Cover Image: Centered


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I really liked Centered: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters and am going to give it four stars.
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I was thrilled when chosen to be on the Launch Team for this book, Centered, by former NFL Center, Jason Brown. I'd heard a bit of the backstory and was intrigued—give up your salary as one of the highest paid centers in the NFL at the time to farm? Without experience? And then to give all the food you grow away? Who does that? 

The book is very inspiring. What they went through as they trusted their nudge from God was amazing. 

Then a cool thing happened the other day as I was near the end of reading it - Jason and his family were on the Today show! Like putting skin on the story - seeing them together on their farm. 

Think there's nothing you can do to help others? Think again. Get this book and let the Brown family show you a great play or two out of their play book.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah, with no expectation in return. The words and opinions above are my own and I chose to share them.
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LOVE LOVE LOVED this book! James Brown left the NFL when God called him to be a farmer. His life story is simply inspiring. He’s a true testimony to the miracles that happen when you put all your trust in God. He retells story after story of the divine intervention he’s seen with his own eyes as his faith alone sustains him and his family. He walked away from an comfortable life of fame and fortune to a tougher yet more fulfilling life following God’s will for his family. 

I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher. I am happy to leave an honest review.
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One of my favorite genres to read are memoirs. As a pastor, this story of how Jason Brown left his career as a professional football player to follow an unexpected calling from God to be a farmer, was right up my alley. For the most part, I really enjoyed his story of ups and downs and how he leaned on God. 

I struggled a bit with how Jason shared his family's choice to home school their children. While, I honor anyone who chooses this path for their family, I felt that the way he shared their choice came across as condescending of others not on the same path. With this one caution in mind, I would gladly recommend this book to others who are seeking to follow God's calling on their lives or who are just looking for an entertaining story of a faith journey.

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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This book was nothing like I expected. I anticipated reading about an easy transition from a thriving NFL career to the life of a rural farmer. I received a lesson in simple obedience and the power of the belief in God's word. I highly recommend this book to anyone who longs to know God in the power of His resurrection AND the fellowship of His suffering.
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I was impressed and inspired by how this couple gave up his successful career, money, prestige, to follow God's call to help feed the hungry from their own farm. Though they have had their ups and downs, still the persevere and have been successful in God's plan. Loved the stories about their family, about how God answered prayers specifically for them, and the encouragement they offer to those wondering what God has planned for them. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was not required to give a review. These are my own thoughts and opinions.
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Former NFL lineman Jason Brown quickly turned heads when in 2012 he walked away from his career to become a farmer... yes, a farmer!  Then twenty-seven year old Brown seemed to have it all... a beautiful wife, a young family, and a contract with the Baltimore Ravens that provided a lavish lifestyle.  

But Brown says it was all an illusion as he found himself drifting further and further from the truth.  Until one day he heard the Lord and decided to walk away.  Hesitant to tell his wife, but desperate to save their future, he finally confesses what he's heard and the two embark on the crazy adventure of starting a farm to feed the hungry.  And not just feed the hungry, but donate everything they raise to North Carolina food banks.  

This is an honest account of Brown's growing up years, his commitment to Christ, and his conviction to risk it all when he hears from the Lord.  Not only is it Brown's story, but it is his testimony... a legacy of vision, humility, and faith.  He admits that through a series of financial misfortunes, he and his wife still struggle to keep the farm afloat, but even in their most challenging moments, they fix their eyes on the Lord and wait for his working.  Centered takes the reader not only through the timeline of the Browns story, but often times Jason Brown's voice is heard clearly... recounting the many miracles he's experienced through both the best and worst moments of this journey.  He can't seem to help himself as he moves in and out of sharing how great God is in both his life and the world.  His resounding theme seems to be "God is sooo good."

This book was honestly more than I expected.  I went into it thinking it would be focused on how football was his life... how this was a 180 from where he was headed... and in someways, I suppose that's all still true.  But Centered is more than that.  It's the story of a man who was willing to "walk away from it all" only to find that he was walking into the most precious gift from the giver of good things.  Challenging, heartwarming, and convicting... all rolled into one.  If you have a sports lover in your life... or are just curious why someone would walk away from a lucrative career in the NFL, this book just might be what you're looking for.

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
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Jason Brown thought his life was set.  He was married to the love of his life and had a promising career in the NFL.  Until a talk with God changed it all.  That talk led Jason to make a life altering decision to leave the NFL and move his family to North Carolina and become a farmer.  Trials, test and disappointments led Jason to lean closer to God and actively listen to his voice.

Jason's story reminded me about Abraham's in the Bible in regards to faith and trusting God, even when we don't see what's going on and when things don't seem to be going right.  .  This was truly an eye opening and inspiring read.
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts.

The author voice in this nonfiction book pulled me in from page one and hardly let me pause to eat, sleep, and work. It was so inviting, engaging, and even felt interactive at times.

I’m no longer a fan of the NFL (Dallas Cowboys’ best years, to me, were the Troy Aikmen/Emmitt Smith years, and it was amazing seeing the team play through those seasons), so I had no clue who Mr. Jason Brown was prior to reading this book. While reading the book, it felt as if I were being invited in to his childhood, college years, and career years, to see it up close and personal – all these years later. Not many nonfiction books I’ve read in the last decade have accomplished this genuine and intimate tone. It was fascinating reading about a former NFL player who gave up that career in order to pursue God’s calling as a farmer. It was amazing to see someone gutsy enough in modern times to follow wherever God led him. This is a great example to young people and adults alike.

My favorite quote from this book was found at 77% of the NetGalley copy: “God hasn’t called us to be successful. God has called us to be faithful.”

That line was spoken by Mr. Brown’s wife, Tay. I must say, I enjoyed getting to know her just as much as I did following Mr. Brown’s childhood-to-NFL-to-farmer journey. She really felt like a down-to-earth woman who knew what she wanted in life yet was willing to submit to God’s plan for her. I admire that type of courage and faith, to set aside worldly wants (money, mansions, lavish lifestyle) to pursue the call of faith.

Content: nightclub, profanity (once), alcohol, drugs, derogatory terms (two or three), replacement expletives
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I am not a football fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I do remember a few years back seeing a feature about Jason Brown during Sunday afternoon football, and the story intrigued me. So when I heard about this book I jumped at the chance to read Mr. Brown's story. 

Jason Brown tells of his humble, hardworking roots, getting bullied in school, and having a strong focus on academics, with football only crossing his mind as an afterthought. An engaging read, it takes the reader through the highs and lows of his life, as Mr. Brown shares the lessons he learned not always the easy way. He shares of his faith in God, strong family values, and how it wasn't always that way. His love for God, love for his family, and powerful faith shine through every page of this book. I admired, and was inspired by how he turned his back on the riches that the world had to offer in order to follow God, even when the sun wasn't always shining, and to be the husband and father his family needed. 

Overall, this is a highly inspiring story of trusting and obeying God. I loved how he speaks so passionately about his faith, with such loving pride for his family. Even if you are like me and don't care much for football, or if you follow the spot closely this is a powerful, inspiring and uplifting book that you won't want to miss!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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At one point in his career, Jason Brown was the top earning NFL center to play the game, but when God called him to be a farmer, and  literally feed the poor around him, he lost his finances,  but gained so much more. 

Centered is told in short vignettes of the road Brown traveled to get to First Fruits Farm. From the "fat kid" at school whose father was gone most of the time, to playing in the NFL, his story is one miracle after another,  and a testimony to trusting in God's provision.  When he went his own way his life and marriage suffered for it, but when he chucked it all, things fell into place in ways that could only happen with direction from Almighty God.

Centered is both inspirational,  and candid. I found myself wondering if I could give up control of my life, as Brown did, without any guarantee that I would be able to care for my growing family.  He stepped pretty far out on a limb, and at 400 lbs , that limb could have easily snapped - but God.

Read Centered, if your faith is weak. You'll see a God who steps up for those who love him. Read Centered if you like sports bios. Brown tells some great stories of his football days. Read Centered if you are looking for your next project.  What Brown is doing is do-able other places, and could probably use outside support as well.

I absolutely recommend Centered.  It was a fairly fast book to read, and I loved how it built story by story.

I received this book free from the publisher,  but  I also bought my own copy after I read it so that I could share it!
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A very inspirational story more so because it’s the true story of the NFL player, Jason Brown and how he gave up his career to follow the inner calling he had.

Told with humour and honesty, Jason stresses the need to put faith and family above everything else. His wife, Tay, is truly his partner through it all – encouraging and supporting him and sometimes challenging him when he’s ready to throw in the towel.

The author uses the Scripture to underline the message of his story.
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Growing up Jason committed to three main commitments; faith, family and education. Being a farmer was the last thing on his mind, until he felt the Lord calling him to it while he was in the NFL. After almost losing his family, Jason obeyed the Lord’s calling and left the NFL and him and his family started First Fruits Farm. 
I haven’t read much biography’a, but this one pulled me in right from the beginning. 

I graciously received an advance e-copy from WaterBrook and Multnomah publishing from Netgalley to review. All opinions are my own.
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An NFL player giving up a lucrative career to become a farmer? That's exactly what Brown did. His path, he says, was from a big fat kid to an NFL starter to a clueless farmer. “God was plotting my path one strange step at a time.” (124/2759)

Brown's is an amazing story. It is well written and inspiring. He heard God call him and he responded. The lessons he learned along the way were painful. He learned the difference between merely being a church going Christian and having a life giving relationship with God. He learned how to trust God, really trust Him when the millions he had in stocks and investments evaporated. He learned the lesson of humility, again and again. He learned what real contentment is.

I love how Brown is so honest. He tells many stories of when he believed God for something, such as a tractor, and God came through miraculously. But he also shares those times when he believed God and got badly rained out. “I wasn't called to be successful,” he writes. “I was called to be faithful.” (2127/2759)

This is a great memoir of one man who had it all, money and a successful NFL career, yet gave it up to obey God. Through his First Fruits Farm, he and his family have given over a million pounds of food to the poor. In reading this book you'll learn much about the pressures on faith and family an NFL player experiences. You'll be encouraged by the acts of one man obedient to God's call. And you'll be challenged to reevaluate what you think about money and stuff.  

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the Publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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I really loved Centered.  It was an excellent read, and was v interesting, as well as helpful/challenging in my walk with Christ.  

See full video review posted by feb 6, 2020 @ 8am:
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CENTERED-Jason Brown

Free for the purpose of review from Net Galley.  

What does an NFL player who decides to retire at 29 decide to do?  Be a farmer?  Jason Brown was at a the top of his career, everything going well, plenty of money with no serious permanent injury made a decision to sell their home, purchase land in North Carolina and give away the proceeds.  

This is Jason's true story and exhibits what one person who is sold out to God can do and can be blessed even with his money, savings all gone and no one to help farm.  Jason learned and is learning much and you just need to read it to see the faith this family exhibited.
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Jason and Tay Brown's story is so inspiring. Even though he never planned on playing football, God led him in a different direction. In high school, he picked up football and found he was good. He played in college and went on to be a talented athlete in the NFL. As he played the game and lived the life of one ensconced in a wealthy life, Jason knew he needed to get back to his faith before his family fell apart. He and Tay went through some tough times, even when they had whatever they wanted. But God can turn any life around, if they're willing to listen. I enjoyed the story of Jason and Tay as they moved their family to a farm in North Carolina and trusted God with their future. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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A great story, well written and very well told. Jason Brown is a remarkable man, and his story of rising to fame and then leaving it all behind to became a farmer is awe inspiring.

Practicing the principles he preaches, this story is an encouragement to anyone looking for purpose and a firm relationship with God.

Well worth the read. Highly recommended.
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When I got an email that I was selected to read this book, I thought cool. A book about a football player and his testimony. I was not prepared for the feelings and emotions this book would uncover. This book follows Jason Brown and his family as they leave the NFL to found First Fruits Farm. As a person who is not a football fan I expected a lot of football talk and the story of the NFL. However, I received a story about GOD and his goodness. This book was exactly what we need after last year. Many of us have struggled recently and it was refreshing to see someone not only struggle but share the walk that got them through. This book brought me to tears many times and challenged my standing with God at this time. It is truly a book that needs to be read. Jason Brown and his wife Tay are truly heroes of the faith. 

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book. All opinions are my own.
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CENTRED by JASON BROWN is the most inspirational true story that I read last year. It is well written and I like the author;s honesty and humour as he tells the story of his rise to fame in NFL football and his obedience in giving it all up in order to follow God's plan for his life.
He speaks about the importance of putting faith and family first and what happens when pride creeps in. The book is full of Bible stories and Scriptures that underscore what the Lord is teaching him. He speaks of the importance of working at a marriage and of how his wife Tay not only backs him in a venture that most people find foolish, but she also challenges his faith when he is close to giving up.
It is a book that I will read more than once. I have found it most encouraging and also challenging.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from WaterBrook & Multnomah. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
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