Sunday, November 2, 2014

Misfits Welcome by Matthew Barnett

              Some Christian books are meant to be Bible teaching tools. They contain a lot of scriptures and focus on helping people learn and grow from the text. But at other times, we all can use someone who shows us present day examples of those who have been transformed by these Biblical truths and are living testimonies of what the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do in someone's life, no matter how far gone they feel that they've come from God's grace. My new selection for a book review this month, "Misfits Welcome" by Matthew Barnett falls into the latter category. It was given to me for free through the book review program for bloggers, provided by and I was not required to write a positive review.
             Nearly two decades ago, Matthew Barnett became the founder of The Los Angeles Dream Center. Space fails me to provide a detailed description of the dozens of outreach programs that this ministry serves in their city, but "Misfits Welcome" documents much of their work in the lives of broken and hurting people. Do you feel like you're a misfit and that God could never love you or use you? Then perhaps you should read further. The author draws from a wide range of individuals whose lives have been changed for the better by the power of Jesus Christ at work in them. And not all of the examples are of hopeless people. Some of the stories included are of those that the world might call 'successful", who used their talents, time and treasure in a life impacting way.
             The book's chapter titles include "The Misfit in us All", "Misfit Dreams" and "Misfit Expectations". The chapters discuss the topic covered and use the stories of transformed lives to illustrate the principles contained therein. I found it difficult not to quote many of these stories to my family as I read through the book. There are so many amazing dramas that are unveiled that I was compelled to keep reading and hear more of the victories others had found. And, you may find the stories of both their Children's minister and Youth minister to not be the typical 'how I got into the ministry' saga. But, you will find them to be a testimony to God's goodness in someone's life.
             In summary, I am glad that I read this book and hope that you will also. It made me say 'that's what ministry is supposed to be about' and put in me a desire to ask myself how I can do more to affect the lives of not only those that the world labels 'misfits' but the lives of everyone I have the opportunity to connect with on this side of eternity. I hope that it will do the same for you.

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