4 Stars Out Of 5
Daily Nuggets to Inspire Change
November 4, 2017
This week, I read a book that was a bit of a stretch for me in topic, and I want to tell you a little about it today. A Pocketful of Seeds by Debbie Johnson is a 365 day reading that I knocked out in one week flat, and WHEW! It was a lot of information for one week!
To be fair, Debbie specifically says in the book that it wasn't intended to be the kind of reading where every reader should apply every word. Unfortunately, I am the kind of reader who feels obligated to drink up and apply every word, so I struggled to reframe my thoughts as I read! But before I say more on that, allow me to back up and explain the premise of the book.
Debbie has a background in social work and has been heavily involved in the work of multiple nonprofit organizations over the past few years. She explains some (DenverWorks and Dalit Freedom Network) at length in the readings throughout the book. In the preface to the book, Debbie explains that when we are filled with the Spirit of God, it's almost like we have a pocketful of seeds. We can reach in, grab a seed, plant it, and step back to see how God waters and matures the life of that seed. She says no matter how small the "seed" might be (even something as small as a simple note written to someone), it can bring about extraordinary change.
The remainder of the book contains a short reading for each day of the year intended to stir your thoughts toward ways you can plant seeds of change. Many of the ideas and topics have to do with social injustice and change, but some are more personal and challenge the reader to focus on inward change.
Each day's reading concludes with a challenge and either a Scripture verse or a quote relevant to the topic.
I went into this book with the mindset that this was a devotional book, and after finishing the book, I would say it is not really classified as a devotional. (Though the back of the book does call it that.) Perhaps this is my own narrow-minded vision, but for me, a devotional points you into the Word, and this book points you sometimes through the Word, but it leaves you looking outward at the world and how you can be an agent of change.
As I said at the beginning, this was a lot to take in (information-wise) in the small span of a week. It is definitely better read over the course of time, when you're able to absorb it more fully. And you definitely need to remember Debbie's admonition that not every single suggestion throughout the book will zing you, apply to you, or even be possible for you. That's not her intention!
The book was educational for me, as it opened my eyes to scenarios, problems, and organizations that I hadn't even been aware of prior to reading. (The back of the book contains a list of websites and resources mentioned throughout the book if you find something you want to further pursue.)
Here are a few examples of thoughts I loved:
* "Expanding one's horizons doesn't have to mean moving to the Wild West or even off the street on which you grew up. It just means opening our eyes to the world around us." (p. 23)
* I feel like a quilt. Scraps that God has sewn together. And you know what? Quilts are beautiful and full of meaning. In fact, I'd rather be a quilt than a perfect, flawless, untouchable coverlet." (p. 48)
* "We can carry the crushed in our hearts. May God transform our feeble carryings into miracles. He is able." (p. 71)
And here are some examples of her themes on different days:
* Provide Mosquito Nets (p. 123)
* Hang Out with the Differently-Abled (p. 157)
* Loan Your Executive Skills (p. 187)
* Recognize Everyday Heroes (p. 235)
If you're looking to stretch your comfort zone, this book might be a great resource for you to read through on a daily basis in the coming year. It would also be fitting if you're working with teens or college students, mentoring someone, or leading others in business. There are definitely some innovative ideas for service and living out our faith. You probably won't be drawn to every idea. But you might be drawn to plant some seeds, and you never know when God might bring about a huge harvest from one seed!
* The Blythe Daniel Agency provided a copy of this book to me at no charge. All opinions are my own.