Nobody’s Cuter Than You–a Book Review

book reviewIf you follow me on social media, you may have seen me reference Nobody’s Cuter Than You.  My posts on social media may have given away my affection for this book and may even cause you to think this blog post redundant.  However, I would be amiss if I didn’t give you the detailed version of my opinion of this refreshingly heart-warming book.

I moved from Huntsville, Alabama to Round Rock, Texas the end of May.  A few days before leaving my staff organized a farewell “get-together.”  We sat on my sweet friend, Stephanie’s back porch and my friends (who seconded as my staff) gave me some gifts and Nobody’s Cuter Than You was one of them.  The fact that the book was given by four women who I absolutely adore doesn’t hurt my emotional connection with this book.

But you might not have the pre-disposed emotional connotations I did, so here we go:

The Title

What else is there to say?  The title makes you want to wrap your arms around the book.  The title says “Pull up a chair, you’re safe here. Your quirkiness is adorable and nobody’s cuter than you.”  The title delivers on its promise to make you feel safe, warm and all-around glad you picked it up.

What’s It About

Nobody’s Cuter Than You is about friendship.  The author starts the book when she was young girl and her early years of friendship.  She takes the reader on a journey through her developing years and into college where she meets a group of friends who leave a permanent mark on her life.  The stories she shares through the book are relatable, funny and often leave you shaking your head because you can see what’s coming even if she didn’t at the time.

The Author

I knew who Melanie Shankle was before I was handed this book but I never actually read any of her books before (or embarrassingly even her blog).  I saw her on-stage at dot.mom a few years back and thought it was cool that she was a Texan and an Aggie but didn’t give it much thought past that.  Melanie is h-i-larious in Nobody’s Cuter Than You!

I have every intention of picking up her other two books after reading this one!

Who’s The Book For?

One of the things I like most about this book is that I would feel so comfortable handing this book to just about any of my girlfriends no matter where they are spiritually.  This book traces the author’s spiritual journey as it correlates with her relational journey with her friends.  She doesn’t condemn a reader who isn’t at the same spiritual check-point but invites her to investigate and explore a more intimate relationship with God.  I would even suggest she whets the appetite for the adventure resulting in a friendship with God. Melanie debunks any delusions of boring Christianity as keeps the reader in stitches with her crazy antics.

Texas

As a Texan, particularly one who grew up with all the Texas A&M references, Nobody’s Cuter Than You read like a letter from a girlfriend.  It was all so familiar to me.  I particularly loved reading the reference to Buc-ees as I downed a Buc-ees bbq sandwich in the passenger seat of the car.  I did wonder, however, if those who weren’t from Texas and didn’t have such similar experiences as I had with the author, if they would nod their heads as much as I did.  Melanie does an excellent job explaining the references but I’m not sure you can truly understand without the brainwashing that is Texas culture.

Favorite Quotes

Real friendship requires effort.  It’s showing up and laugh aloud and crying hard.  It’s forgiving and loving and giving the benefit of the doubt.”–page xiv

You always hear people lament that we spend one-third of our lives sleeping, and frankly, I don’t see the problem.  Sleep is delightful, and had I known how fleeting a good night’s sleep would be once I was in my forties, I might have devoted even more time to it in my twenties.–p.104

A good friend will love you, support you, and cheer you on.  A good friend doesn’t make you feel inadequate or like you’re not good enough.  A good friend won’t dump you when someone better comes along or ask you to compromise who you re and wha you believe.–p. 199

In this new world we’ve built of Facebook friends and Instagram likes and texting instead of listening to an actual voice, it’s still worth going deeper and finding people who will love you for your real, authentic, broken self.  And, most important: to find that person means we have to be that person.–p.199

It’s Worth It

Nobody’s Cuter Than You is not a deep, theological book.  It is a book that made me feel good.  It inspired me to be the kind of friend I wanted to have.  Nobody’s Cuter Than You was worth my time to read.  Pick it up and find yourself giggling as you are reminded of the sweetness that is friendship.

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Are American Christians Really Experiencing Persecution?

Are AmericanI’ve stayed pretty quiet (at least on the blog) about the current events that have happened in recent weeks.  Please know my silence has absolutely nothing to do with a lack of courage or whether I’m ashamed or unashamed of Christ.  My silence has to do with the behavior of some who claim the title of Christian and my lack of desire to be associated with them.

This post is not my platform to express my thoughts or even the Biblical mandates regarding same-sex marriage, prayer in school, or who is teaching what in schools.  This is post is about the persecuted church, in which, I believe the American church is joining.

Some of you are nodding your head because you feel it.  You’ve watched the news (probably Fox News, let’s be honest), and you are offended by the direction you see our country headed.  Christian values have gone from being diluted to disintegrated.  The “world” we live in isn’t what it once was.  There is rampant tolerance and a loss of morals.

Can I get an “Amen” up in here?!?

As an American Christian, you see it, you feel it and you probably fall in one of four camps:

1) You want to run inside your house, close your shades and lock yourself away from the big, bad, scary world.

2) You’re mad. You’re rolling up your sleeves, loosening your collar and ready to take on this big, bad, ugly world and her momma!

3) You think the whole thing is ridiculous.  There are Christians all over the world suffering severely for the gospel. You think, “Wake up, People!  This is not suffering.

4) You don’t really care.  You think what you don’t know won’t hurt you.

I think there is validity to all four camps.  Depending on the day, I find myself pitching my tent in all four.  However, I most want my tent pitched in God’s camp, where I can see the world, our culture, the American Church from a God-perspective.

So, yes, there are believers half a world away shivering in basements, straining to read Scripture.  Yes, Christians values in American are being disintegrated.  Yes, as believers we are called to a bold faith.

But, no, we can’t hide away whimpering in fear of suffering.

No, we can’t pound our fists against the wall ready to pick a fight with those heathens taking away our freedoms.  Who do they think they are?  Unfortunately, defensiveness over the devaluing of Christianity is a tell-tale sign of your vulnerable position.  Panic due to the slightest threat of suffering indicates you were unprepared.  You missed the clear warnings found in Scripture.

Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.–1 John 3:13

When you received salvation, did you think you were only signing up for heaven?

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,–Philippians 1:29

American Church, why would we believe ourselves exempt from suffering?  Why would we consider our status superior to that of our brothers and sisters around the world?

No, American Christians are not straining for a scrap of the Bible.  However, suffering for the sake of Christ is upon us.  Wake up!  Man up!  And by, man up, I don’t mean responding with nasty posts on social media or theological debates.  I mean, pick up your Bible, become aware of what it says and do it.  A believer’s response of hate or defensiveness is not effective for the Kingdom of God.  A response of love is the only acceptable response.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.–1 John 4:19-21

Our response must be one of compassion, humility and grace.  The lostness of the world is not won by fighting, debating or judging.  The lostness of the world is won by proving Christ’s love through the way we live our lives.  Am I suggesting we stay silent?  Of course not.  But our words must be from the mouths of men and women who have been rescued and are simply helping someone else climb into the life boat.

Question: Are you concerned about the American Church?  Are you afraid of suffering?  How have you responded?  Does the lost world know us (the American Church) by our love?

 

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Seems Time For Another Update

I’ve taken several weeks to share some insight on the discipline of community and in those weeks, life has gone on in more »

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Burned by the Church but You Still Love Jesus

Over the past several weeks, we have explored the spiritual discipline of community.  To read previous posts on this topic click the more »

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Community-3.2

Over the last few weeks I’ve shared with you a series on the spiritual discipline of community.  These are excerpts from an more »

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Community 3.1

Today’s post is the second in a series about the spiritual discipline of community.  To read the first post in the series more »

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Community 3.0

Some of you are already aware that I have written a book.  It is entitled Room To Move and is not yet more »

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We’re In!

We did it! We bought a house and moved in! I mentioned in my previous post how much I had hoped to more »

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Plans Have Changed A Bit

Things have been crazy.  In the last few weeks we have moved half way across the country literally over the mountains, through more »

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The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up

For previous episodes of our continuing saga regarding our journey to Round Rock (including why we’re moving to Round Rock in the more »

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