Learning to Love: Passion, Compassion and the Essence of the Gospel is written by Heidi and Rolland Baker, the founders of Iris Ministries. Heidi and Rolland have been missionaries for many years. They are currently based in Mozambique where their work includes building churches, digging wells, evangelizing and running children’s homes.
Throughout the book, the Bakers share many stories of God’s miraculous provisions – healing from physical ailments, food supplied for many, safety in dangerous situations and thousands of people meeting Jesus. It is clear that the Bakers take their work very seriously and that they care deeply for the people of Mozambique.
One theme that was seen throughout the book is the idea that “love looks like something”. For instance, at one point Heidi writes that “love looks like a new roof before the rainy season” (p. 74). The Bakers are constantly looking for ways to make Jesus’ love tangible to the people of Mozambique. This could be a challenge to many readers if they too decide that “love looks like something”. To use an example from my personal life, today love looked like taking a homemade meal to someone could use a little help.
Although I appreciated the stories and the passion that the Bakers possess, I will say that this book was a struggle to get through. The stories were wonderful, but altogether the book felt disjointed. I wondered many times if it was simply a series of blog entries that had been pieced together into book format. It is divided into four parts, each with a different emphasis, but I doubt I would have picked up on that if it wasn’t written out. The writing and “blog entry” format of the book were both distractions for me. I wish that these issues had been addressed before publishing so that I could give it a higher recommendation.
**I was given a copy of this book by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review
It’s always in the cereal aisle that it hits me.
There are too many options.
Healthy or sugary? Cocoa Pebbles or Cocoa Puffs? Cheapest or healthiest? Granola with nut and fruit or plain?
I am surrounded by 100 different kinds of cold cereal, just one of many options I have for breakfast.
Psychologists have found that people are unhappier when they have too many options. And that’s exactly how I feel on the cereal aisle. It takes about two minutes before I’m completely overwhelmed which has resulted in a new rule that my husband picks out all our cereal.
As I wait for him to grab a couple boxes, my mind starts racing. I’m in a store devoted to food – there are literally stacks of food all around me. Yet somewhere else in the world is a person who can’t imagine having that much food available. And somewhere else in my city is a person who can’t imagine the luxury of buying a cart of groceries without worrying about the money to pay for it.
Is it really necessary to have 100 different choices for breakfast cereal? Why is it that I was chosen to grow up in this land of overabundance instead of another person? How can I keep a contented soul when my culture is constantly advertising the items I “need”? As my son grows, will we remember to demonstrate that we can live simply and still live happily? Or will he, too, get sucked into the cereal aisle and a culture demanding a myriad of choices.
This is a clip from the movie that I mentioned watching with my husband a few days ago. The words of this man have been echoing in my head since we watched it (I’m referring to the man who speaks from about 1:05 – 1:40).