inviting adventure: a book review

I grew up loving and thriving off of adventure and my imagination. I remember being 7 or 8 and adoring the National Geographic magazine. Maybe I couldn’t fully read every article but the photos were what I loved. I always thought about the people who got to take those pictures. What amazing adventures and stories they had been on from experiencing those incredibly beautiful and sometimes dangerous locations.
I haven’t looked at a National Geographic magazine in a while, but back then, they had these amazing maps in them. They were detailed map inserts that you could rip out and open up. And that’s just what I did.
In fact, I had a club with my cousins Logan and Luke where we collected these maps and let our imaginations run. We’d throw some maps in a backpack and head for the great outdoors.

My childhood home had this wonderful half-acre side yard and at the age of 8, a half-acre might as well have been the size of central park. It was the perfect landscape for our treasure hunting adventures. I think this is possibly where my keen sense of direction began, because I was always the navigator directing us on our next strategic move.
I loved it. I loved the scenes I had in my head and stories we played out on our search for the treasure hidden in the center of the Egyptian pyramids… which was obviously at the top of the slide connected to the jungle gym.

Memories of these childhood adventures came rushing back just recently. It all came back as I was reading Bob Goff’s new book “Love Does”. Even in the first chapter I became completely captivated by the life of risk and adventure this man lived and shares about in his stories. And these stories are big and extravagant, from Goff momentarily dropping out of highschool to move to Yosemite with an unexpected friend, failing the LSAT yet somehow talking his way into Law School, and the incredible risks he took in Uganda working dead-end untried cases of forgotten children so they could be released from prison.

 He draws you in with amazing storytelling and humor then seamlessly wraps up each chapter with how he saw God in the midst of each experience and how it’s challenged him to live differently from that moment forward. 
This book invited me to remember the risk and adventure that playfully and easily filled my life years ago, and it was also an invitation to asses my life currently and see where ive been comfortable and have not allowed love to be accompanied by action and adventure… and doing.

“There is only one invitation it would kill me to refuse, yet I’m tempted to turn it down all the time. I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It doesn’t come in an envelope. It’s ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It’s the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day. Nobody turns down an invitation to the White House, but I’ve seen plenty of people turn down an invitation to fully live.”

Bob Goff’s new book, Love Does, is just that, an invitation to fully live.
It’s an invitation to live with a little more playfulness, a little more whimsy, and to actually go out and do something that may seem out of the ordinary or even make you a little uncomfortable. Bob Goff lives a big courageous life, full of risk and adventure that’s created a tangible and relatable understanding of the nearness and goodness of God – and he is challenging us to experience the same.

He invites us to see life a little differently. More than recounting the adventures and risks in his own life, Goff sets out to demonstrates that love isn’t static or a stoic emotion to be read and contemplated while sitting in a Starbucks chair. Love is an action. Love is an adventure. Love should compel us to move. Because love… Does.

_____________________

Never has a non-fiction book so captured my imagination and ignited my heart to live and see life differently.
I strongly encourage you all to read this book.

“I’ve come to understand more about faith as I’ve understood more about whimsy,” writes Goff. “What whimsy means to me is a combination of the ‘do’ part of faith along with doing something worth doing.”

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from death to life: my friend’s story.

im so grateful for the response from my latest posts and series. i truly belive there is something unique and wonderful about connected to another’s story. experiencing their journey through pain and disappoint, and hopefully their testimony of redemption and restoration in the end. im grateful to have shared a least a little piece of my puzzle with you, but id now like to share a part of my wonderful friends story.

taylor mitchell is a gem. one of those people you meet and are immediately drawn to by her incredible personality and south Arkansas charm. she truly  loves people and has a real and genuine passion for God that is seen in the veins of every friendship she has and everything she does.
if you met her today, you wouldn’t in a million years expect to hear the kind of testimony she has and the story she’s lived out. before i just go ahead and blurt it out, i want you to watch the video below. this is taylor telling her story with her own words and heart. this is a story of real life redemption. of real pain – met by real love. real sorrow and grief – met by real peace and grace. from death to life, we see God rescue, restore, and redeem again and again. please let her words remind you again of Gods unending love and pursuit of your heart and life.
here is an excerpt from TAYLOR’S BLOG about this video and heart behind filming it.

I am Taylor Mitchell. I have a story, just like you do. It may not look identical to yours, but it could possibly have the same ending…REDEMPTION.
I want to share with you my personal journey. My desire is to tell the world my personal experience because it sheds light into the amazing, everlasting LOVE of Jesus. His relentless and unchanging love. The bible mentions in Revelation 12:11 “and they OVERCAME him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony…” I believe that every time this story is told, I not only find more healing, but others find hope and more than anything, they see that life is not over!! It is not how you start the race, it is how you finish!! I pray today, as you watch and listen, God will invade your heart with His love, His healing, His redemption! You are loved and adored. Don’t settle. Keep pressing forward because YOU have a story to tell!! 

 
Follow Taylor
Blog: iamtaylorm
Twitter: @taylormitchell
Sang and wrote on Trinity Church’s worship album “In You” – be sure and check it out on itunes:: HERE

(this AMAZING video was created by my wonderful and talented friends at Jonathan Link Studios)

if you’re at your desk.

if you’re at your desk for an extended period of time, like me, you get annoyed by your phone vibrating on your desk, or having to hold your phone to watch a video or switch music whilst needing to respond to an email at the same time.

well i have found something just for US.

it’s called the “Milo” by BlueLounge.com
i ordered mine earlier last week and it was shipped and in my mailbox in 4 days. i brought it to work this morning and i think im in love with this wonderful little piece of plastic and suction pads.
what exactly is this and how can this be so great, you ask?!
well here is the answer straight from the blueloung.com site.

This nifty little stand features a hi-tec Japanese micro-suction technology to directly grip your phone at any desired angle. The micro-suction pad is reusable, easily cleaned, and will not leave any residues on your devices or tabletop.

Place the back of your device onto the front micro-suction pad. Hold for a couple of second to ensure the micro-suction fully grasps the flat surface of your device. Freely browse, make phone calls or enjoy your favorite app. Peel off to remove device from Milo.

it really does suction (as opposed to stick) quite nicely. works with any kind of phone, and i can tell you firsthand, it stays very secure to my phone and the stand to my desk and its ONLY a whopping $15.00!

you’re welcome.
-s

Unveiled:a book you need to BUY!

My friend Heidi Kratzke just published and released an amazing tool for any writers out there. It’s called “Unveiled: Writing prompts that reveal the heart of God” and it’s brilliantly filled with everything from six-word stories to ongoing journal activities, famous quotes to intriguing photographs. This book provides hundreds of unique prompts to not only challenge you as a writer, but to also prompt inspiration and creativity when you’re stuck and don’t know where to begin. It’s been a wonderful tool for me to use as a writing practice, while also giving me the opportunity to really see the heart of God in different and unique ways. I know this book would be a great resource to you, as it has been to me. I’d also recommend this for a writers group as well, so get a copy and add it to your library – TODAY! You won’t regret it.

Be sure and get a copy HERE and take a look at the video below, of Heidi sharing heart behind writing this book.

just in time.

for christmas…

this morning i discovered the wonderful creation that is CanvasPop. a neat site that lets you transform your beloved Instragam photos into a 12×12 (or bigger) canvassed work of art. such a fun and personal way to decorate and would also be a great christmas present, i’d imagine. *hint hint*

just in time for the holidays. be sure and check them out HERE!

love, loss, and a life ahead.

Even in the midst of tragedy, Hope and Grace can still be found… constantly steady they are standing tall, with arms wide open – ready to heal the deep places of us. They’re ready to gently and kindly help put the pieces back together, not for it to look like what was, but to beautifully bind together what will be.

This is the story of a beloved friend of mine and how he and his girls have encountered this kind of tragedy and loss, almost a year to the date.

Loss, helplessness, and great pain looked him and his family square in the face. And in those days, weeks, and months that followed loss, the posture of their heart remained in a place that can only equate to the immense kindness and grace of a very loving and very present God.
I want you to read about the very real story of how my friend Guy Delcambre and his family dealt with the loss of a wife, mother, and best friend. How they continue to cling to grace, with assurance that there is Hope not only for tomorrow, but for today, right now, even in this very moment.  Maybe you haven’t experienced a loss like this, but maybe you need to hear about a loving, kind, and gracious savior. One that will meet us at our lowest place, pick us up, and restore us to a new life again.

I GREATLY encourage you to read Guys words over at his wonderful blog allthingsdelcambre.com and start at his post “Rescuing Me” as he remembers the days leading up to the death of his wife Marianne. As he has stated, this is his goal in recounting those days with us all:

Over the course of the next week, I want to share just a bit of my heart as it was during the five days Marianne was in the hospital, the days just before she died.  I really hope you will be able to get a sense of God finding me as I sank deeply.  It is truly the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me.  And it happened in the darkest moments of my life

Do me a solid and SUBSCRIBE to His Blog so you don’t miss a post, follow him on Twitter so you can stalk him, just kidding… he does post pics of his stunning girls and keeps you informed on his new post as well. and lastly, please keep Guy and his girls in your prayers. It’ll be the best decisions you’ll make all week. Maybe all year.
Also, and be sure to scroll back a few days (or weeks, or months, or even years) to see some pictures of his beautiful girls and more encouraging post that he’s written that will be sure to inspire and offer hope to you, today!

-S
*please share this post on your twitter or facebook, so others will have the opportunity to be encouraged and blessed by Guy and his story*

summer hit list

reading is something that lingers in the back of my mind at all times. yet, I never make enough time for it when i know it’s always beneficial for my heart and mind. so this summer I have a reading resolution… hopefully it wont pan out like most new years resolutions… 

i could think of a million books i wanna read, but here are just a few choices for my summer reading hit list.
now, if there is something you think i can’t go without reading, fill me in and quit being selfish.

(click book to open in amazon.com)
   
       

obviously if I read all of these, none of you would never see me. however, if I at least read half, I would be a happy camper.

 -S