This book, while written primarily for those in the military (and their families), can be applied to anyone. Each chapter begins with a Scripture and then goes on to apply that to a circumstance that has taken place in the author's life, or the life of a fellow military person. Some are heart wrenching. We are given a clear picture of the struggles and heartaches of those who sacrifice themselves, and sometimes their families, to see that we, as Americans, retain our rights & freedoms. My heart was touched at the honesty of the authors and the hope & healing available for these precious individuals and families.
This is an excellent resource to give to someone you know who is serving, or has served, in the military. Or you can just pick up a copy for your own use. Either way, you won't be sorry you did!
Special thanks to Susan Otis, publicist, Creative Resources, Inc. for sending me a review copy. I was not required to write a positive review, only my honest opinion in exchange for the book.
I'm so thankful Tony and Penny Monetti have penned CALLED TO SERVE: ENCOURAGEMENT, SUPPORT, AND INSPIRATION FOR MILITARY FAMILIES, a small but thoughtful book designed for their fellow warriors. No academic tome, this power-packed guide disarms the reader with transparent stories of the authors' own struggles. You name it, they've encountered it in their twenty-plus years of military life: deployment, problem pregnancy, TDYs (Temporary Duty Assignments), depression, marital struggles, and more. Each of the thirty-one brief (three to four pages) chapters covers one of the concerns either the authors or a military acquaintance has faced. The dual authorship give readers the blessing of both military and military spouse perspectives.
I loved the way each chapter opened with a well-chosen Scripture and ended with questions that personalized the content. But what I especially loved were the resources mentioned throughout the book and compiled at its close. These include organizations and websites specific to the many issues the authors address.
Although the Monettis are an Air Force couple, they take care to make their book accessible to any branch of the military. I recommend it for active duty, reserve, or retired members of our Armed Forces as well as pastors, churches, and others who want a better understanding of the stresses these families of sacrifice encounter. I salute the Monettis as I thank them for a wonderful contribution to the arsenal every military family needs.
Just got home from Chicago last night (after many hours of flight delays!!!) and feeling a little overwhelmed with everything. However, still thinking__ therapy and "casseroles". The Vision Therapy for intermediate and new doctor's and therapist seminar was wonderful and gave me more "confidence" that I can be an effective new therapist. I look forward to using some new procedures and systems this week for my patients. However, my flying casserole_.that's another story:)
Since this was a pretty intense conference I didn't have an opportunity to "taste" Chicago this time, but did get a taste of something better; Lt. Col Tony and Penny Monetti's new book, "A Call to Serve". Staying at the Hyatt Regency was a huge treat_spoiled with the room-service, quiet time, and the HUGE ROOM. And since I didn't have my family with me, I actually finished an entire book called, "A Call to Serve" Encouragement, Support and Inspiration for Military Families. This book truly inspired me to be a better person in every aspect. If you are retired, activity duty, served, or a family member who has served at home (front-lines) or even know a military family_ this is a MUST read. I want to share the entire story, but that wouldn't be fair, you'll have to go and get a copy! Lol I'll just share some of my favorite moments that spoke to my heartJ. Another great element to this book is, Penny and Tony tagged team writing each chapter sharing their personal experiences and convictions on what God was teaching them doing "Life" in the military.
Part 1: Fear: This chapter delivered a message about bed rest and casseroles_.this is where the casserole thinking came in:) lol (great combo Penny!)
Coping with the Unknown. I love this part of the book because it underscores trusting God with our futures. Obviously, this is about Penny trusting God during a challenging time when she was expecting and had to be placed on bed rest.---------The title name was quite fitting too, but what I really liked about each part of this book is the prayer at the end. This one prayer for this chapter really spoke to me: "Dear Lord, I don't what the future holds, but you do. Thank you for going out before me to assure that I am cared for no matter what the circumstance. Please put the individuals meeting your care in my path so that I can display your love through my "casseroles"."
Part 12: EOS No More:
Preparing for Change: This part written by Tony recalls Brigadier General Risner, an Air Force Hero who survived torture and captive for seven years in Vietnam. After his release from his captivity he prepared to return home. As he left the hospital to board the bus it began to rain, others ran but he walked into the middle of the street and cried tears of joy as the rain hit his face. He longed for freedom and waited for the rain on his face. "Whenever life rains challenge on me, I think of Robbie Risner raising his face toward the heavens in the rain and that thought keeps my life in perspective. My passion has evolved from not only flying jets, but also encouraging others. As a motivational speaker, I use the acronym FLY to remind people to always look Forward, Love life and live it fully and to say yes to new opportunities. Ã¢â¬Ë pg 87
Part 31: It's Not ALL about you:
Why We Serve: I appreciate this part because I can truly identify with this..my husband and I both served eight years in the Air Force and learned quickly that the overall mission isn't about us and what we want...its about something greater than us:)
So, I really admire what Tony wrote: "Why do American servicemen and women voluntarily serve in the military? What gives us the COURAGE to potentially lay down our lives for our nation? After twenty-three years of service with our joint force, I know why. We serve because we believe that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. We sacrifice because we share an ideal of service over self and an unshakable belief in America and her values" pg 212
So here it is_. pieces of what I'm calling MY flying casserole....clear as mud:) lol. On much serious note; this book also provides scriptures, LOTS of resources, TONS of encouragement, Hope and definitely that we are ALL called to serve in some capacity of our lives----- for something bigger than ourselves. GET THIS BOOK!!! Go to their website to check out more about this book and their mission
If you live in the free country of The United States of America, you must read this book. This book is an easy read in a devotional style. Both authors' lives are so intriguing. I found myself clenching my pillow as Tony spoke of his combat mission in his B-52 bomber. I laughed out loud as Penny shared her overseas moving adventure, and I wiped off my tears as she shared her experience of becoming a military mother. As a civilian, I am amazed at the daily adventures a military family lives through. As I read their stories, I was both entertained and inspired. I also have a new found respect for service members and their families. They have been through so many ups and downs. They have great insights to share with real life lessons attached to each chapter that easily apply to all of us! They touch on fear, trust, surrender, listening, emotions, hope, faith, stress, depression, love, blessings, encouragement, and so much more! This also applies to the stories they shared from the lives and experiences of other brave service members and their families.
Sara M. Howard, author of "Tuesday's Grace: A Modern Day Miracle"
This book is a gem. Written by both the military member and spouse, this book has power to heal, connect, strengthen and encourage military couples. There are 31 chapters in the book, categorized by the top stressors to military marriages (as identified by select professional Christian counselors and Armed Forces chaplains). Those are:Fear, Transition, Loneliness and Grief, Avoiding Destructive Behavior, and Communication.
Tony and Penny take turns sharing stories from their own lives. Each begins with a Scripture verse, ends with questions and a prayer, and many of them also include related resources--several of which are new to me, so I was glad to learn about them! This couple tackles tough subjects, such as pornography, depression, adultery and more. But they also address the common everyday stresses military families deal with.
One chapter I think will be especially helpful is called "The Rabbi's Tatoos"--which refer to the numbers branded on the forearm of a rabbi who had survived a Nazi concentration camp. In this chapter, Tony gives his answer to the question, how can Christians kill in war? I have heard this question many times, and I really appreciated this chapter.
I was also riveted by the chapters chronicling the deterioration of this couple's marriage, and how God helped them bring it back from the brink of divorce. Not every chapter is so intense, but they are all interesting. I was laughing out loud (partly in horror!) at the moving story nightmare Penny shared.
While I would not call this a devotional book, since the chapters are mostly personal stories, they do offer quite a bit of hope and lots of points for discussion with your spouse. And though the book is written by an Air Force couple, I believe the lessons translate to any branch. The resources included in this book are thorough. I would recommend this book for every Christian military couple's bookshelf. It would even be a good idea to have a copy for each spouse if you are separated, so you could read it together while you are apart.
Thank you, Lt. Col. Tony Monetti & Penny Monetti for adding a valuable resource for military families!