June 2017 was an interesting month of reading. It includes two biographies, a book on money, and a book on how to avoid burnout.
I thoroughly enjoyed this biography written by his son, Gary Wilkerson.
David Wilkerson is most notably known for his bestseller (and true story), The Cross and the Switchblade, a book about his ministry to the gangs of New York and the pivotal conversion of one of the most influential gang leaders there. He is also known for his founding of Teen Challenge, a faith based substance abuse recovery program, his evangelistic crusades, his pastorate in Times Square, as well as a number of controversial “predictions” and writings.
David Wilkerson was a visionary, always seeking the Lord for the next ministry opportunity when things began to wane. He was passionate and bold in reaching youth, especially those involved heavily in drugs, and those in the New York slums for Christ and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit in some of the toughest situations.
I found particularly interesting his son Gary’s regrets and insight about his father being gone all the time (which David regretted later in life), David’s internal wrestlings with the question of God’s love for him (largely due to his legalistic upbringing), the immense comfort that he found in reading the Puritans (thanks to Leonard Ravenhill), and his efforts to remain relevant and “cutting edge” in a denomination in which this was frowned upon.
In addition, his dealings with his own children and his wife later in life, the pursuits to strengthen the lives of those around him, and his devoted prayer life and leading of the Holy Spirit were all highly beneficial to me and will be for anyone who reads this book.
All in all, it was a powerful and “real” look at an ordinary man used in extraordinary ways by our great God.
First off, there is nothing new to learn from this book and the author acknowledges that. However, it is ALWAYS wise to read financial books now and then to refresh and re-energize your efforts in handling God’s money. This book presents 30 days of “money challenges” to help you return to God’s design for you and your finances.
Second, the overarching theme of this book is living a generous life. This cannot be done with gusto until your finances are in order (though much is said about being generous in other areas as well).
Finally, what made this book enjoyable was the storyline that went along with it. The teachings you can find in any Dave Ramsey book, but the storyline was moving and successful in rejuvinating that joy that comes when you intentionally pursue a lifestyle of generosity.
As we age, we need to be constantly aware of our changing limitations and seeking to adapt to them. If we are 40 and still run our race as if we are 20, we will burnout.
Drawing from personal experience, counseling others, recent statistics, and much practical insight and wisdom, David Murray shows us how to recognize those warning signs of burnout and how to reset our lives to be more “grace-paced.”
This is not a call for us to do less, but for us to do more of what is important.
The book begins with the symptoms, the warning signs, the habits that we develop leading to burnout. He then leads us through 10 “Repair Bays” which help us reset and recalibrate our life.
This is not a self-help book. It is backed with Scripture, wisdom, and very practical examples.
A worthwhile read for sure.
Extraordinary! You can read my thoughts here.