Everyone who's had cancer remembers the moment they knew something was wrong. A look from their doctor, an order for more tests, or a sinking feeling in their stomach. For author and music industry professional Ken Mansfield, the knowledge that his life would change forever because of cancer was just as unexpected. However, despite his diagnosis with a rare malignant lymphoma, Ken's faith grew stronger.
In Stumbling on Open Ground, he shares his spiritual and physical journey through diagnosis and treatment. Written with honesty, insight, and humor, with interjections from his wife Connie's side of the story, Stumbling on Open ground is a beautiful and hopeful exploration of some of the darkest moments of life, and how God can transform us as we live in those moments with faith and trust.
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(8 Reviews) 8
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7 out of 888%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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.
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Review 3 for Stumbling on Open Ground
A book to encourage those that are struggling
Date:February 18, 2013
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.
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Review 4 for Stumbling on Open Ground
A helpful book for those facing cancer
Date:February 18, 2013
Location:Stone Lake, WI
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.
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Review 5 for Stumbling on Open Ground
Shallow at best
Date:January 29, 2013
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.
Reading a book about someone's journey through cancer is difficult, especially if you have gone down this path with someone you love. But I took the plunge and read Ken Mansfield's latest book, Stumbling on Open Ground.
Ken Mansfield writes his heart on paper, as if he is journaling about his experiences and emotions during this long road with cancer. I am too young to remember him in the music world, but I can read and appreciate what he did to make others look and sound good. He was a man in the midst of the fast lane, when God halted him. He was radically saved and then plunged into a difficult battle, not once, but twice, with cancer.
As I was reading this book, I couldn't help but think of the psalmist who cried out to the Lord to deliver him. Gut-wrenching and brutally honest, Mr. Mansfield shares his struggles with God's grace, mercy and sovereignty. He doesn't candy-coat his message of pain in the midst of trusting. The reader can easily envision the author pounding his fists and screaming for relief, and then be assured that he is on his knees in quiet trust and surrender.
Honest and broken. That is how Christ wants us. The road was extremely difficult for Mr. Mansfield, as it is with each of us at different times in our lives. BUT reading a book like this and being with the community of believers during these difficult times, whether physically or through hearing of the journeys of others, is the daily encouragement we each need.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs encouragement through whatever trial they are experiencing.
I received a free copy of this book as part of the Booksneeze Blogging Network.
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Review 7 for Stumbling on Open Ground
Review of the book Stumbling on Open Ground by Ken
This book is about a husband who had beaten cancer twice and how his wife helped him beat it and how he also relied on GOD and his faith to help him as well.
I like the quote on page 36 which says " Jesus loved Peter at both edges: saint and a sinner, religious and sacrilegious, rock and brimstone edges.... I change and vacillate, but Jesus is always the same. He loves me, hangs in there with me, even hung on the stake for me(author said cross, I put stake). I also like the quote on page 110 which says " Sometimes its tough being a christian when hardships strike. We're all human and that means we're susceptible to pain, doubt, exhaustion, anger, frustration, fear, and the whole gamut of human emotions. When you know and trust GOD, this can cause the journey to become an even bumpier road." I like this because while GOD does bless us, we do all struggle and its ok to mad, or frustrated or to be honest with our emotions, that we are real people who all deal with emotions.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
Stumbling on Open Ground; Love, God, Cancer, and Rock 'n' Roll By Ken Mansfield Book Description
Ken Mansfield writes as both a cancer and music industry survivor, vividly describing the many fragments a person tries to assemble when cancer or any other personal tragedy strikes.
It's tough being a Christian when hardships strike. We're all human, and that means we're all susceptible to pain, doubt, exhaustion, anger, frustration, fear—the whole gamut of human emotions and experiences. And they all come in a swarm when you get cancer. Stumbling on Open Ground steps away from the pattern of other cancer books, Christian or secular, and attempts to tackle the question of how you can doubt a God that you do not doubt. It's about having trouble believing what is going on when you believe God knows what he is doing at all times. It is about questioning what is happening when you know where all the questions are answered.
Author Ken Mansfield, former U.S. manager for the Beatles Apple Records and Dove and Grammy Award winner, takes readers into the experience in visceral, vulnerable passages that weave the ongoing spiritual struggle and physical pain with eventual triumph. Humbling and inspiring, his story forms a raw and ragged look at human suffering—one that validates our shared experiences, provokes a powerful sense of empathy, and encourages us to push into God even when it feels like God is pushing back.
I only kind of liked this book. I found it hard to get into. It just didn't grab my attention. Maybe I just wasn't interested in this topic but I didn't love it. It was well written but didn't hook me in. There are no issues with the book, I have no problems with the author; I just didn't love it. I would recommend to a friend if they were a music fan ... I just didn't have that connection to make the book interesting.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”