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Dangerous Surrender: What Happens When You Say Yes to God

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You have a plan for the rest of your life. God has a plan for the rest of your life. Are they the same?You have expectations for how your life will play out, and you hope those plans will become realities.But what if God's plan for your life is far different from what you had in mind? Can you accept that? Will you surrender your goals for God's? Kay Warren had a plan. Together with her husband, Rick Warren, author of the megaseller The Purpose Driven Life, she planned that after her kids were grown, she'd travel the world, teaching and encouraging couples in ministry. It was a good plan. But it wasn't what God had in mind for her.In a startling wake-up call, Kay discovered the shocking realities of the AIDS pandemic in Africa while reading a magazine. 'I want to use you!' she heard God say. That began the struggle---first to avoid God's call and then to surrender herself to God.She cried out to God, 'Why are you bothering me with this? There's nothing I can do about it. I'm just an ordinary person. What could one person do about such a gigantic problem' But God had grabbed her attention and wouldn't let go.If you've ever struggled with knowing and doing God's will, this book is for you. With raw honesty, Kay goes straight to the heart of the matter: the bottom line is surrender. Will you trust God? Along the way she'll introduce you to others---people like you---who have said yes to God and have made a difference in the world. Using their skills, energy, faith, and a willingness to take risks, they became powerful instruments of change and tools in God's hands.Giving in to God isn't easy. It's not for cowards. It's the boldest, riskiest step you'll ever take. This dangerous surrender can bring both joy and pain, both heartache and ecstasy, but it enables you to know God in a far deeper way than ever before. I had to make a conscious decision. Would I retreat to my comfortable life and to my settled plans? Or would I surrender to God's call and let my heart engage with a cause such as AIDS that I was pretty sure would include buckets of pain and sorrow? I felt like I was standing on the edge of a giant precipice; I couldn't go back, and yet the way forward looked like stepping into a void. Kay Warren took that step, choosing to dangerously surrender to God. That decision transformed her life, marriage, and future. She invites you to do the same.You'll benefit most by discussing this book with others. A Readers' Group Discussion Guide is provided in the back of the book. Additional help can be found at www.kaywarren.com.

255 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2007

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Kay Warren

20 books24 followers

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5 stars
116 (38%)
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54 (17%)
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18 (5%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 52 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer Wilson.
204 reviews6 followers
November 13, 2011
Although Dangerous Surrender was published in 2007, I just read it this year. Kay Warren, wife of Pastor Rick Warren charts her own course away from his fame into her her own calling from God in this book.

As it starts, she feels as many American women must. Me? Why me? My life is about my husband and children! What can I do? But slowly, this takes shape into a direction that while her husband supports her, it’s her own calling, her own mission, her own destiny.

She was reading and saw something about AIDS in Africa. At first she didn’t care a whole lot because, after all, she lives in California and Africa is a world away. She couldn’t quit thinking about that article she read, and she eventually found herself under a tree a dying African lady called home because she was kicked out of her home and her village because she was infected with AIDS. Like the article Kay Warren wrote and couldn’t get out of her mind, this is an image that has stuck with me since I have read the book. Joanna. That was the lady’s name. I read the book weeks ago, and the picture was painted so vividly of this lady I can recall the lady’s name.

Back in California, Mrs. Warren worked with Saddleback Church to start an AIDS outreach. The story she tells of the man who said his desire was he wouldn’t be alone when he dies. Isn’t that a desire of every one of us? We want someone to care about us.

This is an amazing book, one of the best I’ve read this year. While your destiny may not be AIDS advocacy, there’s something deep inside you, some way for you to help others, and it’s ready to come alive, and I think reading this book will encourage you in your journey, whatever it may be.
Profile Image for Ewa.
8 reviews
June 12, 2021
Bardzo ważna dla mnie książka. Momentami czułam jakby ktoś spisał moje własne myśli.
Profile Image for Auntie.
59 reviews3 followers
May 6, 2008
This is a marvelous read! Kay Warren carefully recounts the walk of faith and growth in trusting our Lord through key events that have shaped her life to this point. She is a champion for the eradication of AIDS in this world. She is convinced that the church has much to offer in reaching this goal.

Her story begins with a life that I could identify with...church kid ,one who saw missionaries come through on their furloughs but none who particularly changed her life.
As her story unfolds, we see a woman who is growing in awareness of her comfortable life versus the challenge to speak to larger, global issues: specifically the devastation of AIDS in the lives of 12 million (at the time in 2002) children in Africa.

Her journey takes her through some honest appraisals of
the encumbrances in her life that needed to be identified and given over to God. She is transparent and clear on issues of pride, self absorption and comparison with others.
I know that I could identify with her starting place.

With the Lord's call on her life to become informed and then organized about responding to the AIDS epidemic, she faces cancer...twice. These chapters are worth the read as I have known the call to a particular ministry and then a time of "sitting on the shelf" while other things are brought
before me, and my confusion as to what God was really trying to do (after thinking I'd figured him, and the plan for my life out!!!)

She describes her venturing out, first to Mozambique, and then to other African countries. She later on travels to Cambodia, to Thailand, to India. By now, she is praying for, and visiting with not only those afflicted and affected by AIDS but also those in the sex slave industry-children. She travels to India and meets with and prays with those battling leprosy. The descriptions of suffering in these chapters are graphic, and she acknowledges that the reader might have an urge to skip the rest and head to more uplifting passages. I grit my teeth and my resolve to complete every chapter.

Kay speaks with an everywomen voice. She relates her experiences and at the same time she recounts her misconceptions and her stumbles. She doesn't overly spiritualize not does she write to manipulate. She simply recounts her path on which God has been leading her.

Yes, Rick Warren and Saddleback church show up in the pages now and then, but this is not a promotion for her husband or her church. It's a promotion for God and his desire to move us from complacency to thoughtful, intentional action.

Profile Image for Chris McGrath.
350 reviews123 followers
May 23, 2013
A better subtitle would have been "What Happened When I Said Yes to God".

This is primarily an account of how God woke the author up to the global HIV/AIDS crisis and, over the course of a decade or so, slowly and steadily developed her into an advocate for the people suffering from this disease. It is secondarily a call for Christians to share God's heart for the poor and sick in the world. It is a story of one person's surrender and the life-changing consequences, but very little of it has anything to say about what might happen if I said yes to God in the areas that he challenges me (which have nothing to do with global poverty or AIDS), and while there were a few highlightable passages, much of the real wisdom here are in the form of quotes from other well-known Christian authors like Oswald Chambers.

It was certainly an interesting read, but does not live up to its title.

Profile Image for Cindy.
429 reviews15 followers
April 8, 2010
I wasn't totally impressed. I'm not sure that she knew exactly what kind of book she wanted to write and it seemed to go from here to there to everywhere. Although I did glean some nuggets of wisdom and insight from her book, if I were recommending something of this topic, I'd recommend a book like Crazy Love by Francis Chan over this one.
Profile Image for Deanna.
3 reviews2 followers
May 25, 2012
I was seriously disturbed after reading this...so much so that it changed my worldview.
358 reviews3 followers
February 5, 2020
This is a very good book, though hard to read. I couldn't read a bunch of chapters at a time, just one or two because it was so intense. Kay shares the tragedies she has seen all over the world, but she also is very transparent in sharing her story. What she asks of us, to join her in absolute surrender to God, is difficult, but each Christian needs to wrestle with this, whether Jesus is truly Lord of our lives, whether we really live for Him rather than ourselves and whether He is trustworthy. Doing this does not mean that we need to also become advocate for HIV/AIDS because each one of us has a unique role in God's plan and we need to be doing what He asks us to, that He will receive the glory.
133 reviews
May 14, 2020
Honest and vulnerable. She takes you along with her on her journey of faith.
41 reviews
November 11, 2022
It is impossible to read this book and not be profoundly impacted.
3 reviews2 followers
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January 13, 2015
The book that I read called Dangerous Surrender is by Kay Warren. Warren is cofounder of Saddleback Church with her husband, Rick, is an international speaker, best-selling author and Bible teacher who has a passion for inspiring and motivating others to make a difference with their lives. She is an author of many Christian books and one popular: Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough (Revell, April 2012) which came out two years ago and sold thousands of copies. Kay Warren attended California Baptist College and earned her B.A. from California State University, Los Angeles. She has three beautiful children, Amy, Joshua and Matthew, and grandmother to Kaylie, Cassidy, Caleb, Cole and Claire.
The book dangerous surrender is about being disturbed by this world because if we are not disturbed by what’s happening around us we will live meaningless and be surrender by an insignificant purpose of life. Warren talks about how she didn’t know why God choose her for the mission he gave her, and that mission was definitely not in her plans but then thought and realized even if somebody has a plan for the rest of their lives God has another plan for you and that is a better plan. So what happens when you say yes to God? Kay Warren took that step, choosing to dangerously surrender to God. That decision transformed her life, marriage, and future and in this book she inspires you to do the same
The point of this book was that you have expectations for how your life will play out, and you hope those plans will become realities , but sometimes God takes control in your life and even if if the task will seem impossible you have to trust him though it .
I really loved this book it inspired me to do better and gave me devotional every day I read it. Not only it made me realize that I need to be more disturbed by what’s going on in this world but to try and help it to be better.
I would recommend this book to all the people who seek a change in their life , who feel like their life is not perfectly all the way complete so they can be disturbed also, and hopefully make a change in this world like Kay Warren did.

Profile Image for Venus.
2 reviews60 followers
August 14, 2016
This book has spoken to me so personally. As I read, I discover that God is searching for people who will confess their personal sin, accept His merciful forgiveness, and then humbly but boldly step into the battle against evil. It may cost us everything. Sometimes, the more we don't feel like going to Church, the most important thing we will choose to do is to just show up, and let God do the work.

Many times, I live on my own, thinking I'm insignificant and all, and I may appear for awhile and disappear without anyone knowing. I think people don't care and personally, I don't really bother as well. However, as I read this book, it has taught me that being with people is crucial. It's definitely not a waste of time to look them in the eye and listen to their story, to spend a few moments entering into their experiences, whether joyful or painful. It taught me that in community, our attempts to save the world by ourselves are misguided. In community, our motivations are held up to loving scrutiny. In community, the weight of the world is carried by other committed Christ-followers. In community, we go into His presence together to share the celebration of His sacrifice for our sins. In community, dangerous surrender on the part of a group member is a cause for rejoicing, not a decision to ridicule and move. We are united to Jesus Christ and to each other. This is what the fellowship of Jesus' suffering is all about. The elimination of the weak is the death of fellowship.

Help me, Lord, to live the gospel. May You be at the centre of it all. May You be my first love. May my life be made a sacramental offering through the wounds received. Help me to be made broken bread and poured out wine in Your service.
28 reviews
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October 25, 2010
Per Gina Robertson:

A book focused on the suffering of others and the responsibility of Christians to alleviate it. It's told from the personal journey of the author and her growing awareness of suffering world. She challenges the reader to not live in denial but to ask God what can I do? Being willing to say yes to what God asks of you.

A great wake-up call to American Christians who don't realize what a paradise they live in. Author challenges believers to serve the suffering - the sick, poor, oppressed, abused. May be difficult for those going through a hard time to read b/c very focused on getting outside of ourselves and serving others, loving them as God intended. Not a great deal of substance for individual growth and support except in the context of being burdened for the suffering of others. Challenged to go to God with our fears over serving and our apathy.

Might not be best for a group of all new believers

11 weeks, 30 minutes per week
Book format, with questions in the back

shelves: Influence with Outsiders
Profile Image for Sally Ferguson.
76 reviews5 followers
November 4, 2013
Kay Warren calls herself “a seriously disturbed woman.” When she invited God to change her perception of the AIDS pandemic, she found such disturbing pain that her heart shattered too. Kay says “while I had been raising my family and serving in my church, a humanitarian crisis of gargantuan proportions had been escalating on our planet.” (p. 19)
What shatters your heart? What topic gives you a queasy stomach and makes you want to flee? Could it be that God wants to use that aversion for good?
In her book, Dangerous Surrender, Kay’s compelling words urge you to release your self-sufficiency and surrender to God “in the boldest and riskiest step you can take.” (p. 24)
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of “doing business as usual.” I want to step my involvement in life up a notch. What will that mean? I don’t know yet, but Kay says God uses ordinary women like me to multiply His work in the world, when surrendered to Him! So, surrender is the first step I will take.
How about you?
Profile Image for Madelle.
304 reviews
September 10, 2008
Kay Warren, wife of Rick Warren pastor and author, has written her story. She considered herself a very ordinary woman without any special talents until God opened her eyes to the global HIV/AIDS crisis. She and her husband are mobilizing thousands through churches to work with this throughout the world. There was much in the book that I could not identify with and I am not sure this book would sell if it did not have her name on it. She ended by saying that as believers we have a chance to make the invisible God visible through ourselves to people in need with which I do agree.
Profile Image for Lain.
Author 15 books118 followers
December 7, 2008
This will go down as the biggest life-changing book of the year. Kay Warren's story is not only amazing, but inspirational. I love how she uses her own experiences to inspire others not to walk her path, but to embrace their own. She is obviously a woman of great courage, patience, strength, and faith, and I want to move to LA just to go to Saddleback Church! Above all, this book reminds me that God wants us to get our hands dirty -- that thinking of others is not enough; we must actively serve them.
382 reviews
April 8, 2009
Kay Warren's surrender to God's will has led her to Africa, where she is working to save and bless the lives of thousands of children and adults with AIDS to work towards AIDS prevention. Wife of Pastor Rick Warren, Kay is an inspirational writer who found that God took her to a continent and a place to serve that she would never have dreamed of going to. I feel like my work in teaching about pornography addiction and prevention is just as serendipitous and unexpected. Ironically, it was after reading the Purpose Drive Life that many opportunities for service suddenly appeared in my life.
Profile Image for Jenna.
13 reviews1 follower
February 29, 2008
This book was an easy read, and may not appeal to everyone because of it's seeming simplicity. However, Kay's metamorphosis regarding God turning her world upside-down and lighting in her a passionate fire for AIDS activism so closely mirrored my experience in regards to adoption that I found the book utterly fascinating. It is amazing to read a story of an ordinary person whose life is transformed by the call of God. It inspired me to do more than I am to help orphans worldwide!
Profile Image for Kathy.
250 reviews4 followers
July 29, 2008
Kay Warren shares of the moment God captured her heart for AIDS patients internationally, and the resulting path upon which He took her to use her life to impact others through compassionate love. From her story I took away the challenge to be less calloused when I hear of the suffering of others... I can too quickly categorize what I hear as one more killing, one more abduction, one more... without seeing an individual's pain and offering a cup of water and tears of understanding.
Profile Image for Ronda Lewis.
6 reviews1 follower
April 4, 2013
I purchased it in 2008 at a Conference that Kay spoke at, took it home and shelved it. Received it as a gift in 2010 under a new title, Just Say Yes, I read it this time, I found it very inspiring and was encouraged to be bold for Christ and His calling on my life. I truly surrendered to His calling and I haven't looked back. I loved the chapter on the Kingdom of Me...ouch! (Dangerous Surrender should come with a warning label: Dangerous Woman ahead.)
Profile Image for Brenda.
12 reviews2 followers
February 22, 2008
I was able to go to Kenya last summer and this book helped me understand more about the HIV/AIDS crisis and the poverty in Africa. This book is a great story about one woman's journey of obedience and how we can all make a difference. The author is married to Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church. The back of the book has lots of resources and ideas for how to get involved.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
7 reviews1 follower
April 22, 2008
This book was amazing. This is Rick Warren's wife over at Saddleback church in Southern California and it talks about her experience in helping with the AIDS initiative and traveling to different countries that are dealing with this deadly epidemic. Heart-wrenching and convicting. I highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Cindy Gavin.
3 reviews1 follower
April 25, 2008
I was given this book this past week while visiting in-laws in Mobile. I picked it up to read, and honestly could not put it down. It speaks to the heart, and is quite "disturbing". If you've read it you will know what I'm talking about. If you haven't I really think you should! Now, my prayer is that I won't let the words be just words!
Profile Image for Shari.
103 reviews3 followers
April 22, 2013
This is Kay Warren's story of transformation. Once firmly planted in comfortable Christian suburbia, now on a mission to eradicate HIV/AIDS. She lets you know her brutally honest thoughts the whole way through--very vulnerable. Asks challenging questions also. Highly motivating for me to follow God in whatever (truly whatever) He asks me to do.
Profile Image for Jodi.
44 reviews
March 31, 2008
Overall a good book although I probably would have enjoyed it more if I read it with someone else who could have discussed it with me. The author has a website with several good resources that go along with the readings.
Profile Image for Julie.
2 reviews
October 16, 2008
God wants to break strongholds in our lives of fear to break out of our comfort zones. He wants us to become gloriously ruined for the kingdom. It is a painful journey but brings much peace. This book will transform your walk with God.
Profile Image for Megan Franks.
403 reviews7 followers
December 26, 2010
Kay Warren recounts her decision to surrender to God (particularly for AIDS advocacy) despite her inadequacies and initial disinterest in doing so. This books challenges us to give in to God's leading even if it seems too big or illogical. I was surprised by this book--it was better than expected!
Profile Image for Mrs..
260 reviews11 followers
Read
July 30, 2011
a wonderful read!

I like Kay am an "...introverted geek who always sought the potted palm tree in the corner and the one person to talk with the whole evening" (p 207)

Dangerous surrender is what saying "yes" to God is all about.
Profile Image for Melissa C..
299 reviews27 followers
August 3, 2011
Great book! The chapter about 'the kingdom of Me' is extremely thought provoking, I now think of that chapter when I am upset to make sure it's not because of my selfishness that I'm upset in the first place...
Profile Image for Sara.
71 reviews
July 14, 2012


Very good book about answering Gods call in your life. I finished this after returning from my first mission trip to Africa and was so grateful to read Kay's descriptions and feelings as they helped me process all I had just experienced.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 52 reviews

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