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Friday, October 28, 2016

Encouragement for Christians in ‘Every Little Thing’

            I promoted the book Every Little Thing when it first came out because the author is my friend and I believe in her motivations and in her calling.  Now, I want to re-introduce the book to anyone who might read what I write.  Put simply, in this book Deidra Riggs encourages Christians to say ‘yes’ to God.  The book is full of delightful stories.  Here I will touch on three vignettes that stand out for me.
            First, in the chapter titled “The Gospel needs to be lived,” she recites small, every day ways the ‘work of our hands’ can be offerings to God.  Her lengthy list of examples include many things that I have done in my life.  I can recall doing these each of these things, sitting at the side of the hospital bed, washing the dishes quietly (hoping not to wake my wife), and giving my $25 per month of my paycheck (in 1992) to sponsor a child in Kenya.  None of these acts felt holy or sacred at the time, but D. Riggs shows how these simple things can be tied to my walk with Christ.  She says, “We don’t step into a fairy tale when we choose to live out the gospel” (p.133).  It is real.  It is tiring and beautiful, normal and extraordinary; and, it is real.
            Second, in chapter 8, building on the theme of witnessing to the reality of faith in everyday life, she writes, “All around us, in cotton socks with heels worn thin, walk mighty warriors whose stories will never qualify them for the cover of a magazine” (p.158).  Through much of the latter part of the book, Riggs appeals to Gideon and the contrast of one whose self-perception is total insignificance, but is called “mighty warrior” by God.  I truly appreciate her treatment of the Gideon story.  Whenever I tackle a task where it seems I lack resources but also it is clear that the task is from God, I tell those with me that we have been given “Gideon’s 300” and that’s all we’ll need.  As someone who also appeals to that story in my own faith expression, I was greatly heartened by Riggs’ writing on Gideon.
            Finally, I love the sermonic ending at the close of chapter 9.  “Would it be alright,” she asks, “if God took over from her?”  She proceeds with an inviting string of “would you,” “can you,” “would you,” “can you,” questions that draw the reader to a point of involvement.  Up to now, she has delighted the reader with stories of the thrill of skydiving tandem and the shock and then beauty of moving from the east to Nebraska.  She’s such a gracious story teller, it has been easy listening.  But now at the close the ready has been lovingly nudged to this.  “Can you find a way to release the hold you’ve got on your dreams and your plans for your life?  Can you trust that God has got the best offer going” (p.178)?

            Reader, I recommend that you buy and then read this book.  But I close out this writing asking you not to consider this a book review.  Rather, deal with the question asked.  Can you trust God and turn your life over to Him?

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