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Keys to a Successful, Meaningful Life

book review by Pastor Tom Anderson

Our mutual friend and brother in Christ, Renard Kolasa has written a book, Guideposts for Living: Keys to Living a Successful, Meaningful Life. (157 pages, RJK Publishing: Highland, Michigan)

Anyone who knows Renard recognizes immediately that he is a man of wisdom, good will and Christian faith. Any counsel he might give to you is invaluable as it comes from one who has carefully considered and faithfully evaluated the many alternatives that life offers. I find myself wondering if there is any book he has not read? Is there any experience he has not either lived or seen play out in other’s lives? This little volume is his legacy to his family and friends about how to live a fulfilling life. I’m taking it all to heart!

From his introduction: “The following chapters cover ten suggestions for living a life of success...they are based on my life experience. The reader does not need to be a Christian or to believe Jesus is Lord and Savior in order to follow or benefit from one or more of my recommendations. All my suggestions, however, can be distilled from material in the Christian Bible. My ten guideposts for living a successful life are as follows:

  1. Pursue goals. Without clear, measurable goals, you can’t score bullseyes.

  2. Love Jesus. Only Jesus can meet our deepest needs without fail.

  3. Love Others. The list of reasons to love others is very long.

  4. Be Content. Being self-content provides a host of benefits.

  5. Work Hard, Play Hard. Hard work and hard play provide needed balance.

  6. Embrace the Outdoors. Nature offers us unparalleled majesty and instruction.

  7. Embrace Responsibility and Integrity. Responsibility and integrity are irreplaceable.

  8. Diversify. Hedge your bets for success.

  9. Keep Growing. Anything not growing is dying or atrophying.

  10. Simplify. Simplicity can save you time, money, and energy.”

What follows is a chapter on each guidepost. In each section there are multiple stories of his family life from childhood to adulthood. It was a delight to learn so much about this man who is a friend to us all here at HUMC! I noted that he managed to work in at least one fly fishing story in nearly every chapter. Which in my opinion only proves the adage that while there may be bad fishermen there are no bad men who fish since fishing makes us better people. Fishing teaches multiple lessons in humility, patience and empathy! Renard is that guy who breaks the shore ice so he can get a canoe load of grandchildren armed with fishing poles out on to the lake for an afternoon’s entertainment.

One of the nicest features of the book are the ample collections of favorite scriptures and favorite quotes provided at the end of each chapter. I found myself lingering over each quote and some of them stopped me short like this one from William Barclay, “When you are kissing your child, say to yourself, ‘One day you must die, that is why we must know Jesus Christ.’”

There is no pretension in Renard. This is neither a lecture nor a self-help promotion. His words come across to the reader as the humble wisdom of an ordinary fellow traveler through life. I once heard evangelism described as “One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” Renard is one who has found some really good bread and he shows us how to get some for ourselves. Thank you for sharing your book with us Renard!


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