Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Take your best shot – Do something BIGGER than yourself

315154_1_ftc Take your best shot – Do something BIGGER than yourself
written by Austin Gutwein – Founder of Hoops of Hope with the help of Todd Hillard
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book
Discover how you can respond to God's call in your own life, whether it's in your own town or on the other side of the world.

Teen Austin Gutwein has taken his best shot several thousand times to help AIDS orphans in Africa and in the process has built a school and a medical clinic!  Take Your Best Shot tells how one boy made an incredible difference in the lives of those without hope while challenging the reader to do the same. 

The interactive dialogue will leave space for the reader to respond. By the end of the book, the reader will know the testimony of Austin and other teens from around the world who are committed to a life of sharing Christ’s love, and will have begun to search for God’s voice in their own lives. The book will also equip and challenge readers with information on a variety of ministries and organizations around the world to help people, animals, and the environment. 

Who is Austin Gutwein?
Austin_Bio_Pic Austin Gutwein was moved when he learned there were more than 15 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.  He organized a free-throw marathon and now his organization, Hoops of Hope, has raised over a million dollars to build a high school and medical clinic in Zambia.

Who is Todd Hillard?
Todd Hillard is a free-lance writer from San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife and five kids. A former youth pastor and missionary, he is passionate about taking the dreams and stories of others and bringing them to life on the written page.

Todd was born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota, received his BS in Pre-med studies and psychology from the University of Utah and his MA in English from Arizona State University. He and his family lived in Turkey for two and a half years. He has 17 years of pastoral experience and has written more than 12 books.

My Thoughts
This young man is simply amazing.  He had an idea and God opened up the doors for him to do what he was called to do – even when at first the adults thought it was a bit too much for him…

The book reminds me of what the Harris brothers say in their Do Hard Things book and Start Here book.  Austin talk directly to teenagers and tell them bluntly that they can do difficult task for the Lord as well.  And while he writes about this in each of the chapters, he also gives examples based on his experience with Hoops of Hope.  

I find it interesting to follow his story and discover that even though he had some difficulties, God provided with opportunities to make it possible and to grow.  

My oldest son is turning 9 this month and I want him to have good examples of how he can make a difference in the world.   Austin’s book will be one of the books I will ask him to read.   The book is written in such a way that even a nine year old can be touched by it.   Also included in each chapter, you will find a section called Take Your Best Shot which will guide the reader in reading God’s Word and ponder on some questions.   There are also challenges that are thrown to you in various ways.

I read this book while we were in vacation and every once in a while, my son, Alexandre would pick it up and look at the cover and read the back.   I think he is ready to dive into such a book.  Not sure if he was attracted to the basketball on the front or if is gentle spirit is touched by the kids in need on the cover but he seems to be interested in reading it.   Recently, while we were doing a garage sale, he had the idea to put up a lemonade stand and ask for donations for Haiti.   The results were fantastic and encouraged him to continue to find ways to help those in needs.

I want my kids to be willing to sacrifice and do hard things to help others.   And this book will encourage them and guide them in ways they won’t even expect it.  I know it touched me and stirred me inside.  
I recommend this book to every parent and younger person that I know.  Prepare to be move by the story of Austin and Hoops of Hope!


Hoops of Hope is organizing various events throughout the year.  Please visit their website at http://www.hoopsofhope.org/index.cfm for more information.

Listen to what Austin has to say about one of the events from Hoops of Hope.

This review was possible because I received a copy of Take your best shot from Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.

Take your best shot is available everywhere even at amazon.ca.

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