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The Life of an Average Joe

Troy Meeder's book Average Joe is a real hard look at the lives of everyday men, or average joes as he likes to phrase it. The book is chalk full of stories about how men make it their best to succed in life, to become godly men through trials and temptations. Early on in the book he writes that every man has a time in their life when they make the change from boyhood to manhood. For some, it is marriage and kids, for others its the military or graduation (9). I can still remember the time when I graduated college and was going to get married the nexth month, that was a huge change for me. Troy indicates that this type of change is necessary for the role of a man to be complete, for his leadership to take root.

His chapter on the hole is a chapter that was very important to the tenor of the whole books. We try so hard as individuals to fill our lives with work, recreation, relationships to fill some strong need for fulfillment and yet these things let us down. Meeder points out that God uses men when they realize their brokenness and call out to him for help. Sometimes this point of brokenness comes after a long time of being humbled, yet it is this place where the healing begins (19-21). I enjoyed this section because I think as we begin to realize that our strivings for fulfillment fall short we realize that we were made for something greater, to love God and our families with a holy love that can only come from our Savior. This kind of recognition is earth-shattering for men, especially those addicted to success in the workplace.

Lastly, Troy Meeder reminds readers that the first step in being an average joe is to get close to the rock, that is Jesus Christ (146). Nothing else will be complete if we do not find our peace, our hope, our satisfaction in knowing Christ and making him known. I like that Troy points us to not only Christ but the Word of God in which we meet Jesus. Too often we try to do spirituality on our own, without the right guide. Troy points us to the Savior and God's Word as the right roadmap to take on a life of both joy and suffering.

Overall, I thought this book was a practical, easy to read guide for the average joes of the world to think about their place in God's world. Although I didn't quite connect to the many stories about hunting and outdoors as others, I still found the book to be of benefit in thinking about God's calling on men's lives.

Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for the review copy of this book.


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