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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Be The Message - Kerry and Chris Shook

Taking your faith beyond words to a life of action. This book is a call to action. In it, the authors challenge all Christians to put into practice and action all the things we say we believe.  It is one thing to say we love others, but how are we showing it?
There is a foreward by Rick Warren that is sure to attract attention just by his name being involved in this book.
The author is pastor of Woodlands Church in Houston, Texas since 1993 and has one of the largest fair trade/direct trade stores in the country and is recognized for it's work for the poor and powerless.  In other words, they practice what they preach.
In the chapter on pain titled "God's megaphone" from a C.S. Lewis quote, he says, "Our understanding of someone else's hurt is now more vivid and intense so much so that we get up and do something about it." That is faith in action.
In the chapter titled "The great disconnect" he talks about a troubling disconnect between the words you speak and the life you live not always being the same.
The book is divided into four parts, Transforming, Discovering, Understanding and Taking.
Chapter titles include, The great disconnect, From mess to message, more than nothing, more than nothing, and love the one in front of you.  At the end of every chapter are two call to action catagories, The divine whisperer, and love the one in front of you.  They point the reader toward how God can speak to you, and how you can put the principles into practice, wherever you are, and be used by God to help others.  Several life stories are mentioned of people that were used by God as examples, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis, Truet Cathy and Nick Vujicic.
The whole point of this book is helping others in a practical way, to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and to break free out of your comfort zone.  At one point he says "Church is not about good people, it's about broken people."
He also mentions having a "holy disturbance," which is something that bothers you so much that you have to take action on, a subject that God puts on your heart.  And that is how the fair trade store got started in his church.
As with a lot of book written by two authors, it may be hard to tell which one is actually writing the chapter, unless the reader is told.  Often both authors are so much on the same page that it is difficult to tell them apart, and that's not a bad thing.
This author and his church are making a difference in this world.  By their practical applications of Jesus' teachings in the Bible. They have made a profound discovery.  "You are the Gospel" and "Be the Message."
Published by Waterbrook Press.
I have been provided with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review.

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