Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Passion to Action by Jay and Beth Loecken

Jay and Beth Loecken were an ordinary family searching for meaning in their lives while living the American Dream. They owned their dream house, drove nice cars, and from the outside seemed to have all they needed. Yet something kept pulling at them—a stirring, a sense that they were being called to a greater purpose in life. They couldn’t escape the feeling that there was more to life than the relentless pursuit of material possessions.

In Passion to Action: How God Uses Ordinary People in Extraordinary Ways, the Loeckens share the remarkable story of how they rediscovered another dream and how it turned their life upside down and fulfilled them more than they ever thought possible. It will inspire readers to discover their own passions and put them into action.

In the summer of 2007, the Loeckens headed to Africa on a mission trip with three of their four children. That trip changed their lives. When they returned home to their comfortable lifestyle, they all knew they wanted something more. In April of 2008, the family made the daring decision to sell their home, purchase an RV, and begin traveling the country serving communities in need: crushing cans for a senior center in McCall, Idaho, cleaning used books for a program in Portland, Oregon, and serving meals at the Rescue Mission in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Being in Africa gave us a true and new understanding of what it means to have a sense of community. The people we met and mingled with for those two weeks really rely on one another. They work together and share everything and don’t just think about themselves. They instinctively put others first,” says Jay. Upon returning home, the family realized that they had abandoned their dreams, so they made a u-turn, deciding to recreate what they had found on the other side of the world: purpose, joy, simplicity, and service.

The Loeckens knew they were not just called to live their dream, but to encourage others to do the same through their Passion to Action ministry. Their mission is to inspire others, empower them with tools and resources, and mobilize them to put their faith into action. While reading their story, including excerpts from their children (Ben, Bekah, Abigail, and Noah), readers will witness remarkable courage and see how far God can lead us to places we never imagined. Their book includes ten challenges for readers to complete on their own, such as identifying their passion, conquering fears, and helping someone who is different than them.

Passion to Action is more than just a story about the Loecken family; it is a movement that encourages action in discovering one’s life passion and beginning to live it. According to Beth, “There is a God-given dream in each of us. That dream looks different for every person, but it is definitely there. For some, perhaps the dream is to write a novel, compete in a marathon, or work with disadvantaged kids. Deep down, we all have a dream. But sadly, most people will never act on it.”

My review:
This book should come with a warning: if you want to sit in your pew and be unmoved to do anything, then don't read this book. That said......

I loved this book. This may make me sound shallow, but I don't read as many non-fiction books as I should, nor do I enjoy them as much as I should. This book was the exception.

The authors don't make themselves out to be super Christians, but just people wanting to do God's will. They tell about the mission trip they went on, and how that opened their eyes to the fact that they needed to do more. Jay and Beth are bluntly honest, telling the bad with the good, the ups and downs, their doubts, struggles, victories, and problems.

I usually say this about a suspense novel, but I could not put this book down once I started it. It is entertaining, interesting, gripping, and really moved me. I felt inspired and guilty by what this family has done and is doing. I found myself wanting to jump on their RV with them and help out where I could.

In addition to telling their story, they have several challenged throughout the book - questions for thought and to move the reader to do something.

As I stated, this book should come with a warning. It makes you realize how little you are doing, and that you need to do more. I highly recommend this book and cannot say enough good about it.

About the authors:

Jay Loecken, Age 44

Jay has a fun, vivacious personality. He is outgoing and has a great sense of humor. He loves adventure, sports and all outdoor activities. He enjoys dabbling in photography and secretly wishes he was talented enough to be a graphic designer. Jay is responsible for the website, speaking, and all RV details and maintenance. He is also a singer/worship leader & enjoys singing along with his son Ben’s guitar playing.

Beth Loecken, Age: 41

Beth is adventurous and loves all outdoor activities and sports. If the task entails adventure or danger she is all over it. She loves to cook and eat healthy food. She is an excellent cake decorator.  She is also an organizational freak. It’s a good thing she’s organized since we live in a 40 ft. RV. Everything has its place and no bin is without a label. She doesn’t talk about it, but she has done her share of modeling as well.

Check out their website at
Their book, Passion to Action, is available from Guideposts Books.

Thanks to B&BMedia for the review copy.


Kim M. said...

I love books that challenge me spiritually so this sounds like something I might need to read.