Monday, February 8, 2010
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2009)
***Special thanks to Kathi Lipp for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Kathi is married to Roger, the Worship Arts Director at Church on the Hill in San Jose. They have four kids and live in San Jose, CA. When she’s not doing laundry, Kathi is a full-time speaker and writer whose articles have appeared in Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and Christian Parenting Today. Her first books, The Husband Project and The Marriage Project were both released by Harvest House.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736925287
ISBN-13: 978-0736925280

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Why The Marriage Project?


With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox


I have a shelf full of marriage books and I bet if you‘ve been married for any amount of time, you do too.


Most of the books that we own are great books. They talk about God’s desire for a healthy marriage, the theories behind a healthy marriage, and what a healthy marriage should look like if you apply these principles.


Some of those marriage books have had a great impact on my relationship with my husband.


Most of them? They ended up on our bookshelf as things I feel guilty for 1) not implementing on a daily basis and 2) not dusting.


When Roger and I got married we both brought two teenagers, two full-time jobs, and a host of volunteer activities into the relationship. There just wasn’t much time to be sitting up in bed after a long day, taking turns reading pages out of marriage enhancement books and staring longingly, with great resolve, into each other’s eyes.


On the other hand, Roger and I both determined to make this marriage work. We each had been in marriages that ended in divorce, and we were committed to being absolutely intentional to do everything we could, in God’s power, to see that we had a marriage that not only lasted, but also was honoring to Him and filled with joy.


That’s when the crazy ideas started to flow.


First, there was The Husband Project, where I challenged my friends (and myself) to bless our men for 21 days without expecting anything in return. While most women kept it a secret from their husbands, I had to tell Roger eventually (he had a right to know what book I was working on seven hours a day).


After that, Roger and I wanted a project to complete as a couple. The results of that are what you hold in your hand.


I wanted a way to bless my marriage that was very practical, fun, following God’s plan and purpose for marriage (and perhaps just a little bit flirty). I needed something that wasn’t just a theory about what to do about my marriage – I wanted some checkboxes. I wanted something that would instruct me, “This is what you do, now go and do it.”


That is what I needed, and that is what I ended up writing.


Becoming an Expert on Your Own Marriage


I’m definitely not a marriage expert. After one failed marriage and just four years into my second one, I’m probably not the first person you’d approach for marital advice. (Although the fact that Roger and I got married with four teenagers between us, and we’re still together, should earn us some kind of presidential Medal of Honor. Or at least a nifty certificate in a leatherette case.)


So I gleaned and condensed the very best advice from every marriage book on our shelves and adapted it into short, doable steps – or projects, that we could work on together.


This is how I have to manage almost every area of my life – whether it’s healthy eating, child rearing, Bible study, and most recently, marriage. It’s not enough that I know what I’m supposed to do; I need to have a plan to get up and do it.


Through these crazy little projects (most taking less than five or ten minutes) my husband and I learned new things about each other. We rediscovered what makes each other tick, confirmed some basics we already knew, and found new and exciting ways to encourage one another. While I may not be a marriage expert, I became an expert on my marriage.


I love how The Message Bible illustrates the words of James when it comes to putting feet to our thoughts:


Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:14-17)


We can talk about marriage all day long. We can buy books and listen to podcasts about how we should have great marriages. We can listen to sermons and do Bible studies. But, unless we put some God-acts to our God-talk, no one benefits.


Hundreds of couples have done the Projects before you. These simple acts have been proven to change not only people’s behavior, but also their attitudes. I pray that God pours out His blessings on you and your marriage as you put feet to His plan for your marriage.

My Thoughts
Any book about enhancing your relationship is good I think.   And The Marriage Project is definetively the book you need to get to have fun with your spouse.  And with valentine just being around the corner, it's the perfect time to go to the bookstore to get a copy of it.

The book starts with the laying of the foundation for the project. In eleven chapters, the author explains how to prepare you and your spouse to experience The Marriage Project. She will explain why 21 days, what preparation is needed for the projects, creating an encouragement crew, the bonus projects, the major projects, and so on. The author also suggests other literature that you can dig in for get more information on specific subjects.


Then you are sent-off to work on the projects. The project section is divided in three weeks in which you will have a project per day as well as a major project and a bonus project to complete. Some projects are for either one or the other partner in the couple and other projects requires both of you to be involved. It can as simple as for the guy to go buy a card for his wife to completing a home project that you have been thinking about since a long time...

The important thing about marriage is to keep the communication lines open and this little book and the ideas in it will do just that. I’m pretty sure that every couple will discover something new about each other while going through this book.

I am looking forward to experience these projects with my husband. This year we will be celebrating our 12th anniversary and with four kids under the age of eight in the house getting new ideas on how to rekindle love and laughter is always a bonus for us. I am looking forward to go fishing with him this year. The last two years I wasn’t able to but I want to make the effort of spending time with him doing that this summer.

And if the author plans to write a book titled The Family Project or The Kids Project, I would be more than willing to be a testing family. One book I am keeping in mind for the future is The Husband Project.

The Marriage Project is available at every bookstore even at amazon.ca and indigo.ca.

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