Sunday, June 16, 2013

Secrets to a Happy Life: Finding Satisfaction in Any Situation by Bill Giovannetti

Tour Date: June 17

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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:

Bethany House Publishers (June 15, 2013)

***Special thanks to Bill Giovannetti for sending me a review copy.***


 Dr. Bill Giovannetti teaches at the A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary and is the senior pastor of the fast-growing Neighborhood Church of Redding. An experienced speaker and author, Bill seeks to inform the mind in ways that touch the heart. Known for his humor and down to earth delivery, he loves seeing people find their joy in God. He has published several books and numerous articles.

Bill enjoys woodworking, bass fishing, and random spasms of fitness training surrounded by the pristine forests and snow-capped peaks of northern California. His wife Margi, an attorney, teaches Business Law at Simpson University. They are proud parents of two happy home-schooled kids.

Visit the author's website.


Movie stars, athletes, and runway models prove every day that money can’t buy happiness. Neither can sex, power, or beauty. Deep satisfaction eludes most seekers – even sincere Christ-followers – like a butterfly eludes a toddler. Is there a sure way to lay hold of the rare jewel of Christian joy? A man who went through hell and back lights that way. His name was Joseph. Bill Giovannetti’s Secrets to a Happy Life maps his journey, leading readers to a happiness bankers can’t repossess and money can’t buy. Because, if you have no joy, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere.

Product Details:
List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764211242
ISBN-13: 978-0764211249


I can't dance.

Whatever muscles are supposed to swivel my hips seized up decades ago. My sense of rhythm puts me in a league with tambourine-wielding pre-schoolers. And the closest thing I have to moves looks like the human equivalent of a cat hacking up fur balls.

In my mid-twenties, I sat at a wedding reception, hanging out with friends. A young woman approached me to dance. I didn't know her; I was sure my soon-to-be-ex-friends put her up to it. My ears turned blazing hot, my face turned red, and I said, "No thanks."

Miss Dance-a-lot didn't like that answer. She grabbed my arm, and started pulling me onto the dance floor.

I panicked.

"Um, no thanks," I said, voice quavering like a ten-year old.

"Come on! It'll be fun."

Music pounded. Lights flashed. Bodies moved. Sweat poured.

I refused. All I could think of was the humiliation of a crowd of people, watching me wiggle my body in ways it doesn't know how to wiggle, with a woman I didn't know.

I did the only thing I could.

I held onto my chair. The flirt dragged the chair, with me in it, about ten feet, digging a nice scratch into the shiny hardwood floor. My friends laughed so hard liquid spewed from their nostrils.

God will repay them.

I wanted to die. The disco lights hypnotized me. The girl clawed at me. I clamped a death grip onto my chair, figuring if we were going to dance, there were going to be four extra legs involved.

By the time we scraped our way twelve feet, my new main squeeze gave up and skulked away.

Thank God.

The floor remains scratched and my soul remains scarred.

I am sure plenty of dance instructors will read this and think you can work your magic on me. You can put some hip-hop into this dance-challenged geek, or woo me with your ballroom floor charts and do-si-dos.

Not going to happen.

Because, aside from the fact my body is physically incapable of the sultry moves on Dancing with the Stars, my deep-seated emotions long ago placed dancing on a permanent lockdown

I can't dance because I had it drummed into my head as a kid that dancing was a sin. God frowned on it as "a vertical expression of a horizontal desire."

That anti-dance brainwashing was part of a larger religious package. No movies, no drinking, no card-playing, no drums, no holding hands with the opposite sex, no… if you've seen Footloose you get the picture.

Excessive fun was taboo.


Because God was not to be trifled with, and he was most pleased when I was most unhappy. At the core of my young faith squatted the ogres of self-denial, self-abasement, and self-sacrifice. Too much happiness was a sin, and self-interest was the root of all evil.

My religious upbringing offered an odd combination of good and bad, love and condemnation, "the best of times and the worst of times." I'm grateful for it, but there was a lot of unlearning to do.

Especially in the happiness department.

I had to learn that in the plan of God, unhappiness was not a virtue. I'm sure some readers are already saying, "Duh." Bear with me, because a whole lot of people need to be delivered from the delusion that God is the Lord of Party Pooping.

God is happy. God is not miserable. He doesn't have bad days. Isn't moody.

Heaven is a party God throws for everyone who wants in on the action. Complete with dancing – Jesus said so (Luke 15:25).

God wants you to be happy. He designed you to seek happiness like a moth seeks light.

C.S. Lewis wrote, "If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion… is no part of the Christian faith."1


God wants you happy, and, if you walk his path, you can be happy.

You can even bust a move.

An old time preacher named Billy Sunday said, "If you have no joy, there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere." That's what I'm talking about.

When I imagined God unhappy, life made me unhappy.

But when I began to see the joy of God and the pleasures of heaven, I found myself tapping into satisfying springs of happiness. I even found my toes tapping to God's music.

I confess I am a happy man.

So what if I still can't dance!

If you're ready for the life-changing secrets, just turn the page.

1 C.S. Lewis. The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1965) 1,2.


Kaitlin said...

Scheduled to post on 6/17 on:

SueFitz said...

Scheduled to post:

Unknown said...

My review & tour post

Also posted on AMAZON 5/5 STARS

LivingforGod said...

My blog tour post with review is up at . Wonderful read!


Geo Librarian said...


Vic said...

All posted on my blog