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Paperback Red Letters: Living a Faith That Bleeds Book

ISBN: 0781445353

ISBN13: 9780781445351

Red Letters: Living a Faith That Bleeds

"I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me." Matthew 25:42-43 ESV In many Bibles, Christ's words are set apart with a red font. It should be obvious, but this distinction helps remind us that when God becomes Man and that Man speaks--it's probably something we cannot afford to miss. So why doesn't...


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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

compelling, challenging, raw and provocative

There are lots of "call to action"/social justice books coming out lately - many of them from unlikely sources. I think this is a great thing...except that many of them sound a lot like the typical colonialist views of the "let's save the barbarians because they need us civilized people" days. Red Letters is a refreshing exception. This book is raw and gutsy and very Christ centered. The call isn't so much to social action as it is to be such a genuine and radical follower and lover of Jesus that you cannot help but be transformed into his likeness...and in turn, see his likeness in those around you. Davis shares touching and powerful stories of living out the "red letters", of capturing the ethos of the Gospel, not just developing a collection of obligatory behaviors. This book is a quick read and very conversational in nature. It would be a great book for youth to read and discuss (that isn't to say that this book is dumbed down in any shape or form, just that it's not intimidating or pretentious). Davis has done a great job at weaving personal experience with the life and call of Jesus with raw statistics with specific actions that can be taken to live a faith that bleeds. These words left an impression with me as they did another reviewer - I use similar words with our faith community quite often. Every morning when I get out of bed, I look for Jesus. No, not because I've misplaced Him. And I'm not talking about a feeling I get during prayer, or revelation that comes to me while reading Scripture. I'm talking about finding Jesus in the eyes of real people. In the eyes of the poor, the handicapped, the oppressed, the orphan, the homeless, the AIDS victim--the abandoned and the forgotten. (Tom Davis, Red Letters, p. 15). We often talk in the emerging church about being incarnations of Jesus - BEING Jesus to people. True enough but we also need to see Jesus in others...after all, he tells us himself that he's there. Be sure to check out Davis' campaign, 5for50

Living the Letters

In his latest book Red Letters, Living a Faith that Bleeds Tom Davis leads us into a world that so many of us could not conceive of, the life of an orphan ravaged by the blight of the 21st century, that blight of course is A.I.D.S. He goes much further then reminding us of our Biblical mandate to take care of the widow and orphan and shows us how we, as God's church, can reach out in practical and life giving ways and make a difference. It is a full out indictment of the church and how we have treated this in the past, and then it provides us with the motivation to go and do something about our previous apathy. The last 30 pages of the book are dedicated to providing you with the practical resources to get involved. Some of it may be familiar, and some of it will not. Please take the time to read the list of organizations and worthy causes that he has compiled and prayerfully get involved. You will not be disappointed. One such campaign of note that Tom himself has recently started is called 5 for fifty. Soon the world will see it's 50,000,000 (yes that is million) case of A.I.D.S. The unfortunate fact is that it will probably happen to an orphan, and likely in Africa. Without the mobilization of the church it will only get worse. 5 for fifty is 5 steps you can take to begin to change the plight of the orphan. 1) Give 5 minutes a day to prayer for those with HIV/AIDS. 2) Give 5 hours a week to fast for those with HIV/AIDS. 3) Give 5 dollars a month to the 5 to fifty fund to support worthy causes in the regions hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. 4) Give 5 days a year to travel over seas and to work to alleviate the suffering and burdens of children in extreme poverty and burdened with HIV/AIDS. 5) Give 5 people the opportunity to join you in your journey. Not necessarily traveling to the area if you do not have the monetary resources, but sharing about what you are doing in the first three with others and encouraging them to join you. Tom has written a book that is close to my heart. I work for Compassion International and we are well aware of what HIV is doing to our children. I am forever grateful for Tom and his willingness to shake the church out of it's slumber and say "arise, go forth and do great things in the name of Jesus" The church, allied with governments and other N.G.O.'s has the ability to eradicate A.I.D.S, and to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the same time. Let's step out and do it. God will be in our midst. Carl Holmes

Warning: This book will wreck your status-quo

I will never play the game Chicken with Tom Davis. I would lose, guaranteed. Tom Davis, author of Red Letters: Living a Faith That Bleeds has the ability, through his writing, to stare you directly in the eye and speak truth that takes your breath away. He begins Red Letters with an apology on behalf of the Christian church, to the 25 million people currently infected with HIV/AIDS. He apologizes for our unwillingness to respond to the Bible's 'red letters'... those words set apart in some Bibles as Christ's own. And Davis clearly outlines his take on Gospel: "The only Gospel worth living is the one that incarnates love. The only Gosepl worth giving our lives for is the one that elevates the needs of others above our own. That's what the "good news" is all about." Davis weaves biblical passages with his own experiences working with orphans in places like Russia and Swaziland. He names the fears that keep us immobile. He provides statistics that stun. He looks at the sanctity of life and call to justice. He names the immense needs faced by so many of our children living around the world. But in the most amazing way, Davis does not try to shame us into action. Rather, he informs, inspires and then provides a host of resources to help us follow through with the call Christ has placed into each of our hearts. Somehow he maintains hope for the orphans... and hope for us. My green highlighter got a work out. While this is not a technically difficult book to read, it was very challenging. Davis takes away any excuse to be inactive because of ignorance. There were many passages I could have chosen to share, but I felt like they were really speaking to my own failings (you've got to appreciate a book that feels like it was written just for you). But I will add here a quote from Mother Theresa that is used in a chapter called A Call to Justice: "When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed." The proceeds from the sale of these books goes back in to feeding orphans. In fact, the profits from each book will feed a child for a month. Seriously. This is an important book. Challenging. Practical. Loving, in the most Christ-like way...

Is it our problem? Davis takes a stand...and calls "us" out!

I read Davis' first book, Fields of the Fatherless, earlier this year and it made me revisit my priorities; and it changed my perspective regarding the world I live in...the community I live in. Davis' heart for orphans is undeniable. Davis' vision for caring for orphans is the foundation of the Children's Hopechest ( organization in which Tom Davis is President. In Red Letters, Davis pulls out all the stops and calls on the Christian church, Americans, me..and you to stop ignoring, start talking, and take action. Davis makes a convincing argument for us to stop acting like HIV/AIDS is not "our" problem. I was shocked when I read the following statement....."Six and a half thousand Africans are still dying every day of preventable, treatable disease for lack of drugs we [Americans] can by at any drug store." "Preventable"....."Treatable" There are several stories in Red Letters that are heart breaking as well as shocking....but yet, as Davis points out, we choose to be deaf, dumb, and blind to what is happening in Africa, what is happening to the world. Even, as Bono of the famed U2 brings attention to the horror of HIV/AIDS....we continue to live in the "me" world. Davis sums up Red Letters, in my opinon, with this statement...."This is not about charity: This is about Justice and Equality." Davis drives his point home...."We" are letting the "injustice" happen. I am not sure I agree with the usage of the word "justice," but Davis brings attention to what is happening in Africa. The question is "how numb are we?" Is it because it is surreal? I love the statement in the book (that is a Wealth Lifeline (TM) core value)..."Building walls around our possessions and our lives leads to selfishness and hardened hearts." This is so true and so obvious....but the world's view of wealth encourages this. The Wealth Lifeline (TM) definition of "wealth" is "To love and be loved." Yet....we focus on being loved by doing all the wrong things...."buy building walls around our possessions...." When we do is impossible to love....and impossible to come close to see the world through Christ's eyes. Tom Davis' Red Letters will shock you into reality, if you let it.....the question is....will "we" do anything about it? Rob Powell

You Won't Be The Same

This book has a sticker saying that monies from the sale will feed an African for a month. What the sticker should really do is warn you of how it will mess with you. Newcomer Tom Davis has written an amazing book for 21st century Christians. For all followers of Jesus, this is a hard look at whether we are really living out what our leader says. I recommend you read a few pages at a time and process slowly the contents of this small but provocative book. Life-changing and highly recommended!
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