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Sometimes a single word or phrase has the power to change the course of our lives, and “Chickening IN” is that word for JJ Gutierrez. This little twist on a familiar phrase launched JJ into a transformational journey from fear to faith. Her book, Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, 8 Pillars of Transformation, is a practical guide to defeating fear and doubt. I spoke with JJ in February, but we especially need her message today.Overcoming fear is a process. One step follows another, with small, sometimes imperceptible forward movement. That first step of faith, saying “God, I’m terrified,” invites Him into the conversation. As He speaks truth, we are able to take those practical steps we need to take.How many times have you “chickened out”? Chickening IN is an invitation to a lifestyle of courage and faith.LinksJJ Gutierrez, Courage Challenger and Mentor – chickeningin.comGet the book (affiliate link): Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, 8 Pillars of TransformationFind JJ on Instagram and FacebookSupport the show (
How do you define success? Is it financial? Family? Creative or business achievements? Or does it have to do with something else? Tim Winders is a Performance Coach and author who specializes in helping Executive Teams and Entrepreneurial Leaders maximize their potential by looking beyond traditional “cookie-cutter” methods that often limit the creative process. A lifelong student, he thrives on helping people discover how to live outside of the box and walk out their unique God-given calling. In his own life, he has frequently taken the road less traveled, and found great satisfaction off the beaten path. As host of the SeekGoCreate podcast, Tim goes to the out of the way places to bring you people who redefine success and impact our world in remarkable ways as dreamers, movers, strategists, and connectors. Tim's SeekGoCreate Podcast@SeekGoCreateSupport the show (
What happens when you play catch every day for a year? Ethan Bryan played catch on New Year's Day with his daughters. Then they had an idea. "Dad, what if you played catch every day for an entire year?"That's 365 days of catch! It's 500 catch partners, 10 states, and 12,000 miles, rain, wind, and snow. It's about play, letting our guard down, and connecting with each other.Do you have a story about how play connected you to something bigger? LinksA Year of Playing Catch: What a Simple Daily Experiment Taught Me About Life, by Ethan Bryanethanbryan.comSupport the show (
Today I’d like to take my 14 years experience managing a nonprofits and offer help for leaders in this area. Download the guide at A Spirituality of Fundraising, by Henri J.M. NouwenYou can read this through in one sitting. It’s only 50-60 pages. And it deals with the most important part of your fundraising–your mind. So many people start because of passion, but then run into a wall because fundraising feels like begging. So we’ve got to change our mindset. This is a book that invites us to examine our hearts, motives, and methods and align these with God’s word. If you come to me for fundraising coaching, Session One homework is to read this book. 2) FREEDOM Fundraising Framework: 7 Steps to Build and Sustain Your Next Campaign, by Mary ValloniThis book outlines Mary’s FREEDOM Fundraising Framework. Raising funds successfully and consistently requires strategy! The Freedom framework gives you that strategy, from clarifying your mission and message to building and deploying your teams and making your difference! I interviewed Mary in episode 42, and Mary has a podcast called Fundraising Freedom.3) Fully Funded AcademyThis resource is specifically for missionaries raising support. Fully Funded Academy is a monthly membership training program that gives you the clarity and confidence to launch, grow, and scale your financial support base. If you need more 1:1 support, I'm a Fully Funded Certified Coach.4) Cairification, from Claire AxelradThere are really only two blogs you need to follow. The first one is “Clairification” from Claire Axelrad. This blog is a tremendous source of knowledge on all things fundraising and philanthropy. 5) The Storytelling NonprofitThe next blog is the Storytelling Nonprofit, from Vanessa Chase Lockshin. I interviewed Vanessa in episode 27. As the   Storytelling Nonprofit, Vanessa’s focus is on recognizing, collecting and telling stories that help donors connect with our cause. 6) GuideStar (now part of Candid)You need to be sure your organization is listed on GuideStar, and that you keep your listing updated each year. This is the place where foundations and funders will look to verify your information, got make sure you are a legit 501c3. So when you apply for a grant, and when you apply to get listed on other nonprofit sites like TechSoup, they need to find you here. 7) TechSoupThis next one will save you TONS of money on software and tech. Do NOT go to sketchy discount software stores where you could end up with pirated software, or malware. Get the real deal. 8) ECFAFor Christian nonprofit organizations, I want to mention ECFA. Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.  They produce some of the best resources (books, guides, webinars, and more) to guide your organization in areas of good governance and financial accountability. If you are just beginning the process of starting a nonprofit, start here! Use their resources for building a strong board and organizational structure that will serve you well for many years. Get the nonprofit fundraising guide, at the show (
Brian J Dixon on making money in ministry, taking care of relationships, and having those difficult but important conversations. Connect with BrianWebsite: the Hope*Writer quizMore about Hope*Writers: Links may be affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these resources, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.Support the show (
Joyce Glass is The Write Coach, helping writers through the process of writing and completing their books. Key TakeawaysThere is a process to writingShare your work for accountabilityGet prayer coveringGet in a writing communityWriting is a skill you can learnWriting, editing, and research are all different things. Don't try to do them all at once!Break large projects in to smaller partsGet the help you needLinksConnect with Joyce at TheWriteCoach.bizPodcast - The Write HourSupport the show (
The Gift of Doubt

The Gift of Doubt


Doubt can be a gift, because it alerts us when something's amiss. Here's a way to engage doubt without getting burned.We rarely see doubt as a good thing. It’s been called a dream-killer. Something to overcome or push through. And certainly, doubt can be destructive. But I propose we take another look at the gift of doubt.Doubt can be hard to define but it plays out in indecision, hesitation, busywork, loss of enthusiasm, etc. When we encounter doubt, the first response is often fear. How is doubt a gift?I say doubt is a gift because it alerts us when something’s amiss. There’s an inconsistency somewhere. Something differs from our understanding. Doubt calls us to examine things more closely. It’s normal and okay to have doubts, especially when we're in unfamiliar territory, or when we’re doing something new.In the Bible, the disciples didn’t believe the women who came back and reported Jesus was no longer in the grave. It was a new thing. “Doubting” Thomas, gets a bad rep for asking for proof of the resurrected Christ, but Jesus doesn’t rebuke him for it. Instead, he invites Thomas to test and see. He didn’t push Thomas away; Jesus invited Thomas to come closer.How we respond to doubt is important.If we fear doubt, we push it away or ignore it. We cover it with platitudes and affirmations. So there’s this big monster doubt over in the corner, and we start moving around it, avoiding it, tip-toeing past so we don’t wake it up. We leave larger and larger chunks of our lives unexplored and dangerous.If we give it freedom to roam about unchecked, it steals from us. It nags and worries. It criticizes. Like a raging fire, destroying everything in its path.Like fire, if we set boundaries and engage doubt with respect, it can work for us. It can be a good thing, when properly contained.Think for a moment about a beef brisket. It’s tough. It comes from an unglamorous part of the cow. But if you apply a slow, gentle fire, that meat turns into something tender that melts in your mouth. It becomes memorable, rich, and flavorful. And what about sugar? It has one flavor. Sweet. Just sweet. Nothing but sweet. It has no aroma, it’s only one-dimensional. But when you apply heat, it browns and caramelizes and it develops over 100 flavor compounds. That process is permanent. Fire (heat) forever changes that food. You cook something, and it never goes back to the way it was.If doubt is like fire, then it can help us engage our ideas at a deeper level. Look at things from different angles, check our assumptions. And that can lead to innovation, growth, breakthrough, and discovery.How to engage doubt without getting burned:Get the right people in the kitchen. Relationships help us see truth. Explore the doubt with people you can trust. Not the people who will tell you they never believed in your dream, anyway. They could’ve told you it would never work. That’s like throwing gasoline on the fire, and somebody will get burned.But you also don’t want to go to the people who just tell you how great you are and how it’ll all work out. They’ll make you feel better, but it will not be helpful. You won’t get that rich flavor profile because they won’t let the fire burn hot enough. And please, don’t let people in your kitchen who don’t know anything about cooking!You need people with the knowledge and stamina to stay in a hot kitchen long enough to help you draw all the flavor out of this thing. You might need an expert in your field, or someone with more experience, or you may just need a great coach.Exploring these things demands honesty and vulnerability. If our perceptions or assumptions turn out to be wrong, then changing them can take courage. Support the show (
Interview with Mike Lane of Hope Bridges, a nonprofit serving over one-hundred children in northern Thailand with food, clothing, education, and basic health care. ResourcesHopebridges.orgThe most life-changing coffee you’ve ever had.Join the Life and Mission Community Support the show (
If you’ve got a message of any kind, you’ll need to find some level of comfort stepping in front of the camera or speaking into a microphone. Tami Romani is a Brand Voice Strategist and a Business Communication Consultant. She helps business owners and brand representatives feel comfortable when they’re being the voice of their own brand. But she goes beyond tips and techniques, right into the heart of why we do what we do. Tami shares how she started a successful online group, Building Empty Nest Empires, and how small things make a big impact.Key TakeawaysWe're all building empires, of finance, family, faith, fun, and fitness.Small things can have big impact.We can be intentional about building great memories.Different seasons of life look different, and that's okay!Empty nester? You've still got a lot to give!We have to be purposeful about building community.Support the show (
Ronne Rock is a storyteller, truth-teller, hope-dealer. Her new book is One Woman Can Change the World: Reclaiming Your God- Designed Influence and Impact Right Where You Are.One Woman Can Change the World: Reclaiming Your God- Designed Influence and Impact Right Where You Are  (Amazon link) the show (
Public speaking is one of the best marketing tools you could ever hope to employ. Aurora Gregory coaches speakers on every aspect of the speaker life. In this interview, she shares tips for virtual speaking opportunities, and more.Key Takeaways:You can have an audience any time you want.This new season creates opportunities.Public speaking is one of the best marketing tools.There are ways to translate the live experience to a virtual one.Tell stories.Make eye contact.Create a meaningful experience for your audience.Resources:auroragregory.comGet Picked: Tips, Tricks and Tools for Creating An Irresistible Speaker Proposal by Aurora Gregory & David Pitlik (Amazon Link)Here's an earlier interview with Aurora, about public speaking and the fears every entrepreneur has to face - the show (
Mary Valloni has helped thousands of individuals and organizations overcome the lack and scarcity mindset to fund and fulfill their missions. Her award-winning book is Fundraising Freedom: 7 Steps to Build & Sustain Your Next Campaign.Talking about moneyWhile many of us shy away from conversations about money, Mary tackles the money issue straight-on: “Let’s just start dreaming, because there’s no reason why money should ever stop anyone from fulfilling the vision that God has given to them… If money is your biggest problem right now, I’ve got something to tell you. That can be overcome. We can tackle that. That is easy on the scale of what to overcome.”How does she know the money problem can be overcome? She’s done it. In a recession.Mary’s enthusiasm and her joy are contagious. We need more people like her. One of the big problems for fundraisers, especially in ministry, is that we do it alone. So, Mary teamed up with Mike Kim, a top personal brand and marketing expert. They created Fully Funded Academy, which helps missionaries get – you guessed it – fully funded.The process for missionaries or nonprofits of any size is basically the same, and it follows Mary’s seven-step framework laid out in her Fundraising Freedom book.Our focus in this interview is on mindset, because during a crisis it’s easy to assume people aren’t going to give. But that’s not the case!“This is not the time to freeze and to slow down. This is absolutely the time to innovate and to  figure out what is what, go back to the foundation of why you created this thing in the first place, and realize that your vision has not changed one bit. We are just going to do this a little bit differently.” - Mary ValloniWhat you can do right nowCommunicate frequently, because that’s what friends do. Now is the time to check in on our supporters, to see how they’re doing, and to ask for their advice. Share the wins, even the little wins. There is a lot of bad news these days, so your good news will get noticed. “We all need each other. Some people are going to have the finances; some people are going to have the passion, the time commitment to go and do the physical work. But we are all in this together.”Connect with Mary - maryvalloni.comMary's Fundraising Freedom Podcast - the book (Amazon affiliate link)Support the show (
Ghostwriter. Sounds mysterious, doesn't it? In today's show, my guest Nick Pavlidis unpacks what a ghostwriter is, what they do, and who can benefit from hiring one.Nick used to practice law, but he wanted more control over his time, and more time with his family (you can hear more about that in our earlier interview). He became a skilled ghostwriter, and now he’s teaching others the craft and business of ghostwriting.His mission? Nick says, “I help people help people.”What is a ghostwriter?Ghostwriters help create written content, often without a byline. That content might be a series of blog posts or articles, or it might be posts for social media. It could be a book. “Basically we’re creating written content and positioning it to make a connection with a desired reader for a greater purpose,” says Nick.Why hire a ghostwriter?Saves you time, so you can focus on the things you do best.Publishing consistent high-quality articles, blog posts, and social media posts helps build authority and trust in your industry.Having a book establishes you as someone who is knowledgable, and opens doors for you. This is especially true of you want more speaking engagements.Writing is part of it, but positioning that content to make a connection is something else. This is a special skill. The ghostwriter does more than take your words and ideas, and rearrange them on the page. The skilled ghostwriter understands how to deliver your content to the reader in an effective way.A skilled ghostwriter can do this for you:Gathers the information and organizes it in a logical wayCreates structure for your storyBrings expertise to both the writing and presentation of your messageMakes your content easy for Google to indexThis skillful organization and positioning helps your audience find you. It strengthens connections and help keep your readers engaged. Ultimately, by hiring a ghostwriter to create quality content, your message can help more people.The difference between a good book and a great book is not the information. It’s really the presentation.  -Nick PavlidisLinksConnect with Nick Pavlidis at on Facebook or LinkedIn.If you’re interested in becoming a ghostwriter, get Nick’s guide here.Connect with Kay at KayHelm.comGet the full show notes and transcript at the show (
Kristin Ingram is a Small Biz Mama. In this interview, she shares how she’s able to run multiple businesses and enjoy family life. Plus, tips for launching your successful online business!You can connect with Kristin at smallbizmama.comSupport the show (
We are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and my guest is therapist, and author KJ Ramsey. We’re taking about pain and suffering, our bodies and stress, grief, and our communion with Christ.We tend to think that more effort should produce a blessing. When we suffer, we might question our faith, or we might question whether we have a strong enough prayer life, or wonder if there's more we could do to earn God's favor. K.J. says, "I think that for me, finding hope and suffering and finding joy in suffering, being able to be resilient within vast amounts of uncertainty. That has largely come through dwelling in the scripture and seeing what the whole scripture says about what is the story that God is writing in our world and where does my life fall within it." What becomes clear is that God chose to enter into our suffering. Now, as we walk through the uncertainty of our times, in this coronavirus pandemic, we can know we are not alone. Still, we have lost much. Acknowledging that grief and allowing ourselves to grieve the losses is human and healthy. It's not a sign of a small faith, but rather, it's an invitation to draw close to God, who loves us."We cannot be unaffected by this grief. And so we have an invitation here to be honest about where we're at, but this is too heavy for us, and that we can set aside our striving and let our souls be where we're actually at...That's where we can experience the grace and rest of a God who loves us, not for what we do, but for existing because we're his children." - K.J. RamseyLinks:This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering @kjramseywritesDisclosure: Links may be affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these resources, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Support the show (
Where is God?

Where is God?


I was struggling. I found myself sitting at a picnic table at the beach, praying a simple, desperate prayer: “Jesus, I need you to come have lunch with me.”He did show up, just not in the way I expected. If I hadn't been writing it all down, I might have missed it.Full transcript at the show (
Sometimes a single word or phrase has the power to change the course of our lives, and “Chickening IN” is that word for JJ Gutierrez. This little twist on a familiar phrase launched JJ into a transformational journey from fear to faith. Her book, Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, 8 Pillars of Transformation, is a practical guide to defeating fear and doubt. I spoke with JJ in February, but her message is especially needed today.JJ says, "We all have fear. But some of us have a lifestyle of fear."Chickening IN represents a lifestyle shift. It’s the transformation that takes place when we face our fear and confront it with the truth. In JJ’s case, a simple comment from her daughter was the catalyst for life-changing action. And it gave her a word to share, to help bring this lifestyle change to us. During our conversation, JJ shared her own story of “chickening in”, the eight pillars of transformation, the ways fear lies to us, and examples of how people in the Bible experienced and overcame fear.Overcoming fear is a process. One step follows another, with small, sometimes imperceptible forward movement. That first step of faith, saying “God, I’m terrified,” invites Him into the conversation. As He speaks truth, we are able to take those practical steps we need to take.How many times have you “chickened out”? Chickening IN is an invitation to a lifestyle of courage and faith.LinksJJ Gutierrez, Courage Challenger and Mentor – chickeningin.comGet the book (affiliate link): Chickening IN: From Fear to Courageous Faith, 8 Pillars of TransformationFind JJ on Instagram and FacebookSupport the show (
Do you have a story to tell?You may not think you have a story, or you may think your story is too overwhelming (and it may be, at the moment). Either way, a simple, structured approach along with a safe space and community to share with may be what you need.Mackenzie Ryan is a national award-winning journalist and founder of Faith Storytellers, a community that is lifting up and sharing the story God is writing in the world through true, first-person stories of faith. "The goal of first-person storytelling is to help people share in a way that creates emotional space so it can be given almost like a gift. I'm giving you the story and then I'm letting it go and you are picking up that story and receiving it."To facilitate the storytelling, Mackenzie has developed a storytelling guide (which you can download from the Faith Storytellers website) to give structure to the storytelling process. She created free resources and an online community dedicated to lifting up and sharing the story. She also leads workshops and walks new storytellers through the process of shaping stories, drawing out the divine details, and sharing them with others. "Really the goal was just to share what we know to be true about God. If somebody is going through a hardship or struggle, they might not be able to see because God is just so close to them, you know? It's almost like, he's just so close to you, you can't see him. You're in a fog, and he's so close. But once you get some distance and you can look back and like, 'Oh, that's where he was! That's how he was working in my life!' And just think of the impact you could have sharing your story. I mean, that happened five, ten, twenty years ago, with someone who is going through the same thing right now."Your story may be just what someone needs to hear.This week's resources:Read stories and sign up for weekly Faith Storytellers email: Facebook: a free faith storytelling guide: Ryan Media,  Faith Storytellers provides storytelling resources to churches, life groups and ministries and shares individual stories every Wednesday on Facebook and directly to your inbox. Mackenzie hung up her press badge in 2019 to found M Ryan Media, a content marketing and public relations company that uses values-based storytelling to drive results for businesses, nonprofits and personal brands. She lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, and loves gardening, reading and running. She spends most of her free time with her fiance, Andy, his two boys and their two crazy dogs, Maddie and Jax.Support the show (
Katie Hornor started her businesses with no savings, no loans, and no debt. She has overcome incredible odds in growing her business. Her latest book is Faith Like Flamingos - The Christian Business Guide to Walking Out Your Faith in Bold Color.Don't let the big pink birds fool you, Katie is serious about helping us as Christian entrepreneurs to overcome imposter syndrome and take big, bold steps to be who God created us to be. The seed for Faith Like Flamingos started on a family vacation to see flamingos in the wild, where Katie realized these beautiful creatures were just like us in many ways. [00:09:09] Each one of them is unique and different and God has created each of us unique and different too. And when we don't step up and give the message that we've been given to give, someone on the other end is not receiving the help that God created us to give them so that they can fulfill their purpose.In the book, she takes a different characteristic of the Flamingo in each chapter and draws from biblical principles to make a business application that mirrors that characteristic of the Flamingo. Things like:not hiding who you are being bold to be who you were created to be regardless of your surroundingsnot being afraid to live where God puts youstanding together with others so we can all succeed[22:05] When you sit there and say, I can't do that because I'm not like so-and-so. You're forgetting about the unique voice God has given you to call those people and to motivate them into action.Resources:Disclosure: Links may be affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage of any purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Thank you.Buy the Book: Faith Like Flamingos Website:’s podcast: Trailer to my first interview with Katie (Episode 17)Support the show (
The Power of Lament

The Power of Lament


All last month we talked about calling and purpose. But what happens when things don’t go as planned? What happens when you get bad news? When everything falls apart?The Bible gives us plenty of examples; an incredibly powerful way to deal with suffering, called a lament. Lament is a powerful form of worship. It’s both an expression of grief or anguish, and a cry of hope. “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” You know who said that? Jesus, on the cross. He was quoting David, Psalm 22 - which says “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1, NIV) More than one third of the Psalms are laments.  And then of course there’s Job, and an entire book called Lamentations. Habakkuk. And more.So why am I talking about lament on this podcast? I’m supposed to be encouraging. Find your voice, tell your story, change the world and all that. But the truth is we get stuck sometimes. The voice gets stuck at the back of the throat. There’s no strength to push this dream on anymore. The world is too big to change, and the burdens too heavy to carry. But take heart. Lament is a reminder that we're not alone. God hears our cries. He isn't going to change the subject or walk away. Even when He’s silent - He’s still there."The time when there is nothing at all in your soul except a cry for help may be just that time when God can't give it: you are like the drowning man who can't be helped because he clutches and grabs. Perhaps your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear." - C.S. Lewis"Every lament is a prayer; a statement of faith" and "You might think lament is the opposite of praise. It isn’t. Instead, lament is a path to praise as we are led through our brokenness and disappointment. The space between brokenness and God’s mercy is where this song is sung. Think of lament as the transition between pain and promise. It is the path from heartbreak to hope." - Mark VroegopHere is a pattern for lament:Addressing GodReview of God’s faithfulness in the past. Complaint Confession of sin or of innocenceRequest Expression of trust/praiseLament is not a denial of faith. It is not a sign of weak faith. Rather, it is a way of reaching out  to God. In actually signals we trust God with our deepest questions and our most painful and raw emotions. It is a form of worship. And when someone near us is suffering, we can come and sit beside them. We can join them in the lament. - Mourn with those who mourn -  It is an act of love.Recommended:A Grief Observed by C.S. LewisDark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament by Mark VroegopThis Too Shall Last - a new podcast and book by KJ Ramsey Disclosure: Links may be affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage of any purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Thank you.Support the show (
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