It didn't suit my fancy - but it could be worth a listen for you...
Recently I was asked by ChristianAudio.com to review the book Choose Joy by Kay Warren. It seems like a sound book. It took me a little longer to listen to it because I feel it was truly written for women, and well, being a man - I didn't take too well to it.
The book had the usual stories of heartbreak, sorrow, pain and the steps - at least in the author's mind - to find Joy in those situations. However like I said - I don't think it was written for the likes of the man. This is not to say it is a bad book. The opposite is true. I appreciated the concept of finding Joy not by merely looking for it - but actively choosing it.
To be Joyful in all situations is not an easy thing - for God does not promise trial free life, but a trial proof life. (I stole part of that line from a recent Facebook post from Mars Hill Church.) Anyway Kay reads the book well and tells of stories in her life where making the choice of Joy was the only way she would have joy in that situation.
I really can't write much more about it from my standpoint as I just didn't like her writing style. It was not for me, and not, I believe, for men in general. But that is my opinion, and that is why I was given the book for free to read - to give my opinion.
I am however going to recommend my mother to listen to it or read it. She is in need of choosing Joy and I think she WILL enjoy it.
Be Blessed all and Give with Passion.
Thought Provoking Discussion About Joy
Choose Joy by Kay Warren is a book I wasn’t sure I would enjoy because I am not a naturally happy, outgoing person and I thought the book would be written by an outgoing woman telling everyone that they should be joyful just like her. However what I discovered as I started listening was that Kay was very similar to me and had encountered more trials than I probably ever will but had chosen to be joyful despite her circumstances.
I loved the chapter focusing on how Jesus was a joyful person because images of Jesus are normally either very timid, emotionless portrayals or images of pain on the day he died. Also the focus on personalities being an excuse for not being joyful was a common opinion that Kay effectively debunked.
This book is written for women and there are a few references to women but all the principles are just as applicable to men. As a man, I found it extremely useful and the fact that being joyful is a choice is something that I intend to practise in the future.
The narration at first I found a bit difficult because Kay has a very strong accent but the further I got into the book the more I got used to it and found it to be quite good. The added advantage of the author, Kay Warren, reading the book is that she knows the tone, emotion and expression that she intended the book to have, making it flow smoothly.
This book was a very interesting and helpful book that I intend to put into practise in my own life to become more joyful despite my circumstances. It is essential reading for people going through trials or just generally lacking in joy.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
Learn to Choose Joy even in the midst of sorrow
The author/narrator's voice was clear and concise, with just the right inflection where it was needed. I found myself getting so emotionally involved with Mrs. Warren's story, especially when she spoke of the difficulties she and her family have faced, that it brought tears to my eyes more then once. To know that she has suffered, as I and many others have suffered, and are still suffering today, and to be able to still see and feel the joy that only God can offer, is very encouraging.
I would recommend this audiobook to any woman that has struggled with find and holding onto joy, and even if you have never struggled in this area, I would encourage you to listen to it also. Take her teachings to heart. Learn how to seek, find and choose joy now, before these troubles start. As Jesus says in John 16:33 : "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." If you listen now, before the trouble comes, you may just be better prepared to find and choose the joy that God offers.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through christianaudio. I was not required to write a positive review.
Choose Joy Review
Choose Joy by Kay Warren is a wonderful reminder that regardless of who you are, what kind of education you’ve received or where you are right here, right now in this moment – you still must decide to choose joy (or not) when circumstances beyond your control loom overhead.
I am in complete agreement with Kay on this statement:
Joy cannot be manipulated by the actions of puny human beings; it is not dependent on the amount of sadness, suffering or difficulties you endure. Joy cannot be held hostage to fear, pain, anger, disappointment, sadness or grief. At the end of any given day, the amount of joy you experience is the exact amount of joy you chose to experience!
Kay Warren puts JOY out there. She talks about her own doubts, fears and struggles as well as providing reminders of Biblical accounts of situations that were less than joyful, but joy was chosen.
She reminds us that joy is not an emotion that runs wildly through our hearts like other emotions, that it is an action we much choose when we trust our Almighty Heavenly Father to work all things together for good. Joy is a gift from the Holy Spirit and regardless of circumstances we can choose this gift and embrace joy.
We can approach our problems with a joyful mindset when we meditate on the greatness of God.
Although this book is focused on us gals, I encourage men and women alike to start choosing JOY today.
The audio version of this book is read by Kay Warren which is a gift in itself. We get the joy of hearing the passion and compassion that fills her heart.
I give Choose Joy, because Happiness isn’t enough 5 out of 5 stars and encourage you to get the book and start choosing joy today.
Christian Audio is doing a pre-release of the audio version. Get your copy here. http://christianaudio.com/choose-joy-kay-warren
Some of my favorite quotes from Kay Warren:
A watching world needs to hear from us that God personifies Joy
Jesus’ attitude towards life, shows that He was a man of Joy
God uses the dark times in our life to reveal His majesty
God values character over comfort, faith over fears, mercy over judgment, justice over injustice, people over possessions, truth over falsehood, humility over pride, hope over despair, love over apathy. In other words, God values the things that will last.
The parallel train tracks of joy and sorrow are always running side by side in our lives.
Big Idea of Choose Joy
The book is obviously written for women. (I am not a woman). Nonetheless, the content and subject matter is applicable and appropriate for men and women. Choose Joy describes what joy is, and how to choose it, regardless of one's life circumstances.
"You, my friend are in charge."
At the beginning of the book, Warren writes, "The level of joy you experience is completely and totally up to you...You, my friend are in charge." These kind of statements made me a wee bit skeptical from the start. Thankfully, she redeemed the book with more solid chapters that refocused the reader's attention on true biblical joy. I did find myself wishing that she drew greater attention to salvation by grace as the source of joy.
"Books that are approachable."
Kay Warren said "I like to read books that are approachable. I wasn't writing a theological book." Thus, the book is winsome and light, not pensive or deep. Even though Warren says it's not exactly theological, there is enough applied theology in the book to make it palatable for thoughtful, theologically-inclined people. Recognizing that "joy is a choice" is not significantly profound, but is nonetheless true.
Choose Joy Audiobook Narration
I much prefer listening to the author narrate his/her own book. The audio version of Choose Joy from christianaudio.com is narrated by Kay Warren, providing a listening experience that is genuine and poignant.
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It's okay to be joyful. Go ahead - you have permission. Just remember, though, that joy is a decision. It's not an emotion. In fact, happiness is an emotion, so let it take your smiles. But joy, let it lead your life. This is Kay Warren's idea in her book, and she makes the most authentic narrator you could find for the audio edition of her work, too.
How does joy fit in with grief? Can a grieving widow be joyful? Is it a sin to think such is permissible? Warren turns the concepts backwards, over, and upside-down and challenges the stigma in our culture that rejects joy. We can choose to be joyful. It's not about creating joy, or imitating it. Rather, it is choosing not to doubt it. Joy is already there, and it is our duty to embrace it. In fact, when we don't choose joy, we doubt G-d and His word. How so, you ask? Read (or better yet, listen to) the book, I challenge.
Warren's narration is spot-on, being her own imitator, bringing the text to life with a lighter tone with smooth inflection, much like the easy listening to jazz. Her intriguing speaking style and mark to make a captive audience commands that those interested in this work select audio instead of print.
Her writing evokes a response, while her narration evokes much more...the raw emotion that triggers a decisive response. Unfortunately speaking at a medium to fast pace, some listeners will have to "keep up" to not get lost in her material. Nevertheless, her art as a speaker is very similar to the star performer at a women's conference - calling those who can hear to listen.
This audio edition is an easy four stars, and may have been five if I were able to keep up.
christianaudio commissioned this review. Read other reviews, like this one, at scriptedgenius.com.
A book written for women that every man should read!
This is a book written for women that every man should read. Although Kay Warren wrote this book as an encouragement to women, I think that her studied revelations about how God interacts with us personally on a daily basis are extremely valuable to men and women alike.
I often imagine the author of audio books through the voice of the narrator and in most cases; you can imagine the author through a good narrator but you really don’t know if the author actually sounds anything like the narrator. In this case, Kay Warren narrates her own book so we really do get a feeling that we are sitting with the author. She does a great job in the process and I hope that she is an encouragement to other authors to narrate their own books.
It is obvious from this audio book that the author has a strong and dependent relationship with God. A common question by those who do not have a personal relationship with God is “Why would this tragedy happen to me, or to that innocent person.” I have attempted to answer that question for several bloggers with very little success. We, as believers have but a tiny understanding of the mind of God and those without a faith in God have little or no understanding of the how and why of God’s actions.
Kay does an excellent job explaining how she believes God works in our lives both in the good times and the bad. I appreciated the quote that she used that if we ask “Why me?” in the bad times, we should equally ask the same question when something good happens in our lives.
I was also struck by her admission about a missed opportunity with a neighbor in distress as it reminded me of a business client who was reaching out to me for the peace (from God) that he saw in me. I was too busy to stop and talk and when I went to see him again in six months, he had already passed away. I live with the memory of a missed opportunity but believe that God ultimately determines who else may have had that conversation with this man that I missed. Both Kay’s experience and mine reinforce my determination to listen to God’s direction when He asks me to have that conversation.
I received this audio book free from christianaudio.com Reviewers Program in exchange for posting a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
This is such an encouraging audiobook and so easy to listen to that I finished it within a couple days of downloading it. Kay Warren narrates herself and comes across like a very good friend who empathises with you all the way through. She also helps you sort out your problems and doesn't just tell you to pretend that bad things aren't happening in your life. She has experienced a lot of pain and fear herself so is speaking from personal experience. She is very honest about her fears which really made me warm to her throughout this audio. My favourite chapters are the ones about Jesus being a man of joy, legalism and grace, and about looking after yourself by making your life simpler and taking time for yourself.
I would recommend this audio to every woman as there is so much encouragement here that we all need everyday. Although I must state that it definitely isn't just for people who are struggling and need encouraging. I haven't listened to any other audiobooks by this author before, but I would definitely listen to more after this excellent recording. Thanks to christianaudio.com Reviewer's Program for this free copy.