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Hokey Pokey by Matthew Paul Turner

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The Advocate

Hokey Pokey
by Matthew Paul Turner

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"Matthew Paul Turner is one of Christianity's refreshing voices."

Within the first few pages of Hokey Pokey, you can tell Matthew Paul Turner loves to share stories--both from his life’s journey as well as from the others who have stepped onto his path.

In his newest book, the author’s poignant, personal stories are blended with short interviews and Scripture in this perspective on being curious about life while living it. Many of the pages in my review copy are earmarked to read and reflect upon again and again. Here is one of my favorite quotes:

“It’s really no wonder so many of us are investing our time and effort into ‘making it.’ Instead of living the stories that God designed us for, we settle for the generic one—the ones advertised on TV, the internet and in the education systems. We buy into the ‘generic’ stories but end up realizing — often, when we hit middle age — that the life we’re living isn’t the one that was advertised. We don’t realize where exactly things went wrong; we just assume that the truth was somewhere in the fine print. And we didn’t read it.”

Hokey Pokey is not a formula-based manual, so don’t expect instant results. Although there isn’t a direct reference to John 10:10, I believe “the abundant life” is the biblical backbone to his thoughts. His chapters include such hits like “Waiting on God is a contact sport,” “It’s not about you,” and “Everybody needs a Yoda.” The “Curious People” sidebars are heart-to-heart conversations with people who are finding out what life is all about. Matthew gets downright personal with the reader in the section entitled “My Questions for You.” Be assured they aren’t token questions either! Here’s a sample:

“What is your current method of dealing with disappointing circumstances?”

“Do you truly believe that God desires you to live freely?

The inclusion of “Hokey Moments” throughout the book provides the reader an opportunity to pause and dig deeper if so desired.

One of my only disappointments was that some of his personal stories were never finished. For curious people, it was hard not to know the ending. (Maybe those will be included in his next book.)

Matthew Paul Turner is one of Christianity’s refreshing voices. He is the first to admit he has not arrived, nor is he the all-knowing expert. He’s a somebody, like most of us!

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.