Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Outlive Your Life

Mia is just seven years old but I feel like she regularly teaches me what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus. She prays at the drop of a hat, and when I ask her to pray for something, she doesn't wait for privacy or for a free moment, she immediately drops her head and closes her eyes. Last week she wore shaped rubber bands, the new hot fashion item for girls under the age of eighteen, in Christian shapes to school and used them to tell her friends about God.

She's always doing something that touches my heart, but yesterday she made me realize just how deep her faith is. She had an assignment in school to come up with five things that are "slurped" and five things that are "spread". The slurped items are typical: chocolate milk, Sunny-Dee, etc. But the last item on Mia's spread list was God. It doesn't seem like a big deal until I realized that what it means is that God is always on her mind, and she looks for Him to be the answer to every question she faces. How amazing is that? I've gotten much better in my faith about keeping God on my mind throughout the day. When I was younger, I only ever thought about Him on Sundays or at night when I said my prayers. Now I wake up and offer a prayer, and I throw up little prayers or thoughts about God all day, but I can't truly say that He is always on my mind. Mia is a little girl, but she already knows that He is the answer to every question that matters, and that He's never far from her mind.

I am blessed to have her as my daughter; she just blows me away.

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado is another outstanding devotional by one of the leading pastors in America. Lucado breaks the book of Acts into sixteen chapters and recreates it into modern day anecdotes and language to make the stories of the early Christian church fresh and alive. In the first years after Jesus' ascension to Heaven, the church exploded in growth, regularly performed miracles, and took care of the needy by working together. The world today is filled with those suffering from hunger, facing abject poverty, and terrible illness, and the church doesn't seem to be doing much about it. Lucado encourages readers to start making a difference on an individual level using Acts and the apostles as their inspiration. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the immensity of the problems in the world, he wants readers to do something small and real and then allow God to bless it. There are stories of real people today making an impact in unexpected ways which will help readers see that change is possible and within reach. Lucado's writing is always down-to-earth, conversational, relevant, and enjoyable to read.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of this book for review.