How to Overcome Fear by Taking Risks

Seems counter-intuitive. Isn’t risk taking what causes fear? Hmm…maybe not. Maybe the fear of the outcome is what keeps us from taking risk, not the risk itself.

Photo Credit: hdeb89 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: hdeb89 via Compfight cc

I don’t consider myself a natural risk taker. For example the few times I have snow skied I resist going too fast with every bit of my mind and body. I don’t take the risk of trusting my equipment and ability. What ends up happening is a less than enjoyable experience and some extremely sore muscles. And, I probably have more “yard sales” (a crash where my skis go one way, my hat, goggles, and gloves go another way, and I am sprawled out all over the side of the mountain) than if I would just let go and ski!

What am I afraid of? Not the risk. I am afraid of losing control and crashing into a tree or flying off the side of mountain. Sure, some respectful fear of those things is proper, but…

The One Thing You Need to Do to Be a Good Writer

So you want to be a writer? I think you should! No one else in the world can tell a story, lend advice, provide expertise, or state an opinion like you. But if you really want to get at it, you need to do one important thing. And a lot of it.

Photo Credit: kattra via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: kattra via Compfight cc

READ!

I have always enjoyed reading. Before I had a Kindle, a stack of books sat next to my bed at all times. I often bounced from book to book, each on different subjects. Now that I read almost exclusively on a Kindle, I read much the same way, except the stack of half-read and to-read books is kept neatly in digital form.

In the past I read mainly for information and entertainment. Now that I am a writer, I find that I also read to learn how to write.

I read all kinds of literature.

I read anything that touches my passions like missional topics, adoption and foster care, and financial investing. I also read things that entertain me like sports journalism, travel, and gardening.

I also enjoy keeping up with current events and politics. Then like most of us, I easily get lost in the narrative of a good fiction writer.

I have begun to notice what kind of literature or writer grabs my attention and pulls me into the story no matter the subject. I pay attention to grammar, word structure and verb tenses.

What Every Potential Foster or Adoptive Parent Needs to Know

A couple of weeks ago I sat in a room with foster and adoptive parents, child-placing agency reps, and other leaders in our city involved with working with foster and adoptive families. We are putting together some information to help mentor families walk with families who are considering fostering or adopting (both domestic and international).

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Photo Credit: Sholybonoly via Compfight cc

One of the questions we discussed was this one—”What does every potential parent need to know?”

We quickly filled the white board. But, we understand that it’s kind of like married couples putting together a list of what engaged couples need to know about marriage. It’s hard for us to hear good, sound advice when we are in the courting phase of a relationship.

But just maybe you are different as you consider making this monumental commitment to a child or more that most definitely come from a hard place.

Here are some of the things this group came up with to pass on to you:

5 Ways to Help You Use Your Money as a Missional Tool

I bet tax time doesn’t make any top 1o favorite time of the year lists. Doing our taxes is more obligation than anything.

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Photo Credit: fpsurgeon via Compfight cc

It’s not just tax time that is difficult when it comes to money. In most households “money” is a bad word. We don’t talk about it, or when we do, it causes a lot of stress.

I have heard the phrase, “use money as a tool”, and ” money is not good or evil”.

I agree with both. Yeah, easier said than done.

But how many of us view our money as a tool to further a mission? As a Christian, I view myself as the caretaker or money manager of the funds that come my way. I want to manage that money just as wisely as I expect my own financial planner to do with the money I invest with him.

When I think of it this way, I understand that all the money I have has been entrusted to me by the One who owns it all. And He asks me to use it to further His mission.

5 Ways to help you use money as a missional tool:

3 Reasons to Join Me at Platform University

When I began my new venture into writing about three years ago, I knew very little about writing or publishing. As I researched and studied the industry, my heart began to sink. I read over and over that I needed to have or build a “platform”. I had no idea what that meant or entailed.

Photo Credit: whitebar via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: whitebar via Compfight cc

Not long after that, a good friend recommended Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. What a blessing! The timing was perfect.

You need to understand something else. Not only did I not know much about the writing industry, I knew very little about social media. Don’t chuckle too loudly—I didn’t have a single social media account to my name. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Instagram. Nothing.

I bought Michael Hyatt’s book and read it cover to cover  immediately able to apply effective principles to building a successful platform.

I used his book and his website—MichaelHyatt.com—as resources to walk me through this new journey.

Then Hyatt introduced Platform University.

Trauma Informed Care for Challenging Children in a Ministry or Classroom Setting

I narrate this overview of how to implement trauma informed care in a ministry or classroom setting that my friend Julie Kouri put together. Even though it only touches on the subject, I trust it will motivate you to learn more about how trauma effects the children in your classroom. And, I hope you will recognize some strategies that will help you as you work with not only children with a trauma background, but all of your children.

Here is the outline of what you will find in the presentation:

Trauma Informed Care

Objectives

  1. To understand how trauma and risk factors affect the brain
  2. To learn that the empowering, connecting, and correcting model of trauma-informed care is useful for all children in a ministry/classroom setting
  3. To learn practical interventions along with empowering, connecting, and correcting strategies

Why Did God Create Everything?

Often the question is did God create everything or did it evolved out of nothing? I think that’s the wrong question. The question really should be—Why did God create everything?

Photo Credit: Rajesh Warange via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Rajesh Warange via Compfight cc

Why the beautiful sunsets, mile-long beaches, soaring mountains, ocean depths?

Why did he create interesting animals and millions of types of plants, both wild and tame?

Why did he create the perfect environment to sustain life?

We often ask why we exist. We wonder why we live here on this incredible planet we call home.

Did this person many call God have a reason for creating this earth, these creatures, us?

Why instill in us humans a wish to explore and wonder? Why the excitement over new discoveries? Even after centuries of human existence, we continue to lean more about this world and it’s magnificence.

Either He did create everything for a reason or He is as random as the theory of evolution.

Do I Write for Success or Significance?

Really, regardless what field you pursue, you can ask yourself this question. A teacher, doctor, lawyer, business owner, pastor, or yes, a writer can pursue success or significance with their chosen vocation.

Photo Credit: Albertinos via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Albertinos via Compfight cc

If you google success vs. significance, you will find page after page of articles, blogs, and videos discussing the difference between success and significance.

What exactly is success? Merriam-Webster defines it as, “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.”

I set some goals when I began writing—success goals. It’s what I was supposed to do right? Become a best seller. Make lots of money. Become well-known and respected as a writer.

My Life Is in Bags

Someone knocks on your front door. You hear a discussion that you don’t understand. Then a stranger walks into your room with a friendly but tense smile. They reassure you that you are safe but that it is time to leave. You quickly grab your favorite stuffed animal while they put a few items of clothing into a bag.

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Your world begins to close in and everything that used to be normal, regardless of how messed up it was, now has changed. You are sleeping in a strange home with different rules and expectations. You don’t know if you will ever see your toys, clothes, or even your family again.

A few days later, some more of your clothes and toys do show up—again, in more bags.

You are only eight-years-old. No one would expect you to understand what is happening to your world. And you don’t.