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In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,684 Ratings  ·  283 Reviews
Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase. You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day is inspired by one of the most obscure yet c ...more
ebook, 124 pages
Published August 19th 2008 by Multnomah Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Jun 03, 2012 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know WHEN I'm going to learn the lesson, but writing book reviews alone has called my attention to the fact that I've got some serious heart work to do as relates to pre-judging (I think we actually call that 'prejudice' :-( ). Here I am again, beginning a book review with a disclaimer that I didn't want to read the book. Good grief. Mental note to self: let's be done with this snobbish attitude.

So In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day seemed like a terrible title. And I was given the book
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The point here is a fairly simple one: the things you fear may very well be opportunities that God has put in your path, and you should probably act on those opportunities. The exploration of the point is pretty tedious, though. Batterson seems enchanted with the brief mention of Benaiah (in what is essentially a footnote to the story of David in 1 and 2 Samuel), and he devotes numerous pages to imaginative speculation of what the man's encounter with a lion must have been like (there is also sp ...more
Dec 24, 2010 Korby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: journeyman-books
I had this book highly recommended by everyone that I talked to throughout my training. Unfortunately I can't say I would overly recommend this book. It's based off of one passage in the old testament and although it plays very strongly to our emotions about not being afraid and taking on the lions in our lives, there is very little meat here which is kind of what I am looking for when I go to read Christian literature. So if you want something that inspires you to live a crazy life, this book c ...more
Greg Frucci
Aug 22, 2013 Greg Frucci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fun book to read. I actually got ticked off when the phone rang a few times, so I apologize to those who called while I was reading this book...I know they could hear frustration in my voice. Think about it for a moment...when you were a child and you were out playing an intense game of tag or something else so fun that you were laughing and screaming with joy as you ran...and then some obnoxious adult called you home in the middle? You got pissed. I could give this book 5 stars just for ...more
Andrew S
Jun 26, 2011 Andrew S rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a difficult time rating this book. I enjoyed the concepts discussed but did not enjoy reading the book. I really like the concept of chasing God given opportunities and Batterson does a great job exploring this idea. His points to remember at the end of the chapter are well worth the price of the book. I consider this a must read for someone who is failing to see or failing to seize opportunities in his or her life.
However, I do not like his writing style and I do not agree with his inter
Jan 08, 2014 Lauren rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
While I agree with this book's premise that we should go boldly forth in faith to do what God has called us to do, it reads more like an inspirational self-help book, and one that is overlong at that.

Batterson has a very colloquial writing style that I think woks better in sermons than in writing, at least for me. He also extrapolates a lot from scripture, not just from the passage about Benaiah that he titles the book on, but many others. There are also a lot of cherry-picked Bible verses, like
Oct 18, 2010 Tyler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly didn't really even want to read In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day by Mark Batterson, but I think God wanted me to read it. I should say I did want to read it, but only because I like to stay up on popular Christian trends and this book kept popping up on my radar. Recently I found out my coworker had ordered it and she offered to let me read it when she was done. I jumped on the opportunity to read the book without actually having to buy it.

My goal was to try to read through it rela
Mark Batterson’s meditation on 2 Samuel 23:20-21, which alludes to a lion killing done by a valiant but otherwise forgotten member of King David’s bodyguard named Benaiah, proves the truth of 2 Timothy 3:16 (“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching…”). The book is from the same publisher that six years before had given Bruce Wilkerson a chance to thrust 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 into brief notoriety with his bestselling The Prayer of Jabez, so it’s easy to see how Batterson’s manus ...more
First, I'll start out with some positives. Mark Batterson is an engaging and entertaining writer, meaning, he writes in a way that really keeps your attention, makes you laugh, and puts things into easy to remember terms and phrases. God used this book to challenge me to live more by faith, trusting God to help me step out and do those things which at first glance seem impossible. He gives a good emphasis and section on what we pray for and how we pray. He also seems to have a genuine love for J ...more
Dan Cooley
Apr 11, 2011 Dan Cooley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, this book is just too much fun. It’s easy to read, encouraging, challenging, and did I say fun?

Here are a few quotes to give you the flavor.
1. The more we grow, the bigger God should get. And the bigger God gets, the smaller our lions will become.
2. God planned for every contingency you might ever encounter, before the beginning of time.
3. First John 4:18 describes the end goal of our relationship with God: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” The goal of love is fe
May 07, 2013 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
When I finished reading this book, I really felt different. I felt like this book gave me enough inspiration to make some changes in my life. And that in doing so, I will allow God to do some amazing things that I’ll be able to share with others.

Topics also included in this book include prayer and how there are different ways to pray in the same situation to yield better results; how our view of God impacts our lives, how the path to our dreams is sometimes comprised of opportunities along the w
Kelly Clark
Feb 19, 2014 Kelly Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The folks that had negative reviews because they were disappointed that Batterson was able to pen an entire book from one little verse, makes me wonder if they have ever been impacted by one little verse or one little phrase before they decided to write their review. I have often heard the small still voice of God from one small, often hidden verse or at times even just a small phrase or single word from a verse. I guess the soil of my heart was tende ...more
Brian Ming
Feb 24, 2015 Brian Ming rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful book that inspires you to take life by the horns and get after it. I was challenged and inspired to believe and go after more, even in adversity. Sometimes along life's journey, you encounter a defining moment. I read this book in the midst of one of my defining moment, and I chose to jump in the pit with the lion, and things turned out extraordinarily well. This book was one of the reasons.
Ryan Boomershine
Oct 18, 2014 Ryan Boomershine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctrine
Batterson took an interesting verse that deserves some attention and made a long, bad eisegesis out of it. While full of decent anecdotes, the book was chock-full of pre-suppositions that were not based on Scripture. A different anecdote or verse about courage could have written the exact same book. It's a pop-psychology, you-can-do-it-fest in the same spirit as the Prayer of Jabez fad.

Again, it is a good verse. It does need attention. Benaiah was courageous (presumably). But this book does not
Feb 01, 2016 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mark Batterson has taken a somewhat obscure couple of Bible passages and made a whole book about it. Yes, he's that good. The book is called In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day. The subtitle is How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars.

The story has to do with one of King David's mighty men, a man by the name of Benaiah. There was this one time when he chased a lion into a snowy pit. Then he killed the lion. End of story. If you're looking for more details, you won't find any. But if you
Georgia Herod
May 01, 2014 Georgia Herod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had been in my to-read stack for a couple of months. Facing a long flight, I decided to take it along. Once I started, I couldn’t stop and had it read before landing at home.

Using the brief Biblical reference to Benaiah in II Samuel 23:21-22, Batterson challenges readers to “chase lions” rather than run in fear, to seize every opportunity (however small or seemingly insignificant) rather than walk away, to see failure as a stepping stone rather than wallow in defeat and discouragement.
Jan 03, 2015 Leah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was just ok, I would rate it a 2.5. I'm not sure if the content was bad or if I just have a hard time when pastors write self-help type books. I also looked up Batterson's church website and it was some difficult stuff to swallow.
That said, there was some helpful info that I took notes on such as:
"The goal of faith is of the elimination of risk."
"Small changes and small choices become magnified over time and have major consequences."
"Play to win v. play not to lose"
"We need to stop critic
Jan 11, 2016 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
Overall, I liked it. Batterson has some good points and for a non-risk taker, it's an inspiring read. It also inspires me to suck the marrow out of the Bible by finding such one or two-line stories as Benaiah's and delving in to why such short accounts made it into the Word of God! Batterson definitely extrapolated alot from just this one story and some was redundant but it was an easy enough read that it kept me going and it was enjoyable enough. I think the biggest point I took away from it wa ...more
Matt Anderson
Audiobook read by the author

This book was highly recommended to me by multiple people. I was blown away by Batterson’s book, “The Circle Maker,” but this book left me feeling unsatisfied. It was filled with a lot of forgettable stories, based on the idea that we need to be chasing “lions” in our lives. The lions are opportunities. Playing it safe can sometimes be risky if you miss out on opportunities that God has prepared for you. The best thing he said in the whole book is that we should striv
Jul 22, 2014 Edie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this book is about stepping into faith stretching opportunities that can be major life changes. It feels rather opportune, since my husband is changing careers right now. Batterson looks at one verse about Benaiah who went down in a pit with a lion on a snowy day and killed the lion. He refers to these opportunities as chasing 'lions'.

I liked some of the questions Batterson asks and his encouragement. What lion is God calling you to chase? What good thing waits for you on the oth
Clayton Tune
Great core story, very much over used. Mark gives many good stories and examples of overcoming the odds which make this book enjoyable. I just wish it were 100 pages shorter.
Catherine Gillespie
Whether you’re in need of a serious plan to tackle a big, risky leap or to be faithful in small, daily opportunities, I think you’d get something out of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and I’d recommend it. It’s easy to read and entertaining, but also thought-provoking and encouraging. You probably won’t agree with the author on every point (I didn’t), and may find the framing of the book overplayed, but it’s worth pushing through to the gist of the material because Batterson has some excell ...more
John-kenneth Files
Awesome read! This book really opened up my mind and allowed me to view life from a new perspective.
Oct 03, 2014 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was okay. I wish I could say more about it. I really like the idea, and I don't have any major theological issues or disputes with what the author presented. I very much agree with the fundamental premise (the importance of viewing challenges as opportunities), and he had some really thought-provoking points throughout the book. However, when the central premise of your book is based around only one or two verses in the Bible, it requires a LOT of extrapolation and "I imagine he felt l ...more
Josh-danielle Venable
This is an inspiring book! I always enjoy Batterson's writing style. It's pretty simple and straightforward, so if you're looking for a deep theological book, you might want to look somewhere else. Batterson uses the account of Benaiah chasing a lion into a pit and killing the lion as the springboard for his book. If you would like to stay where you're at spiritually and not be inspired to move forward, chase dreams, step out in faith, or move on something that God is asking of you, then don't r ...more
Mar 26, 2014 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very motivational book which encourages Christians to get out there and do great things for God. While the main character of the book, Beniah, is mentioned very little in scripture, Batterson extrapolates his story to get us excited about "lion chasing". Sure, he embellishes the story, but that's all it is--story telling. Those who object to this by saying that scripture doesn't tell us all that are missing the point. Batterson uses this and other Biblical examples to try to spur us to ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chase your dreams!
In a Pit with A Lion on a Snowy Day is a book based of the brief mention of Benaiah in 2 Samuel, a warrior who chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day and came out victorious. The basic premise of the book is seen in it's sub-title, "How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars." When presented with opportunities (lions), we must be brave and proactive and chase them, even when the circumstances seem to be against us (the pit and the snow).

I was actually really excited about this book, but
Dec 13, 2008 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot even begin to put in to words how much I enjoyed, and honestly, how much I needed to read "In A Pit..." This is truly a word in season for me right now.

For a few months I got by just reading about 5-10 pages a week...there was SO much to absorb that I didn't want to risk overlooking things, just to 'get through' the book. Finally I decided to just sit and finish reading it, with my trusty high lighter sitting next to me, so I could highlight things I wanted to really focus on long-term.
Feb 11, 2013 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, leadership
I really enjoyed this book. It was very challenging and made me think a lot about how I approach life and deal with my fears in life. I'm not much of a lion chaser. I don't tend to see hardships in life as opportunities. I like to make plans and know where I'm going, and God doesn't always work like that. I have to be able to see life as it happens, knowing that God is in control and living life in a consistent manner with that belief. That means that those things I might see as difficult interr ...more
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Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church ( in Washington, DC. One church with seven locations. NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in theaters throughout the DC metro area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times be ...more
More about Mark Batterson...

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“Embrace relational uncertainty. It's called romance. Embrace spiritual uncertainty. It's called mystery. Embrace occupational uncertainty. It's called destiny. Embrace emotional uncertainty. It's called joy. Embrace intellectual uncertainty. It's called revelation.” 79 likes
“God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go.” 39 likes
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