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Small Things with Great Love: Adventures in Loving Your Neighbor Paperback – December 23, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Writing in a way that is both practical and engaging, Starbuck helps us to follow the great teachers of compassion and justice not by leaving our present lives but by opening our eyes to our lives and to those with whom we share them." (The Christian Century, October 17, 2012)

"This book will open your eyes to the people around you and the huge impact you can have on them through small acts of love." (Significant Living, May 2012)

"Small Things with Great Love will equip and inspire all who read it with the grace and knowledge that they can follow Jesus for real." (Sarah Scherschligt, The Presbyterian Outlook, April 2, 2012)

"Delivered with wit and humour, this remarkable book compels readers to become world changers through small things with great love, instead of just wishing they were." (Lailani Mendoza, Living Light News, March/April 2012)

"This book is perfect for a Bible study or just a group that would like to make the neighborhood they live in a little nicer. . . . The common sense of this book reminds us how important it is to reach out to others in our community and enrich not only their lives, but our own as well." (Connie Maier, CBA Retailers + Resources, January 2012)

"With unparalleled humor, honesty and grace Margot lays out the truth, that most of us care but are often too busy to know what to do. . . . She is absolutely spot on, the little things add up so very big. Packed with wisdom and insight from a brilliant writer, this book will not guilt you into action. Rather, you will come to find out that each day our lives add up to a million ways to make a difference. . . . As an activist and author who has tried desperately to forge this conversation I'm giddy to know that Margot has absolutely succeeded! I highly recommend this read to anyone who ever comes in contact with another human being. . . ." (Tracey Bianchi, pastor, activist and author of Green Mama)

"Dorothy Day said, 'Don't call me a saint; I don't want to be dismissed so easily.' Small Things with Great Love is an invitation to look Jesus head-on and ask what it means for your life if he really meant all that stuff he said―not just for saints, but for you. It's an important question. And you can be grateful that someone as funny and gracious as Margot Starbuck is asking it." (Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of The Wisdom of Stability and Common Prayer)

"Margot Starbuck is fun, creative and sassy. She reminds us to dream big and live small. And her words will dare you to connect your gifts to the brokenness of this world and do something beautiful for God. This book reminds us that God is preparing each of us for something really, really . . . small―and it's small things done with great love that move the world." (Shane Claiborne, author, activist and recovering sinner)

About the Author

Margot Starbuck is a writer and speaker who cares deeply about what it means to follow Jesus in the sneakers, pumps or Doc Martens in which we find ourselves. She is passionate about communicating God's great love for the world--inextricably bound to God's love for individuals--in print and in speech. Margot studied art at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. At the beach and in dorm rooms, she began to notice the bind in which women find themselves today, specifically as they're pinched by the culture's insistence on the value of appearances. She was further equipped to process these issues theologically at Princeton Seminary. Today, Margot continues to be energized by the kingdom reality of God's big plan for our bodies which have been called good. Her first book, The Girl in the Orange Dress, describes the way she came to know that the God who "so loved the world" cared deeply for her. Her second book, Unsqueezed, is about that inextricable love setting people free to be agents of the new kingdom Jesus ushered in. When she's not writing books, Margot pops up online in places like Relevant, Kyria and New Christian Voices. Though disheartened by much of Christian culture's silent insistence on keeping up appearances--namely, by simply doing it--Margot is regularly inspired by those countercultural heroes and communities who are exercising different practices. (For a sane perspective on body image, she recommends TrueCampaign, an organization partnering with Food for the Hungry to transfer resources from personal self-improvement to global survival.) Right now, Margot is writing a lot about what it looks like for normal-ish folks to exercise love and justice in our cars, at the grocery store and in our neighborhoods. When audiences invite her to speak about how we can live with less stress, or spend more time with God, or grow in our faith, she still often seems to end up right there where the recycled rubber meets the road.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (December 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830838171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830838172
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author



Margot is a graduate of Westmont College and Princeton Theological Seminary. She served with Urban Promise ministry in Camden NJ before being ordained in the Presbyterian Church. She's served as a chaplain among folks living with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Margot and her 3 fabulous teens, by birth and adoption, live in Durham, NC, in a community built around their friends with disabilities. Learn more at www.MargotStarbuck.com.

Margot's first book, The Girl in the Orange Dress: Searching for a Father Who Does Not Fail, was awarded Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, 2011, from the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Her recent Not Who I Imagined was a finalist in the 2015 Selah Awards. Margot's other books include: Unsqueezed, Small Things With Great Love, Permission Granted, Overplayed and Not Who I Imagined. Margot is a regular contributor to Today's Christian Woman and the Confessions Editor at Geez Magazine.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have a friend who hates "social justice" books because they are so guilt-inducing, overwhelming and depressing. Often this is true. But not with this gem. In "Small Things with Great Love," Starbuck offers ways we can live out God's calling to love our neighbors (which includes the calling to seek justice, live mercy etc.) without laying on the guilt, without overwhelming or depressing us. In fact, I laughed out loud repeatedly through the book.

Rather than making "do-gooding" something burdensome to add to the great to-do list of life, Starbuck presents loving our neighbors as a grand adventure. And she constructs the book that it is a choose-your-own adventure sort of read. Both of which make this a satisfying, inspiring, entertaining read.
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Format: Paperback
I was at a party over the holidays and a smart-reader friend, whom I will read ANYTHING she suggests, shouts over the crowd,"I just finished the best book, you have GOT to read!"I shouted back,"Title?" She says, "Small Things with Great Love" and added,"I bought every copy my bookstore had for everyone for Christmas!" Needless to say, I ordered it. You should too! Fresh writing, real perspective, doable acts of love.
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This is such a great book. The title says it all.

Favorite parts:

At the end of every chapter you could choose your own adventure. Starbuck suggested different chapters based on various criteria. I appreciated that she broke down personality types and gave specific tips on how extroverts and introverts might choose to reach out and the strengths each "type" brings. Her acknowledgment of the challenges she and her husband have navigated was great too, especially her realization that she blamed him for holding her back..until she figured out that was a big excuse. This was funny and real.

"Small Things" is practical and inspiring, a great combination.
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With a blend of seriousness and humor, the author succeeds in educating the reader in ways to love your neighbor. She guides you through the book down a path that best suits your profile suggesting that you read the whole book or only the chapters that are most pertinent to your life. She gives a multitude of suggestions ranging from the simple to the complex and encourages you to enlarge your "love quotient". I am a ardent believer in the concepts she introduces and supports so I would want EVERYONE to not only read it but to do it! It has certainly affected my thinking and I hope my actions.
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Margot Starbuck's latest book is a gift, a challenge, and a great read all at once. Margot brings Matthew 25:40 - what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters, we also do to our God - to life, vividly, in this humor-laden, practical, and action-provoking translation to life in the suburban bubble. It's a rocking-out kick in the backside that you'll read at least twice, and you won't look at your neighborhood the same way afterwards.
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This is a great book and very fun to read with its "pick your own adventure" style. It leads you through very thought-provoking ways to reach out to the world around you in ALL stages of life and responsibilities. I enjoyed Starbuck's writing style- very light hearted with funny stories interspersed but at the same time convicting and inspiring.
I have recommended this to all my friends.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In Small Things with Great Love by Margot Starbuck one thought summarizes what makes her voice fresh: “We don’t have to add lots more overwhelming activity to what we’ve already got going. Rather, the regular stuff of our lives―the commute to work and the potlucks and home improvement projects and errands and play dates―are the exact places in which we express and experience God’s love for a world in need” (20).

If some Pharisees in Scripture were known for laying on heavy burdens without lifting a finger to help, Starbuck is just the opposite. Her whimsical, humorous viewpoint makes the work of reaching those on the margins less frightening. Perhaps unknowingly her style echoes that of Jesus when he said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and burden is light” (Mt. 11:28-30 ESV). I appreciate her gentle spirit, which does not burden readers but seeks to release them into a richer, fuller life.

She lightens the load by being transparent about her own struggles and showing through stories how readers can take baby steps. It is a wonderful primer for those who want to know God’s heart for the poor and move from an insular environment to one that is more open. It is far too easy to become separate from the ones that God loves. This book is a start to bridging that gap.

Along the way Starbuck addresses the many different places in which we find ourselves. One of my favorite chapters is “Introverts.” I found it liberating because it affirms the type of person that I am by temperament and points to ways of loving God and neighbor appropriate to it. It makes a point reiterated throughout the book.
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Format: Paperback
Margot begins by telling us her short comings in blessing the world around her. From there she lightly weaves through +314 ideas on loving your neighbor using anecdotes and real life examples. She claims she doesn't want to guilt you into adding a million service projects to your life, and she doesn't. She talks about ordinary serving, outside the box serving, but nothing "turn your life upside down" radical. I know for most people this is a good thing. With multiple children, and incorporating multiple schedules; they have stretched budgets, stretched means, and stretched minutes. Her prose is light and it's almost like hearing someone tell a story with a million examples. She covers spending time when you don't have it, being ok with "Enough", and putting money down wisely.

To see the full review go to www.doinglifebetter.org/2013/05/23/smallthings_greatlove
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