Monday, April 30, 2012


I started reading this book months ago. I picked it back up last week and finished it last night. It is not for the weak-hearted. If you are needing to be challenged in life, this is a great book.

Platt exposes the heart in a way to call into question our life choices. Are we seeing our abundance as a blessing and a chance to bless others? Are we giving away only what we can spare?

The American Dream is not necessarily bad, but Platt does call us to ask ourselves a few questions.

"This is how God works. He puts his people in positions where they are desperate for his power, and then he shows his provision in ways that display his greatness" (48).
"We take Jesus' command in Matthew 28 to make disciples of all nations, and we say, 'That means other people.' But we look at Jesus' command in Matthew 11.28, 'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,' and we say, 'Now, that means me.' We take Jesus' promise in Acts 1.8 that the Spirit will lead us to the ends of the earth, and we say, 'That means some people.' But we take Jesus' promise in John 10.10 that we will have abundant life, and we say, 'That means me.'" (73)

"To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus" (165).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Relationships Unfiltered

This is a quick, easy read, but it also packs a powerful punch.

Chapter four was helpful for me because it contrasted Justin and Jan. "Justin could go into a school and attract kids to an event, but Jan could open her person to adolescents and invite them to be cared for in the love of Christ she represented with her presence" (66).

Chapter five talked about suffering. "It may be that we work with kids who've had every opportunity and advantage in life, but this doesn't mean they have not known suggering, they have not questioned their existence, or they have not felt (or been) betrayed, abandoned, or lost. We all have suffered" (87).

"A major element of our vocation is to suffer" (91). Ouch. Not words you really want to hear, but it is so true. Something they probably need to share more at Christian colleges preparing young people for ministry.

"Our job isn't to discover the next hot thing or craft our personalities to be hip but to watch for God's activity in our lives and to articulate it. This is being a theologian; it is to be deeply with others as we seek" (140).

Andrew Root is a former Young Life leader, so he addresses the invention of "relational ministry" and what that has become. It is a really interesting book that has challenged me to think deeper. There is a difference between relationship and connection. We can connect with a lot of kids without being in relationship with them. Root is definitely challenging us to get into their lives (life's ups and downs).

Definitely recommend this book to those in ministry.

Monday, April 16, 2012


This is the third book I have read in the past couple of years on introversion. I am excited that it is a worthy subject for books. I am always interested to know more about how God has wired me as an introvert.

I appreciated Susan Cain's use of well-known historical figures to make her points. Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Ghandi were all introverts and discussed in Cain's book.

Cain addressed some large issues, such as environments in the workplace and school. America has an extrovert ideal, which I have seen not only written into job descriptions but also in the ways kids are forced to work together on almost every assignment.

My favorite chapter was Chapter 10: The Communication Gap. I am convinced that if people understood introversion/extroversion better, they would have better relationships. "This was a painfully common dynamic... the introverts desperately craving downtime and understanding from their partners, the extrovery longing for company, and resentful that others seemed to benefit from their partners' 'best' selves" (228).

Cain addressed the 2008 stockmarket crash, one of the only chapters I was not really interested in reading. Maybe it was that I did not have anything invested that it did not capture my attention as much as the rest of the book, but it made the middle section of the book drag on for me.

I do not like it when authors constantly say "coming up in chapter xx", which Cain did quite a bit. Maybe it is my own personal displeasure, but I just want people to come out and say what they mean when they mean to say it.

If you don't want to read it all, at least read Chapter 10 and the Conclusion. But I do recommend it for everyone. It will be insightful for both introverts and extroverts.

I reviewed this book for Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers Blogging for Books. I received this book for free in exchange for a review of the book.

To whet your appetite for the book/author: a TED talk by Susan Cain.