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Book Jacket

192 pages
Jan 2004
WaterBrook Press

The Secret Blend : A Modern Parable of Personal Success

by Stan Toler

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Stan Toler's The Secret Blend provides pleasant, entertaining reading. Toler subtitles it "A Modern Parable of Personal Success," but his teaching on what constitutes real success is too openly taught to make a parable. Toler lists and illustrates seven principles on love and friendship.

On Tuesday Joe Conrad's life changes, not because he closes the biggest deal of his career--which he does-- but because of meeting Mac. Mac owns a new coffee shop which serves "Coffee, Tea, and Kindness." As Joe leaves the coffee shop, Mac hands him a coupon with a note on the back: "Are you as rich as you want to be?"

Intrigued, Joe returns. He agrees to accept Mac's teaching on richness. With the gradual incorporation of the principles into his life, Joe begins to experience the peace, happiness, and fulfillment that have been eluding him. That peace continues even when tragedy strikes.

The Secret Blend is pleasant reading, at times engrossing. Though Toler is teaching principles of success, his teaching does not intrude on the story. He blends the principles into the story smoothly, but clearly, using coffee-related examples. The principles are general enough that most non-Christians would find the story readable and the principles helpful.

The only weakness I found in the story was his portrayal of Joe's relationship with his wife. A rather bland character, she shows up in an early chapter and again near the end. We find out near the end that she's had a difficult family life and has low self esteem. Their relationship turns around quickly with the application of one principle which is somewhat unrealistic. Toler's building her character throughout the story would have strengthened the entire story.

Most of his principles are really good and would enrich anyone’s life as they point people away from a money-centered existence to a people-centered life. However, I partially disagree with his first principle: "You must first be a friend to yourself before you can be a friend to others." While he means well and much of what he says in that section is true, the principle itself isn't. It denies that shy people or others who think poorly of themselves can be good friends, which is blatantly untrue. It adds another layer of unworthiness to the layers they already feel. Not only are they too fat, thin, stupid, abused, ugly, poor, or whatever, now they can't even be a good friend. A popular current misunderstanding of "Love your neighbor as yourself," it puts the emphasis on self rather than on others, as Christ intended. Kindness, compassion, and friendliness are not the domain of the healthy, wealthy, and wise.

That said, it is a good book. The story flows smoothly and leaves a rich aroma. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Is your life as rich, meaningful, and enjoyable as you want it to be? Is there something missing–an emptiness that gnaws away at your heart even in the midst of success and achievement?

In The Secret Blend, best-selling author Stan Toler tells a parable you’ll identify with. It’s the story of a man who discovers some surprising truths in a most unexpected place: a coffee shop. Fascinating insights about the dark, aromatic brew begin to hit home, and he gets a taste of the true definition of wealth and abundance.

Like the man in the parable of The Secret Blend, you too will experience fresh insights regarding the real measure of wealth. You’ll come to realize it’s found not just in material possessions and personal achievement, but more so in the quality of your relationships.

You can learn a lot about life from a cup of coffee. Taste The Secret Blend for yourself, and start experiencing truly rich relationships.