- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 44306th edition (May 2, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0849946506
- ISBN-13: 978-0849946509
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 420 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would? Paperback – May 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
This new young voice in evangelical Christian circles, a pastor and church planter in Nashville, finds a distinctive way to weave Bible stories with his own and other life stories. People develop Plan B, Wilson argues, when life does not deliver what someone wants. It also entails a firm belief that God is there both in the failure of Plan A and in the redemption that comes in Plan B. Wilson draws on other Christian writers and thinkers as well as the Bible; the foundation for Plan B comes from such Bible texts as John 16:33, in which Jesus says, 'In this life you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.' Wilson cautions that taking only one part of this teaching—either the trouble part or the overcoming part—leads to bad theology. Good theology comes from holding these two together in tension, balancing disappointment and suffering with faith in a loving God. While the teaching is sound, the way he delivers it needs tweaking; Wilson's writing lacks the kind of humility that draws the reader in. (May)
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About the Author
Pete Wilson is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Pete desires to see churches become radically devoted to Christ, irrevocably committed to one another, and relentlessly dedicated to reaching those outside of God’s family. Pete and his wife, Brandi, have three boys.
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But what I found as I read through the early chapters was a revelation that I was in fact currently living a Plan B life, and not the one that God intended. I've been too career focused and not God-focused these past however many years. I now believe I'm in a season of being re-built, a bit like Paul, when he spent all those years in Arabia after his Damascus experience. It's like the first half of my life has been an apprenticeship for the second half.
So reading Plan B was a powerful experience for me as it kept bringing back to pursuing God. There's this great line on page 193: "No, my greatest fear for my life and for yours is that we'll just get busy and distracted and settle for a mediocre, unexamined life. It's that we'll settle into life as usual and never become the persons God intended for us to be." That's me, that's my fear and has been for so much of my life. And I know God's had enough of it - I feel like I'm being pursued and I got to learn to listen and wait and trust.
Pete uses some great real life examples of people who have experienced some real crisis's in their life and talks through how they've worked through them, maybe not knowing all the answers but with the realization that God is faithful and He so so much wants our souls to sing as a result of our intimacy with Him.
Plus of course he references to many of the greats of the Old Testament like Abraham, Job and Joseph, all of whom had some pretty serious obstacles come their way in their journeys.
The linkage between the journey and transformation is a key point Pete explores. Our Plan Bs are part of the journey, essential in certain circumstances, for us to confront the fact we may need to change and they can in fact be the beginning of our hope of who we can become.
At the same time, Pete doesn't smooth over the wrinkles and life can be really tough and we may not understand why certain situations are occurring in our lives. There often aren't easy answers to the Plan Bs we experience. Take Paul, for example, how many times was he beaten and imprisoned unjustly during his journey.
But what's also important is that in coming to understand His "reckless grace" to borrow Timothy Keller's delightful description, we come to realize that it's not all about us. It's about Him and His purposes. This is so hard for us to grapple with, but that's why we need to set our eyes on Jesus and His life, He's the standard bearer for how we should live.
This is Pete's first book, I believe, and yes, he's not the fully polished article as a writer yet, but I wouldn't expect him to be. He uses some good reference material from the likes of CS Lewis, Mark Batterson, Peter Scazzero and more, all that work well to embellish the themes of the book.
I recently read this prayer from the missionary Jim Elliott, who lost his life doing God's work which kinda sums up for me what Pete is saying:
"Consume my life, my God, for it is thine."
If you're seeking a greater level of intimacy with God, then you'll find this a useful source of inspiration and sound wisdom.
Pete Wilson begins with the observation that all of us are going to face disappointments of various kinds - bereavement, divorce, job loss, disease, etc. For many Christians, there's little room in their view of God for understanding why these things happen. Wilson combines heart wrenching anecdotes from his own ministry with sober reflection on some of the disappointing things that happened to men and women in the Bible to offer an expanded view of God's love in the middle of sorrow. This is not a book with easy answers - Wilson poses more than one question to which the only answer he can give is "I don't know". Somehow, that's more comforting than the easy answers we are often given when we face difficulties.
The central points of Plan B are that much of our disappointment comes from having the illusion that we are in control of our own destiny shattered, that in that shattering we come to see how little we trust God, how little we value His presence compared to the material and emotional blessings we expected from our dreams, and that in those moments of shattering, God is intending to do something in us greater than we could have imagine for ourselves. He's not the first person to cover this territory, but he's the first I've read who really succeeds at combining a personal and caring approach with solid biblical wisdom.
I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone, but especially to people who are experiencing the pain of their life unraveling.
Will have to admit through all this I've often wondered where God was. I mean I knew he was there but I couldn't see Him, couldn't find Him, it came a strictly faith walk.
We tried to plant a church, unable to find jobs we went through savings, eventually threw in the towel and moved back to Lindell's hometown. We felt like failures or that we had missed God.
"Just because God calls you to some venture, that doesn't guarantee the venture will succeed. Just because life doesn't turn out the way you thought that doesn't mean you missed God's will." pg 79 He is more interested in your character, who you are, than what you do.
Could it be the thing we think of as Plan B is in all actuality a gift from God?..."letting God reveal and strip away our spiritual imperfections." pg. 263
"We must be willing, if necessary to abandon the life we've planned and dreamed of in order to receive the life that our God has authored for us." pg. 157
This book has many such nuggets as well as a wealth of insight, encouragement, wisdom. I would recommend everyone read this!