planbbook

BOOK REVIEW: Plan B by Pete Wilson

Have you ever had a dream shattered? Been disappointed? Had your hopes dashed?  Had more questions than answers?  Had to let go of your plans? Had the bottom fall out of your life?  Had a broken heart?  Of course you have. You know how I know? Because the blood is running warm in your veins.  First time author and Nashville, TN area pastor Pete Wilson has just released his first book, “Plan B” (Thomas Nelson) and he has a message for you: “you are not alone!”

I’m going to be honest with you. I read much of “Plan B” through tears.  I’ve shared various parts of my story here over the past couple months, and it would be an understatement to say that I am right in the center of my own “Plan B” situation. As I have been walking out my own “Plan B”, learning to let go of my plans and dreams for myself and embrace the story God is writing for me, I have wrestled hard with the questions… “why”, “when”, “how”, “what if”, “why not”, “now what”, etc.  If it were possible for a book to be a life soundtrack, “Plan B” would be mine.  If that sounds like I’m telling your story, then this book is for you.

Reading “Plan B” has been at times confirmation, at times cathartic and at other times a road map.  There were moments when I felt like it was a checklist, where I could look back at the milestones in my own journey and match them to the heart-process Pete described in the book.  Other moments, it was such a release for my heart, giving me permission to feel the way I feel and understand that the way I feel doesn’t intimidate God.  Then there were moments when I re-read, highlighted and collected wisdom like a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter, knowing that I would need it again very soon.

Pete’s conversational tone and writing style make you feel like you’re just talking with a good friend about working through the nuts and bolts of life.  When he talks, in chapter 6, about how “our faith must rest on God’s identity and not necessarily his activity”, it challenged me to look back over my life and remember the times when my heart was so swayed by what I thought God should be doing instead of being anchored in who God is. Ultimately, our “Plan B” is most often actually God’s “Plan A”, once He has dealt with our expectations and entitlement… what we think we deserve.

Is it possible you don’t really want God? Is it possible you just want what you think God can give you?

I’ve seen some criticism of “Plan B”, stating that while the book boldly poses a lofty question, “What do you do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought He would?”, it doesn’t deliver when it’s time for the answer.  I take issue what that argument and propose that perhaps a significant misstep of much of today’s Christianity is that when it comes to offering answers, it often over-promises but under-delivers.  Life is not full of answers, and neither is faith.  But you know what both ARE full of?  Questions.

Is it possible that we have become so accustomed to the bait-and-switch of modern evangelicalism, where the false promise of answers are dangled like a carrot before the cross, that we are afraid of actually living with the questions? Have we been so long seduced by 3-piece suit-wearing, name-it-and-claim-it Jesus pitch-men who write checks with their words that life can’t cash that our hearts are unable to fathom a God who is to be found in the balance… in the tension… in the questions?

In one of my favorite quotes from “Plan B”, Pete addresses this, saying:

Instead of an answer, God offers us something better. He offers us a solution. He offers us the cross.

While Pete reassures us of the finality of the cross as the ultimate solution, he also honestly confesses that does not relieve us, as believers, of both the opportunity and obligation to live by faith… to live with the questions.

Even as I write this and “Plan B” hits store shelves, Nashville has been hit with a historic flood that has left many people homeless, displaced, grasping for hope, asking the hard questions, suddenly and unexpectedly living their own “Plan B”.

You won’t find “5 steps to your breakthrough” or “12 ways to successful living” here. But what you will find is someone who is confident that God sits on the throne, but who also isn’t afraid to say that sometimes life still just sucks.  Is “Plan B” going to give you your answers?  Maybe not.  But it will give you permission to ask the questions.  And sometimes, that’s all your heart needs.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Grant JenkinsBOOK REVIEW: Plan B by Pete Wilson
24 comments
LaurenOttinger
LaurenOttinger

Could not have said this better. Its been a while since you wrote the review, but stumbled upon it when searching for quotes from his book. This book as taken me through the process of broken hearts and dreams ever since it came out, and along with his sermons on it. I like the fact that it doesn't give you any answers cut and dry. For me personally, leaves room to connect with God more, and especially the things I don't understand, and the things I can't figure out.  I can also relate to you when it comes to reading this book through tears...let the cleansing tears flow.

John Alexander
John Alexander

Great post Grant. Thanks for the note on mine. An extremely timely read.

Who or what program do you use to design your blog site? Very sweet.

savannah
savannah

hello! thanks for reading my thoughts on Plan B. it brought me over to your blog & i've currently spent the last 30 minutes reading through your review & then your story (i'll try not to blame you that i cried. thanks for your genuineness in your process, it's rare to find, but so refreshing.
My recent post plan b.

savannah
savannah

hello! thanks for reading my thoughts on Plan B. it brought me over to your blog & i've currently spent the last 30 minutes reading through your review & then your story (i'll try not to blame you that i cried. thanks for your genuineness in your process, it's rare to find, but so refreshing.
My recent post plan b.

JuliaKate
JuliaKate

i'm not at the end of the book yet, but i am reading it because it doesn't offer steps, formulas, or a concrete answer. i totally agree with your explanation of the "lack of answers". but i also tend to think that when formulas, steps, & answers are presented, we tend to compromise reason and the artistry of relating.
i am glad that i purchased this book. i have wanted to skip ahead time and time again, but have disciplined myself to read it front to back, prayerfully wanting to soak up as much as possible and not miss a beat.
great review Grant.

Ani
Ani

Why don't you go and speak somewhere because you just nailed it? Now, I didn't mean this for real that you should go and speak. I just want to say that you are so good at putting it into words.

To be honest I'm so glad you wrote this. I have problems with people who tell me to stand on the promises and they do that every time I meet them. I'm just not like that. I can't do it. I know you can stand on a promise, I've done that before but not constantly. I can't do it, it feels like I don't have trust in Him. But that's just me. And they tell me He will provide me anything I need. Really?! What I need, ME?! I think He will provide in anything HE knows I need. Not what me, myself WANTS or my ego NEEDS. It is not true that He takes all struggle or problem away. You have to deal with it. He is not a machine you push on a button and He will do anything you want or solve the problem. It wouldn't work for me anyway because I'm a strongwilled person who is determined to do what she has on her mind. It's terrible actually because I also fail at times. I learn from my mistakes. And He has always been faithful and kind. So if He would solve everything and do what I want, I would find out that I can do it without Him, He's only there to solve things. Not good because I know I need Him. I had times when people told me to do this or that while God told me to wait and trust in Him. So He didn't want me to get into action He wanted me to trust in Him. And that made me stronger. I mean my faith is stronger. I can thank and praise Him in the valley. I have to tell you it starts with tears but at the end I'm so assured of His faithfulness and love I have nothing to fear. But I have to do this many times because life is tough. It sucks like you said. This friend who told me God will provide me anything also told me that we already live in paradise. After everything she told me I was gobsmacked. I couldn't speak! Afterwards I tought: I should have asked her if her days are really like she is in paradise because mine aren't.

Now, I don't want to say that life is all bad. I mean I'm grateful God gave life. I'm grateful He sacrificed His only Son so I am forgiven and can come as I am to the Father. I'm grateful Jesus did sacrifice Himself, a deed of endless love for me, a sinful human being who keeps doing it wrong. I'm grateful for what He has given to me in life. My parents are not here anymore but He gave me new parents. She is like my own mother, sweet and kind and he is the father I never had before. A man who is trustworthy and showed me there are men who can be trusted. My friends and neighbours, I can only say thanks to the Lord because of them. My work ended but all I could say is : How can I thank you, Lord because of how it went. He was there.
Grateful for my village, grateful for my house with an extraordinary view, grateful for my church. I just love them all. Only this friend, I told her I couldn't see her that much anymore because she was claiming and controlling me. I did bless her and pray for her but not that God will change her, only that He blesses her. His blessings are mindblowing.

All I know is my God is a loving God and never abandons us. His answers for most of the times were never the answers I wanted. But there were also answers which were even better than I could think of because He knows better. I'm thinking about all these people in Tennessee. We know here what it means to have a flood. This country has a history of floods. At the end they say they survived. Any crisis you survive. But you need God AND people. You are so blessed with your church and people there. I guess not everyone there goes to your church. That proves that people are good and kind down deep in their heart.

Okay, that's enough from me. Maybe too much but I also say grace over your life. Thank you for being who you are and let Him use you. I only came on the internet to check and saw this in my e-mail. Today is Remembrance day. We remember those who died in war. At 8.00 the whole country is silent for two minutes. Everytime that happens it amazes me. No sound. Tomorrow is the day we celebrate that this country was librated in World War II, everybody has a day off and all shops are closed. We are going to celebrate. Okay, just a little about our side. Have a good day, evening, night. Bye bye.

Ani
Ani

Why don't you go and speak somewhere because you just nailed it? Now, I didn't mean this for real that you should go and speak. I just want to say that you are so good at putting it into words.

To be honest I'm so glad you wrote this. I have problems with people who tell me to stand on the promises and they do that every time I meet them. I'm just not like that. I can't do it. I know you can stand on a promise, I've done that before but not constantly. I can't do it, it feels like I don't have trust in Him. But that's just me. And they tell me He will provide me anything I need. Really?! What I need, ME?! I think He will provide in anything HE knows I need. Not what me, myself WANTS or my ego NEEDS. It is not true that He takes all struggle or problem away. You have to deal with it. He is not a machine you push on a button and He will do anything you want or solve the problem. It wouldn't work for me anyway because I'm a strongwilled person who is determined to do what she has on her mind. It's terrible actually because I also fail at times. I learn from my mistakes. And He has always been faithful and kind. So if He would solve everything and do what I want, I would find out that I can do it without Him, He's only there to solve things. Not good because I know I need Him. I had times when people told me to do this or that while God told me to wait and trust in Him. So He didn't want me to get into action He wanted me to trust in Him. And that made me stronger. I mean my faith is stronger. I can thank and praise Him in the valley. I have to tell you it starts with tears but at the end I'm so assured of His faithfulness and love I have nothing to fear. But I have to do this many times because life is tough. It sucks like you said. This friend who told me God will provide me anything also told me that we already live in paradise. After everything she told me I was gobsmacked. I couldn't speak! Afterwards I tought: I should have asked her if her days are really like she is in paradise because mine aren't.

Now, I don't want to say that life is all bad. I mean I'm grateful God gave life. I'm grateful He sacrificed His only Son so I am forgiven and can come as I am to the Father. I'm grateful Jesus did sacrifice Himself, a deed of endless love for me, a sinful human being who keeps doing it wrong. I'm grateful for what He has given to me in life. My parents are not here anymore but He gave me new parents. She is like my own mother, sweet and kind and he is the father I never had before. A man who is trustworthy and showed me there are men who can be trusted. My friends and neighbours, I can only say thanks to the Lord because of them. My work ended but all I could say is : How can I thank you, Lord because of how it went. He was there.
Grateful for my village, grateful for my house with an extraordinary view, grateful for my church. I just love them all. Only this friend, I told her I couldn't see her that much anymore because she was claiming and controlling me. I did bless her and pray for her but not that God will change her, only that He blesses her. His blessings are mindblowing.

All I know is my God is a loving God and never abandons us. His answers for most of the times were never the answers I wanted. But there were also answers which were even better than I could think of because He knows better. I'm thinking about all these people in Tennessee. We know here what it means to have a flood. This country has a history of floods. At the end they say they survived. Any crisis you survive. But you need God AND people. You are so blessed with your church and people there. I guess not everyone there goes to your church. That proves that people are good and kind down deep in their heart.

Okay, that's enough from me. Maybe too much but I also say grace over your life. Thank you for being who you are and let Him use you. I only came on the internet to check and saw this in my e-mail. Today is Remembrance day. We remember those who died in war. At 8.00 the whole country is silent for two minutes. Everytime that happens it amazes me. No sound. Tomorrow is the day we celebrate that this country was librated in World War II, everybody has a day off and all shops are closed. We are going to celebrate. Okay, just a little about our side. Have a good day, evening, night. Bye bye.

Andie Wright
Andie Wright

I drove through those storms Saturday. I tend to wake up early anyway but when I am driving to Dallas I try to hit the road at about 3 or 3:30 am. There were points of the trip where I couldn't see anything but the faintest red glow from the taillights on the semi in front of me and the dull light in my rear view mirror of the semi behind me. Sure, I was driving in the dark in this massive storm and it probably wasn't my brightest idea, but I wasn't sure what was going on with the storm so I wasn't sure how much farther I would have to go before there would be a break in the insanity. I also reasoned that sitting on the side of the road (if I could even find the side of the road without hitting something or tipping over) would be as dangerous, possibly more so, than to keep going. I put on some gospel and praise CDs and just started singing to Jesus in the middle of this storm. I just had to travel on in faith that he would carry me through the storm safely (he did) and I had to let go of what I expected this trip to be. I think it could have been terrifying if I had let myself dwell on it, but I just refused to go there. I knew eventually somewhere along this 10 hour drive the sun would rise (it did about Memphis so I could see where I was going while crossing the bridge over the Mississippi) and the storm would cease.

I am not sure I would have been able to "let go and let God" so easily had I not recently connected with Crosspoint and started reading Plan B. I have always been pretty connected to church, I grew up in a great one, and my faith, but after two years looking for a new church home around Nashville I was feeling the need to reconnect with a church. God used a few deaths and some other stressful situations to break me down so that I would open up to a friend who pointed me to Crosspoint.

Now I'm sitting in Texas and I am really having to trust. I can be a bit of a control freak, but I have instead had to wait on friends and neighbors for updates on my place. Sure, I know I couldn't do anything to change the outcome if I was there, but it is hard being so far away and just waiting for someone's schedule to allow them to check on my place. To sit in this place of not knowing and again have to rely on faith. Faith that it will be okay. Faith that even if my place floods I will be able to deal. At the end of the day my Puppy and I are in Texas, we are safe, I have everything I brought with for the 9 days and that is more than some people have right now. I wish I was there to help in the community recovery but have made peace with the fact that was not to be. Instead I am here, continuing to read Plan B and journal and do some "heart work".

kevin
kevin

Solid review man. I was thinking this morning about Nashville, and about how many people in that city have been reading this book over the past week(s) - given that it was on sale at CP and those who got it from BookSneeze. How timely. Thousands of people now thrust into Plan B. I'm not one for conspiracies, but hard to believe that is a coincidence. Torrential rain, flooding, losing their homes, possessions, loved ones, etc. With no flood insurance. Not what anybody had in mind. Hopefully, in the midst of heartache, they remember this book that they have just read and have a bit more hope. Hopefully those that haven't read it are impacted by those that have, and are given a bit more hope. It's a horrible situation that brings about many questions. In the midst of it, God is still God. If we believe that to be true, we're called to a different reaction to this disaster. A reaction of faith. A reaction being lived out by you and friends at CP. Praying for you and so many others - though glad you escaped without damage. Be safe bro.

Kit Palmer
Kit Palmer

Grant, I had a similar experience reading this book. My wife an I are currently in the middle of multiple "Plan B" situations, and some of Pete's statements absolutely wrecked me. I so much identified with Pete's analogy of living in the Saturday before Easter.

This book has been one of many things God has used recently (including your blog) to let me know He is still in control, and I (we) haven't been forgotten. I have no idea how everything is going to turn out, but I'm learning that I don't need to, I just have to trust Him.
My recent post Plan B by Pete Wilson (a book review)

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

My pleasure, Pete. Thank you for all you do.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Thanks John. Yes, a timely read indeed. Regarding my blog, it is a self-hosted wordpress.org site. The design is a custom theme done by a friend of mine in Dallas... http://www.jolide.com Thank you for the compliment. :)

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

oh wow, Savannah, thank you so much. Thanks for not blaming me for you crying. :) Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. Come back soon. :)

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

I also love that it doesn't offer a formulated approach to life. I HATE when pastors/preachers do that. JESUS didn't even do that! I'm glad you're reading it and an eager to hear your thoughts once you finish. :)

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

thank you so much for your words, Ani... all of them. :)

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

I have been swamped, Ian, but will check out your review as well. Thank for the comment.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Wow, Andie. What a story. I pray that everything was okay with your place. Glad you are connecting at Cross Point. It certainly isn't the ONLY place to be, but it is certainly one amazing place to be. "Heart work" is some of the hardest, yet most rewarding, things you will ever do. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. I really appreciate it.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

you're right, bro. The timing is both uncanny and incredibly divine. I believe much of what Pete wrote in that book and has been sharing with us each week at Cross Point were huge seeds planted, and produced a ton of fruit when a real life crisis emerged for us to step up and be the church in a way many of us had never done before. It was powerful and after the events of the past 10 days, all these things are forever linked in the minds of so many people. Thanks for the comment, dude.