What is the Debbie Test? Find out by reading this article that appeared in the Tampa Tribune on Sunday, April 1. My thanks to Michelle Bearden of the Tribune, and to Debbie! I hope you’ll share this article with your friends!
‘Magnetic’ book draws you in
By Michelle Bearden
Gus Lloyd’s newest book passed the Debbie Test.
It works like this: Occasionally, I pass on books to the woman I hired a year ago to get my house (and, by extension, my life) cleaned and organized. Debbie is my personal miracle maker. If she comes back with a thumbs-up on the book, I know it’s worth investing my time.
Debbie is a voracious reader. Since I’ve known her, she’s read more than 100 books, mainly sticking with nonfiction that centers on spiritual life, personal motivation and biographies. I’m not sure where she finds the time, given her work schedule and a son at home, but organized people have a knack for knowing how to make the most of a 24-hour day.
I figured she was the perfect person to assess Lloyd’s latest book, “Magnetic Christianity: Using Your God-Given Gifts to Build the Kingdom” ($11.99 in paperback, $9.50 for the Kindle edition.)
Lloyd was the longtime familiar voice on the local Spirit FM, WBVM, where he hosted a morning show for nearly 12 years. Five years ago, he made the jump to The Catholic Channel on satellite radio to host “Seize the Day,” heard on Sirius XM weekday mornings from 7 to 11 a.m. He does the national broadcast right from his home in Carrollwood.
Nice guy, but I wasn’t too excited about the book. The label “Christian” has been abused, misused and overused (especially by vote-seeking politicians). Many who claim to be followers of Christ don’t follow through with their actions. I’ve covered too many religious scandals regarding greed and lies and seen too much bigotry not to be a bit skeptical.
Don’t tell me, don’t preach to me. Show me. If you’re going to be a light in the world, let that speak for you. Like Debbie. She’s very committed to working daily on her faith walk — and that starts by being kind, thankful and putting others first.
So I gave the book to her. I knew if it was a stinker, she’d tell me.
A week later, she came back all giddy and excited.
“This book gave me goose bumps!” she gushed. “Everyone I love is going to get a copy of it. It gives you a guideline on how to be a better person. Isn’t that something we’re all trying to do?”
Well, if that’s not a ringing endorsement …
Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of the holiest week for Christians. The Lenten season — the 40 days leading up to Easter — is supposed to be a period of spiritual reflection, prayer and sacrifice. Ultimately, it’s a time of cleansing and renewal. If you messed up on your New Year’s resolutions, like I do each year, Lent is a chance to regroup and start over.
“Magnetic Christianity,” it turns out, is a wonderful little guidebook to help you do that, to get back on course.
In a straightforward and easy-to-read narrative, Lloyd identifies 11 attributes to make you a better person and to enhance those qualities in your life. Most of them are already there within you, but he shows you how to illuminate those characteristics. It may sound a little oversimplified, but that’s exactly why Debbie liked it.
“He gets right to the point and gives great examples on how to make it happen on a daily basis,” she says. “It’s like he’s right there with you, talking you through it.”
Here are the attributes that Lloyd believes will attract others to you, allowing you to share your faith on a personal level: positivity, enthusiasm, friendliness, confidence, humility, honesty, kindness, compassion, approachability, generosity and encouragement. He pairs each one with Scriptures, a “magnetic insight” (personal commentary from Lloyd) and questions to reflect on.
What are Lloyd’s strongest attributes? “Probably enthusiasm and positivity,” he says. “I love motivating people. It’s what I build my radio show around and the purpose of this book.”
He admits that living one’s faith is not an easy thing to do. He has shortcomings like anyone else. All the work he still needs to do in his own life is “enough to keep God very busy.”
But what he tries to remember every day is that the best way to introduce Christ to others is to be an example, so that others can see Christ in you.
If we really want this world to be a better place, he says, it has to start first by looking in a mirror. Each one of us can be a game-changer in this very complicated, distracted and divisive world we’re living in. Is this really so hard to do?