Building Materials for Life

Book Reviews

building materialsFuller, Millard. Building Materials for Life. Macon, Georgia: Smyth and Helwys Publishing, Inc., 2002.

Millard Fuller is the founder, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. As a younger man, he became very wealthy running his own business. He and his wife Linda then decided that it was important to rededicate their lives and family to God. They followed Jesus' radical advice to the rich young ruler, sold their possessions and gave to the poor. They joined Clarence Jordan at Koinonia Farms (near Americus, Georgia), they spent time in Africa on missions, and returned to Americus to found Habitat for Humanity. Fuller has received much recognition for his work with Habitat for Humanity and its worthy goal of working to eliminate poverty housing around the world. He has even been awarded several honorary doctorates from colleges and universities celebrating his efforts.

Building Materials for Life is a collection of 40 essays written by Fuller. Most of these writings are filled with memories, wisdom, anecdotes and advice from the author. They range in subject from spirituality to personal health to humor and common sense. All of the essays are based on many years of experience in the business of helping people, living out faith, or learning difficult lessons. On several occasions, Fuller calls on memories and lessons he learned from Clarence Jordan, founder of Koinonia Farms. Jordan's wit, wisdom, and own radical lifestyle of living out the Sermon on the Mount have deeply impacted Fuller. He passes on to the reader what he learned himself.

This book would serve quite well as a companion to just about anyone's daily devotional time. The lessons that Fuller is passing along are meant to be wrestled with or at least considered at length. He provokes thought in his audience and dares them not only toward introspection but action as well. These 40 essays would be very useful for devotional study and the book's format lends itself toward just that. To read straight through this brief text (145 pages), might not be the right way to relate to this work. It is better advised to read Building Materials for Life one essay at a time with the reader taking as much time between readings as he or she might need. Fuller’s work, coupled with daily Bible reading, prayer and meditation, may prove helpful to anyone hoping for success in "life's building project."

Profits and royalties from the sale of Building Materials for Life will be used to purchase supplies for Habitat for Humanity houses. You can purchase your own copy from the Smyth and Helwys web site.

- Chip Reeves
December 1, 2002

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