Scary Close

scary closeScary Close is an apt title for this book because in it, Donald Miller allows his readers to get scary close.  In his latest offering Miller pulls back the curtain of his life and heart and permits us to see the good and the bad, the successes and the struggles.

This is my first time to read a Donald Miller book.  I’ve heard of him as an author and have even had a paperback copy of Blue Like Jazz sitting on my dresser for a while.  For me, it was a great introduction to his writing.

In chapter 11 of his book, Miller writes this:  “Vulnerability has served me well. It’s one of the few ways I’ve been able to connect with others, including readers.” This book is all about the author being vulnerable.

In Scary Close Miller shares about his tendency as a writer to disconnect from people so he can write books that impress people.  He describes his journey to a therapy camp for adults that helped him uncover some things about himself and how we relates to others.  From that experience he reveals a painful memory from is growing up years that impacted him more than he realized.  He confesses his struggles in dating relationships and describes his courtship with the woman who is now is wife.

This statement probably sums up his book well:  The idea that authenticity leads to deep and healthy relationships fixated me for a long time.  I’m convinced honesty is the soil intimacy grows in.

This is an honest an honest where Miller connects with his readers, but also provides some principles and tools for the reader to move toward intimacy in his/her relationships.

I found the book to be both challenging and engaging.  Plus, it moved me to pick up the copy of Blue Like Jazz sitting on my dresser.  I’m already 7 chapters in.


The Racketeer, a Good Read

the racketeer One of the Christmas gifts I received from my kids this year was a gift card to get some ebooks. I immediately snagged John Grisham’s new book, The Racketeer, and Andy Stanley’s latest, Deep & Wide. I finished Grisham’s book and have started Stanley’s.

I always enjoy John Grisham’s books and enjoyed The Racketeer.  He has a way of weaving together a story that draws you in and keeps you wondering what is happening next.

The backdrop of this book is a lawyer, Malcolm Bannister, who ends up in jail because he became associated with the wrong people and the murder of a federal judge.  Bannister claims to have information on who murdered the judge and why he did it.  The FBI has no leads and begin a conversation with Bannister that leads to a series of twists and turns.

If you are interested in seeing how it all pans out, grab a copy of The Racketeer.  Grisham keeps you guessing until the end wondering who is guilty and who really knows the truth.  He shows why he is one of today’s popular authors.

Pit is Short, Story is Long

I was listening to Louie Giglio’s podcast today and he was speaking about the life of Joseph.  He began by looking at the position Joseph had as Potiphar’s right hand man.  It looked like Joseph had it all – God’s favor, position, success.  But then Louie went back to the time when Joseph’s brother were so angry and jealous of him that they first wanted to kill him, but instead sold him as a slave.

While Joseph did receive God’s blessing, he also spent a lot of time in the pit.  Then Louie made this statement – the pit is short, but the story is long.

It is easy for us to look at the whole life of Joseph as we flip through the pages of scripture and see how God used him in a great way.  The pit was just a couple of pages in our Bible.  But for Joseph, that was a huge chunk of time, a big bite out of his life.

It is a great reminder to us that as deep as our pit might be, it is short and God’s story is so long.  Where we struggle is that we don’t know how deep the pit will go our how long we will be in it…and we want out ASAP…if not sooner!

When we fall into the pit – or are even put there by people close to us – we need the reminder that the story is long.  And God is the author of the story….and He is still writing our chapter.  The pit is short, but the story is long.