An encouraging book on following your dreams with the help of God, Better Days Ahead: Step Into the Abundant Life God Promised You by Andreas A. Jones, gives those who are pursuing those dreams advice on how to reach their goal. The author gives the reader several exercises to follow through with on each section that instills a new principle or step toward achieving their goals. It is a Christian book that discusses such topics as prayer, partnering with God to achieve one’s dreams, examples of others who have achieved their dreams, and how to plan goals. While there doesn’t appear to be a particular order to the steps in the book to achieving one’s dreams, there are certainly plenty of ideas and practical steps to help one do so.
The most helpful part of this book is the exercises that the author has added to each chapter to help the reader get started in the right direction of following their dreams. They are easy to understand, helpful to do, and solidify the themes the author discusses in each chapter. There are also plenty of examples for the reader to see other people pursuing their dreams and how their stories feed into the themes the author discusses which, again, solidify the advice the author is imparting and makes it easier to understand the themes. For such a small volume, the author does have a lot of meat in the book and goes over quite a few principles that deal with pursuing one’s dream. While I sometimes wish there had been a little more depth to some of the topics the author discusses, I was surprised at how rich the writing was.
There are two main issues I saw in this book. The first is the editing. I am not sure the author’s native language is English. There was a lot of places where the meaning of the sentence was lost because there were some words left out. There is also a major problem with sentences changing tenses in the middle of the sentence as well as some general grammatical and spelling errors. It sounds like someone who is not a native English speaker speaking in several places. Overall it did not hurt the quality of the book, however there were several places I was unclear on the meaning of the author’s words. A general clean up in editing should alleviate these problems. It might be helpful to add more Biblical citation as well. The other problem that struck me was just the way that the book made it seem like it would be very easy to obtain one’s dreams. The last chapter kind of saved it from where I thought it was going in that the author acknowledged that our dream can not be selfish and must be in God’s Will before we can achieve it. The first part of the book, though, left me concerned because there will ultimately be a great struggle to achieve one’s dreams. Though we must “walk by faith and not by sight” we should not expect God to work out every problem just because it is in line with what God might want. God allows problems to come our way and us to grow from them despite the fact that we were doing God’s Will. It just concerns me that the first part of the book reflected an attitude that we will get what we want just because we want it. I later saw that this didn’t exactly match the ideas of the author, but it just didn’t sit right with me when I was reading.
This is a great book for someone who is planning to accomplish their dreams to start with in gaining insight into the Christian way to move toward these dreams. It is very practical and helpful with lots of ideas and exercises to dig into to help solidify that plan. There are plenty of examples to make this book easy to understand and relate to. Lastly, this offers some sound advice on how to do this through a Christian lifestyle, with the possible exception of the one theme I mentioned above. If you are hoping to accomplish a goal in the future, you would do well to start with this work.