You have a plan for the rest of your life. God has a plan for the rest of your life. Are they the same? You have expectations for how your life will play out, and you hope those plans will become realities. But what if God's plan for your life is far different from what you had in mind? Can you accept that? Will you surrender your goals for God's? Kay Warren had a plan. Together with her husband, Rick Warren, author of the megaseller The Purpose Driven Life, she planned that after her kids were grown, she'd travel the world, teaching and encouraging couples in ministry. It was a good plan. But it wasn't what God had in mind for her. In a startling wake-up call, Kay discovered the shocking realities of the AIDS pandemic in Africa while reading a magazine. "I want to use you!" she heard God say. That began the struggle--first to avoid God's call and then to surrender herself to God. She cried out to God, "Why are you bothering me with this? There's nothing I can do about it. I'm just an ordinary person. What could one person do about such a gigantic problem" But God had grabbed her attention and wouldn't let go. If you've ever struggled with knowing and doing God's will, this book is for you. With raw honesty, Kay goes straight to the heart of the matter: the bottom line is surrender. Will you trust God? Along the way she'll introduce you to others--people like you--who have said yes to God and have made a difference in the world. Using their skills, energy, faith, and a willingness to take risks, they became powerful instruments of change and tools in God's hands. Giving in to God isn't easy. It's not for cowards. It's the boldest, riskiest step you'll ever take. This dangerous surrender can bring both joy and pain, both heartache and ecstasy, but it enables you to know God in a far deeper way than ever before. I had to make a conscious decision. Would I retreat to my comfortable life and to my settled plans? Or would I surrender to God's call and let my heart engage with a cause such as AIDS that I was pretty sure would include buckets of pain and sorrow? I felt like I was standing on the edge of a giant precipice; I couldn't go back, and yet the way forward looked like stepping into a void. Kay Warren took that step, choosing to dangerously surrender to God. That decision transformed her life, marriage, and future. She invites you to do the same. You'll benefit most by discussing this book with others. A Readers' Group Discussion Guide is provided in the back of the book.
Warren, wife of megachurch pastor and bestselling author Rick Warren (The Purpose-Driven Life), traces her transformation from housewife to international HIV/AIDS advocate. Moved by a news article about AIDS, Warren made a life-changing visit to Africa in 2003. In this book, she tells stories of the world's great tragedies (HIV/AIDS, the genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia, sex slavery, orphaned children and deep poverty) through the lens of her travels. Warren challenges readers to engage with devastating situations and surrender themselves to loving others--particularly those who may be considered outcasts--in the name of Christ. She describes being gloriously ruined by her close knowledge of these tragic situations, having previously been unaware or simply too busy raising a family to realize what was happening in the world. . The book lacks practical suggestions for readers, demonstrating an unexpected emphasis on Warren herself and the miracle God has made of her life. At times this comes across as self-serving, especially in the midst of so much tragedy. No doubt readers will be inspired by Warren's considerable passion for the hurting world, though it remains unclear exactly what to do about it. (Dec.)
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December 01, 2007
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