Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Society • Colorful Author Spurs Christians to Greatness

Don Huntington, with his tall almost lanky frame topped with white hair, stands out in any crowd. He is more than an author. He is part writer and part philosopher whose writings can give the effect of an intellectual excursion while at the same time, treating the reader to a laid back down-home approach, making everyone, either through his books or in person, feel comfortable.  He seems to be speaking to you intimately next to a fireplace with crackling flames.

The colorful author is a present day Mark Twain. Like Twain, Huntington has a twinkle in his voice.  He writes clearly, imparting great wisdom as he guides readers through life day by day.

Also like Twain, Huntington is one of the most entertaining speakers to occupy a podium. Frankly, this writer sees him as funnier than Twain, with a wit that takes audiences by surprise. Especially to those who have seen him earlier and found him to be very quiet, subdued and yes, even shy. But once he is at the podium, he tears the place up while giving life changing pointers.

His book, How to Put Your Whole Self In 101 with the subtitle: Instructions on Becoming Good for Yourself, Good for Others, & Good for Heaven’s Sake, is a series of daily readings to get you off on the right foot each day. No NO NO, this is not JUST another devotional. now stop it!

Like Huntington who stands out, this book definitely stands out among all other such books. My personal library contains many of them.

This book is all about refreshing yourselves and even reinventing yourselves as it shows HOW to Put Your Whole Self In to Everything You Do. It is filled with practical advice for getting more out of life by getting the best out of yourself.

The volume shows how to temper some of the runaway emotions for greater effect by, for example, “holding opinion in a light grip.” How can you do that and win? You will see.

One chapter titled, ‘Two Minute Vacations,” explains how we can enjoy pleasure in bits and pieces and fully refresh as a result. Like every day’s reading, it begins with a great quotation from an outstanding person, leader or philosopher.

At the end of each day’s reading, a challenge with instructions illustrates how to apply these principles to everyday life. It is called, Try This, with two points to practice.

Every page is outstanding. For many, including this reviewer, it is difficult to stop after a day’s reading without going forward to the other days ahead.

The author’s purpose is to see everyone live life on purpose. As he states in the forward:  “This book will encourage you in being a more hopeful person—one who is invigorated and inspired by challenges, possessing the ability to rebound from disappointments with no lessening of enthusiasm and hope.” And that is a big one.

This writer, an avid reader, highly recommends this book. It should be in every library.

“How to Put Your Whole Self In,” (Park Place Publications. 225 pages)  is available on Amazon.com for $14.95. Ask for it at your favorite bookstore, they will order it not in stock.  Visit http://www.howtoputyourwholeselfin.com for more information.


Rev, Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California, is an award winning writer who is published in 56 countries. He received commendation from UC Fullerton for Critical Review.

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