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What would it look like if we allowed Jesus to completely inhabit every part of who we are? Be the Surprise shares the intriguing answers.
This intriguing faith experiment begins with a question: What would happen if we allowed Jesus to fully inhabit every part of our being?
The startling answer, chronicled in detail, will encourage and inspire you to impact your world one person at a time.
Be the Surprise
Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.25
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Part of a Series
Available in Spanish
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Impacting the World One Person at a Time
I have to be honest and tell you that I would never have chosen this book to read on my own. I received it to review for NavPress and was immediately impressed with Terry Esau’s faith experiment. I couldn’t put the book down and read a half of this short book in a couple of hours and was so impressed that I ordered his book entitled “Surprise Me”.
Esau believes that we can impact the world one person at a time. He tells stories of how being the surprise has impacted his life and those with whom he has interacted as well as how those people have touched life after life in response to God’s work in their life.
Church is no longer about how we react to God. Church is how we bring God to the lives of others whether they choose to accept Him or not. Our true calling is to spread God’s love to the lives of others regardless of anything else. God values us over everything else and it is time for us, as His children, to show others how much He values them.
I cannot wait to read “Surprise Me” and see how God works in my life to work in the lives of others. I truly desire to “Be the Surprise” and have been more encouraged through this one little book than any other book I have read. No other author has inspired me to reach out to God’s people more than Terry Esau and it has nothing to do with him. It is all about God and not once in the book do I feel like Esau is talking about himself other than demonstrating how God worked through him to help others. This is not a pat on the back for Esau. This is the way he has chosen to live his life. I am grateful that God blessed him so that he could tell others about this faith experiment.
I don’t think it is any accident that I got this book to review. God works in mysterious ways and this book is filled with examples.
9/12/2009 10:36:20 AM
Be the Surprise - Who . . . Me?
Author Terry Esau creates a second refreshing look into active Christianity, and the unexpected journey it can become. Be the Surprise is his second book, following God Surprise Me (2005). Terry's writing style seemed a bit ADD-ish at first. His book is a collection of short stories, poems, song lyrics and anecdotes supporting the title, asking God to be active and make him the surprise in other people's lives. After digging into his personal history, I discovered that before becoming an author, Terry wrote commercial jingles. His resulting adjunct writing style doesn't detract from the book, but rather creates a fun and unexpected delivery, like a memorable bit advertising a new soda pop.
Terry's theme revolves around giving and receiving. As Christ followers, while we are called to give to others, it seems we easily become focused on receiving. Terry calls giving and receiving Siamese twins, co-joined at the heart. You can't fully have one without the other. As he talks about his journey from God Surprise Me to Be the Surprise Terry also makes a comparison to the natural process of breathing. A person inhales, which is like watching God work in your life. Exhaling completes the cycle as we take what god has given us, and give of the living waters to someone else. You can't have one without the other.
The body of the book retells examples of those who chose to be the surprise, and the lessons Terry collected along the way. Almost living parables, Be the Surprise gives the reader uncomplicated illustration of how to be the surprise and unexpectedly give of God's life. On p.22 Terry quotes one of the people he met along his journey. A woman in a restaurant who bussed tables and washed dishes said “You can't do good without being good. And God is the good in me.” Through another incident, he was reminded that often Christ followers try too hard to be religious, and impress or influence others. Our goal should be to become transparent, and genuine. Ultimately we are the gift, Christ living in us. We can influence the world and build His kingdom: inhaling and exhaling, giving and receiving.
Terry's book is a wonderful example of how a Christian's faith can influence the world, and I recommend it highly. We aren't called to be blow torches setting the world on fire, or theatrical search lights piercing the night sky in front of some retailer's sale of the decade. Christ followers are a light set on a table, a city on a hill by which others can find their way home.
6/4/2009 5:18:36 PM
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Every once in a while God really speaks to me through a song, a movie, during a hike, on in this case a book. I think this was one of the times I'll look back on as being a change moment. I will aim differently now as I walk on this ball of dust. Thanks Terry for being so honest and for taking a chance to let God's light shine. i no longer want God to work for me but to work and surprise through me.
5/9/2008 9:25:00 PM