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!


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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.

 

 

Be Available by Dr. Wiersbe

January 31, 2011

Are you looking for a new bible study?  I was on the hunt for a new study, when I received the invite to review one of the “Be” series by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe.

Dr, Wiersbe’s name wasn’t familiar to me – so I looked him up.  Dr. Wiersbe was pastor of Moody Church.  He has had a very long and distinguished career.

This book came at a time when I really wanted to learn and dig again into an Old Testament book.  Be Available hit the spot.  A refresher and review over the book of Judges, I also found tidbits of information that were new to me.

The one drawback of this book is that I could tell it was written by someone at least a generation older than myself, male, and probably in the midwest (no lie, that was my guess).  Tonight, when I reviewed Dr. Wiersbe’s bio, I was only surprised that he is over 80 and he has written about 150 books.  The rest, I was spot on.  He does write with a slant for his generation and place in life, but then, we all see through a lens, so our writing is bound to detect it.

Over all, I gave the first 2-3 chapters a 4, and the rest of the book a 3.  Good read, lots of great information, and really good questions for conversation.

Looking for a deeper look at the Judges who followed God when it was impossible?  You can pick up Be Available at Amazon.com. You can also read a more detailed review that I wrote there.

“God won’t give you more than you can handle”

January 28, 2011

Someone said these words to me this week:  “Well you know, God won’t give us more than we can handle.”

I think she is wrong.  If we believe those words, we have missed the point entirely.  God wants us to have more than we can handle – because He wants us to let Him work through us.

Every time I begin to identify a theological principle, I ask myself:  would a mom in the war-ravaged nations in Africa believe this – would this be true for her?  Would a man in the frozen tundra of Russia find that these words are true?

One thing that I am certain of – my theology is just thought exercise unless it is striving to know God as He is – and He is the same here, in Africa, South America, Antarctica, and Denmark.  He is the same in the palace and the garbage dump-village slums.

We will have more than we can handle from time to time, but God will always be there to give us the strength, wisdom and focus to overcome.  God calls us to relax in His hand and let Him work through us.  He is very interested in letting us be pushed to the point where we cry “God, help!” Because we only truly begin to live when we live in relationship with and dependence on Him.

Where did this thought (God won’t give me more than I can handle) come from?  My guess is that it is a perversion of

1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

God will never let you be backed in a corner where you have no way out but to break relationship with Him and sin.  He will always provide a way out.  He will always be with you, teaching, guiding and correcting you.
However, when life has you up to your eyeballs, remember that the One who made you is much more capable than you are at making your life turn out right.  You can rely on Him to write the next chapter and give you ingenuity beyond what you imagined.

The Power of a Whisper by Bill Hybels

January 18, 2011

Bill Hybels is definitely improving with age.  Not only is this book deep and encouraging, but it is one of the most open books Hybels has written.

Years ago, in order to get the whole story, I would read one book by Hybels and another by both Lynne and Bill simultaneously.   Fast forward to 2010-11 – The Power of a Whisper is really good.  Hybels is transparent.

I felt like I was sitting in the office of a mentor, listening to him tell me about how God speaks – in his and others’ lives.

Better than that, as I made my way through the book, God had me on a mini-journey – speaking to me in small ways, reminding me of His workings in my life, and teaching me again to heed His voice.

Not only do I recommend this book, but I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to read it.  This was so fun, I have a hard copy, and put a copy on my kindle for android.  I read it everywhere – home, bus… and all the while, God was whispering.

You can enjoy the mentoring and renewal if you get the book.  Here’s the link.

Even When I’m Old

January 12, 2011

Even when I’m old, I want to have purpose.  God put us each here on earth, and made us for a purpose.  Every day we live, God has a reason for us being here.  However, it is easy to lose that sense of purpose along the way.  Missy Buchanan has a ministry helping people who are in that new stage of life continue finding purpose and joy.  Here is a quick Q&A to discover Missy’s ministry:

Even when age creeps up on the body and mind, and life changes from what it once was, is it still possible to have a purpose in life? When it is no longer possible to venture out and do the things you once loved, can you still find a reason to look forward to each day?  Missy Buchanan, a leading expert and advocate for senior adults, believes that you can.  Buchanan wants to encourage older adults to find their purpose, share their stories, and make an impact on those around them.

Q: What made you decide to start ministering to and writing books for older adults?

Well, as a middle-aged adult, I never had any intention of becoming an author of books for older adults.  But because of the journey that my own aging parents were on, I realized how they had become disconnected from their church as their lives changed.  They started off as active older adults and then that circle got smaller as they had more needs and physical limitations.  As I would visit them at their retirement community, I would also see so many others that were just like them.  They needed spiritual encouragement.  And so that’s why I got started.  The first book began as a project just for my own parents.  I wrote devotions and kept them in a loose-leaf notebook.   But others started asking for them and things just spiraled from there.

Q: What do you think children need to know about their aging parents?

What I realized personally was that I had been so caught up in my parents’ physical needs that I had neglected their spiritual needs.  They were no longer connected to their church, at least in regular worship attendance, and that had been such a huge part of their lives.  I almost made that mistake of just totally missing that, and that was the point where I began to write.  I looked and there were other books written about older adults but not very many that were written to them and for them.  So the first thing I would tell their children is to pay attention not only to their physical needs but also to their spiritual needs.

Q: What is your opinion about role reversal with children and their aging parents?

I hear the whole idea of role reversal where the older parent becomes a child and the grown children become the parent, and I understand what they are talking about because my own parents became more dependent on me.  But I think that when we refer to it as a role reversal, and we begin to think of our aging parents as children, we strip away their dignity.  We rob them of respect and we overlook the fact that they are not children.  They have had a lifetime of experiences that a child has not had.  And I think that is an important difference that grown children need to think about and pay attention to.  It’s more of a role shift in responsibilities and not a role reversal.  I know how much it hurts an aging parent to feel like they are being treated like a baby or like a child.

Q: Other than aging adults, who else has benefited from your writing?

A friend of mine in an assisted living facility asked me to bring some books for one of her tablemates.  Her tablemate explained that these books were for her adult children.  “They don’t understand what it feels like to grow old, and I can’t seem to make them understand, but your books say it better than I ever could.”  My books are all written in the first person as if an older adult is speaking directly to God.  There are a lot of adult children that are buying them for themselves and older adults buying them for their grown children.

And I’ve heard of different youth groups that have been reading my books in order to better understand what it’s like to grow old.  Instead of just mocking their older peers, they are learning that they share a lot of the same feelings—feelings of insecurity, feelings of fear.  As a result of reading the books, one youth group in Tennessee has even adopted the residents of the senior living center across from their church.

Q: How can faith change our idea of growing older?

So many see aging as a punishment, and they dread it so much.  But even though it is difficult to be limited by an aging body, they need to look at it as a gift that God has given them.  They still have so much to give.  They have great wisdom to share and stories to share.  I always tell my older friends that their story is not yet over.

Missy Buchanan is the author of Talking with God in Old Age: Meditations and Psalms and Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults (Upper Room Books).

Click here to watch Missy Buchanan’s recent interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Roberts’ 86-year-old mother.

Visit Missy Buchanan’s website, www.missybuchanan.com, and blog, http://missybu.wordpress.com/.

Become a friend on Facebook (Aging and Faith) and follow on Twitter (MissyBuchanan).