Why I’m Bribing You to Buy My New Book

Ice Cream Bribe
Photo credit: La Flaf (Creative Commons)

My first print book, Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life, comes out next month (Aug. 1).

If you wait until the release week to buy it, I’ll give you over $158.00 worth of free stuff (more details on this soon).

Don’t worry: These aren’t stickers with my picture on them. They’re REAL products with real value.

Why am I doing this? I’ll tell you in a minute.

But now, let’s talk about the book — specifially, the story behind it.

It all started with a manifesto

A couple years ago, I wrote an eBook for Change This, a website that Seth Godin helped start. The eBook was about my experience working with the nonprofit Adventures in Missions and how I saw lots of young people going overseas and returning home, feeling “wrecked.”

After serving in the developing world, these people couldn’t go back to their old, normal lives. The way they saw the world had been changed, ruined for good. I had a hunch that other people (not just missionaries) had experienced this, too, but I had no idea

Over the years, thousands of people have come out of the woodwork to share their “wrecked” stories with me — in person, online, over the phone, wherever. This is an epidemic.

Then, a call from a publisher

Those of you familiar with my story may remember that I started this blog in 2011 and in about eight months had a book deal.

The longer version of that story is Moody Publishers contacted me last summer, wondering if I’d be interested in turning that manifesto into a full-length book.

I said I’d never thought of that, but I loved the idea.

A few days later, I told them I was “in.”

A year later, a book

It took four months to write the book and several more to edit it. What emerged from the process was a message about the choices we make that shape us into the people we’re supposed to be.

Wrecked is about the life we’re afraid to live — one full of radical sacrifice and selfless service. It’s a look at how we discover fulfillment in the least likely of places.

Wrecked by Jeff Goins

The book is divided into 10 chapters, each covering a different aspect of leaving comfort, finding an adventure, and committing to your life’s work. Some of the main lessons are:

  • Your life is not about you.
  • Compassion doesn’t come without suffering.
  • We are most alive when pouring out our lives for others.
  • Commitment (not adventure) is what really causes us to grow.

If you’re someone who knows you were born to make a difference but are struggling to find your way, this book will help — and frustrate — you.

Why the freebies?

So here’s why I’m doing this, why I’m “bribing” you to buy a $14 book with stuff that’s worth well over 10 times that amount:

  1. I don’t think of you as customers. I consider you my “tribe” — the people who help me reach a larger audience. I don’t take that permission lightly. This is my way of showing my gratitude for your attention.
  2. Book publishing is weird. If a book does well the first week, it has a greater likelihood of reaching more people. If it doesn’t, you face an uphill battle. These incentives are an attempt at giving my book a fighting chance.
  3. I’m a new author. I’m still earning the trust of readers. Since this book isn’t simply an extension of my blog, I don’t take for granted that people will read it. If this offer helps get the book into more people’s hands, then the ideas in it will spread (which is what it’s all about).

I don’t really think of this as bribing you (I was just trying to be clever). Honestly, I thought it would be a fun way to launch a book and create some momentum.

So… are you in?

Don’t miss out: If you want a reminder when Wrecked releases, enter your email in the box below. As an immediate thank-you, I’ll send you the first 30 pages of the book for free.

(Can’t see the form in your inbox or RSS? Click here to view it in a browser).

If you know someone who’s been wrecked — or needs to be — feel free to share this by pointing them to the book page for more info.

Have you ever been “wrecked”? Share your story in the comments (we’ll be doing something cool with these next week).

*Photo credit: La Flaf (Creative Commons)

106 thoughts on “Why I’m Bribing You to Buy My New Book

  1. I served on a short term mission trip to Guatemala many years ago. It was my first time serving and I didn’t know what to expect. There was some fear mixed with anticipation. Well, the strangest thing happened when I got there. I forgot New York City existed. It was as if time stopped or something. Seriously, it was the strange thing. I knew I was exactly where God wanted me and felt so much peace. When I returned to NYC after seven days, I was not the same. Everything was different. I guess you could say I was wrecked.

  2. So excited about your new book! I’m a therapist in inner city Baltimore schools and when I started I was blown away by the poverty, violence, and drugs that characterize these neighborhoods where children and families are living. I had the hardest time leaving work and then coming home to my comfy lifestyle – nice apartment, dinners out, trips with friends. It just didn’t make sense to me how I could be so lucky but the kids I worked with did not have the same fortune. I know I’m doing the type of work I was meant to do, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t emotionally hard work. 

  3. So totally in, in, in.  Good job, Jeff…  I cannot wait to get that email that says “It’s time to buy Jeff’s new incredible book!” 
    You are on your way to greatness…. 🙂

  4. It will be an honor to buy your book and help you out, Jeff.  I believe in you and what you are doing. 

  5. I think “wrecked” is a
    fair description of the sorry state in which I am slogging right now! In 2005 I
    learned I had breast cancer for the second time and for the second time my life
    was spared because of early detection.  I had a double mastectomy and
    seven reconstructive surgeries—and that was the easy part. Surgery had given me a girlish (cancer free)
    figure, but the profound ‘tearing of flesh’ triggered flashbacks to childhood
    abuse, and my healing from PTSD took a turn down Alice’s rabbit hole. 

     Even though I lost both breasts and endured months of hell I
    emerged healthier in body and spirit and since have gladly devoted myself to
    bridging the gap between excellent surgical care of patients’ bodies and
    excellent emotional care for their hearts and minds.

    pink empire was the furthest thing from my mind, and although I don’t have an entrepreneurial
    bone in my body, before I knew it I founded two companies and a non-profit, had
    over 7,000 twitter followers, three blogs, and no passion for any of it.

    am spent, tired, depressed.





    1.  I really do understand the redemptive aspect of wrecked which did not come across in my comment. My fight is not over, my race is not run. I am weary but not done.
       I forgot to sign off with my motto, “I am alive, and I have cleavage!”

  6. Jeff, love the title and concept of Wrecked. I was wrecked through being part of a mission team that served at the Beautiful Feet mission in inner city Ft. Worth. On our way home, several of us talked about how we could do similar outreaches right in our own community. That conversation ending up birthing a new missions committee at our church.

  7. I have been wrecked, to use your term. I call it liberated. I served as a missionary with my husband in Malaysia. How could we not have been changed by the poverty and complete humbleness of the people we worked with? How could we not have been changed by the cheerfulness and complete acceptance these people have about their lot in life? My husband and I loved working with those people and when he became Ill suddenly and passed away in only eight weeks, his only tear was shed because we had to leave there and those people. Our faith in the gospel of course sustained us both but the things we learned while serving there also liberated us from the need to have perfect (North American style) lives. We learned to be happy no matter what life held in store for us. I do live in that more privileged world again, but i see everything with a new eye an a new understanding. Yes we were wrecked, but better yet, we were liberated.

  8. Wrecked, oh yeah I am. My husband was diagnosed with ALS 2 years ago. It wrecked everything. But it’s amazing how good like has become too. Can’t wait to read your book!! 

  9. I volunteered with the African Children’s Choir for three years, serving as their music supervisor and auntie. The 49 kids I worked with rocked my world. Being exposed to their culture and way of life showed me how selfish my culture can be. Being a “mom” for them was awesome… I loved reading bedtime stories and getting my butt kicked in soccer. Letting those kids go was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and coming back home to “real life” was not a real pleasant experience. 

  10. This is actually something I’ve been mulling over/writing about lately. Rather than calling it “Wrecked,” I’ve been calling it “College Ruined my Life” because it was in college when I first ventured around the world and saw the horrors of poverty with my own eyes. Now, every time I buy a new shirt, new pair of shoes, or bottled water, I think about the people around the world with one over-sized shirt, no shoes, and contaminated water. I will never be the same. And that’s ok but it’s not easy.


    1. Katie – I’d like to challenge you to possibly see your experience as a call to compassion – and that is a gift you have been given!
      So often the gift of compassion can feel like a two-edged sword – we feel motivated and called to act, but feel helpless and overwhelmed at the magnitude of the suffering.  For me, I have had to reconcile the reality of suffering in the world with the reality of my ability to do something about it.  I have come to realize that while I can’t do everything – I can do something.  So now instead of agonizing over all the suffering I can’t do anything about, I begin with asking myself – What CAN I do?
       I wonder if while you are thinking about all those who are in the throes of poverty if you might think about what it is you CAN do and start from there?Blessings!Terry

      1. Thanks, Terry. I definitely am doing something both locally and internationally. I can’t change the life of every child living in poverty, but I can change one. While that thrills me, it’s not enough to satisfy my craving, my need to help. It’s a start but only the first step.
        This conversation and having this concept on my heart and mind for the last several weeks has prompted tomorrow’s blog post.


        1. Would love to read your blog post Katie! Could you post the link?
          Hearing your heart, I am confident that your first step will lead to many more!

  11. I am the new women’s ministry coordinator for our church and I see a lot of pain (and blessings). It is hard to come home and think about a kitchen remodel or where to buy my clothes after witnessing talking to these incredible women. 

  12. My wife and I are resetting our life after our original vision of adoption came crashing down on the rocky shore. We have adopted 8 children (two sibling groups of four)with visions of grandeur only to find our love being stretched to the limit. We are now in the process of re-visioning our family through the help of friends and counselors. We have 12 children total and hope has returned as we turn. Love the title of your book and will read it with the upside down turtle stuck in my brain. My son has two turtles. I get that.

  13. Sometimes I feel wrecked right now but not sure what to do about it…maybe your book will help! It sounds intriguing.

  14. Jeff!  I am so excited about your book! 

    My husband and I are always saying that we “ruin” our students.  We lead an organization at the college where we teach called Students in Free Enterprise (or SIFE).  We meet the economic, social and economic needs of others through social entrepreneurship. 

    We take our SIFE’rs into needy communities locally and abroad.  After four years of meaningfully investing their lives into the needs of others,  our students are unable to live typical American lives when they graduate.  They are “wrecked” and we are glad. 

    It is our privilege help build the Kindgom of God through launching wrecked students into the world.  We ourselves were wrecked in college through short term missions and we are now wrecking our own children by having them work alongside our students.

    Sounds like your book will become a textbook for one of the classes we teach on Leadership.  Can’t wait!

  15. I was in Portland for Don Miller’s first Storyline. I sat next to two teens on the tram, the youngest maybe 13. It was a warm day, but they were both wearing long women’s coats. Their hair was greasy, their faces smudged. I watched as the face of a dirty little kitten poked his head up against the neck of the youngest boy and mewed at me. The boys got off at the next stop. I never saw them again.

  16. Hi Jeff & Friends!
    My dear friend J. has been going to Uganda & Sudan since 2000. She originally worked w/the children soldiers who managed to escape. She then became a counselor to these children & their families because their families beleived these boys were ruined & evil by what they did. My friend J. helped the parents see their boys differently & helped the boys learn to accept themselves again. By 2002, she entered the same PhD program in counseling psychology I was in & we became great friends. Her experience & love of the people in the African nations she lived for months at a time grew as she created programs for the boys, families & villages. She then traveled all over north-western Africa such as Sierra Leone & surrounding counties teaching teachers who had no training because there was no money. For her Counsinling internship, she worked in NY w/a counseling agency w/people coming from these areas of the world living & seeing such horror.

    She continues her work today traveling back & forth to countries in Africa. When she returns stateside, it is a huge culture shock, one we have discussed many times: Why does one person need so much space, things, clothes, food; why do we throw away so much when we could reuse it; what we buy & where does it come from; are these items coming from at least a fair trade community; etc. She has kept me in touch with how much of the world really lives. I long to be wrecked on a daily basis to remember my place in this world. If this is your book, I will buy several copies to give to friends like me (& others who I think would want to read this book) & to give to my dear friend J., who has been wrecked for her adult life.
    I can’t wait to read this book!


  17. Of course I’m going to buy your book! I was impressed with the first 30 pages. This is a great gift to give someone who is going through problems. I think that everyone at some point in their lives have been Wrecked more than once. It’s what you do with that experience that really counts. This is the type of book that a person can go back to read again and again.

  18. You already know I am in! Whatever I can do to support, let me know. Wrecked for me happened when my child was diagnosed with a chronic illness, couple years later my marriage fell apart, year later I left my husband and moved my kids and I to an apartment while I was in the midst of losing my job. Today, I continue to have amazing challenges, but I also continue to keep my faith, although it is challenged more than I care to admit. I believe the trials will pass eventually. I just have to give God something positive to work with daily.

      1. I notice you didn’t say, “All.”   🙂 

        Although I could go several directions, I’m going to take your advice and say the most difficult thing.  (Big breath, here goes.)

        It was the day I tested the statistic for adult women who had experienced childhood sexual abuse.  In a small room of women, I brought up the numbers.  The head nods – including mine – affirmed, it was more than true. 

        Heart.  Broken. 


  19. Wrecked?  I think I’m ‘wrecked’, in some way or another, every day.   And I’m perfectly okay with that.

    Can’t wait for your book to launch.  (And the freebies will be super-sweet too, I’m sure.)

    In?  Am I in?  You know I am.

    Have a great weekend.

  20. I can’t wait to get my hands on your new book, Jeff!  Being part of your tribe is a pleasure and honor!

  21. I’m in!  Just read the opening to the book, and it’s just great.  It’s cool that months ago you sat down to write a story and I needed to read this morning.

  22. I think that we get wrecked again and again; small dings and dents on occasion and big earth shattering changes, too.  Part of the wreck is how the person handles the changes. My family has a history of illnesses, each new illness with each new person changes the family and grows all of us. I’ve been told some people couldn’t do what we do.  Usually, we laugh and point out, we don’t have much of a choice.  But we learn, we grow, we break and pick ourselves up, again and continue to try and take care of each other.  

  23. In Israel, where I was for two years, so many people – Jews, Arabs, Russian Immigrants, Believers and Pilgrims – have almost nothing. Though their standard of living is basic and wages are horrendously low, not to mention that we are issued with gas masks and instructions for 1-minute warnings, there is a serenity that is totally lacking in the grumbling West. 

    It’s made me way less materialistic. It’s made me wonder how people can get seriously upset about material things (and they do, all the time). It’s made me stop comparing what I have with what others have, (most of the time).

  24. I was wrecked when my oldest child was diagnosed with severe depression a couple of years ago.  Trying to keep him alive via daily phone calls to him at his college half a country away was the most horrific time in my life as a mother.  My world was turned completely upside down and I will never be quite the same.   I now see the world differently, I see people differently, I don’t take anything for granted.  If something like this can happen to my happy, energetic, outgoing child, it  – and many other things – can happen to anyone.  Life is fragile, hold it gently.

  25. I have been wrecked. 

    In between semesters at school this year, I’ve been living in a tiny village in Uganda. And every time I stand up to teach, or show an iPad to a kid with Downs Syndrome, or give hugs to the throngs of children walking home from school, I know I will never be the same.

    Looking forward to reading the first 30 pages, and I will definitely be back to purchase on August 1st.

  26. I would happily buy this book with or without the freebies. I absolutely can’t wait to read this book. I hope the extra stuff applies to digital purchases of the book (Kindle etc) as well as physical copies. If not, that’s ok too 🙂 

  27. Sometimes you don’t even have to leave home/your comfort zone to become “Wrecked.” Sometimes wrecked finds you. For us it happened while on a 2009 vacation at Cape Hatteras, a preview to the many vacations we planned to take in our not-to-distant retirement years. 

    Instead, while body surfing my husband got caught-up in a wave that slammed the back of his neck into a sandbar. Instantly paralyzed from the shoulder down, a spinal cord injury became the cornerstone of our wrecked life and our window into living with a disability. My husband, dependent on a power chair, was miraculously blessed with three feeble steps 27 days after his accident. 

    Not trained as a journalist or writer I hope I can pull off writing this story. The community of the disabled deserves a far greater voice than mine, but when God gives you something this good you need to pay it forward. 

    Your ebooks and blog posts keep pulling me along. Grateful to be one of your tribe!

  28. I feel a little too far away from ‘wrecked.’  I know in college, then working inner city ministry in Atlanta, then as a youth pastor, I encouraged wrecked-ness in myself and others. I remember talking to a mom who said, ‘Brett you need to make sure the kids know that drinking, drugs, and sex will ruin their lives and prevent them from getting into good colleges’ (and so forth). I told her, ‘If I’m doing my job right, they might end up not going to college for other reasons–they might, but maybe they’ll hit their first year or two after high school serving somewhere.”

    Wasn’t the answer she was looking for, but these days, I could use a dose of what I was teaching folks back then! 40 yr old dude trying to support the family… I sometimes forget to think outside my sweet little suburban life.

  29. I’ve had several periods in my life when I’ve felt wrecked. I think the worst was when my mom died. The fact was that my mom and I hadn’t gotten along. I thought she was bossy, arrogant, and draining. She thought I was rude, disobedient, and headstrong. While there was a lot of truth in those assessments on both sides, we also loved each other dearly, and the conflict was very hurtful.

    When she died, I was burdened with guilt that I hadn’t made more of an effort to appreciate her and show her that I appreciated her. I also hadn’t realized that my mom had been my anchor, so to speak, here on planet Earth. As long as she was somewhere, I figured I was safe. When she died, I was totally wrecked and went into an eight-year slump.

    During that time, I subconsciously looked for a mother figure replacement and ended up in real trouble, the kind that you have to run for your life from. I don’t want to go into details but trust me that my so-called solution was far worse than the original problem. It took me several years to extricate myself from that mess and only because I finally got the courage to run for my life.

    My lesson from this was to learn to be my own anchor and not depend on others. No one, not even my mother, has my best interests at heart as much as I do. But it was a very hard lesson to learn. I’m looking forward to the day when I can learn my lessons the easy way.

  30. I love the idea behind this book and can’t wait to see it. And thanks for explaining why I love my work life now more than ever “We feel most alive when we’re pouring out our lives to serve others.” I’ve never been able to serve so many people so effectively as I do now with Freelance Writers Den, and I love it!

  31. The closest I come to wrecked happens every summer working for a week of camp for innercity kids from Kansas City. Some of them have such hard lives (one 9 yr old had a leg scar from being hit in a drive-by shooting when he was 5!). Each year the wrecked feeling lasts a little longer as I get deeper involved in these camper’s lives. 

    1. Janice,
        After reading your post I felt that tug on my heartstrings… Do you know the one? The ache that you get deep down, the feeling of tear at your soul, you’re very being? Well, I’ve always wanted to be involved in helping inner city youth and am overly interested in working with a summer camp? I currently live in CO but would love information about where you help and if they have places outside of Kansas City? Thanks so much, you are an inspiration:)

  32. What can I say?  I have read the first chapter already and will patiently wait for the following 9…

  33. Jeff, I have been yacking to people about your blog and now this great book. Would’ve liked to have had a go at the team work to promote but wasn’t completely sure I had the time….but definately setting time to help send the spirit of what you’re doing to others I interact with. Will post a review on Amazon, too.

  34. I was wrecked last fall when I met an orphan boy in Nicaragua who started calling me “Mother”. I moved here to Nica 5 months ago to start a foster home for abused and at-risk kids. I’m now a foster mom to a 5 year old girl with Down Syndrome and am working on building a rehab center for women rescued out of sex trafficking. Life in the States doesn’t make sense to me anymore. I’m left scratching my head at what I see on Facebook and then wondering how it is possible to live wrapped around things instead of hurting people. Life has become an unimaginable adventure: I’ve hitchhiked on the Pan-American Highway in the middle of the night and walked through burning tires and a political riot surrounded by ex-military men. And it’s so incredible to see my foster baby learning new words and being able to walk now and knowing that I am making a huge difference in her life. I love living wrecked. It’s living to the fullest!

    P.S. you can read my story on http://www.meoverseas.wordpress.com

  35. So stoked for this book, Jeff! I was “wrecked” when I went to Haiti three years ago. The poverty, living conditions, disease, witchcraft, and economic needs of the country completely wrecked me. Since then, I’ve changed my life goals to helping those in need and blessing the world around me. 

    Thanks for writing this essential book, Jeff. 

  36. Looking forward to reading this.  Writers and readers ARE a tribe.  When one of us does well, it helps everybody.

  37. I’m super excited about the book!  I read the first chapter last night and was really bummed I couldn’t keep going.

    I had been on a lot of 1-2 week mission trips in my life, but what has really wrecked me is teaching in the inner-city.  When stereotypes and statistics become faces and personalities, you are changed forever and there’s nothing you can do about it.

  38. My wrecked story is about Jane from Uganda. She’s a child I sponsored for 13 years through Compassion International.  One year in December I decided not to go to a Christmas party because I could not afford a new dress. After all it would be horrible to wear the same dress from last year, right? What would people say? Poor me.  I moped & whined & felt sorry for myself. 
    In the mail that day came a letter from Jane thanking me for the money sent to her.  She said,  “it will help my family buy rice and beans and I am excited to be able to get a new dress to wear everyday.” 
    She will be able to buy 1 dress that she will wear for the whole year? 1 dress, the same dress wear it everyday for a whole year or more?  I was wrecked at that moment and cried like a baby & asked God to forgive me for being so shallow & self-centered.  I went to that Christmas party wearing last year’s dress and had a fabulous time. 

  39. Wrecked in slow motion as a poverty-stricken child attending public schools (intelligent enough to be in HonorSociety, but never fitting in), I eventually adopted a child only to learn the meaning of RAD and FAS, and have her removed from our loving home by the state. Add to that a mominlaw who for forty years has wanted her son back badly enough to suggest divorce and you can see why I say I am what Watchman Nee liked to call a broken biscuit.
    I believe it was Socrates,though, who said we may have compassion even if we BELIEVE it could happen to us. Then other times, I think wrecking happens to everyone, but some are in denial.
    Ah well, I want the book! Cannot wait.

  40. I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while now. The eBook resonated with me in a huge way. I’m really passionate about ending human trafficking, and although I haven’t encountered it in person (yet), so many of the stories that I have read have wrecked me to the point that I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. 

    Thanks again, Jeff.

  41. Hi Jeff. This sounds like a fascinating and inspiring book. I look forward to reading it.

    Two years ago I had a comfortable suburban life with a husband, 2 kids, nice house, comfortable living, etc.  One day, however, he got angry and assaulted me in our home and was arrested when I called 911. Two weeks later our house was searched by detectives and I discovered he was under investigation for child pornography. My world fell apart. I filed for divorce and have spent much of the last 2 years trying to protect myself and my children while waiting for charges to be filed. We are currently in a safehome and expect the charges to come in the next couple of weeks — finally. And of course I blogged through all of it!

    Though I haven’t had the experience of traveling in the third world, I think I’ve undergone a similar transformation in that I’ve had all my illusions and comforts stripped away. I lost my marriage, my home, my financial security and my sense of safety. But what happened when all that fell away was that I discovered my true self, the self that was buried beneath all those overlays. While it was terrifying, it was also profoundly freeing and transformative. That is as good as life gets, right? To be transformed and have your future spread before you like a tabula rasa?

    As Gibran said, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” I think being profoundly ‘wrecked’ is part of the hero’s journey.

  42. I was wrecked back in the spring of 2007.  My family and I went on a spring break trip to New Orleans to help with the recovery/rebuilding efforts after Katrina.  Every day, a new story that broke my heart.  Sometimes, more than one a day.  I know it made a huge difference in my son’s life and my daughter’s life.  Not enough space or time to tell all of the stories.

  43. Can’t wait!!!!! And I always love free stuff, although with or without the freebies, I’m getting the book!!

  44. I am looking forward to your book. I have been wrecked for some time…my husband has been ill for 10 years and is now on hospice care at home. It has been a long and tiring journey and I frequently hear people tell me how “inspired” they are by my courage and strength. I often feel that I don’t want to play that role, yet can’t help but feel that life is unfolding exactly as it should. I appreciate your statement “Your life is not about you.” That’s the only way it makes sense.

  45. 3 months in SE Asia earlier this year have “wrecked” life for me. I can never go back to my comfy life and look at it the same again. I’ll be doing everything I can to make a difference from here on in.

  46. I can say that I was “wrecked” by my childhood but didn’t realize it until I was far older. Me and my mother lived in a 12 x 12 apartment room in St. Petersburg, Russia. I would describe my childhood as a step away from poverty. As my mother “slaved” away to earn around $30 per month, it was tough to live on milk and bread. However, this kind of childhood is what brought me to America and gave me a dream to become an Anesthesiologist. I am currently enjoying my life as I continue to reach my version of the American dream. My experiences as a child helped build me into the hard working and determined person that I am today. 

    If you are at all interested, you can check out my blog here: anna-webster.blogspot.com

    Thank you. 

  47. A hot summer in Pakistan in 1977 with six other college kids was the opportunity to cram years and a whole country’s worth of mission into seven weeks.  If I wanted to sound spiritual and super holy, I could tell you that the trip wrecked me for life, helping me to become a selfless skinny person who moves from country to country establishing bridges, clean water and housing for all.  OK, it did shape me, there is no doubt, but the crazy memory that popped up today after reading your request was about how much I complained about missing banana popsicles throughout the entire summer.  I think I would have taken out one of my teammates for one, especially the week it hit 115 degrees.  There was a military coup down the street, yet all I could think of was the  banana popsicles waiting for me when we got home.  I realized I had been wrecked when I saw the entire box in my parent’s freezer, and I could not eat one.  

  48. I like to tell myself I’m waiting for my life to be wrecked. I would like to change myself several times over, but I know I won’t unless some significant variant befalls me. I have every opportunity right now to do “anything,” but I won’t. Though I wonder, how “wrecked” will I become, and will I continue to wait?

  49. This is completely off the topic of being wrecked, but I wanted to let you know that I’m having a hard time reading your posts.  For some reason, the box to the left (with the links to facebook, twitter, g+, pinterest, etc.) pops out over the post text, completely covering it (and moving down when I scroll, so I can only see about an inch of text under the box at any time).  The first 2 paragraphs of any post are completely obliterated by this box, no matter how hard I try to read them.  I’m using Chrome, if that helps.  Just wanted to alert you, in case I’m not the only one having issues.

  50. I’ve been *wrecked*.  I was raised in chaos with abuse and that pattern continued in my life until I chose to study presence and re-train my thoughts and actions with awareness.  In the process, I released my past conditioning/patterns/expectations which transformed my entire life.  I now use the reflections of my journey to inspire others to re-claim their creative voice, and I use my talents and skills to guide others to live whole lives in alignment with their own heart whispers and beliefs.  When I was in each stage, it hurt, yet I could find the beauty and know it was for something greater than I.  Not until recently was I able to see, and confidently walk on, this path.  Thank you 🙂  

  51. God has been “wrecking” or re-ordering my view of himself and the rest of the world on a large scale for the last 8 months. Scary and freeing! Although really the preparation has been happening for years. The result is that I’m beginning to act on the radical love he has been teaching me about. I asked him in December to show me his heart, to tell me what he really wanted me to know about himself.  The answer was clear and was confirmed in so many ways, ‘he’s the Father who loves the broken hearted and he invites us to join him in expressing that love.’ He drew my attention to a group of people, disabled institutionalized children and adults, who live in great need. I’m traveling in a couple of months to Serbia to see for myself. I’ll be visiting one institution in particular to learn about their needs and how I can inspire others to help. I’m terrified and excited! I have no doubt I will see God, others, and myself with new eyes.  I’ve been wrecked!

    On another note, in response to your newsletter, When too much is not enough. I think that taking positive and negative comments in stride is necessary but I agree with being true to what you’re called to. I have at times had to pull back from the amount of information on your blog. Sometimes it’s too much for me to process at once. But that’s personal and where I am on the journey. I’m sure others need and use every post. I’ve subscribed to your newsletter and I ingest as much as I can handle at once. I wouldn’t leave a negative comment about something so subjective. I am capable of regulating the flow of information from a source without needing to comment on it. Anyhow, all that is to say I think a person’s blog is their blog and when we come to it we should use it as we need to without censure. I think you’re doing a great job and I’m glad for your success.

  52. I think I understand what you are talking about. My husband and I go on short term mission trips and the things you see and experience from being in a country with different  traditions and just the way they live can break your heart when you come home to see the apathy and discontent of your own friends, family, and even acquaintances. 

    This can happen at home too. For instance I am a friend of a cancer survivor. The expierences she has had in her fight with cancer has really changed her whole outlook on life. Just being her friend and hearing her stories and looking at life through her eyes changed my outlook on life as well. Now hearing someone complain of their job or bad hair day makes me think how petty some things can be and how we need to focus on the positives in our life.

    When you can’t get other people to see things with the new perspective you see life in, then you feel misunderstood, alone, in otherwords, wrecked.

    Is this what you mean?

  53. Wrecked is the perfect word to describe when your life gets completely turned upside down, inside out and you realize it’s not about you and you are not the center of the universe. It’s happened to me several times. The first was shortly after accepting Jesus as my Savior. Not sure where I got the idea that in making this decision my life would get easier, but when I started experiencing all kinds of challenges a friend told me that before I knew Jesus, Satan could have cared less about me, but when I made Him Lord of my life I was suddenly on the radar and making waves. Reality hit hard but I never looked back. I realized I could not deny God no matter the cost. The second time took place on my first mission trip to Kenya. I went with one idea in my head and almost immediately saw how wrong I was. God really turned. My life upside down through that experience. Now many mission trips later my life is forever wrecked for those who are poor, needy and have no hope. There were also the times relationship disasters have wrecked me. Most recently it was getting divorced after my husband started relapsing on drugs. The first two years of marriage were wonderful. I thought I’d found prince charming. One day I woke up and found a frog. I have to laugh about it otherwise I would be crying all the time. Not that I don’t cry…because this man knows Jesus and he’s turned his back on Him and me, and our son who turned 3 today. He barely knows his son because of the hold drugs have on him. It’s heart breaking. This situation has truly wrecked me because I’ve learned you can’t “want” something like recovery bad enough for another person to “want” it for themselves. Sometimes this means letting go for your own safety/sanity. It has also left me as a 43 year old single mom to the most precious little boy on the planet…but he runs on energizer batteries and has some unbelievable temper tantrums. I’ve learned there is nothing … Absolutely nothing I can do in my own power or strength…it is only through Christ I can survive, endure, even overcome…and you learn that when your world is turned upside down and you find yourself spending more time on your knees than you do standing up. But regardless of how hard it is, the pain, the difficulties, the sleepless nights…I wouldn’t change a thing because I know God wiki use all things to bring honor and glory to His name. I’m blessed just to receive His grace, mercy and love. So glad I’m part of His story. Jeff, can’t wait to read the book.

  54. Have I ever been wrecked? Numerous times!  Miscarriage, separation, divorce, single Mom, committing my life to Christ….being in full time ministry for 21 years – traveling the world to see how so many people live with nothing but have more joy and peace than we Americans will ever know.  The most profound time of being wrecked happened in 2009 when there was a “perfect storm” of  stress caused by trying to be perfect and always in control, kids who were in crisis and feeling overwhelmed at work.  I nearly left the ministry – I didn’t know what else to do.  Then I experienced “people pouring grace” on me and “forcing” me to take a sabbatical – anywhere I wanted, for as long as I wanted.  Who does that?  What does it mean to pour grace on people?  It means that it’s ok to struggle and take time with God to figure things out.  People continued to pour grace on me – a free apartment in So. California for a month, a free car for that time, amazing counseling and a time with the Lord like I had never experienced in my life.  For the first time I actually experienced God’s unconditional love that transformed my life.  I didn’t just believe it and give it lip service – I actually experienced it.  I can picture the day on the beach when God “spoke” to me and reminded me of all the blessings He has poured out on me and how His Love is what I’ve been searching for all this time.  My life was transformed that day and I continue to live in His Love and Grace and try to pour that love and grace out on others.  A friend of mine wrote about my experience in her book “Relentless Hope”.  I’m excited to live out the “rest of the story”.

  55. I’ve witnessed human wreckage on a social level as I’ve had to overcome various addictions and counsel others out of negative vicious cycles. 

  56. You don’t have to leave the comfortable confines of this country to be wreaked. We had a visitor from India explaining the atrocities occurring there with girls from poor families who are sold into prostitution so their families can survive. The planned lesson for that day was scrubbed so we could express our outrage. Our protected bubble had burst.
    A few months ago I read a magazine article about the dire conditions in Haiti. A year after the earthquake most of the relief agencies had pulled out for lack of funding. No real government means no police prescence to protect the citizens. Gang rapes are too common as the young men have no leadership to steer them in a proper direction.
    If that doesn’t tear your heart apart then nothing will.
    I just read the sample of your book. I can’t wait for the rest of the book.

  57. I am petrified to put pen to paper. First I thought my handwriting is terrible, I must get something to type on. Now I got that, Now I worry about the battery dying all the time!!
    Yes I know, I am procrastinating more to the point ……….it is the mountain.
    Ideas brimmed over , suddenly disappeared into two pages and shrank to two lines.

    reading this ……..I had to realise that I had to ask God to undo 40+ years of character……pain, fear, some not so nice memories  that made me, me…….
    Positive ME going to use all of this……… that’s why God gave it to me (:)

  58. A small room. Around 200 young people. 12 orphan children.
    This was the setting to my wrecked story.

    It was on the last day of Youth Camp, that we gathered in a different location which happened to be the church training centre in Lonavala – a small city in India. On the same premises is an orphanage called Life Centre where these precious children live.

    We gathered to worship that morning and they children joined us. Most of us were still reeling back from the glorious time we had in the last two days. And the worship leader takes a simple Hindi song. Voices rise from all across the room. Everyone wanted to give back because they were so freely given.

    But the loudest of them all were these children. They sang with absolute abandon. On top of their lungs, not caring for what people around them thought of them. They were there to worship and it seemed like nothing would come in the way. And nothing did. And I was right beside them thinking that they had every reason to be mad at God. They had every right to be unhappy. They could have been bitter about the fact that they didn’t have a family. They could have chosen to never acknowledge God as sovereign.

    But they did. They loved Him with all they had. They sang His praise like there was no tomorrow. They danced like it was the only reason that they were alive. They know who they are – sons and daughters of God. And then came that moment.

    I was wrecked.

    I learned something that I will never forget. I can never let my circumstances determine my passion.

    A little later that day, I sat with these children wanting to do something for them but with the limited time I had all I managed was two slabs of chocolates to share with them. Two pieces a person. I gave each one their share and they one by one, these children ate one piece
    and fed me the other. I felt love like no other. I went away from that three day church camp, not as touched by the profound sermons or beautiful worship (though it was very good) as much as I was by these little angels who taught me so much in a half a day.

    Wrecked for life!

  59. I’ve been wrecked a couple of times.  First, when my Dad–who was & is my her0–died suddenly of a heart attack when I was 15.  He was 6 years younger than I am now (which is not that old, thank you very much.  *grin*)  “Wrecked” is a very good description of my life for about the next 10 years.  A series of bad behaviors, general apathy, academic flameouts, etc.  Also, I tried to deny all that I knew to be true of God’s existence, person, & work.  Thankfully & gloriously, He wouldn’t let me walk away.  He lovingly & tenderly drew me back on course spiritually and in life in general (if the 2 can be separated; I don’t think they really can.)  In the midst of that time, I met this gorgeous coed with beautiful blue eyes who put a ring on my finger just over 28 years ago, and who is one of the main instruments in bringing me back on course in life & faith.  All the gag-me cliches are true of us; deeply & passionately & wonderfully in love, very best friends, soulmates,…(I’ll stop now. You’re welcome.)

    My next major wreck was 4 years ago, when extensive test results confirmed “Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma.”  In both lungs.  Very bad diagnosis.  Off to M.D. Anderson Cancer Ctr in Houston I went.  Does wonders for one’s theology & faith, I can assure you!  Now, 4 surgeries & 2 cycles of high-dose immunotherapy later, I’m missing a couple of ribs, have some really cool scars, and have had 4 clear P.E.T. scans in a row.  My next one is the end of the month, which will be ~ my 28th trip out to MDA.  Living life in 3-month segments with Damocles’ sword poised over one’s head is a great gift.  Really, it is.  (But USE SUNSCREEN!  Sure wish I had back on the beaches in NW FL in the 70s…)

    I would not choose either of these wrecks (USE SUNSCREEN!!!!  *smile*), but neither would I trade them.  I am who I am as a Christian, a college professor, a husband, a father, a writer,…largely because my life & plans have been totally wrecked.

    Thanks, Jeff, for sharing your material with us.  I look forward to this one.  Keep pressing on!


  60. I am happily married, mom of four kids and yet.. memories from my childhood cause me to be anything but happy. I have been depressed many times over the years. I was wrecked when I met a man in an online game chat whose birthday was just a few days before mine. We obviously clicked and to stop the possibility of inappropriate comments I called him my brother. I have called him my brother for three years now. He also was a victim of child abuse and asked me recently if I thought we would never have to deal with what happened?
    hmm back into the wreckage we go..

  61. looking forward to your book! our family has served as local missionaries in an inner city community for almost a year now … and since then the world just looks different. i really struggle w/ guilt of vacation or shopping or having when the needs are so huge around us. i’m interested to read your take on it all. (on a side note, i never hop over to your blog w/o being encouraged – thanks for your voice here on the web)   

  62. Just a question: Will the book be available in electronic format as well (Kobo or iBooks)? I really do want to read it. Sorry for being skeptical – how will you know who to send the free stuff to? 🙂

  63. I spent a long time on a precipice, a time that led to 18 shock treatments. I do thank God for how my time in that other world made it easier to understand constructs of reality that are unfamiliar to most of us. (Please forgive long sentence,) There are so many types of structures in people’s hearts and minds, and I am grateful for what help I’ve gotten to understand them. Not that I am any sort of expert at all. Absolutely not. At any rate, scripture has really helped me with this. And you know, sometimes it has come in handy more for understanding therapists than for understanding their clients. Caveat emptor.

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