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Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem Paperback – September 23, 2013
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''Everything Kevin DeYoung writes is biblical, timely, and helpful for both life and ministry. You can't afford to miss what he says here in Crazy Busy. He rightly reminds us to beware of the barrenness of a busy life, since activity and productivity are not the same thing.''
--Rick Warren #1 New York Times best-selling author, The Purpose Driven Life; Pastor, Saddleback Church --Review
“Everything Kevin DeYoung writes is biblical, timely, and helpful for both life and ministry. You can’t afford to miss what he says here in Crazy Busy. He rightly reminds us to beware of the barrenness of a busy life, since activity and productivity are not the same thing.”
—Rick Warren, number one New York Times best-selling author, The Purpose Driven Life; Pastor, Saddleback Church
“I’m a fan of Kevin DeYoung’s writing, partly because I know what to expect. He’s always clear, biblical, and to the point—with a good dose of humor peppered in. Crazy Busy is no exception. It’s a quick and engaging read that busy people can find time for. DeYoung helped me think about the heart issues behind my busyness, and even gave me some practical ways to fight it. As a pretty busy guy, I encourage other busy folks to squeeze this little book into their schedule.”
—Trip Lee, hip-hop artist; author, The Good Life; pastor, Cornerstone Church, Atlanta
“DeYoung is a smart guy, and he offers a refreshing (and refreshingly short) take on the plague of modern American life: the too-long to-do list and the overscheduled calendar that produce the frazzled response ‘busy’ to the innocent question ‘How are you?’ DeYoung doesn’t offer time management but rather theology. God wants you to use your talents, but God is not nearly as big on the idolatry of self-importance that often motivates overcommitment. Some of this could well have been said in a sermon, which would have been even shorter. But DeYoung is clever (‘If Jesus were alive today, he’d get more emails than any of us.’), his analysis is well-organized, and he brings theological thinking without moralizing. If you are someone who checks your email before going to bed and as soon as you wake up, DeYoung has your number, and this is your book.” (September 30, 2013)
“DeYoung shows how trusting in God’s providence helps us work hard without going crazy.”
"Informal and friendly, [Crazy Busy] prompts readers to take a long, unsparing look at the things they say and do." (September, 2013)
“A great book for the stressed-out. DeYoung shows that Jesus was busy and Christians should be busy discipling nations, parenting children, and bearing burdens. He rightly differentiates that from ‘crazy busy,’ a frenzied trying to please some and control others—and he shows how biblical rhythms and trust in God’s providence can keep us sane. Also a great book for parents who live in a Kindergarchy, over-programming their children: DeYoung says let them play, because it’s not easy either to ruin them or to assure their success.”
—Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief, World Magazine
“Habitual, sinful busyness is something that many struggle with and yet, it’s rare to hear teaching on this important topic. With refreshing transparency and his trademark humor, Kevin DeYoung identifies the problem and gives helpful practical instruction on how to find our rest in Christ. DeYoung has served the church well (once again). I highly recommend this book.”
—Shai Linne, hip-hop artist
“I’m glad to take time out of my busy life to endorse Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung. As Kevin makes abundantly clear, our busyness can be evidence of our faithfulness or, on the other hand, evidence of our pride, ambition, and unbridled activity. As always, Kevin DeYoung is a careful thinker, a gifted pastor, and a writer who keeps the reader on the edge of our seat.”
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Kevin DeYoung goes after our busyness with all the best of Reformed theology: we don’t need to manage our busyness better, we have a busy heart, seeking approval from others. The problem isn’t too much to do, but a heart out of tune with God’s calling, forgetting its limitations, seduced by the siren calls of ‘the perfect family’ or ‘the successful career.’ In a world where speed and accomplishment is everything, DeYoung calls us to return to the rhythms of a Sabbath rest.”
—Paul E. Miller, executive director, seeJesus; author, A Praying Life and A Loving Life
“Busy, hectic lives are the bane of the modern world. This book is not profound; rather it simply offers a lot of that most unfashionable commodity—common sense. DeYoung exposes the nature of busyness, the various ways in which it deludes us, and offers some basic advice on what to do about it. A fine, short book which deserves a wide readership.”
—Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, The Creedal Imperative and Luther on the Christian Life
“If you are like me and think you are too busy to read this book, trust me, you are too busy not to. As a mom of two little ones at home, I find my days are long, busy, and exhausting. However, after reading Crazy Busy, perspectives, priorities, and order were put back in place. This has been one of the most helpful books I have read to date. Whether you are a mom of two or a CEO of 200, this book will point you to the one and only thing your soul truly needs . . . Christ.”
—Ali Deckard, stay-at-home mom
“If you’re like me, you’ll see yourself in the mirror of DeYoung’s experience and will be prompted to make changes based on the biblical diagnosis we find in these pages. Trust me. You’re too busy not to read this book.”
—Trevin Wax, Managing Editor, The Gospel Project; author, Gospel-Centered Teaching, Counterfeit Gospels, and Holy Subversion
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Top Customer Reviews
Path: DeYoung gives three dangers to avoid (ch 2): 1) Business can ruin our joy. 2) Business can rob our hearts. 3) Business can rot our souls. He then gives seven diagnoses to consider (chs 3- 9) including pride, trying to play God, unidentified priorities, false parenting conceptions, the effect technology plays, rest, and expectations. The author finishes by giving one thing we are to do (ch 10), and that is to know Christ.
Sources: Personal experience, Scriptural principles, various authors on productivity and rest.
Agreement: Here are some of the things I appreciated about this book:
It was short
The author is sympathetic
He has a good chapter on pride
He has a good chapter on parenting
He recognizes that all business is not sin
He pointed me to Jesus
Disagreement: I would disagree with very little of what he said. It would have been nice to have someone who has been in the trenches of this fight and has come to tell us, rather than someone who is trying to crawl out with you. However, that is also one of the positives of the book.
Personal App: What am I busy with?
Favorite Quote: Here is just one of the many that made me think "If someone recorded your life for a week and then showed it to a group of strangers, what would they guess is the "good portion" in your life? What would they conclude is the one thing you must get done every day?"
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it to someone who:
consistently replies with "Busy" when I ask them how they are doing
is frustrated with their current priorities
has their children in thirty different programs
who views busyness as a badge of honor
Say what? So why the 5 Stars? Well, mainly because I kept reading! Kevin DeYoung goes on to some extent in chapter one about his own busyness and need to write this book. I took it as self-indulgent, but kept reading. I had already read Gordon MacDonald's "Ordering Your Private World," which gets at the true heart of our "busyness" and time "management" issues as efficiently and effectively as any other book I've read that is actually focused on "time management." I felt this was going to be more of the same (although I was encouraged when DeYoung quotes MacDonald early on.)
So I kept reading. DeYoung does better than give good advice and techniques; he helps you get underneath the surface of your busyness -- both its effects and the products, both the good and bad of busyness. In the end, he even admits we are made for busyness, as long as we are busy about the right things, for the right reason, in the right way, at the right time, and that our DEVOTION to God infuses it all. Yet he's not pedantic at all on this last subject so that it merely becomes another sermon we've all heard or read before (aka "Devotion to God is the Key to Everything"...even though it is).
So in the end, and I can say that because I read it through to the very last chapters 9 and 10, which are two of the best...in the end this was a well-written, helpful, quick and easy-to-read book about being too busy and what to do with that. He offers some technique, as I said, but mostly helps the reader look beneath the surface of his own motives and reasons for being "crazy busy," which make this book especially helpful and important.
Important enough, that I will now include Kevin DeYoung's "Crazy Busy" on the recommended reading list for the many pastors, ministry leaders and lay people who I coach through my business and ministry.
1. Hello, My Name Is Busy
2. Here, There, and Gone: Three Dangers to Avoid
3. The Killer P's - Diagnosis #1: You Are Beset with Many Manifestations of Pride
4. The Terror of Total Obligation - Diagnosis #2: You Are Trying to Do What God Does Not Expect You to Do
5. Mission Creep - Diagnosis #3: You Can't Serve Others without Setting Priorities
6. A Cruel Kindergarchy - Diagnosis #4: You Need to Stop Freaking Out about Your Kids
7. Deep Calls to Deep - Diagnosis #5: You Are Letting the Screen Strangle Your Soul
8. Rhythm and Blues - Diagnosis #6: You'd Better Rest Yourself before You Wreck Yourself
9. Embracing the Burdens of Busyness - Diagnosis #7: You Suffer More because You Don't Expect to Suffer at All
10. The One Thing You Must Do
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
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