Book Review: Didn’t See It Coming

We still have 2 months left in 2018, but I may have found my Book of the Year.  I was at Lunch with a Leader at Northstar Church a few weeks ago when Pastor Mike Linch mentioned this book.  We are studying through the life of David in that Bible study and Mike pointed to this book as a great way to examine your heart as a leader.  For me, the book was great to point out areas where cynicism, burnout, and depression can begin to creep in when we take our eyes off of who Jesus is and the fact that our identity must be found in Him first..and always above all other things.  This book was a great read…definitely left me with a lot to think about.  It was refreshing to be reminded that God is in control!  This book also equipped me with some thoughts on how to encourage others.

Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences by Carey Nieuwhof

  • Are there signs that you’re enroute to becoming incredibly successful and desperately empty at the same time? Location: 191
  • Cynicism, compromise, disconnection, irrelevance, pride, burnout, emptiness—none of these need to be your final story. You can see them coming. You can identify them when they arrive. And when you name them, when you see them, they lose some of their allure as well as their power. Location: 237
  • Cynicism begins not because you don’t care but because you do care. Location: 348
  • Knowledge often brings sorrow because the more you know, the more you see life for what it really is. Location: 372
  • The problem with generalizing—applying one particular situation to all situations—is that the death of trust, hope, and belief is like a virus, infecting everything. You think you’re protecting yourself from the future when, in reality, your new stance infects your present. Location: 411
  • What I needed to understand is what you need to understand: cynicism is actually a choice. Cynics aren’t born; they’re made. Life doesn’t make you a cynic; you make you a cynic. Location: 441
  • Cynics never change the world. They just tell you why the world can’t change. Location: 443
  • Cynicism melts under the relentless hope of the gospel. Your past isn’t your future. Not if you get Jesus involved. Bitterness can’t linger under the relentless assault of love. Hope cannot die if an empty tomb empowers it. Location: 488
  • If you listen longer than most people listen, you’ll hear things most people never hear. Location: 536
  • Your competency leaves the first impression, but your character leaves the lasting one. Location: 670
  • Keep honing your heart. Keep nurturing your soul. You may not be who you want to be, but you’re not done yet. Location: 705
  • Blaise Pascal was right: “The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” Location: 814
  • The antidote to compromise is simply this: work twice as hard on your character as you do on your competency. Location: 827
  • As soon as you start to admit that you’re the problem, you start to make progress. Location: 883
  • If you simply make your talk match your walk, the gap between who you are and who you want to be becomes smaller almost instantly. Location: 924
  • Competency gets you in the room. Character keeps you in the room. Location: 977
  • Solitude is a gift from God. Isolation is not—it’s a tool of the Enemy. Location: 1,017
  • “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” Location: 1,287
  • Why should you become a student of culture? Simple. People who don’t understand today’s culture will never be able to speak into it. Whether you agree with the culture or not, understanding it is a prerequisite to being able to influence it. Location: 1,567
  • It’s the arrogance born of comparison. Location: 1,733
  • As Tim Keller put it, “When work is your identity, success goes to your head, and failure goes to your heart.”1 Location: 1,745
  • Unrestrained, pride will relentlessly drive you to remove whatever challenges it, and one of its most consistent threats is accountability. Location: 1,835
  • Gratitude fosters humility because it moves you out of the role of the star in your story. Location: 1,945
  • What do you need to be ridiculously honest about with yourself and with God? What do you need to confess? What describes you that you wish didn’t? Location: 2,023
  • It’s so easy to spot pride in others. But people who spot it in themselves and cultivate humility develop a much richer, much more fulfilling life. Location: 2,027
  • Cynicism never finds a home in a healthy heart. Location: 2,181
  • So how do I live in a way today that will help me thrive tomorrow? Maintaining health in all five major areas of life (spiritual, emotional, relational, physical, and financial) has become a top priority for me. Location: 2,353
  • if God wants to go deep, it’s because he wants to take you far. Location: 2,408



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