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Empty Promises: The Truth About You, Your Desires, and the Lies You're Believing

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Big fan!

I should probably just admit up front I'm a fan of Pete Wilson's writing style. I like his delivery in his first book, "Plan B" and I like it in this one. He weaves Scripture with real life examples and mixes thoroughly with his thoughts, expertise, and experiences. I f...
I should probably just admit up front I'm a fan of Pete Wilson's writing style. I like his delivery in his first book, "Plan B" and I like it in this one. He weaves Scripture with real life examples and mixes thoroughly with his thoughts, expertise, and experiences. I find it all to be inspiring, incredibly practical, and immediately applicable. At various points it's helped me process the past, in others it's added insight and endurance to the present, and still others have helped prepare me for the future.

"Empty Promises" covers a wide range of false promises that plaque us all. Everything from power and money to approval, religion, and even our own dreams and aspirations - 12 empty promises in all. He does such a good job of covering all the angles. if you haven't been lead astray by one of these promises i can almost guarantee that someone close to you has.

Here's an insight from the chapter on power:
While discussing the surrender that is necessary and citing the scriptural examples of Daniel and Jesus Psalm 46:10 is referenced - "Be still and know that I am God." We learn that the Hebrew word for "be still" has a literal meaning of "let go". The verse is really telling us to be still and let go. Let go of our desires to control, gain power, and control outcomes. Be still. And let go. We are not God.

"Empty Promises" is one of those books that can help you process, heal, prepare, inspire, learn, and grow.

posted by kd11 on August 1, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Sadly, Pete Wilson's book Empty Promises is full of empty promis

Sadly, Pete Wilson's book Empty Promises is full of empty promises and filled with mixed and confused theology and questionable teachings that are not grounded in scripture. Anyone who seeks solid doctrine and theology will have trouble with a book that quotes authors f...
Sadly, Pete Wilson's book Empty Promises is full of empty promises and filled with mixed and confused theology and questionable teachings that are not grounded in scripture. Anyone who seeks solid doctrine and theology will have trouble with a book that quotes authors from many conflicting theologies and denominations.

Wilson's book is full of conflicting theologies as he quotes from Calvinists and Arminians alike, seemingly not noticing or being aware of the fact that these guys teach opposite core theologies (something all pastors with any formal training should know). He quotes Calvinists like John Calvin, Timothy "Tim" Keller and John Piper VERSUS C.S. Lewis (Anglican/Catholic/mystic), Lewis Smedes (who reaches man deserves salvation and isn't such a bad sinner), Dallas Willard, Henry Nouwen (Anglican), Max Lucado (Church of Christ), John Ortberg, A.W. Tozer, N.T. Wright (Anglican), and Richard J. Foster (Quaker). How do you have 3 guys who teach the opposite of all the other guys and who would say the other guys are not biblical? How do you have quotes from at least 5 different denominations: Reformed, Anglicans, Catholics, Church of Christ and Quakers?

Rick Warren's forward. 1st sentence of the book: "Mother Teresa once observed that in India people are starving physically, but in American people are starving spiritually" (But people in India are more lost spiritually under the Hindu religion than America because at least we have Christianity.)

The good parts are: Wilson writes, "The question isn't "Do we worship" but "Who or what do we worship?" "Idolatry is when I look to something that does not have God's power to give me what only God has the power to give." He also touches on the fact that while some people claim that God is #1 in their lives, their lives prove that He really is not.

As you might expect from an author who doesn't hold to a solid core theology, this book is shallow and unbiblical and full of self-help. This entire book is 9 chapters full of examples of people who seek happiness in material and emotional things and only 2 chapters about instead putting God first. And the solution? Solitude, fasting and prayer. I hope most readers will realize the emptiness in such a works-based religion. On pg 19, Wilson teaches that we are to "invite God to help me know me." What happened to us humans knowing God? God's purpose is not to teach us about ourselves! How self-centered can we get? Who are we humans to insist that the almighty God is to serve us?

Disclaimer: I gave my honest review. I received this book from the publisher but a positive review was not required

posted by kamebear on April 6, 2012

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    Big fan!

    I should probably just admit up front I'm a fan of Pete Wilson's writing style. I like his delivery in his first book, "Plan B" and I like it in this one. He weaves Scripture with real life examples and mixes thoroughly with his thoughts, expertise, and experiences. I find it all to be inspiring, incredibly practical, and immediately applicable. At various points it's helped me process the past, in others it's added insight and endurance to the present, and still others have helped prepare me for the future.

    "Empty Promises" covers a wide range of false promises that plaque us all. Everything from power and money to approval, religion, and even our own dreams and aspirations - 12 empty promises in all. He does such a good job of covering all the angles. if you haven't been lead astray by one of these promises i can almost guarantee that someone close to you has.

    Here's an insight from the chapter on power:
    While discussing the surrender that is necessary and citing the scriptural examples of Daniel and Jesus Psalm 46:10 is referenced - "Be still and know that I am God." We learn that the Hebrew word for "be still" has a literal meaning of "let go". The verse is really telling us to be still and let go. Let go of our desires to control, gain power, and control outcomes. Be still. And let go. We are not God.

    "Empty Promises" is one of those books that can help you process, heal, prepare, inspire, learn, and grow.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 30, 2012

    On the cover of Pete Wilson's latest book, Empty Promises, featu

    On the cover of Pete Wilson's latest book, Empty Promises, features a fortune cookie. For most people, the fortune cookie uncovers a small slip of paper that "promises" great things in our future. The same is true for horoscopes and dreams - we reach for a brighter future filled with promises of wealth, status, success, true love, and our every desire. However, those are only empty promises compared to the one true Promise, God. Wilson's book is twelve short chapters with titles like: "The Seduction of Achievement," "Addicted to Approval," and "Chasing a Dream."

    Empty Promises was an enjoyable, informative book that encouraged me to look deeper into what gives me joy and purpose in this journey called life. I also found myself guiltily looking into a mirror through several of the chapters. However, the greatest thing is that even though I found myself seduced, addicted, and in a chase, I also found the truth about what promise was real and long-lasting. In Luke 10:41-42 Jesus said, "'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'" The only promise needed and able to fulfill is the One who is truly able to promise joy, peace, and satisfaction.

    I received this book free for review from Booksneeze. I would encourage anyone who is struggling with life to get a copy and settle in for some soul-searching time with the greatest Promise you will ever find or need!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    I'm currently reading "Empty Promises- The Truth About You,

    I'm currently reading "Empty Promises- The Truth About You, Your desires, and the Lies You're Believing" by Pete Wilson. The book takes a look at the idols in our life.  Wanting to be accepted by others and doing whatever it takes to gain approval only to find yourself destined to be disappointed.  Desiring power and chasing it like it is a drug. These are all ways that we can end up worship idols in our lives according to the book.
    The bottom line?  We all have a God-sized hole inside of us that only he can fill.  Everything else is fleeting and only temporary.  If you are hungry for more of God and want to turn your focus more towards Him, I would suggest reading this book.

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  • Posted May 10, 2012

    A New Look at an Old, Old Problem, with Some Answers

    Empty Promises The Truth about You, You Desires and the Lies You’re Believing Pete Wilson ©2012 Thomas Nelson Publishers ISBN 978-0-8499-4651-4 (trade paper) 205 pp. plus notes We’re created with certain desires but don’t always follow these longings for their intended purpose. We humans easily allow a subtle misdirection in seeking the satisfaction these desires were meant to offer. The author, a pastor; writes about times that even he was waylaid by the seduction of unfulfilling ways. These out of whack desires include an addiction to approval, seeking achievements that won’t satisfy, living for money, power, beauty, our own dreams for the future and even some religious behaviors. The enemy of our souls whispers lies about these God-given and good aspects of humanity. He easily detracts us into chasing warped ways to feel good about our lives. Pastor Wilson shows how to recognize traps from the devil and then offers several effective spiritual disciplines to help us follow the true purpose of our desires—to bring us to God. He urges us to believe that God is always with us, always loving us and always willing to give strength and mercy and goodness to us. God will meet the desires He planted with in us in the right way, as only He can do. This book says what many other authors have written, but presents excellent information with a new approach.

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  • Posted April 17, 2012

    Most of us are wired to want to make a difference, to count for

    Most of us are wired to want to make a difference, to count for something great, and to feel valued. Our culture tells us we can fulfill these desires through external things such as attractiveness, achievement, approval, power, wealth, etc. If you are like me and quick to say, “oh no, that’s not me, my identity is in Christ and those things don’t define me,” Pete Wilson will challenge you to realize the large capacity we have for self-deception and help unpeel those layers of hidden idolatry in his book Empty Promises.

    “Gathering your self-worth externally is like trying to fill up a lake with a Dixie cup. It’s just never enough. That’s why it’s so addictive.” It is SO easy for us to fall into the trap that what we do determines who we are, but Pete Wilson shows how we can exchange achievement addiction/success-based identity for a position-based identity. He shows how power at its worst is the sin of comparison and why wielding it somehow makes us think we matter more.

    In a nutshell, when we try to fill a God-given appetite with something that isn’t God, it’s idolatry. Pete Wilson will walk you through the traps and list out questions that will help you identify which idols or empty promises you have fallen for and not even realized it. Then he offers up biblical answers on how to transition out of those traps by not just showing how to turn away from them but what to replace them with. I highly recommend this practical book to any believer who wants to chase hard after the only promise that will satisfy – Jesus Christ.

    Disclaimer: BookSneeze® provided me a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    "Empty Promises" is about how we create idols in our o

    "Empty Promises" is about how we create idols in our own lives and how we fail to ever meet what these idols promise. It is also about how we can stop centering our lives around these idols and instead focus on the ONE who deserves our worship, God alone.

    The book is an easy to understand, frank discussion on looking for ways to expose our heart and the truth about the human condition. The first commandment says, Thou shalt not have any other Gods before me, but we often find ourselves convinced that if we were only a little more beautiful/handsome, a little richer, more successful, had a better home ect we would be "truly happy" and thus we create these things as idols in our life, often without even realizing it.

    This book really opened my eyes to what I was doing in my own life. It made me realize that if I spent half the time focusing on God's will for me than I do I these empty promises, I would finmd the true happiness I am looking for.

    I love Pete Wilson's style of writing. He is open, frank and loving. This is an excellent book for new and more seasoned Christians alike.

    From the moment I picked up this book I knew I was in for a ride. I got into it right away ans started examining my own idols. I really could relate to what he was saying about having the perfect home. I am a stay at home wife/mom and I often feel like I really fall short on that because I try so hard to be submissive and the kind of wife God wants me to be and I am so overly critical about things that do not even matter to God. It made me realize what matters to God is my <i>willingness</i>
    to do his will and my time I spend asking for his guidance as well as my using my gifts to do his will are far more important to Him than how perfect my home looks and how dust free it is.

    I think just about any Christian, at any point in their relationship, could get something wonderful from this book. There is always room for improvement.

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  • Posted April 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing read!

    In this book, Pete Wilson tackles something that every one of us faces, that feeling that what we have been chasing in life is just hollow. The sinking feeling that what we thought mattered most really doesn’t. This book also is a resource to peel back the blindfold and really examine our lives and make sure that we are actually targeting the right things.

    The book is divided up into two parts. The first really lays the groundwork to understand that much of our lives lived with our priorities out of whack. Rather then having God be the number one, front and center of our lives, we have instead bought into the lie that says something else should be first. With chapters that provide easy examples as well as some gut wrenching questions, the topics covered are things like approval of others, power and even religion. The second part of the book really helps in the area of calibrating your life and really works towards helping your determine if your life is one that is prioritized correctly.

    While this book is easy to read, it is challenging. I sometimes have the illusion that my life is somewhat together, chapter by chapter, Pete peeled back the layers and showed how many lies I am currently chasing in my life and how out of order I am. And while there is a hunger that will never be filled because ‘we are not home yet’, Empty Promises helps to guide you back to where you should have been all along. This book should be considered a must-read.

    Full discloser: BookSneeze® did provide me with a complimentary copy of this book to review.

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