Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review - Chazown


Chazown is the Hebrew word for vision or dream found in Proverbs 29:18 - "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (KJV) It's also the basis for a recent book by Craig Groeschel called "Chazown: Define Your Vision. Pursue Your Passion. Live Your Life on Purpose," published by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

I enjoy books that inspire the reader to dream bigger, to consider the fulfillment and fruit of their calling, and about the importance of a clear vision. Invariably when I finish such books I'm left with no further clarity for my own dream, vision, or purpose. The Chazown Experience was distinctly different!

Chazown is definitely not just a ray-rah call to dreaming bigger. It does call us to that, and covers the critical need for vision quite well. But the goal of the book is to help the reader discover what their purpose (or Chazown) might be. The book has five sections:

Part 1: Seeing Clear to the End (the desperate need for vision)
Part 2: Circling the Truth (the circles that help us find Chazown: core values, spiritual gifts, and past experiences)
Part 3: A Dream in Deed (discerning your Chazown and moving from vision to action)
Part 4: The Five Spokes of Chazown (relationship with God and with people, finances, health, work)
Part 5: From Here to Eternity (Chazown in community)
In addition there are several helpful appendices including how to create a personal time line, discerning core values, assessing spiritual gifts.

Basically, because God is a master designer who cares about you deeply, you are wired such that your purpose/Chazown is at the intersection of your values and passions, your spiritual gifts, and the life experiences that have led you to where you are today. The book has many chapters, but each is very short and filled with graphics and call-out boxes for key points. From that format you might think it's meant for easy dipping for a casual reading experience. That's not going to work very well for you! This is one of those books where you will get out what you put into it. There are a number of very thought-provoking and introspective exercises. Without doing these the chance is remote that you'll get the most out of this book.

For those who are serious about discerning their calling / purpose / Chazown, Groeschel has provided an absolutely amazing free resource to complement the book. It's called "The Chazown Experience" and it provides video teaching from Craig and extremely helpful online tools for doing the most important exercises. These include an interactive personal timeline, tools for discerning core values and spiritual gifts, and tools to convert vision to action in the five spoke areas. Anyone interested in Chazown should check out Chazown.com. The book covers a lot more, but you'll do better with the exercises by using the website.

Waterbrook Multnomah has provided several resources for those interested.
You can download the first chapter of Chazown and read it for yourself.
There's also a short video by Craig Groeschel on this thing called Chazown...

Chazown is available at Amazon and other book retailers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as part of their Blogging For Books 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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