Wednesday, October 17, 2018

waking up to God's goodness around you

Book Description from the publisher:

“In a world where hope seems dim and solutions feel complicated and partisan, Shannan Martin offers us a starting point that is as radical as it is domestic: widen your circle, hush your mouth, and pay close attention. This book is the right book for this moment in time and I simply cannot get over it. I either laughed or cried on almost every page. We need these lyrical, prophetic words now more than ever before.” —Emily P. Freeman, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Simply Tuesday

“This is a message the world needs. So often we overcomplicate ‘service’ or this elusive call to ministry when all the while ministry is right in front of us. Shannan reminds us of the simple, yet beautiful call to love our neighbor and what that could really look like today. We are reminded that extravagant love in ordinary moments does indeed lead to an extraordinary life.” --Katie Davis Majors, New York Times bestselling author of Kisses from Katie

Popular blogger Shannan Martin offers Christians who are longing for a more meaningful life a simple starting point: learn what it is to love and be loved right where God has placed you.

For Christ-followers living in an increasingly complicated world, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to live a life of intention and meaning. Where do we even begin?

Shannan Martin offers a surprisingly simple answer: uncover the hidden corners of our cities and neighborhoods and invest deeply in the lives of people around us. She walks us through her own discoveries about the vital importance of paying attention, as well as the hard but rewarding truth about showing up and committing for the long haul, despite the inevitable encounters with brokenness and uncertainty. With transparency, humor, heart-tugging storytelling, and more than a little personal confession, Martin shows us that no matter where we live or how much we have, as we learn what it is to be with people as Jesus was, we'll find our very lives. The details will look quiet and ordinary, and the call will both exhaust and exhilarate us. But it will be the most worth-it adventure we will ever take.
My Review:
Oh my goodness, this book from Shannan Martin is a wonderful book, one that I needed to read, one that I had to stay up late last night reading just because it was that good!  Early on while reading I was completely hooked, "It's all too easy to lose our purpose in life: the leftovers, the empty gas tank, the meetings that run too long.  We know we're called to love our neighbor, but we're leery of risk.  We come from a long line of social awkwardness."  Right where we are, each of us in this very moment, has a purpose, we may feel uncomfortable at times, we may have to take risks, but we have a purpose to be among the people like Jesus was.  Shannan shares her personal experiences, her stories, her uncomfortableness, her times of being a neighbor and reaching out to those around her to fulfill this purpose.  Ministry is not just going overseas, halfway around the world, leaving the life you have grown up in, no it is in the every day life we live as well.  I love how Shannan stresses relationships with others, building real, genuine relationships with people, the people we interact with each and every day at school drop offs, in the grocery store, out for a walk in the neighborhood.  Shannan states, "Offering ourselves as a kind-hearted presence in a world that has forgotten the meaning of community is a courageous act of peace."  By showing up, by being there, interacting with others and building those relationships in the ordinary situations and interactions we can make such a difference and show God's love and be His presence in this world.  I highly recommend this book as it really does live up to its' title: "The Ministry of Ordinary Places: waking up to God's goodness around you."
*Thanks to the BookLook Bloggers Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

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