As with his previous book, 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo, Allain has writting another winner. He knocks it clear outta the park! It’s smart, yet simple, clear, and actionable. Anybody wanting to build a tribe can follow these steps. Bryan shares the lessons he’s learned from:
Over 10 years of blogging,
Putting on his own conference,
Reaching out to people he admires.
This book is packed with such practical wisdom that it would be cheap at twice the price! It really is that good.
Don’t take my word for it–pick up a copy, and put the steps into practice. And watch your tribe grow!
No, not that kind. We don’t need to call his wife, Sarah. We don’t need the Fire Marshall.
No, the kind of fire I mean is the one Andrew is marshalling. If you’re a creative type, or even if you’re not (or afraid to see yourself as one), he’s just released sleek, slick, powerful new eBook called:
I guarantee reading it will ignite a creative fire under your a**. Andrew challenges us to see even mundane chores such as shopping in a new light (“As I took in the design of the label, I envisioned what a stack of them would like in our kitchen…”).
You see, the truth is: there are no mundane chores for the creative, rather life must be approached with the right perspective. So see labels in a new light, give yourself permission to smell the baking bread.
What Andrew is talking about is nourishing one’s soul–because we create out of our cores. As such, we must nourish them–feed them creative fuel.
Andrew also counsels us to celebrate what we have, instead of pining over what we don’t. Because this is poverty, and it disarms our creative selves. A great to short circuit this poverty–which sets the stage for envy–is to celebrate the accomplishments of others. Instead of carping about the job you didn’t get, or how successful so-and-so is, celebrate them.
Congratulate them–take them out for coffee.
Andrew says that celebrating others is the surest way to kill that green-eyed monster, jealousy.
I could go on. This short book is powerful, and power-packed, and I can’t encourage you strongly enough to buy it. Andrew has been kind enough to offer my readers a 50% discount through the end of September via the code “RANDOMLYCHAD.”
What are you waiting for? Set your creativity on fire:
Yes, I know–this is just a blog. There are millions of them out there–all begging for attention. There are many better, some worse, and many better-trafficked.
To me, it’s more than a blog– it represents an ideal, a dream. Hearing the stories yesterday of how Jesus used my words, that’s what makes me come alive. That is what I was made for.
But dreams don’t pay bills. I’m afraid all I’ll ever have is a bite of this succulent fruit, never to step foot into the orchard. Don’t get me wrong–I have a good job, earn sufficient wages to cover the basics. Insofar as I can tell, it’s not changing lives.
I feel like I was made for me. When I hear of hearts being challenged, finding freedom, my own heart leaps within me, cries “Yes!”
Again, none of which pays the bills. Part of me wants to say “That’s okay–you’re better off than so many.” And this is true.
I just want my work to count for something, have meaning. There’s a suffocating sameness to life lived in the confines of a cubicle. The accuser of the brethren lies to me, says it will never get better…
On the other hand, while I’m there, I don’t want to miss God. He’s got me there for a reason. And there’s a certain security in knowing that I don’t have to write for money, that my family isn’t dependent upon my creativity for its bread.
I can write for love, for passion, out of conviction. My dream is being financed by my day job.
But it’s a hard place to be when one can see the more, see that carrot dangling there, just out of mouth’s reach. Just last night–bearing in my mind I said nothing–as we watched the opening scenes of that old Chevy Chase movie, Funny Farm, my wife said, “I wish that could be us, that we could move to the country, where you could write your book.”
Ah, desire! So cruelly awakened!
But the pressures of age, obligation, and health crowd in, too–their voices demanding to be heard. Let’s not forget fear. Fear is there, too, wondering:
What if you fail? What then? What if you succeed? Could you do it again? I look at the creative life, and see a life that requires much more faith and confidence than I currently have.
“Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief.” Lord, help me to wait and trust.
How about you? Do you have a dream? Something that makes you come alive? Look down deep into your heart–past the clutter and the noise–what do you see? What were you made for?
If I have written of the desert lately, it’s because I live in one. I daily view rough, rocky, brown mountains rising up all around me from the valley floor. As I said previously, there’s a somber splendor to it, a peacefulness.
Yet it can be as foreign as Mars.
I’ve seen the pictures beamed back across millions of miles of space, and thought “Wow! Mars looks a lot like Arizona.” And it does. Desert and dust as far as the eye can see.
I didn’t choose to live on Mars–that choice was made for me. Thirty five years ago, my dad was transferred here–so we moved. I can’t regret it. I subsequently met, and married, a wonderful woman, had two wonderful children, forged a career.
My home is here.
But here is not where I want to always be. I want to take my family on adventure: “further up, and further in” as Lewis says in Narnia. I don’t know what form it will take, but I do know this:
It begins with a closer walk with God.
Because if grace is an ocean, I want more than the Sea of Tranquillity. Sure, I want peace–but may it be in my heart while I’m fighting for something larger than me.
Because I’ve learned something from my sojourn in the desert:
Peace isn’t an absence, but a presence, or rather the Presence: Jesus. Those of you who are married know that there can be a cessation of overt hostility, but very little peace in a home.
The same is true in the world:
Peace isn’t the absence of open conflict, but the presence, the Person, of Christ.
Make no mistake: we will have conflict as long as we sojourn here, in this place the Bible calls the “vail of tears.” As Aragon says to Theoden in The Two Towers: “Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it, or not.”
But He–Jesus–offers something invaluable:
An ocean of mercy in the midst of our desert places, and a sea of grace for the battles we face. “My grace is sufficient,” he says. Do we live like it? Are we running missions mere yards from the gates of Hell?
Are you hearing the ocean’s call today? What is it saying to you?
If you have seen the movie Braveheart, you know of the scene where
young William’s father is brought home to him, on a cart, dead. You may also
recall that, after the funeral, an imposing, battle-scarred man
arrives unlooked for. This is William’s uncle Argyle. And his
frightening visage is grace’s unexpected face.
Of all the things he does for William, the most powerful is to,
despite his heavy loss, let him know that he is not alone in his suffering.
Grace once came to me like that–unexpected, unlooked for. Only his
face was not that of a battle-scarred Argyle, but that of my stoner
friend, Pat. His wounds, the ones I could see, were the battle scars of adolescence:
he bore the telltale pockmarks of acne.
Pat was a husky, olive-skinned Italian. And oregano was not the only
herb he was fond of. We were the same age, had brothers around the
same age, and were fast friends from about 1978 until high school.
Then our paths diverged, and he got into drugs. Somehow, God knows, I never
got into pot. I smoked–cigarettes, cigars–chewed tobacco, drank. But
somehow drew the line there. I don’t know why. Certainly I was wounded
enough to make drugs an alluring escape. All I can surmise is that it
must have been the grace of God protecting me (even before I believed
So Pat cycled in, and out, of my life throughout the high school
years. Our biggest falling out had to do with something said in passing about my aunt. I didn’t see him for sometime. And one day, he dropped by unexpectedly. We had shared some in
our appreciation of the feminine form, swapped magazines.
In fact, it was about magazines that he’d come by. Thinking that he
wanted to borrow some of my goods, we went to my room.
“Dude, aren’t you sick of this?” he asked.
“The porn, man, the porn.”
I took deep breath, exhaled, took another. Realized I was.
“Yeah, man, I am.”
“Let’s trash it, dude.” It took a moment to register what he’d said. I swallowed, took a deep breath, and said:
“Okay.” So that’s just what we did: took down the centerfolds, gathered the
magazines, trashed them all.
I felt so free, so gloriously free. Here was Pat, the stoner I
couldn’t get to give up weed, calling me out about my porn, recognizing my addiction (but not his own. And isn’t that the truth? We so often lack necessary perspective about ourselves). Looking
back, I realize it was God moving, perhaps getting my house in order: less than a year later I would bow
the knee to Christ, make my faltering profession of allegiance in a speeding car.
After that day, I never saw Pat again–until his brother’s funeral.
Grace often comes like that–wearing a face we don’t recognize. Look
for it, and you will see. And how I wish that was the end of my
involvement with pornography (oh, it was–for awhile).