Wednesday, May 7, 2014

'Shout It Out Loud!' by Christopher Long: A Deafening Book Review

The most interesting man in the world isn't that green bottled beer guy with the beard. Just remember that, and you'll be much better off. No, the most interesting man in the world is none other than Christopher Long, a "washed up rocker dude" from Satellite Beach, FL. What makes him so interesting? Especially because there are so many washed up rockers in the world? (Yours truly included) Its simple. The man has done it all. He may not have done it on the largest stages, but he has been on more types of stages than most...and I'm speaking both metaphorically and literally.

Christopher Long: Fighting The Lord's Battle Plan

In Christopher's second book, C'MON!: My Story of Rock, Ruin, and Revelation, he tells us his life story. I recommend that you get both C'MON! and Shout It Out Loud if you've not read the former. Shout It Out Loud is the Sequel to C'MON!. Its possible to see The Empire Strikes Back without seeing Star Wars, but it will make much more sense if you see Star Wars first. The same applies for these two books, although, there are no earth shattering revelations about Chris's father.

Both books are autobiographical accounts of his life, but the first tells of his time in Rock And Roll bands, both as a performer, fan, and as a road manager. It then gets into how his life changed, and how he became a 'Soldier Under God's Command.' Its a very compelling read, and you will come away from it amazed, when you realize that if Christopher Long can do a 180 degree turn around, despite how driven and dedicated he was to becoming a rock star, anybody can. Although he never achieved stardom, he came very close, and his story is every bit as intense as any rock star's story..Not to mention, its a much more uplifting read.

A photo from a touching story
about Chris's missionary work
The second book, his CURRENT book Shout It Out Loud tells about how his life has changed, and what he has been doing since finding God. If I told you that a man who was onstage singing about a butch lesbian police officer while drinking like a fish would later in life be going on missionary trips to Nicaragua, and ministering to and praying with the impoverished citizens of that third world country, would you believe me?  You should. Its true. He has been to Nicaragua twice now, and has some extremely touching stories about the trips he took. Personally, I think he could write a book strictly about his missionary work, and it would be extremely interesting.

Chris Long: Youth Leader at a retreat, with The Jokers!
(Read the book!)
After his turnaround, Chris was hungry for Christ. He wanted not just to go to church every Sunday. He wanted to be part of something that was bigger than himself, and like I said, he is a very intense person, and when he puts his energy into something, he gives 150%. So, he started off at his church with some very 'humble' jobs." Welcome to the church! Here's a mop!" Chris was glad to oblige. He quickly gained the respect and friendship of the church elders, and he was rewarded with a small position which he excelled in. (I'm sure he did a pretty good job with the floors too.) It wasn't too much longer before he was going on youth group camps, and being invited to go on missionary trips. No more mops, although he would be more than happy to grab one again if it needed to be done. Chris is a madman with a mop!

Chris, with Worship Pastor at his
Church, Chris Johnson. 
That is the basis of the book. The deeper you get into it, you realize just how humble he has become as a result of his relationship with God. And, 'Relationship' is a recurring theme. Its not the religion that God wants. Its the relationship. Religion turns people away, and judges people constantly....which we are told in the bible that might not be the best thing for people to do. Chris is very proud of his relationship with God. He values it more than anything, and it shows in the pages of Shout It Out Loud. He is one of those people who has a captivating personality, and his speaking voice adds intensity to any of his stories. He could tell you the process for making fruit salad, and you'd swear it was the most interesting thing you've heard all month. This intensity is on every page of his book, and his life story is one of the most interesting things I've heard in a long time. It will be for you too.

Now, I get busted for possession? NOW???
So, pick up this book. Shout It Out Loud is a very interesting read, and I'd bet its the most uplifting thing you've read in ages. It has it all. Whether Chris is talking about getting busted at customs for trying to smuggle vitamins into Nicaragua, talking about the kids he works with at the church, or about how God has changed his life from something scary into what it is now, you will feel good reading it. I've known Chris for a very long time, and one thing that hasn't changed about him from then to now is the fact that he will not do anything that he doesn't believe in, and what he does believe in, he gives everything he has. Now, he believes in building his relationship with God, and telling as many people as he can about it. And, he does....Loudly!

East Coast Christian Center, Merritt Island, FL
Looks MUCH different than it did the last time I saw it!

Also, I have to say that reading this book really does make me want to move back to Florida, and join East Coast Christian Center, and grab a mop. Everything he says here is a take on church that you won't hear in most churches, and its really a shame. They all should be shouting the word out loud. This will make people want to come to Christ much more than a man in a suit standing up, and lecturing people about what they are allowed and not allowed to do.

But, don't take my word for it. Take Chris's word for it. Listen to him on the Will and Thunder Show <Caching!> May 13 at 10PM Eastern! Don't miss it! Also, connect with Chris on the links below:

Christopher Long's blog
Facebook Page

Purchase C'MON!: My Story of Rock, Ruin, and Revelation
Purchase Shout It Out Loud!

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