What to Do with God-Sized Dreams - Guest Post with Alicia Jones

What to Do with God-Sized Dreams - Guest Post with Alicia Jones

What do we do with a dream larger than ourselves? A dream so grand it could only come from God Himself.  

If the solution is to panic, decide we’re obviously not the right person for the job, and hide under the bed covers, then I’m the girl with all the answers.

It’s easy. I can’t fail if I don’t try.

Doing big things for God often requires us to step outside of ourselves. Away from the familiarities we fondly refer to as our comfort zones; to a place where complete dependence on Him is the only way to find our way.

God can be funny like that.

My dream, as long as I can remember, has been to write. To be a writer.  

(Ok, if we’re being completely honest here, my dream was to write a New York Times best seller, be a guest on the Tonight Show, and essentially become a household name.)

However, now that I have a little life experience under my belt, guidance from the Holy Spirit and direction from the Lord, my dream has changed a bit. You see, I long to write something relevant, something that honors God and brings others to know Him. Something that will encourage believers and start a fire within them.

I yearn to write powerful, God-given words of life

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Dear Church, It's Time to Step Up

Dear Church, It's Time to Step Up

I was nearing fifth grade graduation when news broke about the Columbine shooting. Tears soaked my cheeks as I lamented the victims and their families. I watched the TV in shock — I’d never heard of such a horrific and hateful act taking place on US soil!

With every heart wrenching story of another mass shooting, I’ve slowly become calloused towards these acts of terror. Not in a sense that I no longer grieve for those suffering, because I definitely do, but the news doesn’t carry the same shock factor. It’s almost expectant to hear of a shooting here or a bombing there. It’s really sad that this has become our reality.

Yet the Orlando shooting struck me in a similar manner to that of Columbine. It not only holds the highest death and injury count, but Florida is my home turf. I’ve gone out in Downtown Orlando and I have friends who live there currently. How could this happen?

So what can we do about this? We can live with our guard up – wrapping ourselves in a fearful, protective bubble ­– avoiding churches, malls, movie theaters and night clubs. Or we can fight back. And by fight, I don’t mean purchasing firearms, starting wars or campaigning for gun laws (While I believe there are definitely things that could be done to help, I’ll save those issues & debates for another time).

So for now, here’s how we should fight back…

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Watching the Harvest from My Empty Field

Watching the Harvest from My Empty Field

The persuasive words of his smooth talk slid into my thoughts like butter. Go on, take a look – just a quick look, what could it hurt?

Over the other shoulder, a gentle whisper quietly rebuked it. There’s no need to click that link – you know exactly what… 

Click

The Backstory

If you’ve followed this blog from the beginning, you know how I used to be a complete workaholic, spending every waking moment on my side business (read it here). It was only when I recognized that I had lost sight of the most important things in life – serving my Savior and loving on my family ­­– that God gave me peace about leaving my job and launching my business full time.

I had tried to quit that position before, coveting companies that had half the commute or more desirable hours. With each threat to leave, God confirmed I was to stay. A full-time offer with a raise, a bonus, a gift card – all in perfect timing.

But this last time was different. There was no counter offer from my boss, no promotion or salary increase to keep me in my seat. No closed doors. Just peace. 

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Escape the Desert, Find Freedom

Escape the Desert, Find Freedom

Freedom. It’s a word I know, yet don’t understand.

As I sit here in the air-conditioned comfort of my spacious home office, typing on my Macbook Pro, with a full belly, and clean water at hand, I’ve realized I don’t know anything but freedom. Sure, sometimes school felt like an entrapment. Or perhaps I’ve felt chained to my desk at times, but I’ll never truly comprehend the enslavement that the Israelites went through in Egypt, or what thousands of children mining for diamonds or picking vegetables are going through worldwide today.

I feel like the Jews who were talking to Jesus. He had told them, “Then you’ll know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). But their response showed their lack of understanding: “We have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (John 8:33).

Yet, the Lord has shown me this week, in multiple instances, that I am not living in the freedom I’ve been given. It’s hard to know what freedom looks like for someone who has been “free” my whole life!

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5 Stages of Balance – And Which One to Aim For

5 Stages of Balance – And Which One to Aim For

If you search YouTube for “juggling” you’ll find countless acts of people juggling multiple of the same item. It doesn’t seem too hard when everything is the same weight, shape and size. Then there’s Michael Davis. He starts juggling a bowling ball, an apple and an egg, taking a bit out of the apple every time it’s tossed. Michael starts juggling faster and faster, continuing to eat the apple, until — smash — raw egg ends up all over his face.

I think this is an accurate picture of life. When we try to take on too many things at a rapid pace, we’ll end up with a mess. But if you’re trying to find “balance,” I don’t think it should look like a juggling act. Work. Sleep. Husband. Cooking. Church. Laundry. Friends. Rest. Trying to toss all of those around at the same time would cause anyone to crash! 

Instead of a juggling act, picture "balance" as a wheel, or even better, a bike ride. Which rider are you?

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Find Your Purpose - Part 3: Distinguishing Passion from Purpose

Find Your Purpose - Part 3: Distinguishing Passion from Purpose

In 8th grade, my dad dusted off his acoustic guitar and taught me a song. One simple, 4-note song. I’m totally meant to be a guitar-player! I taught myself a few chords, printed out some worship songs, and by high school was starring in my youth group praise band.

The only problem: I was horrible at guitar! If I didn’t know a chord, I’d substitute it with one of the four that I did know – close enough, right? Our band sounded like a broken record. Laura played slow, I played fast. Laura sang pitch-perfect, I sounded like a howler monkey. (Good thing it’s, “make a joyful noise to the Lord,” not a pleasant noise)!

Although I loved playing guitar and singing worship, I was not created for that purpose!

So how can we tell the difference between passion and profession? Get out a pen and paper and follow these steps...

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