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Blue Monday

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If I won the lottery... It's a fun scenario to imagine...unless you are Matt McAllister. Matt is the pastor of the fifth largest church in his state. He was a public opponent of the lottery. When he ends up with a ticket, he's surprised and careful to hide it while his children begin celebrating the possibilities. All he has to do is keep it a secret until the drawing is held If I won the lottery... It's a fun scenario to imagine...unless you are Matt McAllister. Matt is the pastor of the fifth largest church in his state. He was a public opponent of the lottery. When he ends up with a ticket, he's surprised and careful to hide it while his children begin celebrating the possibilities. All he has to do is keep it a secret until the drawing is held and the ticket becomes worthless, right?


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If I won the lottery... It's a fun scenario to imagine...unless you are Matt McAllister. Matt is the pastor of the fifth largest church in his state. He was a public opponent of the lottery. When he ends up with a ticket, he's surprised and careful to hide it while his children begin celebrating the possibilities. All he has to do is keep it a secret until the drawing is held If I won the lottery... It's a fun scenario to imagine...unless you are Matt McAllister. Matt is the pastor of the fifth largest church in his state. He was a public opponent of the lottery. When he ends up with a ticket, he's surprised and careful to hide it while his children begin celebrating the possibilities. All he has to do is keep it a secret until the drawing is held and the ticket becomes worthless, right?

8 review for Blue Monday

  1. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne (Fiction Books)

    "Experience is a cruel teacher. She gives you the test first and the lesson afterwards." Having been raised into the faith of the Church of England as a child, but now as an adult having become a totally non religious, agnostic individual, I must confess to more than a little scepticism, when asked to review `Blue Monday', by its author M.Thomas Long. However, whilst this book falls firmly in the category of Christian Fiction, it is so much more than a religious story, dealing with religious issu "Experience is a cruel teacher. She gives you the test first and the lesson afterwards." Having been raised into the faith of the Church of England as a child, but now as an adult having become a totally non religious, agnostic individual, I must confess to more than a little scepticism, when asked to review `Blue Monday', by its author M.Thomas Long. However, whilst this book falls firmly in the category of Christian Fiction, it is so much more than a religious story, dealing with religious issues. For a debut novel, the writing is mature, perceptive and almost effortless, the dialogue is crisp and fluid, the characters are complex, yet easy to connect with and the storyline is a richly crafted cameo, often deep, sometimes troubling, yet always honest and slightly humorous, of 'real life' human behaviour and weaknesses, found the world over. At first I thought that Pastor Matt might be having a severe `conscience of faith', as he describes with deep passion, his feelings about his `Blue Mondays' and his growing disillusionment with both his staff council and his parishioners. In an outburst of honest humanity though, it becomes apparent that Matt never really questions his own calling to the faith, but more of his feelings of inadequacy to appease and satisfy everybody, coupled with the knowledge that demands on his time are tearing him in so many different directions, that he feels the ability to connect with his parishioners, slipping away. It has come to the point where Matt's ministry is being run like a well-oiled, corporate business. His sermons are not impulsive or intuitive, but almost political, in their need to be carefully constructed, so as not to offend anyone. He needs to get bottoms on seats, with his parishioners needing to be persuaded that they must attend church on time, as he is on a tight schedule for the next `performance'. As "CEO" he is required to report to his `board' and deliver his objectives against target. Perhaps most telling of all, is the usurper Bob, just waiting in the wings for Matt to fall flat on his face, so that he can step in quickly, say "I told you so" and deftly step into Matt's shoes and so like the business world, Bob isn't afraid to try and help Matt on his way, when a seemingly God-given opportunity presents itself, just right for a little manipulation and truth-stretching. All of which doesn't sit well for Matt and certainly we can sense a real feeling of freedom and passion, when given the opportunity, he stands and does what does best, delivers a passionate, spontaneous sermon, right from the heart and with an almost mischievous sense of humour! And exactly why shouldn't a pastor enjoy country music, played very loudly, in the privacy of his own home and car? Matt's faith in the entire system, in the trust and support of his staff council, parishioners and even his family, is tested to the extreme, when one little exaggeration on his part, starts an ever growing and unstoppable chain of events, which threaten to destroy everything he holds dear and close to his heart. Whilst Matt battles to maintain his integrity and indeed, fights for his very future, his eyes are opened to the unpalatable truth, that the basic instinct which drives almost all of mankind to varying degrees, including to his dismay both himself and his own family, is an inherent personal greed, which constantly needs to be fed and satisfied. He learns that greed can take on many different guises, both material and emotional and that people's greed can be fed and fuelled by a whole host of motives, from guilt and jealousy, to despair and desperation. Maybe, even more importantly, Matt learns his lesson the hard way, that to tell the truth right away, is much the best policy .... or undoubtedly, `Be sure your sins will find you out!' It is Matt's faith which helps him come to terms with his own personal greed, but I suspect that on its own, even this would not have been enough, if he had lost the unfailing and unquestioning support and love of his wife and partner of more than 20 years, Annie. She is his rock of stability and common sense, having long since come to terms with the fact that being a pastor's wife, is a constant struggle which involves making more sacrifices than many of us would think possible, yet having to maintain the outward appearance of taking everything in her stride. This includes the knowledge that her children are constantly being placed in a `no win' position, pulled as they are by the demands placed on them by their father's position and standing in the community and the increasingly strong influences exerted over them by their friends and peers in the wider community, a burden which every mother would fight to protect their children from. Once Matt has decided that his future in the ministry is one worth fighting for, has come to terms with his own failings in dealing with the monster he has created, and admits to himself and those people he holds dear to him that he needs help to `get the genie back into the bottle', he works hard to diffuse the situation and appease everyone who may feel betrayed by some of his judgement calls and decisions, although in doing so, he must also face up to his own personal greed and so accept the help of his very own benefactor, who has recognised Matt's efforts and humility and aims to make life just a little more comfortable for the entire family. This was an absolutely refreshing book that I think just about anyone would enjoy. There are no sex scenes or profanities, only a happily married couple, who are faithful to each other and still want to enjoy a fulfilling, family life together, as a loving couple and good parents. Possibly without exception, all men seek happiness.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen (Kat) Smith

    Some people think that winning the lottery might just be the answer to all their problems. It might if all your problems had to do with simply having enough money. Yet few, think about the real issues of winning and what consequences it might bring in the long run. That is just where, Blue Monday by M. Thomas Long takes the readers by the heart. Pastor Matt McAllister runs the fifth largest church in the state and seems he is always being held to a higher standard than most people. All his action Some people think that winning the lottery might just be the answer to all their problems. It might if all your problems had to do with simply having enough money. Yet few, think about the real issues of winning and what consequences it might bring in the long run. That is just where, Blue Monday by M. Thomas Long takes the readers by the heart. Pastor Matt McAllister runs the fifth largest church in the state and seems he is always being held to a higher standard than most people. All his actions are constantly under the scrutiny of the people in his church and Monday's are usually the day they let him know just what they thought of his Sunday services through emails, phone calls, letters and often times personal visits. He has begun to dread Mondays and refers to them simply as Blue Monday. Emails would appear in Matt's inbox and the inboxes of various board members, deacons, and staff members. Sometimes a few would trickle in; at other times, by mid-afternoon, messages would jam each inbox, to be following by a ringing phone. Receiving messages was a certainity, but the subject matter and length was anybody's guess. "The sermon was your best ever..." "The sermon was way off base..." "The sermon was way too short..." "The sermon was way too long..." "You should have said..." "How dare you say..." "Pray for my mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin, neighbor, son, daughter, wife, grandmother, grandfather, boss, co-worker, etc..." "Cancer, heart attack, surgery, pregnancy, depression, loneliness, overachievement, underachievement, divorce, unemployment, alcoholism, drugs..." It was hard enough to endure all the criticism that came from his congregation when one of the members, Garrett James, one of the richest men in the state, had gifted him with a new Mercedes SL-550 for getting his two oldest children through DUI's, jail time, pregnancy, shoplifting, and divorce. Now they were both settled down, married with children and examples of Godly stability. Garrett even made it a point to stand before the entire church and tell them exactly why he gave the car to Matt. Still it didn't make the whispers die down from his church members. They still wondered how a pastor could afford to drive that car. Now they he was running late for his weekly staff meeting at the church, he didn't realize in his haste while paying for gas and a newspaper that he also paid for a lottery ticket. Just how was he going to explain this to his church members. Well he wouldn't have to explain it to them at all, unless he won. I mean what are the odds he would actually win? I received Blue Monday by M. Thomas Long, compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review and have to say the premise behind this book is what peaked my interest. It does provide a different insight into the lives of what it must be like for a pastor and just how much they are looking at under the microscope by everything they do and say as well as their family members. It is interesting to see just what happens to Matt and his family when they learn not only do they have the winning ticket but that it's worth over $186 million dollars and they are the sole winner. To find out just what happens, you have to pick up a copy of this amazing book. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Hill

    This was an absolutely refreshing book that I think just about anyone would enjoy. I loved the premise of the book. What would a pastor do if he won the lottery--even if it was by mistake? And from there, one thing led to another which led to another, which led to yet another thing. I think you would call it the snowball effect. This book is written with a fantastic sense of humor, and although it seemed like a thick book, I had no problem finishing it in just a few hours! There are no sex scene This was an absolutely refreshing book that I think just about anyone would enjoy. I loved the premise of the book. What would a pastor do if he won the lottery--even if it was by mistake? And from there, one thing led to another which led to another, which led to yet another thing. I think you would call it the snowball effect. This book is written with a fantastic sense of humor, and although it seemed like a thick book, I had no problem finishing it in just a few hours! There are no sex scenes--only a happily married couple who still want to be together after 20 years and are faithful to each other! There are a few mild "profanity" words, but it is nothing major, and mostly I found them humorous because of how they were used. It was nice to see a church where the gospel was being preached and the pastor believed he was called to be a minister. And yet he liked country music! I was a Southern Baptist before I came to my current denomination, so I know somewhat about Baptist issues and church politics. This book was right on. The secretary essentially "runs" the church, and there are the proverbial church board members who also love to gossip and complain. And I was so glad the minister had an older mentor to turn to in his times of need. I think he should have consulted with him a little bit more and not tried to do everything on his own. But I'll let you guys make that call--read the book for yourself. This is one of the most delightful Christian books I have read in a while. I might complain if a Christian publishing company published it because of the few choice words in the book, but I loved this, and I think most people would. Don't worry--it's not preachy at all. I think that will increase it appeal. The name of the book is quite intriguing. I never thought about Monday's being a let-down for ministers. And I guess that makes sense. Sunday is the big day for them, and then on Monday, it is rather "blue." I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, an all opinions are 100 percent mine.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    It’s bad enough that Matt McCallister was raised Methodist and became a Baptist minister. It’s bad enough that he is one of the main opponents of the Lottery system and had appeared on TV and In the papers speaking about its’ evils. It’s bad enough that Matt, in a hurry, accidently picks up a lottery ticket while getting gas, admits to his family he did it and pitches it in the trash. THEN……his daughter and son retrieve it because you never know when you might be able to afford a Viper or a cruis It’s bad enough that Matt McCallister was raised Methodist and became a Baptist minister. It’s bad enough that he is one of the main opponents of the Lottery system and had appeared on TV and In the papers speaking about its’ evils. It’s bad enough that Matt, in a hurry, accidently picks up a lottery ticket while getting gas, admits to his family he did it and pitches it in the trash. THEN……his daughter and son retrieve it because you never know when you might be able to afford a Viper or a cruise someplace nifty. You never know……….when the ticket might be the ONE….. This well thought out story was such fun to read! Through Matt’s stress, suffering over an unplanned outcome and his family’s reactions it was fun. The Church Board were appropriately stuffy and the well-monied convert was a hoot! If you like a tale that is just plain fun with a lot of thinking woven in, Blue Monday will be your cup of tea. What would you do,if you won 186 million dollars by mistake? Think about it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rita

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joseph-Daniel Peter Paul Abondius

  7. 5 out of 5

    June

  8. 5 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer

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