Posts Tagged ‘book review’


Slow Reader Friday: Mastery

Stack of books

Click here to see the July 2017 MIP Book Club Selection!

What? You don’t remember me announcing that my MIP Book Club choice was Mastery by George Leonard? Good. It means you have a life.

I chose it last summer…July to be precise. And then life happened to me and I had to let go of the blog this past year. So, better late than never, right? (Just nod your head and agree.)

Once again, Mastery is a book that I studied the first year I was in the HeartPaths Spiritual Direction training program. When I began reading it, I was little astonished that it was on the reading list. It’s not an overtly Christian book. 


Slow Reader Friday: SoulTypes


You’d think that a Christian, who also holds a bachelor’s and master’s in psychology would have thought of this: apply Myers-Briggs typology to church ministry. But nope, I’m not that bright!

For those unfamiliar with the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI), it is widely-used to place people into one of 16 different personality types based on four different aspects of behavior. As with most such tests, each personality type has a particular set of likes and dislikes.

Hirsh and Kise (the authors of SoulTypes) take it a step further and list how each personality type would prefer to deepen their faith. For some it’s doing outreach or mission work. For others it’s practicing religious rituals from the Christian faith tradition. For still others it could be innovative ways of learning about God.

If you’ve ever wondered why the things that “trip your trigger” religiously don’t seem to interest your fellow parishioners and church members, here’s the answer: They don’t have the same personality type as you! I think this answers the question as to why some of us are Methodists; some are Catholics and some are Assembly of God. We all find meaning in certain traditions, innovations and service characteristic of these denominations.

However, we should remember that not everyone in our churches neatly fits into the denomination’s normal practices and we should try to have a wide variety of opportunities for people to find that meaning for themselves. While this is a huge programming challenge, particularly for small churches, it would probably attract more people into our sanctuaries who have traditionally been irritated by some of our insistence on doing things a certain way.

I felt that Hirsh and Kise made this book more complicated than it had to be and that much of it was very formulaic and repetitive writing (probably because my personality type likes innovation!), but the information is valuable in thinking through how one can effectively minister to a wide variety of personality types.


Slow Reader Friday: Start

Water Punch

If you are a Christian blogger, most likely you have heard of Jon Acuff. If you are a Dave Ramsey fan, most likely you have seen Jon Acuff. Jon (as if I know him personally) first gained fame by writing the blog, “Stuff Christians Like.” Dave Ramsey noticed his warped sense of humor and put him to work at his organization. Then Jon began writing books with “cute titles.”

Since I am a huge fan of the “cute title” books, his Quitter book caught my attention when I took the Financial Peace University class by Dave Ramsey. While much younger than this naive blogger, Jon is surprisingly good at savvy writing, sensing patterns, and insights into human nature. He is pretty much my guru for writing.  (The only problem is that it usually takes me a long time to read his stuff, admit he’s right, and then implement his suggestions!)

Quitter became one of my first Slow Reader Friday choices and I could not believe how similar our stories are. I think we both fell victim to trying to pleasing society by our early career choices instead of pursuing what God really created us to do. Jon just learned much faster!

Being a professional writer doesn’t usually thrill your parents–it is one of those careers where success is largely determined by others, as opposed to being determined by how hard you work. Thus, when Jon started pretty much putting in print the thoughts in my head, I was enthralled. And so, it only makes sense that I would want to read Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters

I can see Jon’s progression as a writer in Start. I read the first page and was laughing out loud. For writers, that’s usually rare, because we usually read A LOT. So, little actually tickles our funny bone enough to make laugh out loud. And he quite obviously took the criticism about Quitter seriously. I saw less “writing career bias” in this book than I did in Quitter

If you decide to read Start yourself, I won’t spoil the first page for you. But, expect to chuckle out loud several times, so maybe don’t read this book during a boring meeting where people actually expect you to be paying attention.

The premise of Start is that the life your parents probably wanted you to pursue to ensure your financial viability and stability is probably not what you were called to do. And if that is true, then you have a choice to make: Be “average” or be “awesome.” The average life is fine if you want that stability. However, if deep within your soul, you long to be awesome and have an inkling that you are pretty awesome at something that others around you admire (because they aren’t that awesome at that same thing), then perhaps you are meant for the “awesome track.”

Acuff is honest–the awesome journey is hard! First, people don’t understand it because they chose the average track and they only understand average. Thus, you’re often forced to seek out others who are on the awesome track to help you on that journey and they are either so few and far between (particularly if you live in Podunk, USA like moi) that you have difficulty locating them or they are extremely busy human beings with actual entourages wherever they go, that you’re never going to gain access to their awesome wisdom.

Acuff also points out that there are a ton of myths about working towards awesome and thus, you are forced to continually confront and squash those little suckers right out of your thinking patterns. He accurately tells you that being awesome is difficult work with long hours involved.

My only criticism is that I wish Jon had spoken more about doing what’s right in God’s eyes even if it doesn’t quite match up with what you envisioned doing in your awesome life. I am happiest when I write full-time. But, right now I think God seriously wanted a nonprofit counseling center started in my community. And my crazy resume and writer lifestyle actually is a plus for doing exactly that. So, some of my writing time is going to be nixed as I follow God’s leading to do something important for my friends, neighbors and community members.

On one of the first seasons of The Apprentice Donald Trump took his contestants to the Central Park skating rink. He told the contestants that for years, the city of New York tried to put an ice skating rink in Central Park. It never got done. Donald Trump looked at that and said, “I have enough money to put that skating rink there right now. And it’s the right thing to do. It’s time to give back.” Was building a skating rink Donald’s Trump version of awesome? Nope. We already know that. But he did it anyway…because he could.

I’m no Donald Trump. I’m a borderline good writer at best. And writing is definitely my version of awesome. But, I also know more than the average person about counseling, event planning, Facebook promotion, training, encouraging the next generation and putting people together because their skill set is needed to create something needed in our community. And thus, I’ve put writing my books on the back burner until I can get Compassion Counseling Center off the ground. Are there days when I yearn to go back to full back writing? Yep. It occurs more than I really want to admit. But, am I proud of the nearly 65 hours of counseling we have done in our first month of operation to help some people who might not get counseling any other way? Absolutely. It’s worth the sacrifice of my book writing time. Will I maybe regret this choice in about 10 years? Yep. Probably. But will I also be proud of myself for heeding God’s call to play by His “playbook” for me instead of my own? I believe so.

What is God calling you to do today? Do you feel “out in left field” about it right now? Congratulations! You’re on the right track.

God’s going to take your unique talents and the people around you to do something awesome–it may just look different than what you originally envisioned. And reading Start is an excellent place to begin that journey today.

So, what’s keeping you from awesome? Fear? Lack of support? Debt?

Punch it in the face and get busy.  We have God’s work to do.

Monday’s Post: Do you know the definition of the Word of the Week?

You Might Also Like: Slow Reader Friday: The Rabbi Who Found Messiah; Slow Reader Friday: Unstoppable; and Slow Reader Friday: Twirl


Slow Reader Friday: Killing Jesus…

stone cross

Book Club Lovers: Go here to see the Book Club Selection for June!

Warning: Get 2 beverages first.

Because of the writing hiatus, few MIP readers will probably remember that the January MIP Book Club Selection was Bill O’ Reilly’s and Martin Dugard’s Killing JesusWritten like a reporter on the scene, Killing Jesus reads like a fast-paced, yet meticulously-detailed and intriguing tale. Unlike many Christians today, I chose not to go and see The Passion of the ChristI felt I wouldn’t be able to handle the outright gore of Jesus’ death. After reading Killing Jesusthat was the right decision to make!

I had some reservations about reading this book and in making it the January MIP Book Selection. First, both of the authors are Roman Catholics. Would they rely too heavily upon Roman Catholic tradition and books from the Apocrypha? Would they try to “convert” people to Catholicism? While I’m sure some of the Apocrypha is factual, the books were determined too unsubstantiated to be a part of the Protestant Bible by scholars well-versed in all matters of that era of human history. Second, this book would follow (on the Book Club List) another book talking extensively about Catholicism, And Then There Were NunsI feared that my readers might think this was my only area of interest! And lastly, Bill O’Reilly can make me rather uncomfortable with his obvious confrontational grandstanding and self-promotion.

I shouldn’t have worried. At the outset of the book, the authors clearly admit that they are both Roman Catholics, but they do not wish to convert anyone to some “spiritual cause”–they merely want to tell the reader as much factual truth about Jesus’ death as they can possibly find. At the end of the book, their very detailed notes about their research and sources show that they did consult multiple scholarly works both recently and in the past to make sure they were truthfully reporting what is known about his death. Yes, they do rely, rather heavily in my opinion, on Josephus’ book in the Apocrypha, but keep in mind that, unlike their previous books, Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincolnthey were unable to consult, journals, newspapers, biographies and other more modern sources for information! I just choose to discount some of Josephus’ accounts to a small degree as a Protestant. If anything, their sources are now on my reading list, based on their own impressions of the sources! And as a kid I was raised in Indiana, so my readers will have to forgive me if I am sometimes on a “Catholic bent.” I was surrounded by Catholicism in a state that is home to Notre Dame University!

Instead of giving you quotations today, I will list some facts I learned from Killing Jesus that I didn’t previously know. And as a preacher’s kid, that is rather remarkable, in and of itself!

1. Herod suffered from lung disease, kidney problems, worms, a heart condition, sexually transmitted diseases, gout and gangrene. He was so disabled he couldn’t even leave his palace.

2. Caesar’s death was so vicious that the senators stabbed each other.

3. Marc Antony was a pedophile.

4. The roads to Jerusalem were so dangerous that the pilgrims going there for Passover traveled in huge groups to protect themselves from criminals.

5. Crucifixion was such a bad way to die that Roman citizens could not be executed this way.

6. The Roman teams of soldiers taking care of crucifixions were vigorously trained on how to make the condemned suffer the longest, most agonizing death possible.

7. As part of this torturous process, the condemned’s legs are broken and the condemned person would most likely wind up urinating and defecating in full view of those watching.

8. The taxation of Jewish citizens was so high that many citizens suffered from malnutrition.

9. Joseph’s death most likely occurred sometime between Jesus’ 13th and 30th birthdays, making him head of the household and responsible for supporting his mother and siblings.

10. Tiberias often swam with “tiddlers,” naked young boys who “nibbled” between Tiberias’ legs.

11. Pilate’s appointment to Judea was not considered a “cushy assignment.”

12. During Passover, the Temple courts would have reeked from the smell of blood from the slaughtered animals needed for the ritual sacrifices that had to be offered.

13. The 4 million Passover visitors meant big bucks to all involved in this huge industry of supplying unblemished sacrificial animals. The “industry” not only involved money changers and livestock providers, but also the Temple aristocracy and Roman leaders of the area.

14. Tiberias actually liked the Jews and scolded Pontius Pilate for behavior that invoked a riot.

15. The behaviors that actually were more troubling to the “industry” were not Jesus’ so-called blasphemous words, but his rampages through the Temple, overturning tables of coins and letting out the animals that were there to be bought for the sacrifices. And he did this twice!

16. The only reason to try and trip up Jesus as he preached was to find a way to be able to execute him without it looking as if money was the motive!

17. The people sent to trip up Jesus were considered very knowledgeable about Torah law and had so much “intel” that they often beat Jesus to his next destination.

18. Caiaphas allowed Pontius Pilate to loot the Temple funds.

19. Because of Passover, the timing of Jesus’ arrest, trial and death became a huge problem.

20. 30 silver coins was the equivalent of 4 months’ wages. Think how that might sound to a man who has been malnourished for a long time.

21. Each crucifixion death squad was composed of 5 men, including an exactor mortis who oversaw it.

22. One can actually sweat blood and Jesus did.

23. High priests were appointed for life so that the money pipeline flowed unimpaired. Thus, Annas, a high priest, was wealthy and powerful.

24. Everything about Jesus’ trial and death was illegal.

25. One member of the death squad held an abacus to count the lashes given to a prisoner.

26. In some ways Jesus’ crucifixion was much less severe than other crucifixions, yet Jesus died in a shorter amount of time than most condemned to this death.

27. Usually, a crucified person would be left on the cross for days so that wild animals can eat the deceased or so the body decomposes before everyone.

28. Deceased bodies were kept in tombs for a year. The bones were then placed in a stone jar.

29. Trees were carried in from many miles to handle the large numbers of crucifixions.

30. Cleopatra died from opium and hemlock, not from an asp’s bite.

31. Jesus had 4 brothers: James, Joseph, Judas and Simon and several sisters.

32. The dove appearing at Jesus’ baptism appeared after his baptism and was a real dove.

33. Women in Jesus’ time were considered the equals of men.

34. Legend suggests that Jesus’ exactor mortis became a Christian.

35. Jesus may have called Simon “the Rock” to poke fun at his unstable personality traits.

36. Jesus was 36 when crucified and probably was born in March during lambing season.

So, if you have read Killing Jesuswhat stood out to you?

Monday’s Post: WOW time!

You Might Also Like: Slow Reader Friday: And Then There Were Nuns; Slow Reader Friday: Undaunted; and Slow Reader Friday: Life Interrupted


An Eclectic Bookshelf…

Stack of books

As many of you know, MIP has a Book Club. On Friday, May 23rd expect the Book Club to “rev up” again. The Slow Reader Friday post that day will be for our last Book Club selection and an announcement will be made for the June Book Club selection. Consider this your invitation to join those of us who already read the selections each month, if you haven’t joined us so far! We have even had an author join in on the discussion!

A lot of you also know that my operating budget for running this little blog is a big fat zero. Thus, I often rely on Amazon gift cards, gifts, hand-me-downs, and “leftovers” for book selection fodder! I’ve recently rearranged my MIP bookshelf, adding some of my brother’s books to the collection. As I surveyed the rearranged shelf, I realized, “This is one eclectic collection of craziness!”

I am about to reveal how illiterate I am and that I’m way, way behind in reading books by great writers. Do I get to plead busy wife, mom, career woman and student for this???  Also, as you can see, I will read just about anything…once!

Thus, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts and comments about such a bookshelf and which books should be an MIP Book Selection. Are there any I should avoid? For instance, I’m not into blatant Christian bashing, cussing, gratuitous sex, horror stories or over-the-top violence! As old as some of these titles are, all of them, except one (which I removed from this list) are still alive and well on Comment away!

  • Pride and Prejudice
  • The Art of the Steal
  • Raving Fans
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • To Fly Again
  • Op-Center: Acts of War
  • Op-Center: Balance of Power
  • Op-Center: Line of Control
  • Power Plays: Cold War
  • Net Force: CyberNation
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • George’s Marvelous Medicine
  • Three Guardsmen
  • Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
  • Fields for President
  • The Final Helping of “You Might Be a Redneck If…”
  • Ocean’s 11
  • Snickers from the Front Pew
  • A Different Kind of Christmas
  • Between Sisters
  • How the Scots Invented the Modern World
  • The Journey: Forgiveness, Restorative Justice, & Reconciliation
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
  • Alex & Me
  • Presbyterians & the American Revolution: A Documentary Account
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • The Happiest People on Earth
  • One Was Johnny
  • Texas High School Football Dynasties
  • The Unlikely Spy
  • A Grace Disguised
  • Get Off Your Knees & Pray
  • Charlotte’s Web


Friday’s Post: Does Really Illumine???

You might also like: Slow Reader Friday:  And Then There Were Nuns; Slow Reader Friday: Undaunted; and Slow Reader Friday: Life Interrupted



Slow Reader Thursday: Going Places


E. D. Hill was a co-host of Fox and Friends from 1998 to 2006. While there, Ms. Hill found that there were few books on the market that helped her and her husband reinforce good values as she read to her children each night in a manner in which children could understand. Since she had access to a large number of notable people in her line of work, she began asking these people what values helped them to become successful and what principles guided them. The result? Going Places: How America’s Best & Brightest Got Started Down the Road of Life was published by Hill in 2005.

Hill gives a brief, personal introduction about each person she interviewed and then the person’s responses follow in essay style. Presidents, cabinet members, military leaders, congressmen and women, models, actors, and recording artists all donated their thoughts to Going Places and it makes for really entertaining reading, even if your philosophy is not the same as that of the person writing their thoughts. One entertaining part of the book is how each VIP tells of the people who inspired them!

Hill adds her thoughts about the values that formed her character at the conclusion of the book. While she wrote this to encourage and inspire her children, all Americans would benefit from reading Going Places, in my humble opinion. One starts to realize that there are recurring themes from a variety of people, such as, “Get your education,” “Work harder and longer than everyone else,” and “Don’t let setbacks deter you.” My favorite quotes from the book? Read below:

1. From Alphonso Jackson, Former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development: “A setback is simply a setup for a comeback,” That quote may have to go on the MIP Quotes page! This quote originally came from his parents who only completed the 5th grade and 11th grade of their own educations.

2. From Ted Nugent: “Acting decent is just as much fun as acting horrible.” Some of my adopteds would probably argue this, but as someone who grew up listening to this rocker’s music and rebelling some in college, I’m here to tell you Ted is right. I’m having a ball being trying to be a decent human being, even when I fail miserably at that.

3. From football player Rosey Grier: “Trouble is easy to get into and tough to get out of.” Oh, boy, is that ever true! Where was this message earlier in my life??? The translation? Stay out of trouble–it’s much easier that way.

Are there many, many more of these I could mention? Absolutely! So, if you haven’t read this little collection of wisdom, then get it today and give yourself a huge treat of encouragement.

Tomorrow’s Post: Lessons Learned from a Minister and His Family…

You might also like: Slow Reader Thursday: A Grace Disguised, Slow Reader Thursday: Tuesdays with Morrie, Slow Reader Reader: If Only I Knew, Slow Reader Thursday: Mink River


Slow Reader Thursday: A Grace Disguised

stone cross

I have a rather large pile of books in my office waiting on me to read them for this blog post each week and I have to admit that I tend to just grab one from the pile when I’m finished with the previous book. For some odd reason (I prefer to think of it as divine.) I have managed to choose two books back-to-back that focus on loss and death. Last week I reviewed Tuesdays with Morrie which discussed the dying process of Morris Schwartz, a man with ALS. This week I turned to A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser. While Jerry Sittser did not go through the dying process himself, he probably wished he could after suffering the loss of three family members all on one night.

Jerry Sittser was forced to look after three small children on his own and to figure out what to make of the great loss he faced. While these losses attracted a great deal of attention, Sittser felt alone in his grief and the heavy responsibilities that befell him. However, rather than choosing to ignore or hide from his pain, he chose to dive head first into it and work towards making sense of it. He managed to succeed and to raise those three children successfully. He chose to ask God for help, even when he wasn’t sure He wanted to believe in a God who would take three people from him so haphazardly.

Sittser is quick to say that he blew it a great deal of the time, but his willingness to explore his thoughts, foibles and grief led to the writing of this book and led to him being able to help others who were facing their own versions of horror and grief.

He explains things far better than I ever could–here are a few examples:

1.”Catastrophic loss wreaks destruction like a massive flood. It is unrelenting, unforgiving, and uncontrollable, brutally erosive to body, mind, and spirit.”

2.”It is therefore not true that we become less through loss–unless we allow the loss to make us less, grinding our soul down until there is nothing left but an external self entirely under the control of circumstances. Loss can also make us more. In the darkness we can still find the light. In death we can also find life. It depends on the choices we make.”

3. “Many people form addictions after they experience loss. Loss disrupts and destroys the orderliness and familiarity of their world. They feel such desperation and disorientation in the face of this obliteration of order that they go berserk on binges. They saturate their senses with anything that will satisfy them in the moment because they cannot bear to think about the long-term consequences of loss….So they drink too much alcohol, go on a sexual rampage, eat constantly or spend their money carelessly. In so doing, they hold suffering at a distance.”

Loss and grief are inevitable parts of living on planet Earth. We can either choose to embrace it and delve into its horrible depths and learn from it or be destroyed by it. Sittser makes a convincing, compassionate and human case for doing the former. Every one of us should read this book and embrace, yes embrace, the journey of grief and loss, for reaching the “destination” is well worth the journey.

Point to Ponder Challenge: What losses are going on in your life right now? Are you running from them? Are you diving into their darkness and letting yourself grieve fully? If not, schedule some time today to think about these losses and allow yourself to fully feel the weight of its sadness, unfairness, and waste. What can you learn from this nastiness? Do you need help from someone you trust? Do you need professional assistance? If so, take one step out of the darkness right now and find that person. Make a date with that person to talk over how you’re feeling. You’re worth it!



Slow Reader Thursday: Tuesdays with Morrie

pill bottles

I am probably the last person in the world not to have read Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. Or should I say by Morris Schwartz? I would feel ashamed, but when this book was first published in 1997, I was busy potty-training a 3 year old and reading Dr. Seuss to him non-stop to keep him on that infamous seat. Wonder what Morrie would think about that process?

He’d probably approve since much of Tuesdays with Morrie discusses his reverse “potty-training” as he battled his body being ravaged by ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Mitch Albom spent a great deal of his time with his professor during his time at Brandeis University, whom he affectionately called, “Coach.” Later, Albom encounters his professor again as Ted Koppel (Yes, that Ted Koppel) interviewed him. Albom decides to start visiting his old professor again when he finds himself on strike from his current publishing employer. They meet on Tuesdays and hence, the name of the book.

I can see why this book has touched so many. I cried openly and laughed out loud several times. But that’s okay. So did Morrie. We cried together. 🙂

I probably would have cried more often, if it weren’t for the fact that I was “forced” to learn many of these same lessons when I had my two heart attacks in 1999. Fortunately, Grace (the kind from the Man Upstairs) decided to intervene in my situation and allow me an additional 14 years this month. It’s interesting that I hit that anniversary this past Saturday and Monday and was reading Tuesdays with Morrie at the time, but that is just how my God works.

Some of Morrie’s quotations (that sum up my conclusions about life far more eloquently than I could write) are as follows:

1. “The truth is, part of me is every age. I’m a 3-year-old, I’m a 5-year old, I’m a 37-year-old, I’m a 50-year-old. I’ve been through all of them, and I know what it’s like. I delight in being a child when it’s appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when it’s appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of all I can be! I am every age up to my own!”

2. “Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning…You notice…there’s nothing in there about a salary.”

3. “…there are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: If you don’t respect the other person, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don’t know how to compromise, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble…And the biggest one of those values, Mitch?…Your belief in the importance of your marriage.”

While reading this old professor’s final words, I had fun imagining what my “textbooks” would be if I were to develop a course on living life to the fullest myself. I would probably drive my students crazy, because I would require them to purchase about 16 books. But, Tuesdays with Morrie would be part of the required reading. If you, like me, have not read it, do it now. There is no tomorrow. That’s an illusion, my friend.

Tomorrow’s Post: Think the MIP Eating & Fitness Plan are crazy? Yeah, me too.

You might also like: Slow Reader Thursday: If Only I Knew, Slow Reader Thursday: Mink River, Slow Reader Thursday: There Has to Be More Than This



Slow Reader Thursday: If Only I Knew..

Stack of books


Some friendships just last forever. I have one such friendship: one that has lasted over 40 years. Yes, I’m that old…and then some.

A few years ago this friend sent me a book entitled: If Only I Knew by Lance Wubbels. It is really more of a poem that spans 56 pages. And the premise is that if we knew we might never have a chance to see someone again or experience something again, we might take more time to appreciate that person or experience and be a bit more forgiving and kinder.

As I age, I find myself less judgmental and more forgiving, probably because I need less judgment and more forgiveness myself. But, Wubbels puts this into words far better than I:

1. “If only I knew I had the chance to pray with you one more time, I would take your hands and welcome God’s presence to surround us.”

2. “If only I knew that momentary pleasures could ruin a reputation for a lifetime, I would have found the strength to say no to temptation.”

3. “If only I knew that grief and heartache could be so deep and devastating, I would have been there more often for others.”

This is a quick read, unless you are like my friend, who found herself crying on every page! But, either way, we all probably need to read this book once in a while just to ensure we don’t take the special people and moments in our lives too for granted.

Tomorrow’s Post: You 3.0: MIP Eating Plan…

You might also like: Slow Reader Thursday: Mink River, Slow Reader Thursday: There Has to Be More Than This, Slow Reader Thursday: Live!


Slow Reader Thursday: There Has to Be More than This…

Stack of books

Keith A. Turley‘s book, More than This, is yet another book I procured because I heard him speak at the writer’s conference I attended. For those of you who are tired of hearing me drone on about the writer’s conference, here’s the good news: You only have to suffer through one more book that I purchased from the conference and it’s a very interesting novel.

Again, I heard Keith speak in a workshop at the conference and was struck that his writing is devotional in nature and started by accident as he sent his friends emails about what he was reading each day. Often, I find myself doing the same thing, minus the emails. At first I thought Turley restricted himself to Biblical quotations  each day, but I was so wrong. Turley may happen upon a quote somewhere, anywhere and use that as his focus for the day.

Often I found my thoughts going in a different direction from his after reading the quote. But thankfully, Turley leaves space below his reflections for the reader to jot down their own notes. He knows me too well!

The devotionals towards the end of his book, beginning on page 105, were more thought-provoking for me, but perhaps that was because I read them all in one session when I was in a better frame of mind or could concentrate better??? Here are a few that struck me:

1. “When I read His word I need to act on them, not just walk away with a warm fuzzy feeling or good intentions…I need to realize that it may take time for my actions, or even my intentions, to bear fruit.”

2. “His desire for me is that I would allow the Holy Spirit to fill me, to lead me, to work with me and in spite of me….The hard part is determining which are my responsibilities and which are His. How much am I supposed to do? If I fail at work I thought God was leading me to do, does that mean it wasn’t meant to be done or does it mean I didn’t allow for His strength?…if I did [know,] I probably wouldn’t try some things that seem too daunting.”

3. “The fact…remains that often [others] are not out there screaming they are His instruments….Think about how you are His worker even at times when you think you are not doing anything to minister to others.”

Some of Turley‘s thoughts and cited quotes will definitely make the Quotes page soon!

Tomorrow’s Post: Moon over Texas?

You might also like: Live!, Jesus Poetry Slam, Laughter from Heaven, not a fan., The Hole in our Gospel, i am not but i know I AM, and 20 Books.