Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Review: Outlive Your Life

Max Lucado rocks my world.  I just finished reading his new book, "Outlive Your Life".  I only started this book on Wednesday afternoon.  I hoped it would hold my attention enough to finish it by today.  I was not disappointed!

I want to back up here just a little.  I've been a fan of Max Lucado ever since I picked up my first book by him some 15 years ago.  I have a picture that I really really wanted to include on this blog post, but it's currently inaccessible in the far corner of my crawl space (naughty, I know, to have my pictures stored in the crawl space).  It is me and 2 or 3 other young college girls some 15 years ago sitting on the side of a swimming pool, all with a Max Lucado book in front of our faces.  I don't remember which one now that I was reading, but it was most likely one of these three:  No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, God Came Near, or Six Hours One Friday.  I remember being completely swept away by Lucado's vivid writing style.  His books challenged me to draw near to my Savior.

Outlive Your Life follows in kind behind my early favorites.  Lucado brings home difficult statistics and issues in the world today, reminds us we are called to do something about it, then shows us how we can.  He paints beautiful word pictures, tells stories that grip our hearts, and gently calls us to action.  In fact, immediately after reading Chapter 10, "Stand Up for the Have-Nots", I felt compelled to come to my computer and write a blog post about Compassion International.  Sponsoring a child is a very easy way to put insight into action after reading this book!  And before you think that simple things (such as $38/month) don't save the world, read on to Chapter 16, "That's Jesus Playing That Fiddle"!  Lucado reminds us of Jesus' words:  "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’"  (Matthew 25:35-36 ESV)  And points out that those verses do NOT say that "I was sick and you healed me."  In simple things we serve Jesus.  I really could go on and on trying to grasp all that this book encompasses, but I would fall short.  I can only say: read it.  This one is a must-read.  And it's easy.  The back of the book includes a "Discussion and Action Guide" which makes the book easily accommodated to small groups. 

Earlier today Micah and I had a conflict.  He had been angry with his brother, and subsequently hurt him both with words and physically.  As I corrected Micah, he was at first unrepentant and shifted his anger towards me.  He was certainly not respectful nor submissive.  It was a battle!  In fact, I finally had to retreat to my room and pray.  I assigned him a few Bible verses to read, then I asked him the question "How does the Bible have the power to bring about true, lasting change in our lives?"  Micah's answer came as "I can read God's word, and pray, and ask God to help me."  Later I was reading Chapter 15, "Pray First, Pray Most" and I felt that Micah needed to hear the message on prayer and repentance.  I called him over and asked him if he would rather read it himself, or listen as I read to him.  He said listen...so we sat, shoulder-to-shoulder, and I read.  I stopped where I felt it appropriate, and he asked me to continue...he said, "But what does this part say?"  So I continued on, finishing the entire chapter.  Then he said, "Why can't I read this book?"  I told him he certainly can.  He said as he jumped up from the couch to finish with lunch, "Max Lucado is a VERY good author!"  My heart rejoiced.  He said, "Maybe I should write a report, Mom."  I told him if he wants to, I would be happy to publish it for him.  :)

I highly recommend this book with one admonition:  Do not read it and remain unchanged.  Do not read it and do nothing, remaining complacent as you are.  Do something.  Change the world.

Thomas Nelson book publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of the Book Sneeze blog 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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