What Life Are You Waiting For?: Push Play on the Adventure God Has for You

What Life Are You Waiting For?: Push Play on the Adventure God Has for You

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ISBN-13: 9781414386768
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 05/01/2014
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Pete Hise is the founding and lead pastor of Quest Community Church in Lexington, Kentucky, one of the fastest-growing churches in America where more than 30,000 people have been ambushed by the love of God and have become followers of Jesus. He is the founder of The Uprising, an annual conference for church leaders. Pete holds a master of divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Jacki, have two sons, Corey and Carson. Visit him online at petehise.com.

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WHAT LIFE ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Push Play on the Adventure God Has for You


By PETE HISE

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2014 Pete Hise
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-8676-8



CHAPTER 1

WHAT IF?


THE WHOLE CROWD JUMPED to their feet as the wide receiver reversed direction and came flying around the near corner with the football tucked under his right arm. In a full-out sprint he rushed down the field with the entire defense chasing him. Passing the fifty, the forty, the thirty, the twenty, he kept running until only one man had a legitimate shot at tackling him. At the ten-yard line, the defender dove for the wide receiver's feet—and missed. Touchdown! An exhilarating fourth-quarter TD for the speedster ... the first of his career.

After the football game ended, I had a chance to speak with the star receiver who'd just made the game-winning touchdown. He was willing to give me a brief interview because it turns out that number eight, the rookie wide receiver, is my youngest son, Carson. It was his first year of football, and I went out of my mind when he scored. To my surprise, Carson was pretty cool about the whole experience. As we stood on the sideline after the game, I talked and talked about his scoring play; he drank Gatorade. When I stopped talking and he paused gulping, my eight-year-old asked me a very serious question:

"Dad, do you think I'll be picked first in the NFL draft?"

In my opinion, he could have asked any number of questions that seemed more appropriate: "Do you think I'll ever score a second touchdown?" "Will I be good enough to play in high school?" "Do you think I'll get the chance to play college ball?" or even "Do you think I'll ever be forty-eight inches tall?"

But he didn't. With one TD behind him, Carson asked with absolute seriousness, "Do you think I'll be taken first in the NFL draft?"

There he stood, all fifty-eight pounds of him, with sweaty curls sticking out of his helmet, never doubting for a second that he'd be drafted by the pros someday. He just wondered if he'd be taken first.

Somewhere along the way, we've all had NFL-size dreams. Can you remember yours? Most of us can't, because we didn't have them for very long. We dreamed big when we were young, but as we grew older, our grand dreams shifted. Instead of becoming an NFL player, the president of the United States like our parents told us we'd be, or the astronaut our grandparents dreamed we'd be, we started to settle. Eventually, we settled for the "real world": studying for exams, changing diapers, sitting through job reviews, chauffeuring our kids around town, paying bills. Somewhere between elementary school and where we are right now, we traded what might be for what is.


WE SELL OURSELVES SHORT

Smart money would suggest that when you opened this book and began reading, you probably didn't expect very much from God. Certainly nothing that would fall into the "amazing" category—it's a book after all, right? It's not like you're stepping into a pivotal meeting, receiving an offer, or considering a proposal that could change your life. You are just reading a book.

But what if God has more in mind for you as you make your way through these pages?

What if?

As a pastor, I have the privilege of connecting with lots of different people—people like you and me—each with a unique background and story. Frequently our encounters deal with the idea of change. More specifically, we often discuss life change, real transformation. When the idea of a divine "what if" is raised, most people tend to believe that God has the power to transform a human life; they just don't expect that He will do it in them.

Here's the typical train of thought: "Is it possible that God might do something important in some people's lives? Sure, it's possible. But not in me. I'm too ordinary, too flawed. I doubt God would use someone like me to do anything that really matters."

I want to challenge your low expectations of God and compel you to recapture the innocence of your youth, when you may have daydreamed about the great plans of God for your life. Entertain the reality that God has more in store for you than you know. No matter where you come from or what's going on in your life, I hope you'll consider the possibility that you will encounter Him in a very real way through these pages.


A CRACK IN THE DOOR

The Bible says that God knew every single day of your life before one of them came to pass. What if that is really true? That means He saw this moment coming a long time ago, well before you could even read one of these words. In fact, Psalm 139:15 says that He saw you in your mother's womb. He saw that moment with the same clarity He sees this moment. If God is who the Bible says He is—limitless in power, bound by neither time nor space—then that's no big stretch.

So humor me. Entertain that "what if" for a moment. What if God orchestrated this moment so He could inject the possibility that He wants to do something substantial in your life? What if God wants to impact your today so that it changes your tomorrow?

It's a beautiful premise, isn't it? In the mind and heart of God, you are not an accident. Therefore, maybe you should at least be open to the possibility that God might have something more in mind for you.

I'm banking on it.

Long before I ever typed a single word of this book, I began praying for you. I don't necessarily know your name, but I've prayed that your heart would be open, ready, and available to encounter God Himself.

Here's why: God doesn't need much help.

Do you know what God needs in order to do something phenomenal in your life?

A crack in the door.

A pinch of possibility.

Even the smallest seed of hope.

Most people miss that simple truth and resign themselves to living life as if God can't do much to change things. But here and now, understand once and for all the heart of God: If you give Me the tiniest margin, I will do something in you that will take your breath away. I have a heart that cares, and I have the power to act in your life so that things are different tomorrow from how they are today.

God wants to ignite His power in your life to transform you. He is very interested in the timeline of that change because He wants it to occur now—a watershed event that causes a ripple effect through the rest of your days and years.


FIRSTHAND EVIDENCE

I am not asserting this from secondhand stories, hearsay, and rumors. I have experienced firsthand the power of God to instantaneously change a human life forever—mine. It's like I want to scream for all to hear, "Paul is telling the truth!" when he writes in Ephesians,

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. EPHESIANS 1:11, THE MESSAGE


On a snowy night in upstate New York, I was sitting in a church listening to four men in blue leisure suits sing about Jesus, while I harbored thoughts of how much I wanted to kill the friend of mine who had suckered me into being there. There was no forewarning to tip me off about what was going to happen in me before I left.

From a young age, I was constantly in trouble. In fifth grade I had pushed my teacher, Ms. Tulloch, so far over the edge that she had developed a behavioral conduct system that involved a sheet of paper on the corner of my desk. Every time I got in trouble, she would add a little check mark. The warning was clear: ten marks equaled a parent-teacher conference. She was trying to offer me a fresh start, a chance to begin again.

At the end of the first day, I had thirty-five check marks on that paper.

By the time I was fifteen, I was much older than fifteen. The trouble I was getting into was no longer triggering parent-teacher conferences; it was steering my life toward a darkening trajectory. I viewed women as objects, valued people only as they benefited me, and hung out with friends who aided and abetted my downward spiral.

So when a buddy lured me into that church on November 12, 1982, under the auspices of "attending a concert," I was furious and freaked out when I realized I was going to hear Christian music. Trapped in the middle of a row, unable to escape, I was forced to endure the four-part gospel harmonies to the bitter end.

As the concert wrapped up, one of the blue-suited men with a mustache stepped forward and started talking to the crowd about Jesus, the Person they had been singing about. He told us of how Jesus had left heaven on an all-out search-and-rescue mission for every person in the world; that He chose death on the cross to forgive our sins, change our hearts, and give us a brand-new start. Except what I heard was "to forgive your sins, change your heart, and give you a brand-new start."

"Somebody here tonight is in need of a second chance. You've made a mess of your life and think you've gone too far, but you haven't. If you surrender your life to Jesus, He will take it and receive you—He will give your life a fresh start." How did that man know? I'd never even met him before.

My heart started pounding in my chest: Is anyone else listening to this? I looked around the room. The offer couldn't have been any clearer—and it felt like the deal of a lifetime. The God of the Universe loved me, had made a way for me to be forgiven of my considerable rap sheet through the Cross, and wanted to come lead my life out of brokenness into a whole new God-made plan. How could I possibly pass it up?

Before I knew what was happening, I hit the aisle and headed toward the man with the mustache at the front of the church. To this day, I don't know if I was the only one. I just knew that I wasn't going to miss my moment. I walked quickly, sure that someone was going to recognize me and say "Not you, Pete. This isn't for people like you." But no one did. I made it there safely, and with my head bowed I prayed from the bottom of my heart and asked Jesus to forgive me, to come into my heart, and to lead my life. My heart exploded with the reality of His forgiveness and love.

I left that church a brand-new man! My friend, and those who knew me, were stunned. When they asked why I went down front, I explained that I felt my heart beating out of my chest ... like the man was speaking directly to me.

Lying in bed that night, I alternated between laughter and tears. It is all true. Jesus is true to His word. I could feel the difference immediately: my thoughts were different, my emotions were different, and more than anything, I wanted to tell everyone I knew. I felt like I had been given the cure to a spiritual cancer that had been eating away at my heart my whole life. I had no idea if anyone knew that Jesus was this real, this available, or this able to transform their hearts and lives—but I knew that I would spend the rest of my life telling everyone I could.


ENDING THE CYCLE

When you hear the word change, what comes to mind? Maybe you think about it in terms of resolutions or setting goals, trying to positively manage the cycle of wishing and waiting. You know the cycle, right? Wishing our circumstances would change and waiting for it to happen to us. After all, many of us live as though life owes us something and fate will cause it to come our way if we just wish and wait long enough.

That's not the kind of change I'm talking about.

The kind of transformation that God has in mind has nothing to do with passively waiting. Living life on pause—and neglecting to take action—while thinking that breakthrough change is on the way is just a delusion. Nothing important in life works that way.

Think about it. The unemployed dude who never lifts a finger to type up a résumé or fill out an application, who's just waiting for some company to hear of his legendary skills and offer a job out of the blue doesn't end up employed. He becomes that guy living in his mom's basement, guzzling Mountain Dew and perfecting his Xbox technique.

The woman who yearns for a group of real friends to do life with but who never chooses to position herself in community with others or take the risk of getting to know new people just becomes that lady with the house full of cats, each named after a celebrity.

Simply put, if you don't take action, nothing changes.

And that's what this book is about. It is a cry for the end of the cycle of wishing and waiting. The truth is that you and I don't have nine lives to spend waiting for something to change. I don't mean to sound morbid, but the reality is that you won't get another shot, my friend. You can't rewind or replay your life. You get one shot. What life are you waiting for?

In the early days of our church, Richard, a man in his late sixties, attended often. He enjoyed church, but make no mistake, he was there on his own terms. He hadn't bought into this Christianity thing yet. We'd stay late after services talking through his questions about faith, and after every talk, he'd walk away, saying, "I'm not ready yet, but maybe someday."

That all changed when Richard had a life-threatening heart attack. I remember standing in the emergency room with his family—people we loved—begging God for more time as Richard was speeding toward an eternity he wasn't ready for.

As the medical team strongly urged family and friends to rush their good-byes, God responded to our prayer and gave us exactly what we'd asked for—more time. Later that week Sharon, a pastor at Quest, and I were visiting Richard in the ICU, and we had one of our now-familiar talks about his faith. Only this time, there was a different sobriety and urgency in our talk. Having nearly died just days earlier, Richard was experiencing a newfound level of spiritual clarity. I asked him if he wanted to give his life to Christ, and he said, "I'd like to ... but I have so many unanswered questions."

I looked at this man, who seemed to have only days to live, and made this suggestion: "Richard, what if you step out in the faith you do have and let Jesus answer your questions once He is in your heart, perhaps even in heaven?"

Richard looked up, alert. "I didn't know you could do that!" he said. "I'm ready!"

And with machines beeping all around us, I led Richard in the most important prayer of his life. In a moment of humble surrender, he gave his life to Christ. The joy and peace that filled that hospital room—and Richard's heart—were unmistakable. I've never quite recovered from that last-minute rescue.

You see, just a few weeks later, Richard went to be with Jesus. He'd spent his whole life saying "maybe someday," and at the last possible moment, he received the life he was made for. He only got to experience that freedom and peace on this side of eternity for a few weeks, but now he lives it fully with Jesus face-to-face.

Here's the deal: Richard didn't have to wait! And neither do you.

If God stands available and ready to move, then why wouldn't we go for it and join Him in what could turn out to be something more substantial than we ever imagined?

I could tell you about people, real people. Friends of mine at Quest Community Church that I have the privilege of serving who decided to take action now and believe God; people who have chosen to live out the divine "what if" for their lives. I could tell you about:

• Scott, a successful businessman who traded the emptiness of wealth to serve those in extreme poverty in India.

• Cecily, a former stripper who found redemption in Christ and now helps pastors from across the nation reach people who are far from God.

• John, a thriving football coach who overcame his guilt when he humbled himself and received forgiveness and now lives in awe as all three of his children have followed in his footsteps.

• Craig, a former atheist who is now a church elder helping people find the hope of Christ for themselves.

• Dani, a timid girl from the country who never thought she'd make much of a difference, who left behind the safe, small life she knew. She's now a woman who's eager to make an impact and influence scores and scores of people.

• Todd, an attorney and former drug addict on the verge of suicide, who now spends his life leading a recovery ministry helping others find sobriety and significance.

• Clay and Rachel, a couple whose marriage was destroyed in the wake of an affair, who now lead a thriving marriage ministry.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from WHAT LIFE ARE YOU WAITING FOR? by PETE HISE. Copyright © 2014 Pete Hise. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
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.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Chapter 1 What If? 1

Chapter 2 Make War 17

Chapter 3 Let Them Go 35

Chapter 4 Without Nets 63

Chapter 5 The Grace Path 85

Chapter 6 Reality Check 115

Chapter 7 The Constant 145

Chapter 8 Tipping Point 171

Chapter 9 Overthrown 193

Chapter 10 Run to Him 223

Chapter 11 Push Play Now 241

Acknowledgments 263

About the Author 267

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What Life Are You Waiting For?: Push Play on the Adventure God Has for You 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AnotherBibliophile More than 1 year ago
Valuable Insights; A Quick Read but Worth a Second Look. This book has many valuable lessons presented in an upbeat tone. The concepts are not difficult to grasp. Searching questions are asked, but at the same time, hope is raised. For the most part, I felt that he made his points well, and used interesting and illustrative anecdotes. I received good prodding to re-examine and strengthen my faith. This is not extremely erudite, but it is very useful, even entertaining, and I will read it again. I am sure I’ll get even more out of it the second time.
J4Life5 More than 1 year ago
This book is one of those books that takes awhile to read because it challenges readers to change the way they think. Each chapter shares personal stories from Hise and questions for readers to ask themselves. I guess it is possible to read through the book quickly, but I found that I spent a couple days after reading each chapter to reflect on my life and if I am hesitant to step forward into God's plan. I think this book would be great for anyone who feels like they are stuck in a rut, doing the same things and getting the same response. I can see how this book, if read and considered in a thoughtful manner could invigorate and change lives. I really enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading other books by Hise. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is not often I come across something that I feel I NEED to pass on… to everyone I know, but this book is one of those things. I love that "WHAT LIFE …?" has something for and will speak to everyone who takes the time to read it, wherever they are in life’s journey. From the title of Chapter 1, “What If?”, all the way through to the last words, “What life are you waiting for?”, this book grabs you and doesn’t let go. Pete Hise, through personal and real life stories of ordinary people, clearly and concisely unwraps the truth that God loves us like crazy, has dreams and plans for each of us that are bigger and better than we can ever imagine, and is asking, longing and waiting for us to step into them. Not a one-time read, but a book to hold on to and refer back to time and time again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It made me laugh and cry, all the while believe God even more for the impossible in my life. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reminded me that God is not dead. He is alive and working miracles in the lives of all who will give him a crack in the door. I was blown away by the crazy stories of how He has radically changed so many people's lives and brought redemption in the midst of extreme brokenness. If you need to borrow a little bit of hope from someone, this book is full of stories that offer just that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pastor Pete has been my Pastor for almost 4 years now, and I'm so thrilled for this book to be his first release. Of all the teaching and pastoring he's done at our Church, the message and content from this Book - What Life Are You Waiting For - is without a doubt the most transformational and incredibly practical I've ever heard. Covering topics all the way from the Ridiculous Love of God and HIS pursuit of our lives and hearts to the very practical and confrontational "Make War" and "Let Them Go" where we learn to do battle against the enemy by forgiving, setting others free, and living in Grace. Filled with real life stories from those who call Quest their home, this book touched me on so many levels that it's really hard to describe. I related to so many of the struggles that I read about in this book and gathered so much hope for the struggles and hardships I'm facing because of what I read in the pages of this book. I'd recommend it to anyone with a pulse! And will be buying lots of copies for everyone in my family and people I know who would benefit from the truth in these pages. This is an absolute gem of a book, and it's left me wanting to step into the Life that God has for me like never before.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! I read it in less the 24 hours! What Life Are You Waiting For is amazing! I love the structure of it. This book is such an easy read. At the end of each chapter there are practical application steps that help you take your reading of the book even further. I highly recommend reading this if you have any questions about Jesus. It will help seekers, Christ Followers and church leaders go deeper with Jesus. The book applies to all audiences, after all who hasn't asked the question if themselves, "What Life Am I Waiting For?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being lucky enough to be personally pastored by Pete Hise, reading this book felt like I was having a conversation with him. So many real-life stories cover these pages and I've purchased copies to give with specific people in mind. I'd have to say that the chapter titled, "Reality Check" really hit me between the eyes. But mostly, its about the genuine love of the Father... that He made me to love me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be an excellent read. The author has a real knack as a storyteller. The stories are often funny, are very authentic, and he does a fantastic job of relating everyday, real-life experiences to "capital T" Truths from the Bible. I found it to be inspiring and energizing. I was also provoked by the gritty reality of the human stories. This is a gutsy book - and reading it is sure to have an impact on your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally.... that's how I feel about this book.  So many people in my struggle with the mundane.  This book punches the mundane in the throat!  The message is simple, yet profound: God's power, plus our agreement.  There is such a rich full life just waiting for us to complete that simple equation.  I've sent copies of this book to several of my friends and I'm praying their as changed as I am!
justinmac More than 1 year ago
The message of this book isn't theory - it's been field tested in my life. Over the past decade I've come to LIFE as a follower of Jesus by living out the principles featured in this book. And it's not just me. My wife, my brother, my mother, my father and countless other friends have "pushed play" on the life God made them for - and they are beautifully unrecognizable from who they used to be. The central message of What Life is the idea that God uses our agreement... our cooperation with His limitless power to accomplish change in our lives. If He's ready to act, why should we wait? The more quickly and thoroughly we can say Yes to Him, the more our lives will become a rocket ride of purpose, growth, impact and friendship with Jesus. I dare you to read this book with an open heart. You'll find the Bible coming to life in new ways. You'll be challenged to grow like never before. And you'll laugh REALLY hard. I'm so glad there's now a book to introduce the world to my pastor, Pete Hise, and the life-altering message God has used to fuel the Transformation Adventure at Quest Community Church.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down! I love the way Pastor Pete shows God's heart for each and every one of us. The stories of Pastor Pete's family, friends, & church are more common than most people are willing to admit. What a beautiful way to challenge people to start a transformational adventure in their owns hearts