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Start with Me

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The Advocate

Start with Me
by Michael Seaton with John Blase

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"Start with Me is well-crafted, contemporary and relevant. It is emotionally charged, yet beautiful . . . challenging but overwhelming with practical application."

In Start with Me, a fictional group of friends are walking through life as normal, safe, American Christians. Each of them has begun to wonder independently, 'Isn't there more?' As they begin to emerge from their carefully constructed comfort zones, transformation is not far behind.

Set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the cast of characters are as diverse as any “best-selling” novel. They include a freelance writer, a college professor, a homeless man, a senior pastor, a road-weary prostitute, a young Army widow with two boys and first time soup kitchen volunteers. How they interconnect within this city and community is believable and draws the reader into their lives.

As each of their stories within the greater story unfolds, the reader experiences what stepping out in faith looks like as each learns to 'love their neighbors' in this hurting world.
This book is for those of us who sit in the pews, soak up sermon after sermon and then step back into our own reality with our own problems, oblivious to others while at the same time questioning what we’re missing in life! Our practical help, healing touch, prayers are not exclusively our own keepsakes.

One of my favorite convicting lines from this modern parable is “I believe that’s what Jesus wants us to do. Leave hints or traces or whiffs of grace and mercy and forgiveness, words that mean something, in the lives of those both near and far.”
The storytelling and “preaching,” for the most part, are balanced well. Sometimes the “sermon” is subtle. At other times, the sermon jumps off the page with “in your face” facts and commentary.

Start with Me is well-crafted, contemporary and relevant. It is emotionally charged, yet beautiful . . . challenging but overwhelming with practical application. It is an exhortation to all who name the name of Christ to wake up, open our eyes to the needs around us and to love them as we’re loved by Jesus.

Start with Me is part of “Start Becoming a Good Samaritan,” a nationwide church and small group DVD experience that features an impressive list of national and international supporters.

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.