Monday, September 27, 2010

You Were Made to Make a Difference

Max Lucado teams up with his daughter, Jenna Lucado Bishop, and Natalie Gillespie to write You Were Made to Make a Difference. This book is similar in theme to his recent title, Outlive Your Life. However, this edition is aimed toward teenagers. To begin with, the book is designed to look like a journal. It invites interaction with the text, and is written with excerpts from both Lucado and his daughter. There are also pictures and heart-warming stories. However, the text is challenging for young adults, encouraging them to live to their potential and make a difference in the lives of others.

The book ties in scripture, quotes, and related facts to inspire teenagers to look around them and see where they can affect others. Stories help teenagers see that it doesn't matter what their circumstances are, where they live, or what their age is. They can make a difference in others' lives just by looking around and committing themselves to helping others. The stories in this book center on sacrificial living. They demonstrate that teenagers do not have to focus on doing big huge things on their own, but instead to look for small acts of kindness they can do daily. The book encourages students and teens to talk to the kids who are left out, to donate time to help a neighbor, and to offer encouraging words to those who need them. These are small steps that anyone can do, and they make a difference daily to others.

The book also includes questions to help teenagers begin thinking about their strengths, their interests, and the areas in which they could benefit others. Lucado reminds teens that they need a willing heart and an open mind, and God will direct their intentions into something positive. He reminds teenagers that they too are children of God, and if they focus on sharing His love with others, they will benefit along with those they help.

The format of the book makes it an enjoyable read for all ages. By differing the font and format, and alternating between Lucado's storytelling and his daughter's voice, the book holds the interest of the reader. It can be read in short sittings, but does invite the reader to think more deeply about the concepts introduced. It would make a great study for youth groups, and I would recommend this book to all adult leaders of youth groups as well. It is inspiring, while containing practical advice for teenagers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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