Book Review: Purpose Driven Life

Ever since I was a child, I would always see the book entitled “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren on our book shelf. And as I was growing up, people I’ve encountered would always mention this book. But it was in my third year of college when I met someone who was currently reading the book together with a friend. That moment actually piqued my interests into reading the book. It was only until this year on the 14th of February that I decided to read the book together with my boyfriend.

I decided to read this book on the 14th of February this year because it coincides with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season. I thought it’s a nice opportunity to spend this season with one day of reflection and prayer. Also, I already knew that the book consists of 40 chapters that represents 40 days. Therefore, the last chapter of the book would lead to the start of the Holy Week.

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Facts about the book

The title is The Purpose Driven Life with the subtitle What on Earth Am I Here For?. It was written by Rick Warren in 2002 and published by Zondervan. The book has been reprinted in 2003 twenty times and in 2004 nine times. The book I got was published in the Philippines by OMF Literature Inc. with the edition issued by special arrangement with Zondervan. It has sold over 11 million copies world wide. It also got awarded as ECPA Book of the Year by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association which is an international non-profit organization. The organization also gave it The Gold Medallion Book Award in recognition of excellence in Evangelical Christian Literature.

Why I like this book

Well, the book starts with an introduction of what the book is about. According to the author, it is not even a book but a guide to a 40-day spiritual journey that enables the reader to find and discover his/her purpose in life. The author urges the reader to read one chapter a day and reflect. At the end of every chapter/day, there is a section where you can find the following:

  • Points to Ponder – These are statements which basically summarizes the whole chapter and can be used as the reader’s reflection for the day.
  • A Verse to Remember – There is a specific bible verse for every chapter. I like it because it helps me remember one bible verse a day. It was also mentioned in the book that memorizing the scriptures is a good habit that every Christian should have. 
  • A Question to Consider – At the end of every chapter, the author asks the reader to answer the questions that can allow the reader to reflect and apply what she/he has learned. There is a companion book to this which is the The Purpose-Driven Life Journal. 

First of all, I was a bit skeptical while I was reading this. It is mainly because I consider myself as someone who is not that religious. I believed that what matters most is my relationship with God. But as I was reading this book, I realized that it is important to also value our relationship with our neighbors and the community.

Although this book may be considered as part of the self-help category, it is not. It is not about us. It is about God and how we live this life according to His purposes. The author also shared 5 purposes and these are the following:

  • Purpose #1: You Were Planned for God’s Family
  • Purpose #2: You Were Formed for God’s Family
  • Purpose #3: You Were Created to Become Like Christ
  • Purpose #4: You Were Shaped for Serving God
  • Purpose #5: You Were Made for a Mission

And with this 5 purposes, I think it summarizes how our life should be in this world.

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The Library I Know: Then & Now

I can still remember to the time when I first used the library. It definitely wasn’t as techy as it is today. And yes, as a 90’s kid, I was able to experience the “manual” things before the digital and technological age took over.

I can still remember that huge wooden cabinet that stored all the catalog cards—our searching tool for finding library materials. Every drawer has cards which are sorted alphabetically and divided into three kinds: title card, author card and subject card. Usually, I would go for the subject cards because all the books in a particular subject are found there. Nowadays, there’s no need to search through the cards in that cabinet. With just a click of the mouse, the library’s database would instantly present hundreds to thousands of search results. It’s amazing how fast and convenient it is when looking for a book. Time is saved and thus, it is used more in reading the book.

I can also remember how borrowing books was done manually. Each one of us had library cards where these cards kept a record of all the books we borrowed. The librarian would manually write the due dates in the card and in the borrowed books. In the present, a book contains a barcode and it is scanned so that the system will process the checking out of books. The process now is convenient for both the librarian and library clients as it eases and speeds up the process of borrowing.

The library have definitely changed and improved in the present.

As I am sitting down here in the library, I can see how ICT or Information Communication Technology has affected our libraries today.

For example, instead of reading books, most of the students in my school, including myself, would prefer reading on our mobile devices, tablets and laptops. It is because reading nowadays isn’t only in paper but in digital formats where books are converted to ebooks.  The access and dissemination of information is also fast as people tend to use the Internet more rather than books in shelves to answer their questions. Also, with the advent of social media, as people are more active online, this has had businesses, educational institutions and even libraries to use it as a way to market and inform their resources to the public. In that regard, library services are now available online. Such services are online research assistance, online reference queries, library instructions, online catalogs and many more. Remote access to our libraries is possible too as we can access the library system and databases anytime and anywhere with our computers. What I mentioned are just a few of the developments that ICT has contributed to the field of library and information science.

With the advent of technology and all its advantages that comes along with it,  I believe that present libraries have still maintained its charm and atmosphere that attracts library clients as it did in the past. I look forward to the digital and technological development of the libraries in the near future as I will be soon entering the field as a librarian. With that, I hope I can apply my knowledge and skills in ICT efficiently and effectively in my field.