Yesterday I finished reading “Lesson’s from San Quentin” by Bill Dallas…one of the many books I’ve been working my way through in the past week. Anyway, it’s basically part biography and part practical sharing, but all based on the lessons Bill (the president of CCN) learned while spending time behind bars. There’s lots of good stuff in this book. I in particular liked (aka got the most out of even though at times it felt like I was being sucker punched or slapped in the face by truth) the chapters on learning to let life come to you (aka learning that you are not in control and cannot control everything, therefore you’re efforts to do so are futile), finding freedom in forgiveness (aka how holding grudges and unforgiveness in your heart truly is your own personal prison and it’s only in offering true forgiveness that you can find real freedom), and giving respect (aka that giving people respect is not about what they do but about who they are…which is God’s deeply loved creation)! Sadly, it was also one of those books that left me desiring more. It seemed with every turn of the page I expected to hear more about His story…who he was…a real in-depth look into what made Bill Dallas tick and what really brought him to these conclusions. And although he skirted the issue…I ended the book feeling like I had learned a lot but never really connected to the author/character…if you know what I mean.
Today on the other hand, I read the book “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews (and yes I read the entire book in one day…it was that good)!!! The story is about a man named “Jones” who brings perspective to a bunch of people in different but none the less equally difficult situations! Recently I heard Andy speak at the Women of Faith conference, so many of the stories in the book were very familiar to me….yet as I read the pages I could help but think “Jones” is obviously a type of Jesus character and like him, every day we have the opportunity to plant the “seeds” of perspective in the life of those all around us! One chapter in particular really grabbed my attention (which is funny because he told this story at the conference and it really didn’t faze me at all then). In the chapter he talks about a couple on the brink of divorce because neither of them feels like the other truly loves them anymore. Jones helps the couple to see that they are still very deeply in love, they are just speaking two different languages….and he breaks the languages people tend to speak into four different animal groups (a dog, a cat, a gold fish, and a canary……I’m a combination of a canary and a dog by the way…and if you don’t know what that means you should read the book to find out)! Reading that, I immediately started thinking about the different relationships in my life and the fact that I expect people to receive love as I do and give love in a way I will receive it! The story gave me some much needed PERSPECTIVE….precisely the point!
So if you’re looking for some new reading material…..maybe some life lessons to ponder or a little perspective…here are some suggestions.