Unlocking the Heart of the Artist – Matt Tommey – Book Review

Product Details

Matt Tommy has produced a book that all artists who are seeking to dive further into their spirituality and creativity should read.  I read this book over a weekend having seen a sample on my Kindle and knew that I would have to buy it.

It is not a weekend read, mind you, it’s a book that you have to dive into again and again, and I have since read it a further two times, unveiling additional nuggets.  You will come up with insights, revelation and ‘ah ha’ moments as you go on your creative journey.  It said things that I have been thinking about in my walk as an artist over the past few months.

Matt’s style of writing reveals his openness and understanding of the journey of the artist, alongside the highs and the lows that can impact on creativity as they search for their identity and the call of God on their lives.

If you can get together with a group of artists and work through the chapters which have questions and prompts after each section, it would be a great way to support each other through the revelations that will indeed come.  It is like a guide book that helps you to really question your journey and the impact that your creativity will no doubt have on your community.  There is a separate work book that you can use alongside this one.

There are many resources listed for information and a mention of an annual conference that is worth checking out.  If you have read books like the Artist Way by Julia Cameron you know you are in for a treat with the ‘tools for the journey’ that Matt recommends, such as a journal for capturing your thoughts, taking an artist date/creative time and spending time soaking up the word of God.  We are encouraged to dive deeper as we uncover our true purpose as artists.  It is a book that I think every artist should read, recommend that you get yourself a copy today!


Live Ten: Jump-Start the best version of your life – Terry A Smith – Book Review

John 10:10 “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” Are you living a life that is full? Does life present itself as an opportunity for joy and success?   This is one of the many questions that are asked in Terry Smiths’s book.

You are challenged as a reader to look beyond the life you are currently leading and question whether  you could be getting more out of your life, and live to your full potential while also impacting on the wider community that you live in.  He shares with us that there is much more available to us, that God wants us to live, but we have to take action rather than be passive and basically move out of our own way so that we can live our best lives.

The book is split up into 7 parts and 30 chapters, not to let that put you off, the chapters are short, and at the end of every chapter a series of reflective questions for you to consider.

The parts are broken down as follows and this is what I took away from the book:

  • Awaken – a look at how you live your life, deciding what you truly want and what it is exactly that inspires and motivates you.
  • Discover – what does God see and how we can bring our views in line with God.
  • Imagine – having the audacity to make changes, where it can take you and how far it can enable you to go if you stepped out of your comfort zone and became bolder.
  • Grow – the act of continuing to do the right thing, getting to know yourself and lining up with how God sees you.  We are encouraged to bridge the divide between how we see ourselves and how God truly sees us.
  • Act – Rather than waiting for things to happen, why not get up and do something about it.  You could be the miracle in someone else’s life – what are you going to do about it?
  • Lead – We are all called to be leaders in varying degrees.  How you are particularly called to be a leader is a question for you to reflect on.
  • Go – When all is said and done, we are called to action, but we have to remember that there will always be challenges along the way, sometimes they can be extremely hard to deal with but if you keep going and take courage you will see the fruits of your endeavors.

I felt that it was a very thought provoking book, and one that is not just a one-time read, but there are many ideas that are worth pursuing as you dig deep.  It is worth spending time answering the reflection questions after each part and you will gain a deeper understanding of how you can make changes and live a life that is way beyond what you are living now.  I really enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it.  It could also be used in a group setting and with the lay out fits the 30 day or longer if needed format.

Terry A Smith is Lead Pastor of the Life Christian Church in New York City.  He is co-founder of the New York City Leadership Center and speaks in a variety of venues nationally and internationally.  Terry is married with 3 children.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Ask, Listen & Repeat – Clay Stevens

Ask, Listen, and Repeat

I picked up this book by chance after browsing the kindle store and I must say that it was well worth the price and taking the time to read. There are so many principles that are useful in any business, and not only network marketing. The principle that relationships are at the heart of any interaction would seem to be something you feel that you might do as a matter of course. But as you read through the book and apply in your own work or organisation you understand how way off the mark you might have been.

The book is split up into 3 main parts which are 1: Bricks and Foundation, 2: The Relationship Gateway and 3: Ask, Listen and Repeat, and each main part is split up into further sections. This allows you to go at a steady pace and practice some of the techniques that come up in the book.

Ask, Listen & Repeat has been written in novel format, and Clay has a great style of writing which makes you feel that you are part of the journey. You feel the sense of achievement as you make your way through the book and you feel the successes of the books characters and want to practice the principles and processes for yourself.

This is a book that I really enjoyed reading and is a resource that you will more than likely go to more than once.

Altar Ego – Craig Groeschel – Book Review

Altar Ego by Craig Groeschel is one of those books that you can read repeatedly.  I found his style to be very familiar, as if you were talking to a close friend, he is open and honest in telling you his story, not only revealing his vulnerabilities, but within this you gain insight into his strengths.  This is one of those books that you consistently find nuggets of new revelation as you read, we share some of his embarrassing moments and most of all we share his triumphs that made him who he is today.

At the start of the book Craig reminds us that we are not yet who we are called to be, and can all at times find value in the wrong places, putting on labels that do not capture who we truly are but those that are thrown at us by others.  In his own life he allowed himself to go through a series of events to discover what God had placed within the core of who he truly was.

The book is split up into three main parts  – these are ‘Sacrificing your false self for your sacred identity’, ‘Sacrificing cultural relativity for Eternal values’ and ‘Sacrificing self justification for passionate obedience’ these are then further broken down into chapters encouraging you to step outside of the labels and live with integrity and truth.  In each chapter Craig invites us to dive deeper into our true calling.

Who has God called you to be?

It is a question at some point in your life you will find yourself asking and to have a clear understanding you have to lay down  every negative behavior, comment and mindset and make a commitment to change, essentially you have to be consistent with the time you spend with God.

It was my first time reading one of his books and he has authored many others which I am assuming are equally thought provoking and gem filled.  The only thing I was disappointed about was when the book came to an end!  Grieg really has an engaging style that leaves you feeling encouraged and blessed.  If you are looking for a deeper understanding of what God is doing in your life and has called you to be then you will want to read this book, if you are ready for a change or you are in the idle you will want to read this book.  If you don’t know what the fuss is all about and would just like to read a good book, then you’ve guessed it!  You will want to read this book.

About the Author

Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of LifeChurchtv, he is the author of several books including Soul Detox, Weird, the Christian Atheist and It.  He lives in Edmond, Oklahoma with his wife, Amy, and their six children.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


Max Lucado is the author of a number of inspiration, gift and children’s book.  In ‘Just Like Jesus’, Max takes us on a journey to restore our hearts and to understand how we can change aspects of our lives to be ‘Just like Jesus’.  In each chapter we look at different ways in which this can be done and for us to ultimately model our lives on him, settling for nothing less.  We seen in each chapter examples of the way that God loves us – just the way we are, but that he refuses to leave us the way that he often finds us – in despair, broken, lost, searching.

Max has a very clear and engaging style of writing as if he is having a conversation with you.  I didn’t want to put the book down and throughout felt inspired to stretch myself, he encourages you to be and do more with the life you are living.

Just like Jesus is not one of those ‘single read’ books, but it’s that kind of book filled with so many interesting nuggets you will undoubtedly find yourself going back to again and again.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review – Where has Oprah Taken Us

This book by Stephen Mansfield who has authored several books gives us an insight to much of Oprah’s life from early childhood.  We can admire her determination to step outside of the confines of circumstances that could have sent her down a road of self destruction at a very early age.  As a woman of influence she has impacted on the way millions of women around the world see themselves and their view of the world.

The main focus of the book takes a look at her spiritual walk and her association with the work of several spiritual gurus who she has interviewed and promoted.  The book gives us a behind the scenes look at not only Oprah’s philosophy but that of those she has associated with.  I like the way that the book was structured.  At the end of each chapter/section Stephen would give his views.

I felt that the book was insightful, easy to read and gave a ‘both sides of the coin’ point of view, it is definitely well worth a read.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review – Organising for the Creative Person – Lehmkuhl & Lamping

Right-brain styles for conquering clutter

I originally brought this book in 2001 and skimmed it telling myself that I would evenually get round to reading it. I never did, and it sat on my book shelf gathering dust. I recently took it out to get some ideas and was quite surprised at how much useful information unfolded.

It is not just a book about organising, it gets you to look at your style of working and develop strategies working more like a coach come personal organiser. I had many ‘aha moments’. It gets you to think about your goals and then offers suggestions that really challenges your thinking but also enables you to set up systems to support you, with key points summarised at the end of each chapter. You get to look with new eyes at your environment and more importantly how you interact, helping you to find the style of organising that works with your personality and those around you.