Books I’ve Read (Summer 2019)

Happy Friday RM fam! Hope you all had a fab week!

 

Something me and Coco have in common is we love a good book.

As we are approaching the end of the summer, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to share some awesome reads I picked up!

 

Unashamed – Christine Caine

Ahh I FINALLY got round to reading this book, and so glad I did!

 

 

 

This has to be one of my favourite books I’ve read this year. There was so much gold within these pages, as well as being a topic that I believe is so important to be talked about. Caine covers the subject of feeling shame: how we can carry it throughout our lives, how it can paralyse us and withhold us of living our full God given potential. She counterattacks the subject with Gods truth – and through the word finding freedom and hope for the future.

The truth is Jesus died on the cross for all of our shame, for our past, our mistakes and old ways. We have been made new in Christ – we are free. We have been delivered from the chains of shame, and this book highlights this truth to the reader so that they may know what God has done for them.

We also find out a bit more about Christine and the work that A21 (which Christine is part of and an organisation that I support and admire greatly) has done in helping girls become free from slavery and heal from shame and hurt. This was for me quite a moving read. I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone who has had their life gripped by shame one way or another.

 

Sisterhood – Bobbie Houston

Oh how I love this woman! I’ve been following her on social media for a few years and some may know her as being the wife of Brian Houston (founder and lead global pastor of Hillsong Church). However Bobbie is also the founder of Sisterhood: which is a growing movement of everyday women who desire to make a difference and make the world a better place. The movement embodies the power of community and a collective spirit; two things I agree can make such a positive impact.

 

 

In these pages Houston goes into how the movement started and came about; we also get to know a bit more about Bobbie which I loved!

The ultimate message I got from reading this was that we as women coming together have the power to make significant change and be a part of something BIG with God. Many times especially as women we can underestimate ourselves – and we forget that we are daughters of the KING of Kings, the most high! This book was a sweet reminder of that. God wants us to be His vessel to do some AMAZING life changing impactful things; that leads others to HIM. This was an encouraging and uplifting read – inspiring the reader that she truly can initiate change in and around her life.

 

Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential – Dr Carol S.Dweck

I’ve done a whole post on this book it’s that good! So feel free to check that out if you want more insight. Dr Dweck is a well respected psychologist and has contributed a lot in her field, the reviews on this book were very high so I was super excited to pick this up.

Personally, I like reading a lot of topics but in particular I enjoy books that make me think. I’m all about learning the power of the mind and the different approaches we can have to situations all because of how our mind is programmed.

 

 

There are two mindset approaches: fixed and growth. In this book Dr Dweck explores the different approaches, their effects and the different ways we can change our mindset. As well as how to change our mindset, Dweck gives attention to the importance of maintaining that change. I know this book is common with psychology students however this is an engaging, easy read and I took a LOT from it. This is (literally) a thought provoking read – and I’d recommend to anyone.

 

Becoming a woman of the word – Karol Ladd

Karol Ladd is the author of 35 + books, this one being the first I’ve read from her. I liked how Ladd laid out the contents of this book, making it an easy to follow yet enjoyable read. The title initially caught my eye, encouraging the reader to rediscover their passion for the word and life with it. This book can also be used in a 6/8 week study group setting so would be great to read along with some girlfriends which I think is quite a cute idea! So why not grab some girls and dig through this book together?

 

 

There is a section near the end of the book called “Bonus help and information” where Ladd addresses common questions about different translations: how we got the bible, there is also an in depth overview of the old and new testament. I would say this book is ideal for women new in their walk with Christ (also think this book would be a good gift!).

I truly believe its so so soooo important to not only be a reader of the word but also a doer of the word – and this book highlights that very well. There is chapters on the different ways that we can memorise scripture, meditating on the word and the heart of worship. Basically there are a lot of golden nuggets within these pages!

Practical, informative and one that I will for sure re read a few more times in the years to come – I highly recommend!

 

 

What have you been reading over the summer? I’d love to know!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Chloe x

Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential

Happy Saturday RM fam!

Hope you’re having a fab weekend so far!

I’ve been making the most of this glorious weather that has hit Scotland all of a sudden today and catching up on my reading. My current read of choice is from Dr. Carol Dweck titled “Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential” and it’s SO good! The pages are filled with golden drops of goodness that I had to share and recommend to you guys!

One thing me and Coco have in common is we LOVE a good book. I love a book that makes you think and reflect on what you’re reading. If you’re also into that – as well as learning about the mind/psychology – then this is for you.

 

 

Carol Dweck is highly known for her work on the fixed and growth mindset. In this book she also goes about how people can change their mindset and more importantly  maintaining the change. Something she wrote that truly spoke to me was “It’s amazing-once a problem improves, people often stop doing what caused it to improve. These changes have to be supported or they can go away faster than they appeared” (p.243) phew!

If you are not familiar, here’s how Dweck breaks down understanding the fixed and growth mindset:

Fixed mindset – people who believe their basic abilities, their intelligence and talents are just fixed traits.

Growth mindset– individuals who believe their talents can be developed through strategies, good teaching, hard work and persistence.

The advantages of having a growth mindset may seem obvious, but after being 100% real with myself and reflecting, I often would have a fixed mindset in certain situations.

Dweck encourages the reader throughout each chapter to think about their way of thinking. Is your way of thinking hindering or encouraging you?

How is your mindset? Are you willing to try again if you fail the first time? How do you see setbacks – as an indication of developing your skills or as an indication to avoid/label yourself as a failure?

 

I LOVED chapter 4 where she writes about athletes and their mindset when it comes to challenges (this chapter for me was really inspiring!). She quotes a famous statement made by Michael Jordan when he was talking about his failures in his career:

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Jordan had the growth mindset, he embraced his mistakes and failures instead of letting them define him. His mind-set was set right….and look where that got him!

 

As you can probably tell I got a LOT from this book, and will for sure re read a few more times to get more golden pieces of wisdom!

 

I’d recommend this book to anyone and everyone!

What are you currently reading? I would love to know.

 

 

Chloe x

 

The Rope Illustration by Francis Chan

Happy Saturday!

Recently I saw Pastor Francis Chan use such a great illustration which showed the timeline for our existence both on earth and in eternity. The points he shared were such gold I thought I had to share for those who haven’t seen it.

A very small part of the rope is coloured red – representing the length of our life here on earth. The rest of the rope was white – which was our existence for eternity which goes across the stage.

The illustration reminded me how the choices we make here on earth, what we do within that red part, will effect the rest of that rope. It’s so easy to worry only about the little red part, which can steer us from seeing the full perspective of eternity. Chan made the point that there are so many of us only living and focusing for the little red part that it consumes us.

Psalm 49 was a chapter I read and reflected on after watching this illustration. We can get so caught up with gaining things from the world, that we forget about the (much) bigger picture.  Psalm 49 explains that people even with all the wealth and riches of the world can’t take that with them “for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendour will not descend with them” (Psalm 49:17) as blunt as it seems that’s where material and worldly things get left behind.

If you haven’t already, I highly suggest watching the video. Got so much food for thought and hope that you do too!

 

Chloe x

Ambition: Gaining the world and losing your soul ( Part 1)

As I work towards launching and growing a business, I read a lot of business literature on the subject of ambition. I am building a carefully curated list on my Kindle app, Pinterest, Instagram, safari reading list and iphone notes.  My surroundings are so saturated with this literature, that today, I just wanted to take a step out of it and look upon it; not from within but from the outside. To do this allow me to  whip out my all purpose book, second to no other, original, relevant, timeless…you know the one, it needs no introduction; the Bible! 

What I have noticed is that,  ambition and the things we do as a result of it on the journey, have a way of consuming us. Often the message is, ‘Go get!’  But get what? Why? Who are we becoming as go-getters? To be honest the more I maul over these things, the more I realise that it is easy to become a victim of ambition. A great quote from one my favourite authors, Stephen R. Covey, sums it up nicely. “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

It doesn’t matter how much sleep I give up, how efficient I become or how much money I make. If it’s all leaning against the wrong wall, what was the point in all that ambition. Gaining the world and loosing your soul is a real threat my people. 

Let’s go back to the very  beginning of the word ‘ambition’.  A look at chapter 14 in the book of Isaiah reveals that the concept of ambition goes far back to the beginning. The message of ambition being ‘getting your self to your desired goal at all costs’ is equally as old. 

Isaiah 14:12 – 15
How you have fallen from heaven,
morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”
But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
to the depths of the pit.

This right here is an account of Lucifer’s concise business plan outline / executive summary.  Lol! Looking at this verse, you have to admit that this guy was pretty ambitious. He had been watching that throne for a minute, dreaming about what it would be like; being there. That view! That power! No doubt, with some self motivation he decided to take the first step on his ladder. You all know the drill, lol! He was going to work at getting there at all costs. And it cost him his eternity and glory. 

Interestingly, there are a few traits in this text that are not so hard to see in today’s literature on ambition:

  1. Obsession with self.  The devil said in his heart, “I will ascend,…I will raise my throne, I  will sit enthroned,…I will make myself…” But we know how that ended. The devil ended up falling from heaven. “But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” (Is 14:15) Obsession with self can have many faces in the context of business and career.
  • It can mean not considering the needs  of friends and family at all. 
  • It can mean always feeling the need to be right in all situations. 
  • It can mean doing the wrong things to get where you are trying to go.
  • It can mean pursuing the wrong things all together.
  • It can mean shutting God out.

2.  Lofty and wayward goals. Who in their right mind would eye the throne of God and even make such an attempt ?! And yet ambition has a way of doing this to us. Today’s success literature encourages us to dream big and go for the gusto. Even my favourite christian speakers often tell us if our dream isn’t big enough then, we don’t need God for it. I am not saying this is wrong, am saying ‘Dream big’ is the order of the dreamers in every space!

3. Doing things that are not in your lane. The devil was made to worship God. Not to lead an army against God’s rule or sit on His throne.

Ez 28:14 
You were anointed as a guardian cherub,
for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God;
you walked among the fiery stones.

He was supposed to be a guardian of the throne. Instead he started vying for the throne. This is easy to do in today’s world. We see so much glory in another person’s lane and suddenly we want to be at the centre of that glory. That glory becomes our passion and ambition and so we neglect the purpose for which we were ordained. 

To be honest, every one of us ambitious people will find ourselves guilty of one or the other of these things in our journey. I wouldn’t be reflecting on this if I hadn’t been guilty of some of these things myself.  So what exactly separates lofty wayward goals from a good vision? What justifies cultivating some relationships and letting go of others in our pursuits? What is that fine line between being envious or being inspired by someone else’s glory?

I believe the answer to these questions is purpose. Purpose contextualises ambition.  Purpose is that wall; it is the why to what. Without purpose, difficulty during the journey can cause us to abort the journey. On the flip side, without purpose, success can cause us to lose sight of who we are becoming . Take a look at this verse of this ‘business man’ (for context) who made it to the top.

Ezekiel 28
By your wisdom and understanding
you have gained wealth for yourself
and amassed gold and silver
in your treasuries.
By your great skill in trading
you have increased your wealth,
and because of your wealth
your heart has grown proud.

Pride set in.

A lot of literature on ambition puts the focus on us. What we must do now to get somewhere, and almost all this stuff is well founded but still has the potential to offset us. The only way to  throw a wrench into the pitfalls of ambition is to factor in God’s purpose.  

Let’s look at some of the pitfalls of the ‘ambition’ ladder leaning against the wall of God’s purpose. 

  • Obsession with getting yourself ahead  – God’s purpose is and always will be people. ‘Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.’ Phil 2:4 
  • Lofty and wayward goals – God’s purpose is that we spend our lives working towards his pre-ordained plans which then become our goals. ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ Ephesians 2:10
  • Doing things that are not in your lane. God has endowed each of us with talents to cultivate, while pursuing purpose. ‘…who called his servants and entrusted them with his possessions. To one he gave five talents,  to another two talents, and to another one talent—each according to his own ability.’ Matthew 25:15

Purpose is more important  than ambition, and in the context of God’s purpose, ambition will  have a hard time swaying you or keeping you off course. 

If you are reading this, you are ambitious. What is the context of your dream? What is God’s purpose for you life?

Love you for reading and dreaming.
Don’t stop.

Coco x