The Walk: Clear Direction and Spiritual Power for Your Life

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Are you walking with God , dragging your feet, or running ahead of Him? Take the first step in living at God's pace.
 
Your walk with God is the most extreme, dangerous, and intimate adventure you will ever be a part of. And all you have to do is walk,  which takes you to a place where it’s not about you—instead, you will become part of something that is much ...

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The Walk: Clear Direction and Spiritual Power for Your Life

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Overview

Are you walking with God , dragging your feet, or running ahead of Him? Take the first step in living at God's pace.
 
Your walk with God is the most extreme, dangerous, and intimate adventure you will ever be a part of. And all you have to do is walk,  which takes you to a place where it’s not about you—instead, you will become part of something that is much bigger than anything you can imagine.

God leads his followers through five stages of spiritual maturity. He begins by working in us even before we trust him, drawing us while we are still Unbelievers. He walks with us when we become Believers, training us so that we can grow to live as Examples of Christ. He works with Examples, showing them how to explain what they believe and making them Teachers. And God calls some Teachers to serve as Imparters, those who do the miraculous work of Jesus on earth.

While our tendency is to run ahead of God or lag behind, just walking with God through the stages of spiritual maturity will transform your life with biblical wisdom, God’s direction, and the power of the Holy Spirit. With God at your side, your life will have an unprecedented impact on others.

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  • Shaun Alexander
    Shaun Alexander  

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Three-time Pro Bowl running back Alexander (Touchdown Alexander, with Cecil Murphey) set NFL records in 2005 for touchdowns scored, as well as leading his Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl. This book, cowritten with Hilley (Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader), combines personal anecdote and snatches of autobiography with advice on how to be a believer, a teacher, or an imparter. VERDICT Capitalizing on sports-derived celebrity is not a bad way to evangelize the masses, but Alexander's book is hefty on memoir and thin on theology.
From the Publisher
“I have profound respect for people who are better in person than they are in public. That is Shaun Alexander. He doesn’t just talk the talk; he walks the walk. And that is what this book is all about.”
—Mark Batterson, best-selling author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

“Shaun Alexander is an inspiration to those going through the ‘walk’ that we call our daily lives. His insight and wisdom will cause readers to look deep inside and seek after God. His candor and spiritual maturity teach us how to live happier, more purpose-filled lives. Once you start reading this book, you won’t be able to put it down.”
—Matthew Barnett, senior pastor of the Dream Center

The Walk is a must-read for anyone who has questions about faith or who wonders what it would be like to have a more tangible relationship with God. It presents a picture of God we can connect with every day. From math tests to touchdowns, Shaun’s incredible insights and personal stories will give you the practical tools you need to navigate through life’s biggest challenges.”
—Erica Greve, minister and conference speaker

“Shaun Alexander has been a model and a blessing to countless young people in the Communities In Schools program, offering students hope for a future. When Shaun writes about those who are Examples—‘people who actually live what they claim to believe’—I see his face and hear his voice.”
—Bill Milliken, founder and vice-chairman of Communities In Schools Inc. and author of The Last Dropout and Tough Love

“Ever since I first met Shaun at the Senior Bowl, I have been impressed by his consistency, his humility, and his teachable spirit. I have watched him mature as he has learned to live out his faith. This book will take you through some of the same steps he took in that growth process, and I know you will be challenged and blessed.”
—Carey Casey, CEO of the National Center for Fathering and author of Championship Fathering

“Shaun lives with integrity and honor in the public eye. But it’s the life he lives when no one is watching that amazes us. His relationship with God and intimate knowledge of the Scriptures have given him a strong foundation for his entire life. With The Walk, Shaun makes these insights available to people of all walks of life in order to deepen their walk with God.”
—John and Lisa Bevere, authors, international speakers, and cofounders of Messenger International

“The greatness of Shaun Alexander running downfield with a football is but a glimpse of the greatness he walks in without a football. This man of God has written a phenomenal book that can spark the greatness in all of us. The Walk will allow us to start our walk toward a much better world, right from where we are.”
—Michael Jr., Christian comedian

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307459510
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Shaun Alexander was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks after a standout football career at the University of Alabama. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, in 2005 he set an NFL record by scoring twenty-eight touchdowns. In the same season, he set a team record by gaining 1,880 rushing yards and leading his team to the Super Bowl. Today, Shaun travels the country speaking to business and military audiences, at sports camps, and at churches and Christian conferences—appearing in front of thousands of people. He is a gifted communicator and Bible teacher who points listeners toward exceptional achievement by aligning their lives with God’s perfect will.

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Read an Excerpt

      Sweat drips from my nose as I lean over, hands on my knees,and gasp for breath. I look across the huddle at the left tackle. He’s a high school all-state pick; he’s a college all-American; he’s an all-pro offensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL). Our eyes meet, and I grin at him. He nods back as if to say, “Follow me.”
      To my right is the fullback. Blood trickles down his forearm, and mud covers his jersey, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He’s my running mate and my protector. He leads the way, opening holes in the line and throwing his body against linebackers, safeties, and defensive ends who try to stop me. He catches my eye and winks as if to say, “Let’s do it.”
      Moments later the quarterback leans into the huddle. “All right. We need two yards for a first down. Green, power right, check, shift right, F left, ninety-seven OT on two.” This is a play where I follow the fullback to the right through a hole between the right guard and the right tackle. 
      As we break the huddle, I see the crowd stand to its feet. At the far end of the field, the American flag flaps in the breeze. The crowd is cheering, watching, hoping. Seven yards behind the line of scrimmage, knees bent, cleats digging into the turf, I ease into position.
      And then everything slows down—the American flag on its pole, the crowd, the players on the field. As if in slow motion, linemen settle into their stance, planting their hands in the grass. Tension fills the air. Something big is about to happen. The quarterback barks the signals, firm and decisive. “Set. Hut!”
      Suddenly there’s a loud pop as our linemen collide with players on the defensive line. Up and down the line of scrimmage, groaning and growling, players wrestle like gladiators. As the quarterback drops back, I step to the right. In the next instant I feel the ball slap against my stomach. I clutch it with both arms. My legs are moving, my mind racing. Read it. Read it. Hit the hole or cut back. “Cut!” I plant my foot and explode through the line.
      Ahead of me, the fullback crashes into a linebacker. The slot receiver sprints toward the safety. As they collide, the safety flips into the air.
      The crowd gasps.
      With the safety out of the way, I move to the left toward the sideline. From the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of the crowd on its feet. Fans are waving their arms and screaming, but all I hear is the whoow, whoow, whoow of my breath as I sprint down the field. 
      By then the cornerback has taken an angle on me and is closing fast. He cuts into my lead with every step. I run harder and harder, calling on every ounce of strength in my body, past the forty-yard line, then the thirty, and the twenty. The cornerback is closing the gap as my foot crosses the ten-yard line. I can hear him behind me and just to the right. I can feel his eyes boring in on me and know that every muscle in his body is pushing to knock me down.
      At the five-yard line he dives, reaching with both hands to make the tackle. His arms brush my cleats. I stumble, put my hand on the ground, then stumble again. All the while I tell myself, Pick up your head. As I stagger to the right, I lift my chin. My feet come under me, and I sweep into the end zone for a touchdown. A sixty-yard run on third-and-two. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
      The roar of the crowd echoes in my helmet as I turn to celebrate with my teammates. Then up the field I see the trainer and members of my team running toward the thirty-yard line. A player is lying on the ground, writhing in pain. I jog up the field and join the players who are gathered around him. I can see that his leg is broken, twisted at a sickening angle.
      “Get the cart,” someone orders. Others sigh with resignation, knowing an injury like that could take a player out of the game for the remainder of the season, perhaps even for good.
      Then, without hesitation, some of us kneel beside our injured teammate. We lay our hands on his leg and begin to pray, invoking God’s healing presence and power. We agree together, just as Scripture says, “Lord, let Your will be done here on earth, as it is in heaven. There are no broken bones in heaven” (see Matthew 6:9–10). As we pray, the player’s shattered bone moves back into place, perfectly aligned and as strong as before. Our teammate looks up at us, his eyes wide with wonder.
      How would you express the feeling of having your broken leg repaired by God while you’re lying on a football field?
      By then the crowd is silent, many standing with their hands to their faces in a look of amazement. They start to murmur, and the look on their faces says they have never seen anything like this. Even those of us who prayed for our teammate to be healed watch in awe as he trots toward the sideline. I turn to the others, look at them, and point to—
      Just then my eyes popped open, and I stared at the ceiling. My heart was pounding. “It was just a dream,” I whispered. I glanced at the alarm clock and rubbed my eyes. “But couldn’t it really happen, just like that?”
      I have dreamed that dream many times, wearing the different uniforms of the teams I’ve been a part of in high school, college, and the NFL, and I have realized that I’m not really me in that dream. I represent a Christian who believes in God’s power and lives in such a way that God is free to work through his life. The dream illustrates what God can do through a life that is fully yielded and obedient to Him.
      Still, I ask myself, is it possible? Can God do today what He did long ago through men like Moses, Elijah, and the first-century apostles? Is it possible for us to experience His miraculous presence to the same extent they did? I think it is. Scripture certainly suggests that it’s possible. But how?

LIVING YOUR DREAM

      Football has been more than a dream for me. I began playing as a young boy, back in Florence, Kentucky. With the help of coaches, my parents, and many others, I developed skills as a player and earned a football scholarship to the University of Alabama. There, I played for Coach Gene Stallings and Mike Dubose with the Crimson Tide. After college I was drafted in the first round (nineteenth overall) to play for the Seattle Seahawks.
      My sixth season with the Seahawks was my breakout year. I set a number of team and NFL records and was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. At the conclusion of that season, we won the National Football Conference championship and went to the Super Bowl. Although we lost to Pittsburgh, that season was one of my best ever.
      As I began my seventh season in 2006, I looked forward to building on what we’d accomplished the prior year. I trained hard and came to the season’s first game with great expectations. We opened that year against the Detroit Lions.
      Sometimes life-changing events come to you with a sign written in huge letters that spell out “YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE.” Other times the moment slips by with little or no recognition. That game against Detroit was one of the latter. I didn’t realize its significance until months afterward.
      During that game a defensive lineman fell on my foot, pinning it in place between his body and the ground. He had shot through the line toward me, and as I cut left to escape his grasp, one of his teammates met me face to face. All three of us fell to the ground. This seemed like a normal play: you get the ball, you run, you get tackled. Pads crash, bodies hit the turf, the whistle blows, everybody gets up and tries it again. That’s football. That’s normal.
      But on this play my left foot got sandwiched between the ground and the lineman’s three-hundred-pound body. As I trotted back to the huddle, I could feel the pain.
      For a football player, physical pain is a way of life. Since I began playing organized football as a young boy, I have taken the field while nursing sprains, strains, and aches in almost every part of my body. That day against Detroit I didn’t think about the pain. But the pain in my foot never went away. I continued to play that day and carried the ball nineteen times for fifty-one yards. The pain was a distraction, and I failed to gain the yardage that I expected of myself, but I wasn’t too concerned. 
      After the game team doctors told me I had a bone bruise. That’s a medically nonspecific term for “You got hit hard, and the pain goes to the bone.” I spent time with the trainer but continued to play. Two weeks later, in a game against the New York Giants, the bruise became a fracture, and I was out most of the season.
      Doctors told me to stay off my foot, so I spent a lot of time reading. One of the books I read goes deep into the reality of spiritual warfare. While reading The Call by Rick Joyner, I realized that God works in an orderly fashion; He is a God of order. And as I listened to God, I saw that some things in my life were out of order.

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 14, 2011

    Great Read

    Shaun Alexander offers some helpful thoughts in his book simply titled "The Walk." The premise of the book is walking "with" God. Alexander states that the important part of that phrase "walking with God" is the preposition with. Then he walks through the stages of belief from the unbeliever to consistently and obediently walking with God. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Since humankind has sought connection with God we have looked fo

    Since humankind has sought connection with God we have looked for ways to describe the process of spiritual maturity. The Old Testament used wandering in the wilderness. Jesus talked about taking up one's cross. The apostle Paul often used the metaphor of athletes training for a race. In The Walk, former NFL running back Shaun Alexander (with help from Joe Hilley) uses the metaphor of walking with God as a framework for describing the process of spiritual growth.

    Alexander's book is definitely a pleasant read. As you might expect, he tells many stories from his life in football. They are well told, and always helpfully illustrate his points. Alexander also has a knack for defining theological terms in clear, simple language. I found him to display good insight into the human condition.

    If there is a drawback to this book it is that Alexander seeks to make one's walk with God a simple and clear process. He describes a five stage process to the spiritual walk. He suggests that each stage must be experienced in order. According to Alexander, Christians further along in the walk are best suited to mentor those who are two stages behind them. Although there is much helpful insight given for each stage of the walk, the progress to spiritual maturity is rarely this linear. The stages themselves seem forced to me and I found it difficult to get past that as the book progressed.

    I recommend The Walk with reservations. I think it could be a helpful group study book for a men's ministry and a good gift book for a Christian sports fan.

    NOTE: I received a copy of the book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review through their Blogging for Books program.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    if you're going to talk the talk, then you'd better walk the walk

    Reviewed by Lori M for ReadersFavorite

    I chose to read this book because the subtitle of "The Walk" said "Clear Direction and Spiritual Power For our Life." Who wouldn't want that? I had no knowledge of the author and when the book arrived, it surprised me to see his photo on the front cover as that is very unusual. When I flipped to the back cover, I discovered that the author is a former NFL player, so I asked my football-obsessed husband, "Honey, have you ever heard of an NFL player named Shaun Alexander?" to which he replied, "Of course! He was great. He played for the Seattle Seahawks and left them to go into ministry."

    It was so refreshing to read something by a professional athlete who was (1) articulate and intelligent, and (2) humble. Professional athletes aren't exactly known for their humility, right? Shaun Alexander is the exception as he clearly gives all credit for his abilities, talents, and skills to God.

    Tears flowed when I read about the player hurt on the field and Shaun and his teammates standing over him in prayer as the trainer worked on him. It was just so moving. I think that this book clearly demonstrates that if you're going to talk the talk, then you'd better walk the walk and Shaun Alexander clearly does that and brings people to a relationship with Christ. Go, Shaun!

    A bonus part of the book is an unexpected delight wherein the author answers frequently asked questions about religion, God, and the bible. Great stuff!

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    More than an athlete

    To be honest, Shaun Alexander was a guy that played football (and on my fantasy team) and happened to write some books. Reading "The Walk" I was able to see that he is more than just a jock. Alexander brings heartfelt passion to his walk as a believer in Christ.

    Alexander is not just a gifted running back but a gifted human being. I was very impressed that he was willing to put his dreams, experiences and even doubts out there for everyone to read. Coming from a macho culture, he brings to the table what all that are successful in life must learn...there is more to life than just that success.

    Shaun makes a compelling case for the basic action we take in this life. That action is walking. Better than a casual stroll, Alexander points to how our walk is one that only benefits from walking WITH God.

    Using Peter as a guiding example, Alexander guides the reader through Peter's, his, and really our own. From unbeliever to believer, he shows that the journey doesn't end when we meet God, but it truly begins. He labels the next steps in the journey as Example, Teacher, and Imparter.

    My only criticism stems from what I feel can possibly become formulaic Christianity. While these are great categories, and certainly affords ease in teaching others to walk better, I think some could really use these as an excuse for failure rather than a reason to rise above. That of course is my fear, not one that the author advocates in anyway.

    In a world where "talking the talk" runs rampant, Alexander does a great service in showing us the importance of "walking the walk." I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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  • Posted January 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good football player, but ok theology...

    I wasn't much of a football fan really until my Dad needed my help with his Fantasy Football team almost 5 years ago; ever since I watch the game occasionally. I decided to read The Walk, because of my curiosity with Shaun Alexander's former NFL career as a running back for the Seattle Seahawks and I was also curious about his Christian views. Although Shaun does talk about his football career and his childhood, The Walk is neither a football epic nor is it solely an autobiography. I would argue this is a spiritual book meant for those who are either 'baby' Christians or those who are a bit more experienced in the faith.

    Shaun Alexander talks about what he feels are the spiritual stages Christians go through, he also speaks of the many traps and trials within those stages, he educates readers away from trying to be perfect and simply to be obedient to God's word whenever possible, he warns of Satan's many deceptions, several times he refers to scriptural passages for reference, he also refers to the experiences of different men of the Bible like Elijah and Peter, and as I mentioned earlier he also speaks about his early experiences and his football career. My favorite section was what he called 'the example' stage, because it was very inspiring and caused me to become aware of something I've been neglecting.

    And yet I felt the beginning of this book had a bit of a slow start. I also question the validity of an experience Mr Alexander referred to in which Heidi Baker from Iris Ministries influenced another woman to lay hands on her dead husband and 'caused' him to be raised from the dead; see from the bottom of page 158 through to page 160 in the Imparter stage section. Though it is possible for people to rise from the dead, for God allowed Elisha and Peter to raise people from the dead in 2 Kings 4:8-37 and Acts 9:36-43, I question certain experiences such as these partially because when I hear of them I often think of frauds like Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff; though I hope this instance was not fraudulent. My final concern is that even though I do agree each believer in Christ has their own struggles and have different stages in their lives, I fear some who read this will develop the Pharisaic thought "I'm better than this person, because I'm at a higher stage." Other than those concerns it was a decent book to read and I did enjoy reading of his football anecdotes especially.

    Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Water Brook Press, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Water Brook Press to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    Underwhelmed by a Disjointed Written Attempt

    Summary:
    Ex-NFL Great Shaun Alexander gives his personal theological stance in his book The Walk. He uses the extended metaphor that life as a Christian is... well... a walk alongside God. He describes the spiritual life of the Christian in five phases, before closing with the importance of not just talking the talk but... well... walking the walk.

    Review:
    While I admire Shaun Alexander's efforts on the field, in the pew, and in putting his thoughts on paper, I have no admiration for this book. This book suffers from many issues. The first issue is basic paragraph and topic structure. It is difficult to physically read as it comes across as an incomplete series of thoughts. A paragraph will start with "Topic A." In three sentences there is a switch to "Topic T," with "Topic G" making its grand appearance at the start of the next paragraph. Alexander does not take the time to flesh out his ideas in a logical pattern, which makes the book difficult to digest.

    The second issue is that it tries to say everything about Christianity. Everything. In 229 pages. Alexander's discussion of the Christian walk addresses in a way everything a Christian faces in their walk, thus creating, in effect, a miniature systematic theology. It is full of fragmented advice for everyone from non-believers to the ardent, experienced Christian on just about any issues that can be named. While this was not Alexander's intent, it was the unfortunate result. When you try to do everything, you end up doing nothing.

    The third issue: beginning of chapter quotes. It is great to have quotes under a chapter/section title. Really, it is. However, I find this personally distasteful to quote yourself. Alexander manages this feat three times. With almost 2000 years of Christian literature, with another 1500 years of Jewish liturgy, I find it hard to believe that there were no spiritual giants for Alexander to use in place of his own .

    In closing, I found The Walk to be a disappointment. It read like it was a collection of "all the cool things I ever wished to tell people about Christianity," and was about as coherent as a babbling stream of thought. While not addressed in this review, this book takes strong stances on issues that align with certain denominations, but may not be accepted by the general Christian population.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2010

    Very good book

    Shaun Alexander teaches you the five stages of spiritual maturity, how to recognize each stage, and how to live each stage. He individually breaks down what each stage is, trials traps and victories of each, and how Peter walked in each stage.

    The Unbeliever, the first stage, where we all begin. The Believer, the point where the angels rejoice because another soul is saved. The Example, the believer living for God and showing the unbelievers, by example, how to live full lives. The Teacher, the believer who has gone the next step, and is now teaching others. And the Imparter, the believers who do the miraculous works of Christ.

    Since he is a former NFL player, he uses football in a lot of his examples. And since I am not a football fan, many of the analogies are lost to me. But, the gist of his message comes across very well.

    I enjoyed reading this book; and I learned a lot from it. It is definitely a book I will read again.

    ---

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted November 19, 2010

    Highly recommended - a must read!!

    Shaun Alexander is once again scoring, this time with his writing ability. In his book, The Walk, Shaun shares with us the learnings of his life concerning relationship with the Father. "I heard the Holy Spirit say, 'This is what happens when you walk the Walk. Not perfection. I'm not looking for perfection. I'm looking for order.'"

    God invites you to grow through five stages of spiritual maturity

    Walking with God is not a contest or a competition, and it has nothing to do with how you look in front of others. Your walk with Christ is the most extreme, dangerous, and intimate adventure you will ever be part of. But all you have to do is walk, which takes you to a place where it's not about you-instead; you will become part of something that is much bigger than anything you can imagine.

    God leads his followers through five stages of spiritual maturity. He begins by working in us even before we trust him, drawing us while we are still Unbelievers. He walks with us when we become Believers, training us so that we can grow to live as Examples of Christ. He works with Examples, showing them how to explain what they believe and making them Teachers. And God calls some Teachers to serve as Imparters, those who do the miraculous work of Jesus on earth.

    While our tendency is to run ahead of God or lag behind, just walking with God through the stages of spiritual maturity will transform your life with biblical wisdom, God's direction, and the power of the Holy Spirit. With God at your side, your life will have an unprecedented impact on others. If you are looking for help to direct your walk, I highly recommend this book!

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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