Upside Down Results: God Tags People for His Purposes by Susan Field (New Hope Publishers)
Susan Field’s book, Upside Down Results: God Tags People for His Purposes, records the miraculous life stories of 49 people. “Each person speaks his or her faith experience in his or her own way—each experience with God is personal—and that’s the point,” Field writes. God revealed himself to each in a different way, using their life experiences and turning their world upside-down through the ministries and outreach of Graffiti Ministries in New York City.
I have been blessed to know the majority of these people. As minister of missions at First Baptist Church in Georgetown, I led mission teams 14 years to serve in New York City alongside missionary Taylor Field and the host of volunteers who serve in and through Graffiti Ministries. I’ve seen their stories lived out through those years and seen how God’s faithfulness has been evident as they have shared and shown his love to others.
Field organized their stories based on how God got their attention and the huge part Graffiti Ministries played in their transformation. Whether it was in finding family, faithfulness, freedom, function, focus or faith, God turned their lives upside-down as he led them to Graffiti Ministries. Field says: “All of these brothers and sisters in Christ come from different cultures, countries, family structures, economics/environments, from different backgrounds in every way imaginable. These people have completely different life stories, yet we meet together with one heart to worship the King we have each embraced.”
“A Church that Serves”—That’s Graffiti’s motto. They live it 24/7. Field’s book presents an implicit challenge: How about you? Does God want you to move beyond past experiences and turn your life upside-down in his service? Has God tagged you with his unique purposes?
Upside Down Devotion: Extreme Action for a Remarkable God by Taylor Field (New Hope Publishers)
“God hates our signs of devotion. He despises them. He finds our worship disgusting. The whole thing makes him tired. It is boring to him,” missionary Taylor Field writes. “I didn’t say these things. God did.”
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That’s how Taylor, who leads Graffiti Ministries in New York City, begins his latest book, Upside Down Devotion: Extreme Action for a Remarkable God. He defines devotionas “a loyalty or enthusiasm for a person or a cause, or an act of religious observance or prayer (worship).” He gives biblical and 21st century examples of worship and devotion and, quoting from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, calls them “an abomination to God.”
God wants to turn typical expressions of devotion upside-down and inside-out through acts of service—responding tangibly to the needs of people and standing with those who are in trouble. Field urges Christians to put the “service” into “worship service” by doing good. Field bases his chapter headings on 10 upside-down principles he wishes he had known when he began ministry more than 35 years ago. His personal rules for community ministry are timely and applicable to those who seek to serve others through ministry. He aims his message not at people who want to serve a Thanksgiving meal to the homeless once at year and then go about business as usual. Rather, he offers meaningful lessons for Christians committed to service for the long haul.
This book is a must-read for both church staff and lay leaders who want to find balance between devotion to God and what Taylor calls “do-votion,” expressed in service to others.