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Book Jacket

Sep 2006
Harvest House Publishers

Restless Journey: Every Man's Struggle for Significance

by Marcus Ryan

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Dr. Marcus Ryan knows two things. First, if you are going to talk to men, you need to use a lot of effective examples and illustrations in your writing. He does that throughout his book, calling upon his personal life experiences, ideas from books he has read, and aspects of history and biblical references. Second, you've got to get to the point quickly. For the most part, he does that, too. This is a book that moves at a good pace, lays out points to consider and options to take, and speaks to men where they are at in 21st century situations.

Dr. Ryan is convinced that God made each man to serve a specific purpose in life. Once a man discovers this purpose and follows it, he becomes fulfilled. Ryan's own purpose is to be a herald, one who brings the message of someone greater than himself. He does this through writing books, consulting work, and church leadership. Too many men miss the real purpose of their lives. They will talk about how much money they make, what their titles are, and how much influence they yield, but they will not have a clue as to how many solid friends they have (enough for six pall bearers one day?), how many lives they will have impacted for good, and what their legacy will be once they are gone.

Parts of this book are focused solidly on the weight of responsibility men bear in life. For example, Ryan contends that men are inescapably shaped by the father they had or didn't have. If your father was a criminal, odds are very good you will be, too, unless a surrogate father has an even greater influence on you, such as a godly grandfather. He shows examples of how extraordinary fathers produce amazing sons who will often emulate their fathers, right down to the sports they play and the business and careers they enter. Thus, fatherhood is something men must accept with total seriousness.

One aspect of Ryan's book that will be cause for discussion is when he tries to break stereotypes about men. For example, he argues that men can be relational, that they don't always choose to be loners, and that they don't have to be in accountability groups in order to function nobly. My guess is, some men will nod in agreement, but many women will raise eyebrows at this. Well, it's a start.

Ryan wins over his readers because he is not high and mighty. For a fact, many times in the book he discusses his major failures, such as when he was unemployed for a very long time, when he started a business that collapsed, how he lost a home he could no longer afford, and when he was upbraided by friends for "stupid ideas" he shared with them. Male readers like a guy who will say that much of the advice he is offering is borne out of hard luck experiences. Ryan comes off that way.

This would make a great gift for Father's Day, Christmas, or a man's birthday. He probably wouldn't go out and buy it, but once he got started reading it, he'd finish it. Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Can you name a handful of people who know who you really are...who know your purpose for living, your deepest passion, your primary calling, or even your hidden fears?

Does anyone know those things about you?

If not, you're not alone. Many men never consider these questions. Instead, we learn to go through the motions of life without really living. Still, deep inside, most of us feel a restlessness to recover a more intentional and fulfilling life, a life that was meant to be expressed, to be known.

Your quest is about to begin.