Happy New Year everyone!
I'm back from a nice, long holiday with lots of content and thoughts to share with you over the next 12 months. Thanks reading
over recent weeks, can't wait to see what 2016 holds for us all! In 2015, one of the key things I learned was this:
If you want to see real change it's more than just a quick fix: it's a lifestyle, built through many small habits that emanate through your whole life. And it takes time.
There are many ways to steward change in your life, and I believe a lot of this comes from where we spend our time and who we spend it with. This doesn't always seem immediately obvious but it is the smallest things which accumulate to have the largest impact. So as time goes on I want to do my bit through
to share with you the little things that are changing my life day by day: practical and tangible tools to help you get fully stuck in to a life with Jesus.
“If you want something deep in your life, don’t ever expect it to the come through an event— unless it initiates a process.” - Hannah Brencher
As I was drafting of this post, I came across the above quote on Hannah Brencher’s blog which was incredibly fitting as for what we're currently discussing. To see real, tangible change in our lives we need to adjust our expectations and zoom in on the tiny components that make up our daily lives, not only one the one-off big events we also experience. In 2015, one of the most influential 'little things' I did was get back into reading. I read some brilliant books (fiction, non-fiction, faith-based and otherwise) which have expanded my outlook, and challenged my way of thinking. Whether you subscribe to the idea of resolutions or not, there is always ample opportunity for self-improvement, so why not pick up a new book and explore? Here's some suggestions to start you off:
How to live life to the full
“Our human nature tells us to stick with what is established and proven. Yet I believe God wants us to keep pushing toward what is unknown and uninitiated, to look forward with a spirit of unpredictability and a spirit of adventure” - Live, Love, Lead
I wasn't sure to expect from the latest book by the founder of one of the most influential movements of the last 30 years, Hillsong. With churches from Kiev to South Africa frequented by all sorts of people (including Justin Bieber) and a hugely successful music label, I thought Live Love Lead would be the story of Brian Houston's perfect life. The story of people who have been extra special, and who have had it extra easy from day one. In other words: entirely unrelatable. But Live Love Lead is SO much more than that. It is the story of normal people who simply met Jesus and were never the same again. Stories of people that went out of their way to live life to the full, and continue to do so, against all odds. Living proof that an honest and open life with Jesus and others is the best decision we could ever make. Live Love Lead outlines how we too can do the same, and live a fulfilled life, a life that's full of adventure. Get Live Love Lead here.
“The truth is, the gateway to knowing God only feels tight and constricting when we try to do it on our own” - Live, Love, Lead
Anything by Jennie AllenWhat does it mean to surrender your life to absolutely 'anything'?
“I know we are afraid of anything too radical or costly. I used to think I would find life in the medium, but I just felt more stuck […] it was really numb and boring and empty. Now that I have tasted all in, I don’t want medium. We weren’t made for medium” - Anything
For those of us who pray, it's likely that we mainly pray for what we want, or what we would like. But what if we prayed for "Anything", absolutely anything God wanted (even if we didn't)? It's a bit daunting to leave all your ambitions and desires at the door and become subject to something other than yourself. Especially if that something is as ethereal, mystical and invisible as God may seem. All these thoughts ran through my mind, and with great trepidation I bought Anything anyway. In Anything, Jennie highlights how all the things she once desired and built up in her mind – a good family, a nice house, a stable job – paled in comparison when she met the One who had the power to give her a life that was better than average, fully-awake and in pursuit of the eternal.
Anything is perfect if you’re wondering what ‘more’ to life exists, if you can feel a tug in your inner-self telling you that right now you're playing life a little too safe. We’ve all tried to pursue something – good looks, money, whatever but it seems like an exercise in futility, we never seem to get there, there's always something else. Living a life of Anything puts everything back into perspective and opens the gate wide for you to life a meaningful, impactful life full of adventure read it here.
The Good Stuff : A Guide to Finishing Strong by Havilah CunningtonA great starting point for anyone trying to dig deeper into this 'God-life'
, a few people have a
sked me how they can 'get back into it'. 'It' being regular relationship with God. One good way to start is by doing a devotional, as it is a set guide for building a relationship with God. Devotionals are aids, not the solution though and every good devotional will point you back to spending one-on-one time with God and the only book we really need, the Bible. I'm still currently reading this book, and it's a great start if you're looking for a few pages to read on a daily basis with a good structure. It’s a slim, easy-to-digest 21 day plan that takes your through some of the key principles for living well. One of my favourite takeaways at the moment is that:
“Leaders aren’t smarter, cuter or better. They just simply outlast the crowd” - The Good Stuff
'Sticking to it' no matter what happens, will bring you squarely to where you need to be.
So don't shy away if you 'fall off' for a while, keeping coming back, keeping exploring, keep pursuing this Jesus life. Sometimes it's that extra push of perseverance that will get you where you need to be. Join me on the devotional and
That's all until next week guys, thank you SO much for reading in 2015 and this year look forward to more (frequent!) posts. Have you bought or read any of these books? If so,
and don't forget to