I have five goals for the next 365 days of my journey until I turn 51. One the five is new for me, at least as a life goal—to read 12 books in one year. I say this is a new goal, but it is really a goal revisited. I have always tried to read a certain number of books during different periods of my life. I know firsthand how much a book can change one’s life. I can look back in my life and see where I dedicated myself to reading a book, and God has used it to impact my life in a great way. Whether turning me in a new direction, to challenging me to go after something I feel called to do, a good book can do more than speak into your life; it can actually spark new life, new power and enthusiasm.
I have just completed my first book of the twelve that I will read this year. The name of the book is All In, and it is written my Mark Batterson. The book is going to go down as one of my favorites; it may be the second-most highlighted book that I have on my bookshelf at home. If you are looking for a “fresh word” from an inspired writer, who will have a heart-to-heart talk with you about giving your best for God, pick up a copy. I have always liked Mark Batterson’s work as a pastor, a leader and a writer. The book is published by Zondervan and is now available through all of your major bookstores.
Here are some of the highlights of the book that really impacted my life:
1. The subtitle, “You are one decision away from a totally different life”, says it all for me. In our complex world of a 1000 daily decisions, I love to know and be reminded that many times it’s just one decision that can make all the difference.
2. The question Mark asks his readers in Chapter 2: “Are you following Jesus? Or have you inverted the gospel by inviting Jesus to follow you?” As I was reading this book, there were many things that I shared with my sales team and friends. When I shared that statement, you could see on everyone’s face that Mark had hit a cord that all of us could understand. We all need to be called back to following the one that we call Lord!
3. The book is full of incredible stories that demonstrate the power of living “All In”, or totally dedicated to Christ. From Mark’s personal story of going from a failed church plant to risking it all to move to Washington D.C. and try again, Mark uses the power of both personal and historical stories to display the power of living “All In” for God. My favorite story is the one that he tells of a couple who goes to the mission field. This couple goes with great expectations of what they are going to do for Christ. By the end, the reader gets the impression that their journey was a total loss. However, as Mark recounts the real story, I doubt that many people will be able to read it without having a tear or two. It’s a great example of how one person’s sacrifice for Christ has a ripple effect.
If you are looking for a book to spark your relationship or your devotion to Christ, I encourage you to get this book—and if you are like me, make sure you have a box of highlighters. On to book #2!!!!