Lisa B, Reviewer
When we read Jesus’s conversations in the New Testament, we discover how short many were. According to Carl Medearis, Jesus’s recorded conversations averaged only 42 seconds each. (Of course he also had longer conversations; this is just the average of the ones written down.) 42 seconds sounds like a reachable goal for all of us. In this book, Medearis goes through ordinary moments in our lives and shows us how to have more meaningful conversations like Jesus did. Without seeming awkward. Without being forced. I appreciate this book for its simplicity and yet also for its depth. It might seem simple to be reminded to look up and say hi to people we meet, but how many times do we resist making eye contact or forget to give a greeting? And how often do we miss the connections of these simple things with what Jesus did? The book is divided into four sections. * Be Kind * Be Present * Be Brave * Be Jesus Each of these sections is broken down into short chapters beginning with a simple instruction of how we stop conversations and a better way to start a conversation instead. Medearis has an easy way to capture our attention and gently prod us into doing better. I appreciate such reminders. After several chapters, each section then ends with “Dig Deeper & Discuss” questions. These questions encourage us to live out the suggestions from the chapters as well as give us more scripture passages to read. I highly recommend this book as an effective way to have more meaningful conversations in our everyday lives. Here are some of my favorite lines from the book: “For most of us, it takes courage just to walk across the street and invite our neighbors over for a barbecue. Forget the Navy SEALs or the stuff we see in the movies —we just need to greet Sam and Beth at the mailbox.” “Go one question deeper by asking, ‘What was that like for you?’” “By the way, I don’t think these conversations need to ‘lead somewhere’ —like we’re trying to get them to believe in something or to change somehow. I just mean that our exchange leads to better understanding of one another and a more substantive relationship.” “If you want to be intentionally present with people, try asking two questions: Where have you come from, and where are you going?” My thanks to NetGalley for the review copy of this book.