Small Town, Big Miracle by W.C. Martin (Tyndale House)
Don’t read W. C. Martin’s Small Town, Big Miracle except with a box of tissues nearby. Even then, don’t pick up this book unless you’re prepared to consider adopting a child who needs you, regardless of your stage or state in life.
Martin, who is pastor of Bennett Chapel in Possum Trot, a small town in deep East Texas without a single paved road, tells the compelling story of a community and the 72 difficult-to-place children they adopted. The adoptive families include the pastor and his wife, Donna, who led the way by fostering a 5-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother. Perhaps most touching, however, are grandparents who chose to parent 2-year-old triplets.
While the Martins don’t sugar-coat the experiences, they clearly illustrate how Christians put feet to their faith and change the future. Profiles of the children seven and a half years later call for another tissue or two. And then the author concludes Small Town, Big Miracle with a step-by-step guide to adoption and a call “to pray and see what God is saying to you.”
Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president
Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas
Handoff: The Only Way to Win the Race of Life by Jeff Meyers (Legacy Worldwide)
Jeff Meyers has written a great little volume, Handoff: The Only Way to Win the Race of Life, that will captivate any person who desires to be an influence for good and Christ on others.
Meyers, a college professor, exposes a turning point in his career when he realized he needed to be more than just a good teacher. He recognized he was not an influence or a mentor to those who sat under him. He writes about profound changes he made in revising his creed for life, like: “Life is a relay. I only win when I pass the baton to those who come after me” and: “I teach what I know, but I reproduce who I am.” The seriousness in Meyers’ shift in passion is seen in his quote from historian Will Durant: “From barbarism to civilization requires a century. From civilization to barbarianism needs but a day.”
Handoff is both enjoyable and convicting at the same time. Meyers’ style is captivating, and you will be caught up in the short, powerful messages of each truth he presents. This book speaks to parents, teachers, preachers and anyone who desires to influence the next generation for God and for good. He shares his discoveries on how to leave an enduring legacy.
I want to challenge every man and leader to get into the race by reading Handoff.
Texas Baptist Men, Dallas
Compelled by Love: The Most Excellent Way to Missional Living by Ed Stetzer and Philip Nation (New Hope)
If you are seeking biblical counsel on reaching the culture in which you live, then Compelled by Love is a must read. In a day when gimmicks and techniques are promoted, it is refreshing to be reminded that it is the love of God at work in and through Christ-followers that will make the work of ministry and evangelism effective.
Ed Stetzer and Philip Nation remind us the church exists for God’s glory and for equipping God’s people to be on mission in the world. This book would be a good study tool for a discipleship retreat or small groups. Questions at the end of each chapter provide direction for a facilitator.
What is the ambition of your church? If it is to make Christ’s name known throughout the earth, then this book can be used to transform your people into a faith community that God can use to bring glory to himself as each is committed to missional living.
Former executive director-treasurer
Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, Dallas