Free Stuff, Take 3

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I’ll go ahead and admit it. I am a huge Don Miller fan. I love EVERYTHING I’ve read that he has written. And I love EVERYTHING I’ve heard him say. His words simply resonate.

I read Blue Like Jazz when I was in my late twenties and pretty skeptical of the religious rigamarole. Don’s candor and sense of humor made me want to reexamine my religion, and more importantly my faith. A few years later I devoured A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Again, Don challenged my thinking and encouraged me to explore what it means to live a great story.

Always warm and engaging, Don feels like a kindred spirit, walking just a few steps ahead, talking me through the path he has taken, and subtly warning me of its pitfalls.

That is why I can’t wait to read the rerelease of Searching for God Knows What. (I know, I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet, either.)

I’m also jazzed because my buddy, and Thomas Nelson editor extraordinaire, Bryan Norman crafted this amazing game that I can play (and potentially win prizes) while I read. So for the next several weeks I’m going to read, play-along, and possibly blog about the journey.

Would you like to join me? Details about the game are below.

Twelve games played over eight weeks are built into the book Searching for God Knows What. Each game requires you to sleuth, decode, think, and find…well…God knows what. Be one of the first to decipher the clue and claim your reward: Incredible prizes exclusively for those who play the game. Plus, you’ll find new opportunities to connect with Don directly, meet other fans, and earn points with every action you take. It’s fun, easy, and addicting. So take just two minutes, and let’s start searching!

Starting the week of July 19, 2010—for eight weeks—you will receive clues.* Each clue will lead you to a game hidden in Searching for God Knows What. To play the game, here’s what you need to do:

Step One: Go to www.DonaldMillerFan.com and sign up for an account or use your Facebook account to sign in.
Step Two: Take actions, create groups, and get new clues each week.
Step Three: Decode the correct answers and enter them at www.SearchingForGodKnowsWhat.com to solve the puzzles and be eligible for prizes.
Step Four: Win!

*If you’re joining the game late, no worries. All clues will be available at SearchingForGodKnowsWhat.com until the end of time so you can play whenever you want.

I’m also very excited to be giving away 20 copies of Searching for God Knows What.

If you’d like to win a copy, leave a comment below sharing a few words about an author that has impacted your life.

Winners will be selected on Monday at 12 PM.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Update: Winners Selected and Notified on July 19th. Thanks everyone for your comments. I loved hearing what authors have impacted you.

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Would it be cheating if I said Don Miller? In college we had to write about a writer who impacted our lives. I picked *drum roll please* the esteemed Don Miller. Why? Because "Blue Like Jazz" changed my life. I've lent my copy out numerous times and have even purchased the book on occasions for different people. I haven't read "Searching for God Knows What", but it's on my reading list.

  • Adam Bouse

    Anne Lamott is a writer who impacted my thinking (and writing) much in the same was Donald MIller has for myself and others. Reading "Traveling Mercies" and "Bird by Bird" showed me that faith wasn't just a segment of life, that it didn't have to be pretty, and that it was okay to not have everything figured out. The honesty and opportunity to struggle with her was so much appreciated. It freed me to live my life as I try to know and be known by God.

  • xenoabe

    C.S. Lewis is an author that immediately comes to mind. Not only did he write fantastic fiction but he wrote some of the most though-provoking books about Christianity as well. He uses words like no one I've ever heard before and he makes me think about aspects of life in a whole new life. I usually try to read quotes from his books at least a few times a week in order to remind myself of some of his insights.

  • i read blue like jazz….and felt like don was my friend telling me good stories over steaming hot chocolate & lots of whipped cream. i especially loved how he described faith….as penguin sex. i want more penguin sex in my life. 😛 hahah.

  • Dane

    I am a huge fan of Donald Miller, he's captivating and real. I also really love Mitch Albom and his ability to share a story that entwines the reader through imagery, detail and beautiful composition.

  • I read my first Clive Staples Lewis at 17 & haven't been the same since! Got my hands on everything written by him I could. His mix of humor, profundity & clarity make him still o so accessible even today. Love him.

  • Ryan Smith

    Don has helped push me back to the church after walking away. His chapter in Blue Like Jazz "Church: How I Go without Getting Angry" was one of those that kicked me in the rear.

    I would love a copy on this republish after reading it the first time, and this game sounds like it'd be a ton of fun.

    After playing the game it'd also be nice to have an extra copy of (probably my favorite Miller title) Searching to loan out to friends.

    I can't count the number of times I've repurchased Through Painted Deserts after a friend lost it, or just decided to keep it.

    …And that's why I think I should win a copy of Donald Miller's (recently republished) Searching for God Knows What.

  • Adam McEntyre

    Donald Miller's "A Million Miles In A Thousand Years" was the book that did it for me. I realized that my life was an open book, and I was doing nothing to fill in the pages. It challenged me to live earnestly for God, and that life can be fun.

  • just4fun

    I'm a huge fan of JD Salinger. His writing has impacted me by giving me a new apparition for reading and writing when I had little or no interest.

  • Kathy

    Love Don Miller, and would like to highly recommend the 7 DVD’s in the “Convergence” series he just completed. We are using this resource this Fall at our church.

    http://www.allthingsconverge.com/

  • C.S. Lewis has challenged my religious approach over and over. My favorite by the man is "The Great Divorce" which truly, was such a post-modern approach to Christianity that it must have scared a few people. You can tell though that not only did he love God, but he loved people and had such a talent for telling stories, too!!

    My recent post Life of the Believer Part Six- Blossom

  • Corrie ten Boom challenged my ideas of joy and thanksgiving in her book The Hiding Place. It changed my way of thinking!
    My recent post Pair-ee!

  • Jacob

    Brian McLaren's A New Kind of Christian came at just the right time in my life. It helped me deal with a number of questions and doubts.

  • Jessica Neuharth

    I love reading, and therefore, have read the works of many authors. But one that has impacted me the most is C.S. Lewis. His book “The Problem of Pain” really helped me view the pain in my life with a new understanding of its purpose and I was encouraged to just trust God more. This was HUGE for me because I was on the verge of giving up on God and my faith.

  • Kayla Harvey

    Donald Miller is a fantastic author. The first book I ever read by him was "To Own a Dragon" or "Father Fiction" as the title is now. As someone who grew up without a dad, I really related to Donald Miller's story and so did my younger brother. Blue Like Jazz was another title that changed the way I viewed my faith. I think this goes for everyone when I say that "A Million Miles" challenged the way I want to live my life and how I currently live my life. Miller is an incredible author with the ability to relate to his readers.

  • Elle

    CS Lewis & JRR Tolkien have had significant influence in my life. Much like what Don shared in A Million Miles, these guys have inspired me to think, live, and believe better stories. Their fusion of theology and wonder has inspired me and taught me how to have a bigger and grander view of God that is rich with beauty and imagination. Their stories echo a Greater Story.

  • Justin Brostek

    There have been many authors who have changed my life, but there are a few that really stand far above the others. Rob Bell's 'Drops Like Stars' was an exceptional read, and really challenged me. Steven Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower was also very interesting, and really touched my heart. Last but certainly not least was Donald Miller, whom connects to me in such a deep manner. Blue Like Jazz was by all means my favorite read of 2009, and changed my perspective on the world around me. A Million Miles was also fantastic, and has continued to challenge me to live a better story. Thank you so much to each of these authors.

  • Warren Robinson

    Absolutely loved Blue like Jazz for the sincerity and honesty in questioning God, and waiting for his answers.

  • I'm entering the contest! One author (besides Don Miller, of course) who has impacted me is Tom Davis, of Children's HopeChest Ministry. He has written several books on the subjects of orphan care & sex trafficking. The very first book of his that I read, Red Letters, impacted my husband & I so much that we now sponsor a child through HopeChest, and I recently became a sponsorship coordinator for one of the carepoints in Swaziland. And the icing on the missions cake is that we are traveling to Swaziland in September & will get to meet all the kids! I highly recommend Red Letters – it changed how we impact our world.
    My recent post What’s your Lasting Legacy

  • Michael

    Donald Miller has had a big impact on my life recently. I finished “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” not long ago. It really met me in where I’m at in my life. The book is about living life as a story. The part that knocked me on my butt was he told the story of hiking the Inca trail in Peru. Taking the long journey makes the destination so much sweeter when you arrive. I can apply that to so many areas of my life.

  • Nicholas Kristof has been an inspiration to me both as a writer and as a person who strives to aid people in dire circumstances. He's shown me the power a story can have at bringing to life a situation or issue that was previously not paid attention to. In his stories, kristof also points out people who have taken risks to create organizations or do other things that help make life better for so many, whether it be fighting human trafficking in Cambodia and India or curbing Malaria in Mozambique.

    I want to be a writer who can do that as well–improve others' stories of life by telling their stories to the world.

  • Kaitlyn Hagan

    I have read most of Donald Miller’s books and have loved each one. Searching for God Knows What challenged me in so many ways that I read it three times and loaned it to pretty much any one that would read it. The last person I loaned it to was a friend from high school that still has it and Ill probably never see her again, but if you are gonna lose a book to someone at least lose an impactful one!

    • jalynn

      I would say an authour that comes to mind is francine rivers, I love how she can take a fictional story and weave in the truths and values of the bible. She inspires me. This is a neat blog thanks for doing this.

  • Aside from Don’s writing, so many authors have impacted my life. Hemingway’s descriptive language, Keruoac’s dream like prose, Don’s frank and relational language. The list goes on.
    Coincidently this is probably the only book of don miller I haven’t read, much to the disappointment of friends.

  • Hi Lindsey –
    I have loved the writings of C.S. Lewis forever. He had a way with words, needless to say!
    This is a heresy to admit this, but – I have not read a Don Miller title as yet! Hoping this will be my first!
    Blessings –
    Andrea

  • Nadiyka

    My name is Nadiyka, I am a writer and a journalist from Ukraine (it’s in Eastern Europe, post-Soviet territory), and I’m in love with Don Miller’s writing. Maybe, not as much with the writing itself, but with the message of it. It makes me feel “normal” somehow. Before reading his books I thought I was some kind of Christian heretic).

    I love the way he thinks, and feels, and shares his faith even though I am not a fan of American modern literature (it can be becauseit lacks depth and something else, I am not sure. Please, not be offended by this. I know, it’s just a subjective judgment, but… Well, never mind.) As I’ve already said, I love Don’s writing. My friend in Ukraine gave me the copy of Blue Like Jazz last spring, and not long ago my boss brought me Through Painted Deserts from the United States, because there’s no possibility to buy American books in Ukraine. But I love the books so much! And I want them to be translated into Ukrainian, because my husband and a lot of my friends do not read in English.
    Thank you America for producing such and author))).

  • Klo

    I’m currently reading a prerelease copy of “The Power of a Whisper” by Bill Hybels. It’s really challenging me right now to be more intentional about setting aside quiet time to hear from God.

  • CS Lewis, naturally. The end of The Screwtape Letters made me realize truly how glorious it will be to enter Heaven having fought the good fight.

  • I’ve read three of Don’s books, having just finished “A Million Miles in A Thousand Years”. Don’s work always challenges me, not just to do the cliche thing and “try to be a better person”, but to dig deeper and to look at the root of my beliefs and behaviors.
    I’m always touched by his humor and openness.

  • Glenn Hutcheson

    John Eldridge’s book, “Wild At Heart” was the piece that taught me to chase after life, not just live through it. Since the novel’s ink washed away from my fingers, I have been fueling my sense of adventure and compassion through every avenue of experience. This book made me reevaluate my perspective on being both a man in society and warrior or all nations.

  • I'd say C.S Lewis. I have actually only read his fantasy based stories such as the Cosmic Trilogy and Cronicles of Narnia but through those stories a lot of truth is told. I dig it! And I dig Donald Miller too. Blue Like Jazz was awesome. Wild at Heart by John Eldredge was also very good and spoke me in many ways.

  • I know it may seem trite but Jane Austen has the potential to reach my heart and soul in her writing. When I read about her or her work, I noticed a young lady who went against the grain, who wrote about current day affairs, about love, about getting the hearts desire and in later works you can see where her mind was advancing and thinking about the downfalls of marriage and how multiple pregnancies effected the young ladies of the time.

    When I re-read any of her books, I always find a different meaning or something I may have missed before, because each time my focus has changed.

  • It’s funny, although I’m not 100% on board with all of his theological views, I have been highly impacted by several of the writings of Dr. Gregory Boyd…especially “Letters from a Skeptic” and “Myth of a Christian Nation.” The latter has totally transformed my outlook on the Kingdom of God vs. the Kingdom of this world.

  • Rob Bell has really impacted my life.. I was dealing with some pretty heavy stuff when I read his Drops Like Stars and it really made me view it from a completely different perspective. He writes in a way that makes you think that he could be speaking directly to you. It's insightful, entertaining and challenging. I know that what I read in Drops Like Stars helped me move on from a really difficult situation and get to where I am now

  • Travis

    While the majority of AJ Jacobs’ work is not theologically based, his book, The Year of Living Biblically, severely impacted the way I viewed my own relationship with God and how I needed to delve more into the Hebrew Bible to reconnect with the roots of Christianity. While Jacobs doesn’t end the book being a bonafide God follower, he comes at his project completely skeptical and comes out questioning himself more and more. The honesty purveyed in bis project can shake the foundations of any Christian.

  • Kendrick

    It may sound cheesy but Douglas Adams and his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series had a huge impact on my life. His unique style of humor opened my mind to thinking outside the box.

  • Donald Miller, his words have help through many crisis of faith and challenged me to be a better person

  • Teri

    Donald Miller is a writer who has impacted my life. Since his books have fallen into my hands over the past year and a half, (especially A Million Miles in A Thousand Years) I have been putting more thought and effort into the details of my day to day life and the relationships with people in my life.

    C.S. Lewis' books have entertained and challenged me over the years.

  • Lauren

    I just started reading Blue Like Jazz this Summer. I was encouraged to find out that I'm not the only one that asks those same questions. I was also challenged to change. Not done with the book but it is amazing so far. I even got my mom reading it. 🙂

  • DanielB

    Michael Lewis has impacted how I think. In Moneyball he taught me to question everything, even the premise of his own book. And in the B

    Blind Side he reminded me that compassion always has it’s rewards. And he did all this through engaging stories from the sportsworld, and he he is not even a sports writer.

  • Katie

    I read a book in my freshman year of college that changed my life. The book was called the Mystery of the Aleph, the author was a man named Amir D. Aczel. He delved into this mathematical and mystical concept of infinity with a grace an aggression that was compelling to me at a moment in my life when all I wanted was to rationalize and contain everything in the scope of my own mind.
    I was as far from God as I’ve ever been, consumed by the power and scope of my own mind. I didn’t pick up this book expecting to see the God I grew up with. I mean, seriously. The author was a mathematician and physicist who was talking about advanced mathematical theory and its connections to a particular branch of Jewish mysticism popularized recently by Madonna.(I was in the process of convincing myself to be a math major at that moment. Bad call, really.) I wanted to own the knowledge of this concept of the infinite- aleph is a hebrew letter used to indicate infinities in math stuff. I say math stuff, because what I read was way out of my grasp. I understood the narrative and some of the abstract concepts, but the whole math thing flew over my head.
    But what didn’t fly away was the infinities. I couldn’t breathe with the weight of the infinite when I realized that the only reason I was slightly grasping infinity was because of the paths God had laid in my soul. I was standing with a book full of concepts that I had arrogantly considered within my reach and finding myself humbled by how unmatched I was to the concept of infinity. And how God was able to plant truth- HIS truth in literally anything.
    Ecclesiastes 3 says that God “has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what he has done from beginning to end.”
    Colossians 3:11 says that God is all and is in all.
    God is infinite, he has placed a taste of it in our hearts. He has shown us a piece of himself in everything and has revealed himself overwhelmingly in our midst. And he is in every. single. thing.

  • Nathaniel Philbrick's approach to non-fiction writing has made me rethink historical storytelling.

  • Corrie Ten Boom. The Hiding Place is probably my all-time favorite. I try to read it every year or so. Great stuff!

  • Rudy

    CS Lewis. mere christianity meant a lot to me, but it was his inventive fiction that really gets me. the screwtape letters, the space trilogy, the great divorce…great stories with deep meaning. if i win a copy, please e-mail me to get my address. philosophoclese@yahoo.ca

  • Right now i'm reading a book by Jason Boyett, O Me of little faith. He talks frankly about his lack of faith. This is something that we all continually struggle with. But in his showing how he struggled and what he has done to overcome these lacks in faith has helped me tremendously. Blue Like Jazz is on my list to read as well, I actually have it, but I let my dad barrow it and he won't give it back! Can't wait to read Searching for God Knows What!

  • Annie

    Paulo Coelho has made a huge impact on my life… even beyond the now cliche coming of age book, The Alchemist. The book that has the largest influence on my life is By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept. The gripping characters, theological elements and resounding spirituality all contribute to an incredible story that has the potential to influence anyone's life. However, there's a moment in the book that has stuck with me. At a time when the two main characters are plagued by fear— both real and created— they sit down for dinner. One eggs on the other– break the glass, break the glass. The other is terrified of breaking the glass; social customs tell us it's wrong, right? Yet whenever we break the glass, people immediately tell us it's no big deal. We have this created fear that limits us. How do we need to "break the glass" in our own lives? Now that's a powerful question.

  • So I headed over here after Mr Miller tweeted about this. 🙂

    I would LOVE to win this considering I used to own both Searching for God Knows What AND Blue Like Jazz, but both seem to have disappeared… I know I loaned them to someone, perhaps two different someones, but I can't seem to remember who, and no one has come forward. Sad.

    Anyway, Donald Miller is definitely an author has impacted my life, and he did so by impacting my faith. His books were the first I'd read in any kind of spirituality or Christian genre, and he opened my eyes to a new way of looking at my faith and all issues related, instead of just repeating a lot of ridiculousness that I had heard since I was a child in the church. I think he's really able to get people to open their minds and think about things in a different light, but he does so in a down-to-earth way, that's easy to understand and follow and relate to, and not at all condescending.

    I might mention – though I feel kind of silly, that J. K. Rowling has also impacted my life. The Harry Potter series is basically a staple of my generation, since the first book came out when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I know those books got a lot of my friends to read who hadn't really liked to before, and the series just made this wave of appreciation and imagination and creativity. It even created this sort of community with all of us "Harry Potter nerds."

    Rowling, and Miller, and theirs works, are some of many that also have me thinking that I want to go into publishing, so… there's that too, ha.

  • Love DM! This is one, however, that I don't own, nor have read.

    For me, CS Lewis has probably impacted me more than anyone. I was never a big reader growing up, but have since grabbed onto anything he's written like crazy. Currently reading "The Screwtape Letters"….unbelievable, man.

    Good luck everyone!
    My recent post International Justice Day

  • Finished Blue Like Jazz last night. Easy read that makes you think. I am looking forward to reading more of his books.

  • Christina

    Beverly Cleary's Ramona series captivated my heart when I was younger. Her tales of the adventures of Ramona and her family led me to become the voracious reader that I am today.