Alright, confession!! I’m nervous posting this since it’s my first non-Inklings’s announcement video. Eee! But here it is and hope y’all enjoy! I also promise I don’t say “so, yeah!” that much in real life. Apparently that’s my phrase for YouTube though.
Oh look, I’m reviewing a devotional book for couples on marriage. How did this go down? Well….so….you see…what happened was… I saw the this book as a review option from Tyndale and that it was by Tony and Lauren Dungy, so requested it without further investigation. I figured it was a book about their relationship, plus, I mean, it’s the Dungy’s.
Turns out this is a devotional for married couples.
That’s what we call a win for a single person.
But I stay committed to fulfilling my book review promises, so without further ado, let’s chat about all things marriage. 🙂
Marriage is an adventure unlike any other. At times, you and your spouse may feel so close, connected, and in love that you’re ready to take on the world together. But other times, things grow distant, and you wonder where all the joy and excitement has gone. What is the secret to a happy, healthy, God-honoring marriage—one that will last through anything that comes your way?
Join Tony and Lauren Dungy in The Uncommon Marriage Adventure, a series of daily reflections for couples. With transparency, wisdom, and humor, the Dungys share what they’ve learned over 30 years of marriage about faith, teamwork, conflict, communication, and more. Through each day’s reading, you and your spouse will go deeper in loving, understanding, and learning to serve each other. Dare to embark on your own marriage adventure—and discover how to make your relationship truly uncommon.
Well, with this book the Dungy’s stay strong in my list of favorite famous couples. I loved the stories, the honesty, the chuckles, the serious moments and the truth they aren’t afraid to share. For married couples, this is a gem. They have short daily devotions that couples can read together and a question/action to go through. I love that their heart for people shines through the pages. They truly desire to see people in strong and growing marriages and it’s awesome.
The devotional is based on core principles of an uncommon marriage and many are just as applicable to a non-married person. Some include include: Focus on the Bible and Christ, communicate well and often, not running away from conflict and serving others. Good stuff right? Plus, you don’t have to like sports or football to benefit from this book!
I may or may not get married and it’s something I don’t like to worry about or focus on, but this book was a beautiful reminder that if I do, I want to be with a man who loves the Lord with his whole heart. It’s easy to settle when the wait seems long (do I have a story or two….), but when it comes to relationships, what the Lord has planned is always worth the wait. So fellow singles, be encouraged by the Dungy’s marriage and how amazing a relationship can be when centered fully on Christ!
What’s another book about marriage or relationships you would recommend?
(Thank you to Tyndale for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review)
I’ve noticed recently I’m not one of the “young guns” anymore. Between having to use more facial products than ever before, to my knees having the ability to predict the weather, I’ve fully embraced this new life stage. I’m not saying I’m nearing retirement (only in my thirties internet), but professional athletes my age are close to throwing in the towel and some of my co-workers were in college after my 10 year reunion (how did this happen people?!).
I look back at college fondly, but of course there’s plenty of wisdom I could have used. Since college, there’s been some incredible books that have shaped much of who I am, so I want to give any of you young folks a head start with this list of eight books you should read in your early twenties. You know, ones that will stick with you. Unlike that Introduction to Philosophy book you pretended to have read by highlighting random paragraphs each chapter. Not that I did that. I would never…
Of course, if you aren’t in your 20s, I still think you should read these! 🙂
So here they are (in no particular order) along with a favorite quote:
1. Crazy Love by Francis Chan. There are few books out there that have caused a paradigm shift in my thinking. I never use the word paradigm, but for this book, it’s fitting. It opened up my eyes to so many convicting truths and moved truth I knew in my head into action with my heart.
“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust in Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.”
2. Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. How do I begin to describe this book? It’s a fast read and one you’ll cry in. It’s based on the true story of a homeless drifter whose life collides with a wealthy art dealer and his wife. The story these people lived out is incredible. You’ll leave a better person after reading this book, with an understanding of love in action and you’ll want to save the world.
“The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or somethin in between, this earth ain’t no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless – just workin our way toward home.” Denver Moore
3. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. If you follow me on social media, you’ll notice I talk about C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien about every 14 seconds (not really, but just go with it). Why? They were geniuses. Lewis’ collection of World War II radio broadcasts on the fundamentals of Christianity are fantastic. He wrote them while his country was at war and being bombed nightly by the Nazis, so the truth in some ways, hits a little deeper.
“Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”
4. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller. Simply put: Read this book. It’s the Mere Christianity of our generation. I’m pretty sure I highlighted something on every page. It’s an easy read (which is awesome considering the topic) and you’ll gain tons of insight. And if you don’t consider yourself someone of faith, I still recommend this one. I’d love to know what your thoughts are after reading it. Such a great book!
“Once you realize how Jesus changed for you and gave himself for you, you aren’t afraid of giving up your freedom and therefore finding your freedom in Him.”
5. Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy. Tony Dungy is an incredible human being and just when I thought he couldn’t be more awesome, he did 4 Questions. He and his wife, Lauren, live out an inspiring story (full of some heart breaking moments) and it’s an incredible example of what it means to live your life fully following and trusting in Jesus.
“One of the most important truths I want to impress on you is this: You were created by God. You’ve probably heard that before – maybe so often that it has lost its meaning. So take a minute to let it sink in. You were created by God! Before you were ever born, He knew who you would be. You are designed with a unique combination of abilities, interests, and passions that has never been before and will never been seen in anyone again.”
6. The Giver by Lois Lowry. Curve ball right? I know it might seem random, but I love this book. We were created for a beautiful and adventurous story, but too many people lose sight of that. So why this book? I love how it reveals this, displays it and stirs your heart.
“Now he was [starving]. If he had stayed in the community, he would not be…If he had stayed, he would have starved in other ways. He would have lived a life hungry for feelings, for color, for love.”
7. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. The lessons from ten Boom’s life have inspired people around the world. Her family hid Jews in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. They were turned in and sent to concentration camps (her Dad and sister would both die in them). Yet, they trusted the Lord in every situation. They were a light in the darkest of times. She is a beautiful example of courage and faith. This quote was said by her sister before she died in the Ravensbrück death camp: “We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still.” Wow.
8. Quitter by Jon Acuff. The vast array of sources young college-age dreamers have now is amazing (no really, when I was in college, email addresses were barely becoming a thing. I got my first email address then and thought I was so clever creating [email protected] One of my many awesome choices at the wise ol’ age of 18. I’m sure it’s available if you’re interested in taking it over. I won’t mind). One source you should grab first? Quitter. Full of humor and advice from someone who has been there, this book will guide you in the path you want to go and hopefully save you from mistakes along the way.
“Your gift is never nothing.”
Honorable mentions include The Soul of Politics by Jim Wallis and Roaring Lambs by Bob Briner. Both were written in the 90s (gasp!), but have solid principles and were the first books to really open my eyes to social justice and Christians’ impact on culture.
Alright wise readers, what would you add to this list? Have you read any of these?
Like this needs an introduction. Because I mean really, it’s Tony Dungy. You know, just one of the greatest NFL coaches OF ALL TIME.
Some might say I’m a fan of Tony Dungy (evidence can be found here and here), but can you blame me or anyone else for that matter?? He’s not only great at what he does, he lives out an incredible story that is inspiring and encouraging.
If you aren’t a sports fan and thus have no idea who Tony Dungy is, here’s a few stats:
- He’s won two Super Bowls (as a player and a coach)
- He’s awesome
- He was the first African American Head Coach to win a Superbowl
- He’s awesome
- He’s also the first NFL head coach to defeat all 32 NFL teams
- And he’s awesome
He’s also an incredible family man, helping to launch All Pro Dad. If you haven’t heard, All Pro Dad “strives to help fathers become passionate about their role in their family’s life.” Providing encouragement and resources their heart is to “provide them every resource needed to rightly train up their children and give them a hopeful future.” I love this because I can tell you from the blessing of personal experience, having an amazing dad is a life altering thing!
Not only that, through The Dungy Family Foundation, there’s a reading program. A reading program!! I’ll give you one guess how excited and happy this makes me! I partner with a program with the same heart (more to come on this soon, but it’s called Reach out and Read) and the smiles kids have when you read to them is incredible. Plus, doing something as simple as reading to young children really makes a difference.
So enough from me and onto 4 Questions with Tony Dungy!
1) What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
I would have never thought I would be working in television. I thought I would be retired and relaxing but the Lord had other plans. I am enjoying the platform I now have with NBC and love the fact that I’m still involved with football.
2) What is the one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would go back to my college days and be more engaged spiritually. I went to church and was involved in Christian activities when I was growing up but I got away from it in college. I just got busy with football and academics. I didn’t really grow spiritually during those four years and that’s probably the one thing about my life I would change.
3) What is the one of the happiest moments of your life?
I’ve had so many happy moments. Getting to play in the NFL, winning a couple of Super Bowls, getting married and celebrating the birth of our children. It’s hard to pick out one happy moment since God has blessed me with so many, but those would be the highlights.
4) What is the one thing you want the next generation to know?
I always try to tell the younger people I talk to to think about their futures. My favorite verse in the bible is Matthew 16:26 which says “What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” To me that means don’t focus too much on temporary things. Set goals and strive to reach them but don’t neglect the long-term eternal things. Those are much more important.
Thank you so so so much! So awesome right?!
Since I really enjoyed his New York Times Bestseller memoir, Quiet Strength, I think I’ll give one away! It’s an incredible story everyone should read! So there you have it, just leave a comment and you’re entered! If you’re so inclined and want to spread the word through social media, please do and that will equal more entries! You can connect through Twitter or Facebook! If you don’t follow Tony on Twitter or Facebook, be sure to as well!
(Contest runs through 9/6/13, 11:59 p.m. CST. Open to U.S. residents, e-reader version for international entrants)
Finally, I think you should check out their foundation and donate 🙂 You can do that here!
UPDATE: Congrats Barbara on the win!
If you don’t like Tony Dungy, I’m probably not gonna be your #1 fan. I might even judge you a bit (sorry internet, I can’t lie). He was one of the best coaches in NFL history, he’s a fantastic role model, a great example of a family man and lives out his faith through honesty and integrity.
I really enjoyed his autobiography and was excited when I came across this 365 Day Devotional, The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge. I knew it would have some good stuff in it. I mean, check this out:
“Just as the branches are connected to the vine, our lives are connected to our Lord. Our ability to live and thrive comes from the vine – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have to stay connected to Christ not only to live but to become for others in this world all we were created by Him to be.”
If you’re looking for a devotional to add to your readings, I recommend this one. They aren’t too long, they cover seven life topics (core, family, potential, friends, mission, influence, faith), rotating topics each day. I’ve been so so encouraged by these devos!
Need another example? Boom:
“Believe that Christ can heal that loved one who is sick. Believe He can provide that job that seems impossible to find. Believe He can change people’s hearts. It’s not necessary to understand how He is going to do all those things, but believe that He can! There is so much evidence of His life, His death, and His resurrection, it’s hard not to.”
Even if you’re not a football or sports fan, the message and truths Dungy writes about are encouraging, inspiring and will help you grow in your faith. It’ll make a great gift too!
Before I sign off, I need to include one more example. I loved, loved, loved this:
One of the most important truths I want to impress on you is this: You were created by God. You’ve probably heard that before – maybe so often that it has lost its meaning. So take a minute to let it sink in. You were created by God! Before you were ever born, He knew who you would be. You are designed with a unique combination of abilities, interests, and passions that has never been before and will never been seen in anyone again. He knows every detail of your life and carefully planned the way you were made.
Not only that, you were created for eternal impact. Your one-of-a-kind design was intended to last. He guards over your purpose and destiny, He is aware of all your needs, and He even watches you while you sleep. Jesus told a crowd that God takes care even of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. If He does that for them, how much more does He do that for you? You are an intentional part of His plan. You are family, and He is your Father; He designed you for incredible purposes.
If that sinks into your heart – really becomes a part of who you are at your core – you will never have problems with low self-esteem. Your heart and mind will be filled with a healthy sense of self-worth that enables you to know your purpose in life and the fulfill it.
(Psalm 139:13, 16)
And I still haven’t given up hope that I’ll be friends with the Dungy’s one day. What are some other good devos I should check out?