Book Review: “The DNA of Relationships” by Gary Smalley

Dr. Smalley has been writing for decades now about relationship (a trip to Book Sale or any 2nd hand bookstore will affirm that) which it is a no surprise that he would release another one on that subject. You might think what else he could write about or this might contain the usual advice he gives in his previous books. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing that we have some tools that are up to date and can be use to improve our relationship.
In “The DNA of Relationships” Team Smalley delivers well crafted research on relationship that is distilled in this short book. We must remember that life is relationships. We build relationships and we are wired for relationships. Relationship does have a share of the good, the bad and the ugly. Every struggle will eventually hurt people and dishonors God. “The DNA of Relationships” brings upfront “self care” that is not centered with us but exalts God and uplifts others in the process. Self care according to the book is revolutionary and can be attained by having a healthy communication, finding a win-win solution and changing one’s self.
Some advice here are common but you can still find nuggets of wisdom in this book. This book is a good tool to aid us in fixing our relationships.

3 Things Books That Are Given to You Say about You

Birthdays or Christmas you will receive a present from your friend. And it’s a great thing if you receive something to read for your spiritual growth. So what does these gifts of books say about you? Here are 3 of them:

  1. You might be in the ministry- you might be a leader or a pastor, a season veteran or new believer etc., that’s why they gave you that book is to empower you in your Christian walk.
  2. You might be a ‘fan’ of the author – aside of the spiritual nourishment of the book, people knows you really like the author or they might convert you to be a fan of this gifted author.
  3. You might be in a situation that needs encouragement – you may not say it aloud but your Christian friend might be discerning that you’re in a crisis that needs a lift. Thank him for giving that book and ask him to pray for you in that situation.

So that’s my list. Do you have number 4?

4 Things Books That You Give Say about You

Previously I listed down the 3 things books that you receive say about you, now let’s turn the tables by listing 4 things books you gave as gifts say about you.

  1. You’re an advocate- in reading Christian books that is. You are a sort of advocate for people who are not interested in reading but by giving a book you are saying they should read.
  2. You’re a ministry supporter – you shape and uphold potential church leaders and new comers in the ministry not just giving financially but by sending them a book on leadership or church planting. These people will thank you for what you have done to them.
  3. You’re an investor – business and properties are not just the ones we should invest but people’s potential. This is the fruit of number 2, that you will see Christians gain a deep conviction of their calling and how their plans for the future fits perfectly with God’s will. In the end everyone will benefit this investment you have given to this brother in Christ.
  4. You’re a cheerer – you give books for those who need encouragement when they are down and lonely. It speaks volumes without saying a word in a well chosen book how God is in control in the life of a Christian.

Anything you might like to add? Is there a number 5?

There Goes the Rub

Being at this year’s 34th Manila International Bookfair (MIBF) is such a joy not only to dig your hands to books but also to meet authors of your favorite books. I know National Bookstore, Summit Media and PsiCom have guest authors dropping by to meet and greet fans, Christian publishers and ministries have their own version of it. For us readers it meant a lot to see the writers who made our day by enjoying their books. For the publishers’ side it adds flair to the event and encourages people to read Christian stuff. So this year, I met three Christian authors at Church Strengthening Ministry (CSM) booth.

First one is the author of the“O Assuming Lang?” series, Ptr. Armand Canoy. I grab his book “Pastor Nga Ba o Assuming Lang?” and got it signed. With the looks and how he talks, I could dismiss him as more of a businessman rather than a pastor! Nevertheless, he is a nice and accommodating. Like William Girao last year, I ask him my “million dollar question”. “Are you a Calvinist?” He replied he teach both theological views in Bible school. So I clarify my question: “What’s you stand on Calvinism?” Again, he replied that he don’t favor any views because both can be found in the Bible (well that’s how I recall it). To change the topic, he asked me if I’m a pastor. I said I’m not. He followed it with another question: “Do you have a calling?” “I’m praying for it…” I replied. He told me that in this book you’ll read about how I will know if you have a pastoral calling. After a couple of photos, he gave me a handshake and I’m off to the next booth.

Its 12 noon and I don’t feel hungry.  That time I fetch (or is it vise versa) Dems outside at the counter so we can tag along (which happens to be documented at my Part 2 of MIBF 2013 adventure). She’s eager to meet another author at the CSM booth. So after visiting the OMF booth, talking to Mr. Lawrence Chan and finding an ATM, finally it’s time to meet Ate Marlene Munar Legaspi. She is the author of the bestselling book “Add Mo Ko As Friend” (which this blog reviewed) and her fresh new book “Life In the Middle”. She is very warm and friendly, we immediately had this delightfipul chat. Dems didn’t know that Ate Marlene and I are already friends. Dems met her at the OMF Bloggers Fellowship. So she told us a little bit about the new book about being in the mid-life (which Dems and I don’t relate but enthusiastically endorse it). I ask Ate Marlene to sign my Bible. As she was signing it, she wrote “Enjoy your Life in…” which I made it a joke that she should not put the words “in the Middle” (pertaining to the new book) because I not in my mid life yet. She finished it with “Christ” so I made sigh of relief which made us all laugh. That was one funny moment!

As we are talking with Ate Marlene, I notice a familiar face sitting on the sofa, signing and having pictures with a kid that made me look twice. Wow its Grace Chong! So I told Dems about it and she gave me a nod that it’s Grace Chong indeed. So I approached her, gave my Bible and ask for an autograph. She signed it and asked me if I’m a pastor (twice that day someone asked me that). I told her I’m not and I’m still praying for it.

Thank you again to CSM and OMF for having their authors over the event. I had an awesome time rubbing elbows with people who you take pleasure in reading their works and looking up to them as writers. As readers we will continue to support your books and authors especially Filipinos.

Meeting the CLC Philippines Gang

                One of the most memorable moments at the Manila International Bookfair (MIBF) is stopping at the CLC booth. I’m not good at introducing or presenting myself. I easily shy away. So I did the “silent” approach at the CLC Philippines booth. As I was checking the books out, some from the CLC personnel identified me. They immediately gave me the warmest welcomes and smiles. We had a photo-op at their cool backdrop and I met the CLC staff.

                Before dropping by the CLC (Christian Literature Crusade) Philippines booth, I already did my book shopping over Christian Growth Ministries (CGM) and CSM (Church Strengthening Ministries) booth. I also visit Lighthouse, OMF, Biblica and Philippine Bible Society. I made CLC sort final stop, the cherry on my Sundae, metaphorically. And boy, I got a surprised from the CLC crews’ warm welcome.

                I’ve been reviewing CLC Philippines books for a couple of months now and it’s an honor to finally meet these guys who I get in touch in Facebook or by e-mail. I get to meet Ptr. Chris, Sir Don Tan, Mam Shella, Sir Jack etc.I had a great time with them and I get to know those behind the scene stuff from Mam Shella.

Like booths of OMF and CSM, CLC offers also 100 pesos books. They have great titles on the pile and for sure you can find something that will suit you. I love their booth this bookfair unlike last year. They have this backdrop thing were you can take pictures with you and your barkada. A great way to promote CLC Philippines. Kudos for the creativity guys!

Again CLC thank you for the opportunity for reviewing your books and I hope you enjoyed the “panucha” I gave you. I assure you, you’re sweeter that those “panucha” because of your dedication to Christ. I know you’re tired and all but you did a great job out there in MIBF. More book reviews to come! See you guys next year!

Adventures at the MIBF 2013 Part 2

Now with fellow blogger and Christian friend, Dems Angeles of My Kind of Perfect, we are up and ready to check the booths. As for me, this will be my 3rd lurk de France in the bookfair, but I might missed something. As I tag along with Dems, I affirm that I did miss something. She didn’t buy a book but claimed two from OMF as a prize on their online promo. As we wait for the toddler’s book (that’s for her goddaughter) I had a glimpse of the History Channel’s “The Bible” series. You might say that I’m harsh but I don’t like it.

We left OMF to meet one of her friend, a blogger; author and Manila tour guide Lawrence Chan. So he talks about lots of great stuff and I find this guy quite likeable. He led us to the National Book Development Board (NBDB) booth which offers application forms for authors. We’ll if bloggers counts as authors we are in (although Dems and I both contributed articles for magazines). So the kind lady from NBDB gave us forms and we need to get all the requirements so we can be registered. Wow we are officially authors! Also thanks to Sir Lawrence, we had a free graphology from his friend. They call it a science in knowing your personality by your hand writing. Dems and I got some dose of it that it got me half an hour to get over it. Sir Lawrence then took us some booths and we stop by Goodwill to check some freebies. Unfortunately, we got nothing. So it’s time to say goodbye to Sir Lawrence and I hope to meet him again.

After a walkathon to find the ATM outside the venue, we went back to find ourselves getting lost (that happened twice) over the long lines of Psicom and Summit fans, to went to back to CSM booth to meet Ate Marlene (which you can read in the next post). Another strolling here and there, we chat about blogging and books. Till we feel our feet tired of walking and our tummy rumbling we decided to have lunch (another walkathon again). It’s Saturday and as expected every food outlets are jam packed. Thank goodness we find seats outside Kenny Rogers. Once had our rest and lunch, its bye bye for Dems (who will catch up an event at Libis) and me (going back to the venue).

By the way, you might not know, Best of Anime 2013 was simultaneously on going up stairs at the SMX that day. I happen to drop by and got to enjoy my 60 minutes at the event. But since I can’t discuss this here nor write an article about it I might as well direct you to the photos at my Facebook account. Just click here and drool over the images. And oh while you are there, be sure to add me up as friend, OK?

So again guys it’s been a great year for MIBF and I hope to see you and your friends next year! Enjoy reading!

5 Essential Things to Do to Finish Reading a Book

Some of us are struggling in finishing a book. At first we got fired up in reading a new book. But as we go through a few chapters, our flame diminishes. The book could be boring, very long or we already know what the book is leading us. In any rate, before the fire of reading goes out, here are five things to do to finish devouring a book:

1.       Randomly pick chapters or sections to read- chapter or section jumping is very helpful especially if the book’s chapters and sections are stand alone. Select parts of the book that appeals to you first. Read shorter sections or chapters. As you read this way you’ll finish the book in the breeze.

2.   Have a reading buddy or participate on blog “read together” method– asks someone to read along with you. It will be encouraging to have a friend sharing a book. He may tell the content of the book to you and create an appetite for you to read the book for yourself. Also there are blogs who are having a “read together” campaign that encourage followers of a blog to read a chapter of a book and have a weekly discussion on it online. Tim Challies has one on his blog and fans of his blog read classic Christian works with him which is cool. He also provides beforehand where to get the book and what format it is available. Try to find blogs with similar scheme.

3.   Read positive things on the book- check the blurbs, reviews, interviews, book trailer or additional resources of the book. It will ignite you passion over and over again to go on reading it.

4.   Listen or read sermons and articles the book came from- Christian books sometimes evolved from a smaller work of an author. Try to find sermons and articles which are tidbits of the book. It will give you a push to read to till the end. It also may help you read the book easy because you already know some parts of it.

 5.  Read it in an unusual pace and place- you don’t have to set a specific time and place for reading a book. Don’t read it every day do it every other day. Try to squeeze it in your idle time. Get out of the school library or your reading den (if you have one) try reading it while riding a bus, waiting for someone or eating a snack at a convenient store.


Any more you could add? Please include it on the comment.

4 Awesome Things to do to Unread Books

You don’t own Barnes and Nobles but it seems your room is brimful of books. Either some gave it to you or bought it without thinking. You want to read all but unfortunately you can’t. Also you are losing space on your shelf.  Here are 4 tips on what to do with unread books:

  1. Copy quotable lines – Yes. Scan the book for great quotes then post it on Facebook or Twitter. Better yet make a quote blog.
  2. Use it as a tool for promoting reading– Maybe someone is not interested in reading so it’s a best way to encourage them. As an added bonus, give it to them for free.
  3. Donate it at your library – Every library is in need of new titles for people to access. Have a heart give it to them.
  4. As a coffee table or for interior design purposes – Lay those books on the table for other to see, read or start a discussion. It will be great if its Christian books so that your unbelieving friends will grab and check it out. If they ask for it, give it away.

Any more you can add? Please post it on the comments.

8 Cool Ways to Encourage Reading a Book

 Is there someone you know that is indifferent on reading books? Do you want to unleash within him the bookworm he ought to be? Here is a list of ideas to encourage a friend to sit and read a book:

  1. Give someone a book – This one is a no brainer. Nothing can be more encouraging than giving a book as a gift to a non-reading friend.
  2. Give DVDs of book-adapted movies – Then say something like “The Chronicles of Narnia movies are adapted from C. S. Lewis books. I think some parts of the movie are slightly changed and some details are dropped. If you read the book it will fill those parts and more.”
  3. Give them different format of the book – They might have an I-Pad so give them e-books of that book. Audio books in MP3 is great too specially when they are driving to work or at the gym.
  4. Show someone websites that have free books – Maybe your friend is not into reading because he doesn’t have a budget to buy a book and too shy to borrow. There are gazillions of websites that offers e-books in different format and different genre. Some publishers on their websites give away fresh new titles in digital formats just by entering your e-mail address.
  5. Point out heroes of your friend and their favorite books – You can tell them their favorite celebrities, sports personalities and political figures read these kinds of books and shaped them who they are today. That will thrill them to consider picking up that book.
  6. Show them some books inspired social media – Goodreads, Scribd, and Issuu are awesome. Give them links over their site, encourage them to make an online shelf and even put an app on their favorite social media profile. Make them click on “Want to Read” buttons and encourage them to read the actual stuff.
  7. Show things that you have made out of reading books – Let them taste that Korean food you learned from a cookbook. Give them a sample of stunning photographs snag from a How-To photography book. Show your nifty room damped with some interior design you copied to an interior designing magazine. This way they won’t just be encouraged to read the book but find its usefulness in their life.
  8. Place them in a teaching ministry – whether a Bible Study group or Kid’s ministry they will be force to read materials they will teach. Not only will it enhance someone’s spiritual gift but create an appetite to appreciate the joy of reading.

Do you have number 9? Please post it on the comment.

J. Oswald Sanders on the Price of Leadership

On his book “Facing Loneliness”, J. Oswald Sanders writes loneliness as a price of being a leader:

“Human nature craves companionship and it is a natural desire for a leader to wish to share with others the burden of care, especially when decisions of far-reaching consequence must be made. It is heartbreaking at times for a leader to have to make adverse decisions affecting the future of loved colleagues-and make them alone. This is one of the costliest aspects of leadership, but sometimes it must be paid if one’s leadership is to be productive.”

(“Facing Loneliness” by J. Oswald Sanders, pg. 101, Copyright 1988 by Highland Books published by Discovery House)