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4.5 out of 5 stars
Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
What you take away from Plan B by Pete Wilson will depend on when you read it. The first time I read it, I was looking to clean my plate and start thinking new directions. Perpetually in "Plan B", I found pieces that resonated and they were a balm to a hungry soul. I also found pieces that were just a little too cliche. The second time I read it I was in the midst of cleaning that plate, face to face with uncertainty, and looking for something to hang onto as those uncertainties mounted. Again, I found things that resonated, seemingly "spoken" at just the right time. I also found the cliches, except this time they were even more full of emptiness and actually aroused my frustration with Christian "pat theology and answers". I also found that questions I had asked in the past now resurfaced with fresh energy and urgency.

If I could summarize the book in a few words it would be, "Expected the unexpected, don't manage outcomes, trust God, avoid mediocrity, in the end it will be okay...everything will work out." And this is both the good and the struggle of the book. It mixes truths (expect the unexpected, don't manage outcomes) with empty hope. It leaves one waiting until that final day when everything is made right; it leaves us running an endurance race on this side of eternity without any expectations of resolutions on this side. It leaves the reader equipped to ever expect the rug to get pulled out from under you at any moment and any cry of foul to be an exposure of a lack of faith and maturity and transformation.

Wilson spends "classic" time reminding us God owes us nothing and thus can do whatever he wants. I don't think that's biblical at all. Yes, he owes us nothing but in giving us everything he creates healthy expectation and sets parameters for what he can and will do - not entitlement but definitely expectation. To not allow that is to advise a life of "look but do not touch". Expectations should not be limited to character building and spiritual formation. Wilson divorces the physical from the spiritual (perpetuating deceptive dualism) as if the things that we can see and touch are "less than" the things we can't. Thus when he repeats the cliche of "follow the trail of your time, affections, energy, money, allegiance and at the end you will see your throne", he repeats the error that says the only good things you can expect are the things you can't touch and the things that happen in the end.

He repeatedly says "Christ can" and that "God specializes in resurrection and hopeless situations" but then counters with, "It's possible things will get worse, not better...you might have to live all your life with the pain of what you had and lost."

If we cannot hope for resolutions now, if we cannot hope for reconciled relationships, restored opportunities, food in our stomach and shelter over our heads each day, here and now, but must see the experience of any of that as some kind of early bonus to tide us over to the real thing at the end of it all, then what is the point of the gospel? That's all people hoped for before Christ came; that's why the woman at the well said, "in the last day" and Christ countered with, essentially, "no, now".

Plan B will resonate with those who have known uncertainty. But it will also frustrate those looking to have their faith refreshed that the gospel is for here and now and not just some final day of grand fulfillment.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
It is a compelling work on what to do when life does not turn out the way that you had planned, which so often is the case. Filled with poignant true life stories of individuals and couples who faced horrific disappointments in their life, Pete uncovers the hope that brought them through their tragedies to happiness on the other side.

The first thing that struck me in reading the book is how comprehensive it is. Many who write on the subject of personal pain tend to limit their scope to a particular type of suffering. Some speak of chronic illness. Others of relational crisis. Still others of personal failure. Pete covers them all, including the loss of lifelong dreams. Relating these circumstances to the lives of Biblical characters, Pastor Wilson assures us that even if we don't know understand what is happening to us, we can trust that God is still loves us.

That's the crux of the book. All of us have some kind of plan for our lives. It's a good plan with success and happiness in the picture. The reality is that each one of us, with our carefully thought out plans, will be forced to throw the plan away and divert to a plan we never considered-Plan B. Plan B's come in many forms, but they will come. In those times, we can choose to trust that God is there and will walk us through it, or we can give up hope.

Pete Wilson points us to the cross as the sign of hope's triumph, even in the face of a Plan B. God did not keep His Son from a painful event, even death. Yet even in death, God still had the last word and resurrected His Son. In the same way, God always has the last word and will resurrect our broken souls.

Get the book. You won't regret it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book covers those times when the plan we think we are working takes a new path, and the old 'Plan B' has to come into play.

Funny that I read the book on a recent work trip to the east coast. I am not fond of flying and didn't need to read about how plans do not always go as you think they will. Fortunately, in this case all was well with the flight.

I found the book to be an easy read and Wilson uses examples from his personal life and stories from the Bible to show where many times a Plan B comes into play. How many times have we setup a situation only to have a new situation or event occur. The good part is that most of the time the end result still teaches us a lesson and even though we think God is not there, he was with a safety net.

Overall, Wilson provides a simple lesson and you may find the examples repeating themselves. The book is worth reading and I would give to a friend who may struggle with handling the Plan B's om their life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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on April 1, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Unless the Author/Reader is a professional stand-up entertainer, I have a knee-jerk negative predisposition to a book that is read by the author. (Gladwell comes to mind) In the case of Plan B, the Author as reader proved true once again. Pete Wilson has a 'down-home' good-ole-boy accent that just naturally puts me in the mood for a humorous story, which is not his intent. On the plus side, Pete uses the story form to illustrate his points, which is a good ploy. At first, his style of giving the 'hook' and a bit of the drama first, then wandering off to an entirely different subject had me worried that I would never hear the outcome of the original story. However, he did always double back at some point and give the resolution.
In one particular story, during what should have been the most heart-wrenching part, I literally erupted in laughter because of Pete's mispronunciation of a word. During an Ultrasound of the Fetus, the Parents were given the unexpected and tragic news that their baby would be born with a life-threatening, incurable, long-term ADD-MORALITY. I replayed this section 3 times to make sure I heard it right, and indeed, that IS what I heard. In fact, the faltering cadence of Pete's speech indicated he had tried several times during his recording session to say AB-Normality, but somehow couldn't get that word out. This Book was used as the basis for group discussion at my church and study guides are available. The age old conundrum of "What do you Do when God Doesn't Show up the way you thought He Would?" is the theme throughout and I felt the author's story illustrations supported the idea that a blind faith, or simple acceptance of things that naturally occur in our lives that weren't our Original PLAN, would go a long way towards remaining positive and hopeful during the most dire situations. My best advice? Avoid watching the Author in an interview or hearing him on the Audio Version: Plan B? READ the Book yourself.
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on May 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Expectations. Dreams. Hopes. Plans. What happens when we what we hoped for falls apart?

A new book by Pete Wilson, Plan B, presents a Christian overview of "what to do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would." The book is written in clear language full of personal and Biblical examples. The reader feels like he is sitting across of table with the author discussing Plan Bs.

Chapter titles include Don't Run, Whiplash, Paralyzed, Darkness, Power and Hope and my favorite: The Illusion of Control. In the Illusion of Control chapter he writes that `the greatest of all illusions is the illusion of control." I love the use of the word illusion with the concept of control as it captures the fantasy we all try to live in a short easy to remember phrase.

Quotes from the book:

"I'm wondering how different life would be for each one of us if we chose to view our circumstances and our relationships as the gifts they are."

"When you're in a Plan B, you need community more than ever. And yet, because of the pain that comes along with a Plan B, it's easy to miss the God given gift of community."

`God does His best work in hopeless situations."

"When life is uncertain, God is not. While our power is limited, God's is limitless. While our hope may be fragile, God is hope himself."

Plan B offers a wonderful list of discussion questions at the end of the book that would work great in a small group or Sunday School study.

Nice book filled with hope. My only criticism would be while it is a wonderful overview of the topic, when I finished I wasn't sure if I really learned anything new. The book opens up readers' hearts to ponder about the Plan Bs in our lives - then the real work begins applying what we already know to be true to living and thriving in our Plan B's.

Disclaimer: I received Plan B as part of Thomas Nelsons' Booksneeze program.
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on May 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I recently had the opportunity, through BookSneeze, to read the book Plan B by Pastor Pete Wilson.

The tagline for Plan B is this: "What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought he would?" Wilson aims to guide the reader through those difficult "Plan B" times in life where you find yourself wondering where God is and why he allowed things to happen the way they did. While Wilson does not claim to understand WHY God allows us to go through painful and frustrating experiences, he does provide some good insight in to how scripture suggests we handle such times.

Overall, I found this book to be encouraging. My favorite part involved Wilson comparing our "Plan B" situations to the Saturday before Jesus was resurrected. Jesus' followers probably thought all was lost, because they had just watched their savior be beaten and crucified. How awful they must have felt on Saturday, not knowing about the miracle that was coming the very next day! In hindsight, we know the purpose of the crucifixion was greater than any of them could have imagined, but on that Saturday I can't imagine how devastating it all was for them.

I must add, however, that I found one chapter in particular (Chapter 8: Darkness) to be quite discouraging. I left the chapter with a feeling that anytime things are going right, I can expect that something horrible will happen soon so God can bring me closer to him. While I do believe God uses difficult situations to strengthen our relationship with him, I do not believe that there is always something terrible waiting just around the corner for us. With that in mind, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone going through a "Plan B", but not necessarily for those who want to be ready "just in case".
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Format: Paperback
There are times when we pray, work and move, doing whatever we are supposed to do or is in our hands, to go through difficult situations in our lives. Sometimes we wait for God's help and, because the Bibles says "my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name", we wait, with trust, only to realize that hours go by, and days, and months and we're still... waiting. It's time for a PLAN B, sometimes even a PLAN C.

So in his new book, Plan B, Pete Wilson talks about this kind of situations, and through different stories and testimonies (sometime stuffs he or someone around him went through), he gives some answers for those weird times in our live where God seems absent. Although the topic it is attractive and his recommendations useful, the way Pete writes made my reading of the book so hard, it is more like if someone made some transcriptions of his sermons into a book. Besides that, I am the kind of person that needs rational (even "faith-based rational" explanation) for this kind of situations. If you are like me, this book is not for you.

I recommend this book for: people that are new in dealing with this kind of topics, that are going through difficult time, like right now, where they need some answers to feel relieve in the middle of exploring a new plan.
---------------
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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Hay momentos en que oramos, trabajamos o nos movemos, haciendo todo lo que se supone debemos hacer o está a nuestro alcance para resolver ciertas situaciones. En esas ocasiones esperamos la ayuda de Dios y, como dice que "todo lo que pidiésemos" en el nombre de Jesús "nos será dado...", esperamos confiados, solo para darnos cuenta que pasan horas, días, semanas, meses, y todavía seguimos esperando. Es tiempo para un PLAN B... a veces hasta un PLAN C.

En Plan B, Pete Wilson, habla de este tipo de situaciones, y a través de historias personales, historias bíblicas u otros personajes conocidos, nos da su respuesta a estos extraños sucesos donde parece que Dios simplemente hace silencio o desapareció. Aunque el tema es simplemente atractivo y sus recomendaciones son útiles, pues todos pasamos por momentos donde ciertos PLANES Bs son necesarios; la forma de escribir de Pete hizo que la lectura del libro fuese incómoda y a veces tediosa. Es como si alguien hubiese hecho transcripciones de algunas de sus predicas y luego las editase. Aparte de eso, soy una persona que necesita respuestas complejas para asuntos complejos (como este), si ese también es tu caso, este libro no es para ti.

Recomiendo este libro a: personas que son nuevas en este tipo de temas, que estén pasando ahora mismo, en este mismo instante por situaciones difíciles donde necesiten respuestas para sentirse aliviados en medio de la búsqueda de un nuevo plan, y nuevos creyentes.
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on May 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
truth be told i'm feeling a little rushed with this review of Plan B by Pete Wilson. i received this book from Booksneeze for free, in return for a review specifically requested for today. the problem is that the book showed up 3 weeks after i was told i would receive it, less than 10 days ago. i'm a good reader, but not that good. so admittedly, i'm still working my way through it.

Plan B is a refreshing book that discusses the fact that God operates much differently than we imagine he would. it carries the tone of a pastor trying to connect with his young congregation, and is a fairly easy read. the challenge of the book comes in the honesty that Wilson approaches the subject with. he openly admits that he doesn't have "all the answers" about God and why God chooses to do the things he chooses to do. this is refreshing, and more of this kind of honesty is needed. it forces introspection and reflection, and that's not (usually) a bad thing.

however, i do wish that the book would be more up front about God's Plan B. the reality is that there isn't one. while addressing the reality that God does as God does, i don't think Pete goes far enough in declaring that God's Plan is being acted out right now. it's been working since before the days of Jesus on earth, and it's design is Perfect. God's Plan is happening with or without us, and whether we like it or not, we are invited to be a part of it. Wilson's book stops short of this invitation and gets stuck in asking the questions without offering much more than discussion-starters.

in my opinion, this book is about 3.5 out of 5. it offers good thought, some insight, but it stops somewhat short of really issuing a pointed challenge.
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on May 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Everyone knows the life can be unexpected. What do you do when the unexpected happens? Pete Wilson's new book Plan B tries to help you through those situations. What happens when you tragedy strikes or the unexpected happens? Plan B is all about helping you understand that you can make through those times. It won't be easy, but God is there and will see you through it.

Plan B was a very encouraging book. He certainly doesn't sugar coat the tough situations in life, but he doesn't leave you with out hope either. He questions what do you do when you find out the worst news possible. He asks does God let these things happen. Sometimes he doesn't have answers, and I don't think anyone can really answer why, but Pete does what he can do and reminds us that God is still there and God is still in control. The best illustration in the book is when he shows God moving through the life of Joseph. No matter what God looked out for him. The only big issue I had with the book was the ending. The last chapter called "The Bow" talks about how there is no pretty bow to put on top and wrap up this book. The problem I have with that is the Bible ends with a pretty big bow on top called Revelation. Yes the book is scary, but God Wins in the end and his people win with him. These words of hope are the most comforting words we have as Christians. No matter how bad it gets, God wins. No more tears, no more sickness, no more sadness, no more need for a Plan B.

I would recommend this book to people facing plan b situations, but I would also recommend they read Surprised by Hope by NT Wright afterwards.

This book was provided to me for review by Thomas Nelson. All opinions are my own.
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on May 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Through Thomas Nelson Publishing Company I was able to read an advance copy of Pete Wilson's upcoming book entitled Plan B. In this book Pastor Pete discusses the situation many Christians face sooner or later in which they react by saying....."This isn't what I planned", or "This isn't what I expected" or maybe there is no reaction at all because we are just in shock. What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would?

This was the first time I heard of Pastor Pete and his ministry. I can tell he is a Pastor of a large congregation and thus probably has many people that have been discipled under his ministry. So I hesitate critiquing his book since I certainly don't have his expertise or training. However, I'm afraid this book didn't keep my attention at all. And believe me, if there is a Plan B, I am on Plan M & N by now. And I have definitely read books by Christian authors to help me get through some tough times. But the illustrations in this book have been experienced by many people. And the examples of Bible characters. Well, didn't their Plan B really turn into Plan A?

I think the biggest disappointment for me was that I kept looking for Romans 8:28 to be applied somewhere in this book and how all things work together for good. NOT that ALL things are GOOD. But that they work together for good for those who LOVE GOD. That has helped me the most in my Christian life and also in helping others along the way.

Even though this book fell short in my expectations, I would recommend using it in a Bible study as it has some good study questions at the end. Also a new believer might benefit from this book.
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