The Story Behind Making Life Matter by Shane Stanford


In a world of fast-paced schedules and priorities, conversations about what makes for a life well lived are a rarity and a luxury. But what if the daily pace of life held in itself the way to make choices more significant? What if the daily to-do lists gave a glimpse into how people might change their future? What if the daily grind, as arduous as it might seem, held the key to a life full of meaning and potential? What if everyday, simple steps, instead of some complex list of seemingly unattainable principles, showed how to make life matter?

Making Life Matter answers these questions and shows that the steps for making life matter are found in rather ordinary decisions, attitudes, and patterns found in normal routines. This book is about our story and our journey, and what we do and feel along the way.

The Story Behind Making Life Matter

By Shane Stanford

In 1986, I was diagnosed with HIV, contracted from the meds used to treat my hemophilia.  I remember being told that I had two to three years to live.  Of course, this was devastating to a 16 year old.  My grandfather was my hero, and I could always talk with him about what was happening in life.

One day, about three weeks after my diagnosis, my grandfather and I were on the side of a hill overlooking the golf course where I played.  He looked over at me and said, “What are you going to do with this thing?”  I knew what he was asking but did not know what to answer.

“I don’t think I have a choice” I finally replied.

My grandfather was a stoic, tough man.  But, I looked over and saw tears in his eyes.  I had never seen him cry.  He looked down, and then looked by up to me—directly into my eyes.

“You are right.  This is a tough situation” He said.  “And, I know things are very difficult, but, sport (he always called me ‘sport’), you always have a choice…”

I could not see how I had a choice.  He continued.

“You can choose to get in the corner and have a pity party.. and I love you so much that I will get in that corner with you.”  He reached over and touched my hand.

“But” he began again.  “I believe you will make another choice—I believe you will choose to make each day count”.

He said I could ‘make each day matter’.

And, so, from that day forward, I have tried to ‘make life matter’.  Have I been successful each and every day?  No.  But, I believe that God has used a small portion of whatever gift I possess to make a difference.

That is what this book is about—helping folks make a difference in life.  The principles in the book are from everyday wisdom learned around my grandfather’s table.  This book is a memorial to him and to his wonderful way of facing the world.

I want people to know that they have a choice—they can make each day count.

The principles are simple and profound—“I am How I pray”—“I am not enough”—“I Need a Place”.. etc.  They are not earth shattering but I do believe they are life changing.

I hope others will find this to be the case as well.

Shane Stanford is a pastor, author and teacher.  He is the Senior Pastor of Christ UMC in Memphis, TN, one of United Methodism’s largest and most influential congregations.

Shane is a former church planter as well as the Director/Host of the United Methodist Hour, a radio and television ministry airing in 30 million homes nationwide.

Shane is the author of eleven books including A Positive Life (Zondervan), The CURE for the Chronic Life (Abingdon), and Mosaic (Abingdon).

Shane has also written several articles published in such journals/magazines as Giving, CNNOnline, Alive, and The Circuit Rider.

Shane has appeared on numerous media programs including ABC’s Good Morning America and Fox & Friends.

Shane travels extensively sharing his story as an HIV positive hemophiliac and pastor.  He has presented at such venues as the Saddleback Global AIDS Summit and the National Civil Rights Museum.

He is married to Dr. Pokey Stanford (a Professor of Education) and they are the parents of three daughters, ages 14, 11, and 7.

His latest book is Making Life Matter: Embracing the Joy in the Everyday.

Visit his website at www.shanestanford.com.

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