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200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One: Creating a Life of Meaning and Influence Paperback – September 1, 2008
I am fortunate enough to rub shoulders with Shawn everyday as we pursue ministry together. I have watched as he approaches each area of responsibility he has been given with the eye of an artist toward an audience of one. He lives what he writes about and our lives and ministries have been better for it. I am confident you will be encouraged and better off for being around Shawn, as I have been, as you connect with God s artistic vision for your life through this book. --Greg Surratt, lead Pastor, Seacoast Church
About the Author
Shawn Wood is the Experiences Pastor and a Teaching Pastor at Seacoast Church, a trendsetting multi-site church with thirteen campuses across South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and on the web. Seacoast is ranked among the top ten most innovative churches and the top ten most influential churches, as well as in the top 100 fastest-growing churches in America. He is the author of 200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One and Wasabi Gospel. You can find out more about Shawn on his blog at www.shawnsblogspot.com.
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Strangely I think it is a good complement to NT Wright's book on heaven (Surprised By Hope). Wood is talking about what we do we should do for God, whether others know we do it or not. And Wright was talking about how being too focused on heaven prevents us from living in the now. We should view the current life as preparatory for the work that we will have in the next life.
The reason I gave it a four star review instead of five is that I read it on kindle. (Amazon gave it away last week!) The formating on kindle is not the greatest. It is a topaz formated book (which as I understand it is at base and Optical Character Recognition instead of formated directly from the text). There are also a couple places where there are some discussion questions at the end of chapters and those are not at all readable. They are images and just too small. A bit more work formating and this would have been a much better read.
In 200 Pomegranates, Shawn Wood looks at 10 verses from 1 Kings 7 that tell the story of Huram - a skilled craftsman from Tyre who is called upon by King Solomon to do some work in the Temple. His work? To create 2 columns 18 cubits high (~35 feet) on which he carved 200 pomegranates each. And all this beautiful craftsmanship was located at the top of the columns - in a place where no one would notice or see - in a place where only his "audience of one" would appreciate.
From this vantage point, Wood launches into a portfolio of "artists" - people who have lived and are living their lives full of purpose and meaning, despite facing difficult and distracting circumstances. He writes, "God's gallery is filled with broken-down people with great upswing potential. We are a group of people who now have the opportunity to grow and expand the investment God made in us by following the model of Christ and investing in others and things that will last."
I loved Wood's honest and humorous writing style and am so encouraged to do whatever I do (even if it's carving 200 out-of-sight pomegranates) as if I'm doing it only for my "audience of one." I highly recommend this little book with a powerful message.
Shawn is a great story teller and mixes bible verse and stories from now in this drama about life. You'll laugh and cry during the course of this book. I am not afraid to say that I did, watch out Jenny you are sure to need a hanky of two for this one.
Shawn's contention is that just as Hurum was an artist who was casting bronze columns in Solomon's temple, we are all artists sculpting our lives and the lives of others everyday. Solomon's decision to spend time and effort on the detailed carving of lillies and pomegranates 34 feet in the air where only God would notice was a tribute to his life and commitment to not cutting God short.
Examples of mothers and fathers sculpting their children is a common theme throughout 200 Pomegranates and definitely resonated with me. The last story in the book is about high school sweethearts who end up having a child before their time, and definitely not following God's plan. The couple, Charlene and Bobby, have 2 kids by the time they are 20. At the age of 21, pregnant with their 3rd child, Charlene learns that she has Hodgkin's diesease and is given months to live. She prays to God that she would be able to raise her children. That's all! That was all it took for her to open up to God and he took over. A short while later God answered her prayers and the mother was able to raise her children. I am not sharing the whole story here, it does get better. So read the book.
200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One: Creating a Life of Meaning and Influence
Through Shawn's unique perspective, everyone [from single moms, CEO's and even people who feel quite ordinary] has the ability to see why the efforts of our individual "canvases" is truly a work of art that matters to God.
Shawn blew me away with his whimsical story-telling style and piercing truths. I never would have guessed he was a first-time author & can't wait for his next book.
Before long I was careening around the curves of questions about how I approach my own life and ministry complete with the sudden drops of shame for the times I've done the "good enough" when I should have been doing "God-enough".
When the ride ended, I found myself laughing, crying and worshiping the One Who is my Audience. While I will no longer be the same after this ride, I think I'll jump on again and again, because the reminder will never hurt.