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This Is Awkward: How Life's Uncomfortable Moments Open the Door to Intimacy and Connection Paperback – March 1, 2016
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About the Author
Sammy Rhodes is a campus minister with Reformed University Fellowship at the University of South Carolina. Rhodes is frequently invited to speak at conferences and churches on topics including anxiety and depression, approval, the Internet, pop culture, humor, theology, and leadership. Rhodes also has a popular Internet presence, which has been highlighted in Huffington Post, Salon, Paste, and Christianity Today.
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I found the writing sincere and the general message powerful. There are several areas of his story I can identify with and they hit home hard. There is a lot of truth here.
There are a few references and jokes that don't land, but this added to the real awkwardness that would have been more egregious had they been removed in editing.
This is a book I needed to read at this point in my life and one I'm glad to have owned to mark up and be able to re-read later.
When I preordered This is Awkward I had no idea what the book would be about. That didn’t matter to me. Why? Well two reasons. First was I have really enjoyed Sammy Rhodes sense of humor on Twitter and with other social sites like Instagram and Periscope (which reminds me you never really go on vacation unless you share the experience with other people you don’t know by going live on Periscope). His sense of humor is one that matches this fellow introvert, but I’m actually older than him so it is more like he matches his humor up to me. Secondly as a believer in Christ and as a PCA Elder I’m drawn into other people’s life experiences. We all have a story to tell (our testimony - if you are a Christian reading this). Sammy Rhodes’ story is one that will be very captivating to the reader, but it is also a reminder that God uses us and our experiences in different ways and it is a reminder that we are broken. The question you must ask yourself if you feel or you realize that you are broken or you are not as you should be is this – Who am I?
The Bible has much to say about who we are. One of the more interesting passages to me comes at the end of the 6th Chapter in 1 Corinthians (that is One Corinthians if Donald Trump is reading this review). After Paul is telling the Corinthians all these things about fleeing sexual immorality and how they should treat their bodies he sums up with a reminder that John Calvin described as the verses of what the Christian Life is spent working out all the rest of our days. Paul says “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” Sammy Rhodes wonderful book This is Awkward is a terrific reminder to my heart that God is using us now to reflect the light of Christ into this world. I didn’t have the same experiences that Sammy Rhodes had with each chapter in his book , but what I can tell you is that each chapter is a help to me in gaining a better understanding and a better way to minister to people that have had similar struggles. Don’t get me wrong. To me this is not a self-help book. In other words don’t expect to get the answers in how to approach depression, divorce, or abuse. Instead you are going to get an understanding of someone who has gone through it and still goes through it. Yet he reminds us like Paul that we are not our own.
Last two things I will say about this book are this: I’m reminded of the vivid scene from Les Miserables where Jean Valjean is going through a struggle in his mind about coming forward to save an innocent man (it is in the book). What goes through his memory is when he was shown grace from the priest earlier in his life. And now he has a chance to share that grace with someone else (someone he doesn’t know). Sammy Rhodes doesn’t know me and chances are he doesn’t know you, but because of him humbling himself to the point to write This is Awkward he has shown grace in a similar way.
The other thing I will say is Sammy Rhodes’ humor will have your sides hurting. I live my life with laughter each and every day. In some ways it is an escape, but I was so glad to see somebody else say this and write it down – “Within the gift (laughing at ourselves) is another hidden gift; the realization that things aren’t as bad as they seem, and that they will not go on this way forever.” If you need to smile, if you want to smile more, if you are getting dragged down by negativity from the news or reading Facebook post, then you should take a pause in your life and pick up this book because you need to realize that laughter is a gift from God. Laughter can sometimes be the best medicine to get you through the day.
I "knew" Sammy before he published the book. I've followed him on Twitter for five-ish years now, and I watched everything go down with @prodigalsam, hoping that Sammy would come back better than ever afterwards. I was glad when he returned to Twitter and was even more glad to hear he was writing a book.
I thought I was buying the book for the humor. My friend and I had very loosely committed to reading it together, slowly as we both have busy careers, but when I started reading, I couldn't really stop. I'm a young high school English teacher, and there's usually enough going on in my life that I push personal reading time to the back burner, but I made it through This Is Awkward in a little over a week.
I loved it because it's real. Sammy covers topics that we need to hear about. He is honest about his own insecurities, which I think makes the book that much more enjoyable - because you know he's really presenting himself, it's not smoke and mirrors.
Sammy Rhodes, if you ever read this: your book was the ultimate example of "going second" (I think that was the term - I've already lent my copy to one of my students, so I can't be sure). You were real. You were genuine. You were transparent, and you made me feel like I am not alone in feeling imperfect. That imperfection is okay and is a feeling everyone encounters, even if they're unwilling to share it all the time. And above all else, God uses our imperfections to speak to other imperfect people. Your book was a source of both comfort and encouragement. Thank you for writing. Please keep it up; it makes a difference.
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In all honesty, this book is worth a 5-star review!Read more