“With Soulprint Mark Batterson has done it again! He has asked the questions that led me into a self-discovery that enlarged my vision of God's purpose in my life.”
—Ruth Graham, speaker and author of Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There
“Mark weaves us through the Great Commandment with insights that are both winsome and wise, peaking both curiosity and conviction. He calls us to a discipleship free of the trappings of shriveled self-concern, drawing us to give ourselves, with abandon, to others as we heed Jesus’ call to “love God” above all. This book will fuel clarity of call and persevering strength for those who will journey in obedience to the Gospel – in its wholeness of justice, mercy, and faithfulness – for a lifetime.”
—Gary Haugen, president & CEO of International Justice Mission and author of Good News About Injustice, Terrify No More, and Just Courage
“Too many of us are doing life at an unsustainable pace and losing sight of our first love. In his new book Primal, Mark Batterson invites you to rediscover the reality of Christ and His passions. This book will challenge you, push you, and stretch you. You will walk away righteously aggravated, but catapulted into action.”
—Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv
“Mark, I’m with you. It’s time for the believers to be more. Let’s hear the voice of God and be that Holy passionate fire that we are called to be. It’s the primal way.”
—Shaun Alexander, 2005 NFL MVP, acclaimed speaker and author of Touchdown Alexander and The Walk
“As a leader and teacher, Mark Batterson brings imagination, energy, and insight. Mark’s genuine warmth and sincerity spill over into his communication, combining an intense love for his community with a passionate desire to see them living the life God dreams for them. I appreciate his willingness to take bold risks and go to extraordinary lengths to reach our culture with a message that is truly relevant.”
—Ed Young, senior pastor of Fellowship Church
“A thoughtful and energetic leader, Mark Batterson presses us to consider how we live out our faith in the world around us. When Mark has something to say, I am quick to listen.”
—Frank Wright, PhD, president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters
Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destinyby Mark Batterson
God would like to introduce you to yourself./i>
There never has been and never will be anyone like you. But that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you. The problem? Few people discover the God-given identity that makes them unlike anyone else. Mark Batterson calls this divine distinction our soulprint.
God would like to introduce you to yourself.
In Soulprint, Mark pours the contagious energy he’s known for into helping you experience the joy of discovering who you are...and the freedom of discovering who you’re not. The wonderful fact is that your uniqueness is God’s gift to you, and it’s also your gift to God.
A self-discovery book that puts God at the center rather than self, Soulprint encourages you to recognize and explore the five defining moments in your life that will determine your destiny. Along the way, you’ll find that you’re not just turning the pages of a book. You’re turning the pages of your remarkable, God-shaped, world-changing life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“With Soulprint Mark Batterson has done it again! He has asked the questions that led me into a self-discovery that enlarged my vision of God's purpose in my life.”
- The Crown Publishing Group
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- Random House
- NOOK Book
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Read an Excerpt
The dullest and most uninteresting person you may talk to may one day be a creature, which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship.… It is in light of these overwhelming possibilities…that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people.You have never met a mere mortal.
—C. S. Lewis , The Weight of Glory
There has never been and never will be anyone else like you. But that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you. You are unlike anyone who has ever lived. But that uniqueness isn’t a virtue. It’s a responsibility. Uniqueness is God’s gift to you, and uniqueness is your gift to God. You owe it to yourself to be yourself. But more important, you owe it to the One who designed you and destined you.
Make no mistake, this is no self-help book. Self-help is nothing more than idolatry dressed up in a rented tuxedo. So let me be blunt: you aren’t good enough or gifted enough to get where God wants you to go. Not without His help. But here’s the good news: there is nothing God cannot do in you and through you if you simply yield your life to Him. All of it. All of you.
This book is all about you, but it’s not about you at all. The fact that there never has been and never will be anyone like you simply means that no one can worship God like you or for you. You were created to worship God in a way that no one else can. How? By living a life no one else can—your life. You have a unique destiny to fulfill, and no one can take your place. You play an irreplaceable role in God’s grand narrative. But fulfilling your true destiny starts with discovering your true identity. And therein lies the challenge.
Most of us live our entire lives as strangers to ourselves. We know more about others than we know about ourselves. Our true identities get buried beneath the mistakes we’ve made, the insecurities we’ve acquired, and the lies we’ve believed. We’re held captive by others’ expectations. We’re uncomfortable in our own skins. And we spend far too much emotional, relational, and spiritual energy trying to be who we’re not. Why? Because it’s easier. And we think it’s safer. But trying to be who we’re not amounts to forfeiting our spiritual birthrights. It’s not just that we’re lying to ourselves. Somewhere along the way, we lose ourselves.
I’m not sure where you’re at in your journey of self-discovery. Maybe you’re on the front end, trying to figure out who you are. Maybe you’re on the back end, trying to remember who you were meant to be. Or maybe you’re somewhere in between, trying to close the gap between who you are and who you want to be. No matter where you are, I want you to experience the joy of discovering who you are and the freedom of discovering who you’re not. It won’t be easy. And there are no shortcuts. But if you are breathing, God hasn’t given up on you yet. So don’t give up on yourself. Let this promise soak into your spirit, because it will energize your reading: it’s never too late to be who you might have been.
Self-discovery is a lot like an archaeological dig. It takes a long time to uncover the hidden treasures that lie buried beneath the surface. You can never be certain of what you will find or where you will find it. And it is a painstaking process. But the failure to dig deep will result in a superficial life. If you live as a stranger to yourself, how can you find intimacy with others? Intimacy is a function of self-discovery. It’s hard to truly get to know others if you don’t even know yourself. And beyond the relational ramifications, there are occupational implications. If you haven’t discovered your unique gifts and passions, how can you find fulfillment in what you do? You might make a living, but you won’t make a life. You’ll never experience the joy of doing what you love and loving what you do. And, finally, it’s the spiritual side effects of superficiality that are the most detrimental. Superficiality is a form of hypocrisy. If you fail to discover the truth, the whole truth, about yourself, aren’t you lying to yourself? Your life becomes a half truth.
I live in a city, Washington DC, where image is everything. Meg Greenfield, who spent thirty years covering the city as a journalist with the Washington Post, likened it to high school. She referred to high school as a “preeminently nervous” place, and she believed that Washington was even worse. “High school is the time when people first contrive to have an image,” observed Greenfield. “It is an attempt to fabricate a whole second persona for public consumption.” And it’s that second persona that results in a secondhand life. Instead of narrating our own lines in the first person, we live second-person lives by allowing others to narrate our lives for us. And that is hypocrisy at its worst. Our lives become lies. We not only cheat ourselves and others—when we fail to discover our true God-given identities and God-ordained destinies, we also cheat the Third Person. Greenfield wrote:
Life inside the image…requires continuous care, feeding, and, above all, protection. That is the worst of it.… It’s like never being able to get undressed.…
We are, most of us, much of the time, in disguise. We present ourselves as we think we are meant to be. In Washington, this is greatly in excess of the ordinary hypocrisies…that exist everywhere else.1
I wish this were true only in Washington, but it’s everywhere. In fact, superficiality is the curse of our culture. And the primary reason we live as strangers to ourselves is because we’re afraid of what we’ll find if we start digging. We don’t really want to see ourselves for who we are. But if we can dig deeper than our fallen natures, we’ll find the truth that lies buried beneath our sin: the image of God. We’ll find our true identities. And our true destinies as well.
In the pages that follow, we’ll dig into your past, looking for clues to your future. We’ll dust off the lies you’ve believed and insecurities you’ve acquired until your true identity is unveiled. And we’ll make discoveries, both painful and pleasurable, that will forever change the way you see yourself. In fact, you’ll never see yourself the same way, because you’ll see yourself through the eyes of your Creator.
Time may be measured in minutes, but life is measured in moments. And some moments are larger than life. And it’s those defining moments that dictate the way we see life. Some of them are as predictable as a wedding day or the birth of a child. Others are as unpredictable as an accident. You never know which moment might become a defining moment, but identifying those moments is the key to identifying who you are.
Psychological research suggests that one’s self-concept is defined by a very small number of experiences. Ninety-nine percent of life’s experiences vanish like vapor into the subconscious abyss. Only one percent make it into our conscious memories. And less than one percent of that one percent are not just memorable but truly unforgettable. Those are the moments that define us. And managing those memories is a form of stewardship. Every past experience is preparation for some future opportunity. And one way God redeems the past is by helping us see it through His eyes, His providence. So the key to fulfilling your future destiny is hidden in your past memories.
When we look in the mirror, what we see is a reflection of our accumulated experiences. And defining moments are like defining features. In a sense, we are an aggregation of where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and who we’ve known. But there are a few places, a few experiences, and a few people that leave their imprints in ways that become parts of our soulprints.
Exactly what, you may be wondering, is a soulprint? Think of it this way: Your fingerprint uniquely identifies you and differentiates you from everyone else who has ever lived, but your fingerprint is only skin deep. You possess a uniqueness that is soul deep. I call it your soulprint. It’s not just who you are, present tense. It’s who you are destined to become, future tense. It’s not just who others see when they look at you from the outside in. It’s who God has destined you to become from the inside out. Not unlike your genetic code that programs your physical anatomy, your soulprint hardwires your true identity and true destiny. So while you live your life forward, God works backward. The Omniscient One always starts with the end in mind.
The best example of how God uses defining moments to reveal a person’s destiny is found in the life of David. He wrote,
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.2
As with the psalmist, all of your days are ordained by God. And it’s your holy responsibility to discover that God-ordained destiny, just like David did. His epitaph speaks for itself:
When David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.3
Despite humble beginnings and huge mistakes, David fulfilled his destiny. And that’s why David’s life is the backdrop for this book. He is the soulprint prototype. The defining moments or scenes in his life double as destiny clues that will help you serve God’s unique purpose in your generation. In the pages that follow, we will dissect David’s life in a way that will help you discover your own destiny.
On the most memorable day of his life, David bent down by a brook that didn’t just bisect a battlefield. It bisected his life. His life would never be the same after that day, and he knew it. His life was about to end or about to begin.
Giant footsteps got louder as Goliath drew nearer, but it didn’t disrupt David’s laserlike focus. Like a child trying to find a flat stone for skipping, David was searching for smooth stones from the riverbed. He knew that the shape of the stone would determine the trajectory of the throw. Then David had a moment, a defining moment. As he bent down by the brook, he saw a reflection of himself in the water, and it was like he was seeing himself for the first time. Everybody who had ever known David, including his own father, saw David as nothing more than a shepherd boy. But as David stared at his reflection in the water, his true identity was revealed. David saw the person God had destined him to become: a giant killer. That was his true identity. That was his true destiny.
Like the ripple effect created by David as he reached into the river, there are defining moments that reverberate down the years of our lives. In fact, they forever change the trajectory of our lives. That’s what this book is about—identifying the defining moments that reveal our destinies. We’ll think of the five defining moments from David’s life as those five smooth stones he picked up that day. And while you may have a few more or a few fewer such moments, those from David’s life will help you see your own reflection more clearly.
IMAGINE DEL CUORE
To the average eye, it was a mutilated piece of marble. The aborted sculpture had been abandoned half a century earlier by Agostino di Duccio, but a young artist named Michelangelo saw something in that stone others did not. Chiseling the eighteen foot block of marble would consume nearly four years of his life, but that seemingly worthless stone was destined to become what many consider the greatest statue ever sculpted by human hands. Giorgio Vasari, a sixteenth-century artist and author, called it nothing less than a miracle. Michelangelo resurrected a dead stone and, breathing his artistry into it, brought David into existence.
As he chiseled, Michelangelo envisioned what he called the imagine del cuore, or image of the heart. He believed the masterpiece was already inside the stone. All he had to do was remove the excess stone so David could escape. He didn’t see what was. He saw what could be, what already lay within his heart. He didn’t see the imperfections in the stone. He saw a masterpiece of unparalleled beauty. And that is precisely how the Artist sees you.
We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in
Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.4
Every work of art originates in the imagination of the artist. And so you originated in the imagination of God. Awesome thought, isn’t it? You were conceived by God long before you were conceived by your parents. You took shape in the imagination of the Almighty before you took shape in your mother’s womb. You are His “masterpiece,” from the Greek word poiema. And it’s where we get our English word poem. But it refers to any work of art.
You are His painting.
You are His novel.
You are His sculpture.
“Christ is more of an artist than the artists,” observed Vincent Van Gogh. “He works in the living spirit and the living flesh; he makes men instead of statues.” God is painting a picture of grace on the canvas of your life. God is writing His-story, history with a hyphen, through your life. God is crafting your character through the circumstances of your life. To see yourself as anything other than God’s masterpiece is to devalue and distort your true identity. And it’s in discovering your true identity that your true destiny is revealed.
A sense of destiny is your sacred birthright as a child of God. And it’s anchored to the truth found in Ephesians 2:10, quoted above. The word “planned” is drawn from the Eastern custom of sending servants in advance of a king to prepare the road ahead. It was their responsibility to secure safe passage and make sure the king got to his destination. Paul took that ancient imagery and turned it upside down, or maybe I should say, right side up. The King of kings goes before His servants to prepare the road ahead. In other words, He strategically positions us in the right place at the right time. God is setting you up. And that ought to fill you with an unshakable sense of destiny.
Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David, is enshrined at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, Italy. And thousands of tourists wait for hours every day to get a glimpse. But many of them fail to notice the series of unfinished sculptures that line the corridor on the way to David. Like petrified prisoners, their forms are identifiable—a hand here, a torso there, a protruding leg or part of a head. The statues were intended to adorn the tomb of Pope Julius II, but they are non finite. It’s almost as if those sculptures are trying to break free and become what they were intended to be, but they are stuck in stone. Michelangelo called them captives.
Have you ever felt like a captive? You can’t seem to break free from habitual sins that have held you back and held you down? A dream God conceived in your spirit years ago hasn’t taken shape the way you wanted it to? You know who you want to be, what you want to do, and where you want to go, but you can’t seem to get there. I have no idea where you’re stuck or for how long you’ve been stuck. But I do know that God wants to finish what He started.
In His first sermon, Jesus stated His mission in no uncertain terms: to set the captives free.5 We tend to think of that statement in judicial terms. Salvation is our Get Out of Jail Free card. But it’s much more than that. Maybe we should think of that statement in artistic terms. Jesus didn’t die just to get us off the hook. He also died to resurrect the person we were destined to be before sin distorted the image of God in us.
And He doesn’t just set us free spiritually. He also sets us free emotionally and relationally and intellectually. We are held captive by so many things. We’re held captive by our imperfections and insecurities. We’re held captive by our guilt and anxiety. We’re held captive by expectations and lies and mistakes. Jesus died to set us free from all of the above. He doesn’t just set us free from who we were. He sets us free to become who we were meant to be.
Salvation is not the end goal. Salvation is a new beginning. When we give our lives to Christ, God goes to work. He begins using our circumstances, no matter what circumstances those may be, to chisel us into His image.
When it comes to the will of God, we tend to focus on what and where. But what you are doing or where you are going are secondary issues. God’s primary concern is who you’re becoming. It has nothing to do with circumstances. It has everything to do with the character of Christ being formed within you until you look and act and feel and talk and dream and love just like Jesus. The end goal is not a revelation of who you are. The end goal is a revelation of who God is. After all, you won’t find yourself until you find God. The only way to discover who you are is to discover who God is, because you’re made in His image.
You have a dual destiny. One destiny is universal: to be conformed to the image of Christ. To follow Christ is to become like Him. That is our chief objective in life: to be just like Jesus. But our other destiny is unique to each of us: to be unlike anyone who has ever lived. Those two destinies may seem to be at odds with each other, but they are anything but. To become like Christ is to become unlike anyone else. He sets us free from who we’re not, so we can become who we were destined to be.
As you may recall from a high school biology class, you have forty six chromosomes. Twenty-three are from your father, and twentythree are from your mother. And it’s that unique combination of chromosomes that determines everything from the color of your eyes to the number of hairs on your head. Your identity is human heredity. But it is also God heredity. The image of God is your heredity and your destiny.
The mathematical probability that you would get the exact twenty-three chromosomes you got from your mother is .5 to the twenty-third power. That’s 1 in 10 million. But the same is true for the twenty-three chromosomes you got from your father. So if you multiply those two together, the probability that you would be you is 1 in 100 trillion. But you also have to factor in that your parents’ chromosomal history had the same probability, and their parents, and their parents’ parents. My point? You are incalculably unique.
All of us start out as one-of-a-kind originals, but too many of us end up as carbon copies of someone else. Instead of celebrating our uniqueness, and the uniqueness of others, we’re too often threatened by it. We forfeit our uniqueness because we want to fit in. Instead of daring to be different, we sacrifice our soulprints on the altar of conformity.
In one of his best-known essays, “Self-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “There is a time in every man’s education that he arrives at the conviction that imitation is suicide. He must take himself for better or for worse.” I think that is precisely what David did as he prepared to duel Goliath:
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.6
Arming a warrior for battle was a major ritual in David’s day. Armor was an extension of the warrior’s character. David could have gone into battle dressed like a king. But David said, “I cannot go in these, because I am not used to them.”7 So he took them off.
What if David had gone out to meet Goliath on Goliath’s terms—fully armored, fully armed? I think David would have lost because David wasn’t a swordsman. In fact, he probably had never touched a sword in his life.8 For better or for worse, David was a shepherd. The sword would have posed a greater threat to David, via self-inflicted wounds, than it did to Goliath. But David was deadly with a slingshot.
David came to a crossroads. He had a choice to make. And it was a choice that would determine his destiny. He could go into battle as Saul—wear Saul’s armor, wield Saul’s sword, hold Saul’s shield. Or he could go into battle as himself—a shepherd with a slingshot. David decided not to don Saul’s armor or brandish Saul’s sword for one very good reason: he wasn’t Saul. David decided to be David. And we’re faced with the same decision. There comes a point in all of our lives where we need the courage to take off Saul’s armor. And it’s the rarest form of courage. It’s the courage to be yourself.
THE GREATEST REGRET
On a recent vacation that took my family through the Black Hills of South Dakota, our first stop was the Crazy Horse Memorial. In 1948, Korczak Zió³kowski, was commissioned by Lakota chief Henry Standing Bear to design a mountain carving that would honor the famous war leader. The great irony, if you know your history, is that Crazy Horse never allowed himself to be photographed. I wonder what he would have thought about his 563-foothigh statue on the granite face of the Black Hills. Zió³kowski invested more than thirty years of his life carving the statue that is intended to be eight feet higher than the Washington Monument and nine times larger than the faces on Mount Rushmore. Following his death in 1982, Zió³kowski’s family has carried on the vision their father started. Their projected completion date is 2050.
That vision, carving what will be the largest sculpture in the world, begs this question: why spend a lifetime carving one larger-than-life statue? In the words of Ziolkowski, “When your life is over, the world will ask you only one question: Did you do what you were supposed to do?”
Why do composers write music? Why do athletes compete? Why do politicians run for office? Why do entrepreneurs start businesses? Why do doctors practice medicine? Why do teachers teach?
There are certainly lots of answers to those questions, but the right answer is this: they do it to give expression to something that is deep within their souls. That something is the soulprint. We find fulfillment in doing what we were originally designed and ultimately destined to do. The song or box score or legislation or company or surgery or curriculum is more than the work of our hands. It’s an expression of our souls. It’s a reflection of our soulprints.
The failure to give expression to our soulprints will result in our greatest regrets. What a person can become, he or she must become, or be miserable. It’s the only way to be true to ourselves and, more important, true to God. “The deepest form of despair,” warned Sören Kierkegaard, “is to choose to be another than oneself.”
At the end of the day, God isn’t going to ask, “Why weren’t you more like Billy Graham or Mother Teresa?” He won’t even ask, “Why weren’t you more like David?” God is going to ask, “Why weren’t you more like you?”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Meet the Author
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church (www.theaterchurch.com) in Washington, D.C. NCC was recognized as one of the most innovative and influential churches in America by Outreach Magazine in 2008. One church with ten services in six locations, NCC meets in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the D.C. area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill, Ebenezers, which was recently recognized as the #1 coffeehouse in the metro D.C. area by AOL CityGuide. He is a daily blogger at www.markbatterson.com and the author of the bestselling In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase, and Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity. Mark and his wife, Lora, live on Capitol Hill with their three children.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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I hate to say this but I didn't care much for this short book by Mark Batterson. I hate to say it because I really, really loved reading his first work, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. This was just not that. He writes that it is not a self help book but it really leaves that taste in your mouth. The 154 pages of content skims David's life focusing on his character and integrity. The truth is, Mark is a good writer and communicator, however this (topic, approach, character study) has been done. So done. I don't want to pretend that the book is completely without redemption. There are some good nuggets of wit and wisdom that were just stretched too thin. The one section I did find some what igniting was the one on 'seeking the shadows'. Batterson is a good story teller and in this particular narrative he recount an opportunity he had to speak at an event where Louie Giglio was also speaking, "As Louie was speaking, I heard that still, small voice of the Spirit, and this is what I wrote in my conference notebook: "Seek the shadows." Like sunflowers that face the east to soak in the morning sunlight, we crave the praise of people...you don't get honor by seeking honor. You get honor by giving honor. Jesus said it this way: "Don't sit in the seat of honor." If I was going to recommend the book for any particular group maybe I would go with a spiritually immature group of young teenagers. The material is simple and the illustrations are plentiful. Other than that I can not really suggest you go grab a copy.
Great Book, Reading for the second time, will use it periodically as a tool for living.
I just finished reading Soul Print, written by Mark Batterson. I've heard wonderful things about all of his books, but had only read In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day prior to picking up his latest. Like In a Pit, I found Soul Print to be an easy read, full of biblical truth, anecdotal stories that keep the text personal and engaging, as well as a challenge for life application. In the book, Batterson tries to point the reader towards understanding and embracing his identity in Christ. He uses five well known accounts from the life of David to show how memories and experiences (both positive and negative), integrity (or lack thereof), embarrassment and sin shape who we are and affect our souls. At first, I wondered how he would be able to share these truths without leaving a dismally hopeless feeling within the reader - as we all have skeletons in the closet we'd prefer to forget about. The good news that Batterson constantly reminds us of, however, is that God is in the business of redemption, and he can use each and every aspect of our lives to draw us to himself. He can and does redeem our past in order build a hopeful future and receive glory. I found a great deal of truth in Batterson's book and kept a highlighter in hand to mark sections I know I'll want to reference again. Mark does an excellent job intertwining the stories of David with his own, and he brings new light on stories that have been told numerous times. I loved the chapters Holy Confidence and Lifesymbols where he shared the importance of remembering what God has done in the past when we look at our present and future obstacles. Like a manna jar for the Israelites who God led through the desert, and like the armor of Goliath that David kept in his tent, we should put reminders in our presence so that we don't forget God's faithfulness. I also appreciated the chapters Crags of the Wild Goats and Alter Ego, where he encouraged the reader to live with integrity and for an audience of One, rather than to seek the love of men and their approval. It is a high and difficult calling, and Batterson tells of his own failures in this area, which, to me, increases his credibility. I greatly enjoyed Soul Print and will likely pick up another Batterson book sometime soon. I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Soul Print, by Mark Batterson is a journey of personal discovery that leads to the discovery of our "soul print", our true divine destiny. In this book, Mark Batterson uses stories from King David's own story in the Bible as a way to show the reader how God uses everyone and how He is showing us our own destiny. Batterson also becomes transparent through this book, opening up to his readers about many personal and insightful things that have gone on in his own life. He states that it is not the size of your ministry or how accomplished you are for God as much as who you are becoming in your relationship with God. This book is recommended for anyone who is seeking to be challenged in the walk of faith, but know that I, personally, believe that even though it does matter how grown you are in your relationship with God, He also has called us to share with others who do not know him. And if we don't do that because we are focusing on ourselves, then who is? I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
This book is written by Pastor and Author Mark Batterson. Once again he has crafted another excellent book. I cannot wait to to get his book, "Primal". Batterson's books are an easy read and straight shooting to the heart of the matter and that is helping the reader find their soul's destiny. Each soul print is different just like each finger, and Batterson is a master at clarity. He writes in a clear easy to read manner that keeps you engaged and personally I have benefited greatly from his work. King David as our focal point and Batterson allows us to connect with David in a very spiritual way. For example Batterson masterfully uses key events throughout David's life to connect to the reader. We aren't much different from David, and I think we all can find similarities in David's story to ours. Batterson drives home the point that God has created each one of us as unique creations. God sees more potential in us than we see in ourselves, and Batterson's example of King David is perfect in this illustration. A MUST READ for anyone who wants to know the will of God for their lives and know themselves better. Great for Teens!
In Soulprint we find Batterson using King David as our point of connection. He uses key events throughout David's life to connect to you and me, the readers, to the truth within the pages. Batterson relates the idea of the soulprint to a fingerprint. He explains how just as there are no two fingerprints alike there are no two soulprints alike. God has created each one of us as individuals with a divine plan. The author establishes David as the example for our individual uniqueness. Sharing about David facing Goliath and how King Saul put his own armor on David, and since it could not fit he could not use it. Much like Saul's armor we cannot put other people's lives on like they are our own. Here are some interesting themes I saw in the book. David may have been a shepherd boy... but God saw more. David may have been a soldier on the run from his king... but God saw more. David may have been a king you killed a man to have his wife... but God saw more. God saw David's soulprint. David pursued God through the high-times and the low. However, he always hung onto God. Batterson wants the readers to walk away knowing that it is not too late to start living out the divine plan that God has for you. In fact all believers should be trying to find that plan so that they can live in a way that brings the most glory to God as possible. A complimentary copy of Soulprint by Mark Batterson was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
This is the third book I've read of Pator Batterson's. There are many concepts in the book which are helpful, but I did not find that it went beyond what I already knew. There were some sections that seemed "pop culture self-helpish." I don't think it's one of his best efforts. Many of the personal illustrations are drawn from his other works which become somewhat tedious. All in all, though, I did derive some good spiritual food from the book. I think for a person new to the faith or new to Pastor Batterson's writings this would be a good book to read.
This book is wonderful! You will be taken on an incredible journey. This book is based on David's life and how he humbled himself before the Lord. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to develop a real relationship with God!
This book is fantastic! There were so many parts I ended up highlighting and wanting to send to my friends and family. I am definitely recommending this book to all my Christian friends. Batterson teaches so many great things that I've never heard of before or considered. Let me summarize some because there are just so many good parts! A soulprint is not only who you are now but who you are destined to become. Ps 139:16 NIV "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Eph 2:10 NLT "We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago." You were conceived by God long before you were conceived by your parents. You are God's masterpiece, his sculpture and God is crafting your character through the circumstances of your life. When life is over, we are left with one question "Did you do what you were supposed to do?" In the end, God won't ask "Why weren't you more like King David?", He'll ask you "Why weren't you more like the you that I created you to be?" Every past experience is in preparation for a future opportunity. "God redeems our experiences by cultivating character, developing gifts, and teaching lessons that cannot be learned any other way." "One thing that has helped me endure the challenges I've faced is seeing each of them as learning opportunities." The story of David shows a young man who is sent off to an unglorious future of pasturing sheep, while his brothers go off to war. Although he might not have at first seen this shepherding skill in a positive light, David later killed Goliath with a skill he developed from killing the lions that came after the sheep. Likewise, he also used his shepherding skills to shepherd the nation of Israel as king. While David felt he was put on the sidelines, God was preparing David for battle and to be king on the frontlines. If David hadn't spent time in training, he never would have been prepared for the future God had planned for him. "It's the time we spend on the sidelines that prepares us for the frontlines." Although we usually see the time spend on the sidelines in a negative or painful manner, in the future we learn that we are better off because of those times in training. Lke David watching his brothers go off to war, maybe you feel underappreciated or overlooked, but your day will come. In the meantime, be patient and reevaluate your timeline. God knows better than we do, when the best time is and we can trust Him to open and close the doors that make our life flow in the perfect timing to fulfill the destiny God designed before we were even born. "The longer I live, the more I thank God for the disappointments in life. Those disappointments often prove to be divine appointments. They may come disguised as divine delays or perceived disadvantages" but we can trust God that He knows what He's doing! I cannot recommend this book enough! Fantastic! I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for this review but I did really give my honest opinion
This book, in a nutshell, about discovering one's God-given identity and purpose using the story of King David. While the information in the book wasn't anything spectacularly revelatory, I felt the story of David was told in an interesting and insightful way. David, though being the youngest and smallest, was still portrayed as a brave warrior and confident soldier and the author's supporting narrative, anecdotes, and stories tended toward the masculine identity as well. Being a woman, I found this book to be geared toward a male audience, but not so much so that I couldn't relate or found it hard to swallow. Because the cover of the book adds the description: "Discovering Your Divine Destiny", I thought this would, for some reason, be a how-to, step-by-step book of discovering your divine destiny, but it wasn't. Instead, the discovery process comes at the end of the book in the form of Discussion Questions which I personally found to be very well constructed and require personal reflection and introspection, using David as the springboard for digging deeper. At the conclusion of the book I was left with a feeling of security in God's divine plan and His guidance in all things, a sense of holy calm and heavenly confidence. Maybe that's a bit of what David felt when viewing his life under the almighty gaze of God. Disclaimer: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
When I first received Soul Print, I had some concerns. I'm a little leery of Christian books which take an Old Testament figure--in this case, David--and turn his story into simple lessons about how to make my life better. And as I started the book, it seemed like my fears would be realized in this book as well. I'm glad I was wrong. While the book is primarily personal application oriented (i.e., how I am a distinct creation that God has a specific purpose for), much of the book keeps the focus on the Lord and His son Jesus Christ, which I consider a positive in Christian literature. I especially appreciated "Scene" (chapter) IV, Alter Ego, and its emphasis on the need for the Christian to base his or her identity in Christ and not in ourselves. Very meaningful stuff in a genre (self-help Christian publishing) which often is just as focused on self-seeking as secular titles of the same ilk. I'm thankful for Pastor Batterson's focus on what truly matters. Note: I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for this review.
Soulprint by Mark Batterson is a deceptively simple book. The subtitle is "Discovering your divine destiny" and that intrigued me. It's not a book of easy answers, and I appreciate that. Instead, Batterson uses primarily the story of David as a framework for raising questions that will help you on a journey of self-discovery. His basic premise is that each one of us is a unique creation of God, and that uniqueness gives us the responsibility to live--and worship God--in a way that no one else can. That can only be done when we discover our "true identity." Many times this kind of language sends red flags up for me, making me wonder if the rest of the book is going to be a sermon about what I should and shouldn't be doing. Batterson, though, points out something I've found to be true the older I've gotten--that we spend much of our lives as strangers to ourselves. It's easier to be someone that everyone else wants us to be--easier and safer. But, as he suggests, in doing that, we lose ourselves. He approaches the process as an archaeological dig, and that was an intriguing point of view. The primary tool he suggests using is the tool of story--and he uses various aspects of David's story as a template. We often talk about identifying people through their fingerprints; Batterson suggests that our soulprint is every bit as important (if not more so) in self-identification. There are discussion questions at the end of the book--summaries of key points and questions. I did not find those helpful--found them too simplistic. But the rest of the text kept my attention and has encouraged me to consider starting the journey of self-discovery, especially since he suggests that it's never too late! This book it was provided free of charge from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.
This is the third book that I have read from Mark Batterson. I am really getting into his writings and have been blessed by his books. This book was an easy read that sheds light on who you are and the possibilities that are contained inside you. Throughout this book Mark walks you through 5 defining moments in your life that will in turn help shape your destiny. Through those moments he relates back to the life of King david to gain insight and principles. Scene 1: Holy Confidence In this chapter Mark wrote, "Our Greatest advantages may not be what we perceive as our greatest advantages. Our greatest advantages may actually be hidden in our greatest disadvantages." This quote made me think for a long time as throughout life I have been taught to run from my disadvantages and focus solely on my advantages. This of course goes in direct opposition to that thought. But the truth is we can only grow in light of the areas we see the need to grow. And when we do in that very area might be were God has called you to do the most for Him. Scene II: Life Sysmbols All of us throughout our lives gather items that have a huge impact in our life, but in turn does not any meaning to others. These are our life symbols. It got me thinking about my life symbols and it took me down a nice trip of memory lane. Scene III: The Crags of Wild Goats This chapter went over the fact that most of us desire to be in the limelight. We all like it when people see us doing a great job and honor us for it. But that is the problem, Honor us for it. What if we went in a different direction and decided to, as Mark shares, Live in the shadows? How would it look to have a dream given to God to bring Glory and Honor to God not you. This one was a challenge for me as I like to achieve things and climb the preverbal ladder. My heart needs to be willing to live out my calling over trying to have success as the world defines it. This chapter hit home based in the personal path God has me on currently. Scene IV: Alter Ego Have you ever been embarrassed? If we are all honest we spend our lives making sure we dont get to situations were it is even basically a chance you you could be embarrassed. That was the baises for this chapter and he shares that ego is the very thing we need to over come and make it. He talks about how Humor is based from humiliation. Very Challenging when you share to embrace live and not worry about being embarrassed. Scene V: Devils Workshop This chapter was based in the area of being tempted to personally fixing areas you don't feel you measure up. In most temptations it is us picking our way over God's way. This is a great read and I would highly recommend it for anybody. The book I had also had discussion questions in the back so it made it very useful for a small group. So go and get this book you will thank me later. You can order it here: Barnes & Noble
This is the first book I've read by author Mark Batterson, pastor from the Washington D.C, and I found the author to be sincere, positive, and inspiring. It was a feel-good book, which isn't a bad thing; I'm just sometimes jaded when a book only acknowledges the positive. Batterson used scripture to explain his Soul Print theory, citing from the life of King David and his trials. For example, Batterson used David's early life as a shepherd and the skills he learned in order to defend the family's herd. Batterson purposes that without that time as a shepherd boy he would not have been able to have the skills necessary to defeat Goliath. It is then a blessing to have been confronted by lions and bears so David could become an excellent shot with the slingshot-according to Batterson. It's a strong argument. Each of the seven (7) segments of the book, the author focuses on David's Soul Print, and then applies the scripture to modern life. He compares David's Soul Print to David's destiny, and then challenges the reader to examine his or her own Soul Print. I can say that I did read over the exercises and reviewed the questions at the end of the chapters and at the end of the book. There were many thought provoking questions. I believe that each one of us is uniquely created by God to fulfill some purpose within His plan for the world. We are not to copy someone else, but are to learn who God made us to be and how we can live our lives within His Kingdom. Mark Batterson did a good job explaining this concept. And I really appreciated his explanation that there are different seasons in life, and we must learn to be content in the season we are experiencing (p. 25). Soul Print is a short book, 154 pages, followed by 16 pages of discussion questions. I found it to be an easy read, with all parts flowing together well. Based on this book, I would be interested in reading some of the author's other works. I received Soul Print by Mark Batterson from Blogging for Books / WaterBrookMultnomah Press in exchange for my review, of which there was no pressure one way or the other regarding how I reviewed it.
Having just completed this book, I must say this: READ THIS BOOK. The challenges, insights, and honest approach of this book really get to the heart of its message: what has God created you to do? Throughout the book Mr. Batterson weaves a masterful work using King David as his prime example. Batterson shows that David was created for a certain purpose and this was brought out throughout this life. It was his destiny; his soulprint. To live your soulprint brings purpose to your life. This is why I was created; why you were created. Batterson makes this point and makes it well. Thus this book is a must read by those searching, those needing refreshing, and those who may have lost their way. **I received this complimentary copy for my review**
Mark Batterson always amazes me. Frankly, this book didn't look like much from the outside. It is not very long and didn't look like it had the "heft" to really make an impression on me. Then I opened the book and started reading. I quickly remembered why I am such a fan of the author's writing. This book does several things well. It focuses on your relationship with God but also lets the reader know that God cares about your life. While this starts with a "self help feel," the author quickly puts that in the realm of idolatry but shows the desire God has for each of us to be the individual He has called us to be. One of my favorite lines (and there are many) is God won't ask you why you weren't like Billy Graham but why weren't you more like you? The very best part of Soul Print is that we see all the things that help us to be better through the story of King David. Many books spend time making statements about spirituality and then citing scripture. Mark Batterson goes well beyond that. Any book he pens is filled with stories that take us back to the reason for the book in the first place, that being the word of God. Soul Print is funny, inciteful, and relevant. Batterson does a wonderful job of using his fears and failures to show that God has made us all unique. If you are looking for a book that helps you focus on the now in order to have a brighter future, this is the book for you. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.
"The more you have going for you, the more potential you have for identity issues. Why? Because it's easier to base your identity on the wrong things. It's rather ironic, but the greatest blessings can become the greatest curses simply because they undermine our reliance upon God..." pg 105 Soulprint This really sums the book up for me. Mark Batterson is on a quest for you to find the real you. Not the "you" people perceive you to be but the real genuine you. You are like no other person on this earth, nobody can worship the creator as you can, be used the way you can. This is not a book about finding your inner being but finding your God being. Mr. Batterson uses the story of David in a way anyone can relate. I was extremely surprised at the humility of his writing and the honesty. He speaks of his own struggles, which was refreshing. On the scale 1 to 10 I would put this book at a 6.5. It is no commentary on David's life, but gives some valuable insights to the defining moments. It flirts with being a self help book, which I am not a big fan of, but I am of a fan of being used by the Almighty God, and Mr. Batterson does strive to see yourself through the eyes of God so you can be a tool in His hands