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Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People Paperback – April 17, 2018
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From the Publisher
|Love Does||Everybody Always||Love Does for Kids||Live in Grace, Walk in Love||Dream Big|
|Check out all of the books in Bob's library!||The first book Bob Goff wrote, this whimsical and inspiring collection of stories was a runaway bestseller.||The follow-up to Love Does (technically the third book, since the second was stolen out of his car), this book tackles how to love difficult people.||Beautifully illustrated, this children's book takes the stories from Love Does and delivers them in a child-friendly manner.||This 365-day journey will inspire you to step out in confidence, offer grace to yourself and others, and become love.||Coming Soon! This is an inspiring and practical way to achieve your dreams! Available June 23rd, 2020!|
About the Author
Bob Goff is the author of the New York Times bestselling Love Does and Everybody, Always as well as the bestselling Love Does for Kids. He is the Honorary Consul to the Republic of Uganda, an attorney, and the founder of Love Does—a nonprofit human rights organization operating in Uganda, India, Nepal, Iraq, and Somalia. He's a lover of balloons, cake pops, and helping people pursue their big dreams. Bob's greatest ambitions in life are to love others, do stuff, and, most importantly, to hold hands with his wife, Sweet Maria Goff, and spend time with their amazing kids. For more, check out BobGoff.com and LoveDoes.org.
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I have to say, though, this book was a real miss for me, as much as it pains me to admit that. I wanted to love it so much, but I just found myself disconnecting from the author more and more as I progressed further in the book. I do want to try another of Mr. Goff’s books before I completely write him off as one of my potential authors to follow, because I feel like this one just didn’t hit the mark for me, but others might.
I know the author surely didn’t mean to present himself in such an off-putting way, but the examples he gave throughout the book of his showing love to others were very hard for a common person to identify with -- from his visits overseas, to his handing out tickets to Disneyland, it was so hard to identify with how he lives life. Was he showcasing what it means to love others, always? -- you bet. I have no doubt that Mr. Goff is a precious soul who consistently wins others over to Christ, and for that I can’t thank him enough, or say enough wonderful things about what his character must be like. For me, though, the chapters were written in such a way that I lost track of the good that Mr. Goff was doing, and instead focused more on how impractical it would be for most people in our society to be able to accomplish such good deeds.
Several years ago I read Love Does by Bob Goff and I was simply blown away by Bob’s energy and enthusiasm. Sometime later I was able to hear Bob speak at a student leadership conference and I was just in awe of him.
Why do I find Bob Goff so fascinating? Because he lives life with such passion and zeal. His love seems so authentic. He is not just putting words on the page or speaking goodwill to the masses. He is capturing life at its fullest and throwing it back to us.
I am very cynical person. I typically view Christian authors as opportunistic over authentic, but with Bob, I see genuine love for all.
Everybody, Always is a perfect follow up to Love Does. The book is full of amazing stories and beautiful calls for action. This book is a great challenge for a guy like me, who can become numb and disillusioned with the world.
I highly recommend this work to everyone. And, of course, here are some amazing quotes:
“Love isn’t something we fall into; love is someone we become.”
“Loving people means caring without an agenda.”
“What a shame it would be if we were waiting for God to say something while He’s been waiting on us to do something.”
“Most of us don’t need more instructions; we simply need someone who believes in us.”
“We don’t need to be the hero in everyone’s story. Jesus already landed that part.”
“Grace never seems fair until you need some.”
So what was the problem? After each time I read part of this book, I came away thinking ‘I need to be more like Bob Goff’ or ‘Man, I’m never gonna be like Bob Goff.’ And it’s not about Bob Goff!! It’s about being more like Jesus and loving like Jesus. It read more like a memoir of Bob Goff’s life than a biblical book on looking like Jesus.
We constantly hear the message ‘Love others’ or ‘love your neighbor’, etc. And I’ve been struggling to figure out what EXACTLY that means. How do I, in my life, do this better? What does it mean to love? Can I still be loving someone if others don’t feel like I am? Bob Goff did not answer these questions for me. A lot of the stories he tells, as other reviewers have observed as well, are not relatable to me in where I live and what I have access to. I can’t send people to Disneyland. I can’t fly back and forth to Uganda a bunch of times. I'm not going to let a homeless man hang out in my minivan during the day in between carting my children around. The practicality was not there. And maybe I’m looking for answers that just aren’t going to be cut and dry, and that’s something I need to sit back and consider. But either way, this book does not take you by the hand and help you identify ways you can make a difference in your community. It overwhelms you with grandeur and paralyzes you into feelings of inadequacy.
A lot of his stories seemed irresponsible. No Bob, don't go flying your little plane through this very risky place just for the heck of it- get those groceries back to your wife! The writing was a lot of disjointed stories peppered with a few lines of ‘profound’ analogy that most times didn’t connect for me. I kept thinking, ‘Wait, what point is he trying to make??'
I also had issues with the way Bob did and did not talk about the Bible. I believe Bob has a high view of Scripture, and granted, a lot of the things he said, I’m sure he didn’t MEAN it that way, but perception is reality, and I wish he would have taken more care with his words. With every quote from the book below, I’m sure he could explain further how it’s not what I think, but here are my thoughts:
“[God is saying] ‘You got this. You know enough.’ ”
Um.. no…? I think God would tell us ‘I got this’ and ‘I’m enough.’
“[Jesus] demonstrated the word with is much bigger and worthier and more accessible than any ten Bible verses.”
I’m thinking he maybe meant something like actions speak louder than words, but I don’t think he has the authority to tell us what word is worthier than God’s very Word.
“There’s a verse that says 'Do not despise these small beginnings'. I love that.”
He gives no biblical reference and no context. It’s an obscure verse in Zephaniah (I looked it up) and I’m not entirely sure if he used it properly. And then says “He already believes in me, just as much as He knows the outcome. He already believes in you too. He’s so confident we already know what to do next that He’s willing to be silent even when we ask for His voice.” I don’t think we need God to believe in us. It’s not about us. And He is not silent because he’s confident in our ability to discern right and wrong. I don’t think we can begin to explain why God is silent.
[Talking about Ananias and Sapphira] “So why did they drop dead? I don’t think anyone knows for sure…They had probably said what they hoped to do so often they actually thought they had done it.”
Um. Again, no, Bob. For one, he likes to talk about the Bible and say ‘We don’t know, but I think [insert either a bad idea or something that’s already widely known]’. For two, I’m pretty sure they knew exactly what they were doing. They didn’t want to give away all their money. And they didn’t want to tell people that. It’s that simple.
“He continues to be with us…He’s sent us books about Him and has included a lot of letters, and He’s sent us friends too.”
And, also, Bob Goff, he sent HIS SPIRIT. Missed opportunity to talk about a pretty significant thing.
“When we draw a circle around the whole world like grace did and say everybody is in, God’s love gives us bigger identities that we used to have.”
And later he talked about the thief on the cross with Jesus, that Jesus didn’t give him a quiz, he just said, ‘You’re in.’ A little reminiscent of Rob Bell. God’s grace is sufficient for all but not effective for all. Jesus didn’t save both thieves, he just saved the one. Of course, we don’t know who God chooses to save, but Bob Goff’s words infer some Love Wins theology, which is not biblically accurate.
He likes to tell us what God is thinking. Which, obviously, I don’t think that’s our domain. But even the few places where God lets us know what he’s doing, I think Bob still gets it wrong.
The intent of this book is great and important and relevant. But not much of the content fell into any of those categories for me. His humor and good storytelling didn't make up for the lack of strong biblical support and frankly, his arrogance. Like: he says they are teaching witch doctors to read using the Bible....and his own book. What?! Why not just use the Bible? He appears to be equating his words with God's words. And then he casually drops that he got to meet the president at the White House with the man he brought back from Uganda. That part was not relevant to the story; I think he just wanted us to know he got to go to the White House. And then there's the parts where he passed all these hard law exams on his first try, he holds his office somewhere that would require people to pay $100 just to talk to him, their family's private lodge, etc.
I can't deny that this book DOES remind you to see people, listen to their stories, involve them in your life. And that is worth noting and keeping with you.
I want to love everybody, always, but this book wasn't doing it for me. There was way too much Bob to sift through to get those few sentences of value. Read at your own risk.
I’m not Christian, or religious at all, so as you can imagine, I don’t read a lot of books about Jesus. (Like almost only Love Does.) There’s a lot of Jesus in this book. And a lot of religious teachings. Yet even for someone like me, the messages are beautiful and resonant and I agree with all of them. I just don’t use the same words or imagery. And I didn’t feel wrong for being different. Whoever you are, you can feel the love coming through in this book. For you and for everybody, always.
And Bob Goff should win an Oscar or Pulitzer or whatever you get for storytelling. But that part of the award is for the life you had to live to have the stories to tell.
Top international reviews
seem achievable and makes me want to be a better person.