Posts Tagged ‘book review’
photo credit: http://stickyjesus.com
I want to tell you about a very good friend of mine. Her name is Tami. Our friendship is like many of my friendships–built on trust, respect, admiration, humility, faithfulness, prayer for each other’s families. We’ve known each other for about a year now, and she has quickly become one of my biggest advocates (and I her) and a mentor of sorts. We probably touch base every other day or so as we partner together in ministry on various initiatives. I feel like I’ve known her my whole life.
All this sounds pretty normal, right? Well, there’s one little caveat… I’ve never actually met Tami. Face to face. In person. We’ve never even been in the same city at the same time. That’s right. Tami and I connected over Twitter and continue to grow as friends and co-laborers over that platform as well as Facebook and Skype. My friendship with Tami is a great example of just how much our world is changing through Internet technology and social media.
Even in recent years, many have chuckled at the idea of ‘virtual’ friendship, and companies like eHarmony still have stigma attached to them. Despite the tendencies for many still to balk at the notion of meaningful human connections over the web, the fact is this is the way our world is shifting. I can bear witness to this, from my friendship with Tami, to mornings where I will have personal conversations with people in Russia, Malaysia, South Africa, Ghana, Jamaica and Fort Lauderdale (where I live), all while sipping the same chai tea in my local Starbucks. The fact that our world is growing exponentially more connected every day has tremendously profound and exciting implications regarding how Jesus followers ought to live out the Great Commission.
This is the reason why Tami (@tamiheim) and her friend Toni (@tonibirdsong) have collaborated to write @stickyJesus: How To Live Out Your Faith Online. In this super-easy-to-read book, Tami and Toni provide an incredible blueprint for us to meaningfully engage online in a way that honors and points to Christ.
Of course, more and more resources are produced on this topic as we go forward, but this is a book that you absolutely must read. The reason is simple but staggering. While most books like this explain cultural context first and then talk about how to retro-fit the message of the Gospel accordingly, @stickyJesus approaches the idea from the opposite direction. This book articulates the unchangeable Gospel context first, and then reveals how we can invite our lost friends into that space via the social sphere. If you know my writing, you know that I believe this is the foundational principle from which most thinkers on the subject of evangelism fail to originate their ideas and methodologies. Most begin with current culture, I think we should begin with the Gospel. And so do Tami and Toni.
Whether you dabble on Facebook or curate an influential cross-platform network, it is critically important that you read this book as soon as you can. For the casual participant, it will provide a language and framework for natural intentionality in your online interactions for the sake of making Jesus known. For the social media savvy, it will recalibrate your skill set for eternal significance and provide a wise ‘voice over your shoulder’ as you craft your status updates and responses each day.
I’m writing this post as more of an endorsement than a review on purpose. I’m hoping that once you’re done reading it, you will simply be inspired to click on the link below and get the book now. Endorsements tend to work better that way sometimes… Anyway, if you’ve read the book, please include your thoughts in the comments. If you read this and then read the book, please come back and let us know your thoughts.
I post this with a thankful prayer for my friendship with Tami, in hopes that her and Toni’s wisdom might have the same impact on you as it has on me for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.
Blessings and #LiveSticky!
photo credit: Ian Cron
Ian is back at it–he just released his second book Jesus, My Father, The CIA and Me: A Memoir of Sorts. Again, click the title to get yourself a copy.
I had the privilege of spending a half hour with Ian and his wife Anne baking in a parking lot one block off a street festival in Delray Beach a few weeks ago. Having known and loved these guys since I was in diapers, I always try to take the opportunity to see them when I can–even if it finds us in unexpected places. At the end of our incredibly illuminating conversation, Ian offered me a pre-release copy of the Memoir. It is such an honor that he would do this, and it’s a treat to recommend it to you.
Though he states outright that some of his stories may be slightly less than accurate, I found myself defending my own memories of childhood–my only argument for relativism is found in my own personal ‘take’ on what happened, when and how, and how my experiences shaped me as a person. Some of my closest friends and family claim that I have a flair for the over-dramatic, but hey, this is how I remember what happened–who are you to tell me how I perceived it all?
That said, Ian’s Memoir is less a chronology of his journey and more like wading in a reflection pool. His writing truly transports. I felt like I was there when he lit the pile of powder he emptied from the road flares for all the neigborhood boys’ amusement; when he hid beneath the altar at 5AM in the church because he was awakened too early; when he tackled his drunk father in the easy chair; when he blew his VW Bug motor and jumped out before it stopped on the way to a Steve Miller Band show; and when his 8 year old son taught him and other grown men how to be courageous.
Ian’s counselor Dan captures the tremendous implicit value of this book on page 200:
“I spoke for two hours. ‘Sorry for rambling,’ I said. Dan uncrossed his legs. ‘I want to sit quietly for a moment to honor the story you’ve just told. It was sacred,’ he said, taking a deep breath and closing his eyes.”
Ian’s book reaffirms to us that our stories are sacred. That is to say that our lives are sacred. Regardless of the path, pleasant or horrifying, we each have a catalog of stories, unique and sacred. We add immeasurable richness to each other’s lives by retelling our stories. And Ian is a master storyteller.
Get this book and read it tonight. Fight the urge to find some deep theological meaning in all of it (it’s definitely there) and just enjoy listening to good stories.
Perhaps I’ve been reading a lot of books lately filled with statistics and case studies, but I found this book to be incredibly refreshing and energizing. It’s full of hope and everything that tries to stand in the way of hope. Just like my story. Just like your story.
Thanks, Ian! Can’t wait for the next one!