There are many handbooks, DIY manuals and self-help journals that adorn the vast cyber bookshelves of the literary nook of the internet as well as its more old school component, The Book Store, yet this offering by author Douglas Kindred is a welcome breath of fresh air to a reader who is seeking a hands on approach for application to the spiritual journey. Don't let the mere 124 pages fool you; there is ample amount of wisdom in this book whose title touts a DIY approach: "Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul." This sage advice, relayed by the author's mother, acted as a healing balm particularly during a turbulent season of life that brought Kindred to his emotional spiritual knees.
As noted in chapter one, the author ..."made a concerted effort not to interpret the Scripture but instead to just present what Jesus said." With this guide, one can see that in the book of Matthew Jesus relays how to live our lives whereas in the book of John,"...is the description of who Jesus is and why He came." The Bible is a love letter from God that puts us into right relationship with Him and acts as spiritual food for the daily nourishment for our souls.
As the chapter on Matthew unfolds, the author places guideposts along the way to offer pause for the reader: tarry upon the beauty and wisdom of The Beatitudes, ponder the life-giving message found in The Sermon on the Mount and reflect upon the message of The Ten Commandments. Throughout the chapter on John, the reader will take note of the development of key points that serve as the building blocks to the Christian faith.
Throughout its pages, there are numerous scriptural verses and author commentary to direct the reader to personal insight and reflection. Kindred's personal story is discussed in depth at the beginning of the book and comes full circle with the completion of the writing. Quite candidly, the author reveals the physical and emotional upheaval he endured before ultimately returning to his mother's wise counsel and immersing himself into the Word that not only resets his moral compass but also provides answers to questions with which he has wrestled over time.
The final chapter offers the reader the chance to participate in several exercises that explore identity, blessings and heart desires. I found this book a pleasure to read and thought provoking in nature; clearly a go to guide for New Testament inspiration and a resource that will be referenced time and time again.
Laure McCourt Lopez
Doug Kindred earned a Bachelor's degree in physics and math from East Tennessee State University and a doctorate in optics from University of Rochester. He is President of Gradient Lens Corporation in Rochester, N.Y., and currently resides in Ocala, Fla. For more information, visit www.DougKindredBooks.com.
"Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul"
By Douglas Kindred
ISBN: 978-1-4908-3587-7 (sc);
Approximately 138 pages