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Stumbling Souls: Is Love Enough? by Chris Plekenpol

Amazon link for the book:

B&B Media blog post on the book:

CB link for the book:

Stumbling Souls website:

I Am Second

Biblica  published 2010, 242 pages,
The B&B Media Group

This is the true and powerful story of the authors testimony of love in action. The author Chris Plekenpol a student at Dallas Theological Seminary and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, met a man named James.
This book came from his experience in helping this man--a gay, drug addicted, HIV positive, homeless man in Dallas, Texas.
Chris invites James to attend a mens Bible study--bringing him to the meetings. He also fed him and helped him out with giving him money. He eventually brings him home to stay in his apartment. 
Chris as well as all of the men in the Bible study group pray over James, and work to try and straighten out his life, and put him on the road to a "Jesus" recovery.

The book is written with honesty and directness.
It resembles a journal type book, yet it is not constrained by precise dates and times.
The author has a relaxed and candid writing style.
Chris expresses his anxieties and prejudices in helping James. The honesty of his feelings made him very real in my mind--very relatable.
I enjoyed this book immensely, it is a different kind of book--a rarity to read a book of a persons struggles with those people we are not comfortable with. We all have a comfort zone, we only stray so far then our zone fence raises. We all see those people on the side of the road asking for money, or those walking down the street with all their belongings in a small bag. Rarely will we actually stop and take the time to bring this person food, instead a few of us roll the window down and hand them spare change we have. I've watched the actions of people sitting in their cars when they are approached by the homeless asking for money---usually they turn their head away. But, I've never heard of someone taking in to their home a homeless person. As a woman I would not do this, I would not feel safe. I can understand Chris a single guy that has life experience--combat experience, he would be better able to do this.
This book is thought provoking and has made me view the homeless in a different manner. It is always different when you have a name and a life story, instead of just a face--or a profile.
This book has encouraged me to live the love I profess in Christ and in others "in action"--not just with family (I feel I do this), but with "the least of these." see Matthew 25:45
This book was written to be a motivation for Christians to step up to the forefront in loving others--not just saying that you love them--but loving them in action.

My favorite quote:
"If we're going to be Jesus to our culture, it's going to cost us. We must die to ourselves and give our lives away in order to see that transformation in others." page 223 

Blissful Reading!


Mark said…
sounds like a great book - I almost reviewed it, and wish now I had. :-)
Doug said…
Sounds like a very interesting book. I will have to put it on my list of summer possibilities. It is "amazing" what God can overcome and who he uses to do it.