Have you ever read The Tipping Point or Outliers? They are absolutely fasinating. They both basically talk about why things happen the way they do. Why some people make it big and some don't, why almost all professional hockey players are born in January or February and things like that. God is the source of all truth. He is the One that gives understanding to the mind and He is the One who is so super smart to work together all the details throughout time. So when I read those books, I am wow-ed at God and how He orchestrated lives and hearts and minds.
September 16th, a new movie is coming out about Hillsong and how they became so well known being just a small church youth band. I can't wait to hear their story and see how God used their love for the Lord, gifts, strengths and willingness to use them for His glory.
Here's a little sneak peek they were gracious enough to let us see.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 14 years serving with Master Plan Ministries where she is the Women's Development Coordinator. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, A Devotional Journey through Judges, and Discover God's Calling for Your Life. Most recently her resource for Bible studies, The Connect Cards was released by Cru Press. You can find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram, periscope, blab and her author site.
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It didn’t feel quite like home yet. But the boxes were now empty and piled up and a few had been shaped into a hideout for our kids. In a daze, I stared out the window and thought, “I know this move is right, but I feel alone in an unknown land.” We had moved 120 miles from Memphis, Tennessee to a small farmland town of 2000 people. I know that’s not far! But, it felt foreign.
I knew what we were doing there. Yet, had the thoughts circling around in my mind been voiced out loud, they would have contradicted my knowledge screaming, “What are we doing here?!?!”
Our next move generated the same. This time we had moved 8000 miles away to Africa. The landscape was different, the miles increased, yet my thoughts had traveled this terrain before - “What are we doing here?"
I was excited and terrified; ready for the new and longing for the familiar.
How would you answer that question for where you live? Maybe you’ve settled in for years in a location and you can drive blindfolded from one end of the city to the next. Or, maybe boxes are still being unpacked and you’re trying to arrange the furniture in your new location. Or maybe you took no furniture, but just disembarked off a plane in a foreign land, a few suitcases in tow, and you’re navigating the local market trying to locate furniture.
This book will be your first friend in your new location! I leaned into every page of this book, wishing I had read it years ago! It’s an incredible guide that gives you tools to navigate your city – no matter how long you’ve been there.
Why do you live where you live?
What’s your purpose in your location?
Living sent isn’t a made up idea by man. It’s God’s idea. He’s been in the business all along of sending people.
He sends people to hard places, like Joseph –
But God sent me ahead of you to keep some of you alive on earth. He sent me here to save your lives by an act of mighty power….So then, it wasn’t you who sent me here. It was God. Genesis 45:7-8
He sends people who don’t feel equipped, like Gideon –
And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest…” Judges 6:14-16
He calls us, is close to us, so he can send us- like the disciples –
He chose the disciples, “so that he might be close to them so he might send them...” (Mark 3:14)
Wherever you live, you have a “sent” purpose.
Meet the author and get the ebook here.
Keep this book nearby as you’re unpacking boxes in a new move or allowing God to give you a fresh look at the purpose of where you are. No matter what location you’re in, it creatively guides you to discover purpose and adventure in the place God has sent you. Get a pen and you’re shoes on, you’re going to be motivated, and the adventure is just beginning!
Lori is a Global Mission Catalyst at IMB, mobilizing churches and leading women to participate in God’s global mission. She, her husband, and their 3 kids lived in Africa as missionaries before returning to plant Grace Point Church in Bentonville, AR where Mike is Sr. Pastor. She’s passionate about discipling people to see how their everyday life collides with God’s mission of making His glory known to all nations. She blogs at lorimcdaniel.org
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There's no shortage of movies that are American dream based coaxing your emotions to root for things you actually don't morally approve of. The Good Lie doesn't fit in that category and I'm grateful.
They were known simply as “The Lost Boys.” Orphaned by the brutal Civil war in Sudan that began in 1983, these young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 lost boys and girls to America.
In “The Good Lie,” Philippe Falardeau, brings the story of their survival and triumph to life. Reese Witherspoon stars alongside Sudanese actors Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and newcomer Nyakuoth Weil, many of whom were also children of war.
Mamere and Theo are sons of the Chief in their village in Southern Sudan. When an attack by the Northern militia destroys their home and kills their parents, eldest son Theo is forced to assume the role of Chief and lead a group of young survivors, including his sister Abital, away from harm. But the hostile, treacherous terrain has other dangers in store for them.
As the tattered group makes the difficult trek to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, they meet other fleeing children, forging a bond with Jeremiah, who, at 13, is already a man of faith, and Paul, whose skills become essential to their survival.
Thirteen years later, the now young adults are given the opportunity to leave the camp and resettle in America. Upon arriving in Kansas, they are met by Carrie Davis (Witherspoon), an employment agency counselor who has been enlisted to help find them jobs—no easy task, when things like straws, light switches and telephones are brand new to them.
Although Carrie has successfully kept herself from any emotional entanglements, these refugees, who desperately require help navigating the 20th century and rebuilding their shattered lives, need just that. So Carrie embarks on her own unchartered territory, enlisting the help of her boss, Jack.
Together, against the backdrop of their shared losses, the Lost Boys and these unlikely strangers find humor in the clash of cultures, and heartbreak as well as hope in the challenges of life in America.
Elements I appreciate:
The Good Lie does a great job of showing how people from other countries experience the U.S. when they come and how we, for the most part, are completely oblivious to their needs. It also shows the practical needs of what foreigners need when they arrive. I think we can use this information as a way to reach out to international students and refugees that would open up doors for the Gospel to be shared.
I also appreciate getting a good glimpse into the lives of the kids who lived through genocide in Uganda. The educational element of the movie is great.
The acting and storyline were also top notch.
Elements I didn't appreciate:
They take the name of the Lord in vain four times as well as a drug scene and alluding to the main character (who is not a believer) having sex with her boyfriend. Also the title of the movie and the end point is that there is such thing as a good lie. I would have appreciated if they came up with a better way to get their point across.
Overall, it is a well done movie with a few rough edges but demonstrates love, endurance, compassion and self-sacrifice. It helps us see life outside self and leaves you wondering what you can do to help others in the same situation.
I'm giving away a free copy to a randomly picked Missional Women newsletter subscriber, sign up here.
The greatest need of mankind is to love and be loved and feel worthwhile to self and others. And without being known, it's hard to love or truly be loved. I think that is why hearing peoples stories is so engaging. We have a built in desire to know others.
That is one reason I enjoyed Annie' book, Let's All Be Brave. It gave me a peek into how someone else thinks and experiences life. Annie, in a very down to earth and relatable way tells the story of God working in her life, moving her to take steps of faith to trust Him. And I've found the more you trust God, the more you trust God. And I believe it may also be true that the more you see others trust God, the more your willing to trust God.
Annie calls others to step out of the boat of comfort and trust Jesus. Just the reminder we continually need.
Here what others are saying:
This book was everything I hoped it would be. Reading these pages, Annie's voice sounds like courage and feels like friendship, offering hope and perspective for those of us who want to live free instead of scared.
"I am in love with the cover, but she doesn't walk a tight-rope over Nashville even once in this book. Instead, she speaks to the small corner in each of our souls where courage already lives, inviting us to access the bravery required to do regular, life-living things - make a new friend, go on a blind date, move to a new city, hold on to hope. I appreciate how Annie honors the courage it takes to do the regular things, but she also nudges me a little outside my introverted comfort zone. One of my biggest takeaways from this book is actually summed up in the title - Let's All Be Brave - because no one is brave alone." -Emily Freeman
"Funny. Smart. Beautiful. I loved this book. And I am thinking that everyone who reads this book wants Annie to be their best friend. I walked into this book with curiosity about one woman's story. But I walked out of it with far more. Annie makes me feel brave. And she makes me know -- for sure -- that bravery isn't about being fearless. It's about being *less controlled by my fear.* It's about doing the next thing, and the thing after that -- even if it scares you a little. It's about living life with everything we've got. And not fretting over those places where we think we lack. There's all kinds of freedom tucked between these covers. Just for you." -Jennifer Dukes Less
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has five kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 12 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks to college and women's groups. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook, twitter,pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.
A year ago I first heard of Jennie Allen when I reviewed her Bible studyChase. I was immediately impressed. She has great knowledge of the Lord and His Word but beyond that she communicates in a way that's easy to understand, engaging and practical.
And just like Chase, Restless isn't just a heap up a bunch of head knowledge type of study. It gets to the heart and yet doesn't bypass the mind. A beautiful combination! Jennie has a gift of teaching and a passion for women to not just have information but for them to deeply connect with each other and with the Lord with the end goal of life change for the glory of God.
The kit comes with the study, a DVD with eight sessions, conversation cards for each week and the leaders guide. (I seriously can't believe the publisher can provide all of this for the price!)
A Little Bit About the Study
The vision of Restlesss is the help people get a bigger picture of God and eternity and as a result you would live more for Jesus and eternity than for what this short life has to offer. Jennie hopes that you would dream about what it looks like for God to use you and would help encourage that in others.
Jennie explores practical ways to identify the threads of your life and how to intentionally weave them together. She explains how your gifts, passions, places, and relationships aren’t random; they’re deliberate and meaningful. And your suffering—it’s possible it has produced the very thing you want to give back to the world.
Using the story of Joseph, the dreamer, Jennie explains how his suffering, gifts, relationships—all of the threads of his life—fit into the greater story of God and how our stories can do the same. What would happen if God got bigger than your fear and insecurity, and you spent the rest of your life running without reservation after his purposes for you? You were created for more.
The lessons in this study guide are engaging and interactive, offering in-depth Bible study, personal stories, and projects enabling the teaching to move off the page and into your life.
Here's a short clip about the study.
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has four kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks to college and women's groups. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.
You have to love the title of this book! Dwight Robertson writes a compelling rationale for living out the Great Commission. His story telling style draws you right in from the first chapter as he commissions his roof repair guy as a missionary. From the start you can see both his heart for the Lord and his desire to help everyday people see themselves as partners with God in Kingdom building.
The book is laid out in four parts: The Plan, The Power, The Problem and The Possibilities. In each section, he continues to engage the reader with quotes, stats, and illustrations that are really down to earth. Along with a rationale for joining God's labor force, he encourages the reader to trust the Lord to love others through them. He offers a number of simple doable strategies for getting started or building on any of your current efforts. Study questions for each chapter are in the back of the book.
Some of my favorite takeaways from this book were:
"Jesus never knew a stranger. Everyone only belonged to one category: people to love."
"[Kingdom] laborers are ordinary people who deeply love God and actively love others."
"Significant Kingdom work will be accomplished by nameless, faceless people who do what they can where they are—with God adding the increase to their labor. That’s God’s Plan A."
" You don’t even need to have the perfect approach all figured out. Every heart has multiple entry points.
"the greatest gift you’ll ever give the world is your intimacy with God."
And don't miss the section about "missionaries in camouflage"! That's all I'm going to say on that one.
I picked this book up on a Kindle deal and read it straight through in one sitting. It is that good.
You are God's Plan A; and There is No Plan B is a great book for anyone who is serious about joining God's love army. It's easy to read and would make a great study for a group that wants to make a difference. Whether you have been active in ministry or you are brand new, this book is a wonderful resource to help you be on mission. Super encouraging! As my sister would say, "Run- don't walk!" I highly recommend it.
Robertson, Dwight (2010-03-01). You Are God's Plan A: And There Is No Plan B . David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. Quotes are from locations 303, 324, 619,1475, 2376 in the Kindle version.
On any given day you might find Andrea in a meeting, on a plane, or in some part of the world where she meets amazing people and sees just a few of the awesome ways that God is working. She serves as the Global VP for Leadership Development and HR with Campus Crusade for Christ. When she’s home, she enjoy books, time with friends and occasionally gets to the beach. You can find her on twitter at @AndreaBuczynski and blogging at abreflections.
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How could a book written over 100 years ago depict so much of what we see today in modern times? And how could such a book make such a difference in my own life??
I began listening to In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? by Charles Sheldon before I though about "Not About Me November". I actually randomly came upon it in the classic section on One Click Digital (online audio books - see if your library has it because it has been an amazing way to read books) at the beginning of the school and thought, "I don't have a lot of time, so a book thinking about Jesus should be good..."
I wasn't expecting to be convicted as the character literally ask, "What would Jesus do?" before any action they took. I didn't expect that I would start looking over my own life and ask, "What WOULD Jesus do in this situation?" I didn't expect to see how I have more areas I would care to admit that Jesus wouldn't do.
For example, I was woken up earlier than I would desire one morning. As I was tossing back and forth trying to go back to sleep, the question popped into my mind, "Would Jesus be sleeping right now?" It wasn't extremely early, but just earlier than I usually roll out in the morning. The scripture where it spoke of Jesus getting up early to spend time with His Father. "No... He would be praying right now..." was my weary response. And you know what I did? I went back to sleep!
I really stink at following Jesus. Being His disciple, doing what He would do if He was here is practically impossible! But if we truly want to look like Jesus, to walk in His steps over trying to do our own thing, something has got to give! And that was one of the main points Sheldon brought out in this book - the reason there are not more people who look like Jesus is because there are not more people who are willing to sacrifice. Jesus gave up EVERYTHING, and we fight and cry to keep as much of ourselves and our stuff as we can.
Sacrifice is something all Christians are expected to do, and yet so few actually do die to themselves daily to look more like Jesus. While thinking through what to write for "Not About Me November", and in light of this book, I started seeing how very little is actually about me, and how so much I have made about me. My ministry. My marriage. My sleep! But, in reality, once I put my trust in Christ, this life is NOT about me. It is about HIM!
This November I'm going to try something that is probably going to be the most difficult thing I could do - I'm going to do a shorten version of the pledge that the characters in the book took (because I know my weaknesses). I am going to ask "What would Jesus do?" before I do anything, and not take into consideration what could be a gain for myself (or at least attempt this and do it it in the power of the Holy Spirit). I feel crazy just saying it, and yet I feel like a pansy because I'm not doing a full year like they did!
Anyone else want to be crazy with me? Anyone out there want to die to themselves - even possibly giving up there very sleep - to look more like Jesus? Anyone else scared to do this??
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20 NASB)
Check out the Not About Me November Series
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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Courtney Joseph is a woman in pursuit of the heart of God and her husband. She is the founder of the popular ministry website Women Living Well. She is also the founder of an on-line, bible-study mentorship program Good Morning Girls.
In her new book Women Living Well Courtney shares so much wisdom on how to “hold down the fort” in your life. She teaches how to maintain balance in your responsibilities while hanging onto your alone time with God, through each life stage.
No words can express how much I LOVE this book! I know I am going to have to buy the printed version just so I can hug the pages! It is like having a deep, personal, one-on-one conversation with a godly Christian mentor who has shared in your frustrations and the difficult life stages and “gets it”.
In this book she teaches valuable learned wisdom and gives practical examples. She shows how she applies biblical truths to her life and daily repetitive tasks. She touches on so many areas that affect our lives daily as wives, mothers and daughters of God.
This book is challenging, no doubt about it. It is deeply changing the landscape of my perspective on biblical womanhood. The only warning I have about this book is that it will be challenging to most of us. Well, I assume so because it is genuinely uprooting my perspective in many areas I’ve been praying to grow in. (It is important for us to take this and all information and seek God with it. I do not want my life to look like Courtney’s, not that she isn’t an excellent role model, but Christ should always be our role model.)
I am prayerful for Courtney and the long lasting effects I know this book will have on the lives of women and future generations! Thank you, Courtney, for your faithfulness to God and for being His faithful vessel to write these truths out for others.
Right now she is giving away 10 ebooks for free when you pre-order a copy. Check it out.
Melissa Bradley is married with two small children. She serves at a church plant in Hendersonville, NC. The passion of her heart is to live every day missionally. You can also find Melissa at Beautiful Mommy Feet, she and her husbands personal ministry page, a women’s ministry page -Radiance and on Facebook.
Daughters of the King; Finding your Place in the Biblical Story is written by our very own Melissa Deming. Here's a little about the study.
This study will transform how you view your purpose and personal identity as a chosen and cherished Daughter of the King by helping you connect the dots between your story and God’s story for the world.
Daughters of the King is the representation of my time spent overseas, engaging a different worldview and trying to strip the Bible down to its most basic storyline. While I cater to a reader with little or no formal training in the Bible, this study would also be a refreshing read for long-time Christians who have lost their zeal for the loveliness of God’s Word and still wonder at the relevance of this divinely-inspired Book.
Daughters of the King is an eBook on the ‘big picture’ of Scripture packed
into 10 lessons. Inside this study, readers will receive a systematic look
at how the Bible is arranged around the topic of God’s kingdom and how
God’s kingdom applies to women today – as Daughters of the King.
The study is written for small group or individual use, and when readers
subscribe to my site (Hive Resources) they’ll receive a free downloadable
workbook to use along with the eBook.
Daughters of the King is a 10-lesson Bible study in eBook format for a small group or an individual struggling to find themselves on the pages of God’s Word. This study will transform how you view your purpose and personal identity as a chosen and cherished Daughter of the King by helping you connect the dots between your story and God’s story for the world.
Daughters of the King offers readers a systematic look at how the Bible is arranged around the topic of God’s kingdom and how God’s kingdom applies to women today. This study follows the Scriptures by their canonical divisions – the Law (Torah), the Prophets and the Writings, the History Books, the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation.
Check it out on amazon.
Or read more about it on Melissa's blog.
I want to thank Laura for having me on her blog today to talk about my new bestselling book, BIG is BEAUTIFUL.
BIG is a Young adult/Christian book. (There aren't many of them out there.) It is about a girl who isn't the smallest person ever-- and how she handles high school. She loves God, just not herself.
I think a lot of teenagers (and yeah, even some of us adults) can relate. I was never taunted like Brittany, but I do know what it's like to be on the bigger side of life. Brittany is a character I'd just like to hug and tell her it'll be alright. She's sassy and interesting. She isn't a wallflower, but she does let peer pressure and bullying make her do something she knows in her heart is wrong.
If you have a teenage girl (or even if you like YA books yourself), I'd love it if you checked BIG out. It has gotten some great reviews. I love all my books, but there is something about BIG that really stands out to me. Definitely one of my favorites.
The seven worst words ever spoken came out of Brittany Gregory's mom's mouth at breakfast, "I signed you up for math tutoring." Sure, she probably needs it (probably nothing, she'll fail without it), but the thought of having to stay in that school longer than she had to every day makes her sick. It's not the school's fault... just the few jerks inside.
Brittany's tutor is none other than Matt Taylor, senior quarterback-- all around hottie. At first, she's shy around him because, hello, Matt Taylor! But as he shows more and more unexpected kindness toward her, Brittany softens around him.
Unfortunately for Brittany, Matt's former girlfriend, the beautifully wicked Kendra Moses, has tormented Britt since eighth grade about her weight. In an unusual moment of brains, Kendra realizes Brittany's initials spell B.I.G.-- a hilarious (to the cheerleader) irony since Brittany isn't the smallest girl at school.
With the Red Ball (Valentine's Dance) approaching, Brittany has to decide if her growing feelings for Matt are real, or if he's secretly been playing a part in Kendra's game all along.
The seven worst words ever spoken came out of my mother’s mouth during breakfast. “I signed you up for math tutoring.”
Kelly Martin a southern girl who writes... a lot. She is the author of the bestsellers SAINT SLOAN and THE DECEPTION OF DEVIN MILLER. Her first novel, CROSSING THE DEEP, won the Grace Award for best Young adult novel. By day, she is a teacher. By night, she has her hair in a bun and her fingers on a keyboard. She loves God, is addicted to chocolate, and would rather write than sleep. Kelly loves a good mystery and believes in Sherlock Holmes. You can find her at KellyMartinBooks, Twitter and Facebook.