Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ordinary by Tony Merida

  I was interested in this book from the moment I first held it in my hands because of its unique format. A small, easy-to-carry size, it features a pleasantly rough canvas-like binding which, as you can tell from the above picture, if unusually designed!
Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down Book Cover  The pages of this book are aesthetically-pleasing and the chapters well-organized. Tony Merida is an excellent author who has a talent for engaging readers with his upbeat style yet not disappointing the reader desiring deep truths.
Tony Merida is the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C. He also serves as Associate Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. His books include:Faithful Preaching;Orphanology; Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down; Proclaiming Jesus; Eight volumes in the new Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series (B&H), of which he also serves as a general editor, along with Danny Akin and David Platt.
He is happily married to Kimberly; and they have five adopted children.

I was able to stay focused and interested in this book as a traversed it chapter by chapter. Mr. Merida writes with depth and enthusiasm. I included just a couple of the many portions of the book which I thought were really good:

''Spiritual maturity isn't merely something you do with your mind. It;s not about the books you've read. It's not about the conferences you attend or speak at. It;s about the life you live. It's possible to listen to ten podcasts weekly, and to sing with the hottest bands, and be in four Beth Moore Bible studies, but miss the call to care for the least of these- and all the while live in a deceived state of thinking you're mature. '' pg. 15

As is evident by this inspiring quote, Tony Merida is passionate about practical, Christ-like living! Read this book and you will be convicted to live a more humble, Christ-like life!

''As a Christ-follower, we must not replace truthfulness with tolerance. No one loved like Jesus, yet He was bold and direct. Respect others? Absolutely. Show grace to those who disagree? Yes. Fail to speak the truth in the name of tolerance? No. Paul said it this way, ''Speak the truth in love.'' We don't love the world the way Jesus loved the world if we don't call others to repentance. And we should do so in a spirit of brokenness and repentance ourselves. Love doesn't equal tolerance.'' pg. 19

 January 1, 2015 
What if the path toward an extraordinary life is becoming more ordinary?Ordinary is not a call to be more radical. If anything, it is a call to the contrary. The kingdom of God isn’t coming with light shows, and shock and awe, but with lowly acts of service. Tony Merida wants to push back against sensationalism and “rock star Christianity,” and help people understand that they can make a powerful impact by practicing ordinary Christianity.
Through things such as humble acts of service, neighbor love, and hospitality, Christians can shake the foundations of the culture. In order to see things happen that have never happened before, Christians must to do what Christians have always done­. Christians need to become more ordinary.
Let’s think together about how we, ordinary people, doing ordinary things, might turn the world upside down.