Tag Archives: Books

Podcast 22: Alan Graham – Welcome Homeless

I’m thrilled to be having a conversation with Alan Graham on the podcast today about his ministry and his new book! He is an inspiration for sure- funny, down to earth, wise and inspiring. I’m so grateful for his “YES!” to sharing his heart with us! Listen in, you will love him!

You can buy Alan’s new book, “Welcome Homeless” here: http://mlf.org/welcomehomeless/#_preorder-now

ABOUT THE BOOK
Homeless. No other word better describes our modern-day suffering. It reveals one of our deepest and most painful conditions—not having a sense of belonging. However, Alan Graham, founder of Mobile Loaves & Fishes and Community First! Village, is improving the quality of life for a vast number of people by sharing his personal story of becoming more human through humanizing others. In Welcome Homeless, Graham delves deep into what it means to be connected to God, the earth, and each other. In doing so, he shows us the home we’ve all longed for but never had.

Graham wants to engrain the human story in you so deeply that you start being who you were made to be—that you start being like the image from which you were made. In Welcome Homeless, Graham also shares the stories of the homeless, and the stories of those whose worldviews have been shifted by the homeless in a raw, humorous, and honest voice. Home is fundamentally a place of connection and of relationships that are life-giving and foundational, and Graham invites you to make everyone feel truly at home by finally inviting those living on the fringes of society into your heart.

To learn more about Mobile Loaves & Fishes, click here: www.mlf.org You can also find a link to give for Amplify Austin, March 2nd-3rd, on the website.

 

 

 

What’s next?

 

open palm

 

Okay. I have a whole bunch of exciting announcements.  Woo-hoo!

I have a new role with Holy Yoga. My title is “Instructor Training Enrollment Specialist”.  There are three of us on this team and we are thrilled to be able to serve the Lord in this way.  If someone goes to the website to become a Holy Yoga instructor and downloads the packet of information and starts the process, the next step is to set up a phone interview with one of the Enrollment Specialists.  It is such an honor to be able to speak to people as they are discerning what the Lord is calling them to do with their lives.  As you know, Holy Yoga has been extremely powerful in my life, helping me to know God more deeply and to worship in a new way.  Through the last few years, the Lord has transformed me from the inside out and Holy Yoga has been a huge part of that process.  The training, the community, the Bible studies, and the practice – whether teaching or attending a class, God continues to meet me on my mat.  I am grateful.

For those of you who may be interested, we have some amazing training programs. We train on the 95hr, 225hr, and 500hr levels, as well as multiple specialties and a unique Holy Yoga Therapy program. There is always room for growth and education within Holy Yoga and we want to extend an invitation to you. Come train with us – dig into our yoga resources, our in depth Bible Studies, and our expansive community. The door is wide open. You don’t have to have a yoga background or an amazing practice. You just need to be called.

Download an information packet at holyyoga.net and start your journey!

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.  I’d love to talk to you about Holy Yoga!

I recently finished my Holy Yoga Master’s training and the Trauma Sensitive Holy Yoga training so if you are already an instructor and have questions about either of those, please reach out.  I have grown immensely through those trainings and I would love to share.  My hope is that I will be able to use the Trauma Sensitive Holy Yoga Training to teach Holy Yoga to survivors of sex trafficking here in Austin. If you want to follow what’s happening with that, please follow me on Facebook. (If you click on that word Facebook, it’s a live link and will direct you to the Great Big Yes Facebook page.) I will post updates there as the journey unfolds. I would be grateful if you would join me in prayer for The Refuge and for all the victims of sex trafficking and all the people working to rescue them.  Thank you.

Another amazing thing that is happening is something I want to SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! I get to be a part of the launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s new book, “For the Love” (comes out in August but you can pre-order).  That is wonderful in and of itself but here’s the KICKER!!! Jen has invited us all (500 of us!) to her house for a PARTY!! You guys…the one that was on HGTV when she was renovating it!! She lives right here near me in Texas! Woo hoo!! I’m pretty sure I’ll be posting A LOT of pictures so tune in on Instagram and Facebook. And just in case this has you worried about what I’m going to wear, don’t worry, these awesome ladies on the team already thought of that and I am covered.

for the love

 

Thank God for women who like to plan and make things.  All these crafty, organized, lovely women.  It’s really fun.  Also, see my palms in the picture, they are up and open!

It’s like we are saying, “I’m ready God, go ahead, give me some good stuff! Make me laugh and get excited and have new opportunities.  Bring me some good people who make shirts and who are kind and fun and invite me to some parties.”  Pretty good prayer, right?

Everything is not all t-shirts and parties though. Of course, there is all the usual stuff with kids and family and end of the school year and decorating a new home and repairing a whole lot of hail damage.  (Lord, the Texas weather lately, what the heck?)  We are all busy with life.  I guess that’s why I wanted to talk about living with palms open.  I never want to be too busy to be open to new things.  And I never want to be so reliant on what I have or what I’m doing that my fists are clenching tight to hold on, not allowing things to change.  

Or God forbid, I don’t want to live with my palms all balled up in a fist.  Palms open sounds easy but sometimes we forget and we look down and we have fists or we have our arms folded over our chests protecting our hearts. And then we go, wait, what happened? When did I become so closed off? Lord, help us to be open. Open our palms to receive and when it’s time, keep them open to let go.

When I first moved to Texas I felt so alive.  I was intensely aware of every person, every conversation, every moment.  I did not have any pre-conceived perception of anyone.  I had no expectations. I did not know anything. And it was BEAUTIFUL.

My palms were open.

I was needy. Literally, asking for handouts of information, knowledge, help. I was humble.

I was excited. Gladly meeting new people and engaging in conversation, I took my time.

I was ready.  Open to new things, new people, new experiences.  I was a beginner.

I have said Yes more times in this last year than ever before. And here I am saying yes again to a lot of new adventures. I have no idea what is going to happen next but I trust God knows.  As I move forward, I’m going to stick with what God taught me when I first got to Texas.

Be humble.

Take your time.

Don’t be afraid to be a beginner.

And also, when people call you ma’am it is not an insult.  It does not mean they think you are an old lady.  It’s a sign of respect in Texas. Embrace it.

I know I haven’t been posting as much here as in the past and I miss y’all.  It has been 5 years since I started the blog and for about four of those, I posted once a week.  At this point, posting that often is not possible.  I’ll still be posting here but if you want more updates hop on over to – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.  I’ll be there.  Thank you so much for sticking with me on this journey. I’m grateful.

I’ll leave you with this. This morning my husband and I tried something new – we went canoeing on Lady Bird Lake in Austin with our dog.  It was so great. I took this picture of my dog, Gus.  Isn’t he just the best?  He was so brave. Getting in that boat. He had to hang on of course so his palms are down but  I just know without a doubt, in his heart and in his spirit, his palms were open. He was ready.

gusboat

 

gusboat2

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

 

What do your books say about you?

They say, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

But can you judge someone by what books they read? (More on that in a minute.)

We found the house we want. I love everything about it. I just got a feeling, you know?

I didn’t even open a drawer and I knew it was for me. It just felt right. I could see my family there.

I know some people don’t do anything until they check every little nook and cranny, consider everything that could possibly go wrong and then think, think and think some more before making a decision. That is one way of doing it.  Also, that may be considered the “better” way by some.

Well, that is not me.

I walked in and said, “Let’s make an offer.”

I guess I was judging the house by it’s entry way. Is that the same as judging a book by it’s cover?

I don’t know. It’s just how I do things. Call it intuition, call it the Holy Spirit…it has worked for me.

Since my husband wasn’t there when I decided we were buying it, we had to go back and see it this weekend. We lingered. Sat on couches. Stood at the sink in the kitchen. I even opened a drawer. We walked around the yard, the pool, the garage. Everything just solidified my initial reaction. This feels like home.

But nothing more than this.

We went into the office which is lined with bookshelves. They were full which I love because books make me feel safe and comfortable and I need to have space for them. I walked up close to see what books were on the shelves. I got goosebumps. I took a picture.

 

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Does this really tell us anything you ask?

I think it does.

First of all, THE BIBLE. not one. Two. Just on this shelf. To me, this says we love Jesus. You know how people have scrapbooks telling the story of their lives?  Well, to me, the people that have the Bible out in their home are saying, “This is our story…this is who we are.”

Second of all, the Air Force Academy books.  Military. Patriots. To me, this says they are trustworthy, disciplined, honorable, people of their word.  Interestingly, we bought our first house in Western Springs from a military man…a Naval aviator.  That was the right decision too.

And the dictionary.  Words.  Old school. Traditional.  I have to admit I’m a little skeptical of people who read everything on the Kindle or the ipad.  I mean, don’t you want to hold the book…don’t you want to feel it and smell it? (It’s true. I smell books. My friends I used to work with would look at me like I was nuts but I need the whole sensory experience.)

Having said all of that, I’m also in the habit of googling definitions and spellings so I contradict myself.  But the dictionary made me think of my Dad, a different age, a slower pace.

All of this made me think of my Dad.  A Marine, a lifelong Catholic, a man of words and a man of his word.

It was like he was there, encouraging me, nodding yes.

I’m telling y’all…I found my home.

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved