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Immersion: Live the Life God Envisioned for You [Kindle Edition]

Mark McNees
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Alcatraz, an icon of hopelessness and isolation.

A prison where a rich and satisfying life is locked out by 50’ tall barbwire-topped walls, an intricate fail-safe security system, and surrounded by the freezing cold waters of the San Francisco Bay.

The Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of our brokenness.

Everyone is faced with a choice; are you going to serve a life sentence? Or, are you going receive God’s promise of freedom by following Jesus Christ? (Galatians 3:22 )

It’s not easy, but you can…

Swim to win!

All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but you do it for an eternal prize. So, swim with purpose through the water (Heart) with every breath (Soul), navigation (Mind), kick (Strength), and stroke (Loving Others). Discipline your body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.

Keep Pressing toward the Goal to claim the prize which Christ Jesus has already won for you. (Philippians 3:12)

The prize of a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10)

Immersion: Live out the life God has envisioned for you.

Editorial Reviews


"Immersion spoke specifically to me  and gave me encouragement to move forward with a new project that we are launching called TRIFECTA.  I plan to distribute Immersion to as many people as possible."  --Terry Davis CEO of Tri California

From the Author

 I would like to thank you for taking the time to read Immersion. It is my prayer that this book will be a blessing and an encouragement to you in your journey as a fellow follower of Christ. I also pray that it will assist you in experiencing the rich and satisfying life Jesus came to give His followers, and that, in the process of reading this book, you will make The Great Commandment the primary grid through which you make all your life decisions.

I have done my best to directly connect the ideas in this book to scriptural passages. Footnotes and textual citations are included on the same page for easy reference and further contextual study. 

The book has been organized into seven parts. Part one sets the stage for the five central sections. A seventh and final section is intended as a "putting it all together" framing piece. I have also written a group study which is located at the end of each section, with the hope that you will go through this book in community. You can do the studies alone, but everything is better in community.  

In the back of the book there is a 40-day life coaching experience, designed to help you experience a richer and more satisfying life. There are also free resources for your church and small group Bible studies available at:

The greatest blessing to me would be that the body of Christ would be encouraged, equipped, and edified as people join together in their homes for elevated conversations. These group studies are intended to facilitate just such conversations. 

In His Grip,

Product Details

  • File Size: 1748 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1460967704
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0053TGP48
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,550 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immersion: Live The Life God Envisioned for You May 9, 2011
By Paul
As a Christian I so appreciate the "This is not about religion..." but about making yourself jump into a full relationship with God like Mark had to do on the ferry at Alcatrez.

As a therapist, I appreciate the perspective of "SEA" and serving to make one's life better.

As a triathlete, I challenge Mark to a world's slowest kick contest.

A great, practical, and motivating read on how to truly become immersed in God (and not religion).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring April 26, 2011
By Sydney
If you are looking for a read that will get you excited about diving further into God and His purpose for your life, this is the book to read. God has used this book to refresh the Great Commandment in me, and I am going back over scripture that I've read a hundred times with a new outlook. I would especially recommend reading through this book with a group, as the author offers some great resources for group studies. Great book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christain life changer January 27, 2012
The book was an easy read with lots of biblical references to support a personal life change to excel in the Christian life. I expect to use many of Mark's stories in my life, and to positively affect others. His experience in swimming to San Francisco from Alcatraz clearly contains many awesome life lessons. I strongly recommend the book to Christians seeking to live the fulfilling life Christ intended for us.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Immersion January 4, 2012
By Irene
Immersion: Live the Life God Intended For You
By Mark McNees

I am reviewing this book for BookSpoils for which I received a free electronic copy and nominal gift certificate.

As is commonly encountered in the Evangelical Christian tradition, the author reached a critical point in his life. In his case, the bottom came from depression and anxiety. After seriously considering suicide as a solution, his father convinced him to give spirituality a chance. Through a developing faith life, professional help, and life-style changes, he was able to manage his mental health problems, find purpose in his life and, in this book, mine his life experience for lessons worth sharing.

I was pleasantly surprised that this book avoided several common pitfalls. McNees never sensationalizes his pre-conversion years with language designed to shock the reader. Nor does he write of his post-conversion life with saccharin` piety, as if a Christian commitment were akin to a visit from Tinkerbelle sprinkling fairy dust. His approach to spirituality is holistic, giving good relationships, professional resources, intellectual pursuits, healthy life-style and service to others their proper due in a balanced life.

The book is divided into short chapters clustered into themed sections. Long-distance swimming is the guiding metaphor for the spiritual life. This metaphor is used consistently and effectively. Each chapter also contains personal anecdotes which were well narrated and perfectly matched to the point being made. I never left a chapter wondering about the point of a story nor skimming past unnecessary details. If anything, chapters were more likely to leave me desiring to hear more about a given topic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Religious January 25, 2012
By paresh
If you are looking to become more deep and one with GOD this is the book for you. For someone who is a non christian like myself and after reading this book it moved me and touched my heart. I felt closer to GOD in a different way. This book would be a good group read. It makes us realize that GOD is everywhere and within us and HE is with us all the time. This is a strong and powerful book. It does not preach but just sends a message to people.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live the life God intended for you...Excellent Read! January 26, 2012
Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd

What covers 70% of the planet, constitutes 60% of the human body, makes up 70% of the human brain, and comprises 83% of our blood? While a person can go without food for weeks, he cannot survive more than a few days without...


Given that this clear liquid is perhaps the most important element known to man, is it any wonder that so many metaphors hint at it? Consider how living as a Christian has been has been equated with "swimming upstream," or the fact that non-Christians resent it when Christians do not "go with the flow." Certainly, existing as a Christian in the modern era requires the tenacity of a champion swimmer: to learn not to fight the current but how to thrive in spite of it.

With this mindset, Dr. Mark McNees has written a practical treatise establishing how Christians can succeed today with "Immersion: Living the Life God Envisioned for you." McNees is the founding pastor of the Element 3 Church in Tallahassee, Florida and draws upon his experiences swimming competitively to give Christians realistic advice for victorious living.

His athletic prowess has helped him compete in triathlons and even complete the grueling "Swim from Alcatraz": an open water swim where participants swim from Alcatraz Island to the shore of San Francisco, California. While the distance is a little over a mile, the fast moving current makes the distance swam almost two miles instead. To be successful, swimmers have to mentally prepare for, and accurately navigate, the speed of the current.

"Immersion" rightfully implies that the Christian life cannot be lived apart from the world--instead; Christians should live productive lives while being fully engaged in culture.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK!
As a Christian and a professional swimmer, I really enjoyed this book. This book was such an encouragement to me and it really built my faith. I would highly recommend this book!
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars dive on it, the waters fine
very encouraging book that made me think twice about how God's plan could play out in my life. good devotional material without being preachy.
Published 8 months ago by beth hanson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
An inspirational book, full of meaning, faith and hope. Writen from the heart with practical illustrations. I was "Immersed" and unable to put the book down. A must read.
Published 11 months ago by ValerieE Mash
5.0 out of 5 stars Life-changing book
Dr. McNees has written a terrific book that helps us understand more deeply how to dive into a deep relationship with God. Based on scripture, Dr. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read...
One of the best Christian books I've read in a while. Loved the continuous sports and exercise analogies throughout. Read more
Published 17 months ago by t. mac
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I am still reading it but so far it has been very helpful. I was doubting a lot but this book has reminded me of what it is important.
Published 17 months ago by Denise
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
As a triathlete, I really related to many of the stories in the book. At many times, it seemed like the author was writing directly to me. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to merge Faith and Life Event !
Great way to share a life event (Escape from Alcatraz) with our faith walk - As an athlete wannabe I'm always working towards improving and increasing my ability - In my faith walk... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Bryan Desloge
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book by a fantastic author!
Dr. Mark McNees is a great author, leader and pastor which makes for fabulous, Christian-based reading! Read more
Published 20 months ago by C. A. Wirfs
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh insights into how to grow in your faith
McNee effectively uses the metaphor of swimming to describe the Christian life. Some may be turned off by his chapter on dieting and exercise as not really "spiritual", but... Read more
Published 20 months ago by H. Owsley
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More About the Author

Mark McNees (DMin, George Fox University) is the main visionary and lead pastor of Element3 Church, a ministry to emerging culture in Tallahassee, FL. Mark blends personal experience, cultural commentary, humor and honesty to help others discover God's vision for their life. Mark previously authored Immersion, a book about living a practical and fully-involved Christian life.

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