January 1, 2015

Book Review: Let's All be Brave

Let’s All be Brave: living life with everything you have by Annie F Downs

A book about living courageously, right where you are, and being willing to follow God into the unknown.  Whether that’s across town, across the country or across the world---each step of our lives requires bravery.  But if we are willing to be brave then we can partner with Him as He does amazing things.  Being braves involves a lot of things at a lot of different times and several of those are touched on here.  Being brave by staying, going, saying yes, saying no, letting go, holding on, looking at your people, your talents your words, being at home, being around the world, living every day you have with everything you have.   But mostly living every day with Jesus.

Highlighted Quotes

“I”ve never been afraid to be the center of attention, unless I can fail.  Then I’m the one hiding behind, well, anything bigger than me.  Now as an adult… I can see the root of the problem.  I didn’t love me.  I didn’t believe in myself.  I didn’t think I could do it.  And even more deeply?  I didn’t believe I could mess up and still be loved.  I didn’t think I could succeed, but I also didn’t have the courage to fail.”

“Sunday nights fed my body and my soul  But it was more than that.  It was an incubator for little seeds of courage… I belonged there.  I think that’s what I need most to be brave--a place where I belong.  And you can only find that place when you find those people...No one is brave alone.  Every superhero has someone they come home to; every Bible character has someone they depend on.  Jesus had his disciplines and his family.  Batman had Robin.  Paul had Barnabas.  Ruth had Naomi.  The Incredibles had each other; Superman had Lois Lane.  Moses had Aaron, Hur, and Miriam.  Noah had his family.  So we see modeled, even in the Bible, the truth that the braver among us do not stand alone.” p

“When I pitched an idea to Seth Godin about how to get more people to share Mocha Club with their friends, he looked right in my eyes and said ‘And what if that fails?’ I was like, ‘Uh… my life will be over?  I’ll be embarrassed?  I don’t know what I’ll do?’ And my armpits started to get sweaty.
He responded, ‘No, you’ll be fine.  You’ll come up with another idea.  This isn’t your last idea.  It’s okay to fail.’
I believed him that day.  I still do”

“What do I want most with my life?  To be doing the things that partner me with God.  I want to be His partner.  When I look back on my life, the greatest joy will be to talk about the times I was partnered with God in what He was already doing.  I can feel it now when I fall into those moments--the feeling that we are partners who are dancing together professionally and perfectly.”

“And oh, am I scared.  It sounds like work and it feels like vulnerability and it smells of getting in over my head.
But it also looks like being brave enough to honor the talents my Master has given me, whether I double it, triple it, or come back to him empty-handed.
‘At least I tried?’ I’ll say, with questioning in my voice.
And I think God will call me His partner.”

“But will you?  I hope so.  I really, really hope so.  I hope you’ll be brave and say yes.
Say yes to the gym.
Say yes to the open door.
Say yes to the situations that stretch you and scare you and ask you to be a better you than you think you can be.
Say yes to the moments that will only come once.
Say yes to serving.
Say yes to Jesus in every way--every change you get.”

“The world needs to hear about Jesus.  The world needs to see your courage in action.  But you live in your town for a reason.
What is it?
Why are you there?
Where is here your spot on the map?
Why have you chosen that town, of all the towns in the world, to be your home?
Maybe you didn’t pick it.  Maybe it picked you.  But you are there.  When we think about the puzzle of the person you are, the zip code on your mailing address is an important piece.”

“You get the chance to live courageously.  You were meant for it.  You were born for it.  It never feels easy, and it never is free.  But it is what we want more than anything else.  
This is your map.  This is your story.  Be brave for yourself, be brave for you God, and be brave for the onlookers, the ones who will be inspired by you to inspire others.”

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