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Saturday, September 04, 2010
Book Sneeze Review: Outlive Your Life By Max Lucado
Outlive Your Life: You Were Made To Make A Difference by Max Lucado
5 of 5 Stars Awarded
In Mr. Lucado's words, this book is a "call to compassion". So if you want none of that, this book is not for you! 100% of the royalties from this book will benefit children and families through World Vision and other charities as described on Mr. Lucado's website. These royalties will be used to create healthy, sustainable communities in Northern Uganda.
This book is aimed at reaching the "Average Joe" true believer who may question if God can use him/her to advance the Kingdom. One criticism I did have in reading the inside front dust cover was that Max was calling all blue collar workers to the mat. That's admirable, but living in SE Florida, we do roll up our sleeves and do ministry with the very richest of the rich believers. So I felt his calling all blue collar workers verbiage was a slight affront to the Solomons of our day who are in their best servant/slave years serving God whether in our community or abroad.
The theme verse in this book clearly was Ephesians 2:10. Now how can one argue with that?!
In Chapter One page six (second paragraph) the statistics were astounding! I quote, "And we have enough bedrooms to house the orphans. Here's the math. There are 145 million orphans worldwide. Nearly 236 million people in the United States call themselves Christians. From a purely statistical standpoint, American Christians by themselves have the wherewithal to house every orphan in the world.
Of course, many people are not in a position to do so. They are elderly, infirm, unemployed, or simply feel no call to adopt. Yet what if a small percentage of them did? Hmmmm, let's say 6 percent. If so, we could provide loving homes for more than 14.1 million children in sub-Saharan Africa who have been orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. Among the noble causes of the church, how does that one sound? "American Christians Stand Up for AIDS Orphans." Wouldn't that headline be a welcome one?"
Chapter Four is so humorous! His account of men shopping entitled "Clueless Husband Shopping Squad" kept me in stitches! Also humorous was the fictionally depicted (but factually accurate for the most part) account of Ananias & Sapphira. I actually learned alot from this account as I went into my Bible and read the NIV account. I appreciated reading the account in a format akin to the Message Bible version but in the author's own words - which by the way - I do enjoy his writing style! He is pithy in his approach but packs a punch often as he appeals to the common man and woman as he relates to them in a casual yet direct manner.
Immediately preceding each chapter, I appreciated a Scripture verse and a prayer from the author. This style was similar to a daily devotion which would really appeal to those too busy to read several chapters at one sitting. His prayers were heartfelt and prayed in simple terms which often caused me to become teary-eyed. Most were about being humble servants before the Lord. Inspiring for sure! Mr. Lucado included an invitation to salvation for the reader in the first third of the book. Applause for this inclusion so early on in the book.
The author's discussion of hypocrisy was eye-opening. If you are searching on Amazon.com you must search inside the book and check out page 92!
Here is a portion, "To do a good thing is a good thing. To do good to be seen is not. In fact, to do good to be seen is a serious offense. Here's why. Hypocrisy turns people away from God. When God-hungry souls walk into a congregation of wannabe superstars, what happens? When God-seekers see singers strut like Las Vegas entertainers... when they hear the preacher - a man of slick words, dress, and hair - play to the crowd and exclude God...when other attendees dress to be seen and make much to-do over their gifts and offerings...when people enter a church to see God yet can't see God because of the church, don't think for a second that God doesn't react. "Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding" (Matthew 6:1 MSG)." Amen and Amen!!
On a negative note (sorry Mr. Lucado), I did not appreciate the secular culture icon's (Bono) reference of people groups being "an accident of latitude" (page 104). This inclusion and quote was unnecessary and offensive to the believer as it directly contradicts (Psalm 139) God's sovereignty. I give grace in this matter as I believe the author's intentions were not to offend the reader. However, I was offended by the use of that reference.
Lastly, the author's challenge to the reader is brilliantly posed, "We can rise too high but can never stoop too low. What gift are you giving that he did not first give? What truth are you teaching that he didn't first teach? You love. But who loved you first? You serve. But who served the most? What are you doing for God that he could not do alone? How kind of him to use us. How wise of us to remember."
The last chapter does not end without giving the reader more tools to fulfill Ephesians 2:10. Mr. Lucado includes quite a meaty Discussion & Action Guide.
I highly recommend this work to all who have an interest in doing what all true believers in Christ are called to do as mandated in Matthew 25:34-36. This book is not only uplifting and inspiring but also convicting.
In the author's words, "None of us can help everyone. But all of us can help someone. And when we help them, we serve Jesus. Who would want to miss a chance to do that?"
Amen and Amen. Buy this book and by doing so help others. Then get out there and Outlive Your Life!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Are you a manufacturer of a product or currently market a service? Christina will review it! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with product name, description and manufacturer's suggested retail price along with any other information relative to said product. You will receive a response via email within two weeks if product will be reviewed. Please note not all products will be considered reviewable. Please do not send products without prior consent. Note: Products sent for review will not be returned. Product submission authorizes consent for said product to remain in sole possession of recipient. No monies shall be exchanged for product submission nor permission granted for reviews prior to submission. Reviews shall remain effective and in full force at sole discretion of blog administrator and/or authors related to http://www.christinawillreviewit.blogspot.com.