Monday, December 9, 2013

Boring: Finding and Extraordinary God in An Ordinary Life by Michael Kelley - REVIEWED

About the Book:
What is it?
In Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life, Christian writer and speaker Michael Kelley evaluates the problem of how we define significance and offers a new perspective on living a “boring” life. Kelley asks, “What if a life of great importance isn’t found by escaping the details but embracing them? What if God actually doesn’t want you to escape from the ordinary, but to find significance and meaning inside of it?”
Boring lays a path for starting to see every day at work, every relationship, and every moment for what it is: a part of God’s plan. Kelley, who confesses to be a regular, “boring” guy, includes biblical truth in each chapter to show how God is present time and time again in everyday situations, and to awaken readers to the myth of “ordinary.” Because, as Kelley writes, “There is no such thing as ordinary when you follow an extraordinary God.”
Why is it relevant?
People fear being ordinary, especially in a society that believes the pathway to significance is paved with the big, the showy and the grand. People “pin” their dream lives and pine for that something more. But the reality is a typical day for most people doesn’t involve meeting with world leaders or climbing Mount Everest, just ordinary, boring tasks: wake up, take the kids to school, work an office job, drive home, eat dinner with the family, go to bed and repeat.
How is it different?
Boring is less a challenge and more a new set of lenses to see the greater purpose in the seemingly small and mundane details of life. For example, parents aren’t just changing diapers, they are warriors in a greater battle. Kelley’s goal is to eliminate the word “just” from readers’ vocabularies because, as he writes, when Jesus enters a situation even the most mundane things become extraordinary. 
Who is it for?
  • The “Average Joes” (i.e., most people)
  • Nine-to-fivers who feel stuck in their daily routine
  • Stay-at-home parents struggling to find purpose in their vocation
  • The “American Idol generation,” who were raised to believe that grandeur is always just within our grasp
  • Graduating students seeking the next step in their journey
  • Pastors and church leaders looking to help their congregation find meaning in the mundane
  • Anyone who feels like they’re missing that “something more”
My Thoughts:
We must, in a sense, fight to not fight to escape the ordinary.  When we do, we’ll find the extraordinary lurking inside what has become ordinary to us.”

What if those ordinary details of life are actually the mechanism by which we get to see and experience God and His redemptive plan in a living and vibrant way?”

But this perspective change isn’t something that suddenly comes upon us.  Instead, it’s something that must be actively sought out and even fought for.”

Michael Kelley asks some bold questions and makes even bolder statements in his book, Boring.  Truly, this is probably one of the most important books I’ve read all year.  From our jobs, to our marriages, to parenting to our finances, Kelley makes it very clear that God is in every single detail of our lives.  Nothing we do…NOTHING…is without eternal consequence if we are Christ’s disciples.  Every interaction, every conversation, every word, every attitude is infused with the presence of an extraordinary God who loves us and gave His only Son that our lives might be transformed in miraculous and eternal ways.

It’s all about perspective.  As Christians, we have been inundated with the world’s perspective of what is ordinary and what is extraordinary.  We become bored with our lives because we begin to feel bored with the sameness of it all.  We lose sight that God gave everything to redeem us as His own children and we serve a God who in present in every single detail of our lives.  Once we understand that, I mean REALLY understand that….nothing is ever the same! We are free to serve God in all we do and with all of who we are, because we understand that we have purpose in this life that matters for all eternity!

Isn’t that great news?  Oh dear reader, if I can recommend only one book to you this year, Boring is that book!!! It is filled with Scriptural examples from both Old and New Testaments of God’s eternal, transforming, extraordinary presence in our lives! Every single detail of our lives! We are loved! We have purpose, and we DO NOT live boring lives!  God is ever working in our lives to transform us into the likeness of His Son! Isn’t that incredible?! 

Go!! Pick up a copy of this book today!!! You will be so GLAD you did!!

About the Author:
Michael Kelley is director of Discipleship at LifeWay Christian Resources and the author of Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, and God. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, and lives with his wife and three kids in Nashville, Tennessee. 

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