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Deadly Viper Character Assassins

The Advocate

Deadly Viper Character Assassins
by Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"Mike and Jud combine solid advice with the wisdom and humor of kung fu in creating the ultimate integrity combat training for everyone - people of any shape and size."

If the title or even a quick glance through the book doesn’t draw you into reading, I hope this review prompts you to read through this practical survival guide. Proceed with caution, though, as much of what they say is hard-hitting and extremely realistic; the questions strategically scattered throughout the pages will spur deep reflection and personal soul searching.

Mike and Jud are guys who practice what they preach when it comes down to the character and integrity missing in today’s culture. They are not “perfect” but are overwhelmed by grace. They are intentional about defeating the assassins bent on destroying us by sharing openly and honestly. The assassins are "blood thirsty hit-men lurking in the shadows plotting to undermine leadership, integrity and success," according to the authors.

Beginning with the oft neglected “Assassin of Character Creep” and finishing with the “High and Mighty Assassin” of ego and pride, Mike and Jud combine solid advice with the wisdom and humor of kung fu in creating the ultimate integrity combat training for everyone - people of any shape and size. A kung fu theme has the potential to easily become cutesy or corny and distract the reader from the author’s real message, however I’m pleased to say Deadly Viper largely avoids this pitfall, although it does definitely abuse the term “grasshopper”. The naming of the assassins seems to be the fun part of this team effort: Boom Chicka Wah Wah, Headless Sprinting Chicken, and Amped Emotions amongst others.

Graphically pleasing to the eyes, the design and layout of Deadly Viper invites the reader into devouring the content and compliments what is being conveyed in the words. At times, reading the reversed type (white on colored background) was difficult and caused me to reread and reread (okay, so I’m older and don’t have very good eyes).

Some of today's leading business people share their thoughts on integrity and character at the end of each chapter in a section called “Wisdom From a Master.” They include Dog the Bounty Hunter, Craig Groeschel (senior pastor), Tony Hale (actor) and others. Some of their insight is worth heeding while others seemed to be from out in left field.

The final chapter (8), People of the Second Chance, is the perfect conclusion to this joint writing adventure from the man cave. “Without question, we have sought to inspire you to live a life of radical integrity. But now we want to give you the courage to accept your failures and marinate your mind, heart, soul, emotions, thoughts and future in grace.”

Jud and Mike have also put together a “Deadly Viper Killer Experience” for organizational staffs, teams and small groups. This information is just too valuable to be read and not acted upon, either individually or in a group setting.

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Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.