Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Giveaway That Just Might Change Your Life


I know that's quite the blog title for a giveaway to follow, but this one fits the bill. In fact, this giveaway is for a book written by Bill. Bill Giovannetti. My dear friend sent me his book about a month ago, and half-way through I just KNEW I wanted to do a giveaway for it! The book is called, How to Keep Your Inner Mess from Trashing Your Outer World. And I tell you,

You can read lots of reviews on this book HERE. I must say that this book came to me at just the right time in my life, when I was dealing with some issues that often come up for me, but I had never really dealt with in the right way.

When I finished the book I decided to contact Bill and asked him to do the giveaway and for an interview, to which he kindly obliged, so you all could get an insight on him and just a taste of what the book is about.


Hi Bill! Can I call ya Bill?

You can, but my Inner Mobster might take exception.

Yeah, um...I like his suit...uh...tell us about yourself, Bill…

I’m an essentially shy guy that God makes preach to a lot of people every week. I love my wife and kids. I love Jesus. I love God’s Word… theology and doctrine, especially. Born and bred in Chicago, I’m a Cubs and Sox and Bears and Bulls fan. Deep dish pizza rules. I hate legalism. I’m excited about grace.

Yeah, grace is awesome, the Bulls are cool...Chicago pizza is OK, I did you get the inspiration for writing this book?

The Inner Mess book grew out of a bunch of frustrations that percolated in me for many years. The main one was my erratic success at the WWJD lifestyle. I was also frustrated by a piecemeal approach to everyday life with God. Most Christians pick up their theology in bits and pieces—like assembling a puzzle without the box-top. I wanted to provide the box-top. All the questions I’ve received in many years of ministry revolve around day-by-day living with Jesus. I put that into this book.

I SO appreciate this! So, how much of this book was inspiration from your wife? Your kids? People like me?

For the sake of domestic bliss, let’s just say wife and kids: zero. People like you, 100 percent. P.S., I saw you at Walmart, and you really need this book.

OK, that's not what I meant really (and no, that wasn't me, at Walmart, at 2pm, looking at hibachi grills, screaming at my kids, holding your book), but I see how you read my question, and, good answer!!! Your writing is funny, I laughed a lot. Are you naturally this funny?

You’d be even prouder if you knew how much I held back.

Well you sure didn't hold back in the "make me cry" department! I cried a lot, especially when I read the “paid in full” list. Do you often make people cry?

I’ve tried mouthwash, but it hasn’t worked.

The message of Calvary always makes me choke up. When I preach Christ and the Cross, I’m always fighting back tears. His sacrifice was so horrendous, and his was love so great.

Yeah, mouthwash doesn't really compare. So, what is your favorite part of the book?

I really got into the bus ride story that begins each chapter. As a Chicago public high school student, I rode the bus every day to and from school. Actually, I rode a bus, a train, and another bus every day. I hated it… still do. I channeled those memories into the bus story.

I also like the stuff about the Flagellants, and then the story about getting chased by a wild goose.

My most favorite parts are the occasional dialogs, like the one between Adam and Eve, and the one between the disciples when Jesus fell asleep on the boat. That was fun.

HAHA! Yeah the goose story was quite funny. Do you think my blog is funny?

If I say yes, will you promote my book?

That's rhetorical, right? Poop. I used rhetorical wrong, I think. Are you embarrassed that I talk about and say poop a lot?


Really?...(sorry, back to the interview)

I would say the chapter on the “Inner Brat” affected me the most; how about you, what was the hardest chapter to write because it “hit home” the most?

Now, you’re meddling. I found myself in every chapter. Some of the father-wound stuff hit home hard. A lot of the legalism really messed with my mind, and it has been an amazing journey out of it. Moving from a Christian life based on effort to a Christian life based on grace is incredible. I’d say the toughest chapter was chapter four: Inner Jerk. There’s a story in there that really makes me cringe, about interrupting a pastor in a prayer meeting. Ouch.

Yeah I want to meddle less, cringe less, and get my foot out of my mouth. Thankfully, I feel I was changed by your explanation of a way in which we are free and how we gain that freedom (pages 155 and 156 to be exact); I bet the readers wish they knew what I was talking about, huh?

Yes, wouldn’t they be new people if only they knew what we’re talking about?

What are we talking about anyway?

I think the message of Christ in us is the most overlooked doctrine of this generation.

I skipped ahead and read all the vignettes on the bus encounters before finishing the book. Does that make me a bad person?

You have defied the author’s intent. You must be punished.

But I didn't see any warnings in fine print against it!!! Next question...

What do you hope the readers of this book come away with?

Freedom to be themselves in Christ. Freedom from guilt and shame. Freedom from legalism. Joy. A sense of wonder that Christ lives in us to make us into who he says we should be. A practical way to live with Jesus, day by day.

That would be great! And, what do you NOT want them to come away with?

A to-do list of obligations.

AMEN! So, are you writing another book?

I am. I just received notice that the same publisher will go forward with a book called Four Letter Words. Sounds very holy, doesn’t it? It’s a conversational apologetics book aimed at young adults, dealing with objections to Christianity. It should hit the shelves next year. I’ve also got a couple more in the hopper. I’m really excited about one called Living Large with Other People’s Craziness. It’s based on Esther. I think the theme of your blog would fit nicely with that title.

You can use examples from my blog if you want...Are you Sicilian? because I am. That makes for some weird characters in the back of the bus…I think I have three Vinnies, actually…

Nah. Northern Italians, like me, and Sicilians (from the south) don’t get along. I have one Vinnie and two Guido’s on my bus. So don’t mess.

Well I shall practice grace to get through our differences, especially since Sicilian food is better. Um...Which one of my bus passengers is writing these questions anyway?

I suspect it’s your Inner Gollum.

We HATES that about ourselves! We HATES it!! Anyway...

Chapter 15 is incredibly practical and freeing. As parents we try so hard to control our children to protect them. How can we help foster these methods in our children during their formative years?

Yeah, in that chapter, I offer two mental scripts that help us apply God’s grace to our lives: the Grace Script and the Power Script. The Grace Script gets you out of the habit of punishing yourself—which only energizes your flesh/Inner Mess even more. The Power Script reactivates your faith in the indwelling Christ to help you be holy and not be an idiot. The best way to foster these methods in your kids is through modeling. If you’re always correcting, judging, and criticizing, they’ll internalize that as God’s displeasure. Our kids absorb all the disowned characters on our bus. So you have to really own your stuff, and be conscious of it, or else you’ll inflict it on your kids.

Nice reminder about what our kids "pick up" that we never intended them to.

I appreciate how you unpack the “me-first” phenomenon. Serving and loving Him and others is something I want to do everyday of my life, whether I feel like or not. In this present culture and time, how can we, as individuals and as a body, best achieve this on a daily basis?

We are no better as lovers than we are mature as Christians.

First, we have to have our spiritual tanks filled, or else we’ll be unable to love as Jesus loved. Second, we have to grow mature, especially in God’s Word. No more sermonettes for Christianettes! Let’s grow deep and mature in Christ. Let’s sink down deep roots into him. Let’s put away childish things, and love with a stable, mature love based on the supernatural inner strength that can only come from God.

Thanks for these fun questions. I’m really honored to be featured on your blog. I’d love to hear from you and your readers again. They can find more at and my blog at



Bill is giving away 2 autographed copies of his book! Soooooooo exciting!! Now, for the rules for the giveaway...please read the caps and the red lettering carefully:

THIS COUNTS AS 1 (ONE) ENTRY: LEAVING ME A SAFE WAY TO CONTACT YOU, comment on THIS post, and any 1 (ONE) of BILL'S posts on HIS BLOG, and come back here and tell me which post of BILL'S you commented on!

TO ADD AN ADDITIONAL (ONE MORE) ENTRY: Blog about this giveaway AND comment back on my blog telling me that you did so!

TO ADD AN ADDITIONAL (ONE MORE) ENTRY: Sign up for Bill's newsletter HERE!

TO ADD TWO MORE ADDITIONAL ENTRIES: Buy the book HERE because you know someone who needs this book, now, and/or just can't wait for the Random Number Generator (RGN) to pick you!

So, you have up to 5 entries for this great book! And who knows, maybe the RGN will pick you twice! It could happen!

THE GIVEAWAY ENDS APRIL 12th, 2009, at 12pm EST.


I am so excited for this 'cause I know the winners will have their socks blessed off by this book! Thanks to Bill and to all of my followers!


Kearsie said...

I want this book. I suspect I need it. You know where to find me.

SierraMac said...

Wow! Now I really can't wait to read this book! The part about our kids picking up our extra passengers (and their baggage too?) scares the poop out of me though - hey, do I get extra credit for using the word "poop" in here? Anyway, I can't wait to win! Um...I mean "enter"...


Kearsie said...

And here is where I commented on Bill's Blog:

Kearsie said...

Blogged about the giveaway:

This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood said...

I am intrigued! Very much so!

Will be stopping by Bill's place to check it out and leave a comment. :)

This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood said...

OK I just stopped by and commented a bit on Bill's latest post. :) A good read, especially now when I am at a bit of a crossroads.

The Retired One said...

You KNOW I love ya.
This is just waaaaaaaaay too religious for me.

It sounds like he has a lot of really good philosophy and spiritual thoughts (which I like) but the message gets lost in the too-much-pushing-Jesus-and-organized-religion type of delivery for me.

Don't get me wrong. I believe. I am not a heathen, but his book sounds way over the top for me.
He sounds like a funny guy, though. And, I am glad you liked his book so much.
And for those that need or want more Bible-type, born-again reading, it will be a perfect give-a-way.
Have a great day, and please know I am just being honest and not critical....
I wish you the BEST on all your giveaways and know that I feel you have a wonderful heart and soul.

Insanitykim said...

Thanks, R.O!

I know this one isn't for everyone, but thanks for understanding and accepting that it is a part of me. (for the record I am not big on "organized religion" either, and I especially like how he debunks the WWJD movement).

I always appreciate your honesty and support and love, AND your funniness! Have a great weekend!! :)

Jennifer said...

I just saw this book and thought, "Hmmm, I should get it..." I want. I need. :-)

Anonymous said...

Great interview!
I don't want to enter your contest...I already read, and loved the book. Our small group worked through it. Lifechanging is not an overstatement. Plus, it's a good read: gracious, funny, challenging, and practical.

robin said...

o.k. kimmy. i am enetering the give away now. get ready. here i go.

Jaime said...

Hello! I am commenting, while trying to remember every step I need to take in order to WIN!!! I want this book. I hate dealing with past issues...maybe that's why I need this book. RNG...pick me!
If I am picked, I will email you my address. Don't want to leave it on here...K?

Jaime said...

Here I am again. I commented on Barney Fife on Bill's blog!!

Jaime said...

OK, my dear. I posted about his book on my blog. Racking up the entry points!!

Jaime said...

Not sure if I'm supposed to let you know...didn't know how you'd know if I did it or not...but I signed up for his newsletter too...and am printing the first chapter of his book as I'm typing this. HOPE I WIN!!!!

w said...

i have a good feeling about this one.

thanks for the giveaway.

i commented on his "tagged" post:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for introducing a book that is now on my "To-Read" list. It sounds really interesting and I look forward to sitting down with it soon.
~ Jennifer W.

Anonymous said...

i want one!

huong hannah nguyen

Anonymous said...

Read it, loved it. If I win I will find another to pass this book on to. Loves Smooch

Jaime said...

If I keep commenting on here, does that increase my chances? What about the people who have commented on here that do not want the book? Are you taking their number out??? I REALLY want this book!!

Anonymous said...

commented as me on the main page from the link below. Smooch

Insanitykim said...


What I will do is remove all the extra comments (like this one) and then number each comment that counts for each person; there are up to 5 entries possible, with the last two entry chances being awarded if you purchase a copy during this giveaway.

And, remember, I am giving away two books...everyone's chances are very good! :)

Bill Giovannetti said...

Hi Retired One...
I love your honesty about the over the top Jesus-pushing, and am glad that you read Insanity and Bliss, and even posts like this one that aren't your style. One of my best friends (my wife's best friend) had a similar reaction: she loved the first half, about all the crazy ways our Inner Mess takes control of our lives, and hated the second half--about the biblical, Jesus-centered solutions. She suggested I rewrite a general market book, sans Jesus/organized Christianity, for people who weren't into Jesus. I don't see that happening, but I totally get where she's coming from... and I respect her and love her as a great person and wonderful friend.

So I get what you're saying, appreciate your spirit, and uhhh... that's all I've got.

robin said...

o.k. i commented on his blog too. can i officially enter this giveaway now? wooohoooo!

The Retired One said...

Thanks Bill for answering my comment. You sound like a pretty nice guy and open-minded, which I really appreciate!
Yes, I love this blog and her spirit and willingness to share her life and thoughts. I can see why she was attracted to your book too.

KR said...

I NEED this book!


KR said...

I commented on the Inner Brat post.

Anonymous said...

I could really use this book. Issues happen!

Thanks for the giveaway. I will head over to Bills blog now.

Anonymous said...

Here is where I posted on Bill's site:

Unknown said...

I just found your blog...and need this book! sounds awesome! Thanks

Unknown said...

I just posted on Bill's blog...his Good Friday post!

Diana D said...

I will leave my comment here as it's most convenient. Would love to read this book. Thanks for having the wonderful giveaway.

dianad8008 AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Well this is my last try to post here. I blogged on Bill's maxgrace about the Book and the giveaway (

and came back here to tell you about it but it would not go through so one more try.

Sharon C. (Luckyladyooo)

Anonymous said...

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