Saturday, February 11, 2017
In the interest of full disclosure, I will say at the start that I do not practice setting goals or “maintaining personal vision,” as Andy Stanley would describe it. Reading Stanley’s book did not persuade me to start. With that being said, if setting goals and having vision are important to you, this book will help solidify your practice. The author systematically states his case for “visioneering”, describing it as "a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.” Stanley gives examples as small as sharing the gospel with someone to starting a corporation. Nehemiah is used as the prime example of someone with a vision, which started as a concern, led to prayers, and continued with planning, communication, cultivation of unity, single-mindedness, and constant attention. This is as fine a book as I have read about goal setting and having vision, as Andy Stanley writes thoroughly and passionately about his belief. I happen to not agree with him that vision is for everyone; some of us make very good followers after we agree to help with someone else’s vision. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
This daily devotional is thoughtfully and well written, reflecting the depth of reflection given to each topic by its author, who has been a quadriplegic for almost 50 years. When you are aware of her suffering, it brings added meaning to her words. For example, once she described her chemotherapy for breast cancer to her husband as a “splash-over from hell”, and they wondered what “splash-overs from heaven” might be--“easy, bright times” maybe?” “Ken looked at me and with wet eyes whispered, ‘No, Joni. It’s when we see Jesus in our splash-over of hell.” It is this kind of rubber-meets-the-road life experience that gives Joni’s wise, encouraging words such power. There is a devotional for every day of the year, beginning with a reference to a Bible passage, including a couple of paragraphs of Joni’s thoughts, with a brief prayer at the end. The devotionals are meant to encourage and sometimes exhort, not necessarily teach. I found a great deal of comfort in this little book and plan to use it regularly. I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program.