Identity, Purpose, and Belonging with Joe Elliott Founder of Catalyst Collective [Podcast 33]

Joe Elliott knew that he needed to do something different if he were to reach young adults. During a brain-storming session with several other youth pastors, many great ideas rose to the surface. But they all knew that if they began doing much of what they put down on paper, they all would get fired.

But Joe was in the right place at the right time to begin applying some of the ideas. Out of that the Catalyst Collective was born.

Joe is married, the father of three children, a dreamer, motivator, connector, and speaker. I look forward to you hearing from him.

Here is the interview on His Hands His Feet:

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Will You Become a Patron?

I began blogging in 2013 not knowing what I was doing. The reason I began was simple. I wanted to begin a new career as a writer. And, I needed to learn how to write. I wrote and published my first book that year, Adopting the Father’s Heart. Starting a blog not only helped me write better, but also it helped me promote my book.

Now over four years later, I continue to blog (hopefully getting better at it), I published a second book (Foster and Adoptive Parenting: Authentic Stories that Will Inspire and Encourage Parenting with Connection), and I began podcasting.

I begin most podcast episodes saying that the purpose for the podcast is to encourage, equip, even compel you to live a life on mission. I believe that God has a purpose for every one of us. We just don’t always know what that purpose is, or we lose sight of what it is. When this happens our lives become unfulfilling, and we tend to wander aimlessly through life.

No one wants to live life without purpose whether they realize that or not.

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Why Your Prayers Won’t Get Off the Ground

If you are a Christian who goes to church all the time, who not only loudly sings worship songs at church but also always has your radio or Pandora tune into worship channels, who loves to read books and commentaries to learn more about God, who strives to always follow God’s laws and to honor Him—this is for you.

I bet you are a person who always asks, “What is the right thing to do?”, and you want God on your side.

This is for you especially if you strive to live life like this, but you wonder with bewilderment why your prayers go unanswered, and if your prayers even get off the ground.

You wonder if God even notices you.

God gave Isaiah a word several thousand years ago and it is recorded in Isaiah 58 (one of my favorite chapters that I to define my walk with God).

As it says in Isaiah 58, here is why our prayers often don’t get off the ground:

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Warning: Your Possessions Own You

When Danielle and I returned from living in Thailand for six months, we swore to not let the American consumer culture pull us back into its vortex. Those six months in Thailand showed us that our possessions didn’t dictate our happiness level. I think we unknowingly went through a six month detox.

When we moved back to America, a window of opportunity existed. We easily could have sold everything we owned and moved back to Thailand. In fact we planned on that. But God had a different plan, and we remained in the U.S.

Ten years after living in Thailand an honest self analysis tells me that I have not been very successful at avoiding the consumeristic mindset.

Here are some results of my self analysis:

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Helping Families in Crisis with Amy Curtis and Jennifer McCallum [Podcast 032]

Amy Curtis and Jennifer McCallum work with Buckner Children and Family Counseling Resources. Amy leads the counseling staff, and Jennifer is a post adoption counselor.

I heard Amy speak about helping families in crisis at a break out session at a conference, and I reached out to her to come onto my podcast so we could talk about this important subject.

Foster and adoptive families get lots of training and support while they are in the process of fostering or adopting. Friends and family express excitement about the pending adoption, then throw a big celebration when the day finally arrives. Then far too often the adoptive family is left to fend for themselves.

As an adoptive family struggles, red flags appear that sadly leads many down the road to disruption and dissolution. Disruption defines an adoption that fails before the adoption is final. Dissolution is an adoption that fails after the adoption is final.

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5 Areas of Need in Foster Care and Adoption*

Have you considered what need in foster care or adoption you can meet? Or are you like I was a few years ago? I really had no idea of what foster care really was. And my thoughts about adoption completely focused on me and my wish to have a child of my own. I naively thought that if I weren’t interested in fostering or adopting then it was of no concern to me. I had a shallow understanding of the needs of foster care and adoption.

If you don’t intend on meeting a need of foster care and adoption, you really should stop reading now. Seriously, because if you read more you will find a need you can and should meet.

Looks like you are still here. I am glad!

Here are the 5 Areas of Need in Foster Care and Adoption:

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The Only Way We Will Ever Embrace Our Diversity

Our culture overuses the word diversity. It is forced upon us in the workplace, in our conversations, and everywhere we do life. I bet you just focused on the wrong part of that statement. Diversity isn’t a bad thing. Having it forced upon  us will never work though.

External pressure on anything that requires a heart change will always fail. Oh it might work for a short while, but then we always drift back to our default way of thinking.

The problem is our hearts. We will never embrace people who are different from we are when we have hearts of stone. Left to our own, our hearts will always treat others selfishly. We will always gravitate to those who think and act like we do. We will always shun, or do worse, those different from we are. Even man-made religion divides people into monogamous groups where everyone looks the same, has a similar economic status, and even thinks the same.

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Chapter 1 and 2 of the Revised Version of Adopting the Father’s Heart [Podcast 31]

Read by Kenneth Camp

I am revising my first book, Adopting the Father’s Heart, for two reasons. Reason number one is I think I am a better writer than I was four years ago (at least I sure hope so). I have wanted to rewrite some sections of the book to make it better. Reason number two I want to add a couple of chapters that update the story. The narrative tells the story up through the adoption of our son. The added chapters will cover the post-adoption part of the story.

Once I finish the revision of the book, I will make it available on Amazon in ebook and print form. However, all my email subscribers will get a free .pdf copy of the revised book.

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Energy Management Empowering World Missions with Colby May [Podcast 030]

Colby May is the founder and president of Lit International, a company that works with local churches to leverage energy savings, energy management, and sustainable principles in order to capture savings that these local churches can then redirect into world missions.

In this podcast episode, Colby goes into depth behind why he began this company including his passion for helping raise up indigenous pastors and missionaries around the world that can and will reach their own people. As Colby says, “If you want to change the hands, you have to change the heart.”

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5 Sure Signs that You Have Forgotten Your Purpose

What happens to a tool or a piece of equipment when we no longer use it for its intended purpose?It begins to rust and decay. Or if we use the tool in a way contrary to its created purpose, we end up damaging it, sometimes beyond repair. However, when we keep using that tool or equipment the way the creator or manufacturer intended, it remains useful for many years.

Our lives have an intended purpose just like a manufactured tool. A Creator made us with a purpose in mind, and when we don’t fulfill that purpose, we too, just like a tool, become useless over time. Of course we don’t rust, but I guess decay is inevitable for us all. We can become damaged though if we don’t adhere to our original design and purpose. Here are 5 things that happen to me when I forget my purpose or mission:

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