Cover Image: Journey to Love

Journey to Love

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Member Reviews

Did you read Sky Lantern? No? Well, go read it and then come back for this book. Yes, order them at the same time! I promise you, they'll both be worth it and they really are part of one another. Here's why, Matt Mikalatos lost a very dear friend, Shasta, he tells part of their story in Sky Lantern and fulfills a promise to with Journey to Love. 

Journey to Love is a little book, almost a 40 day devotional with little vignettes of love and then ways for you to reflect that love and an exercise to grow in that aspect of love. It's not an easy book because love isn't an easy thing. the reflections and exercises sometimes take a few days to work through or a lifetime if we're honest. 

I was touched by how Mikalatos decided to fulfill his promise to Shasta, how he managed to leave a little bit of their love on the written page for people to witness for years to come. It's beautiful and heartbreaking and challenging and rewarding. To be able to have a little glimpse into a love that we can all partake in is refreshing. Love isn't just for the married, parents, or siblings, it's for all of us and it's so much bigger than we give it credit. Journey to Love does a fine job of allowing us to see how big love might be and challenges us to see how far love can go. 

I received a digital copy of this book for the purpose of review from NetGalley. I'm never required to give a positive review but always thankful when I can.
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An interesting read about stuff that nobody really thinks of or pays attention too. I like how the author also included bits from his own personal life.
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I received a copy of this book through the publisher via NetGalley.

Journey to Love is a gentle read. It takes the reader by the hand through 40 brief insights on love in its many facets, each segment ending with a simple exercise and opportunity to personalize things more. While unabashedly from a Christian perspective, this is a highly inclusive book. It doesn't assume anyone to be of the same faith, or make an effort at conversion. As the author says at one point, "Yes, I have atheist friends who are deeply loving, and religious friends who are not. You might think that's an argument against my point, but I don't think so. Some atheists are closer to God than some people who claim God, that's all. And my job, your job, our job... is to love them both."

I approached the book, not fully sure what to expect or what I might get out of it. I sure didn't anticipate fighting tears as I read the every start as he describes the death of his dear friend Shasta. Shasta returns often throughout the book. I sure never knew her, but I had a sense like her spirit was in the words, guiding Mikalatos along.

This is by no means a book focused on romantic love, but explores the subject in various ways. I really appreciated how he addressed the subject of abuse, complete with a checklist to help people recognize what is, and isn't, love. It's the kind of thing more people need to see; it will save lives.

I highlighted many profound quotes and exercises as I read. I feel like this is a book I will revisit later to ponder his points again. In this time of often overwhelming darkness, it's refreshing to read something that offers gentle bursts of light.
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This is a tough book to read. I lost my sister early in June and this book hit very close to home with the content and my experiences. I thank the author for sharing a difficult story. His journey is not a singular one, and his writing this book helps me realize my journey isn't either.
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This was fine ... just fine. Lol.

I had high expectations for it and just feel like the author and I approached it differently. I expected more/deeper roots in the Christian faith, more of the "why" than the "what," more of a Christian quiet-time devotional; the book deals more with the "what" and the "how"--so maybe I was just asking, or answering, a different question than Mikalatos did. God/Christianity seriously/heavily entered the picture surprisingly late in the book, and some of Mikalatos's comments in this regard felt very different from my own and from how I read Scripture. Maybe it's semantics, but I'm not convinced.

The book could easily be read and enjoyed by, I believe, anyone--regardless of faith; yes, Mikalatos is a Christian, but presents the material for a much broader reader base. It does have valuable insights, and the reflections/action items at the end of each chapter were helpful.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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Matt Mikalatos is one of my favorite people that I’ve never met in person. As someone with a lot of online friends, that’s not a categorization I take lightly. His words are constantly gracious, loving, challenging, and inclusive. In my mind, there’s not a better to write a book called Journey to Love than Matt Mikalatos. 

It’s appropriate that this book is, in many ways, a love letter. In the introduction, Matt talks about his friend Shasta who recently passed following a long-fought battle with cancer. When I die, she had asked him, tell people they’re loved. Journey to Love is more than just a book. It’s a kept promise that weaves through stories and reflections both personal and spiritual, straddling the gap between memoir and devotional. 

Journey to Love is written in eight parts, each divided into five reflective chapters. Each part has its own theme. First, Mikalatos prepares you for the journey. Then he defines what love is and is not. From there, he tells you of love’s power and barriers to love that exist. He reflects upon the love of God and the power of love to change the world. Then he concludes with devotional thoughts on having the strength and vulnerability to love. Along the way, you get more than a glimpse of Mikalatos’ life and how radical love expresses itself through the way he and his family live. And you get to know Shasta. Her story is more than just the hook or the inspiration. The value of her life is at the core of these reflections, allowing the book a frank, honest, personal look into deep and committed friendship.

We all need a friend like Matt. And we all need a friend like Shasta. The lessons that Matt teaches, reflections on lessons that he’s learned, are simple but transformative. Each chapter ends with a reflection and an exercise. And some of the exercises aren’t easy! They’ll stretch you. It’s one thing to read about radical love in theory. It’s another to be challenged to put it into practice. Not since Francis Chan’s Crazy Love have I read such an honest, compelling invitation to radical love. Journey to Love is a book that you could speed through in an hour. Don’t. Savor it. Take it day by day. Put Mikalatos to the test by answering his reflective questions and working out his challenges. It’ll be transformational. I guarantee it.
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There's a delightful premise behind this book which captured my heart from the get-go. Mikalatos shares the heartbreaking story of the loss of his dear friend, Shasta, whom he'd walked with through her years of battling cancer. Before she passed away, she asked Matt to do something for her after her death: tell not only her loved ones, but 'everyone' that they are loved.

And this book was the means to fulfil Shasta's last request.

The book has 40 three page chapters, separated into eight parts of five. It's very easy to read and even though on the surface it might appear overly simplistic, there's a lot of good content which provides the reader with an outline on how to find love and perhaps more specifically to live a life of love.

Each chapter starts with a short quote. I found these to be very useful as the author then proceeds to share a brief story as a means of introducing the chapters emphasis. Mikalatos bases a lot of his points on Christian notions of love, in particular using the elements of love described in various well know Bible passages. These form a solid platform in which the author can express his views on "Finding Love", "That's Not Love" and :Love Changes the World" to name three of the eight parts.

Each chapter then ends with a "Reflection" and an "Exercise" to enhance a reader's engagement. I suspect many readers will find these of use.

I found it a useful outline and at times really wanted a bit more depth on some of the chapters. I wonder if a detailed reference guide for further study or consideration might be a useful addition as a way of encouraging readers to explore some of the ideas further and in a bit more detail.

I received an early ebook copy from the publisher via NetGalley with no expectation of a favourable review.
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