Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would? Paperback – 4 May 2010
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Top international reviews
But what I found as I read through the early chapters was a revelation that I was in fact currently living a Plan B life, and not the one that God intended. I've been too career focused and not God-focused these past however many years. I now believe I'm in a season of being re-built, a bit like Paul, when he spent all those years in Arabia after his Damascus experience. It's like the first half of my life has been an apprenticeship for the second half.
So reading Plan B was a powerful experience for me as it kept bringing back to pursuing God. There's this great line on page 193: "No, my greatest fear for my life and for yours is that we'll just get busy and distracted and settle for a mediocre, unexamined life. It's that we'll settle into life as usual and never become the persons God intended for us to be." That's me, that's my fear and has been for so much of my life. And I know God's had enough of it - I feel like I'm being pursued and I got to learn to listen and wait and trust.
Pete uses some great real life examples of people who have experienced some real crisis's in their life and talks through how they've worked through them, maybe not knowing all the answers but with the realization that God is faithful and He so so much wants our souls to sing as a result of our intimacy with Him.
Plus of course he references to many of the greats of the Old Testament like Abraham, Job and Joseph, all of whom had some pretty serious obstacles come their way in their journeys.
The linkage between the journey and transformation is a key point Pete explores. Our Plan Bs are part of the journey, essential in certain circumstances, for us to confront the fact we may need to change and they can in fact be the beginning of our hope of who we can become.
At the same time, Pete doesn't smooth over the wrinkles and life can be really tough and we may not understand why certain situations are occurring in our lives. There often aren't easy answers to the Plan Bs we experience. Take Paul, for example, how many times was he beaten and imprisoned unjustly during his journey.
But what's also important is that in coming to understand His "reckless grace" to borrow Timothy Keller's delightful description, we come to realize that it's not all about us. It's about Him and His purposes. This is so hard for us to grapple with, but that's why we need to set our eyes on Jesus and His life, He's the standard bearer for how we should live.
This is Pete's first book, I believe, and yes, he's not the fully polished article as a writer yet, but I wouldn't expect him to be. He uses some good reference material from the likes of CS Lewis, Mark Batterson, Peter Scazzero and more, all that work well to embellish the themes of the book.
I recently read this prayer from the missionary Jim Elliott, who lost his life doing God's work which kinda sums up for me what Pete is saying:
"Consume my life, my God, for it is thine."
If you're seeking a greater level of intimacy with God, then you'll find this a useful source of inspiration and sound wisdom.
I appreciated how Pete brought familiar biblical characters out in a new light, exposing their hurt & frustration when Plan A gave way to a Plan B for them. Joesph's story for example is a profound example of a Plan B story. Then of course there's Jesus...a sinless man is crucified only to raise from the dead three days later to bring forgiveness to the entire human race?
In chapter 8 he touches an amazing observation and yet one that is often overlooked; "I don't know if you've ever thought about this, but only human beings look for meaning in suffering." Isn't it an odd thing that we seem to be hard-wired to ask the "why me?" question every time something bad happens to us? Think of the last time you asked that question...what was happening in your life? Did you end up with an answer? I know sometimes I have arrived at an answer to that question and other times years have passed without even the slightest of answers. Plan B offers some potential answers for the pain we often experience in this life but that's not the point of the book. Instead like a good pastor would, I sense the book intends to encourage us on our journey. Knowing it's a process, Pete doesn't attempt to give you a "bow-tie" answer to your situation. While the "guy" in me doesn't like that, my spirit knows this is part of life, part of trusting in God as Father is NOT having all the answers.
"We must be willing, if necessary, to abandon the life we've planned and dreamed of in order to receive the life that our God has authored for us." If there were a thesis for this book I would say that is it...if not something very close to it. Even those of us that seek to follow Gods plan for our lives can wake up one day and find ourselves in the middle of a dense forest wondering how we got off track. Plan B reminds us that God always has plans for us...even when we're not sure what those plans are. The point of the book is trusting our lives to God...which might just end up being the whole point of our lives anyways.
Pete Wilson begins with the observation that all of us are going to face disappointments of various kinds - bereavement, divorce, job loss, disease, etc. For many Christians, there's little room in their view of God for understanding why these things happen. Wilson combines heart wrenching anecdotes from his own ministry with sober reflection on some of the disappointing things that happened to men and women in the Bible to offer an expanded view of God's love in the middle of sorrow. This is not a book with easy answers - Wilson poses more than one question to which the only answer he can give is "I don't know". Somehow, that's more comforting than the easy answers we are often given when we face difficulties.
The central points of Plan B are that much of our disappointment comes from having the illusion that we are in control of our own destiny shattered, that in that shattering we come to see how little we trust God, how little we value His presence compared to the material and emotional blessings we expected from our dreams, and that in those moments of shattering, God is intending to do something in us greater than we could have imagine for ourselves. He's not the first person to cover this territory, but he's the first I've read who really succeeds at combining a personal and caring approach with solid biblical wisdom.
I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone, but especially to people who are experiencing the pain of their life unraveling.
I've been a Christian for more than 20 years and have heard hundreds of sermons, but many of those sermons didn't prepare me for the grittiness of life. They were high-minded and well-intentioned and great to hear on a Sunday morning, but Pete has the ability to condense things down to where I'm at in the rough moment. I said 'condense', not 'water down' because his sermon's are anything but shallow. Using modern terminology doesn't make a sermon shallow (and haircuts don't either! LOL). But it can help lower defenses if you feel like you're talking with a friend.
Pete uses his friendly manner to open ears and hearts, then he employs truth. Biblical truth. Hard-hitting truth. His gentleness can fool someone into thinking his book is shallow, but he guides one to the Word, not away from it. I'm always encouraged to lean into God a little harder, to read the Word more, to trust a little deeper after hearing Pete preach. Of course no book can compare to the Word of God. The Bible should always be the first place to find our hope. Pete's book can simply be a starting place for someone who doesn't know which way to turn.
Plan B is not meant to be a heavy theological treatise, it's meant to meet someone at their point of need, then guide them to a loving God. A loving God who gives second chances.
This is not your ordinary "help" book. Why? Because it only offers one answer, the best answer there is-God. Yet we have difficulty accepting that answer and want what other books offer-all kinds of different ways to improve ourselves. The author does something different in this book, he offers encouragement, he directs us back to God, he doesn't sugar coat anything or give us a "bow" to wrap it up (you'll have to read the book to understand that one).
At the back of the book are questions for discussion for each chapter making this a great small group study.
From personal examples to other peoples story, Pete helps us see how our response to lifes turns is our choice. On the page just before the index he lays it out very clearly - "To all who choose to believe in the midst of their Plan B that one day faith will win over doubt, light will win over darkness, love will win over hate, and all things will be redeemed and exist the way they should." Pete reminds us that God does love us. He doesn't try to sugar coat things or tell the reader that "all will be OK, just wait and see." He gives it straight, even making sure we know that sometimes it won't "get better" the way we think it should. That sometimes we will still experience hardship, loss, grief, tragedy. But through these difficult times, God IS there. God IS real, He DOES love us and He CAN use our worst experiences for eternal good.
Will have to admit through all this I've often wondered where God was. I mean I knew he was there but I couldn't see Him, couldn't find Him, it came a strictly faith walk.
We tried to plant a church, unable to find jobs we went through savings, eventually threw in the towel and moved back to Lindell's hometown. We felt like failures or that we had missed God.
"Just because God calls you to some venture, that doesn't guarantee the venture will succeed. Just because life doesn't turn out the way you thought that doesn't mean you missed God's will." pg 79 He is more interested in your character, who you are, than what you do.
Could it be the thing we think of as Plan B is in all actuality a gift from God?..."letting God reveal and strip away our spiritual imperfections." pg. 263
"We must be willing, if necessary to abandon the life we've planned and dreamed of in order to receive the life that our God has authored for us." pg. 157
This book has many such nuggets as well as a wealth of insight, encouragement, wisdom. I would recommend everyone read this!
2. As a Christian, you probably believe that God is truly in control of everything. Nothing happens unless He allows it to. You might also believe like you deserve your "best life now," but life and scripture both tell us that we'd be fools to believe that to be true.
3. Therefore, if things aren't going the way we planned them to, then someone else's plan must be in effect. That "someone else" is God, working on us through the redeeming sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ and the plan of sanctification through His Holy Spirit.
4. Pete Wilson skillfully explains all this through the use of his own life experiences and through historical accounts of our biblical ancestors -- men like King David, Joseph, and Jesus' disciples -- who found themselves in situations that weren't exactly turning out like they thought they would.
5. Therefore, I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who finds themselves looking at life and saying "Why did this happen to me? Why now? Where's this whole 'abundant life' that I'm always hearing other Christians talking about?" Pete Wilson will tell you he doesn't have all the answers to THOSE questions, but he does know the answer to life's most important ones: Who is this Jesus guy, and why should I dedicate my life to pursuing Him?
I am happy to say that Wilson has written a terrific book - perhaps a blessing and a curse because it is going to be hard to follow this one up... but Pete Wilson has the writing chops and, most importantly, he has his heart in the right place.
The book opens with an amazingly heartbreaking story - which Wilson continues to return to throughout the entire book, adding a fluidity and continuity to the book which is missing in many books of this nature. What Wilson does afterward is he takes episodes and people from the Bible and weaves them into stories of people he has ministered to over the years (and he's touched quite a lot of lives considering how young he is) - and he drives home God's perfect planning, beyond our perception or our patience yet ever-present. Very often he acknowledges that he isn't offering "answers" but assurances that whatever we feel like we are going through, there are examples - from the Bible and from others - that we are not alone, that our pain and our doubts are shared... and that God understands and continues to "love on" us as only He can.
Wilson's writing style is homey like Max Lucado and his scriptural references reminds me of the best stuff by Chuck Swindoll (who also bothers to "get into the head" of the characters of the Bible and really let them come alive... because that's what an author does; anyone could quote straight from the Bible)- he takes the time to "create the scene" and he bothers to tell a story rather than "sermonize". His theology, though I am by no means an expert, seems solid and right in line with a leaning towards understanding, grace, forgiveness, and God's faithfulness. There are copious amounts of scriptural references and "Christian doctrine" (continually going back to Christ, to His sacrifice, to His grace).
Over the years I have collected dozens (probably hundreds by now) of books on Christian life and inspiration - among them, I only have a handful I go back to over and over again - Philip Yancey's "What's So Amazing About Grace", Max Lucado's "In The Eye of the Storm", Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest", and Don Miller's "Blue Like Jazz".... and I would have to add Pete Wilson's "Plan B" to this list... I've read it twice so far and I am sure I will be reading it again when my next Plan A doesn't pan out.
Most people will be drawn to this because of the question in its title. But honestly, the thing that made me want to buy this book was the questions I found in the "For Thought and Discussion" section at the end. I was expecting your run of the mill Bible study questions (which frankly bore the heck out of me), when I found question 1 for chapter 8.
"Have you always assumed, like so many others, that the bible promises God will never give us more than we can handle? Why do you think the chapter calls this "whacked theology"?
I thought, hmm. I think it was one of those Barnes and Nobles review applets that I saw it on, and so I became interested in what the heck chapter 8 had to say.
So I bought the book and started at chapter one, and was blown away at Pete's honest and candid voice. Pete navigates the disappointments of Plan B scenarios in the Bible, in the real life stories of real people (including his own), with sensitivity and purpose. Pete helps us learn that we are not alone in our Plan B situations. His use of biblical stories (most poignant for me was the story of Joseph) are neither forced nor offensive. And his use of real life stories are relatable and memorable.
It is no wonder this book has seen great success. It is a conversation in which all audiences can participate, from the conservative Southern Baptist Bible Belter, to the cynical agnostic. This book offers the common denominator of failed dreams (and let's face it, we all have them) and redeems it. I will recommend this book often. And frankly, you should too!