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Choose Joy

Because Happiness Isn't Enough

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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.

Chris
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 3/29/2012)
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.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 3/29/2012)
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.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 3/28/2012)
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.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 3/27/2012)
Encouraging Read
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.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 3/23/2012)
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