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Say Yes To No: Using The Power Of No To Create The Best In Life, Work, and Love Paperback – March 3, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Why is it so hard to say no? Pastor, writer and ex-New Yorker Cootsona explores the bevy of reasons why we say yes too often, and then delves into the virtues of no. Overworked and in bad health, the author describes how he had to embrace no in order to save his marriage, his career and his very life. Saying no, however, does not involve being negative or mean toward others. Technology, noise and too much entertainment are the primary culprits responsible for pulling us away from the important goals of our lives. These deserve our most emphatic no! The author does not recommend a radical restructuring of life, but suggests a helpful balance between being in the world and carving out time for silence, contemplation, family life and relaxation. Utilizing his gifts as a jazz drummer to drum up a helpful analogy, Cootsona describes how practice, listening and even improvisation can lead to making better choices in life. While much of the spiritual advice is not novel, the author's personal experience, unique presentation and eagerness serve to animate tried and true ideas. (Jan. 6)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
GREG COOTSONA is a pastor at Bidwell Presbyterian Church in Chico, California. Formerly, he ministered at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, where he headed the Center for Christian Studies. Greg is married, with two young daughters.
Top customer reviews
That means removing the obstacles, such as submersion in technology or work, that hinder our flourishing. You'll find no better guide than "Say Yes To No: Using the Power of NO to Create the Best in Life, Work, and Love." The book is addressed especially to those who may not have a religious identification but who are spiritually open. It's for those caught up in the quest for wealth, fame, position but who long for a life of integrity.
As a young pastor at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, the pressure of work and a series of family challenges began to affect his health. The chest pains, "a racing heart and shortness of breath, my head spinning with unfinished tasks at home and at work," led him, at age 38, into a doctor's care. That was in March 2001. Not many months later the church became a haven in the aftermath of 9/11. He realized the higher priorities in life required a series of nos to lesser ones.
Saying no, with grace and conviction, doesn't make one a negative person, but one who has the freedom to be "on the right road." That road includes Sabbath, the goal of which "is not idleness but a proper rhythm of work and rest." It's about finding the greatest yes of all.
"In Jesus," Cootsona writes, "I found the big yes to God. And that great yes now defines all my nos."
"Say Yes To No" is a practical companion to a vibrant, jazz improvisational life.
Copyright 2009 Chico Enterprise-Record
In former playground times, a favorite "game" was dogpile on...well, whoever the group mind didn't like that day. Greg talks us through how we no longer need help from others because we do a better job of burying ourselves in committments and busyness than any group could do for us. Through difficult and painful personal experience, he describes a tunnel that is all too familiar to many of us. But he hasn't forgotten the light!
More comprehensive in many respects than a mere discussion of borders, boundaries, or margin in our lives, Dr. Cootsona describes what our lives and culture have made of us and then critcally examines the "way out" through reclaiming the truly important elements of existence. Whether it is marriage, work, family, friends, relationships, the Sabbath, or Jesus, he speaks with clarity and frankness into some blurred areas of American life.
As for friends and relationships - the beacons guiding several generations working their way through life on this continent - he says this: "We are made for relationships. We are not even really ourselves unless we have friends and unless we serve others. The potency of friendship - a value, I feel, too few Americans know - is a gift that depends on saying yes to no. Say no to lonliness and selfishness and find the power of friendship."
Dr. Cootsona's book is a self-reflective page-turner that would benefit most those who have the least time to read it. Take the time!
Dr. Cootsona also weaves just the right amount of how faith enters into our decisions in life. We certainly should not say no the Lord, but we sure do! The last chapter of Say Yes to No does a good job of explaining what is meant by saying yes to the Lord.
I thank the author for his many years of hard work to allow me to begin to understand that we can synchronize our lives with the rhythms of Gods' creations. Whether it be interactions with our families, our businesses, our faith or simply feeling our personal purpose, we need insight on the intangible. I look forward to a conversation with others on how the book may have guided and directed individual lives. An extra bonus, I am listening to jazz more often so I can enjoy the improvisations and apply them to my life.