Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Review: Out Live Your Life

As part of the Booksneeze program, I recently had the chance to read Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado.  I always enjoy Lucado's perspective, so I jumped at the opportunity.

I was not disappointed.

From the publisher:
These are difficult days in our world's history. 1.75 billion people are desperately poor, natural disasters are gouging entire nations, and economic uncertainty still reigns across the globe. But you and I have been given an opportunity to make a big difference. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? Infiltrated all corners with God's love and life? We are created by a great God to do great works. He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven, but here on earth. Let's live our lives in such a way that the world will be glad we did.
This is not an easy book to read, yet Lucado's familiar style makes it easy to read.  And he has made me really think, way too much, about what I see (or choose not to) around me.  Some of the little challenges he throws out there are reasonably easy to skim over.   Like early in the book he mentions that there are 145 million orphans in the world, and 236 million people who identify themselves as Christians in the US.  And that from a numerical point of view, American Christians should be able to house every orphan in the world.  Okay, well, I guarantee that I don't have room *right now* for a half-dozen orphans, or even one.  That challenge doesn't tug on me at all.

But then he talks about these micro-loans, going into helping people all over the world to expand their businesses.  Loans in amounts like $55 for a pharmacy in Central America (or South America, now I don't remember), and I think... why am I not involved in something like this?  Some really TINY amount of money completely turned this family's world around, and improved his community too.

What I love about Lucado's approach is that he is telling stories from the Bible in a way that makes you really get in the heads of some of these folks.  Like talking about Ananias going to see Saul in Acts 9:10... I've thought about how tough that must have been before, but I had never thought about what Ananias did -- or did not -- tell his wife about what he was up to.  The challenge Lucado was making in this chapter was to think about whether or not YOU have a Saul.  Someone who is so far gone that the world all says it is hopeless, that person is beyond redemption.

Something I think I am going to be doing in the near future is to read through this book again.  Out loud.  With my 13 and 11 year olds.  There are so many social justice issues in here that will certainly spark some interesting conversations, especially with the discussion guide in the back of the book to help get us started.  For them especially, I really love that it is at a practical, you -- ordinary, everyday you -- can make a difference.  In fact, You Were Made to Make a Difference.  That's the subtitle, and that is the primary message throughout the book.  So what can I do today that makes a difference?  What can YOU do?

Disclaimer:  As Booksneeze Blogger, I did receive this book for free from Thomas Nelson.  No other compensation was received.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here

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