A men's pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, and founder of Every Man Ministries, author Kenny Luck finds potent stories of men who have faced down their fears, defeated their foes, and risen to the challenge in myriad circumstances. Men will love this book, simply because Luck writes with a pulse on what matters to men most and shows them how to achieve their hearts' desires. Written at times in an offhandedly disarming way, Luck will draw in men from a diverse readership as he tells intriguing and beguiling stories of real men who've made mistakes, taken a beating, and then emerged stronger for the struggle.
As his title infers, life is a risk. So whether a man wants to engage or not in the hardships found at the workplace, in the home, or within his own heart, he will be forced to make a decision. Life doesn't allow anyone an "opt out" clause. Luck challenges men of faith to pour all they have (and want for the future) into Christ's strong, faithful and able hands. By not making choices that honor God on a moment-by-moment basis, Luck tells readers that they are choosing --- and their decisions are making an eternal impact for either good or evil. With their absence or presence, men ultimately decide what type of impact their individual lives will have on their spheres of influence --- no lightweight matter here.
According to Luck's definition of “risk,” becoming a masculine, courageous man of God involves four key components. Foundationally, men must have an accurate picture of who God is: "...when our concept of Him is diminished, so is courage for Him." Next, men need to find their identity in Christ, as a son of God; only then are they willing to step out of comfort zones and be different, becoming the unique person God can use. Third, faithful men will sacrifice for Christ on the deepest personal and professional levels, understanding the privilege of this cost. Finally, Luck says that God's men will begin visionary kingdom-building for God, not themselves.
Each chapter discusses a similarly vital element of creating a life that God uses effectively. Luck opens every section with poignant stories followed by biblical entreaties to obey and honor God's commands. Some of the hot topics Luck forges through with admirable skill and enthusiasm are: becoming vulnerable enough to expose personal (private) Achilles' heels, developing a loyalty that is tenacious and persevering, using strength and energy for pursuing God with passion, and allowing God to recast a fresh vision for the future that includes professional and personal goals.
Young men and old, those new to the faith as well as seasoned followers, will find substantive resource and wise counsel. Luck's transparency and his willingness to treat subjects with a bold candor will be especially appealing to men who are seeking real answers to life's difficult dilemmas.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on April 18, 2006