Item description for Becoming Real: Christ's Call to Authenic Living by Steven James...
Overview James outlines a process that leads to a more abundant life as pretense and defensiveness are left behind.
Publishers Description Most of us live in a state of unreality, afraid to show our true self. But deep inside, like the renowned Velveteen Rabbit, we long to become real. Weary of masking true struggles, most of us long for transparency and ache for the embrace of a God who meets them amid the mess of life. Award-winning author Steven James offers an open invitation for those daring enough to venture into a new realm of vulnerability, where it is admirable to be honest about shortcomings, genuine with love, and unguarded about motives. Divided into sections on Embarking, Awakening, and Emerging, this book outlines a process that leads to a more abundant life as pretense and defensiveness are left behind.
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Studio: Howard Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.82 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2005
Publisher Howard Books
ISBN 1582294291 ISBN13 9781582294292
Availability 0 units.
More About Steven James
Steven James is the national bestselling author of a dozen novels, including the critically acclaimed thrillers Every Crooked Path, Checkmate, The King, Opening Moves, and The Queen. He has won three Christy Awards for best suspense and was a finalist for an International Thriller Award. His thriller The Bishop was named Suspense Magazine's book of the year. Publishers Weekly calls him "[a] master storyteller at the peak of his game." He has a master's degree in storytelling and has taught writing and creative communication around the world.
Steven James currently resides in the state of Tennessee.
Steven James has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Becoming Real: Christ's Call to Authenic Living?
I'm Becoming Real....at last May 30, 2006
This book is a must for anyone who wants to live the hand-designed life fashioned by their creator. It has opened my eyes to authentic living and given me hope that someday, I will achieve it.
I find one road block in my own quest for authenticity is I try too hard to make others like me. See, I want others to like me, not reject me, to been seen as someone worthy of relationship, friendship and not be shunned. Making friends is hard for me and I tend to say too much, smile too much, reveal too much, admire too much, stare too much, ask too much, hide too much, all in effort to plant a seed of authentic friendship.
Steven James taught me that if I am not first authentic in my relationship with Christ, I can't expect authenticity in any other relationship; my efforts will be seen as secret agendas, ulterior motives, or insincere, instead of a genuine and heartfelt desire for friendship. Becoming Real is the game plan for finding that authenticity.
James writes, "As hard as it may be, as tough as it may seem, forgiveness is the only way to move on to restoring the relationship." I lived this recently, before I really understood this principle of living. I met someone in my profession that I identified with, desired to learn from and wanted to become friends with. Yet, I found myself, once again saying too much, smiling too much, revealing too much, admiring too much, staring too much, asking too much, and trying way too hard to make this person see me as worthy of being their friend. After a few days, guilt swallowed me whole when I realized I had alienated this person as I saw them begin to avoid me. What I had hoped would become friendship, had become an estranged acquaintanceship.
Realizing that, I knew I had to lay down my pride, and ask their forgiveness for my overzealous ness. I boldly took that step, even though it hurt, and this person graciously extended their forgiveness. I still pray for that person, their family and their success, and hope that someday, God-willing, I will have another chance at authentic friendship with them. That was a huge step towards Becoming Real.
Because of Steven James, I learned not to try too hard to win friends, but instead focus on serving my creator. Then and only then, friends that are truly worth having will naturally gravitate toward me, as they see Christ illuminating through all I say and do.
Will I ever achieve Christ's call to authentic living? I doubt it, not this side of heaven anyway. But will I quit striving for it? Never! I know that if I continue to embrace God's word and keep these steps of Becoming Real up front and in my face at all times, I'll remain strong in my quest for authenticity.
Steven James, thanks for sharing your unique insight into scripture and your talent with the world. Your words have touched my heart and changed my life. And I'm now more of who I am because of you. God is truly using you to advance the kingdom in ways you are unaware of. Please keep writing; I'll keep reading.
Memorable, thought-provoking stories Jan 20, 2006
Steve's stories are the best part of this book. He has a good mix of autobiographical anecdotes and historical vignettes. They are stories that it didn't take me long to find a use for, both in my ministry as a Lutheran pastor and in my personal life. The book is worth a look, even if only for that reason.
One quirky thing is another fella's comment on the back of the book about Steve's "native Tennessee mountains," since I'm pretty sure he grew up in Wisconsin.
Sometimes I got bogged down in the many quotes and to-do lists. Really bogged down sometimes. The last part of the book was much better than the first two parts of the book in this regard. The bogging down is why I can't give the book five stars.
Overall, I do feel it was a good use of my time to read this book. Looking back, the good parts that engrossed me more than made up for the boggy parts that I wanted to skim past.
I thought the chapter on Reprioritizing Family Relationships was especially clear, well-done, and a needed message for American Christian dads. I know I will be reading that chapter again. It is for sure worth spending time on this book for that chapter all by itself.
So I do recommend this book: in particular the stories (there are one or two very good ones in almost every chapter) and the chapter on the family.
This book facilitated a conversation with God. Aug 17, 2005
I finished reading "Becoming Real..." recently. Nice! ...just kidding.(you have to read the book to get that one) It was very well done!!! I'll admit that I ordered it mainly to see what Steven is up to these days. Upon reading the initial chapter I was drawn in. After a little while I was challenged by the questions Steven had us ask ourselves and to ask God how he sees me. Eventually the book facilitated a conversation between me and God. I did laugh and cry at times and know that it has enabled me to grow closer to God. It was also fun because I'm familiar with a few of the people Steven referenced. The honesty he shares as examples from his own struggles are touching and helped me realize just how honest I can be with God. When I read similar books that pull me closer to God I usually pass it on to friends. This one is added to my reference list to pass on along with Wild at Heart and Purpose Driven Life. Next time I read it I hope to use the study guide in the back. In summary it has helped me to further focus my thoughts and energy on the calling that I feel God has given me -- to be the best dad I can (in Chirst). Steven, Thank you for humbling yourself to the point that you could write this book. It is obviously God inspired. In Christ, -Derek
WOW! THIS IS THE REAL DEAL... May 4, 2005
I recently got to meet Steven James when he came to hold a couple of seminars at our Church. It was the weekend of Palm Sunday.
Being married to a member of our children's ministry staff, I got to go to Dinner with him the night before. To be honest, till I looked at his website the week prior to his appearance at our Church, I'd never heard of the guy before.
I was intruiged by what I saw and heard at the seminars. Too often "Christian" speakers and authors strike me as speakers ansd authors who are called "Christian" only because their target audience happens to be Christians. This guy appeared genuine.
I was further impressed by the fact that Steven also agreed to teach our Kindergartners-3rd Graders their Large Group lesson for all 4 weekend services.
What blew me away though, was when we were at dinner and he mentioned that he'd been reading mainly medieval mystics lately. (This was largely encountered by blank looks--something I have grown used to.)
No longer did I think that I was the lone Christ-follower on the planet who crossed the borders of what are generally two seperate camps--evangelical Christianity and those who appreciate and find lessons in Christianity's past.
To make a long story slightly less long, I picked up a copy of Becoming Real. The book is much like the man: well-informed and creative in its communication. I was shocked that any Christian publishing house would allow a book of such depth to be put out on it label.
This is a book that not only talks about God and the life he intends for us all, but one that seeks to engage us in that life. It is not hyperbole for me to say that this is amongst the best Christian books I have ever read. It is on my short-list of the best books I have ever read--period.
My one slight critique of this book is that it follows the recent tradition in "Christian Living" books of quoting every source under the sun to try and back up its points. I think Steven James has a book here that would be able to stand up on its own authority. Too bad he didn't let it...
All the same, I cannot recommend "Becoming Real: Christ's Call To Authentic Living" highly enough.
Get a copy today.
Like Walking in a Park with a Friend... Mar 29, 2005
Some books on spiritual formation read like seminary lectures, others like inspirational speeches, others like feel-good fluff, others like mystical musings.
Interestingly enough, very few come across as REAL, as if you were hanging out with a warm, honest, wise, REAL friend. That is what Steven James does in this book. He approaches spiritual formation not as the all-knowing instructor, or the inspirational pep talker, but as a friend, a fellow pilgrim, who shares both his life in engaging anecdotes, the Scripture in biblical exposition, and his wisdom through carefully crafted words.