Browsed by
Category: Book Reviews

Are you living a good story?

Are you living a good story?

A few weeks back I told you that Thomas Nelson was giving me the opportunity to review on my blog some books that were due to be released soon. I love to read and I love blogging so it seemed like a good fit. Don Miller’s book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” is the second book of my “reviewing” career.

His first book, “Blue Like Jazz” (if you haven’t read it, do it now!) was a favorite of mine. I’ve probably read it three times. The thing I loved about it was that it seemed to push a lot of envelopes. It wasn’t a self help, feel good, Scripture quoting book … and although there is nothing wrong with those, “Blue Like Jazz” seemed a lot more raw, a lot more real. To be honest, I’d never really read anything quite like it before.

Because I liked “Blue Like Jazz” and his next book, “Searching for God Knows What” so much, I was thrilled when they sent me Don Miller’s latest book.

But it was nothing like the first two I had read.

Not even a little bit.

It’s kind of like Don Miller grew up. And I don’t mean that in a bad way … it’s just that this new book was more reflective and ultimately more passionate than the first book. More life changing certainly for him and perhaps for me.

I don’t want to ruin it for you (because I really do want you to read it!) but basically Don Miller questioned the story he was living. This process came about because a movie maker wanted to make a movie about Don’s life and essentially came and lived with him for awhile. And they kept having to make stuff up for the movies storyline.

As a result, Don began to wonder … am I living a good story? How can I change my story? How can I make my story matter?

One of my favorite antidotes from the book was when one of his friends had a teenage daughter who was making some poor decisions. He decided to make some changes in his family and a few months later when Don ran into his friend he said “my daughter is better.” And when Don asked why, his friend said … “my family is living a better story.”

I love that idea of living a better story. Makes you wonder what you can change or do differently. Makes you question if the story you are living is the best it can be.

But Don Miller also brings up the point that essentially humans don’t really like change. Oh, we might say we do … even say we’re good at it, but at the end of the day most of us stick with what is comfortable. He cited facts that said that women in domestic abuse situations often go back to the man who abused them. When the interviewers asked why, they basically found that they returned to the situation because, as bad as it might have been, it was familiar. In other words, the women were afraid to choose a better story.

You’ll have to read the book to find out how Don Miller changed his story, but the bigger question you’ll have when reading the book is this:

Am I living a good story?

I hope you find the answer.

P.S. It’s another give away!!! I want to send you a copy of this book. Post a comment (on the blog … if you have trouble email me and I’ll help you) and I will once again do my totally random pick by sticking your names in a hat and drawing one out. Then I’ll mail you a copy. At the same time I will also mail the book from the last giveaway that I haven’t taken to the post office yet because I have to build up my patience before I head to the post office. I’m almost ready though.

If you don’t win you should still read the book. And I’d love to hear your comments when you finish. Hope you enjoy it too!

SHARE
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmail
Fearless

Fearless

http://thomasnelson.insidethecover.com/widget/main.swf

A month or so ago, I signed up to review a book for Thomas Nelson. They were releasing Max Lucado’s newest book, “Fearless”, on September 8, and said they would send me a copy of the book if I agreed to review it on my blog. I love Max Lucado’s writing and welcomed the opportunity to read and write about his newest release.

The promotional materials they sent talked a lot about fear (obviously!). The back cover of the book mentioned words such as dread, insecurity, and doubt. I have to be honest here and say … I kind of thought … well, I’ll read it, but I’m not sure fear is really one of the things that really causes me to struggle.

I mean, I worry, sure…who doesn’t? But fear … I don’t know.

And, as I mentioned last week, we went to the lake over the weekend to celebrate my moms 70th birthday. The surprise of the trip was that when we got there, my parents had a new (to us) ski boat. Having grown up on the lake and skiing, I was excited to see our kids continue the boating tradition.

On our first trip out to ski and ride in the inner tube, my sister took over the boat. I don’t remember anyone asking her or offering for her to drive the boat, but there she sat in the drivers seat steering the boat across the lake. My children were tied behind the boat….being drug through the lake on a large inflatable water toy.

And I was overcome with fear.

Fear that my sister was too interested in watching behind the boat to see what was coming in front of the boat. Fear that she would be watching the front of the boat and forget that my kids were behind us. Fear that she was getting too close to other boats. Fear that she was driving too close to the shore.

Honestly, I wanted to throw up.

My girls rode behind the boat and the entire time I was miserable. Gripped with fear. And when it came time for Bill and Jacob, my husband and son, to ride the inner tube … I couldn’t take it anymore. This was my Alpha and my Omega, my beginning and my end, about to be drug around the lake with a driver I couldn’t place my confidence in.

And I spoke up.

I said … “at the risk of making you angry (and I’m sure I did), I don’t want you to drive the boat anymore with my kids on the back”.

To her credit, she didn’t balk and traded places with my dad.

IMMEDIATELY I was fine. Completely fine. I didn’t even have to watch. I didn’t have to worry about what was in front of the boat or about the people tied to the back … I knew my dad had it under control. I didn’t worry, I didn’t dread, I wasn’t insecure … I wasn’t afraid. I had complete faith that it was going to be fine.

And please hear me…it wasn’t anything against my sister at all…it’s just that my dad has driven me around the lake … oh, about a gizillion and seven times. And I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was in control. He’d been there and done that and I had no cause for alarm.

And I realized this … and it’s the crux of Mr. Lucado’s book … we all fear. At some time or another and some people more than others. There are times we feel out of control, filled with angst, dread and worry … but those are the times we need to make sure we know who is driving the boat, so to speak. We need to make sure Christ is steering the ship and determining in which direction we are going. He can see what is on the horizon …. things we cannot even see. He also knows what is tied to our boat. And yet with Him steering, we don’t have to be afraid.

I cannot explain the peace I had when my dad started driving the boat. Just like I can’t fully explain the fear I had when my sister was driving it. But the analogy to me couldn’t be more clear. Know the captain well, spend time with the captain, put your trust in the captain … and you’ll make it back to shore.

Max Lucado puts it this way: “When Christ is great, our fears are not”. He also shared the quote … “courage is just fear that has said it’s prayers”. Here’s the deal, the lake will get choppy, storms will come, you are going to get splashed and sometimes you may get soaked … but when you have faith in the captain, there is no need to panic. No need to freak.

I once read that in the Bible the phrase “do not be afraid” is mentioned over 365 times. Do you see?!? … One time for each day of the year. “Fearless” states “the one statement he (Christ) made more than any other was this: don’t be afraid.” Fear causes us to lose our confidence in God’s goodness. As the book states, “fear, at it’s center, is a perceived loss of control”. It “dulls our miracle memory and makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is.”

I felt out of control when my sister was driving the boat. I knew I didn’t want to drive the boat. And the calm I felt when my dad took over … well, it’s not unlike the calm I feel when I let Christ take over.

The key is remembering to let Him always have control. Let Him steer me through the storms … let Him get me to shore.

Although “fear may fill our world”, Lucado says, “it doesn’t have to fill our hearts.”

Just so long as you know the Captain … and put your faith and confidence in Him.

*****************

I think you will enjoy the book as much as I did. My copy is staying on my shelf … it’s the kind of book I will read again and again. And I’d love to give one of my blog readers a copy. Leave a comment in the comments section (emails don’t count) and I’ll announce a winner on Friday. Good luck!

SHARE
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmail