I hadn't heard of Ken Mansfield before this, but he has a very interesting background (former US manager of the Beatles' Apple Record Company, award winning producer) and is now an ordained minister and public speaker. In the book he shares anecdotes about his life and talks about his battle with cancer (twice). What I'll remember from the book is this from page 237 - "Before, I used to stumble on open ground and fall all the way down. Now I fall short because his loving arms, tender mercies, and unconditional love always catch me before I hit the ground." This book is inspiring and I would recommend it to others. Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Stumbling On Open Ground: Love, God, Cancer, and Rock 'n' Roll
Author: Ken Mansfield
Date I Finished Reading: March 2,2013
My Rating: 5/5
I have sometimes wondered what a person goes through when fighting cancer. I have wondered what exactly they endure spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Maybe that is why this book was so interesting to me, maybe not. Either way, I was drawn into the story of Ken Mansfield, and his wife, Connie.
In this book Ken lays out the story of his two fights with cancer, including a rare, life-threatening, "incurable" cancer. He is very real and honest as he does so, writing on the pain, heartache, and touching moments with God.
Ken is, no doubt, a talented author. He has a way of writing that draws you in, and holds your interest. He uses wonderful analogies to give you a vivid picture of the hardships he endured. His humorous touches also adds to the read.
I would, without a doubt, recommend this book to you. I found it to be enlightening, heart-touching, inspiring and encouraging. how gave me a look at just how heartbreaking and excruciating cancer can be, both physically and emotionally. It made me more aware of how blessed I am to be given a strong, healthy body. And it made me even more thankful that I have a God who is right beside me during the hardest of trials.
Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for may honest review. However, my opinions are my own.
I found this book fairly interesting and it had some good content but the flow of it was kind of weird. It zig zagged between memories, current life, his thoughts and sharing songs and prayers. This is about his journey through cancer and I think it could be helpful to others going through that as well.
I did receive this free from Booksneeze for purposes of reviewing.
I heard a radio interview with the author and was immediately interested in reading this book because I thought it might be encouraging for me. The author had worked for a record company and with many exciting artists such as The Beetles. During the interview, he told how he started his own company, lost his company, his house and cars and also had cancer twice. I didn't hear the rest of the interview, so I ordered the book.
I liked the cover and feel of the book, but the title seemed a bit long and made me wonder how they came up with it until I read the epigraph verse from Jeremiah 12:5.
I loved the first part of the book. I loved the author's humorous experiences and feelings regarding music and specifically, cheesy Muzak arrangements. I laughed at his description and encounter with Dr. Doornail. It gave me a bit of comfort to know that there was someone else writing about their own brutal clinical experiences. I loved his prayers and special sacred moments with God.
Somewhere in the middle of the book, I started to get bogged down first because my mother's health was declining but also his questions were too much for me to handle under the circumstances. I had to take a break, but when I picked the book back up again, it was easier going and I did find comfort as well as encouragement from his honesty and insight.
I was disappointed because the book did not include anything about the business venture, loss of his company and home. The book was primarily the story of his bouts with cancer and there were a couple times when I thought it was repetitive.
I can think of others I might recommend this book to, but I will keep mine for future reference. It has been well marked, underlined and I've written in my own responses as well as personalized the prayers for my own use.
No matter who you are, cancer is horrible. I've lost family members, friends and the child of a close friend to this monster. My heart goes out to anyone who has to endure the torturous "treatments" that go along with cancer. My heart goes out to author Ken Mansfield for the nightmare he went through not once but twice.
Having said that, the book Stumbling on Open Ground was really disappointing. There was some insight into his life, but in a superficial sort of way, not that I was looking for gruesome details of his sickness, treatment and side effects. The author, Ken Mansfield, spent a great deal of the book dropping names of famous people and reminiscing about his days at Apple Records.
The opening prelude discusses the murder of John Lennon and goes on to say that "This shattering moment was our generation's 9/11." I'm sorry, but there is a vast difference between John Lennon being shot and the terrorist attack on 9/11. Truthfully, I was annoyed from this point on in the book.
Each chapter has an opening letter from Mansfield's wife Connie. Her few brief paragraphs give more information than his pretentiously wordy writings. Even the prayers that he shares appear to be scripted and unreal. But, maybe he really does start a prayer off with "I beseech thee to heal me."
It's not all bad. I do like that he continually points out that he and his wife continued to trust God and grow in their spiritual walk. There are lots of scripture references throughout the book as well. Mansfield also gives a tithe from the proceeds to Mercy Ministries. There is good to be found inside this book, I just thought it was wrapped up in too much fluff.
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing for review purposes. I received no other compensation for my review, nor was I required to write a positive review.