Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Simple Compassion by Keri Wyatt Kent

As the founder of Jude's House, a community non-profit that assisted families in need, I was always reading material that showed how to be a hands-on helper. I didn't need motivation, had it. I didn't need compassion, was overwhelmed with it. I needed direction. I needed someone to say "Here is an idea...." and I would watch it bloom in my spirit until the time was right and I could apply it. One such book that impacted me was Steve Sjogren's Servant Warfare: How Kindness Conquers Spiritual Darkness. It gave examples of ways to reach out to those in your world, and they weren't complicated ways either. I've clung to that how-to manuel convinced another one would never come along.

Enter Simple Compassion by Keri Wyatt Kent. I should have known after reading Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity that Kent was into the mainstream of living a Christian lifestyle-not only saying "do it" but showing how. I was enthusiastic when I heard she was penning a book on compassion. Now that was up my alley! Once I got my hands on the book, I knew it was a companion to Sjogren's book and would forever be on my book shelf. Again, the importance of what she writes is in showing how, and isn't that we need...ideas? Isn't that why we brainstorm on the phone with friends, in corporate board rooms or in community meetings? Kent doesn't echo Sjogren's ideas, instead she forms new ideas that are just as simple, just as realistic, just as impacting as any Sjogren came up with.

And that is where the comparison stops. Along with nailing some awesome tactics to making a difference, she plants the seed, waters it, cultivates, motivates and is there as it comes into fruition. What book on the shelf takes you from ground zero of motivation and inspiration to the finish line of doing? Most do well to accomplish either/or. Most don't want the responsibility of showing how-they just want to motivate you off your spiritual butt. Kent, though, isn't satisfied until the fire burns you into action.

After reading the chapter titled "Generous", I have decided to use my passion for literacy to donate books and other supplies to low income schools and teachers that aren't receiving appropriate financial help through the county.

I have also decided to lead a reading group-either local or cyber-through Kent's book. This is one that is a sharp tool against community darkness, but only if it's used. I plan on using it!

This book is for everyone. If you don't have a desire to reach out to the community, I dare you to read the book and remain un-inspired. If you have the desire to do so, but no direction, I dare you to read the book and make the same claim afterwards.

You see, it really is simple. Get the book. Read the book. Step into action. Simple.

Keri Wyatt Kent is the author of six books and a co-author or contributor to several others, and is currently working on another book. When she’s not busy traveling around the country to speak and lead retreats, she’s writing. She’s a regular contributor to several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman, MomSense and Outreach magazine, as well as several websites and blogs. She’s a member of Willow Creek Community Church, where she has taught, led groups, and volunteered in a variety of ministries over the last 21 years.

She and her husband Scot have been married for 17 years and live with their son and daughter in Illinois.

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Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (October 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310290775
ISBN-13: 978-0310290773
Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches

NOTE-A copy of Simple Compassion was provided by Zondervan for review purposes.

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