Monday, September 28, 2009

One Person Can Make a Difference

In this heart warming sequel to “Same Kind of Different as Me.” Ron Hall and Denver Moore tell us what happened after the book was published. The stories of ordinary people suddenly realizing that they can do something to create change were remarkable. God does work miracles if you give him a little opening.

The story of Jose the stone mason was one of the most moving and important in the book. Ron looked at the man and saw a drunk. In an area populated by homeless people, addicts, and the mentally ill, that was what he was programmed to see. The lesson from the story is simple: in order to help people, we have to look beyond the surface and see the real person. However, as with all lessons there is a caution. Safety is an important issue. Few sane people would walk into a cage with a tiger without taking any safety precautions. It's important to help the homeless, but in doing so, it's equally important to remember that these are damaged people. Taming wild animals takes time. Likewise it takes time, patience and understanding to make a difference to a homeless person. I'm glad Ron and Denver made this point. I hope people reading the book who want to give of themselves to help the homeless realize that it's not a “catch and release” program. Consistency and commitment are critical.

What a marvelous book. I hope it continues to encourage people to give more than a few dollars and a quick handshake when they try to make a difference.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fans of Diamond Rio Will Love This Story

The story of Diamond Rio is one of teamwork and commitment. When lead singer Marty Roe had vocal difficulties, the band didn't drop him. They worked as a team to solve the problem and won. This is a heart warming and inspiring story. Fans of the band and anyone looking for an inspirational story will enjoy the book.

Although I appreciated the message in the book, I felt the story line got lost in the middle chapters. It was interesting to learn about the background of each band member, and in the end, it did contribute to understanding how the group was able to stay together and help Marty. However, unless you are a serious fan, it's easy to stop reading during the extensive biography section.

For me, the end of the book was most interesting. When you read so much about sex and drugs in the music industry, it's wonderful to read about a band whose members are not only committed to each other, but to helping other people through organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters. The book is worth reading for that insight, if for no other reason.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Life Without Fear

The world is so full of things to fear sometimes it's hard to see anyplace where fear doesn't reside. We fear street violence, losing our possessions and home, losing our jobs, that our children will be hurt, and most of all we fear death. What wouldn't we give for the secret of how to live without fear? Max Lucado's book Fearless contains this secret. In each of the scenarios I mentioned, Max takes time to examine what we fear and show us that God is the answer. Believe that Jesus Christ was sent by God to give us the message that He is looking after us and we need not be afraid. Prayer and belief are the antidotes to fear.

This is a wonderful book. Each chapter tackles a major source of fear in our lives. Max presents the problems gives us examples of people who let fear rule their lives and then tells us how we can rise above our fears. Prayer is one way we can rise above our fears, but we also need to take action. God often points out paths that in our fear we cannot see, so we remain is bad and debilitating situations. This book can help you rise out of the pit of your own fears. It's well worth the time it takes to read it.

Here's a message from Max: