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5 Stars Out Of 5
The importance of roots and fruits
March 22, 2014
In his book, Thrive, Mark Hall encourages believers to do more than simply survive and believe that better things are ahead 'when (fill in the blank) happens', but to thrive in your life. Using an illustration of an old oak tree, along with one of my favorite verses from Psalm 1, Mark explains how it is essential to have deep roots to sustain life and growth in a tree and that we can apply those same principles to ourselves. A believer may spend all of their time getting strongly rooted in the Word of God, but never applies that knowledge to reaching out to others for Christ. On the other hand, there are those that reach higher and further to share the love of Jesus, but neglect building a firm foundation of their beliefs.
Since Mark is a youth minister, I was reading this primarily with that audience in mind, and I do believe he gives excellent examples that teens and young adults will understand and take to heart. He has an anecdotal style that I appreciate and gave examples that stuck in my mind. I admit that I got a lot out of Thrive myself. We each need to take time periodically to re-evaluate our own lives, and see if there are areas we are neglecting. The last few chapters made me put a lot of though into my own actions---and lack of actions. The book ends with The Thrive Challenge: "Digging In", "Reaching Out", and "Digging In and Reaching Out". Yes, it is essential to work on one and two, and then learn to put them into the third challenge. I highly recommend this book for youth and up. There is also a student adaptation available though.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook 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."
Thrive: Digging Deeper, Reaching Out (Zondervan, 2014) is the latest book by Youth Pastor and Casting Crowns singer Mark Hall. I liked this book - it was an easy read, suitable for daily devotions, great for conversation starters for a youth group, a valuable resource for a youth pastor and especially for a youth leader who doesn't have the benefit of Bible school or theological studies. Mark brings a lot to the table from his knowledge of scripture, his life experience, his years as a youth pastor, and a few references to the band.
Jesus came to bring life and to bring it abundantly, with all that implies, yet so many people seem to think that life is something to be survived on a daily basis. Mark says that instead of just getting by, we should live life to the fullest; we should thrive in our existence as a member of the family of God.
But it takes a little bit of effort. There's more than saying a simple prayer and having everything be golden. We're called to dig deeper into the word, to reach out to others (believers for fellowship and encouragement, and non-believers to share the Gospel.
I didn't glean any new deep theological insights, but that's OK. This is not meant to be a scholarly treatise or a textbook for postgraduate studies. There is a lot of common sense stuff, things that we might have learned before, have probably forgotten, and need to hear again and again. (By the way, the chapter titled "Mighty Men", on page 91, is one of those â€˜gotcha' moments, that reminds us of how we're supposed to be reaching out!)
My teenage son gets to read the book next, and then it probably goes to his Youth Leader. On a scale of 1 to 5, this is â€˜almost a five'.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review
The book Thrive: Digging Deep, Reaching Out has been my devotional book each morning lately. Each chapter is only a few pages long, ending with a point to ponder, but each small chapter leaves you hungering for more and the personal stories hit the heart deep. One of my favorite chapters was "Redefining Reality" where he explained with a great story, what we fill our hearts and minds with do matter. It is important to saturate ourselves in God's Word so we can "root out the weeds of the world." This book is one of my favorites and one I recommend everyone from high school and older to read. Hall uses life stories and struggles demonstrating how we can Thrive in our relationship with Christ. I will definitely be passing this along for others to read.