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

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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: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.

Margot's other books include: Unsqueezed: Springing Free From Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights and Stilettos (IVP) and Small Things With Great Love: Adventures in Loving Your Neighbor (IVP). Her most recent book is Permission Granted: And Other Thoughts on Living Graciously Among Sinners and Saints (Baker 2013). Her writing has also appeared in Relevant, Rev!, Pray!, Radiant, Neue, Adoptive Families, Family Fun, Fine Homebuilding, and other publications. She blogs at Red Letter Christians and hermeneutics, and is a a popular speaker at retreats, conferences, and college campuses.

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 also served as an interim pastor of Ponds Reformed Church in Oakland, NJ.

Margot is pretty convinced that as we receive God's "I am for you"--as we really get it, in our bones--we're set free to live a life of love which is for others, especially God's beloved ones who are poor and marginalized. Her hope is that her readers and listeners who are ambivalent, either about God's great love for them or for those who live on the world's margins, are challenged and transformed by some really good news.

As a young adult, Margot was reunited with her birthmother, and now enjoys a relationship with her & with her adoptive parents. Margot lives in Durham, NC with her husband, Peter, and their three children, by birth and adoption. She likes being with her sweet kiddos & hanging out with friends--with and without disabilities--at Reality Ministries. She's also a pretty big fan of the work of Compassion International. Learn more at www.MargotStarbuck.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira on January 2, 2012
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lesa on January 13, 2012
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alison Hodgson on April 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pat F. Southerland on February 4, 2012
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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J.B.H. on December 22, 2011
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By amy on June 18, 2013
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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: 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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By Gair McC on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
What I love about this book, and all of Margot Starbuck's books, is that it feels like she's sitting beside you, sharing a coffee and a sleeve of Thin Mints, talking to you as if you're her best friend. Open, accessible, funny, and not afraid to nudge you where you need it--because she loves you. Small Things with Great Love is a celebration of what you ARE doing to love your neighbor and an invitation to explore what you COULD BE doing (without abandoning your life, already in progress) to love even more. No guilt trip, just an eye-opening tour of a world you'll recognize, pointing out opportunities around every corner, for all sorts of "adventurers." I agree--buy more than one, because you're gonna want to share it, but you won't want to give yours away (kind of like those Thin Mints).
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