Interview with Margaret Feinberg on her new book Fight Back with Joy

You’ve Gotta Learn to Fight Back With Joy

My friend, Margaret Feinberg, author, speaker, and ski buddy, was scheduled to speak at Catalyst last fall, but had to reschedule. She was in the fight of her life with cancer.

In her new book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy, she shares that at the news of the diagnosis, she chose to fight back with a rather surprising weapon—joy.

Her new book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy, will take leaders everywhere by surprise. Let’s be honest, we’ve all read shallow books on joy that try to teach the why’s and how’s of joyful living.

But Margaret explores the depths of joy rarely plundered. Listen to these bombshells:

More than whimsy, joy is a weapon we use to fight life’s battles.

“Joy is your heritage, your identity, your destiny.

Practicing defiant joy is the declaration that the darkness does not and will not win.

Sometimes you have to poke holes in the darkness until it bleeds light.

If you can’t tell, Margaret is a gifted writer. Rich with Scriptural insight this book will take you by surprise and challenge you to fight back with joy as lead and serve.

The Secret To Living A Defiant Joy: An interview with Margaret Feinberg

It’s been inspiring to learn how Margaret has been practicing a defiant joy, and I thought you might like to get an insider’s look and read an interview with Margaret.

Your newest book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy, was born out of your fight with a life-threatening illness. What was your difficult diagnosis, and what has your journey to health entailed?

 For the last 18 months, I’ve been battling breast cancer. Breast cancer isn’t just one disease represents thousands of different diseases with their varying components and factors. Being diagnosed under the age of 40 is significant. I’ve been through a brutal year of chemotherapy, radiation, and more surgeries than I can count or want to remember.

Why did you write Fight Back With Joy?

I studied joy for a year and was putting the finishing touches on book on joy—just two weeks from turning it into the publisher, when I received the diagnosis. I had been pursuing and activating joy in my life in the relatively good times, now I had to do it in the midst of darkness, depression, and torturous pain. Through the process, I’ve discovered the breadth, depth, and power of joy—that despite hundreds of sermons and many decades in the church—no one had told me of before.

In Fight Back With Joy book and Bible study, you really push the reader to reevaluate their definition of joy. Why do you think this is so important?

Much of the teaching I’ve heard on joy over the years is oversimplified. I remember those days in Sunday school learning that JOY is spelled Jesus, Others, Yourself. While that made perfect sense at 9 years old, I’ve seen how distorted that can become as an adult.

I see friends who love Jesus but spend so much time pouring into their kids, grandkids and others that their joy looks something like this: jOy.

Technically, it still spells joy, but more than anything, these men and women who are so exhausted, so empty, so running on fumes from pouring into others need to pause and take time to focus on themselves. Laying hold of joy right now will require them to reevaluate for a season and discover the joy that comes with JYo.

I also noticed how most of the definitions of joy define it more by what it isn’t than by what it is. I constantly heard that happiness is based on circumstance but joy is not dependent on circumstance.

Biblical expressions of joy turn out to be far different than what I had been taught. I am now convinced the writers of the Bible would say that, the reason we have joy is because we have great circumstances. If you are a child of God, you are drenched in the grace and mercy of God.

No matter what you’re facing: Your circumstances are better than you think. If you’re not experiencing joy, perhaps it’s because your definition of joy is too narrow.

On a scale of 1-10, how hard was it for you to write this book and Bible study?

An eleven! This journey has been the most painful experience of my life. And, to share about it requires some vulnerability. Okay, a lot of vulnerability. And, that’s really, really hard. But I feel like I’m finally ready to share what God has stirred in my heart along the way because although cancer has been the most painful journey—it has also been the most joyful. And no one is more surprised than I am.

 

Thanks Margaret! And she goes one step further by providing additional resources at the end of the book. She helps us, as leaders, know what to say and what not to say when those in our congregations, ministries, and businesses are going through crisis.

So often we want to pastor and lead people well, but just don’t know what to do. If you know someone facing a horrendous situation, Fight Back with Joy is a must-read.

Get this in the hands of your leadership team and Bible studies—it will equip your church to be the church.

Check out the video.

Pick up a copy of Fight Back With Joy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble today.

The Top 20 Leadership Podcasts I Listen to

There are lots of leadership podcasts available today, for free, through iTunes and other outlets. Which is great for all of us who are passionate and serious about leadership development.

So here are 20 I listen to. These aren’t the only 20, but 20 I’ve found to be incredibly helpful, inspiring, and equipping.

1. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast 

2. EntreLeadership Podcast

3. Catalyst Podcast 

4. Perry Noble Leadership Podcast

5. This is Your Life, with Michael Hyatt

6. Coffee with Chris Caine 

7. Relevant Podcast 

8. Jesus Culture Leadership Podcast

9. Seth Godin Startup School

10. TED Talks

11. Rainer on Leadership

12. Carey Nieuwhof Leadership podcast

13. HBR IdeaCast

14. Tim Ferriss show

15. Growing Leaders Podcast

16. Always Forward Leadership Podcast 

17. Dose of Leadership

18. The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins

19. Entrepreneur on Fire

20. The Exchange with Ed Stetzer

What other podcasts are you listening to? 

Top 50 Leadership Books to Read

I love leadership. And I read a lot. So I wanted to provide you with a list of some of the best leadership books I recommend.

These are not the only leadership books you should read. There are hundreds of others that are great. But these are just simply 50 of my favorite leadership books.

So here you go. And please share this leadership list with your friends, team, and other leaders who might benefit.

50 leadership books I recommend you read:

1. Good to Great- Jim Collins

2. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership- John Maxwell

3. Courageous Leadership- Bill Hybels

4. The Next Generation Leader- Andy Stanley

5. The Catalyst Leader- Brad Lomenick (***obvious bias on this one!!!)

6. Love is the Killer App- Tim Sanders

7. The Tipping Point- Malcolm Gladwell

8. Tribes- Seth Godin

9. It: How Churches and Leaders can Get it and Keep it- Craig Groeschel

10. Integrity- Henry Cloud

11. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership- Henri Nouwen

12. Axiom- Bill Hybels

13. EntreLeadership- Dave Ramsey

14. Five Dysfunctions of a Team- Patrick Lencioni

15. Visioneering- Andy Stanley

16. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us- Daniel Pink

17. Creativity, Inc- Ed Catmull

18. Linchpin- Seth Godin

19. How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie

20. Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization- John Wooden

21. Start with Why- Simon Sinek

22. The Leadership Challenge- Barry Posner and Jim Kouzes

23. Leading with the Heart- Coach Mike Krzyzewski

24. unChristian- Gabe Lyons and David Kinnaman

25. True North- Bill George

26. Undaunted- Christine Caine

27. Execution- Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy

28. Daring Greatly- Brene Brown

29. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People- Stephen Covey

30. The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork- John Maxwell

31. What the CEO Wants You to Know- Ram Charan

32. Rework- Jason Fried and David Hansson

33. The Experience Economy- Joseph Pine and James Gilmore

34. Made to Stick- Chip and Dan Heath

35. Blink- Malcolm Gladwell

36. Making Ideas Happen- Scott Belsky

37. The Effective Executive- Peter Drucker

38. Emotional Intelligence- Daniel Goleman

39. On Becoming a Leader- Warren Bennis

40. Leading Change- John Kotter

41. Now, Discover Your Strengths- Marcus Buckingham

42. Leaders Eat Last- Simon Sinek

43. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook- Gary Vaynerchuk

44. The Advantage- Patrick Lencioni

45. Leadership is an Art- Max Dupree

46. In Search of Excellence- Tom Peters

47. Start- Jon Acuff

48. Built to Last- Jim Collins

49. The Power of Habit- Charles Duhigg

50. Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands- Nancy Ortberg

bonus:

51. Silos, Politics and Turf Wars- Patrick Lencioni

52. Boundaries- Henry Cloud

53. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day- Mark Batterson

54. The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership- John Wooden

55. The Spark- John Bacon and Lyn Heward

56. The Starfish and the Spider- Ori Brafman

57. The Fred Factor- Mark Sanborn

58. Onward- Howard Schultz

 

What would you add?

Young Influencers List, February Edition

Here you go, the February edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past month’s lists here.

1. Shane Farmer- senior pastor of Cherry Hills Community Church in Denver.

2. Pete Holmes- NYC based comedian, actor, writer, producer, host of the Pete Holmes Show, and popular podcaster.

3. Peace Ike- Pittsburgh based Nigerian-American songwriter, percussionist, artist, and performer. Listen to her new EP Walk Worthy.

4. Jesse Carey- contributing editor to Relevant Magazine and a mainstay on the Relevant Podcast, along with recently completing the uber popular Nickelback Challenge, raising over $33,000 for charity: water.

5. Kristi Griem- blogger, justice advocate, COO of Work of Worth, and formerly president of FreeSet.

6. Matt Wertz- Nashville based singer, songwriter, funny guy, and creative.

7. Benjamin Watson- NFL tight end for the New Orleans Saints, popular speaker, and voted one of CNN’s most Extraordinary People in 2014.

50 Innovative and Usable phrases for Responding during the Sermon

Whatever your background, most communicators, whether a pastor, preacher, leadership speaker, motivational guru, youth leader, or vision caster, enjoy having people in the audience provide feedback. And not just telling someone after they’re done “good job,” but actual real time feedback. Verbal call and response feedback. Responding in the moment.

Some of you are used to this. Some of you don’t know anything different. And others of you have never experienced it. And probably some of you that are immediately thinking if anyone spoke up during our Sunday services that they would be immediately removed by the “bouncers,” otherwise known as the “ushers” and offering coordinators….!!

So I’m doing a bit more speaking these days, and I can verify that having people in the crowd agreeing with me and cheering me on and making some noise in response is a beautiful thing. It provides energy, inspiration, and definitely creates a connection with the audience/crowd. 

Now in the church I group up in, there were only a few folks who had “permission” to respond to the sermon on a Sunday morning, and they usually went with the traditional  “Amen” or “Hallelujah.” Which still work. Nothing against the traditional phrases. I’m a fan of the traditional phrases. 

Whatever your style, I want to suggest a NEW list of phrases that can be implemented into your church culture. Your leadership conference. Your youth gathering. Your Sunday morning experience.

A little more current, a little more edgy, and a little more innovative than the classics.

So here you go, 50 Innovative Phrases for Responding During the Sermon: 

1. Run that back

2. Hello!

3. Retweet

4. Hashtag it

5. Let em know

6. Jackpot

7. I know you didn’t (said like “I know you diiiiinnntttt”)

8. More of that

9. Go ahead

10. Bring it strong

11. Come on/Come on sir (or ma’am)

12. Bet you won’t

13. Double down

14.There it is

15. Take it

16. Buckets (or Bottoms)

17. Turn it up

18. Boom

19. Yahtzee

20. That’s Butter

21. Bingo

22. Hook. Line. Sinker.

23. So great/So good/That’s great/That’s good

24. Getchya some!

25. Bring it

26. Go ahead

27. Right on

28. That’s good pastor (or “great” inserted for “good”)

29. Hit em with it

30. Money

31. Double tap 

32. Burning/On Fire/Fire Alert/Coming in hot

33. Land that plane

34. Feed me/I’m Hungry

35. Worth a clap

36. Preach

37. Truth

38. Onions

39. Here we go

40. On point

41. Game over

42. You meddlin

43. Swish/Buckets

44. Right swipe that

45. Ride that bus

46. That dog will hunt

47. Put that on a plate and split it

48. Woooooo00

49. Whistle (literally just whistling!)

50. Uh huh or Uh oh 0r ah ha

** and a bonus- “Crickets”

 

How about you? What phrases would you add to the list? 

Young Influencers List, January edition

Here you go, the January edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past month’s lists here.

1. Liz Bohannon- Portland based founder of Sseko Designs, an ethical fashion brand that works to educate and empower women.

2. Brady Toops- Nashville based singer, songwriter and worship leader. Check out his Free EP.

3. Sofia Dickens- West coast correspondent for Hollywood Heat on TruTV, and former host of Channel One news.

4. Joshua GagnonNew England based communicator, leader and pastor of Next Level Church.

5. Kathleen ShannonOklahoma City based storyteller, designer, creator, blogger, and founder of Braid Creative.

6. Zakiya JacksonGrand Rapids based speaker, author, board advisor for CCDA, and currently writer with DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative and Collected Young Minds.

7. Chris Hogan- speaker, entrepreneur, thought leader and chief strategist for Retirement, Business and Leadership for Dave Ramsey.