What Difference Do It Make? by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

October 5, 2009 | By | Add a Comment

…The thing about it is, though, gifts is free.  When you give a person a gift, you is also givin that person the freedom to do whatever they want with it.  When you give a homeless man a dollar, you ain’t sayin, “Here.  Go buy yourself a chicken.”  If you really wanted him to have some food, you’d take him in the McDonald’s and buy him a Big Mac and a apple pie.

No, when you give a homeless man a dollar, what you really sayin is, “I see you.  You ain’t invisible.  You is a person.”  I tells folks to look at what’s written on all that money they be givin away: it says “In God We Trust.”  You just be the blessin.  Let God worry about the rest. – What Difference Do It Make?, p. 70

Nutritionists always say to eat as close to the real thing as possible.  Whereas they would tell you to eat straight-up potatoes, this book is like a can of Pringles.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Pringles (especially the Sour Cream & Onion flavor).  But, if you’re looking for the original, this is too far removed from the real thing.

Let me explain.

One of the things that burns me up inside is when publishers put out all kinds of additional titles in an attempt to capitalize on a prior hit.  The Prayer of Jabez success gives way to study guides, CD’s and even a Prayer of Jabez calendar.  Every Man’s Battle is followed by Every Young Man’s Battle, Every Woman’s Battle, Every Young Woman’s Battle and Every Single Woman’s Battle (look for Every Man who used to be a Woman’s battle next).  You can get the Love Languages book for singles, couples, children, and Amazon knows what else.  Popular books like Experiencing God are followed by knock-offs such as Experiencing Vishnu (kidding), Experiencing Indigestion (kidding) and Experiencing Elvis (kidding but wish I were serious).

The thing is, the sequels are hardly ever as good as the original and the quality of the product suffers.  And, deep inside, I feel like the publishing houses are trying to rip me off.

These authors previously released a book titled, Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together.  I have not read the book, but I’m pretty sure that I would like it very much.  It was a major success, touched many lives and sold all kinds of copies.  However, much of this book is one big advertisement for Same Kind of Different as Me.  This is largely a book about a book.  It even devotes three pages in the back detailing additional Same Kind of Different as Me products available for purchase (including a DVD-based study guide and an audio book featuring original harmonica interludes).

Now, maybe you are someone who loved the original book so much, you want to hear more – including how the story has changed lives and how it is being put into practice.  If so, this book is for you.  Apart from all the advertisements, there is some very heart-warming material in here.  Some of the themes are racial reconciliation, engaging the homeless, reconciling with an estranged father and practicing unconditional love.  Sections where others describe the impact that Same Kind of Different as Me has had on their lives is like reading chapters out of the Chicken Soup for the teenage/pre-teen/dog lovers/kid’s/prisoners/grieving/college/women/special needs/cats/Christmas/girlfriend/romantic/mother’s/old person’s/I could go on/I’m not making this up/etc soul.

I am still giving this book an okay rating because the stories are sincere, powerful, inspirational and exceptionally challenging.  Despite it feeling like leftovers much of the time, there is still enough in here to make it a gem of a book at times.   I can tell that Same Kind of Different as Me is an excellent book.  Read that one first.  If you are still hungry for more, read What Difference Do It Make next.

Just don’t get filled up on potato chips.

Rating: 3/5

This book was provided for review by the Thomas Nelson Publishing Group.  To purchase this book on Amazon, click here.

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