Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dream Big

I just listened to a cd on which the speaker asked, "If you had to spend a quarter of a million dollars by the end of the month, would you be able to do it?"

Would you?

I spent the morning making a nice long list to share with my hubby and wondered what your thoughts on the idea are.

I started shopping for land and some buildings to put on it and some fancy dresses for the girls and airline tickets for a trip with the family. I think that would just about cover it.

What are your dreams?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

All In - book review

Mark Batterson is an amazing author. He has a way of turning a complex idea into something tangible. All In (students edition) is only my second book read of his. Both of them have encouraged and inspired me to take action on some of the great ideas that float around my head.

I know that I can not share what being All In means as well as he did. I do want to share how a few of his words affected me though. For instance, "Honestly, I didn't play God very well....I quit trying to "find myself" and decided to seek the Lord first." I know I have hit that wall a few times already in life. I just never thought of it all connected together like he put it. It made me realize that trying to figure out who I am won't solve anything until I know who I am in Christ and then He will show me who I am.

"I knew I needed to quit going with the course of everyday life, push all my chips to the middle of the table, and go all in with God." This reminded me of one of my favorite verses that I carried around with me at school yesterday: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. - Romans 12:2

Mark Batterson touched on a topic that my husband and I go round about all the time, saying the same thing in different words. "But you can't just pray like it depends on God. You also have to work like it depends on you."

"If you aren't hungry for God, you are full of yourself." You can see that in the people around you. Our world has become self-absorbed. Makes me think of Wall-E. I've been connecting alot of kids movies to some philosophies that are starting to slip away from us. People are hungry for more and more things because they are never full. It's like putting in the big rocks first. If you fill yourself up with God first, then the rest will fill in the cracks and you won't need so much.

"We have Americanized the gospel and spiritualized the American Dream." There are so many different version of the Bible out there trying to reach all the different people (good thing) but some of them are truly Americanizing it. The ideas and philosophies of the gospel seem unattainable like America once was. The American Dream seems like the end all of our existence; do it no matter what the cost. Where the gospel "costs nothing, but demands everything."

"God intended for the church to be a verb - an action verb." Made me realize that we don't use it that way. We use it as a building or a group of people. It's not what we do or how we act; it's not how we treat each other anymore. Some places have even turned it into a bad a word and a place they wouldn't want to go. That's because they're looking for what they can get out of it instead of what they can give.

"What do you find your identity in? That's your Isaac. God will test you to make sure your identity is in Jesus Christ and nothing else." This one made me think about how we interact with people. You categorize them by who they're related to, what they do, where they live. You create their identity instead of seeing them as a child of God. Then to flip it on yourself and how you introduce yourself. Who have you created yourself to be?

"It only took one night to get Israel out of Egypt, but it took 40 years to get Egypt out of Israel." Love the simplicity of how to get through any habit or problem. You can change anything but until you put time into yourself, you're just bringing the same old self into this bright new situation.

He quoted We Bought A Zoo, "Twenty seconds of insane courage". That's all it takes to accomplish anything.

"Who wants to be normal." Makes me think of The Incredibles.

Mark Batterson includes some amazing stories about Bach, bioacoustics, and Jonathan Edwards that you should definitely read. My two favorite thoughts that I am taking away from this book are:

1. "We need to put ourselves in a situation that activates a spiritual gift we've never exercised before. And we need to go after a dream that'll fail without divine intervention." We need to get out of the box that we've put ourselves in. We need to see what else is out there that we didn't know we were good at. We need to see who we can help with something we thought was a burden or a fault.

2. "Dunamis is the power to do things beyond our natural ability. Exousia is the willpower to not do things we have the ability to do." I think that should be the new mantra of today: Dunamis Exousia. Just because you are free to do something doesn't make it free. There are consequences to every action. We need to go beyond ourselves to do something great in this world, even if it's only in the eyes of another person.

I would recommend this book to anyone 16 and over definitely. Some of the topics may be a little large for someone younger. It is an amazing book and makes you think about how you think about yourself and your place in the world. It makes the idea of being All In a little less intimidating and scary. Go get yourself a copy and share one with a friend.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thrive - a book review

I was extremely excited to see that Mark Hall had written another book. I really enjoyed . I also really enjoy all of his band's music. So, I excitedly ordered .

The book was written in a devotional style. They were short chapters with a thought to ponder at the end. The book is divided into two sections represented by the oak tree on the cover. Our spiritual life needs to look like an oak tree with the branches going as wide as the roots grow deep. In part 1, Digging Deep, Hall demonstrates how to truly engage with the Word and a community of faith, worshiping and pursuing God wholeheartedly as our hearts and minds are transformed. In part 2, Reaching Out, we see the fruits of our engagement with the Word and the community, the grateful giving back of service and love.

Mark Hall is an entertaining writer and storyteller. It was very easy to relate to all of the stories included in each chapter.

He covers God's plan for us in comparison to our plans for ourselves. He covers some ideas of what our relationship with God should look like. He shows how Satan works in our lives to steer us away from God. He discusses how being a good neighbor and friend is the best way to share the Good News with those that are in our lives or enter our lives. He reminds us how we need to be in the Scripture as Jesus was so that we will be armed to fight against Satan.

"God will use us right where we are to thrive."

I would suggest this to everyone I know. I would encourage young men to read this book. Mark Hall shared many of his "growing up" stories and stories from his jobs as a youth minister. These may encourage our young men to go out and do similar things in their lives.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”