Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A More Elite Soldier by Chuck Holton


book cover


A More Elite Soldier
by Chuck Holton


Trade Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Multnomah
First Released: 2003


Source: Bought from Half.com

Book Description from Publisher Website (slightly modified):
The rigor of becoming an Airborne Ranger is exceeded only by the challenge of being one - but those who join their ranks find fulfillment in something bigger than themselves. In the same way, pursuing God's objectives energizes our everyday lives. Former U.S. Army Ranger Chuck Holton gives powerful vignettes that offer potent spiritual ammunition for the battles of every Christian serving in God's army. Find out what it takes to be a more elite soldier.

LIFE IS COMBAT.

From the instant the alarm clock signals the beginning of your day, you’re jumping into a zone of uncertainty. Your survival depends on having a clear focus.

YOUR OBJECTIVE:

Get on mission as an elite soldier. Become part of something bigger than yourself.

Your Commanding Officer will oversee your training, honing your skills to a razor-sharp edge. God will lead you through the danger zone of today’s insecurity, equipping you to make a difference.

UNCERTAINTY IS A GIVEN. FEAR IS OPTIONAL.


Review:
In A More Elite Soldier, Chuck Holton described in vivid detail his military training and missions. Interspersed in these accounts, he related the various spiritual lessons he learned on how his training reflected things in the Bible on how we are called to follow Christ. I found the descriptions of his training very interesting and enjoyed his insights on how God trains us for His missions.

I don't recall any bad language. A few parts of the book were written in present tense ('I see' vs 'I saw'), but most was in past tense. I'd recommend this book to Christians who are in the military, who are interested in learning more about the training that Army Rangers go through, or who want to become a "more elite soldier" for God (or at least see a Ranger's perspective on it).


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt from pages 29-31
[He's just started Ranger training, and the instructors are trying to get rid of anyone not totally committed to becoming a Ranger.]

I knew they couldn't leave us in this position forever, but I was equally unsure that I could outlast the roughly twenty or so men who would have to quit before we could move on to the next ordeal. I had no intention of quitting, but I didn't know how long my body would hold out. The mental anguish of that prospect was almost more painful than the physical torture of the dying cockroach [position].

Almost.

Twenty minutes.

I closed my eyes and tried to forget the intense pain in the muscles of my neck and abs. My hands and feet were numb from lack of blood and the cold, but the rest of my body was drenched in the sweet of exertion.


I thought back to a conversation with my mother as I was leaving for basic training. "I only want to know what you had for breakfast, Son," she had said with a pained smile. She was always worried about the difficulties I'd be facing on active duty. To her it was simply easier not to know. "I know that if this is in God's plan for you, you will be safe. But just remember what your grandmother always says, 'Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God.'"

I grinned imperceptibly at the memory. Strangely enough, I did feel like this was where I was supposed to be. Why God wanted me here wasn't entirely clear to me a present. I had mused in my journal that perhaps He needed a hit man. More likely, I figured, the skills I was learning in the Army would be used in some far-flung mission field. Maybe He would call me to smuggle Bibles or undertake some other dangerous adventure for His purposes. Sounded like fun to me.

How did I know that God wanted me here? Since I was in the sixth grade, joining the military had been a passion. Our pastor had once said something that hit me like a stun gun: "God doesn't contradict Himself. If He wants you to go to Africa, then you won't find peace doing anything else. He will put a passion in you that corresponds with the plan that He has for you." The way I saw things, finding God's will for my life was simply a matter of pursuing the things that made me passionate, then looking for God to open and close doors along the way. So far, this plan seemed to be working.

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