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Customer Reviews for Bethany House insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World

Bethany House insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World

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4.75 out of 5
4.8
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8 out of 8100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World
Review 1 for insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fantastic Book for Readers of All Ages

Date:September 7, 2012
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CCGM
Age:25-34
Gender:female
In his new book inSignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World, Chris Travis challenges the common stereotypes of significance and paints a broader picture of how what it means to lead significant lives. The platform for his book is Travis' experience teaching at 'the most dangerous middle school in all of New York City'.
With raw honesty, Travis uses his words to draw readers into the classroom where he taught. He vividly describes the rebellion of the students and his feelings of defeat and insignificance. Stripped away was his passion for teaching as well as his good intentions. Travis ended the first year in utter defeat, but goes back for a second year when he is convinced that it is what God is asking him to do. In the end, he emerges with a changed view of significance which he shares with readers.
Throughout the book, Travis mixes his own story with theology and biblical exegesis. The book was engaging and thought-provoking as Travis relates it back to the reader and their own search for significance. He writes plainly that "following Jesus often means losing" and shows a picture of significance that is truly counter-cultural. inSignifcant is easy to read and conversational which makes it a good book for people of different ages.
On a personal note, inSignificant came at the perfect time as I read it just weeks after having my first baby. There are moments when changing diapers feels like the most insignificant task in the world, yet I was challenged to see what God is teaching me through this and to be obedient to and dependent on God. I will highly recommend this book to friends and family as I think it is relevant for all. This is the best book I have read in awhile - I hope that others be challenged by it as well.
**Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher (Bethany House) in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 2 for insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Reminding you that you matter to the Kingdom!

Date:September 4, 2012
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rael
Location:Grifton, NC
Age:45-54
Gender:female
“It isn’t flashy and it isn’t trendy, but it is the only thing that can change the human heart.” In his book Insignificant, Chris Travis talks about the real power that God is using to change the world—His love; and He is doing it through the lives of those who are willing to love the way Jesus loves. It calls for a life where we see our days through God’s perspective, being kingdom focused instead of self focused, and partnering with Christ to bring that kingdom here on earth. Travis states that loving the way Jesus commands can sometimes make one feel insignificant.
After teaching for two years in Harlem at what the New York Post called “School From Hell”, Travis himself felt the slow death of his significance yet at the same time, he was compelled to love the way Jesus loved, which in retrospect meant dying for others and feeling the pain of loving a sinful world. He found that loving others God’s way makes our life more meaningful, no matter what we find ourselves doing day after day and sometimes longer than we desire.
Travis expresses that God cares so deeply for people that He takes our treatment of others personally. The strength to live this kind of life flows from a daily dependence on God and a personal determination that He is enough for us; from identifying ourselves with others, and from sometimes having to choose to forgive just because it’s part of the kingdom.
After reading this book I will never again look at my sphere of influence quite the same; my neighborhood, my workplace, or anywhere else I find myself going day after day. I have become more aware of the need to reach out with God’s love to the people around me. I really am significant to God’s kingdom and like the author so lovingly states, “When God made me, He had an idea, I really do matter.” I now know I can really love them the way Jesus does. I would highly recommend this book to anyone to read, especially those who feel they do not matter in their little corner of the world or feel they have lost their purpose. This book is truly a practical approach to help anyone understand that they are significant to God and to the people He longs to reach.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.
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Review 3 for insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Personal story of God's work, general application

Date:August 28, 2012
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No-Spoilers
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Chris Travis taught two years at the most dangerous middle school in New York City. Though he expected to find significance in his service, he found he was insignificant. When he humbled himself, God's work became evident to him. In Christ, Travis found significance.
The first part of the book covers Travis’s first year of teaching and the key lessons he learned: God loves us. God wants our love. We love God by loving others. We are significant when we serve others (77).
The second part recounts important moments of Travis’s second year of teaching. Travis also claims he wants to show readers how to change the world by joining God’s work (77). Because he writes for a wide audience, his advice is broad. In Chapter 6, Travis covers dependence on God, fellowship with other believers, and prayer for God’s will. In Chapter 7, he encourages using whatever we have for God’s service. In Chapter 8, he discusses seeking God’s kingdom.
While Travis points out critical habits for followers of Christ, he doesn't say anything new for those of us who've banged around the church for a while.
InSignificant will not tell you how to change the world. If you expect targeted help in starting a ministry or showing compassion or teaching in difficult settings, look for a book more specific to your subject area. But if you are encouraged by hearing how God has worked in other people’s lives, InSignificant is for you. God is the key character, and Travis knows it.
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Review 4 for insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Help the 'least of these' for significance

Date:August 25, 2012
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dlhs8954
Location:Pennsylvania
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
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inSignificant
by Chris Travis
“Why you matter in the surprising way God is changing the world.” That’s the subtitle. If you’re looking for a bit of encouragement to be unselfish – this is the book for you.
We all want to live a life that matters. We all search for significance in our lives. This book basically tells you – help the ‘least of these’ – the ones who are needy. In that way, you’ll be significant. You help change others’ lives, and you’ll find your own destiny, your own purpose along the way.
The author based this book on two years of his life teaching in the worst school system in New York City. The book chronicles how hard things were the first year…how rebellious the students were, how it stripped him of hate. How he cried – more than ever. And how the acclaim and self-worth he had previously felt while being on staff at a church – was totally missing in this job.
His second year went better, he says, because he learned the lessons of the first year. After his second year, the school was shut down. He is now a pastor, planting a church in New York City.
From the description of the book, what I actually got was not quite what I expected. Maybe it’s just me. The ‘youth’ of the author came through quite clearly. Maybe I’m cynical – sometimes it comes with being middle-aged and having been knocked around by life a bit, but someone who only had one bad year out of their life – hard though it was – well – I didn’t get as much out of the book as I had originally hoped to.
Obviously, this book is written for the widest audience possible – as the author doesn’t take it for granted the reader knows much about how God works.
It’s not surprising that God can use anyone. It’s not surprising that we matter to God. If we're Christians, we know this. So, for me, it wasn’t a surprising book at all. I had the book figured out before I was even halfway through it, but I was committed to reading the whole book through the Bethany House Blogger Book Review program. This was the first book I’ve reviewed in over two years. It was the first one I was hoping would actually ‘help’ me with my own issues of ‘significance.’
It didn’t, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be encouraged by it. Published by Bethany House.
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Review 5 for insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Thoughtful and Inspiring

Date:August 20, 2012
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Jeremy
Location:Buffalo, NY
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Insignificant struck a chord for me, and I imagine for many others who wonder why the daily grind matters, who wonder where meaning can be found. In the midst of incredible difficulty and personal soul searching Chris Travis writes with an honesty that is refreshing and humbling. Sometimes personal writing is indulgent or patronizing, this was neither and I cannot imagine a book more appropriate for the those who wonder if they matter.
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Review 6 for insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Refreshingly relevant to the average person

Date:August 15, 2012
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ShannonT
Location:Cleveland, Ohio
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Like a lot of people, I was blown away by Crazy Love and other books and teachings by Francis Chan. In fact, his books sort of ruined me. As a book reviewer, publishers expect me to offer an honest review of the new releases they send me.....while I continued to do so - in the back of my mind- every book was compared to Crazy Love.
The bar was simply set too high.
....and then came inSignificant.
Finally a book that I can wholeheartedly recommend. In this fairly small book - 150 or so pages - easy to read - humble tale of a pastor turned middle school teacher - Chris Travis offers an approach to life that is not only biblical, but relevant to the average person.
There so much to love about this book. I received it yesterday and couldn't put it down....but I am far from "done" with it. I plan on going back through it to soak up the lessons again. (and then pass it on - this book is too good to keep to myself)
And now for the review - Chris Travis taught math in the most dangerous middle school in the New York City School system for two years...and that is the main background of this book. Through this experience he learned how to navigate life focused on God.... and live a life that is truly Christ like - even if that means staying almost completely insignificant and irrelevant according to the world's standards. (and even if he really didn't WANT to some days, dare I say most days)
Unlike many other Christian books, Chris Travis does not spend time helping you figure out how to find your life purpose - in fact, he addresses that and other commonly held "religious" notions in a really interesting way. His take on some of the parables is refreshingly real.
The conversational style will draw you in and the lessons will change you from the inside out if you let them. If you have ever felt insignificant or burdened by the mundane of your life - discouraged that you are not doing something BIG for the kingdom....this is the book for you. - (And if you are doing something BIG, I still suggest you read this book - it may help you gain perspective.)
5 stars without any hesitation
* Thank you Bethany House for providing a free copy of inSignificant for review. -and for restoring my faith in the Christian publishing world. : )
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Review 7 for insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A challenging and beautifully written story

Date:August 13, 2012
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Brad Canning
Location:Brooklyn, NY
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
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InSignificant is an important book with the challenge that “you matter in the surprising way God is changing the world.” I enjoyed every minute of this beautifully written story. I am thankful for the vulnerability and wisdom that Chris Travis shares with us. He is the Middle School teacher we all wish we had and is currently a pastor that is working to live and serve a small struggling community in New York City in a way that counts. I am encouraged by this book and would love to see InSignificant in all my friends hands.
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Review 8 for insignificant: Why You Matter in the Surprising Way God Is Changing the World
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 11, 2012
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Kateinthecity
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
As someone who has personally experienced a truly horrible job - the kind that makes you dread the coming day and feel physical anxiety, fear and sadness every Sunday night - I could really relate to this book. This book is for anyone who has ever had to endure a tough - or downright miserable - experience. The type that keeps you asking, "why am I here?" and "why does this part of my life have to suck so bad??" This book shows how an everyday guy was able to get through some of the darkest days of his life and inspires hope that even in the worst of times, we too can find meaning and purpose in our lives. I really loved this book and recommend it to anyone who has ever questioned why bad things happen to good people.
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