Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How did a Black kid who was abandoned by both parents, raised by a 64-year-old great aunt from the time he was 4 become a minister of the gospel and contemporary gospel's best-selling artist?And how did he become a strong husband and doting father without those early examples in his life?

Kirk Franklin says it has to do with finally understanding and following "The Blueprint," God's timeless guide for how believers should live out their faith. Without being preachy or talking in "churchese," as he calls it, Franklin delivers a book that is insightful, thoughtful and even funny, one that covers topics such as how to negotiate the single life, sexuality and men, sexuality and women, and how marriage can become stronger over time.

As for the humorous side, the description of the homemade "Jheri curl" his great aunt gave him is just one of the lighter moments sprinkled throughout the book that give it a nice, balanced touch.

Far more than an autobiography and more captivating that most "easy step plans," Franklin's "The Blueprint" incorporates personal anecdotes as well as observations on contemporary life and Christianity.

For example, in describing what the "non-sexies" are, he tells us that while Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams, were off filming a cameo for the movie "The Gospel," he was at home doing Daddy duty.  Initial thoughts about not being included in the movie led to the final realization that he was exactly where he needed to be, taking care of his children.

We don't get awards for "the non-sexies," Franklin writes. That is, generally, no one is handing out awards for those who spend time with family or who take communion to the sick and shut-in, but it is that work that shows what we value and who we are when the cameras are not on us.

And those are the kinds of insights that make Franklin's "The Blueprint" a book worth checking out, one that just could encourage readers to stick more closely to God's "Blueprint" in their own lives.