Along with the Bible, not in place of it, there are other books that can be very instructional and/or inspirational! We'll highlight some of these books from time to time...
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Against All Odds, by Travis 'Thi'sl' Tyler, is a fantastic story of God's redemption! In the interest of full disclosure, I edited this book, but that didn't influence my opinion that this is a must-read for many. For some, it will provide inspiration that they, too, can find salvation even in the midst of pain, trouble, and confusion. For others, it will give great insight into the life of a troubled young man; you'll notice several turning points and benchmark events that could've changed the story positively, if only the right mentor or better situation had existed. Additionally, the story grants you a front-row seat into the problems and issues that many youth are facing in the United States to this very day. And even if you don't think of yourself as someone who needs such hope or insight, the story is just plain good, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!
Thi'sl's story takes you from his very early years on an old plantation in Mississippi to a pivotal move to St. Louis right before gangs and crack took over the city. Being in a single-parent home led Thi'sl to look for a lot of his guidance and provision on the streets through gangs and crime, eventually becoming one of the leaders. At this point in the story, you'll feel the confusion and pain he felt as he began losing more people that he loved, through violent deaths. Just when things get as serious as they can (he was accused of and arrested for a murder he didn't commit), God provides sweet redemption that becomes the key to Thi'sl's life change.
The foreword to the book was written by Flame, a Christian rapper who played a big part in Thi'sl's redemption story. Also, I need to give a shout-out to my sister, Mona Scheier, for doing the layout and design for the inside of the book. You'll want to get a book for yourself, but grab a copy to loan out or give away, too! Accompanying the book release is a CD release, also entitled Against All Odds. Find ordering information for both on Thi'sl's website here and watch Thi'sl talk about his book here.