Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Love does

I recently read Bob Goff's little book Love Does. It was a very easy and enjoyable read of just over 200 pages. Bob is actually a lawyer and founder of a company, but he paints himself as just an ordinary fellow who believes that love should DO and not just be something we say. As he writes on the back cover:
When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance to make faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life... Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob's life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible too.

I'm thinking the book was heavily influenced by Donald Miller, so if you like Don's writing, you will probably like this too. It is definitely not an 'academic' book, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't read it. I think it's one of those books just about anyone could get a lot out of. My only negative about the book would be an overuse of false humility (or something like that). He likes to paint himself as this poor, nobody, fool... but he IS a lawyer, and he must have some amount of money to do all the traveling he does and whatnot. But that's minor. It's a good book.

Jane actually bought this book for me just after I was told I was no longer wanted at the church I was serving and was at a pretty low point in life. She's pretty smart. I'm glad she bought it and shoved it in my face and told me to read it. It helped. :)

I will go back to one of my old habits of listing some of the underlined parts that I found most helpful:
  • p. 17 - "I used to think being loved was the greatest thing to think about, but now I know love is never satisfied just thinking about it."
  • p. 25 - "I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I'm more afraid of succeeding at things that don't matter."
  • p. 29 - "Failure is just part of the process, and it's not just okay; it's better than okay. God doesn't want failure to shut us down. God didn't make it a three-strikes-and-you're-out sort of thing. It's more about how God helps us dust ourselves off so that we can swing for the fences again. And all of this without keeping a meticulous record of our screw-ups."
  • p. 31 - "I used to think I could shape the circumstances around me, but now I know Jesus uses circumstances to shape me."
  • p. 59 - "I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes."
  • p. 80 - "I think every day God sends us an invitation to live and sometimes we forget to show up or get head-faked into thinking we haven't really been invited. But you see, we have been invited -- every day, all over again."
  • p. 94 - "I used to think religion tasted horrible, but now I know I was just eating the fake stuff."
  • p. 103 - "I used to think I had missed the mark and God was mad about it, but now I know 'missing the mark' is a stupid analogy."
  • p. 113 - "I used to think life could be shared with anyone, but now I know choosing the right people is pretty important."
  • p. 136 - "You don't need to know everything when you're with someone you trust."
  • pp. 141-142 (whole section about God 'passing by' Moses) - "I think God passes by me a lot, and it serves to show me the direction he's going... He wants followers, not just onlookers or people taking notes."
  • p. 143 - "I think God's hope and plan for us is pretty simple to figure out." [whole paragraph]*
  • p. 145 - "I used to be afraid that if I was authentic I might take a hit, but now I know that being real means I will take a hit."***
  • p. 159 - "I used to think I should talk about everything, but now I know it's better to keep some things a secret."
  • p. 160 - "The truth is, the task would probably be even nobler if we didn't talk about it and just did it instead. It's not about being secretive or mysterious or exclusive. It's about doing capers without any capes."
  • p. 162 - "The thing is, 'Justus' sounds a lot to me like 'just us." [whole paragraph]
  • p. 163 - "We all get a chance to be awesome if we want to be. Not surprisingly, the way to do it best is by being secretly incredible."
  • p. 173 - "I used to think there were some prisons you couldn't escape, but now I know there's no place I can go where God can't rescue us."
  • p. 181 - "What I've learned the more time I've spent following Jesus is that God delights in answering our impossible prayers." [plus the next paragraph]
  • p. 197 - "I used to think I could learn about Jesus by studying him, but now I know Jesus doesn't want stalkers."
  • p. 199 - "Bible Doing" instead of "Bible Study" group.
  • p. 201 - "I think Jesus had in mind that we would not just be 'believers' but 'participants.'"
  • p. 201 - "It's not about just being politically correct; it's about being actually correct."
  • p. 202 - "Stalkers are ordinary people who study from afar the people they're too afraid to really know."
  • pp. 204-205 - **(great section on how to face confrontations - with our palms up; instead of fists clenched) "Palms up means you have nothing to hide and nothing to gain or lose. Palms up means you are strong enough to be vulnerable, even with your enemies. Even when you have been tremendously wronged. Jesus was palms up, to the end."
  • p. 208 - "If you're a sincere friend, folks around you will quickly understand that there's no hidden agenda and nothing on the other side of the equals sign - just you."
  • p. 217 - "We're not just a cosmic biology experiment that ended up working. We're part of God's much bigger plan for the whole world. Just like God's Son arrived here, so did you. And after Jesus arrived, God whispered to all of humanity... 'It's your move.' Heaven's been leaning over the rails in the same way ever since you got here, waiting to see what you'll do with your life."
Good stuff. Recommended.