01
Jun
15

Book Review: A Trip Around the Sun: Turning Your Everyday Life Into the Adventure of a Lifetime

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When I first heard of this book, it sounded really interesting. I thought it might help me to take the habits I have formed in my life, good but predictable and sometimes banal, and spice things up a bit, especially in regards to parenting and having fun with my 3 daughters. It proved to be an interesting read, although I had disagreements with some things that were written as well as finishing with an overall disappointed result.

The authors are in a mentor/mentee relationship that has spanned 20 years up to this point. Mark Batterson is a 40-something church planter in Washington, DC; and Richard Foth has pastored, been a college president, and now serves United States government officials in Washington, DC, over the course of the 70+ trips around the sun he has completed. Their relationship is mutually edifying and obviously a deep friendship with much admiration on both parts. I felt that they spent a lot of time slapping each other on the back for how great they are, in ministry, family life, and adventuring.

Each chapter is formatted in 2 parts: Dick’s Story and Mark’s Story. They share many personal accounts of parenting, marriage, ministry, and divine encounters with strangers. Their love for the Lord is obvious and sincere, and it is encouraging to see how faithful God has been in their lives. They are genuinely investing in their children and grandchildren’s lives, and this book is told as a memoir of sorts, from their early Christian ministry days to the points of maturity they have reached thus far.

The writing style is easy to read and very conversational—I felt that I could have been listening to them talk rather than reading a book. It is also fairly full of clichés and their own catch phrases, which often made it feel like reading a pep rally rather than a book that might teach me something. Richard Foth has lived a very interesting, rich life, which I admire, but I tired of reading of all the influential people he has met who call him good friend—the boasting often distracted from the point he was trying to make.

Both Richard Foth and Mark Batterson have had many adventures in their combined trips around the sun. From scaling the Grand Canyon to training to swim the San Francisco Bay, they have some great stories to tell. They share Jesus and what He has done in and for each of them and their families. My summary of this book is that it is an autobiography of their adventures in God’s world, and I walked away enjoying the story of their lives but thinking they missed the mark on guiding me to live my life full of adventure as well.

I was provided a copy of this book from the publishers for reviewing purposes.

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