Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Take Your Best Shot by Austin Gutwein

This is the story of Austin Gutwein, an adolescent who, in 2004 as a nine year old, felt moved by God to do something to help AIDS orphans in Africa. A conversation with a staff member from the relief organization World Vision crystallized Austin’s desire and gave him direction through one simple question: “What do you like to do?” Austin had a passion for basketball, even though he wasn’t very good at it. He decided to have the equivalent of a personal walkathon, a free-throw marathon called Hoops for Hope. His idea caught fire, and thousands of these are now held in a many countries, raising millions of dollars for Africa.

Austin tells his story in a very thoughtful, engaging way, with a fresh approach to some old ideas. His word picture of “expiring milk” to describe the fact that everything but people and the Word of God will perish is brilliant. Skillfully woven into this book are two themes: Austin’s story and how your story, whatever it is, can be used by God in good ways, even if they are small ways. Austin even makes the point that God is big on small, secret ways.

Take Your Best Shot is both interesting and challenging. Each chapter is followed by better-than-usual thought-provoking questions. Biblical truth is well presented.

Take Your Best Shot is aimed toward a younger audience, but it has something beneficial to say to everyone. At the least, it shows what can happen when one young boy gives his all to God, not unlike the young boy with the loaves and fishes in the Gospels.

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