Book Review: Be You. Do Good.



I love the opportunity to review new books!  Lately I’ve had a chance to preview some excellent books before they are officially released and the latest one I read was Be You. Do Good. by Jonathan Golden, the founder of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee.   Interestingly enough, by reading this book, I also found out that Golden lives in a neighboring town and pastors a church that is making a difference for the sake of the gospel around the world.  The main crux of this text is to lead the reader to a place of understanding what it means to discover God’s calling on your life.  Who doesn’t want to know what you were put on this earth to do?  Don’t you want your life to count?  Do you want your life to count for something long after you are gone?  I do!  This book is a great read for those searching for their calling…or like me, someone that works to make sure that I am continuing to live and serve the Lord out of the center of that calling in a way that is for the glory of God and the good of others.  At the end of each calendar year, I like to take time to assess things and make sure that my relationship with the Lord, my family, and my understanding the calling on my life are where they need to be.  This book is a great tool whether you are in the mode of searching or in the process of confirming.  I’d encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself and someone that you care about.

I was particularly drawn to the way that Golden shared the story of Land of a Thousand Hills coffee.  God has given me a deep love of people groups and cultures around the world.  Golden has a special connection with Rwanda and his time there has drastically impacted his life and his ministry.  I feel the same about Haiti, Guatemala, and Ethiopia and other countries that God has given me a chance to visit over the last several years.  It’s exciting to go to another part of the world where I don’t speak the language to see God at work and realize that He has plans for me that include loving others even when we have nothing in common other that our Creator.

I highlighted several things while reading and pasted my notes below…

  • What if God is engaging the world here and now?  And what if God does want to use someone exactly like you? -Bob Goff
  • Friend, you’ve been made to live a life that’s fully engaged by being exactly who God made you to be.  Right here.  Right now.  You were created to make a difference—to Be You.  Do Good.  Bob Goff
  1. Let go of the myths
  2. Be who you are
  3. Use what you have
  4. Get what you can
  5. Follow the inkling
  6. Pursue what makes you come alive
  7. Find a people to serve
  8. Grow little by little
  9. March through challenges
  10. Follow but don’t force
  11. Stand back up
  12. Stay open to new possibilities
  • I’ve discovered my calling.  Let’s go find yours.
  • We need to remember that our life’s work is more than our job.  One’s calling is more than what one gets paid to do.
  • We worship a God who sees us, loves us, interacts with us.  We serve a God who is concerned with the affairs of men and women.  And if we believe in an involved God, we must also believe our stories are not accidental.
  • Jesus is not saying we must forsake or ignore our stories to follow him but rather that we must love him more than our work. Rather than scorn Peter’s love of fishing, Jesus was asking, “Will you let me help coauthor the rest of this story?” (John 21:15)
  • Throw off the lies you’re telling yourself and make peace with the shadows in your story.  Only then can you step into the light of your calling.
  • What life events have made you uniquely you?
  • What are you being called to do right now is take one brave step.
  • Questions we should be seeking the Lord about…
    How have you created me?
    What are the experiences which have formed me?
    What gifts do I have to offer this world?
    How can I serve the common good?
  •  When inklings are given attention, fed, and watered, they can grow into beautiful expressions of vocation.
  • Implicit in the definition of an “inkling” is acting on it before you are certain.  If your hunch is an obvious certainty, it’s not an inkling.
  • I delight in serving those who are my people.
  • “The essential thing ‘in heaven and in earth’ is, apparently…that there should be long obedience in the same direction, there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.” Friedrich Nietzsche
  • To achieve the love of success we each desire, there are times when each of us needs to burn the ships.
  • Whatever your calling, you begin by taking the first small step.  Then another.  And then another.
  • “we are laborers together with God” 1 Corinthians 3:9
  • The author of Hebrews wrote that the One who endured the cross—the most courageous of callings!—did so “for the joy set before him” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV).  Jesus Christ kept his eyes on the prize in the most difficult of circumstances.  When you are living your calling little by little, stay focused on the vision of what you’re called to.  Keep the main thing the main thing.
  • When the apostle Paul writes to the church in Corinth, he says that he considers that his present struggles are achieving something far greater: an eternal glory (2 Corinthians 4:17).
  • It takes maturity and discipline to embrace the more challenging parts of your calling.
  • As you embrace your calling, notice those moments when you’re tempted to force your way through a door that’s been closed…..The secret to moving in since with the One who is walking with you is to follow, not force.
  • Those who are bold to embrace their callings stand back up.
  • Refuse to believe the destructive myth that God will reveal a single narrow calling for your life.  Our God is alive and active and delights in partnering with you for the good of his kingdom.  As you mature, as you develop new competencies, as you pursue new interests, it is God’s blessed whimsy to continue to call you to fresh kingdom expressions of your calling.  And you can expect the unfolding of that calling to happen within the context of community.
  • 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:8-10 NRSV
 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their 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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