Living Fulfilled...The Infectious Joy Of Serving Others

Autobiography of an Influential Advocate for the Poor and Hungry, Living in Poverty

Christian - Non-Fiction
200 Pages
Reviewed on 05/30/2016
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Living Fulfilled: The Infectious Joy of Serving Others by Eleze Lisa Thomas-McMillan is a memoir with a timely and powerful message of hope in a world characterized by greed, consumerism, and outright egoism. In this beautiful memoir, the author chronicles her journey toward the service of others and describes how service can turn lives around, communicating hope and life to the poor, and giving joy to those who give. She describes her upbringing in the impoverished areas of Alabama, a black girl born into a poor family where they learned the value of sharing by sheer instinct. She shares inspiring episodes of her life’s journey towards service, the long treks, the encounter with poor people from different backgrounds, and the kind of response that society needs to give to poverty for the world to be a better place.

This is not just a story told to entertain you; it’s a powerful invitation to have the courage to give and the message that you can find meaning in your life by positively influencing the lives of others through service, and everyone has something to give. Eleze Lisa Thomas-McMillan writes with simplicity, confidence, and her words are filled with authority because she walks her talk and lives by a powerful set of principles. Reading Living Fulfilled: The Infectious Joy of Serving Others reminded me of the message of the Gospel, of great figures like St. Francis of Assisi and his words spoken hundreds of years ago: “It’s in giving that we receive.” It seems like the author of this memoir understood this message and has dedicated her life to transforming it into a reality. Beautifully written, easy to read, and laced with insights, this book will come across as a huge challenge to those who suffer from the new form of slavery — clinging desperately to what they possess. Eleze Lisa Thomas-McMillan shares a message that will revolutionize our capitalist society. A must-read for anyone seeking meaning and a way to give life.

Ray Simmons

Living Fulfilled...The Infectious Joy Of Serving Others by Eleze “Lisa” Thomas-McMillan is a very interesting book. It resonated with me, especially the first few chapters where Lisa writes about growing up poor and African-American in Alabama during the 1960s. I grew up in Alabama during the same period, but I grew up outside Mobile instead of in Brewton. I can vouch that her descriptions of the people and their mannerisms are accurate. They are so accurate that they made me think about people and events that I haven’t thought about in years. They are so accurate that they made me homesick.

Living Fulfilled...The Infectious Joy Of Serving Others feels like two books as you read it. It is a memoir of an interesting life, but sometimes it is a guide on how to live your own fulfilling Christian life. Ultimately it is a memoir that can serve as a guide for others who seek this kind of life and fulfillment. I liked this book. The writing suited the life and the tone of the book. The stories and examples were authentic and well written. Just as important for me, Living Fulfilled...The Infectious Joy Of Serving Others is a capsule to an era and place that I can only return to in my mind or in the writings of other people from that particular era and set of circumstances.

I salute Eleze “Lisa” Thomas-McMillan. I salute her for her book and I salute her for her life. I salute her for not only sharing what she has with those in need, but also wanting to share the sense of fulfillment and peace of mind with those whose real needs are not those of the material world. A great book and a great example.

Darin Godby

Eleze “Lisa” Thomas-McMillan in her book Living Fulfilled . . . The Infectious Joy of Serving Others does a beautiful job of helping the reader see the needs of others and understand how one person can go about bringing awareness and even change to fulfil those needs. Many feel that, by themselves, what can they do to impact or change their corner of the world, leaving one doing little or nothing. Author McMillan challenges the reader not to accept that incorrect way of thinking and to dig deep within themselves to do what they can to make a difference.

There is detail in the beginning of the book about the author and her life that allows the reader to see how some of her thoughts and beliefs were shaped and formed by her upbringing and experiences. Later in the book, there is a guided tour along the journey as she travels over 900 miles to bring awareness to others about hunger and the huge needs of those who are going without right in people's own neighborhoods. Many times, bringing awareness to a person is all that it takes for others to become involved to help, but most don't know how to make a difference. The reader gets a glimpse into the daily journey, seeing the difficulties as well as the blessings of encountering others and changing lives. While the journey may not always go as one desires, the author challenges the reader to not give up but to continue the journey to impact on others around them.

Vernita Naylor

Everyone has a purpose in life, and Living Fulfilled... The Infectious Joy of Serving Others by Eleze “Lisa” Thomas-McMillan is a story about purpose, love and sacrifice. Lisa found out at an early age that it's the little things that make a difference. Despite the fact that Lisa grew up in Brewton, Alabama and lived in a six-room house with thirteen other people, she still had the gift of helping others. Living Fulfilled... The Infectious Joy of Serving Others takes you on the journey as Lisa tells her story about how she decided to help the elderly, feed the hungry, walk miles for the rights of men on death row, and assist with the needs of college students. Lisa shows that we all can help others with just a small act of kindness, and she provides some practical pointers on how you can get started and do your part.

I like how Living Fulfilled... The Infectious Joy of Serving Others is written because it has so much character in displaying charitable acts. The 4 Parts: Finding My Way, Journal Entries for the Walk of life, My Feet Do More Walking, and Random Acts of Kindness are a great way to tell the story. Each part offers some great material for encouragement in serving your God-given purpose and to take the challenge in making a difference. Lisa, great job!

Tracy Slowiak

In a lovely and inspirational new book by author Eleze Lisa Thomas-McMillan, Living Fulfilled...The Infectious Joy Of Serving Others, readers will be treated to a wonderful true life story of one woman's quest to serve the Lord and people in need at the same time. Follow the story of author Eleze Lisa Thomas-McMillan and her life journey from Alabama to Los Angeles and the spiritual awakening she experiences as well. The author includes the details of her two emotional treks, one in Alabama and one 900-mile journey all the way from Alabama to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness for issues related to hunger and poverty. And through it all, through all she witnesses and assists with, she is able to have hope for humanity and joy in the work that she does.

I so enjoyed Living Fulfilled...The Infectious Joy Of Serving Others. Author Eleze Lisa Thomas-McMillan has done a beautiful job in delivering her memoir in both a poignant and effective way, serving as a call to service to all people, but especially those of the Christian faith. The author's experiences in working with the poorest of the poor are some of the most moving stories in the book, and provide a guidepost for anyone who is interesting in giving of themselves in the most meaningful of ways. Any reader, but especially Christian readers, who enjoy a true life story of spiritual growth, helping others and making a difference in the world should absolutely read this book. I highly recommend Living Fulfilled...The Infectious Joy Of Serving Others, and look forward to hearing more about the work of Eleze Lisa Thomas-McMillan in the future!