Monthly Roundup : Activities, Books, and Articles

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This last month included one of the most unproductive weeks in my entire life.

It was primarily the result of a massively infected boil on my back that resulted in 3 days in bed and another 4 really slow days of recovery.  Sorry if that’s too much information.  (I decided against including pictures.)   :)

I returned to a village called Lavora with my family, and by that evening, my fears were confirmed: I had a boil.  Since we were in the village, it was impossible for me to properly treat it.  From Monday to Thursday the monster grew.

I spent Thursday afternoon, Friday, and Saturday in bed.  I even tried doing some computer work on Saturday, but it was impossible to find a position where I could type that wasn’t too painful.

Thankfully, by early Sunday morning, the infection started to heal, and I was able to get to church.

The result of being very limited in my activities for a week was a sort of mini-depression.  I was able in a very small way to sympathize with those who have chronic illness.

The next week I started off my four days without Internet.

I’m finding it’s hard to run an online business when your Internet isn’t working.  It sort of impacts productivity :).

Books I’ve read/am reading

The Pursuit of God.  Yes, I’m re-reading it.  I’m trying to slowly inch my way through a page or two a day so that I can reflect on Tozer’s powerfully challenging words.

If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland.  This book was recommended in another book I was reading, but it’s a little too ethereal and artsy for me.  But I’m still plugging away at the book.

Re-Entry: Making the Transition from Missions to Life at Home by Peter Jordan.  A very helpful book full of practical suggestions on how to smooth the re-entry process.  I definitely recommend it for missionaries preparing to transition back to their passport country.

God’s Story, Your Story: When His Becomes Yours by Max Lucado.  I’ve been reading this book as part of my morning devotionals.  His writing is very interesting, and I definitely feel ‘at peace’ when reading.

Independent Contractor, Sole Proprietor, and LLC Taxes Explained in 100 Pages or Less by Mike Piper.  I’ve been following Mike’s blog for a few years.  The book was on sale for $1 (on Amazon Kindle), and I thought I should be sure that I was up on the tax implications of my business.  I’m not sure I learned anything new, but I was glad I read it to be sure that I wasn’t overlooking any crucial part of the business taxes.

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds.  Trent Hamm from the Simple Dollar recommended this book for anyone making presentations.  I got it because someone suggested if I were to do Transforming Your Financial Diet Workshops, it should be ‘multimedia’.  The book is highly practical and will help make my future presentations with power point more focused.

The War Of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield.  I confirmed it with this book.  The art part of my brain has malfunctioned.  Several people had recommended this book, but I really didn’t like it.  Again, the ideas were too abstract and too distant for me.  Perhaps one day I’ll appreciate good writing.

The Art of Coming Home by Craig Storti.  An excellent book for people transitioning back to their home culture.  I particularly enjoyed how Storti was able to explain why ‘homecoming’ is hard, and he helped me understand more about what it means to be ‘home’.

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide – How to Market any Book for Free by Mark Coker.  I read this book after I re-launched Transforming Your Financial Diet.  Perhaps I should have read it before …

The Flinch by Julien Smith.  If you fear change, novelty, or just fear, then you should get this free Kindle book.  I’m slowly starting to learn that we cannot grow and develop without facing our fears.

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns.  Remember my mini-depression from being attached to my bed for a week?  Well, I thought it was time to dust off this book that was on my shelf and read it again.  The book has some insightful points about self talk that is useful for anyone with emotional struggles or who lives with or works with people who struggle with feeling good.

Articles Roundup

A sampler from Christian Debt Coach – Three Killer Attack Strategies to Help You Annihilate Your Debt and How to Love Each Other Life Romeo and Juliet (Even When You’re Going Through a Financial Crisis).

Over at Help Me Travel Cheap, I’ve been teaching folks how to get close to two years of free flights on Southwest (in less than 15 minutes).

Kingdom Living has a short, yet encouraging post called a Generous Gift.

ChristianPF discusses The Anomaly Investment: Treasures in Heaven.

Personal Finance by the Book introduces 9 Practical Ways to Love God More than Money.


Carnival of Personal Finance I, Carnival of Personal Finance II, Carnival of Personal Finance III.


  1. says


    Presentation Zen is a good book, and I agree that it’ll help you create more focused PowerPoint slides if you do workshops.

    Check out clips of Garr on YouTube. He has an engaging style.

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