There are some funny stories in this book but, on the whole, it is pretty serious look at the youth of a troubled boy who finally found salvation and direction in life.
Bob Hartley grew up with a combination of wit, outspoken demeanor, ambitious attitude, and complete lack of concern for other people's perception of him. He frequently got in trouble.
There are some funny stories in the book but tragic ones too. One was a drowning while Bob was a life guard at the town pool. He had never been trained in life saving or CPR and, though he did all he could, the child ultimately died. He also got hooked up with drug dealers for a time and saw too much violence.
A change came in Bob's life when he was driving a delivery truck. He heard a voice after an accident and that changed his life. He later got talked into going to a Campus Crusade leadership conference. He had plenty of questions but finally found salvation.
Bob's father, John Hartley, was a principal. We're told the story of John coming across a student who was wearing no shoes. The student and his sister shared a pair and today was her turn to wear them. John gave the boy two dollars (this was years ago) and told him to go to the thrift store and buy himself a pair. He called the shop and asked them give him a good deal. The boy didn't come back for a long time and John feared he had just skipped school. He called the thrift shop and was informed, yes, the boy had spent a long time looking for just the right shoes. John saw the youth coming, shoes on his feet and a pink pair tied around his neck. He'd managed to get a pair for his sister too. As the boy left the principal, he turned back and handed John his change. That story really gave me an appreciation of how little it takes sometimes to make a difference in another life.
Bob Hartley is a crazy guy. He'd as soon pull a prank on you when you walked in the door as give you a warm welcome. But underneath is a man dedicated to God, his family, his business and his ministry. He is a successful businessman and influential voice in Christianity.
This is a good book about fathers and sons. Young men will see in it that, even though their youth might have been crazy, God is always there waiting for them to turn to him. There are some pretty strange stories in the collection and Jedidiah does a good job of showing how his father's life impacted himself and others.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Jedidiah Hartley is an author and screenwriter based in Kansas City. He is a graduate of Youth With a Mission's University of the Nations and has been extensively involved in mission work for the past several years. His father is a business owner and the founder of Deeper Waters, an international ministry based in Kansas City. You can find out more about Bob and his ministry at http://bobhartley.org/.
Whitaker House, 208 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.