Archive for February, 2011

Have you lost your focus?

February 28, 2011

Imagine you are Joseph (the guy in Genesis).  As a young boy, God spoke to you in a dream.  Then, just to make sure you had the picture, He spoke to you in a second dream – this one even bigger than the first.  God told you that you would see your siblings bow down to you.

Now Joseph wasn’t just one of 12 brothers.  He was the next to the youngest, and the first born of his mother.  His mother was the most loved wife of his father.  When every other child was born, he gave them some attention, but it was still Rachel that caught his eye.  So, when his beloved finally gave birth, it was time to party.  10 brothers came along, and no one heralded their birth – but Joseph – his father thought he was special.  His brothers thought he was a spoiled brat.

Joseph was a younger, and he was favored and pampered.

Then came the dream, and soon thereafter, destruction.  Instead of his dream coming true, he was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, and shipped off to Egypt.  Alone in Egypt, his natural confidence won him a place of honor in Potiphar’s house.  As he went about his work there, he probably reflected on his God-given dream.  Perhaps he would go on a trip with Potiphar and his family would see how he had gained favor and status.  Just as he became comfortable and hopeful that his dream was in reach, Potiphar’s wife lied about him, and he was thrown in prison.

Beaten down, Joseph again found favor.  Now, here is the remarkable part:  Years later, when two men came to the prison and had strange dreams, Joseph didn’t hesitate to believe that God would show him the meaning of the dreams.  He didn’t hesitate in his belief that God gives dreams, and fulfills them.  His dream should have been vanquished long ago.  Yet Joseph believed that God would use him … through a dream.

Where are you in your dream process?  Are you reveling at all God has shown you?  Have you been beaten down?  Has the scope of your reality changed so much that you can’t even recognize a course?

When Joseph gave up, he had to wait, but then in a matter of mere moments, his reality changed.  God fulfilled the dream He had sent.  God was fulfilling that dream the entire time Joseph was in the pit, marching to Egypt, a slave in Potiphar’s house, running from Potiphar’s wife, and destitute in prison.  No matter where you are in the process, God fulfills the dream.

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Three Super-Simple Kick Start Living Your Dreams – in the next 15 minutes

February 24, 2011

Welcome to guest writer Kathi Lipp.  I’ve been reading her book, The ME Project, this week – pretty inspiring!  Enjoy her post, and read all the way to the bottom for a special giveaway:

Is there a dream that God has given you, but you are waiting until the kids are grown and you have money in the bank before you get started?

You may not be able to enroll in a month long pastry making class or take a week off of work to get started on your novel, but today you can take three little baby steps to making your dream a day-to-day reality.

1. Go Public with It

It’s a little scary to tell the world what you want to do when you grow up—but this is one little step could get you closer to living your dream than almost any other. Plus—it takes very little time and you don’t have to raid your kid’s college fund to make it happen.

When you gather up all your courage and tell your best friend, “I want to learn how to paint,” suddenly she remembers an old art book she has laying around she would love to give you, or her friend from church who teaches art classes. The people you know and love want to be a resource. Give them the privilege of being a part of making your dream happen.

2. Join an Online Group

This is one of the simplest—and cheapest—ways to start exploring your passion. Find out who else is talking about restoring antiques and listen to their conversation. Start by Googling your interest along with the term “online groups.” You will be amazed with the number of people who want to talk about the proper way to care for 1950’s lunchboxes as much as you do.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Pray

I remember the first time I put an offer in on a house—I wanted it more than I had wanted almost anything else in my life. While I knew that I had dozens of other people praying on my behalf, I was too scared to pray.

I didn’t want God to tell me no. I was afraid to pray until my co-worker Kim asked me (in a loving, kind way), why I didn’t believe that God wanted His best for me. Don’t be afraid to pray—as with anything amazing in my life, the path is never what I expected, but it has always been obvious that God’s hand has been on it the whole way.

Author Bio
Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project, serves as food writer for Nickelodeon, and has had articles published in several magazines, including Todays Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults. For more information visit her website: www.kathilipp.com

Special Giveaway:

By March 4, 2011 send KCWC the name of someone who commented on the blog tour. That person will be entered into a grand prize giveaway.

On March 7, 2011 KCWC will draw and announce a winner of the grand prize.

Kathi Lipp Grand Prize Giveaway:

  • Deluxe Starbucks Coffee Gift Basket
  • Three 2.5-oz. bags of Starbucks coffee
  • (Sumatra, House Blend, and French Roast)
  • Tazo black tea
  • Starbucks marshmallow cocoa
  • Almond roca
  • Almond roca buttercrunch toffee cookies
  • White chocolate and raspberry cookies
  • 2 Starbucks mugs
  • Keepsake black bamboo basket

($62 value)

So, comment away!


Truly Alive

February 18, 2011

What does it mean to be truly alive?

If you are walking and breathing, you are alive – so is a horse.

If you really find joy in the moment, are you truly alive?  That is pretty much how a bird lives.

To be truly alive:

You are not waiting to live.

You are not remembering what it was to live.

You are infusing God’s love and perspective into those around you. You are delivering a message that only you can deliver, because God’s work through you is a masterpiece, a story and living diagram of God’s personality, told to people who desperately need to know Him.

You can be who God called you to be in every situation.  While you are hoping, waiting, grieving, working, changing.  God has a message to give people, and you don’t have to be perfect to deliver it – in fact, it helps if you are not.  You just have to be honest and live in today, willing to let God use you even through the risks.

This is Your Brain in Love by Dr. Earl Henslin

February 11, 2011

Remember when you met your spouse?  For the first 6 months or so, you lived in euphoria.  Then, you either lose the high and settle for ‘normal’, walk away, or find that you have so much more to learn.  You become what Dr. Henslin calls Master Level Lovers.

God gives us the desires of our heart.  Do you desire a better relationship with your spouse?   This book will help you look at the common ways that we drive each other crazy, see the root problems, and learn ways to walk through the issues.

Dr. Henslin looks at five areas:

The Scattered Lover

The Overfocused Lover

The Blue Mood Lover

The Agitated Lover

The Anxious Lover

This is Dr. Henslin’s second book on the brain.  His first was “This is your brain on joy.”

You know how sometimes life is just off?  Every relationship you have starts to go haywire, and your spouse thinks you’ve been body snatched.  You go through the steps – “if it’s everybody else, it’s probably me”, and then…you curl up in a ball – because for all the counseling in the world, sometimes you just want to be in a ball.

Dr. Henslin will show you why these complications happen and how to fix them.  You are not abnormal – you have a part of your brain that is either over or under active.  Each chapter has a quiz at the front to help you identify the issue.  Then, there is a description of the issue, implications in life, and coping strategies.  Then, you will find supplements that help (and ones that don’t), and a list of the medications that doctors often prescribe if supplements and coping strategies aren’t working.  A healthy brain means a healthy life.  A healthy life means you are free to be the person you were created to be.

If you suffer from mood disorders, or know someone who does, I think you will find relief and hope in this book.  You are worth it.  Give yourself a chance at healing, and become the Master Level Lover you and your mate deserve.

Hoping for more information?  Try Dr. Henslin’s web site.

You can find this book at Amazon.com.

Follow by Floyd McClung

February 10, 2011

I want to introduce you to some fantastic people and show you a book that you MUST read.

Is your Christian life normal?  Does it seem like every day is pretty much the same?  Your life can be different!  You can live an exciting adventure for Jesus.

Floyd McClung has written a book that I think every Christian must read.  A few years ago, Todd Hunter wrote a program called Three is Enough.  I loved this program.  I felt Todd was really onto something, but I didn’t see the program take off.

Then I read Follow.  Follow is going in the same direction.  This book will help you become the dynamic, world changing Christian you were called to be.

When you want to lead someone to water, first you need to identify their need/desire, define water, and wait until they really want it – then you can lead them to the water and show them how to drink.  If you shorten the process, you will often have them running for a diet coke. <grin>  Floyd follows the path until you are desperate for the fulfilling life that will only occur for those living radically for Jesus.  Then, he shows you how to do it in a simple, step by step process.

If you are intuitive, you really don’t have to read most books beyond the first three chapters.  You already have the entire concept, and there is no use reading further.  Follow is different.  The book is divided into three parts:  Loving Jesus, Loving those who don’t know Jesus, and Loving One Another.  Then, the last chapter of the book shows you how to put it all together.  You will want to read the whole book.

Are you looking for a *real* life?  Are you sure that there should be more to your existence than what you have experienced so far?  I encourage you to read this book.  I think you will find what you are missing.

Want a taste of this awesome experience?  Here is a sample chapter.

Want to buy the book?  You can find both the print and digital versions at Amazon.com.

 

Have your dreams been crushed?

February 9, 2011

Sometimes things just seem out of focus

Have you lost your momentum?  Can you remember a time when you had a vision for the future, and now, like a mist in the night, it has vanished?

It may seem counter intuitive, but you are in a place of power.  In this dark, empty time, you are experiencing the power of God.

I am reading “Follow” by Floyd McClung.  This morning I read this line:  “and God crushed his dream”.

Dreams that are crushed can be powerful.  Like a seed, when planted, becomes mushy and goes through a destruction process – a crushed dream also becomes something much bigger than itself.

Martha had crushed dreams – and she was pretty sure that Jesus let her down:  “Lord, if only you had been here, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Peter and the other disciples had crushed dreams:

“Lord, when we enter your kingdom, can we each sit on your right and left?” (from the brothers)

“and they all ran away”;

“I don’t know him!”

After going through the horror of lost vision and lost dreams, Peter and the others went back to earning a living.  Then Jesus came again – then He sent the Holy Spirit.  “and Peter stood up and addressed the crowd…on that day, three thousand were added to their number”.

When we have dreams and visions, I believe God has spoken to us, and we have translated what He wants to do through the filter of our experience and understanding.  Often, our understanding of life, God and the way things are, is limited.  When we see our vision slip away, we feel like we must have been drinking the Kool-Aid, and the hard reality of real life has returned.

Don’t give up!  Keep your eyes on Jesus.  He is the *author* and *finisher* of your faith.  He gives you vision, and then, He makes it happen.  Often, the first step is for the vision to disappear from our sight, as it is buried (planted).  Soon, new sprouts will come up.  Your vision will be fulfilled and even greater – because God is making it happen.  Imagine – the disciples expected to be part of a new ruling party – God led them to be part of world transformation.  Joseph expected to be head of his family.  God put him second in command in Egypt, the leading nation at that time.

What are you expecting?

 

Taproot – Enchantment out of 4 stools, some sticks and cloth

February 8, 2011

Mark Chamberlin as Odysseus. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.

What could you do with four stools, some sticks, a few pelts, and a couple pieces of cloth?

Taproot, the Seattle theatre that continues to delight, has taken these few props and created a transforming evening that carries us away to the lands of Homer’s Odysseus.  Can you imagine an evening of enchantment where 13 people play 84 parts?  This is just the type of play that Taproot excels at.

Prior to this, I had read a bit of Homer, but reading and understanding are not the same thing.  Taproot took a difficult work, and not only made it understandable, but helped Odysseus, Telemachus, and Penelope come to life.

For me, the evening was an interesting flow of sound and color.

The costumes, bold in teals and purples, identify people from different lands, gold helps identify those who are from among the Greek mythology gods and goddesses.

My favorite delight of the evening was Nicholas Beach. He played four parts, the best of which were a traveling mandrel (with a great voice), and Hermes.  Odysseus is not a musical, but Nicholas has several solos in which his voice quiets the house with its clarity. Nicholas is a young actor to watch.  His ability to handle diversity in roles will take him far.

The hero of the evening, Mark Chamberlin, Odysseus, was impressive.  His voice is awesome – deep and commanding, he can speak from anywhere in the theatre (including the aisles up in the audience), and own the room.

Instead of singing, the women chant at different points.  Pam Nolte, Jesse Notehelfer, and  Sarah Roquemore delighted with a fun dance and chant.  One of the highlights of the evening was the terrific dialogue of the Sirens – again done in chant – played by Pam Nolte, Jesse Notehelfer, April Wolfe and  Sarah Roquemore.

Nikki Visel is an incredible actress.  It is a delight to watch her grow in her ability to command the stage.  In this play, she is Athena – the one constant throughout the play, who keeps watch over Odysseus.

Nolan Palmer as Eumaeus, Nikki Visel as Athena, and Mark Chamberlin as Odysseus. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.

There were no weak actors.  Randy Scholz pulled of a great bit of acting. Nolan Palmer, a favorite of mine did not fail to deliver, and Stephen Grenley gave a great performance – taking on the brusquer character, much like he has played in the past.

Last, I want to bring attention to Taproot’s use of puppets again – it was just a small scene, but there was a six-handed (at least 4 headed) monster that was terrific.

I leave you with a quote – I am curious to your response to it:  “Even when we get what we want most, our better sense denies reality.”

Want to enjoy the enchantment yourself?  Check out Taproot’s website.