From the back cover of the book:
Like rock climbing, the Chrisian life is an adventure with much at stake. Many obstacles block our path and victory often seems beyond our reach.
In the Bible, the letters to Timothy were written to a young man from his mentor (Paul) as a how-to-do-it plan for the christian life. One Grip Higher is an effort to explore the principles Paul sought to convey to young men. Contained within these pages are stories of struggle and victory along with suggestions for ways young men can press on towards the summit in their spiritual journey.
It is not my intention to offer the final answers to life’s struggles. My hope is to raise questions that will help you to continue growing in your relationship with the Almighty God of the universe, the Rock of our salvation.
As you read these pages, my prayer is that you will find yourself … One Grip Higher.
“Good book! I would recommend it to anyone working with young men. Very applicable spiritual concepts even for mature Christians.” Chris Arcadi (Campus Crusade for Christ, Rochester)
Chapter 1 ~ Cliffhanger
Stranded 400 feet up the side of a sheer rock cliff in the mountains of South Korea, the author comes face to face with what it takes to survive. He uses this experience to introduce the reader to the reality of the spiritual obstacles that stand in the way of young men as they seek to follow the Lord. Applications drawn from the story pertain to accountability, seeking wisdom and sound instruction. Finally, this chapter introduces the letters between Paul and Timothy as an excellent source of advice on how to successfully live and compete in the adventure of a young man’s spiritually journey.
Chapter 2 ~ Commitment
Using a story about his experience as a pole vaulter in college, the author describes the events of one track meet when he did not fully commit to a particular vault and severely paid the consequence. The application reminds the reader that in the spiritual journey one must be fully committed or he will suffer serious consequences. The reader is invited to eavesdrop on Paul and Timothy’s discussion of this topic in 1 Timothy 1:18-19 and 4:15.
Chapter 3 ~ The Grace of Giving
A rich young man named Jeff encounters a poor homeless woman in the subway tunnels beneath the city of Seoul, Korea, and his life is changed forever. The author and several of his students, including Jeff, ventured into the tunnels late at night, bringing food and blankets to those who had nothing. The author uses this story as a springboard to Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 6:6-8.
Chapter 4 ~ Rose Colored Glasses
When a person dons rose colored glasses, everything he sees takes on the hues of the lens through which he looks. Readers are encouraged to take a deeper look at the holy standard to which God has called us to live, to put on God’s glasses and see things from His perspective. We must pursue His standard with every ounce of our energy. However, there is a beautiful dichotomy illustrated here. While we must see ourselves as sinners and fight against all impurity, we must also see ourselves through God‘s eyes, as those saved at an enormous cost by a gracious God. Both perspectives must be kept in mind.
Chapter 5 ~ Push
In Christian service, much of the acclaim and credit goes to those involved in visible ministries such as preaching, teaching or leading worship. Using several shorts stories to illustrate his point, the author challenges young men to become servants in every aspect of life. God did not ask us to seek credit, but to seek to serve. We must stop, pick up a broom and push.
Chapter 6 ~ Dressed for the King
Quoting several contemporary secular artists’ lyrics and describing the events of an average night on the town, the author calls into question the criteria by which young men measure beauty. While the world offers the appearance of pleasure and beauty, it pales in comparison to what God has in mind for the man who seeks after true beauty. Would not the creator of beauty have the best concept of true beauty and where it can be found? Finally the reader is challenged to set his heart on finding a wife who is characterized by God’s definition of beauty.
Chapter 7 ~ True Manliness
While leading a mission trip into the barren wilderness of Eastern Tibet, the author encountered a tough, hardened Tibetan man who epitomized the secularly held definition of manliness. This story highlights several common misconceptions about what it means to be a man, concepts strangely different from those Paul describes in 1 Timothy 3. As the trip in Tibet progressed, Eugene, one of the team members, displayed qualities in stark contrast with the tough Tibetan, but right in line with God’s description of true manliness.
Chapter 8 ~ Heroes
Hudson Taylor, William Wilberforce and Ross McIntee are three of the author’s heroes whose lives have provided encouragement and spiritual challenge to many young men endeavoring to live a life of godliness. This chapter illustrates how we must seek to know and imitate godly men, much as Timothy likely sought to imitate Paul.
Chapter 9 ~ Ransomed
Stories of terrorists and hostages parallel the hopeless entrapment of sin in which many young men find themselves. Using various anecdotes the author challenges the reader to live as one who is no longer a hostage, but one ransomed at great cost.
Chapter 10 ~Entrusted
Using the occasion of another trip to Tibet, the author describes some of the challenges, joys and thrills of being entrusted with a God-sized task. The Lord would like to commit such tasks to every believer, jobs that are greater than his or her capabilities and require complete dependence upon God. The reader is challenged to live a life of diligent obedience in fulfilling that which God has entrusted to him.
Chapter 11 ~ Claiming Victory
In a world where men are assaulted on all sides by lustful images, movies, songs and ideas, young men need to develop strict biblical standards for their lives. Various stories from the author’s experiences illustrate the necessity of these standards and the impossibility of a pure and holy life without them. The reader is challenged to claim the victory over sin that was won on the cross at Calvary.
Chapter 12 ~ Fighting the Good Fight
Paul begins and concludes his correspondence to Timothy with an exhortation to “fight the good fight.” Paul understood that the spiritual life is a fight that must be fought and a battle that must be won. The author describes a trip to Thailand where he observed several kick boxing matches between young Thai men. The intensity, determination and preparation that went into those matches parallel the intensity, determination and preparation with which we must enter the fight in which we are engaged. As a conclusion to this book, the author echoes the words of Paul as a challenge to young men to “fight the good fight.”
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x .25 inches
Author: Jason Gianotti
Page count: 118