Quitter by Jon Acuff

Quitter by Jon Acuff

Disclaimer: I’m offering a very initial review here of “Quitter” by Jon Acuff. I’ve only finished the first three chapters. The link above is also an affiliate link.

Just over one year ago, I was let go from a job I didn’t particularly like. I had made that decision at least one year previous, and had I not been in the middle of an adoption, I would’ve quit the job, or more likely, started my own business.

I will admit in hindsight how much that experience turned me off from making a decision I should’ve made at the time – look for another “day job”.

All this make me wish I’d had “Quitter” to read last year. I probably wouldn’t have made decisions that led to the end of my job, and assuming I had lost it anyway, I wouldn’t have waited so long to pursue another one.

Jon Acuff has, in several places described experiences similar to mine. I’ve spent about 12 years now pursuing a career I don’t particularly like but which paid my bills. I also found “The Total Money Makeover” which has brought more positive change to my life than almost anything else I’ve ever read. I also dream of being a writer, though I will admit I’m far better at guitar than he is. I’d rather write fiction or music or both. I also wouldn’t say I’m quite as concerned about my clothes dropping on the bathroom floor…

My wife wonders how I can be as gross as I am sometimes and yet hate getting dirty, but I certainly differentiate between getting mud on my clothes and smelling my own farts out of genuine curiosity, but I digress…

The point is, I’ve come to the very solid decision, after a year of attempting to be a “freelancer” and scraping to pay the bills, I know I need a “day job” for now. I guess I’ve known that for a while now, but Jon Acuff has certainly helped cement that decision, for which my wife and I are extremely grateful.

Thanks, Jon!

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Love and War

A few months back, my wife and I finished Love and War (affiliate link) – the latest book from John and Stasi Eldredge. Then we decided it was the kind of book we HAD to pass on to every one we knew, whether they were married or were thinking about it, which is why I’m currently missing it – I lent our copy to my Sister and Brother-In-Law. I’m glad to see they’re reading it as well, as noted here.

The Eldredges pull no punches – marriage is incredibly hard, and mostly because the people involved are such screwed up people. That goes for everyone.  As they put it, it’s like putting Cinderella & Huckleberry Finn together in a submarine. They go a lot further than that, claiming marriage is actually a “divine conspiracy” designed to get us to change in ways we desperately need but don’t have the ability to on our own. Again, they’re right on.

As my dad put it to me, you don’t realize how selfish you really are until you get married. Then you have kids and realize it on a much deeper level, but that’s another story.

It doesn’t end there though. Despite the impression I may have given, the “War” part isn’t between husband & wife. The war is the cosmic battle with The Enemy and his forces that we all have to live in, whether we admit it or not. The Eldredges used the term “Back to back with swords drawn” which I think sums it up pretty well. We can either choose to fight eachother or avoid getting to the deeper issues, or even walk away completely or we can engage with eachother and with God and learn to fight “back to back with swords drawn.”

Funny how this came about today. I’ve been sitting on this half-written draft for almost 6 months, but it took me logging in and feeling the smart from the fight I just had with my wife to get me to finish today. And to come pretty clean, I was an ass. I yelled, I cussed, and while I felt justified on some level, there was no real justification for it. And I get to feel the pain of it. But to paint the whole picture, let me tell you about this weekend.

Anna and I are both musicians and have been very involved in our worship teams for years. Last night we led worship together for a prayer ministry night at our church. It was great. God really showed up, it was very intimate, very close, and it was a great example of what Anna and I could do together. And this morning topped it off as Anna was announced to our church as the new head worship leader – a job she’s been doing for the past 3 years as a co-leader. I was so proud of her and as I’ve told her before, I believe she was born to do this job. She’s musically gifted and she really cares about leading the other members of the team in the process of worship. No one could ask for a more suited worship leader than her.

And yet, when we got home today, we descended into one of the worst fights we’ve had in weeks. That’s how it works – we have a moment of triumph, start dreaming together and The Enemy does his best to ruin it.

And for this, I’m glad for Love and War. If I didn’t know there were others ahead of us fighting through the same thing, I might be more tempted to give up.

Thanks, John & Stasi! Keep up the good work!

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Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet

I just wanted to drop a quick review of the latest book I just finished: Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet (affiliate link) If you’re not familiar with Nathan Foster, perhaps you’ve heard of his dad, Richard Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline (affiliate link) and Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (affiliate link) – two of the meatiest books on a close relationship with God I’ve ever read.

Nathan pretty honestly addresses the common struggle of all men, but especially with my generation: our relationships with our fathers. Like Nathan, I’ve had to work through my own father issues, and I have one of the good ones, as does he. As a writer, Nathan sometimes needs some work – the chapters could sometimes dig a little deeper, but honestly, he’s engaging for one simple reason: he’s very honest. When I care about a story as much as I cared about his, I don’t care so much about little technicalities. Besides, I don’t think I’ve got much to brag about when it comes to writing either.

I highly recommend this book to any guy who wants some wisdom on how to learn to bridge that relationship gap with his father.

Thanks, Nathan, for taking the time to put it out there. I’m going to try some of the things I learned from this book – in my own way, of course, since I don’t live near any mountains.

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