Tag Archives: Self-Growth

Book Review: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson

This is one of those rare books that has an absolutely ridiculous sounding name but is actually very good to read.  In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day is all about seeing your daily struggles as God-ordained opportunities to mature your own faith and grow His kingdom.  The title is a reference to the Biblical character Benaiah, who is found in II Samuel 23:20-21.  Benaiah (for those of us who have never heard of him) was a man who literally killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day – hence the name of the book.

Batterson introduces his thesis by sharing the story of Benaiah and examining it in some detail.  Then he sets out seven skills needed to properly view obstacles as God-ordained opportunities to thrive, spending a chapter examining each one: Overcoming adversity, Unlearning fears, embracing uncertainty, calculating risks, seizing opportunities, defying odds, and looking foolish.  The irony of reading this book for me is that I’ve got a couple of challenges I’m facing now in my jobs, and just last week (before I even picked up the book!) I was sharing with Melissa that while the challenges seem to be great in many ways I also feel that God has placed these in my path for a specific reason.  In short, I feel they are God-ordained opportunities for me to guide and help others while at the same time growing in my own faith.

The only complaint I had about the book is that at times I felt like I was re-reading Soulprint because there were some sections that seemed as if they were verbatim from his previous book (which I reviewed).  Batterson’s style is easy to read and enjoyable yet at the same time he raises some great points which require careful and deep consideration.  I’m going to recommend reading this book if you need help seeing your every-day circumstances as God-ordained opportunities to grow in Him, giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

One disclaimer, I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, but am not required to post a complimentary review in exchange for it.

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Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny by Mark Batterson

Cross posted on I Respond to Jesus

Soul Print is supposed to be a book about discovering your unique identity. Mark Batterson follows major events in the life of King David to demonstrate how God works through circumstances to mold and model us into the people he wants us to be. He opens his book with a simple yet profound statement, “There has never been and never will be anyone else like you. But this isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to God who created you.”

By using major life occurances in the life of King David (the defeat over Goliath, the encounter with King Saul in the cave, his affair with Bathsheba, etc), Batterson sets out an example of how we can view situations in our own lives to allow God to work in us. He makes some assumptions about David that, while conceivable, are not necessarily Biblical, but there isn’t anything really wrong with that accept to remember while you read it that it is an assumption he makes which may or may not be correct.

As a church music director I found quite a bit of insight that can be applied to how I lead my congregation in worship in Chapter IV (Alter Ego), but that’s only because I read it through the lens of a worship leader. Batterson’s message in that chapter is for everyone – in fact, it is specifically for the lay worshiper. His insights will definitely show up in my writing over the next couple of months on worship (found at I Respond to Jesus and Grace Notes).

One of the key components of the book that will make it applicable is to take the time to work through the reflection questions at the end of the book.  The contents of the book have the potential to impact and change your life if you take the time to work through the refection questions at the end of the book instead of merely reading through it.

Over all I’ll give this book 3.5 out of five stars.

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One disclaimer, I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, but am not required to post a complimentary review in exchange for it.

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Filed under Christian Living