Hot off the digital presses, I just read the new publication by missionary, world traveler, and life-long learner, Charles Porter, titled Don’t Follow Your Dreams and 39 Other Life Lessons I’ve Learned Along the Way. He shares an anthology of personal stories and life lessons that have affected him as he approached his 40th birthday. And what a title, huh?

I felt like I was getting the inside scoop as I read through his entries. The book is an easy read, introspective and imperative in nature, but one that I think would be best enjoyed in pieces – maybe daily doses. There are many insights that I personally want to go back and mull over some more.

As he goes back through various experiences of his life, he invites the reader to be introspective as well, and to consider his or her own possible response to similar situations. He doesn’t just spew out expected Christian cliches, but gives heart-felt truths gleaned on his journey.

Bridging the Gap even gets a shout out in his book! Charles is married to Tahnya and they now have three kids. But before they adopted their first child, they walked through the pain of infertility and depression. Tahnya shared her story at a Garden Coffee women’s tea in 2005, and wherever they go in Minnesota, someone recognizes them because they remember their shared story of pain. Quoting Charles, “Why? Because not everyone succeeds, swims with sharks, skydives, lives in radical environments. But everyone, from presidents to nursing home residents, hurts. We all experience pain. And when someone is authentic, it opens other’s souls, frees them to experience life together in a meaningful way. If you want to lead, if you want to connect, if you want to make a difference, remember this: pain is a megaphone everyone can hear.”

I would thoroughly recommend that you download a copy for yourself, or maybe gift it to a friend. At $2.99, the price is right for this great offering by a really “real” guy.