Wednesday, October 21, 2009

“What Difference Do It Make?”: A Book Review

Ron Hall and Denver Moore, the authors of “Same Kind of Different as Me”, return (with Lynn Vincent) with the sequel to their New York Times bestseller. I have not read their original work but, after reading this one, plan to do so in the near future.

Even if you have not read their first work, you learn enough of the history of the authors in this book to enable you to understand their message. Denver was a homeless person, befriended by Ron’s wife, Deborah. Deborah’s passion for the homeless and for Denver had a significant impact on her husband and, when she died as a result of cancer, Ron picked up her message and, together with Denver, ran with it. This book is a continuation of Ron and Denver’s story, covering much of what has occurred since the success of “Same Kind of Different as Me”.

The chapters mostly alternate between Ron and Denver’s stories. These stories are testimonies of God working through painful situations and awkward moments, and changing the lives of many individuals from varying backgrounds and life histories. The reader comes away understanding that, with God, one person can make a big difference in the lives of others.

While I enjoyed almost everything I read, I found myself more attracted to the simple wisdom of Denver. For example, listen to his wisdom from pages 45 & 46.

And needy people don’t need no perfect people neither. When Jesus sent His disciples out, He sent Peter right along, knowin Peter had a bad temper and a potty mouth and was gon’ deny Him three times. He sent John and James even though they was full a’ pride and fightin over the best seat at the table. He even sent Judas, knowin Judas was goin’ etray Him. Even though Jesus knowed all a’ their sin and weakness, He sent ‘em anyway.

Listen, if the devil ain’t messin with you, he’s already got you. If you is waitin to clean up your own life before you get out and help somebody else, you may as well take off your shoes and crawl back in the bed ‘cause it ain’t never gon’ happen. Jesus don’t need no help from no perfect saints. If He did, He wouldn’t a’ gone up yonder and left us down here in charge.

Or, here’s another example from page 61:

Now Denver completed his verdict and gave me (Ron) an ultimatum. Keeping me pinned with that eyeball, he said, “You know what you did? You judged a man without knowin his heart. And I’m gon’ tell you something. If you gon’ walk these streets with me, you gon’ have to learn how to serve these people without judging ‘em. Let the judging be up to God.

Those have to be some of the most profound words I have ever read outside of Scripture on the subject of not judging others!

The book is laced with real stories from others who were touched by “Same Kind of Different as Me”. Also, Ron and Denver relate stories from the lives of some of the people who intersected their life. In particular, the story of Mr. Ballantine in chapter 17 and the “Big Chicken Dinner” man from Seattle described in chapter 24.

This work is a very easy 201 pages to read but, more importantly, an enjoyable and profitable 201 pages to read. I would encourage everyone to pick up a copy and see for yourself.

In the meantime, I need to get my hands on a copy of “Same Kind of Different as Me”!

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