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Post updated June 7.

Our June book club book is Overwhelming Odds. This is my parents’ book about the story of the fire that nearly took my life, the journey my family has been on since and something much more universally important that you’ll discover as you read with us this month!

As always: this blog post will serve as our June Book Club Discussion Page. As you read, please share your thoughts and insights in the comments below. (We had some really fantastic discussion for our April Book How Full is Your Bucket? – check it out here: April Book Club Discussion.)

Here is your book club checklist for June (Updated June 7):

1) Watch this interview with the authors of our June book club pick Overwhelming Odds (my parents, Susan & Denny O’Leary!)! They share why they chose to write a book 20 years after the fire that nearly took my life, what they’ve learned from it and their belief that life is beautiful when you embrace your scars. 


2) Order your book and begin reading (it’s a short book – we’ll read chapter 1 through chapter 11 by June 15).

3) Download your Overwhelming Odds reader guide for thoughts and questions to reflect on as you read. Share your thoughts and answers in the comments below!

4) If you missed it, read my blog that kick’s off our book this month and shares how overcoming a time of adversity in my dad’s life inspired him to write this book with my mom.

5) Share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below so that we can discuss this book as a community!

6) Do you have questions or ideas on how to make Rising Above book club even better? We’d love to hear! Please send them to: abby@risingabove.com

Happy Reading!

In the comments below, please share your thoughts, questions and insights while you read this book (also share ideas on how to make book club even better)!

0 replies on “June Book Club Discussion”

I’m a little slow to the party, but reading the O’Learys’ book for the first time. I heard John share his story at Tastefully Simple’s national conference last year and reading his parents’ version is bringing back the feelings of awe I had at the time. Awe with John’s spirit but also with the Spirit who enables us to live each and every day. I love that John’s FB page is an inspiration to me to remember that this life is an awesome gift and we need to remember who the Giver is. Going to have to start reading earlier in the evening because it kills me to have to put down the book at go to sleep!

Lynette – you win a free eBook to share with a friend! Thanks for responding to this reader guide question and for all that you do. Emailing the book to you know. J

This question is from the reader guide, please take a moment and share your thoughts with us:

On page 17, the authors write, “I offered also to give up every material thing that I owned, none of which had
any value to me now if John would triumphantly walk through those doors and let me see his precious face
once more.”

In times of great need in life, we see clearly that material things have very little value. Why do you think it can be so hard to remember this truth in the “good times?”

I believe that we are given 24 hours a day for so many reasons. One is that everyday we are challenged to “give it to God”, so every day we are reminded that we are human.
Its unfortunate that we as humans need to be in a period of distress to call out to God, to “bargain” if you will.
But God knows this and His love is unconditional.
It is so easy to forget…but the great thing is that the more you do call on Him in those tough times, the more you have to remember that He saw you through the last tough time and He will continue to do so when you lean on Him!!
24 hours a day…one day at a time…God’s favor never runs out…and it’s during the hard times that we dig deep. That’s when we grow. From grace to grace..victory to victory.
We may feel that we need to make a “grand gesture” to have God’s help, but I believe just the fact that you trust Him is enoough for Him.
God is a very fair God. He accepted your Dad’s “gesture” but like any good Father, all He wants is happiness for His children.
Imagine if your child came to you and said, “ad if you take me to the ballgame I will clean my room everyday for the rest of my life!” Well, you know as his dad that’s not going to happen!! But when your son made this gesture he was sincere and maybe a little desperate!!
But you are so touched by the gesture, you can’t help but want to grant his wish!!
To me…it’s as simple as a Father’s love….

Lynnette that is beautiful and spot on: it is as simple as a father’s love. Thank you for the awesome depictions and insights – you broke it down in a really meaningful, relatable way. Thank you for sharing – the gift of your words mean more than you know. J

Loved todays comment, we so often forget that we and God know what kindnesses we show, the rest of the world is on a need to know basis.

Living a life which is not self serving but love serving just works and thrives; and speaks volumes of our faith journey. Thanks for sharing today. Anna

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.