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In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Mark Batterson
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 2008
Have you ever been in the wrong place at the wrong time...several times? These memories leave you with an ill taste in your mouth, and nothing good seems to come from them. But what if the seemingly messy pieces of your life were actually strategically positioned by God? What if you've actually been in the right place at the right time every time? In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day will help you make sense of your past. You'll begin to connect the dots to see clearly how God has been preparing you for future opportunities. With a God's-eye perspective, you'll soon be thanking Him - even for lions, pits, and snowy days. 5.5 hrs.

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Praise for In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

“A thoughtful and energetic leader, Mark Batterson presses us to consider how we live out our faith in the world around us. When Mark has something to say, I am quick to listen.”
-Frank Wright, PhD, President and CEO, National Religious Broadcasters

“Mark Batterson is one of the outstanding younger leaders in the U.S. today. As a pastor, he demonstrates his gifts and character in leadership and preaching. As a writer, he communicates wisdom and hope with both energy and clarity.”
-Brian McLaren, Author and activist

“As a leader and teacher, Mark Batterson brings imagination, energy, and insight. Mark’s genuine warmth and sincerity spill over into his communication, combining an intense love for his community with a passionate desire to see them living the life God dreams for them. I appreciate his willingness to take bold risks and go to extraordinary lengths to reach our culture with a message that is truly relevant.”
-Ed Young, Senior pastor, Fellowship Church 

“Mark Batterson is one of the church’s most forward thinkers. In this book, he compels us to look both behind and ahead to discover answers to the ‘whys’ in our lives. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day helps us make sense of this beautiful mess we call life.”
-Lindy Lowry, Editor, Outreach magazine

“Mark Batterson is down-to-earth and humble—yet constantly pushes me to grow. I follow him as a leader, admire him as an innovator, and love him as a friend. Mark has become one of the most important voices for a new generation. Anything he touches changes lives. Read this book and you’ll see what I mean.”
-Craig Groeschel, Pastor of, author of Chazown and Confessions of a Pastor

“Mark’s passion for God and our generation is contagious. His writing is honest and insightful. Go ahead—chase the lion!”
-Margaret Feinberg, Author of What the Heck Am I Going to Do With My Life?
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church ( ) in Washington DC . Targeting emerging generations, 73 percent of NCCers are single twentysomethings that live or work on Capitol Hill. Currently one church with three locations, the vision of NCC is to meet in movie theaters @ metro stops throughout the DC area. The podcast is one of the fastest-growing church podcasts in America . Mark is also a daily blogger @ . Mark lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Lora, and three children. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chasing Lions Nov. 14 2006
In a literary age when there seems to be dozens of books answering "what to do when you are in a hardship," or "why bad things happen to good people," Batterson takes a fresh approach. He openly challenges his readers to pursue things that may very well place them in hardships. His thesis states basically that unless we take a step of faith, and pursue those things that seem impossible or may cause us to look like fools, we may never make it to where God wants us to be. He uses Scripture in the Old Testament that many would just skim over, taking little from it, and from the passage (dealing with an Ancient bodyguard to one famous King) he builds his entire book.

The book reads like a sermon, but it is an exciting sermon. Many practical, real life illustrations hold the reader's interest. It is not a how-to book like so many others. This is an easy to read book that anybody can learn from and apply to everyday life.

On a personal note, Batterson challenged me in many ways. I must say that in areas on my life where I have been tempted to give up I now feel somewhat revived and energized. As a church planter, I can say that I am anxious to try things that at one time I thought "silly." Now, I know that God uses silly things to accomplish great feats.

I highly recommend this book. It will challenge anybody to pursue those things that many would simply scoff at, with the anticipation of God rewarding them greatly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read June 10 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought several of Battersons books and this one is uniquely intriguing. Loved it! Will reread many times. It was hard to put the book down once I had started.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too long in the pit April 28 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a great book for the first 3 chapters, then it applied this same principle ( a good one) for the rest of the book.
My response after 'getting the story was let's move on to another story or princple rather than teaching everything from this verse.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
What do you do when opportunity roars? Batterson urges us to give chase, lock eyes with our lion, and charge directly at it. Through nine chapters Batterson makes this point again and again. That opportunity often comes in threatening forms, and if we wish to seize that opportunity we must overcome our fear. He urges us to forget about playing it safe, embrace uncertainty, and stop worrying about looking foolish, and then we will see the blessing of the Lord.

In one way there is nothing wrong here. Opportunity does indeed often come from overcoming threats and fears. We must, in fact, overcome our fears and follow the path God leads us on. And yet this book exemplifies much of what I find disturbing in contemporary Christian literature. Let me explain.

Here we have a book which takes as its basis barely a scrap of a verse and, with this biblical justification in hand, quickly moves into realms of pop psychology, business literature, and modern truism with nary a thought given to any of them. The bible does not function as guide but as proof, and poor proof at that.

Along the way half truths abound. Perfect love covers over all fear, but that does not mean we take all risks. Where is the chapter on discernment? The acknowledgement that some opportunities must not be seized, and that in the face of them we ought to recoil in fear, fear for our souls. Or, for that matter, where is the chapter discussing how we can take our worries and fears to God and replace them, not with the courage of someone who has a bigger goal than succumbing to fear, but with the courage of someone who knows God and thus is a person to whom all objects of fear shrink away into insignificance?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  360 reviews
60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let it snow..... Nov. 6 2006
By C. Schefer - Published on
I thought this book would be a quick read. However, each chapter is so packed with revelation and wisdom it takes time, well spent, to take it all in. There are a few themes that have really stayed with me as I have read this book:

God will turn my bad break into a big break!

Do the best with what you have where you are!

When it comes to God, there are no degrees of difficulty!

If we learn from our mistakes, there is no failure (my favorite)!

Faith is embracing the uncertainties of life!

No problem = no miracle!!

The more challenges we face, the more God can use us!

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Exciting Moments of Life are Spent Chasing Lions Oct. 27 2006
By Brenton Balvin - Published on
Chase the lion!

That is the recurring theme that stalks and roars at readers as they consume the meat of Mark Batteron's new book "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day."

Alright, enough with the lion jokes.

Based on an obscure passage in the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel (23:29,30) Mark Batterson challenges his readers to face the lions in their lives head on with courage and faith. He centers his book on the story of an Israelite warrior who encounters a lion in a pit on a snowy day. The twist is that rather than running away from the lion as most people would be prone to do, this courageous solider jumps into the pit and kills it.

It is a bold move, a fearless and counter-intuitive act. And it is an act that perfectly illustrates the kind of life Batterson believes should be the norm for people who follow Jesus Christ. People whom Mark labels: lion chasers.

The majority of the book is built on the seven skills that Batterson believes will help people "climb out of the slipperiest pits and chase the biggest lions." These skills are: overcoming adversity, unlearning fears, embracing uncertainty, calculating risks, seizing opportunities, defying odds, and looking foolish.

Each of the chapters in the book highlights one of the seven skills and describes how it applies to a life of lion chasing. The chapters are easy to read and the main points in each one are clear and well illustrated. Using an effective blend of intellect, humor, candor and Scripture he artfully makes his case for the necessity and development of each skill. Coupled with a writing style that is both easily understandable and doable, Batterson provides his readers with needed insights on how to develop the 7 habits of highly effective lion chasing.

Throughout the book Batterson skillfully blends a mixture of scientific discovery, psychological research, Biblical narrative, and personal experience into a coherent whole. He has also been blessed with the wonderful ability to creativity make the Biblical text come alive. More than once he imaginatively describes the life experiences of Benaiah the lion killer, as well as many other Biblical stories, in such a way that it almost makes the reader feel as though he/she were near the snowy pit when Benaiah jumped in. And in the end, you walk away looking to pick a fight with some invisible feline king of the jungle.

Batterson is right when he points out that we will all face lions in our lives at one time or another. These lions might come in pits on snowy days, but rather, they could be disguised as possible career changes, risky decisions that must be made, difficult conversations that need to be had, big crazy God-sized dreams we'd like to pursue, or longstanding habits that have to be broken. Whatever lions are in your life, Mark Batterson's book will help you develop the skills you need to jump into the snowy pit and face them head on.

This is a very readable book for people everywhere who are looking at their lives and wondering if there might be something more than what they are currently experiencing. Batterson's writing is stirring, challenging, truthful, reverent, informational, and entertaining all at the same time. It will make you laugh, it will amaze you, it will inspire you, and it will bring you closer to God.

Chase the lion.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of despair...hope Oct. 20 2006
By J. M. Roberts - Published on
Now here's a metaphor that resonates with me. Ever wrestled one of life's lions? Still have the wounds and scars to prove it? Do you, even years later, feel battered and beaten by the experience? If so, Mark Batterson has an incredble message for you. He certainly had an incredible message for me!

To quote Madison Avenue and Snickers, "Sometimes life comes at you fast." Mark's message is that everything that is happening now and has happened in the past are invaluable tools to help us reach the the glorious potential God desires for us.

...And if you haven't exactly squared off with one of life's great lions yet, this book with undoubtedly inspire you to become a lion chaser!

Mark has a profound gift for communicating spiritual truth in a way that really, really resonates. I cannot begin to articulate how marvelous this book is. What a wonderful read!
61 of 77 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The tiny scrap of Scripture isn't enough to make this whole book May 21 2010
By Kurt Conner - Published on
The point here is a fairly simple one: the things you fear may very well be opportunities that God has put in your path, and you should probably act on those opportunities. The exploration of the point is pretty tedious, though. Batterson seems enchanted with the brief mention of Benaiah (in what is essentially a footnote to the story of David in 1 and 2 Samuel), and he devotes numerous pages to imaginative speculation of what the man's encounter with a lion must have been like (there is also speculation as to what being a bodyguard was like, how he was promoted to a commander, what that was like, what his encounters with a tall Egyptian and with two Moabites was like, etc.). There's nothing wrong with drawing reasonable conclusions, but I'm uncomfortable with theology spiraling out from this reading between the one line of Scripture. It's not that the idea is necessarily bad, it's just that I don't think Batterson has chosen the right Scripture to ground the book. Batterson also overuses a wide-eyed breathless "lion chasers" term that made me roll my eyes every single time I read it (if you've read Erwin McManus' The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within, you've had a good taste of what this is like). I admit, my perspective is biased because I don't trust Brian McLaren, and he has clearly been a significant influence on this work (a glowing note of thanks to him in Batterson's acknowledgments page, his endorsement on both the back cover and one of the first inner pages, etc.). I am also not completely comfortable with the way that business leadership and pop psychology books seem to have an influence on this book that equals the Bible's. Still, there is a perfectly adequate amount and variety of Biblical examples when Batterson can pry himself out of the jaws of his beloved lion story, and I can't say that he says anything that directly contradicts the Bible. The summary and discussion question at the end of each chapter are helpful.

Ultimately, I do not recommend this book. The point is OK, but I think it is better as the subject of a five-minute conversation instead of a full book. Your life will not get worse after reading this, it's just that I think you'll be wasting your time on it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chasing Lions!!! Nov. 14 2006
By Chris Marlow - Published on
First, let me say that I really enjoyed this book. Mark brings a fresh voice and perspective to the church.

As we grow older it seems harder to chase lions, even if it was a sunny day and the lion had no teeth and was locked in a cage. Life can sometimes be too mundane, and so can Christianity, which Batterson points throughout the book. He blends a mixture of theology, psychology, ecclesiology and personal narratives to drive his points home.

I think the strength of the book lies within the "one-liners". Mark has a way of really communicating deep complex issues in a simple, easy to understand way. Plus, I love the humility factor; Mark shared his own personal failures. This is important, I think we have to be cautious and bring a balance. Not everyone will kill the lion all the time, but we all need the courage to chase the lions of our lives and not live a lame, boring and mundane life.

So in the end I would recommend this book-it's good, encouraging, thoughtful and funny.

Below are some of one-liners that I mentioned.

"Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase."

"God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time." "But here's the catch: The right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time."

"God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go."

"When we don't have the guts to step out in faith and chase lions, then God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to him."

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