As the international ministry leader of the Evangelical Free Church of America, T. J. Addington had always been committed to living with a deep sense of intentionality. This commitment intensified after a 45-day hospital stay during which he spent 35 days in the intensive care unit in a coma and on a ventilator. Addington was suffering from a highly resistant strain of pneumonia with complications of acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, congestive heart failure, plural edema, and a failed mitral heart valve—any of which could have killed him.
“I shouldn’t have survived that hospital stay,” he recalls. “I believe it was the thousands of people who prayed that are responsible for my miraculous recovery.”
In the wake of this traumatic health crisis Addington realized in a new and fresh way that every day is a gift of grace from God. In June 2008 he started writing Live Like You Mean It to encourage others not to take life and the opportunity to impact the world for Christ for granted.
Live Like You Mean It is based on Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (NIV). By asking 10 vital questions, Addington walks readers through a process to discover how God has wired them and how He wants to use them in significant ways for His kingdom.
“The questions start with the most important one of all: ‘Why am I here?’ and follow a logical sequence designed to help us understand the part that God wants us to uniquely play,” Addington explains. “I believe that these are the most important questions that any of us could ask if we are going to fulfill God’s destiny for our lives, leave a lasting legacy, impact others, follow Him closely, and live intentionally.”
Addington hopes that what he learned through nearly dying will help others not just go through the motions of life.
“Too many of us are hostage to others’ expectations and plans rather than living out of the strengths God created us with,” he says. “I want to free people to live out God’s design for them, which is where we find our greatest joy and satisfaction. When we choose to live at the intersection of God’s call on our lives and join Him in His work, we are no longer sleepwalking through life.”