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Book review: The Map Maker

| by Kim Niles

The Map Maker (MindShift Publishing) by Rob Streetman is highly thought provoking and a joy to read. The pages hold treasure, especially with the gentle reminders of what brought each of us to our faith in Christ. Additional reminders of having compassion for others, an inner strength that comes only from Jesus, and loving others as Christ loves us are explained in a fresh new way.

This book is excellent at showing us how God views us—with great patience, extravagant love and with such a treasured purpose. If we knew just how much God truly loves us, delighting in him would be our highest privilege and adventure in life.

We each are a Somebody—there is so much more to each of us than we (or others) can possibly realize. Each task God entrusts to us, whether it's lined with blessings or hardships, is a unique transforming adventure to make us more like His Son.

Too many Christians like to faultily believe that our lives should only hold goodness, but The Map Maker reminds us that God uses both good and bad to transform and sharpen our lives for His purposes and glory.

Depending on how submitted we are to the Holy Spirit's work for our transformation, this will hold the key to how well we will fare in our spiritual journeys. As we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us, our confidence in God grows and our fears, worries, and other negative character traits are rooted out of us. We are then more fully able to surrender, submit, and carry out the life assignments God gives to us. Our faith is strengthened and Christ is more clearly seen in us. The Map Maker does an exceptional job of sharing and teaching these rich messages.

This book also address what to do when we are tempted to quit (p. 66) due to challenging or uncomfortable situations. Being a grief and marriage coach, I've seen many Christians fall away from an accurate portrait of God and His goodness during tough life events. Throwing in the towel has become prevalent these days. Explaining the purpose of hardships which will stay with its readers, as well as prevent falling away from God.

The Map Maker reveals pitfalls that can keep us from fully submitting to God and experiencing Him. It also does a fantastic job of explaining some difficult to understand theology, as well as tackle the topic of spiritual warfare. I appreciate how the book takes the time to unfold in sections until you finally see the big picture.

I loved the description the author gave God: the Greatest Adventurer the world has ever known. This is so accurate and the book does a great job of describing how our spiritual life should be a grand adventure, custom made for us by the Map Maker.

Written as a parable and divided into two parts (after reading each chapter in part one, be sure to read the follow-up corresponding chapters in part two) this format will greatly enrich your reading and further personalize the adventure you'll be “going” on with Somebody and The Map Maker throughout the book.

I appreciated the author's transparency in sharing a few of his trials in life. This made The Map Maker even more authentic.

The “For Your Journey” sections at the end of the chapters were useful. Not only does this further personalize the reading material, but it opens your heart to truly consider the application and greater picture.

This book is excellent for encouraging leadership in your sphere of influence whether that is in the workplace, church, marriage, parenting, home, family, neighborhood, or anywhere God uses you to invest in others.

There are many Christian books that share how to develop your faith, that are “feel good” in nature, or how to receive God's best; I really liked how this book encouraged accountability – and responsibility – in how we should give back to God. Very refreshing!

This book will encourage, equip, transform and edify all who read it.

Kim Niles

Kim Niles is the author of Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You and is the co-founder of Grief Bites. She is also a writer and partner for YouVersion, a Community Leader at her church, and an inspirational speaker.

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
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