By:  Shane Stanford

Published:  April 1, 2012


In a world of fast-paced schedules and priorities, conversations about what makes for a life well lived are a rarity and a luxury. But what if the daily pace of life held in itself the way to make choices more significant? What if the daily to-do lists gave a glimpse into how people might change their future? What if the daily grind, as arduous as it might seem, held the key to a life full of meaning and potential? What if everyday, simple steps, instead of some complex list of seemingly unattainable principles, showed how to make life matter? Making Life Matter answers these questions and shows that the steps for making life matter are found in rather ordinary decisions, attitudes, and patterns found in normal routines. This book is about our story and our journey, and what we do and feel along the way.

The author of this book has had to overcome some amazing life-changing challenges that were pretty early on in his life.  But, he chose to choose life and happiness.  This book chronicles his life-choices along with other famous people who have had struggles and chose to rise above rather than give up.  People like Felix Mendelssohn, Gilda Radner, Zacchaeus,  and Don Sutton (baseball pitcher) are featured throughout the book and give you a glimpse into a life you didn’t realize happened before the “good stuff” arrived in their lives. Each chapter focuses on a different mind-set and challenges you through Scripture and deep, thought-provoking questions, to think differently.
When I saw the premise of the book, I thought, that is my life.  Is all this that I am doing…the craziness, the volunteering, the unending to-do lists…..does it all matter?  Is it really getting me anywhere? Is there JOY in my everyday living?  Well, this book will bring it all together for you.  And, as this book will explain to you, if you are going to take this trip through life and make it matter, Jesus needs to be along side of you.  

Some excellent quotes from the book:

“We are not measured by the events that surround us.  No, we are measured by what we do with those events, circumstances, and situations and by whether we allow them to get the best of our journeys or whether we make each moment of each day mean something more.”  Pg 6

“We do have a choice… making that choice each day, we give ourselves a chance to make life matter.”  Pg 12

This quote was one of those “AHA” statements for me, and maybe it will be for you too….

“God’s goal is to bring us closer, not to send us on some game of theological hide-and-seek.  He wants us to find Him, and then find each other through Him.”  Pg 53

Finally, another of my favorite parts of the book was Stanford’s focus on THE LORD’S PRAYER.  For so many of us, it is basically a prayer from memory, but when was the last time you actually thought about the words you were saying…..not just speaking them from memory.  Stanford breaks the sentences down for us and gives us a beautiful reflection on the prayer.

This book isn’t added work, it is bite-size and manageable in your everyday schedule to ponder, reflect, and really think about what matters.  If you are looking for direction or focus, check out MAKING LIFE MATTER by Shane Stanford today.  You can purchase the book HERE.

Shane Stanford is a teacher, speaker and author committed to connecting people in significant relationships with Christ and each other. Shane is committed ot helping people make life matter.  He is the Senior Pastor of Christ UMC in Memphis, TN and the former Senior pastor of Gulf Breeze UMC in Gulf Breeze, FL.  Shane travels extensively sharing his journey as a HIV+ Hemophiliac and Christian minister.  He is the author of eight other books.

“One way or another, by your action or inaction, you define your journey.  Wouldn’t you rather it be for the better, making a difference that can change your little piece of the world?”  Pg 16
This book was provided to me free for the purpose of this review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  This review is my honest opinion and I only review products that will benefit myself and my family. Thanks to Abingdon Press and for providing the review copy.
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