Book Review: Just a Minute by Wess Stafford

ws01_justaminutecover_pIt was hot that day as I remember back to the 8 lanes of blazing black rubber. The sweat from my brow fell and sizzled on the rubber my heart slowed as I took a deep breath. The gun shot and put into motion 8 young men who all had one goal in mind; to win the prize. As we came across the line we each waited for our lungs to catch up to our legs and watched for our time to display on the large infield sign. Most of us had finished just under a minute. For that minute the rest of the world stood still for us as the crowd cheered us on. The blur that happened on the track was now over and the victor was crowned.

There’s not a whole lot you can accomplish in a minute, but you certainly change a life in that short span of time. Wess Stafford, President and CEO of Compassion International, has written this book just for that purpose. Just A Minute (Moody 2012) has been written about live changing moments and heart wrenching stories from well-known figures and some not so well-known. With my children I know with certainty that minutes with them are the most precious thing I can have here on earth, I wish many times that I would have them unending. I can think of many times where I have taught my daughter a new song or words in the matter of mere minutes. Likewise, she can learn some things that are not so good in a matter of minutes.

These stores are the product of those minutes where people chose to do the right thing at precisely the right moment which left an impact felt years later. More than ever minutes matter, even more so than the change in our pockets or the vaults that contain our most valuable treasure. When you see the face of children who need help, who are sick, in need, do you simply change the channel. Do you under you breath say, “Those people need my money again”? boliviagirl81641I must admit I was like that for the longest time and in some sense still am. But my heart has been changed by the love of God and when I see those children on television it breaks my heart. One day I was sitting with my daughter on the couch and a World Vision commercial came on and instantly my daughter shouted out, “Those babies have no food daddy. How can we give them food to eat”? I have never had to choke back tears so hard in my life. After that commercial she was dying to tell her mother and grandmother about the babies who didn’t have any food.

How can we as a people react with the same tenderness and urgency which my daughter showed? How can we give them food to eat, clothes to wear? We can love them and it only takes a minute. I read the stories that filled the pages of Just a Minute and I couldn’t help but get on my face and pray for the children and people who Compassion International help. This book was different from the other books I read. I continually fill my head with theology and dogmatics that sometimes I forget to make those things into personal application. Stafford has done that for me and urged me to use my minutes in a manner more worthy of the kingdom of God. What will you do with your minutes.

Wess Stafford writes in a very personal matter and I encourage you to find this book and read it. Don’t read it without thinking about it, really pay attention to the stories and then do something about it. The stories are short and easy to read. The stories will change your life and more importantly change your heart so that your minutes no longer fade away like the sunlight, but will make an everlasting change on someone in your life or someone you know.

This book review was done for Moody Publishers but I want to urge you to go beyond this book review and check out Compassion International. This is not an affiliate link, I was not required to post a link to the organization but as I wrote this review I felt it may be necessary for some of us to take a minute and browse the faces of children who need our help. I understand there may be children in your own neighborhood, in your own apartment complex, or even more personal, your house, which need help but please consider heading over there and just browsing for a bit.

Compassion-InternationalDisclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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