Friday, January 18, 2013

Fully Alive by Ken Davis (book review)

When I volunteered at the Women of Faith conference in Kansas City, I was very blessed to hear some wonderful speakers. As a blogger, I have been blessed to review some of those speakers' books. Fully Alive by Ken Davis is just one of those speakers and books I've been blessed with.

Ken spoke extensively about living fully alive when he spoke to us at WOF, so really I had heard probably 40-50% of this book already. That wasn't a let down at all. It served as a refresher course of what God has really been teaching me my whole life.

It's really simple, when you're a Christian, to say that you'll die for Christ. As a believer, we know what is going to happen when we die (or at least where we're going if not specifics of what it will look like & such - although we've had glimpses). But what about LIVING for Christ?? Living FULLY for Christ? That's not so easy. We can almost get into a comfortable little coma as Christians.

That coma is not good. I've seen that coma in churches; I hate to admit I've been seeing some of it in my own church (some days in my own life). Where we go to church and have a relationship with Christ, but don't really live that out! Not fully experiencing. We don't take risks like telling someone about Jesus and his lifesaving grace or taking the risk (yes risk) of teaching children's Sunday school classes because 'I'm not qualified' and it's a big responsibility or talking to that new person in the foyer during the coffee hour (I'll admit, I don't usually even notice that new person during that hour) or not going on that missions trip. There's a lot of living to do here on earth. A lot of living that can impact others for Christ.

Oops! Back to Davis's book. He speaks about how he was obese (there's definitely a theme in this country of this) and had this Noooo! moment where he saw a picture of himself with one of his grandkids. And that picture (his words) was of a manatee. Oh dear. He decided to do something about it. I think he gave the best advice to someone that heard him talk about his 60 pound weight loss. She was in a motorized wheelchair/scooter and said she'd put herself in the chair because life made her breathe hard. He told her to breathe hard! BREATHE HARD! That's what exercise is. And you'll continue to breathe hard until you've reached a level where you need to step it up to breathe harder! I still breathe hard (when I'm not sick) five times a day! Davis takes fitness as no joke - saying he challenges people to workout for an hour a day 6 times a week! I will say that's more than I do on a regular basis but I'm thinking of taking him up on his challenge.

Fully Alive is not just about exercise; this is not ultimately a fitness book. It's about living fully alive! Living fully alive includes among other people - making friends. Davis realized that although he spoke to crowds of people and had fans, he had few (if any) friends, real friends. He gives good tips about how to go about making friends (being desperate for friends isn't one of them). "Making friends is like exercise; it requires discipline and vigilance." That is so true. I've gone through some utterly lonely stages in my life since college with no friends or shallow friendships. It hasn't been until I stuck myself out there that I've started to make deeper friendships. Sure, you'll always have a few shallow friendships and that's ok but try to cultivate those friendships to deeper waters. It's a challenge and takes time but it's worth it.

Davis also speaks on living fully alive spiritually! Our pastor at church challenges us as a whole church to evaluate the health of our church (not "our" church specifically but the church of Christ) and as individuals to evaluate our health as Christians. Are we producing fruit? Are we growing? We sound like a garden but it's important to prune and grown. We have faith in Christ who is NOT DEAD, He's fully alive, so we should be fully alive by that power of his resurrection! Don't take your faith for granted, whether you found Christ's salvation at a young age or later in life, don't take it for granted. Remember the POWER of the resurrection! Power!! That is yours! Live with it.

This last portion I want to tell you about is "mossy butt" Christians. It goes along with the above matter of not taking your faith for granted, but it goes farther. "Mossy butt" is when "moss grows because we sit in the pews our entire lives, crying out to God, 'If You want me to do something for You, open a door, and I will respond.'" Instead we need to trust that God is calling us to service (inside the church walls or outside the country boundaries!) and get in action, allowing Him to close the door if He doesn't want you there. Sometimes that's an uphill battle to really risk getting out there, but breathe hard! Banish that fear (because we know that's not the Lord talking!)!

This book will challenge you in so many areas of life: physical and mental as it's all wrapped in the spiritual. Get up. Get moving. Be fully alive!

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others may or may not have the same experience(s) that I've had with the author and/or his book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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