Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Book Tour - Beyond Me

Now that most of you have kids back in school, you've got lots of time on your hands for reading, right?! I hope so because I've got another virtual book tour passing through my blog with a great book to tell you about. And unlike most of the books I review, which are fiction, this is a non-fiction book focused on the heart of Christian discipleship.

From the moment I saw the title and subtitle, Beyond Me. Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World, I was captivated. Just between us, I get a little weary of the mentality of some Christians who treat church as an all-you-can-eat buffet. If they aren't satisfied with what they are receiving they move on to the next church. And since I have the spiritual gift of serving and oversee pastoral care at our church, I rather smugly looked forward to reading this book so I could tell others how much they need it!

Ahem. It took less than 2 pages to go from captivated to convicted! Right off the bat, she aimed this directly at me, I'm sure!

Is that what God had been trying to tell me. . .that I was in a season of service for my mother. . .? I began to understand. . .my personal call to live a you-first life in a me-first world. It wasn't just about living selflessly so unbelievers would be drawn to Jesus. It was also about daily laying down my life, giving up the right to plan my days and order my steps, so that I could help others fulfill the needs of their day. . . And I realized that if I allowed a grumbling, complaining, me-first spirit to taint my service to others, including my mom, I was in danger of falling into the grip of the very culture of death I've spent so much time writing and speaking against. I was on the verge of hardening my heart.

In those selfless acts of love and service, we are serving and honoring God by modeling what He has already done for us. Some may be called to be martyrs of the faith. . .most of us will simply need to learn how to daily put the needs of others before our own.

Well, ouch. As we say in the South, she skipped preaching and went straight to meddling! My toes are still smarting, especially since I've been juggling my mom's recent hospitalization. (Update: she's been moved to a skilled nursing facility for some additional care and therapy for a few weeks.)

This book is full of rich examples and applications from Scripture. (Her chapter on the Prodigal Son is incredible.) And yes, more conviction. She relates a story from Philip Yancey regarding a homeless prostitute who was asked why she didn't go to a church for help when she was destitute and couldn't feed her toddler. Her response? "Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They'd just make me feel worse." Kathy Macias succintly sums up the problem many of us have:

We have spent a lot of time cursing the darkness, but precious little time lighting candles to dispel that darkness.

But the book doesn't just shoot darts of conviction and leave you feeling miserable about yourself and a total failure as a Christian. No, it provides insights on how to live a selfless life - one which has its foundation in an intimate relationship with God as we love Him with all our hearts.

This book is not only great for an individual to read, but Making It Personal questions at the end of each chapter make it ideal for a small group study as well. I encourage you to read this book and apply its principles to your life.

Living with others in Mind: Beyond Me is an invitation to pursue true discipleship. Using sometimes humorous but always vulnerable and meaningful examples, Beyond Me ties together current, historical, and biblically documented insights and teachings to encourage you to aspire to the higher calling of true discipleship. Beyond Me is appropriate for individual or small-group settings.

Kathi Macias, popular speaker and prolific author, is an Angel-award winning writer who has published twenty-one books and hundreds of articles. She also was recently presented with the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the Golden Scrolls Award banquet. Whether keyboarding her latest book, keynoting a conference, or riding on the back of her husband’s Harley, Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias is a lady on a mission to communicate God’s vision. Her insightful words—filled with passion, humor, and soul nourishment—refresh audiences from all walks of life, and her Spanish devotionals, “Desde el Corazon del Padre,” (with English translations) can be found on Crosswalk.com each Monday. Her newest book, BEYOND ME: LIVING A YOU-FIRST LIFE IN A ME-FIRST WORLD, was released from New Hope Publishers and can be ordered at CBD and Amazon. To book Kathi for your next event, email kenbarry@thebarryagency.com. For more information and to view the Beyond Me music video, her website.

Happy Productive Reading!


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easy writer said...

Thank you, Linda, and all your readers, for hosting me on your blog today. May we all be blessed and encouraged as we move "beyond me" in love and service to Him!

Anonymous said...

Just stopping in to say Hi. I am so covered up, I don't even have time to blog right now. Love ya!


BP said...

I'm going to put this on my too read list. Thanks.

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

This book sounds AWESOME! Just add it to the list....


Cheryl said...

I've read this book as well and it is just as wonderful and powerful as you have said Linda.

Thanks for hosting Kathi during her VBT!