Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?by Pete Wilson
What do you do when your dreams are shattered?
What do you do when your life isn’t turning out the way you thought?
What do you do when you have to turn to Plan B?
Pete Wilson reaches beyond the typical Christian response to offer frank understanding, honest encouragement, and real hope for your Plan B reality. Drawing on real-life/b>/b>/b>
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What do you do when your dreams are shattered?
What do you do when your life isn’t turning out the way you thought?
What do you do when you have to turn to Plan B?
Pete Wilson reaches beyond the typical Christian response to offer frank understanding, honest encouragement, and real hope for your Plan B reality. Drawing on real-life stories from the Bible (David, Joseph, Mary, and Martha) and the present day, he writes to help you:
- Move past the feelings of crisis: panic, fear, paralysis, and overcontrol
- See God in your circumstances—even when he doesn’t seem to be there at all
- Make peace with doubt, which can actually be an expression of faith
- Find hope through the redemptive power of community
- Ask the right questions in order to fi nd real, satisfying answers
- Explore the relationship between shattered dreams and true spiritual transformation
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Read an Excerpt
Plan BWhat Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?
By Pete Wilson
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2009 Pete Wilson
All right reserved.
Do you remember the day you discovered your life wasn't going to turn out quite the way you thought?
It happens to everyone sooner or later.
All of us have had dreams, wishes, goals, and expectations that, for a variety of reasons, have not come to fruition.
Plans fizzle. Expectations come to nothing. Trusted people let us down-or we let ourselves down. Dreams shatter or slip away.
Has it happened to you?
Plan A comes to an abrupt stop, and you're not sure if there even is a Plan B.
Maybe the realization hits you in the form of illness or even death-a terrifying diagnosis, a sudden descent into the world of hospital beds and IVs, the sudden loss of a close friend or family member. Maybe it involves a disillusioning church experience or a financial reversal.
Or maybe your shattered dreams come with divorce papers. You expected to finish your life with the partner you married. But your marriage is ending, and you're hurt and disappointed.
I recently met with a woman from our church who had been "happily" married for almost twenty-five years. Three days before our meeting, she had found an e-mail that caused her to start questioning her husband. Over the next several hours, he confessed to a sex and porn addiction that included dozens of affairs over the past twenty years. I'll never forget the look on that woman's face as she sat in my office mourning the betrayal of her trust and the devastation of her dreams.
But your broken dream may be completely different. Maybe, like my friend Dana, you just knew you would be married by now and have a family, but it's just not happening. Dana desperately wants to meet the man of her dreams. On several occasions she thought she had met the one, only to be disappointed. Now every wedding she attends is a reminder that life isn't turning out the way she expected.
Keith and Sheila feel the same way when they receive a birth announcement or shower invitation. Their first Sunday at Cross Point Church, where I pastor, they asked me to pray with them. They desperately wanted to have a child, but for some reason Sheila couldn't get pregnant. That was four years ago. Despite continued prayers and several procedures, they are still without a baby.
Do you have a career dream that keeps being frustrated? Maybe you trained as an engineer, but the economy is bad, and no one is hiring. You are convinced God wants you to go into ministry, but no doors are opening up. You were sure you were destined for the corner office, but you're stuck in the cubicle. You've always wanted to be your own boss, but you just can't get a business off the ground.
Or you might be like my friend Brian. He's a great guy that has so much to offer to people around him. He really wants to be involved with ministry in some way, but he wrestles with a drug addiction. Brian has been through several treatment centers and regularly attends twelve-step meetings, but every day is still a struggle. "You know what, Pete?" he told me recently over lunch, "I'm never going to do what I want to with my life because of this problem. I've prayed and prayed and prayed. Why won't God take this addiction away from me?"
Sometimes our disappointments are clearly our fault-we made a poor decision or took the wrong path. Sometimes another person's poor decisions are to blame. Sometimes, honestly, it's a little of both.
And then there are the times when life just seems to suddenly fall apart with no explanation. It seems totally random.
I was watching a movie the other night-one of those suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat films. I'm not a big fan of that kind of movie because they tend to stress me out. But at least the movies give fair warning when something terrible is about to happen. The camera angles shift, the music grows sinister, a shadow looms. Something tells you, "Watch out."
Don't you wish life was this way? But it's not, is it? It's not even close. Because often our dreams seem to shatter when we least expect it. There's no warning. You can't explain it, you can't blame it on someone else. It just happens, another painful reminder that life can often be unexplainable.
It Happens to everyone
If you're like so many people I know, your shattered dreams may have left you wondering if God is still actively involved in your life. You may wonder if he even cares or if you're too broken and bruised to be healed by him. You probably wonder quite a lot about what to do next.
No matter what has happened or how you feel, please know you're not alone. Because here's what I'm learning: everyone needs healing. Everyone.
Everyone has shattered dreams.
Every one of us has been let down and disappointed in one way or another.
And every one of us needs healing for our brokeness.
We all have this picture of the way our lives should be. And for some of us the picture of the way our lives should be and the picture of reality is just a reminder our lives are not turning out the way we had hoped.
We all have dreams, little or large. We all have expectations, reasonable or unreasonable. We all have this mental picture of the way our lives are going to be.
Isn't that true for you? In your mind you probably had it all planned-where you would go to school, whom you would marry, what your kids would be like, what kind of work would bring you satisfaction and purpose. Maybe you dreamed of the perfect house, perfect spouse, perfect two-point-three kids, perfect job. Maybe you saw yourself traveling the world or spending your life in service. Maybe you just hoped to be safe and reasonably comfortable.
Whatever you wanted for your life, if you're a Christian, you may well have assumed God wanted it for you as well. You might not admit it, even to yourself, but you were pretty sure God was going to sweep down and provide for you as only God could do.
The problem is, what you assumed was not necessarily what happened.
Nobody ever grew up thinking, I'm going to get cancer at forty-one. Nobody ever grew up thinking, I'm going to get fired at fifty-seven. Nobody ever planned to be divorced twice by forty-five or alone and depressed at age thirty-five. Nobody thought their child would end up in prison at age twenty.
You never imagined you wouldn't physically be able to have children. You never imagined you'd get stuck in a dead-end job. You never imagined the word that might best describe your marriage would be mediocre.
But it happened, and you're frustrated. Or hurt. Or furious. Or all of the above.
And let's be honest for a minute. Part of what brings up such strong emotions is the fact that it feels like all the other people around you are achieving their dreams. Their lives seem so put together.
Everyone else is getting married. Everyone else is having kids. Everyone else is successful. Everyone else is healthy. Everyone else is happy in their marriages-or content and productive in singleness.
Does this sound familiar to you at all?
If it doesn't, it will eventually. Because as I have said, it happens to everybody.
So what do you do with a shattered dream? What do you do with an unmet expectation? What do you do when your life isn't turning out the way you thought life was going to turn out?
What do you do when you have to turn to Plan B?
That's what I want to explore in this book.
Because, to tell the truth, I need the answers as desperately as you do.
I would never pretend to know what you're going through. I would never assume that I understand the pain or confusion you may be experiencing. But I have personally experienced shattered dreams-I'll tell you about a few later. And I've walked with a countless number of people through unspeakable loss.
I planted my first church in Morgantown, Kentucky, just a few months after graduating from college. Not that I have a clue what I'm doing these days, but back then I was absolutely lost! I knew God had called me to start the church, but I had never been a pastor, and I was only twenty-one years old. I had begun to work my way through seminary, but no seminary could ever fully prepare me for what I would experience as a new pastor.
Morgantown Community Church, although growing fast, was still a fairly small church the first few years I was pastor. The small size was a great fit for me because it allowed me to spend a lot of time with the people in our church. And some of my favorite people in that church were Dan and Kimberly Flowers. The church was only a year or so old at the time, and they had been there almost from the beginning. They were the perfect volunteers. They spent countless hours serving and were willing to do anything that was needed.
Then, all of a sudden, Dan and Kimberly just seemed to disappear. We didn't see them for several weeks. I called one afternoon to check up on them, and they invited me out to their house. They said they wanted to explain to me why they had stopped attending MCC. And they did. That night, over dinner, they very nervously told me they felt they couldn't come back to church because their unwed twenty-year-old daughter, Kelly, was pregnant.
That dinner was just the beginning of a sweet experience of grace for the Flowers family and our entire church. I told Dan and Kimberly that not only would they be welcomed back at MCC, but that nothing would make me happier than to see Kelly get involved as well.
They took me at my word. And I was so proud of our congregation over the next several months as they willingly and generously reached out to that family. Week by week as Kelly's pregnancy progressed, I could see her life being transformed by the love of God's people.
One of my proudest moments as a pastor was showing up one Saturday afternoon at the church office to get a little work done, only to walk in on a group of women holding a baby shower for Kelly. They were laughing and crying together, doing their absolute best to help. Most of the women in that room couldn't have been more different from Kelly. And yet they were extending a love that was beyond themselves.
The highlight of the shower was a beautiful white dress with little pink flowers that one of the women had bought. Kelly was so excited. She immediately squealed, "This is the dress she's going to wear home from the hospital."
I remember getting into my car that afternoon thinking, This is what God's church is all about!
Since I had walked the path with this family, I asked Kimberly if she would please call me when Kelly went up to the hospital to have the baby. When the call came, I rushed out to the hospital, which was located about thirty minutes from our small town. I sat in the hallway waiting with Dan. I'm not sure which of us was more nervous. This was Dan's first grandchild, and it was my first time as a pastor walking a church member through this process.
While we sat there chatting, Dan asked me if I knew what Kelly had named the baby. He went on to tell me she had chosen to call the baby Grace, and he thanked me for everything the church had done to show God's love to Kelly. I just sat there in total amazement at everything God had been doing through our church and this family.
But then I started to notice an unusual amount of traffic going in and out of Kelly's room. And all of a sudden, Kimberly stuck her head out the door. "Please pray," she begged. "Something is terribly wrong."
My heart started to beat fast, and my hands got a little shaky. What could possibly be going wrong? She's just having a baby. For the next ten minutes Dan and I just sat there, not saying a word but praying like never before.
When Kimberly came out again, she was crying uncontrollably. She finally calmed down enough to tell us that Kelly's baby had been stillborn. Apparently the umbilical cord had wrapped around the baby's neck. Despite the doctors' best efforts, they had not been able to resuscitate little Grace.
I would like to tell you in that moment I stepped up to the plate and did something really pastoral-quoted Scripture, perhaps, or led the family in a prayer. But I didn't. No words came to my mouth. No pastoral thoughts popped up in my mind. I just stood there in silence and watched Dan and Kimberly cry and hold one another.
Then Kimberly said those words that still make me nervous to this day when I think about the moment. She said, "Pete, Kelly would like to see you."
I remember thinking, Like now? I wanted to come up with an excuse and take off. I wanted to run and hide. I just knew I couldn't go in there. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know what to do.
I walked into the room completely ill prepared for that moment. I still remember how dark it seemed. There were no noises except for a faint beeping coming from one of the monitors. Most of the medical personnel had cleared out. And there was Kelly sitting on the bed, holding Grace.
I sat by her bed as she kept stroking the baby's head, speaking to her little girl as if the baby's lungs were full of air and the little heart was beating. After about an hour she looked at me with big tears in her eyes and simply asked, "Why?"
I didn't know what to say, so I didn't say anything.
"It just doesn't make sense," she added. "After all God has done over these past few months to restore my relationship with my parents and to show me who he is, why would it all end like this?"
I never answered her question that day-mainly because I didn't have a good answer. As I sit here almost twelve years later, I still don't know that I have a good answer.
I think we all have questions that plague our minds. For many people it's the basic question of "Does God exist?" I don't wrestle too much with that one. In my opinion there is too much evidence of God's existence for me to spend very long questioning it.
No. The question that resurfaces for me again and again and again has more to do with all the unexplainable pain and hurt in this world. The greater struggle for me is that God does exist, yet so does a lot of pain and suffering. There are so many Kellys in this world. So many broken dreams. And while I've spent a lot of time studying and pondering, I have to be honest and say I'm still not sure I understand why.
I stayed with Kelly and her parents the rest of the afternoon. There was very little conversation. Most of the time, we just sat there, silently praying and staring at one another in disbelief.
At one point Kelly decided she wanted to dress Grace before the funeral home came to pick up the body. They took the baby away in that pretty little white dress with the tiny pink flowers.
I cried the whole way home that night. I cried because I hurt for Kelly and her family. I cried because I didn't feel like praying. I cried because I couldn't understand why God would allow this.
Three days later, a handful of pallbearers would follow me carrying a little wooden casket up a hill where we would bury baby Grace. As we walked toward the hundreds of people gathered around that gravesite, I wondered, How am I going to explain this to my church? How do I tell them God didn't show up! The following question would haunt me for months: What do you do when God doesn't show up for you in the way you thought God was going to show up?
In a way, those questions still haunt me. But I've learned a few things since then that have helped. I've learned a few more things about the Plan Bs of life, mostly through spending time with people in the Bible who faced their own shattered dreams.
I'm not sure where you are with your faith. You may not have a relationship with God. You may not believe in the Bible. But if that's true, I'm going to ask you to do me a favor. I'm going to ask you to suspend your judgment. I'm going to ask that you remain open-minded throughout this journey we take together, even though we'll be spending some time in the Bible. You might be surprised where you end up.
On the other hand, you may have grown up in the church. Maybe you've read the Bible all your life, but you've still reached a point where what you thought you knew doesn't seem to be working anymore. You're confused, lost, and possibly annoyed because God hasn't seemed to deliver the way so many over the years have promised you he would. I'm praying this journey provides a new perspective on the promises of God. I'm praying you won't jump to the end of some of these stories you've heard a million times, but will read with fresh eyes.
Excerpted from Plan B by Pete Wilson Copyright © 2009 by Pete Wilson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What People are Saying About This
“What do you do when you wake upwith shattered dreams and unmet expectations? Pete Wilson’s book, Plan B, offers honest encouragement andspiritual insights when life doesn’t go as planned.” —Craig Groeschel, senior pastor,LifeChurch.tv, and author of The Christian Atheist
“If your life is going according to plan, if your pain level is low andyour ease meter is high, you probably don’t need this book. But for the rest ofus, I am glad it’s around.” —John Ortberg, pastor and author, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
“Pete Wilson is a fresh voice forall today who wonder if they’ve missed God’s best life and are relegated togathering dust. He provides honest hope, a sound biblical base, and realanswers. What also touched me as a reader was his warmth and authenticity. Agreat read for us all.” —Dr. John Townsend, author of Boundaries, psychologist, and business coach
Meet 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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This book blessed my soul. I read it at a point in life where wondered if at all life makes any sense. It was like my life was cascading down an avalanche of disappointments and heartaches. Three things are emphasized in this book 1. Expect Disappointments 2. Know that God is in it with you. 3. Rely on him for a way out.
Learn how God often does His best work in our most hopeless situations. You just found out your spouse of 27 years has been having and affair. Your savings is quickly going down the drain because of a bunch of unexpected home or car repairs. You've just been diagnosed with terminal illness. You didn't get accepted into that school you had your heart set on. You're stuck in a dead-end job and keep getting passed over for promotions. Sounds like a lot of fun, huh? The sad news is that we live in a world where things like this happen all the time. But the great news is that God intends all things to work together for good. Pete Wilson, the senior pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, has written his first book, Plan B, in which he offers not just real life examples of these situations, but also includes examples straight from the Bible that offer encouragement and hope for his readers. The book includes a section at the back called "For Thought and Discussion" that can be used when leading a small group study or book club and there is a notes section behind that which gives more information about the quotes he used in each chapter. I found this book was a great overview of situations that I may run into myself or might be asked to help counsel someone through. Pete's book offers a lot of real life examples where God's work has been seen but also provides others where it's just plain hard to see how God might be working in the particular situation. I enjoyed this book on so many levels. It is a fairly quick read and if you've ever heard any of Pete Wilson's sermons, his book reads just as naturally as he gives his messages. His book made me realize that while the speed bumps that I'm going through in my life are difficult, there is a purpose and mine just happened to be very minor compared to quite a few of the examples that he used. He brings a great balance of Biblical references, real life examples, wisdom, humor and best of all, he's a pastor/author that is authentic and admits that he doesn't have all the answers. I plan on keeping this book handy to re-read and share with my friends. Be sure to checkout the book's website! http://www.planbbook.com/ THE FINE PRINT. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
What do we do when things don’t go our way? How do we react when our life looks completely different than we expected? As human, we want to understand the “why” but these issues are tough to tackle. Pete’s writing is incredibly relational, honest and easy to read. He writes as someone who has also experienced pain, failure, and shattered dreams. By telling the stories from his own life, as well as stories from family and friends, you feel like you’re sitting down with a friend, not reading a book. Pete writes with wisdom and boldness, although he will be the first to admit that he doesn’t have all the answers. He tackles this complicated subject well and shows hope to those who may be feeling like their own lives are falling apart. If you or someone you know is in need of encouragement after watching dreams shatter, then this book is a great place to start. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
If you are going through a life change, this book is for you! When I first go the opportunity to review Plan B: by Pete Wilson, I wasn't quite sure what I would uncover when I open the book. I've never had the opportunity to hear about this man, but after doing a quick search I realized he really knows what he's talking about. So, I had no problem really diving myself into this book. First, and foremost, this is a wonderful book to give someone who is just starting their live: graduates, new parents, divorcee's...etc. There are so many life changes that really can mess us up if we aren't fully prepared. This book covers these life changes and helps us know how to deal with them. The truth is that Pete helps us understand that we can't avoid these changes, but we can learn to deal with the hurt, frustration, and disappointments along the way. If you are struggling with a life change, this book is for you and you will learn great tips! Remember, life often catches us by surprise. If we can learn to handle those changes as Pete Wilson offers us, we can really learn to tackle situations better! No matter what situation you are going through, this book can help you get a game plan to be prepared on dealing with big life issues!
I don't know about you but this last year has not gone exactly as I thought it would or how I would have liked it to. It is during these difficult times that you try to figure out what is going on; the answers are not always forthcoming. When I was given the opportunity to read and review this book, I jumped at the chance hoping it might help me to understand why God does things the way He does. Pete Wilson uses real life stories of disappointments and tragedy along with stories of biblical heroes such as David, Joseph, and Ruth to help readers face their own situations, which can appear overwhelming. Through them he tries to show us that God is working to help us surrender our plans and to receive His. I found this to be a practical book for anyone who is stuck in an unexpected situation, wondering if God is still at work and to help them to see that God still loves them, even when it might seem hard to see.
I had the privilege of interviewing Pete Wilson, on our radio show "Kingdom Highlights", for his new book, "Plan B" What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would? published by Thomas Nelson. Let me start out by saying that there are some books, not many, that need to be read many, many times so that the depth of what has been written gets into the depth of us. This book is one of them. Pete Wilson is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN and he has experienced much in his career so he knows about "PLAN A". Plan A is easy, that is our plan. We are going to have the perfect spouse, with the perfect kids, have the perfect job, lead the perfect ministry while living in the perfect house where we entertain our perfect friends. Then we experience the spouse who wants a divorce, children who take drugs and/or got o jail, we lose the job, our friends betray us and the house goes into foreclosure. Those experiences are what Pastor Wilson calls Plan B. "Plan B" happens to all of us and we should not be shocked when it happens for how we react to the situation is what is going to define us. By using stories from the lives of David and Joseph and Joshua as well as others Pastor Wilson shows us how they reacted and what we could do to change our reactions. Most times when we are in a Plan B situation we get angry with God. In this book Pastor Wilson helps us draw closer to God. This book should be up there on the shelf next to our Bibles because we are going to refer to it often. I recommend it highly. If you missed the interview for "Plan B" and would like to listen to it please go to Kingdom Highlights where it is available On Demand. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I appreciate what Pete Wilson delves into in this book, sharing stories of pain from his own life and the lives of others. However, there seemed to be one element to this book missing that I kept waiting to show up, but never did. That is the fact that Christians have an enemy, aka Satan, who's objective is found in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." When we accept the call of God on our lives & follow Jesus we have to know that the enemy would love nothing more than to derail us from succeeding. He'll hit us with anything he can...relationship failures, disease, death...the enemy wants to steal from us - our peace, our joy, our finances, kill us - in the spiritual and the natural, and destroy us - so that we don't fulfill the reason we were born. He knows that we are a force to be reckoned with and if he can distract us from our purpose and disguise himself so that we don't know how to fight back we will end up defeated. John 10:10 continues to say..."I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." God is for us. God is on our side. I was disappointed that this book made it seem like every "Plan A failure" was from God. I think the biggest lie we fall into is the thought process that "God sent me this sickness, God killed my child, God took away my job...because He wants to teach me a lesson." Does that sound like the God of John 10:10 - or could that mindset be exactly what the enemy wants us to think so that we waste our energy asking God "why" instead of fighting back and telling the enemy he can't steal from us, he can't destroy us and he can't kill us. The enemy is a bully. No true victory comes from our "Plan B" situation until we begin to exercise our faith, find out who we are in Christ, learn what authority we have on earth and begin to walk in it. We need revelation on that.I believe this is a great book in raw form and that the author meant well, but unfortunately I would not recommend it.
Pete Wilson is the pastor of Cross Point church in Nashville, TN and the author of WithoutWax.tv blog. The book, Plan B, mirrors the message and the person that he presents in both the church and blog mediums. Plan B is a book intended to help the reader deal with those moments in life where things have not turned out the way they had dreamed or hoped. Let's face it, most of us have either had one of those moments or will. Someone once said that life is what happens when we are planning for it. So how can we deal with those unexpected twists in our lives? While this book is presented from a faith standpoint and will speak very clearly to the Christian reader, it brings a lot of practical wisdom that the non-Christian reader will benefit from as well. Pete's conversational style has a way of drawing the reader in to the inner circle of the stories he relays as examples for the lessons he has learned from his own life or from others. It is easy to laugh along and to grieve along with the persons inside that circle that Pete invites you to witness. So what do you do when faced with that moment when the world seems to fall away from under your feet? Do you run? Do you stand paralyzed not knowing what to do? Do you struggle with who to turn to or understanding where help can come from? I believe everyone in their life has a time where things do not go as planned. You lost a loved one to early, a spouse walked out, or you are battling a physical aliment. No matter what the situation is Pete Wilson shows us through passages of scripture the many biblical characters who lived their whole life living out Plan B and how God used their Plan B to bring healing and glory to God. If you have someone who is going through a difficult time this would be the prefect book to pass along. This will be a book I keep on my shelf to read whenever things don't go as I had planned.
The book is filled with bible "stories about every day men and women whose plans didn't work out. It's full of people trying to figure out what to do with a life that wasn't turning out the way they expected." (page 11) Chapter by chapter Pastor Pete (I wonder if that's what his church members call him?) spells out some simple reassuring points to meditate on. The book certainly is not a "do these six things and your life will turn out fine." It can't be. no book can speak to your Plan B, or your situation and certainly no pastor or author can "fix" this time that you are walking in right now. This isn't a self-help book (at least not in that regard). No, this book reads more like a devotional where each chapter contains a bible story and a few of Pete's own journeys as a church leader. The best part about reading this book for me has been the "confirming" that I hear from another Christian. I have felt God telling me to stay close to him in this time, to continue to be patient and to stick close to other believers who can continue to encourage and pray for me - and those are some of the things that Pete talks about. One of the things I loved the most and took away from this was something Pete said about walking in these times of darkness. "When plan B is creating havoc in your life and God doesn't seem to be doing a thing, can you still worship him? Can you still follow him? When he's not orchestrating the circumstances of your life the way you desire, do you still trust enough to seek him with reckless abandon?" (page 119) Why do our lives "change" when the world around us changes? Should we be like a "reed blowing in the wind;" something that is moved and changed by our surroundings? Or should we be like the one who built his house on stone (Matthew 7:24)? Plan B can only be as strong and as devastating as your foundation. The reality is, life brings pain to all of us and through it all our anchor needs to be the saving grace of the cross. To make it through each day, I think we could all use some "power beyond ourselves." So rather than cursing the sky and shaking our fists at the heaven's we should be leaning harder on the one who is our shepherd. In your Plan B make Psalm 18:2 your daily mantra.
Wracked by feelings of despair? Fear? Panic? Overcome by hurt, doubt and anger? Need help deciding what to do in your life? Are you a Christian who feels as if God has deserted you? Author Pete Wilson, the pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville has written a book that offers help and encouragement to those of us who feel all alone and overwhelmed. Change, both good and not so good, is a constant in nearly everyone's life and can leave one reeling (if life never disappoints you probably don't need this book). Things, people and places we take for granted can change in the blink of an eye. Jobs are lost, people get sick, friends and family can turn their back on us, money disappears and divorces happen every day to millions of people. Some see themselves merely as disappointed victims, but Pastor Wilson suggests that change can equal opportunity if only we can change our thinking. "God is still with you. And things will turn around, one way or another. Maybe not the way you planned. Maybe not the way you assumed God would handle it. Maybe not even the way you hope. But you will see God's hand at work - if not in your circumstances, then in your heart." (page 22) Perhaps choosing Plan B is the smartest plan of all.
In "Plan B," Pete Wilson attempts to provide new answers to the questions readers have when life gets difficult, when Plan As don't work out and people are forced to consider Plan Bs. According to Wilson, most answers, or at least the kind of answers Christians are looking for, can't be found. Instead, Christians must wait on God's timing and anchor themselves in God and the hope He provides. Christians should not run from hard times, but should try to look for ways to grow and be transformed through difficult circumstances, whether it be sin or the loss of a job. Wilson tells his readers to hope Someone rather than hope for something because God's plan is much better than the plans of man. Wilson starts off with originality and depth, but soon loses the qualities that make "Plan B" a worth-while read. The first few chapters take Biblical examples and provide new light that makes readers think. The latter half of the book, however, gives the same old, cliche answers that most readers will have heard a million times. Some messages need repeating, though, and many readers will find new hope through "Plan B." If nothing else, the book is worth buying or checking out to read the first few chapters.
This book begins with some good truths, those that seasoned Christians may need to be reminded of at times and truths that new Christians need to hear. Everyone at some point wakes up to discover that a part of their life is going to be nothing like it was planned. What happens when it seems that God's promises to you are not being accomplished? Perhaps you don't have the answer to the question - Why? Pete Wilson reminds us of the experiences of Bible characters and uses modern day stories from his experiences as a pastor to attempt to help people face those questions. David had been anointed as the next king and had experienced his first success in killing Goliath. He then began working in the palace only to find King Saul jealous and bitter. Joshua found himself the leader after Moses' death. He had to trust God enough to take the risk of stepping into a flooded river to cross to the land of promise. Good stories, with wonderful truths - yet I would recommend that if you read this book, you read it with your Bible open. At times Pete Wilson adds emotions to the Biblical characters that the Bible does not mention. The book does show that having problems or tragic things happen does not mean that God is not with you or that He doesn't love you. Wilson says "so often instead of giving us what we think we deserve, instead of taking away our pain.....He (God) offers us the promise of His presence. But this is not a consolation prize. It's exactly the gift you need ..." I love that statement, yet later in the book, he refers to Christ's death on the cross as the "ultimate Plan B". Perhaps I read into it something that the author did not mean, but He fails to quickly and clearly say that the cross was truly God's Plan A and that perhaps circumstances in our lives, things that we look at as a Plan B are in reality God's original plan. I must admit that much later in the book he says that we must be willing to abandon our life plans to receive the life that God authored for us, but the point should have been made much quicker rather than calling the cross a Plan B. He also states that in Jesus' prayer in the garden before His death, Jesus was saying, "I don't like this.....I'm not even sure I can handle this." He is making a point concerning getting rid of idols in our lives and following Christ's example and attitude of not my will, but Thine, however, saying that Christ was wondering if He could handle the circumstances is unacceptable in my opinion. I would like to once again encourage you that if you read the book , please compare it to the ultimate book of Truth, God's Word, the Bible. That's good advice no matter your circumstances! I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
It's one of life's little ironies that my reading of "Plan B" by Pete Wilson was interrupted by an uptick in symptoms from a chronic life-threatening illness. "What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would?" (the book's subtitle) is a great question to consider when you're in an infusion clinic waiting for your IV to finish running. Yeah, I'm living "Plan B." I have to confess that I approached "Plan B" with an arms-crossed show-me attitude. Still in the midst of an 18-month (so far) journey that's involved (so far) betrayal, rejection, unemployment, financial collapse, life-threatening illness, chronic pain, disability, and adjusting to dependency on my care-giving wife and friends, I was curious what Wilson could offer that some well-meaning Pollyanna hadn't said already. So let me say that Wilson gets it right at every turn. "Plan B" is the product of a heart informed by a deep faith in God and tempered by a committed pastor's exposure to real life. No empty platitudes or cheesy slogans here, Wilson writes about reliance on who God really is, as revealed in the Bible and 21st Century experience. Wilson's "Plan B" isn't your typical sugar-coated "Kumbaya, My Lord," better-by-and-by advice book. Wilson quickly and repeatedly points out that most often what really causes us to question God is a matter of timing or method or some other choice of details. Here God is God - the loving, just, Almighty, All-powerful, King of the Universe. And I'm not. Peppered with anecdotes drawn from some of life's hardest questions - the one's that inspire the roughest "Where is God now?" moments - Wilson provides an always relevant and extremely honest practical book that goes beyond mere happy thoughts to answer the "but what do I do now?" that lingers over every "Plan B." Oh, and Wilson's book didn't seem at all out of place in the infusion clinic. It stood up even there - which makes me confident that it'll stand up for your "Plan B" as well. Get this book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Wilson uses stories from his own experiences and from the bible as examples of how life doesn't always go the way we want or expect it to; sometimes the little things, and sometimes huge, life-altering things. The stories are relatable, as we all have experienced something that didn't go the way we imagined it would. The book is an easy read, but I still had trouble finishing it because it got a little boring for me to keep reading about another person who was disappointed. The book is full of "plan b" examples in life, which were expected, but I didn't get anything from that. I already knew life doesn't go smoothly for everyone, but what I was expecting in the book was more of a religious answer or explanation, or at least more advice on how to deal with those times that plan b comes up in our lives. Part of the title is "What to do when God doesn't show up the way you thought he would" gave me the impression the book would offer more guidance, which I didn't find here. I read the book with hope that I'd learn how to better deal with my own struggles or disappointments, but I didn't come away with anything new. The book reminds us that God is always there even if it seems like he forgot about us, but I was hoping for something that struck me a little more than that. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com http://BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.".
Perhaps the most difficult questions facing Christians are those that deal with evil and suffering. And we rarely ask these questions in a vacuum - usually it's because we or someone we know and love is suffering. Pete Wilson's Plan B is an honest, biblical exploration of how we should respond when our Plan A falls apart and we're left wondering what happens next. What's in the Book Wilson is the pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, and he draws on his experience as a pastor (and as a human) to shape the book. He connects the worst stories our world has to offer - broken marriages, betrayal, death and more, all pulled from his life and the lives of his friends - to the Biblical narrative. His approach to the Scriptures is more midrash than exegesis, but I found this refreshing. By placing himself in the stories, by imagining what the characters faced and thought, he breathed a life into them that made his contemporary connections stronger. What I appreciated most about Wilson's approach to our pain is that he doesn't settle for easy answers. He thoroughly and fully grounds our pain and suffering in the world of the Scriptures and teaches us to look to the Cross as our comfort (though I would have preferred that he spend a bit more time on the hope of the Resurrection). But he refuses to offer us an easy fix, even when this means he has to throw up his hands and declare that he doesn't have all the answers. My only complaint (and it is small indeed) is that Wilson could have spent more time pointing us to the hope of the End, when we find fulfillment in the resurrection and final judgment, when God makes all things new. This is where our hope comes from - not the cross alone, but from the empty tomb. And most importantly, this book is helpful. Whether you've been through a "Plan B moment", you're in one now or know you'll face one in the future, this book will help you to trust in God's work in the midst of your crisis. The verdict? Plan B addresses questions all of us ask without resorting to cheap, unsatisfying answers. It's worth your time.
Plan B is the guide book for those of us who have ever said, "This isn't how life is supposed to be playing out." (I think that encompasses all of us.) Or if you thought by now you'd have that degree/job/marriage/child (fill in your dream) that you'd been hoping for. Perhaps you got to where you wanted to be only to have your success toppled by loss, illness, unemployment, or any number of other dream-crushers. Life has turned on a dime and now you find yourself constantly wondering where God is in all of this disappointment. After all, isn't He aware of the plans you have for you? Why won't He just show up and make it all okay again? In Plan B, Pete Wilson takes our questions, struggles, nagging doubts and moments of faithlessness and sifts them gently through wise teaching, real-life experiences and Scripture. The book uses examples of other believers who have endured overwhelming and unexpected plan B life-altering situations, as well of stories of Moses, Joseph, Job, and more who throughout biblical history experienced their own plan B's centuries ago, and how God worked in all of these situations for His glory. I loved reading Plan B. It was a hard book to put down because the more I read, the more I recognized myself in what I was reading, and the more I came to realize how universal this concept must be among people; surely there are scores of us living lives different than the ones we dreamed of. This book offers hope and direction to those of us who wonder, "What's next?" There's nothing as constant as change. Be ready. Order your copy of Plan B today!
Plan B Plan B, by Pete Wilson, reads like a generic "What Do I Do When Something Terrible Happens and I'm Wondering Where God Is?" sort of book. He offers examples of time when things go wrong in life that God is still present, even if it is not obvious. He interchanges personal experiences with experiences of those close to him. However, often the experiences of those he knows are the most heart wrenching. I feel awkward reading the book when in one chapter he tells a story about his son peeing in a swimming pool and in others he writes about friends who suffered dissolving marriages, deaths of those close to them, and much more. This isn't to say Pete doesn't have a voice in this pain. One chapter outlines how he and his wife went through a miscarriage, and I think that chapter is one of the strongest out of the book, and that is because it is the most personal to him. The other chapters clumsily move from a funny story of embarrassment to serious stories of heartbreak. While everyone needs to laugh, the funny stories are often out of place. Second, as I mentioned at the beginning of the review, the book is generic. Almost every Christian self-help book I see now deals with finding God through personal crisis. And they all use the same Bible stories (Joseph) and all presume the reader is asking the same questions (But what did I do to deserve this?). This is not necessarily bad, but for me I don't see a difference in reading a different book over another. If I was struggling, I would go first on a friend's recommendation. If they recommended this one, then Great! If not, I'd choose a different one. There isn't enough to differentiate the tangle of other books. 2/5 stars I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
This might just become one of the books that I pass around to friends. There are a few books that just help out at certain points in life and this one really helps out when someone is feeling really stressed and needs somewhere to turn. Plan B teaches you how to let go of the stress and turn to God. Many people feel alone and forgotten when problems start to occur in their lives. Plan B shows you that God just has a Plan B for your life. It might not have been the life you expected but God is still there. These are the opportunities that bring you closer to God if you let them.
What Do You Do When God Doesn'?t Show Up the Way You Thought He Would? This is the subtitle of Pete Wilson's newest book Plan B. In a book pointing to the fact that God is in control of everything at the end of the day, Wilson attempts to point Christian believers to the fact that God's way is rarely in line with the way our feeble minds may imagine. Through a depressing group of stories of loss in the modern world, Wilson intermingles Biblical stories to show that at the end of the day, trusting that God is going to take care of you is enough, even when it feels as if He is nowhere to be found. I personally did not enjoy this read. Often, Wilson comes off as that older guy we all know who is just not ready to grow up. I really wanted to take his writing serious but found myself drowning in his obvious desire to hold on to some sort of "coolness." Sadly, much of the subject matter in this book is already so cold and heartbreaking that it needs no cooling down. Sadly, Wilson frequently points the reader inward for the answers to such questions as WHY DID MY BABY DIE? The answer is not on the inside though and Wilson seems to miss the Christian message entirely in how and where to look for God. Granted, I read this book quickly, but I currently cannot recall any discussion of sin. Further, the cross is avoided like the very plague of humanity and sadness that Wilson addresses. This book would provide little good to a new believer due to the lack of teaching Christ's purpose. As many of the Christian books out today miss the point on Christian purpose, Wilson seems to have fallen into the same Purpose-Driven trapping. I would not recommend this book. This review can be found at www.thispilgrimland.com