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To Be Perfectly Honest

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To Be Perfectly Honest by Phil Callaway

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"...ideal for anybody who needs entertainment with laughter and isn’t opposed to learning some life lessons outside the classroom."

Mr. Callaway lies for a living . . . and he’s not a lawyer or a politician. It’s even worse . . . he’s a humorist. A veteran author, seasoned speaker and frequent radio guest, Callaway accepted a 12-month truth challenge from his publisher without fully understanding all the implications. To Be Perfectly Honest is a humorous journal of what happens when a Christian author does his best to speak the truth.

In his daily discourse, there is a transparent honesty to life . . . from the hilarious to the deadly serious. It is not a series of overused one-liners or long-winded dissertations.

His e-mail exchanges with a newfound atheist friend at Post Rapture Pet Care begins innocent enough because of his concern for his aging Maltese Shih Tzu. Most of their earlier correspondence is non-arguments where Phil feels like “I’m back on the playground and some guy is standing on the sidelines, yelling names at everyone but refusing to play.”
Callaway’s comments about his mother (age 85) and her state of mind with dreaded dementia borders on the frightfully funny! But then again, nobody is safe when it comes to his light-hearted comedy.

"Day 313: A nurse who is thickening a little through the middle poked her head in the door. ‘I have the FAT nurse today,’ Mom hollered. I ducked and winced . . . As I hugged Mom good night, she pulled me close and whispered, ‘This growing old ain’t for kids.’”

His honest confession at the end of each chapter summarizes his thought process throughout the previous days of this non-medically induced truth journey.

His stories are full of hits, almost hits, and admitted failure on his quest to live life and tell the truth. Inspiring yet often uncomfortable, To Be Perfectly Honest is ideal for anybody who needs entertainment with laughter and isn’t opposed to learning some life lessons outside the classroom.

In conclusion, using his words, “All in all, this honesty thing has been good for me. I’ve been dumping on God a little more, and I think he likes it. I think he’d like to hear my sincere---though venomous---outbursts than my polite, sanitized denial.”

I like his style and the outcome of living truthfully! I hope he is okay with this review and then maybe I’ll get a personally autographed copy. I’m just telling the truth!

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.