There is a cosmic conspiracy affecting every person who has ever lived. The world, our hearts, and Satan himself conspire to steal our happiness. These powerful agents breed discontentment with our possessions, relationships, jobs, and circumstances.
Altrogge writes from his own experience. He argues that while discontentment assaults us from every direction, its promises are empty. “If only’s” may offer happiness, satisfaction, or a better life, but on their own they can’t deliver.
With humor and honesty, Altrogge helps us do battle with discontentment by steering us back to the central truths of the gospel. He addresses issues like complaining and idolatry and reminds us of all that we have, and will have, in Christ. Readers will be drawn to his winsome writing and practical application. Discussion questions follow each chapter, making this book a useful resource for small groups.
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About the Author
Stephen Altrogge is a freelance writer living in Tallahassee, Florida. He writes regularly at The Blazing Center. He and his wife, Jen, have three daughters.
Table of Contents
The Conspiracy 11
1 Why Am I So Unhappy? 15
2 I'm Not the Center of the Universe 21
3 So What Am I, a Monk? 27
4 I Worship My Television 35
5 The King's Madness 47
6 Bloody Contentment 59
7 Some People Have to Learn the Hard Way 75
8 In Search of the Secret 85
9 Eat the Meat and Die 101
10 Count Your Blessings-Literally 111
11 The Furnace of Suffering 119
12 The End of Tears 129
What People are Saying About This
“Often we are not content, sometimes we are content with too little. We need help with contentment, and Stephen Altrogge offers it. His style is friendly, funny, and easy to read. He’s perceptive, clear, relevant, biblical and Christ-centered, drawing as readily from the Puritans as contemporary culture. God spoke to my heart through The Greener Grass Conspiracy. Don’t be content not to read it.”
—Randy Alcorn, Founder and Director, Eternal Perspective Ministries; author, Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and The Ishbane Conspiracy
“This book should be titled, ‘how to be happy.’ Not the superficial, frivolous, world-saturated happiness either. No, the soul-quenching, perspective-shaping type flowing from springs of gospel contentment. Stephen Altrogge has found the source and invites us to come and satisfy our thirst. Get this book, drink deeply, and be happy.”
—Dave Harvey, Pastor of Preaching, Four Oaks Community Church, Tallahassee, Florida; author, When Sinners Say I Do and Am I Called?
“Stephen Altrogge skillfully polishes off the rare jewel of Christian contentment collecting dust for generations and lets it shine brightly to a new generation of gospel people whose cluttered and discontented hearts long for less to live with and more to live for. His timeless insights are most timely. I highly recommend it!”
—Tom Nelson, author, Work Matters; Senior Pastor, Christ Community Church, Overland Park, Kansas; President, Made to Flourish
“We crave the other grass when Christ has given us the lushest, all-satisfying plains of hope and joy. With humor and grit, and written within the crucible of suffering, Altrogge exposes and scorches these discontented dreams by magnifying how rich we are in Christ.”
—Eric C. Redmond, Assistant Professor of Bible, Moody Bible Institute; Pastor of Adult Ministries, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Illinois
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I just finished The Greener Grass Conspiracy which was kindly provided to me by Crossway to review.Altrogge, a young man (in three days he'll be 29 years old), writes not as a know-it-all twit but as someone who is also trying to learn contentment. He has a good sense of humor and comes across as one of us, just a regular guy I would like to meet some day. I'm sure you would too.When I started the book I would not have said I had a problem with a lack of contentment. That has changed. Altrogge took a scalpel to the common experiences of many and showed how discontentment lies beneath the surface too often in my own life. He showed how something as small as complaining about traffic shows a dissatisfaction with God's provision. In that regard he quoted Thomas Watson from The Art of Divine Contentment:"Our base hearts are more discontented at one loss than thankful for a hundred mercies. God has plucked one branch of grapes from you, but how many precious clusters are left behind."Altrogge acknowledges that he doesn't have all the answers and doesn't try to offer cheap answers to life's problems. Instead, he points the reader to Jesus."I don't want to give you the pat, trite answers. I don't want to tell you just to trust in God and everything will be okay. I simply want to connect you to the God who is bigger than your sufferings and who fully understands what I don't. I want to connect you to the only person who can carry you through and give you contentment in the midst of suffering. I want to connect you to Jesus." (119-120)Following are a few favorite brief quotes:"I need to spend some time working on my gospel math, calculating the infinite distance between what I deserve and what I've received." (70)"Complaining isn't just an insignificant, minor, everyday sin. It's a slap in the face of God. When we complain, we're saying that God hasn't been good to us." (103)"When you start getting that generally annoyed, "I'm about to complain" feeling, take a step back, survey the blessings, and thank God for his generosity." (105)I have benefited from reading this book. I think it would be a safe bet that most people would. If you know you struggle with a lack of contentment, Altrogge provides plenty of balm to start the healing process. For those of you who don't struggle with discontentment, human nature being what it is you may very well be wrong in which case you, too, stand to benefit from The Greener Grass Conspiracy.
¿The Greener Grass Conspiracy¿ by Stephen Altrogge reveals the forces that keep our hearts from contentment, and shows that it is possible to live without everything we want, but still live content with what we have.One key element of a life that is content is to recognize all that we have received. We have many physical blessings in this world, and maybe we should take to heart the message of the hymn ¿Count Your Blessings.¿ Beyond that, we also have countless and amazing blessings through Jesus Christ.In fact, we will never be content with things. We were created to only find contentment in real relationship with God.True contentment is found in a Person. It¿s not found in getting what we want or in having difficulty removed from our lives. (p 87)Only Christ is able to help us find our contentment in God and not in things. Apart from Christ, our love for God will be smothered by the things of this world. (p 90)¿Conspiracy¿ reveals the lies we believe that keep us discontent, and the effects of complaining on our hearts. We also find out that contentment is not automatic, but has to be learned.No heart is immune to the conspiracy. I¿ve been looking for a way to communicate the message of contentment, and this book is the best I¿ve found. I recommend it to any one who struggles with a desire for more, newer, bigger, or better. And I think that¿s just about every one of us.