Category Archives: BOOKS
This book is for the guy who is sick of being average.
What are you doing with your life right now?
Will it matter in five years?
As I started my journey to become the man God intended me to be, my answer to that last question was a resounding no. I was average. Perhaps below average. I was a mediocre husband. We were living paycheck to paycheck, and my closest friends hardly realized I thought of myself as a Christian. Deep down, I knew there was more to life. I knew there had to be more. The hard part of being average and trying to become more is that average is comfortable. It’s what culture drives us to be, but as Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”1 The average man is complacent and lethargic. It ruffles feathers to speak your mind and stand by your worldview, so it’s easier to do and say nothing. Men, not only can we be better than that, but we need to be better than that!
Gentlemen, as believers in Christ, we are called to glorify God in all we do. We are supposed to reach unbelievers with the gospel. We’re called to sharpen each other through community. The next generations need us to lead by example.
Being average simply wasn’t good enough for me. This book is about learning what it means to end average in our lives. It’s also about learning how to stay on course once you’ve figured out what biblical “right” looks like.
My journey has been made up of countless hours of studying the Bible, learning from academic studies, and being mentored. As I learned new concepts, I experimented with new habits and mentalities, testing the things I was learning in order to see whether they worked in the real world. Some things worked, and some did not. As I sifted through information and ideas, I realized that it would be impossible to cut through all the expert advice we’re overwhelmed with either online or in bookstores. Spirituality, relationship management, fitness, money management—there are thousands of directions the gurus want to take you. I had to go back to the source. I decided that the Bible is where I needed to start.
When Secret Service agents are trained to detect false currency, the first thing they do is learn and study real currency. They learn the feel, the look, the smell, and the nuances. Only upon mastery of the real bills do they move on to learn about various ways false currency is printed and how to spot it.
In the same way, learning the truth directly from the Bible made it easier to see through all the noise and misinformation. A clear pattern of biblical habits and mentalities started to become clear. It boiled down to this: I learned that a real personal faith in Jesus Christ is the single most important thing in our lives. The Bible tells us exactly how to get that faith and how to grow it.
I also learned that there are clear guidelines about how to glorify God—how to glorify Him in the way we choose our crowd and influences, use our money, and take care of our bodies. These are very practical lessons that help us see that we get to glorify God in everything we do.
As you’ll discover, attempting to control and change behavior for the wrong reasons is more useless than a cup of decaf. It simply doesn’t matter, and you’ll chase your tail until you’re ragged, and then you will give up. Ask me how I know. Heart change is what we’re after. Change your heart to seek what is holy, and the thought patterns and behaviors will follow.
Gentlemen, this book is about flexing our faith between Sunday sermons. Practical living as a Christian man is not that complicated, but it does require intentionality and vulnerability.
In this book, you’ll find the real-world habits that keep me growing in my walk with God, my relationships, my physical health, and my finances. They are all very much intertwined. You’ll also find out that there is no life-hack, sermon, course, or seminar that will turn your life around with one simple trick. If that’s what you’re looking for, then this book isn’t for you. I can teach you the life lessons I learned the hard way so your learning curve won’t be as steep as mine was at the beginning.
Understand this, though. I do not claim to be perfect. I’m far from it, but I feel compelled to write this book because I see the potential that is completely dormant in a huge percentage of Christian men today. Hopefully, I can combine the experiences I had growing up abroad as a missionary kid with the lessons learned as a special operations operator in the Army and deliver these concepts in a new way that will make sense to you. I hope to give you real, practical, and actionable advice that you can implement today.
I served in my Army unit in psychological operations for several years over the course of multiple deployments with men I consider brothers. One Saturday, those men invited me to go bowling with them the next day. I declined and said, “Sorry guys, I’m going to church tomorrow morning.” With a confused look, one of my buddies looked at me and said, “Dude, you’re a Christian?” It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was ashamed. I have identified as a Christian since I was a child, but my behavior, language, interests, and attitudes told a whole different story.
That was the moment I realized I needed to correct my course and begin to end average in my life. Mediocrity and complacency had to go. I started that day, and I’ve never looked back.
Join me as I tell you what I’ve discovered since that moment.
Let’s do this.
Badrick gently raked his fingers through her hair, pushing her bangs out of her face. Suddenly she felt so small. His arms were big and held her close to him. The smell of the seaside radiated off of him. She remembered how he told her that he had lived on the coast when he was younger, often going fishing with his father until he ran off in search of a bigger adventure. Even to this day, the salt from the air, the scent of the water, still clung to him, a bittersweet smell she had come to love.
Despite being in his arms, Kira couldn’t find sleep. Russell’s horrified eyes haunted her. Nothing would ever wipe the memory from her mind. Whatever had come after him was something from the depths of hell, and somehow she knew that it was coming for her next.
Brooklyn lay back, just enjoying the peace and quiet. Closing her eyes, she imagined all the things she wanted to say. What would her first conversation with Eli be like? Would he like her voice and find it comforting?
She could hear Eli’s and Luca’s voices carrying through the woods, and she could also hear the birds and insects singing out a melody, when she suddenly felt the coolness of someone blocking the sun from her face. She opened her eyes, instant trepidation sending her heart racing.
It was him, the face from the forest.
She tried to roll over, but it was too late. He had her by the throat.
Her eyes darted from side to side, looking for the agent who was supposed to be watching her.
“Don’t worry; your guard decided to lie down for a while. It’s just you and me, and you’re going to listen if you don’t want that yappy kid to end up like your brother. I know you can’t scream, and I wish we had more time, because the things I could do to you . . . ” He squeezed her breast, hard. “You’re going to get an offer on the club. It’s more than you deserve, but we don’t want to raise suspicion. You’re going to accept that offer, and if you tell anyone about our little chat, the kid is dead. Nod if you understand.”
Brooklyn nodded, struggling for breath.
He lessened the grip on her throat, smashing his mouth down on hers. She thrashed back and forth, trying to get away, panicking for oxygen.
When the man pulled back, he ran his tongue up her face. Then, raising a finger to his lips, he showed her his gun. “Not a word, or the kid dies.” Ever so calmly, he released her, got up, and sauntered into the forest as Brooklyn flipped over, gasping for breath.
She couldn’t stand his grossness on her, and even though she was struggling for breath, she grabbed a water bottle and poured some in her hands, washing the saliva off her cheek and lips. She went through one bottle, scrubbing her skin, and then another before she felt remotely clean.
It hit her that the agent was somewhere, hurt. She had to find him. She ran frantically, looking around. Suddenly, she didn’t hear Eli or Luca. Oh God, did he hurt her family? She had to find them.
Running in the direction they had headed, branches whipped at her face, but she was beyond feeling anything. She wasn’t strong enough to survive losing them. She needed help. It hit her that she had people she could text. With shaking hands, she sent a group text to Sabastian, Alessandro, Santino, and Grant.
9-1-1 on the mountain. Hurry!!
Santino was the first to respond. We’re on our way. What happened?
Brooklyn: There was a man. I don’t know where anyone is. Please, help me find them. Please, Santino, I’m so scared.
Sabastian: Hide yourself. We’ll find you.
Grant: Brooklyn, stay calm. We’re tracing your phone. We’ll find your location. You and I are going to keep conversing until we get to you. Is Jared missing too?
Grant: Don’t anyone else interrupt. Brooklyn, I’m going to continue to ask you questions. Alessandro’s going to type them from his phone and read me your answers so I can also talk to my team. Answer with as much detail as possible.
Alessandro: What happened?
Brooklyn: Eli and Luca, I can’t find them or hear them. Help, God, please help me.
Alessandro: I know you’re scared, but you need to answer so we can find everyone. Now tell me what happened.
Brooklyn: Luca and Eli went looking for bugs. I was lying down, and I woke up with the man from the forest, his hands around my throat. Now I can’t find anyone.
Alessandro: Did he hurt you? Do you need an ambulance?
Brooklyn: No, but I don’t know about anyone else.
Alessandro: Good. What did the man say?
Brooklyn: I can’t tell anyone.
Alessandro: Please, Brooklyn, tell me. I can’t help if I don’t know who did this.
Brooklyn: No, they’ll kill Eli!
Alessandro: I’ll protect Eli. Tell me.
Brooklyn: No, you can’t protect us. Look at what happened. No!!
Grant needed to distract her so she didn’t lose it, so he changed the subject.
Alessandro: I want you to stop, look around, and listen. Can you hear or see anything?
Brooklyn was crouched behind a tree. She pulled the phone close to her chest with one hand and leaned around the tree, looking around to see if she could see or hear anything. The ironic thing was that all she could hear was the roaring of blood flowing through her body. It was so loud it was muting the sound of the birds and insects. She forgot about her phone as her mind went places it shouldn’t.