The author, who is a pastor of a megachurch founded a ministry known as the Dream Center which helped to fix broken lives. Learning from experiences from being on the street, the author discovers the reality, the horror, the humiliation and the heartbreak of what life is like on the other side of the tracks. How to treat others with love and respect no matter where they lay their hat. He had found his cause. God has a plan and a cause for each of us. Alot of information about the Dream Center ministry, what they do, how they help people in the immediate sense and later down the road. Included are stories of the struggles of others in finding their way and purpose under the loving direction of God.
I really enjoyed reading about the author's experiences from life on the streets and the people he met on his journey along the way. This is a book about encouragement, life, grace and reality. I was entertained by this well flowing book and challenged in my faith. I would recommend this book to others.
This book begins by telling the personal journey of Matthew Barnett, how he found his cause and has benefitted others through following his cause. The book then continues by offering guidance on some steps one can take to find their personal cause, and finishes by offering some practical advice on how to make your cause a reality.
I believe God created everyone with a specific purpose, or cause, in mind for them. I believe the only way to truly understand that purpose is through a true relationship with God as Creator, Father, and Savior. Even with these things in mind, I did not find this book very helpful.
For starters, this book is not very helpful in actually determining one's personal cause is. How can it be, when that is something between you and God? The only mass printed book which will really offer concrete guidance is the Bible. It makes sense, then, that if someone is going to read a book on finding their purpose, they would read the Bible first, not a book written by someone as humanly fallible as the rest of us. In a way, Barnett admits this by emphasizing prayer, scripture reading, and keeping your eyes open as his tips to finding a cause. Without practicing these, the rest of the book is worthless.
If you already have a grip on what you think God might want you to do with your life, then you might gain some insight by finishing the book. Major plot points include: Don't be discouraged when things don't work out, act on faith and God won't let you down, ask for help, be patient, and so on. Again, all of these things can be found in the New Testament.
For me, the book most succeeded by offering stories of the positive impact one person can have on another. If you are someone who already has a ministry, then you may feel encouraged reading about others who survived the hard times and managed to share God's love with others. It can also act as a good way to refocus on what God has asked you to do. It's very inspirational reading.
The book fails the most when compared to its title. This is not a guide to "Finding the one great thing you were created to do in this world." There is no guide to that other than the Bible.
Also, the causes emphasized in this book are slanted by the author's own limited experience as a Pastor and leader of the Dream Center. There are many causes which do not involve selling everything one owns and moving to L.A. to help recovering prostitutes or beginning a similar ministry in your hometown. The calling to be a Christian teacher, doctor, grocery store clerk, car mechanic, or parent is an equally valid and important cause as heading a huge non-for-profit. In the author's enthusiasm for his own mission, I am afraid he undermines the less glamorous missions most of us have been given.
Finally, the author fails to recognize the fact that very few of us only have *one* cause. A perfect example of this is Eric Liddell who was called to be an olympic runner as well as being a missionary for Christ. Both of these causes are equally *great*. A more mundane example might be someone who is called to be a godly Father and a godly business executive. The ways and means of showing and sharing God's love is close to infinite, and I don't think it is wise to limit people to only one.
Recommended for someone who is either hopelessly lost as to where to find their purpose or already has theirs nailed down. If you're in between, this book may not be as helpful as you wished.
This book was just what I needed exactly when I needed it! It gave me the spark I longed for. Anyone who has ever asked the question "what is my purpose in life, what am I here for" I believe this book will help you find the answer. It was so real, so raw, and full of emotion. I felt like I was on the streets of LA with him!!! This book literally changed my life.
Matthew Barnett's The Cause Within You will reshape your life and what you are doing. So many people are not happy with what they are doing, or have thrown in the towel on life. This book will have you re-evaluating the things that you are doing and remind you that we are all called to serve other peoples needs. Once we see that we are making the first step to finding our cause.
While reading this book I had the opportunity to hear Matthew Barnett speak and was blown away by the passion he has for the Dream Center and for serving the people of LA, somehow Barnett has captured that passion and turned it into a book. Barnett fills his book with sound advice on how to find your cause, and the easiest way to do that is to start serving. Find the thing that excites you and find a way to share that with others.
I highly recommend this book for everyone, even if you have found your cause, this book will give you ideas on how to get through the difficult times, when you feel that your cause is getting the best of you, to refocus on God's plan and the cause He has placed with in you and the people you are serving along the way.
I also recommend reading this book alongside Max Lucado's Cure for the Common Life
I received this book complimentary from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed in this review are all my own.