PRACTICAL BOOK REVIEW ONE: CLOUD

By Michael Vincent Paddy Student I.D. 22282275

Presented to Dwight C. Rice, D. Min. (Ph.D. Candidate) In partial fulfillment of the requirements of Introduction to Pastoral Counseling PACO 500

Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary Lynchburg, VA October 4, 2010

HEY! Cloud, Henry. 2007. 9 things you simply must do to succeed in love and life. Brentwood, TN: Integrity Publishers The premise of 9 Things is found in Cloud¶s recognition of a certain personality type and the characteristics and actions that these people utilize in their everyday lives. These people are labeled by Cloud as Déjà vu people, so named because Cloud would feel he experienced their presence and actions before, when in fact they had never met or interacted. Nevertheless, their personalities, qualities of character and actions were very familiar. His interaction with déjà vu people was in the context of their competency at living life to its fullest and succeeding in life as they live it out in relationship with others. So began a three-year search for Dr. Cloud where he researched those actions and character qualities he observed when meeting his déjà vu people. The book is broken down into listing the nine qualities. As I read the list, I mentally broke the nine things down into three influenced areas of our life. The first three chapters deal with self-assessed evaluation. This includes introspection, excavation, and using the term in our journaling for this course, reflection. The next section I call Action/Application or again as per our journaling, relocation. This would be taking action steps no matter how small, getting to work on your relocation and imitating the ant in their simple, plodding industrial diligence. It is true that many people can observe the problems and needs in one¶s life but getting up and doing something about it is another thing. Cloud says that any action no matter how small or large is still action and we are doing something. The ant is the example of how little things mean a lot and accomplish much in the end as long as the main goal of relocation is actualized. Déjà vu people do this.

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The last section is what I call toxic removal. It covers the last four characteristics of déjà vu people. Using unique and catchy chapter titles like, hate well, don¶t play fair, and upset the right people is balanced by the characteristic of humility. Finding the path that leads to healing and remove diseased and toxic people in our lives as they prevent us from success is paramount in keeping in line with the leaders he describes. The last chapter tells us how we cannot only aspire to become a déjà vu person, but practical spiritual insights in accomplishing any goal we set our minds to. Using Matthew 6:3134, the seek first the Kingdom of God portion of the Beatitudes, he tells of four things that we must keep in mind as we try to change with 12 guiding principles to establish in applying the 9 Things We Simply Must Do. YOU! Like most people, I find that I can be a very conflicted personality type. I like myself a whole lot but find it hard to love myself and who I am. I want to find both long term and shortterm solutions. I am not sure I agreed completely with Cloud about the nine things as something I simply must do. Can a list of things really make a difference? Especially when the list of things has other lists within them to establish their realism in my life and their implementation into my lifestyle? I am not so sure. I did however find that the principles behind the nine things challenged me and wanted me to take a deeper look not simply into myself, but rather how others perceive me. Our Uniquely You assessment and the other self-assessments have made me appreciate who I am, and motivated me to spiritually empower the strengths and shoring up the weaknesses of my life. I love to fix things. By things, I mean everything including people. I see things, can understand things and sometimes without being invited, can offer suggestions and processes,

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even Scripture quickly and easily for remedies to any and all ills. I have been a sought after person for solving problems, but usually a person to be avoided in casual and moderately severe situations where a more empathetic and listening ear was needed. 9 Things is another in many awareness opportunities I have experienced over the past twelve years to help me become a better minister and now a better counselor. LOOK! The main thrust of the book is change. Even the déjà vu people Cloud encountered did not seem to have the 9 things at birth. The maturation process and how the déjà vu person acquired these skills are important. I say this because each chapter highlighting one of the 9 things as well as the final chapter encourages the reader toward change and implementing the principles in their own life. ³The ways we have discussed in these chapters are available to us all´ (246). The question then is this: ³Should we all aspire to be complete déjà vu people?´ I am not sure. Do we all have areas of our lives where the principles in this book can have a great effect? You bet! In PACO 500 the relocating processes for me has been invaluable in preparing myself to counsel. The Hawkins model once again appears as we look at the layers of our soul and how growth beginning from the inside reaches outwardly bringing a process of healing and hope. 9 Things tells us that even though déjà vu people¶s actions are the cognitive recognizer, it is and the spiritual aspect that comes from within that makes it possible. The challenge in implementing this book is the apparent need for the reader to change their actions, reactions, thoughts and words towards others to become different in their own life. Being discriminate in our relationship with others seems to be an important aspect in becoming a

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déjà vu person. However, can a minister and/or counselor afford that nature in their involvement with others? DO! The danger in the book is making people believe that following the 9 things, putting them into practice is easy and will be the answer to us becoming whole persons; successful in all we do. The µsucceed¶ mentality tells me that I must do something to be anything to everyone. I believe that the principles could be labeled differently, given different frames of reference. However, the uniqueness of the book is trying to establish in the hearts and minds of the readers that change is necessary. Spiritual maturity and growth is a given because we cannot stay as we were at conversion, we would then be spiritual babies. Change in any form, Biblically speaking sanctification, is necessary so that we can be taken seriously by others as they observe who we are in our declaration of being Christian. I will then see all the principles written in 9 Things as a compass and guide toward maturity. I can break down the principles into sections and segments that can be implemented into my life. I have focused on the final chapter which was written specifically written to motivate implementation of the principles.. Specifics? The first three principles are very important in putting my life in a realistic perspective for me and how others see me. Being able to play out in my mind before I speak or act the outcomes is as Cloud says, ³playing the movie´ (69). Accountability and responsibility for our thoughts, words and actions makes us better people and for me, a better prepared counselor for others. Being an expected ³S´ and a real ³S´ makes it essential for me to apply 5 of the 9 things that can be difficult to implement because they are relational in nature. Dig it up, pull the tooth,

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hate well, don¶t play fair, and upset the right people, all make me uncomfortable in my personality and gift set. They are important because toxicity and dysfunction in relationships can be devastating to the ministry and counseling if not dealt with correctly. I will fail if I miss this important point. I must try to find a way through this, saying what I mean, meaning what I say without being mean.

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