Nichols, Michael Edward author, Short Life: Living for What Matters During Our Few Days on Earth, Morgan James Publishing 2021. amazon.com $16.99
Biographical Sketch of Author
Short Life was written by Dr. Michael Edward Nichols. Dr. Nichols has sixty plus years of life experience, twenty- five of those years as the professor of missions at Lincoln Christian University, five years as a youth minister. ten years as a missionary in DR Congo, and he is currently the teaching pastor of the Christian Church in Mason City, IL. Dr. Nichols is also the husband of one wife, father of three children, and grandfather of three. I affectionately call him Uncle Mike. No he did not pay me to write this and I was not expected to review this work, let alone give him a good review.
Summary of Contents
The point of Short Life is life is short. That is it. Life is short therefore there is not point in living it for lesser things. It is the message of the preacher in the book of Ecclesiastes, ” The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12: 13- 14, ESV). Yet, Dr. Nichols tells this truth in a new and fresh way. He spends forty chapters explaining life is too short not to live it for God. Each chapter is supposed to be taken as a daily devotional to aid the reader in this brief dash of time we are supposed to use for the Lord. Here is the chapter list:
- The Dash Life 2. The Alert Life. 3. The Brief Life. 4. The Beloved Life. 5. The Confessing Life. 6. The Forgiving Life. 7. The Compassionate Life. 8. The Learning Life. 9. The Truthful Life. 10. The Courageous Life. 11. The Peaceful Life. 12 The Healing Life. 13. The Contented Life. 14. The Suffering Life. 15. The Joyful Life. 16. The Grateful Life. 17. The Nourished Life. 18. The Praying Life. 19. The Grown-up Life. 20. The Present Life. 21. The Regretless life. 22. The Married Life. 23. The Single Life. 24. The Parenting Life. 25. The Other Focused Life. 26. The Dibs Life. 27. The Intergenerational Life. 28 The Unprejudiced Life. 29. The Advocating Life. 30. The Encouraging- Word Life. 31. The Mentoring Life. 32. The Accountable Life. 33. The Witnessing Life. 34. The Called Life. 35. The Warfare Life. 36. The Worshipping Life. 37. The Sabbath Life. 38. The Pilgrim Life. 39. The Plodding Life. 4o. The Faithful Life.
Almost every chapter made me want to cry, hold my wife and kids, die like a soldier for Jesus, and leave a legacy my children, and mostly God, will be proud of. There were a lot of things I never realized my Uncle dealt with on a daily basis that I really empathized with. I never dealt with sexual abuse as a child, but I know what it is like to struggle with pornography and need accountability partners in your life. This book reinforced that for me. I need to be real with my struggles, ask God for guidance and forgiveness from them, and use the God ordained means of Christian men in my local church to hold me accountable. I do have accountability partners that help me stay faithful to my spouse, and I have a very loving wife that is there for me every step of the way.
This book also brings up a lot of family history I knew little about. Apparently my grandfather was a very emotionally abusive man to my father and his brothers. I knew him as a champion of the faith who wanted to get the Bible into the hands of ordinary people and read on a daily basis. That is what I have based my ministry on. I knew he got angry, and extremely critical of family, including me, sometimes, but I also knew that late in his life that he repented of that asked me for forgiveness, and invested in my ministry, marriage, and children. I can only imagine what my uncle went through as a child and I am sorry that he had to carry it the rest of his life. I did appreciate the stories in the book where my grandfather did give my uncle recognition for his accomplishments, and the story where my uncle took my grandfather out for lunch and forgave him for being an emotionally abusive father.
Life is too short not to live for Jesus, go for the calling that God has called you to, and share Jesus with others. That is the real meat in this book. We should live for God with every fiber of our being. We have one chance on earth to live for God and give Him glory. I really enjoyed this quote, “Certainly we can have selfish motives (see James 4:3), and undoubtedly God is not going to give us something that will ultimately hurt of spoil us, but this basic desire – of a father wanting to give his child that child’s greatest desire – comes directly from the father heart of God” (pg. 207). God wants to bless us with Him and will give us ministries and callings what we want according to His will.
I recommend this book to two kinds of people. 1. People who want to live for the glory of God. If you love God and want to know how biblical truth can be applied to this short life, this book is for you. You will learn biblical principles and see how they are applied in the life of someone with sixty plus years of excellent life experience. 2. People who want to live life for themselves. If you want to know what you are missing out on living life for number 1, this book is for you. You will learn exactly what you are missing out on if you are not living for the glory of God.
You can get this book at amazon.com and many other places that sell good books.
I reiterate. I didn’t get any money for this book nor was I expected to give a good review.