What does it mean to be Marked by Love? The more I peel away the rules and expectations and exhausting obligations, the more I find the love of Jesus. These things don’t peel away easily—more like a price tag that you pick off in a million tiny pieces. But with every scrap removed there is exposed a treasure of love that was there the whole time—disguised and hidden by religion.-- Tim Stevens###Jesus said the one thing that would set his disciples apart from others…they would be known by their love for each other. No tattoo. No uniform. No team colors or logos or code words. The one thing that would mark the followers of Jesus—love.Consider. . .How would I treat someone who I disagree with in a political discussion if I ran everything I said through a filter of love?How would I treat the family member who drives me crazy if I were marked by love?What would be different about my social media posts or comments if I really loved the people I was responding to or writing about?How would I talk about or act toward the LGBTQ community if I was actually following in Jesus’ steps?This is real life stuff. Join seasoned author Tim Stevens as he walks you through 31 story-driven chapters that will challenge and encourage you to filter every thought, behavior, word, and action through a lens of love. If you’ve ever been discouraged by Christianity—whether you’re a lifelong churchgoer or you gave up on religion a long time ago—Marked by Love will be a game-changer in your faith journey.
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Tim Stevens works with the Vanderbloemen Search Group, where he leads a team of executive search consultants who partner with hundreds of churches and non-profit organization to fill key staff positions. He and his wife are the parents of four adult children. They make their home in Texas.
Read an Excerpt
HEART SURGERY IN A CORNFIELD
I was born in Kansas and lived in Chicago for a year or so, but I did most of my growing up in Pleasant Hill, a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. Pleasant Hill was exactly what it sounds like — a small town of pleasantly rolling hills and large yards in neighborhoods, intermixed with cornfields and forests.
Our house was in a new area on Ash Drive, and I just knew it was going to be the perfect place for an adventurous kid to explore. I knew this even before we moved, because one day, as our split-level home was being built, we visited the construction site. The opportunities for mischief were way too inviting. My parents turned their backs, and before they could blink, I jumped out of the upper floor living-room window cut-outs, not yet filled with glass, into a huge snow pile in the front yard. After an initial moment of panic, they saw the fun I was having and let me jump what must have been a hundred more times.
That was symbolic of the years that followed. My friend and I built bike ramps and paths in the forest across the street behind his house. Down the street was a stream and pond that brought hours of fun. In my backyard was an old-growth forest that ran behind all the houses on our street, and beyond that a cornfield. We had hideouts and tree houses and defined territories that we "ruled" in our make-believe kingdoms. In the spring, we spent time in the forests, and in the summer and fall, we played for hours in the cornfields.
Paul Blakely was a year younger than me. He had just moved to a house on my street, and we went to the same school. Paul and I did everything together. We would race home from school, do our homework as fast as we could, and head outside and play until dark. In the summertime, without the obstacle of school, we could easily spend six or eight hours a day playing together. We would get so wrapped up that some days we'd forget to come home for lunch.
Paul looked up to me. It wasn't just that I was older but because I had more friends and was a bit more wired socially. We were probably both nerds, but perhaps I was less of one. I just remember sensing that he admired me.
And that's why I felt so bad one particular day.
We had been playing in the cornfield, just goofing off and talking about life (or whatever fourth graders talk about). It was between harvest and planting, so we had several acres of dirt in which to play. We had some little shovels with us, and we were digging holes and just goofing off. That's when I spotted a bulldozer parked off in the distance. A new street was being built, and the bulldozer was sitting at the edge of the cornfield behind the new road.
Ever since I was little, I had been fascinated by construction sites and big trucks and tractors. I guess every little boy is. On this day, my curiosity led us over to the bulldozer. I hopped on and goofed around in the driver's seat. I wanted so badly to start it and move some dirt. What would be cooler than that?
That's when I noticed the keys in the ignition. I turned the key expecting to hear the engine scream to life. Nothing. I tried everything. I couldn't figure out how to start the bulldozer. My dreams for digging a giant hole were slipping away.
That's when I got an idea. If I couldn't drive this bulldozer, no one else could either. I took the keys out of the ignition, jumped off the bulldozer, and walked a few hundred feet out into the barren cornfield.
Paul followed and, seeing the keys dangling in my hand, asked, "What are you doing? Where are you going? Why do you have the keys?"
I stopped and took my little shovel and started digging. I dug a hole about twelve inches deep, dropped the keys in the hole, and filled it back up with dirt. All the while, Paul begged me to stop. He told me I shouldn't do it, asked what I was thinking, and warned me we were going to get in trouble.
I didn't care. I didn't listen. I just buried the keys and walked away.
It was nearly dark, so we walked quietly back to our homes. Paul didn't say anything else. The silence was deafening.
That night, I cried myself to sleep. I felt so guilty, so aware of the blackness of my heart. I couldn't understand myself. I could still hear Paul pleading with me to stop and my refusal to listen. I played the day over and over in my head, and with each rewind I grew more disgusted with myself and saddened at my terrible choices.
The next afternoon I got off the school bus, and as soon as I could get permission to go outside and play, I headed straight for the cornfield. I spent hours looking for the spot where I'd buried those keys. I had my shovel with me again and dug up dozens of locations, desperately trying to find the keys and undo my wrong. Tears, mixed with dirt, streamed down my face, but I never found the keys. I couldn't undo my sin.
Every afternoon for days, I would head out to the cornfield and resume my search for the keys. By then, the bulldozer had moved, and I figured the construction company must have had an extra set of keys. But that didn't relieve the tremendous guilt I felt.
My relationship with Paul changed after that. I had lost his respect. It wasn't long until his dad was transferred and Paul moved away. But long after he was gone, I continued to think about my heart.
What had caused me to do something so wrong, so careless, and so selfish? I know if I had really cared about Paul, I wouldn't have done it. And what about the construction worker? Did he get fired because he had carelessly left his keys in the ignition? Is it possible his wife and kids suffered because of my insensitive action?
The pain of my childhood indiscretion would not quickly subside. I was plagued by my lack of love.
Whether it was burying the bulldozer keys in the cornfield or the time I bullied Robbie Kirkpatrick just for the fun of it, or other times more serious — over and over through my life I've been faced with the darkness of my heart. I have made choices that hurt others. I have said words that inflicted deep wounds. I have chosen my own needs over those of others.
I recall lying awake at night contemplating my actions and wondering why I do these things. What is going on inside of me when I so selfishly choose to put me first? And how do I get out of this cycle? Do I need to learn more Bible verses? Do I need to go to church more often? Should I confess my sins to a priest?
Some of this came into focus more recently when I tuned in to a podcast interview.CHAPTER 2
I'M TIRED OF THE MASK
God used Marc Maron to speak to me. This may surprise you if you've heard of Marc Maron. Marc has one of the highest-rated podcasts on the planet, with nearly three million downloads every month. It's called WTF with Marc Maron — and if you don't know what "WTF" stands for, wait until no children are around and then ask the first person who walks by. Or ask one of your children — they probably know too.
Marc is an actor, comedian, and producer, and the podcast is an interview-style show in which he goes deep with celebrities, musicians, and comedians about their lives. But it's not a comedy show. It's a raw, uncensored look into who people are, the journey they are on, and the successes and failures that brought them to this point in their careers.
The show is laced with profanity and typically has crass and debased content throughout. Many find it too objectionable to listen to regularly. But like a day in which you can be uniquely tuned in to God because of a cloud formation or a fortune cookie, I felt Him tugging at my heart as I listened.
Marc asks questions and gets people talking about the junk in their lives. Although he claims to be an agnostic, he often turns the conversation to faith and to the aching hole inside people that needs something to fill it. He talks frankly about his divorces, alcoholism, screwups, and experimentation with various illegal substances. His guests are vulnerable with him because he opens himself up to them.
My eyes filled with tears one night as I listened to Marc's interview with Norm Macdonald (a comedian made famous on Saturday Night Live in the mid-'90s), as he shared his fear of death and his journey to find faith. He talked about God and Christianity and opened up about his desire to learn and know more. He didn't know where to look or whom to talk to, but he said his search continues.
Along with his guests, Marc talks openly about his fear of death and the unknown. He shares with guests his deep-seated jealousy toward others in his industry. He often admits to getting angry and cussing somebody out, but then later going back to tell the person he is sorry. Because he is so open about his doubts and fears, many of his guests also match his vulnerability with their own.
As I listen, I often think, How is it that this comedian who doesn't believe in God is more open and authentic about his struggles than I am? Why, as a "Christian," do I feel like I can't divulge my true self, like I'm afraid others will think less of me if I expose the blackness of my heart?
As a member of Marc Maron's audience, my respect for him has increased because I can actually relate to him. As I listen to him admit the darkest truths about his thoughts and motives, I often wonder if I could do the same. Is it possible Jesus could do something in me if I were as honest about my own struggles as Marc Maron is about his?
It seems like there is an unwritten rule that pastors and church leaders, and even regular church attendees, are required to wear masks. It's as though when you become a Christian, you sign a pledge to be fake and you are issued a mask: Wear this, and don't ever take it off. The whole thing crumbles if people see you without your mask.
I'm not allowed to admit that, more than a few times, I have dropped the F-bomb after getting cut off in traffic or after hammering my finger instead of the nail. I'm supposed to hide the fact that sometimes I doubt God or the power of prayer or whether miracles can really happen in today's world. I can't say out loud, without being branded a pervert, that I think women are God's most beautiful creation, better than mountains or flowers or babies or stars. I can't confess that some Bible passages make absolutely no sense to me and seem to require more faith than I have to believe.
To admit any of those things is to admit weakness. And to admit weakness is to minimize the power of Jesus within me. And people look to Christian leaders to have all the answers and none of the doubts. So keep your mouth shut. Share your doubts in private with a therapist. And go on pretending all the answers can be found.
But I can't do it. I know, because I've tried. For years I've tried to follow the rules. And I'm really tired. I'm tired of saying things that sound convincing but make no sense. I'm tired of repeating phrases that look great on a Christian bumper sticker or T-shirt but look shallow to the thinking world. I'm tired of smiling at someone and nodding my head on the outside while on the inside thinking, That is a huge load of crap.
I'm tired of not being able to ask certain questions. I'm tired of topics you can't bring up anywhere without getting a stupider-than-stupid answer ... or being symbolically patted on the head as the subject is subtly changed. I'm tired of praying for someone to be healed, and when they die, everyone says, "God answered our prayer, they received ultimate healing" — when what I was really praying for was that the person wouldn't die.
I'm tired of the game. I'm tired of faking it. I'm tired of the mask.
So here is my confession: I still have lots of questions. The older I get, the less I know. The closer I move toward Jesus, the more questions I have. The more I read my Bible, the fewer things seem black and white. I was sure of a whole lot more when I was eighteen. But now, I just don't know.
I don't know why God sometimes seems to answer prayers and other times appears not to care.
I don't know why the Bible is filled with stories of carnage — with God sometimes commanding the mass killing of women and children.
I don't know why Solomon is known as the wisest man who ever lived yet had hundreds of wives and concubines (yeah, those would be women who served him sexually).
I don't know why people who call themselves Christians and know more than I do about the Bible are sometimes the most unloving and self-absorbed jerks.
I don't know why leaders cite church tradition as a basis for their beliefs, when that same church tradition includes corruption, killing, and unspeakable immorality.
There is a lot I don't know. I guess you could say I'm on a journey. It's a journey of searching and finding. It's a journey of skepticism and clarity. It's a journey of seeking and rejecting. It's a journey of understanding and confusion.
And on the journey, as many things have become muddier, a few things have also become clearer. As the foundations of what I've believed have been shaken, I've also made some discoveries that have given me great freedom. I've had to peel away the trappings of Christianity, but as I've done that I think I'm finding the core of who Jesus is.
The more I peel away the rules and expectations and exhausting obligations, the more I find the love of Jesus. These things don't peel away easily — they're a lot like a price tag you pick off an item in a million tiny pieces. But with every scrap removed, there is exposed a treasure of love that was there the whole time — disguised and hidden by religion.
To really peel away all the trappings, I had to go back to the source. What did Jesus Himself say would really make the difference?CHAPTER 3
TATTOOS & TRADITIONS
I lived near South Bend, Indiana, for thirty years. And it didn't take me long after moving there to learn about the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. I suppose, like any college town, the community in many ways revolves around the campus. When the team is winning, everyone feels great. When they are losing, everyone is a bit sad.
Lou Holtz was the Notre Dame coach when I began following the football team. I remember the 1993 season, when the Irish knocked off Florida State to become the number-one team in the country. The air in South Bend was electric! The next week, in the last game of the regular season, Boston College was killing my team early in the fourth quarter — up by 21 points. I was listening on the radio in my car as the Irish came back with 7 points, then 14, then 20. They scored 22 consecutive points to take the lead by 1. I was fist-pumping out the window and yelling my head off as I raced home so I could watch the end of the game on TV.
I made it home just in time to watch Notre Dame lose the game when Boston College got the ball close enough for a field goal. And as the ball sailed between the uprights, hopes for a national championship were shattered. It would, in fact, be twenty years before Notre Dame would play in another national championship game.
I still have quite a bit of Notre Dame–branded clothing: shirts and hats and such. And when I travel while wearing some of the gear, someone will inevitably pass me at an airport or in a mall and say, "Go Irish!" It's like we're one big happy family.
It's probably no different with Alabama or Michigan or Florida State. A team becomes known by its logo, its colors, or perhaps by a mascot or a mantra ("Roll Tide!" anyone?).
Teams are also known by their traditions. These develop over decades and grow in importance with each passing season. At Notre Dame, they actually mix 24-karat gold into paint and apply it to the football helmets before each game. Another famous tradition is players slapping the famous "Play Like a Champion Today" sign on their way out of the locker room. Another started more than forty years ago, when Sergeant Tim McCarthy of the Indiana State Police began making a driving safety announcement before the fourth quarter to a dead-silent crowd — always ending it with a cheesy pun to the cheers and laughter from the stadium. A more recent tradition is players linking arms in front of the student section at the end of every home game and singing the Alma Mater.
Even though Notre Dame is "my" team, I realize other programs also have great traditions. At Colorado, they run Ralphie the Buffalo around the field before each half. At Arkansas, they "call the hogs"; at Iowa, they take a moment to wave to the kids atop the nearby children's hospital; and at Texas A&M, they honor the "Twelfth Man."
Traditions are part of the glue that holds a fan base together. They are built on from year to year as a program develops. In fact, any school, organization, or even country that wants to develop and secure a following comes up with traditions, logos, hand signals, flags, or other unifying trademarks that people can rally around.
It could be argued that Jesus left one of the largest, most successful and enduring organizations behind. He started with twelve, but the numbers grew into the thousands and millions, and continue to multiply to this day.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Marked by Love"
Copyright © 2018 Tim Stevens.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1. Heart Surgery in a Cornfield,
2. I'm Tired of the Mask,
3. Tattoos & Traditions,
4. The Time God Spoke,
5. Famous Last Words,
6. I Don't Want to Be Called a Christian,
7. Lessons in a White Pickup Truck,
8. Bob's Simple Question,
9. The Channels between the Channels,
10. A 200-Pound Bag of Sewage,
11. Jesus as Jewelry,
12. Stop Talking and Start Loving,
13. A Chinese Massage,
14. Happy Holidays,
15. The Next Person,
16. Who Is My Neighbor?,
17. The Principle of Proximity,
18. Three Girls and a Rumor,
19. It's a Fact,
20. The Day a Punk Taught Me about Love,
21. People Don't Care How Much You Know,
22. There's More to Life Than Green Grass,
23. A World of "Us vs. Them",
24. Kill 'Em with Kindness,
25. Tess Ran Away,
26. He Gives and Takes Away. Or Does He?,
27. The Day I Tried to Buy a Car,
28. A Story of Love from an Unlikely Source,
29. The Passenger in Row 20,
30. You Are Loved,
31. It's the Only Thing That Matters,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of the best Christian books that I have read recently. Tim Stevens has a simple premise that's the foundation of his book: why don't we view each other as a child of God? Forget race, gender, political, socioeconomic background, etc. Leave the holier than thou out of life and treat each other as Jesus instructed. Personally, I think this would make an ideal small group study. The discussion following each chapter would be interesting as the author presents some unique and challenging ideas. This book made me examine my own beliefs and to catch myself when I fall into former 'bad habits.' Did I agree with everything he wrote? No, but the general gist is practical and, in all honesty, would make this world a much nicer place if we applied it. I received an Advance Review Copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. All opinions are my own.
I loved this book! We all have made judgements and been judged by others whether it is in the name of religion or from a personal bias. Stevens peels away the negative aspects of our lives and challenges us to look at the world through the lens of love. My favorite aspect of this book is the lessons on how we treat people we disagree with or dislike when we are "marked by love". It could really change someone's life. Steven points out that this is a stark contrast to the negative experiences people have had in the name of religion from historical times through to today. A great book filled with wonderful examples and common sense explanations of how to keep religion and other aspects of our life a positive force. A good read.
I enjoyed this author. He has a powerful voice and simplistic view of a Christian's daily life. He simplifies Christ's life on earth as an act of love. I think it is helpful to remember to be full of love but also why we should be full of love. This book was a helpful read and I found it refreshing and real. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Thought provoking! I disagreed with a few comments in this book but mostly I was challenged! I will definitely be looking at some situations with more love! I recommend this book by Tim Stevens. You will be encouraged to treat others with love rather than reacting. One of my favorite quotes from the book is "It's in the way we respond. It's in seeking to understand and see through the lens of another human being. Love makes the difference. And it starts with my choice. And yours." I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Love Conquers All Marked by love is a very interesting and informative book. It really investigates the idea of showing true love to all people. It challenges the reader to become a true follower of Jesus by following his command to love others. This the way people will know you are His disciples by the love you show others in words, deeds and attitudes. It is not easy. The author gives numerous examples and guides to support his focus. The book is well written and is one that needs to be read numerous times to really comprehend the ramifications and put in practice this kind of love. A great read.
This is a book that hits the mark in my life and will leave a lasting impression. It is imperative that we learn to love like Jesus, especially the way the world is so judgmental and hate filled today. It definitely gives you meat to chew on and makes me want to strive to be even more loving and kind to everyone. I wish everyone would make the time to read this and put these words into action. I’m so grateful that I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Marked by Love: A Dare to Walk Away from Judgment and Hypocrisy by author Tim Steven is a frank, real, honest look at how we see and love others. It is an in your face, step on your toes, search inside yourself book that challenges readers. Are we Christians living as the Bible commands? Are we lovings others? Do we not judge? These are stinging questions but this book is a wake up call to anyone who has forgotten. We are to be Jesus to others and live as He taught us everyday, not just the hour or two on Sunday when we are in church. The author explains God said twice in scripture “Jesus is marked by my love”. Jesus did not have a tattoo or certain color he always wore to mark Him. The only thing that marked Jesus Christ and the only thing that would mark His followers is love. We as followers are also marked by love. Do we act like it? Can we treat everyone with love? We are commanded to do just that. Not just people we like but everyone. Even those we disagree with in choices, politics, lifestyle, and anything. I would highly recommend this walk the walk book to anyone. It is very upfront about people needing to change. How would our world be if we treated everyone with love and showed them Jesus? Think of the changes! This is a great group read. Believe me, you will want to discuss it with people. You will want to change for the better. This reader did. It gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me. I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.
The Greatest Legacy: Love Tim Stevens, author of "Marked By Love," describes the current state of American society, especially believers in Jesus, so accurately and with such honesty. He speaks in a language all can understand, no churchisms, no religiousisms. Using stories from his own life, Stevens shows his audience Jesus' legacy, his real mission, was love. It is mentioned many places in the Bible and in simplest terms is: love the Lord and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40). As Stevens writes, "Love is the difference maker. It changes everything" (p. 57). Imagine the society we would be living in if this principle was practiced regularly. It is a simple thing. It costs nothing in monetary terms. It is a game changer. It would be a make-over for the work environment, the political and news scene to name a few. Take the journey: be marked by love, Jesus' love. You won't be disappointed for having read this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
“Stop telling people they need Jesus, and instead show them they matter. Stop using fear or scare tactics and start loving. Stop talking and start showing. When the people God brings into your life begin to experience a truly giving, sacrificial, unconditional, authentic, and vulnerable love from you, it will have an impact.” Not your typical Christian nonfiction book, “Marked by Love” truly stands out in the genre. I went into this expecting to glean information about how Jesus expressed His love for us and how we, in turn, are to demonstrate that love to others, but wow, this turned out to be so much more! Many of the points that Tim Stevens articulates are anticipated, and yet he takes them further and stretches them in a way that is honest and raw and, yes, sometimes uncomfortable. An apt description for this book would be eyebrow-raising. Stevens explains that we should move past using the title of “Christians” because it has taken on such a negative connotation over the centuries and is more often than not offensive and use instead a term such as “Christ follower.” At first I was taken aback at this; however, as with so much of this book, I found that when I put aside my initial reaction and considered what Stevens was saying, I understood his point. The best aspect of “Marked by Love” was that it was thought-provoking. It was an immersive reading experience; it didn’t just reinforce my theological views and ideas but rather challenged me to look outside the box and consider aspects of my faith and life in general in ways I hadn’t before. Stevens doesn’t purport to have all the answers, and although I didn’t always completely agree with him 100%, he expressed and explained his views logically, reaching out to the reader and drawing them in instead of just preaching to them. Many of the Scriptures used throughout the book were taken from The Message, a translation which I have not used before and which offered a new perspective on otherwise very familiar passages. Overall, I found “Marked by Love” to be radically countercultural, especially for conservative, traditionalist Christians (I should say Christ followers!), and doesn’t that also describe Jesus’ ministry during His time here on earth? Breaking down barriers and meeting people where they were with compassion, shattering hypocrisy and judgment by extending love and leaving an example for us to follow so that we can choose to be marked by love. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Marked By Love, by Tim Stevens is a book that is going to make you think. You may or may not agree with all Mr. Stevens has to say, but I’m pretty sure it will change your perspective on a lot of things. The premise of the book is simple (not necessarily easy, but simple, nonetheless) – what if we drop the labels – for ourselves, and for everyone else. Race, gender, religion, politics, sexual preference, etc... And what if we saw people not through the filter of these labels, but through the filter of Christ’s love? What if we stopped labeling people and started listening to them and trying to understand what makes them who they are? What if we started seeing them as people who are loved by God instead of people with whom we may or may not agree. Marked By Love has made a difference in me, just in the time it took to read it. It opened my eyes to the way I’ve dealt with and viewed people from all walks of life. I can’t wait to share the ideas in this book with others. I dare say it would make a huge difference in how we see others, how they see us, and more importantly, how they see God – if we followed Mr. Stevens advice. This would make a great book for book groups, small groups, Bible studies, or for reading through with a friend. I’m certain it would make for some awesome discussion. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. It was a blessing to be able to read and share my thoughts on this book. I’m prepared to read it again and share it as much as possible.
"Marked by Love: a Dare to Walk Away from Judgement and Hypocrisy" by Tim Stevens was really good!! It was a real easy and fast read, but it really makes you think about world issues and how we respond. Are we marked by love? Love is the answer. This book is not what you would expect, it's just so real! And there's no discussion questions at the end of a chapter. Tim just wants you to relax and read the book. I loved it. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."
An interesting read from start to finish. Uniquely well-written. At first, I didn't really know what to think about the title. MARKED BY LOVE, by Tim Stevens. Then I began reading this wonderful dedication that he wrote to his dad, that, to me, showed a true legacy for a son. Then in the first chapter as he talked about something that had happened when he was a child, and how he tried to straighten it out, and how more trouble came of it. My heart reached out to him. Could it be because he felt angry and didn't know what to do about it? Would that have made him feel more anger, or perhaps guilty? If he had done what he did out of love, would things have turned out differently? Would he have felt different about it too? Then on page 21 he talked about admitting to weakness and how it would minimize the power of Jesus. Love is God, and God is love. So the most important thing we need to know and do is love God and to love others. Chapter 10, in my opinion, explains a lot about love. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Author Tim Stevens has written a book that challenges us to take a hard look at ourselves and decide if we are truly living up to the name of Christian. Are we loving as God loves and are we displaying Jesus Christ in our thoughts, our speech and our actions? Are we good examples and are are we truly marked by love? Marked By Love: A Dare to Walk Away from Judgment and Hypocrisy has thirty-one chapters with attention grabbing titles, such as Heart Surgery in a Cornfield---I Don't Want to Be Called a Christian---Stop Talking and Start Loving---The Day a Punk Taught Me About Love and finally, It's the Only Thing That Matters. It is filled with statements that may rub you the wrong way because they remind us of the true definition of following Jesus. "A person who is marked by love looks for ways to serve others and will stand against racism and stereotypes. A person who is marked by love is convinced to her core that Jesus died because of His love for all and that each human being is as precious in His eyes as the next." (p.133) This is a book that deserves being marked in itself because it is filled with statements that need to be highlighted and referred to over and over again. Marked By Love is an excellent book that I will read more than once. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Hits the mark! Honest. Real. To the point. Marked by Love is a personal look at ourselves and the way we see others. How important is love in our lives? How much weight does it carry anyway? I recommend this book to those who wish to begin looking through the eyes of love, so that you can become the best you can be for those around you and for God. “I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”
Marked by Love is a compelling Christian book which starts out softly sharing stories about love and as I read each chapter, I felt that it kept growing, building upon the previous chapters. Tim Stevens is not a perfect man and he admits it several times with the experiences he's had that are truly very interesting and fit the chapter. Even though he is not perfect, his life happenings reveal how he has learned much, how to love especially. To summarize the book, I'd have to say it made me think about my own prejudices, my ill thoughts, my need for love, how I act in social media when I disagree with someone's post, my family relationships, my church family relationships, my own home life. It is thought provoking so I think it is a good book to read by anyone, Christian or not. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Marked By Love by Tim Stevens was an excellent book. This is how I try to live my life – loving the way God loved. Using Jesus as my example. I fall short way too many times but that is my prayer – that I will love the way Jesus loved. Wonderful book. Will definitely be reading more than once. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour and was under no obligation to post a review.
Marked by Love: A Dare to Walk Away from Judgment and Hypocrisy by Tim Stevens What does it mean to be Marked by Love? “People are done with Christianity. I am done with Christianity. At least the Americanized version that dresses up on Sunday and the rest of the week is gossiping, backbiting, jealous, judgmental, and unethical. It seems at every turn Christians are doing more harm for the name of Jesus than help.” –Tim Stevens If you’ve ever been discouraged by Christianity—whether you’ve been a lifelong churchgoer or someone who left religion a long time ago—this book will change your life. God only spoke twice while Jesus was on earth. (We should probably sit up and pay attention.) Both times He said: Jesus is “marked by my love.” No tattoo. No handshake. No team colors or logos or code words. The only thing that marked Jesus Christ and the only thing that would mark His followers—love. Consider. . . How would I treat someone who I disagree with in a political discussion if I ran everything I said through a filter of love? How would I care for someone who is contemplating an abortion if I were marked by His love? How would I help a friend going through a divorce if I really loved him and his family? What would be different about my social media posts or comments if I really loved the people I was responding to or writing about? How would I show love toward the gay couple that moved in next door if I was actually following in Jesus’ steps? How would I treat the Hispanic family who I think may have crossed the border illegally and are living off government welfare if I were marked by his love? How would I respond to the homeless guy begging on the curb in a loving way? This is real life stuff. If every follower of Jesus was truly marked by love, it would change the world. I highly recommend reading. Marked by Love: A Dare to Walk Away from Judgment and Hypocrisy by Tim Stevens is a wonderful well written 5 star book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. I am looking forward to reading more books by Tim Stevens. Fairness Is Overrated: And 51 Other Leadership Principles to Revolutionize Your Workplace by Tim Stevens
Marked by Love by Tim Stevens ... All I can say is "Wow, that's me in so many instances." It's shocking that you spend your life in church but don't feel love, just fear of hell and condemnation and judgment. This book talks about dealing with anger over people that don't do anything to hurt me, aren't doing anything illegal or unkind, they were just living their life, but you respond to them in an unkind way because what they do bugs you. Our words and actions really do cut deeper than any sword. I never realized just how much. We live in a world the truly has lost the ability to agree to disagree and respond with words and actions that humiliate and dehumanize. I received a complimentary copy of this booki from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. This book is truly an eye opener and I am glad I read it.
What if I had a mark across my forehead proclaiming me to be a follower of Christ> What if anyone could tell I was a Christian simply by looking at me? Tim Stevens book suggests that perhaps they can, and if not that they should be able to. God's love should mark our lives in ways that are obvious to the most casual observer. It should mark how we react on social media, what we do if the conversation turns to gossip, are we critical and judgmental? Mr. Sevens will challenge you to step back and look at yourself through the eyes of someone who hasn't yet made the decision to follow Christ. Do they want to look like you? It will also challenge you to look at yourself with a clearer vision, a goal of looking like the person you want to be, the one God pours out His love upon and one that allows that love to overflow into our lives and the lives of those we come into contact with. Based on scripture references and Biblical principles, Mr. Stevens addresses this subject in a way to captivate your interest as you strive to become Marked by Love. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.