved us by His amazing grace.

Serious Kudos to The Babylon Bee for not being afraid to convict us in the most hilarious way possible.

*I received a copy of this book from Multnomah Publishers free of charge in exchange for my honest review.