Beginnings: The First Seven Days of the Rest of Your Life - eBook
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Publication Date: 2016
The good news is that the God who spoke the world into existence, who lovingly brought into being everything seen and unseen, is speaking into your big change. Drawing from the story of creation in Genesis, Beginnings offers an empowering message of how God works through the transition in our lives. As God orchestrated the ultimate transition when he created everything from nothing, he can handle the overwhelming details in your life. Beginnings is for everyone who faces significant transitionin career, in relationships, in life stage, whether good or bad. By exploring the first chapter in Genesisday by day, creative act by creative actSteve Wiens shows us how beginnings work, and how God works through our beginnings.
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bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female3 Stars Out Of 5For readers who love storiesDecember 29, 2015bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3This book is about finding hidden beginnings and pursuing the endless adventures of becoming, Wiens writes.
He uses the creation story to help us understand how our lives are unfolding. We learn God is in the beginning chaos. We see new life come forth from seeds God has placed in us. We learn to give away what is really true of us. We learn there are seasons we go through and how we can celebrate them. We experience opposition we must overcome. We look at where we've come from and that helps us know where we are going. We find that there are rhythms and a time to stop.
This is a book about stories, stories from the Bible, from Wiens' life and from the lives of others. Wiens hopes we will find our place in the bigger story.
For some reason, this book just did not grab me. It really epitomizes the current idea of the importance of story, of one's own story, and of finding one's place in a bigger story. In the spirit of the emphasis on story, Wiens tells many of his own. He gives an extensive description of his Grand Canyon rim to rim run, a story I thought was unnecessary. And did I really need to know he was conceived on a white, hide-a-bed couch?
Nonetheless, I found some really good ideas in Wiens' teaching. I liked the message that we don't have to have our life together before God will come in. I liked the idea that there are seasons we go through, that there will be new beginnings, and that there is also a time to stop.
Wiens says this book is like a midwife, providing a process for becoming. I think that will happen mostly through the spiritual practices and questions for reflection and discussion at the end of each chapter. This book would work best in a lively discussion group where people can share their own stories and discuss the suggested practices and questions.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Jen PenMidwest4 Stars Out Of 5Well-written intriguing parallel...December 16, 2015Jen PenMidwestQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4SUMMARY:
Buried deep within each person is a hidden gift ready to be cultivated, nourished and grown. Based on the seven days of Creation, pastor and author Steve Wiens parallels that beginning with becoming or emerging rather than staying or stagnating. Believing each life is not fixed but instead transitioning, Beginnings focuses on each person as a verb, not a noun. With personal stories, intriguing ideas, practice actions, reflection and discussion, it is hard to remain standing still
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though not a light read, I found Beginnings to be an interesting read, especially when coupling the Creation story with inner purpose, opportunity and beginnings. Seeds, monsters, seasons, lightall ideas used to strengthen, encourage and shed light on possibilities of searching, growing and challenging while reminding us we are not alone in life. Able to relate physically, mentally and emotionally to his training of running a marathon, Steve Wiens took it one step further and asked what next? Perfect as a Bible study, Life Group idea or sermons series, this book will help you navigate that next life-transition a bit smoother.
4 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of Beginnings from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*
Alison5 Stars Out Of 5A Must-Read. Full of truth and transformation.December 14, 2015AlisonQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I often see loss and change as an ending, forgetting that the Lord so often brings with it a new beginning. I love what Steve Wiens says in the introduction to his book, Beginnings:
You are not a noun.
You are a verb.
You are endlessly becoming.
I see this as both as a promise and a warning. We are not stuck. We are not fixed and stagnant. We are always changing. We are always moving. We are endlessly becoming. The question isnt if we will become someone, but who we will become.
I finished Beginnings only a few days ago now and I cant get it out of my head. Friends, please, please read this book.Steve (I call him this because I feel like were friends now)iis painfully honest about his own shortcomings and failings. Steve is also pretty funny. For example, this sentence when hes talking about being angry: A few days ago, one of our boys was so angry that he assured one of his brothers that he would poop on him the next time he had to go. (31) I laughed out loud. But best of all, Steve is sharing a deep truth about what it means when we partner with God in our becoming process. It is the best kind of story.
Steve uses the Creation story as a means of unpacking patterns of how the Lord works in and through us. He warns the reader that this is a batch of stories, not a book full of scientific arguments about creation. This is meant to be an encouragement and guide through our process, not a how-to book or manual meant to answer every question. It is beautiful, raw and real. His batch of stories was exactly what my heart needed to hear.
He writes about God bringing light to our darkness (day 1). He tells us about the pain and necessity of being expanded for new things to have space to grow (day 2). He writes about the potential for more good and more life planted within us, and the courage to share it (day 3). He talks about the different seasons of life that remind us who we are, both in the celebration and the loss (day 4). He speaks of confronting our monsters, with our best and most vulnerable weapon being our trust in God to save us (day 5). He whispers to us about who we are and how we get to see ourselves and others, transforming how we do what we were made to do (day 6). He finishes with a call to rest, a reminder of our true need to stop in order to become who we truly are (day 7).
Throughout his book, Steve invites us to dive deep and interact with Scripture. Friends, I had new life breathed into familiar stories. I sat next to Hannah as she cried her bitter tears of infertility and comparison. I trembled at the terror of Goliath as David did the bravest and most vulnerable thing he could have done. I was alone with Hagar in the wilderness, feeling utterly abandoned. And each time, what a grace it was to see the God who sees, the God who knows, the God who loves come through again and again.
At the end of each chapter, Steve offers some practical application. These were some of the best next-steps Ive had offered to me in a long while. I havent even done them all yet, and already they are challenging my heart in some good ways. Sitting and naming how Im really doing (not how Im supposed to be doing or what I tell people who ask) and sitting and naming what Im really grateful for (not what Im supposed to be grateful for or feel guilty about) was powerful. It was powerful to ask myself what parts of my day bring me to life and which parts of my day I feel less of myself. Friends, I am truly looking forward to continuing the journey I started with this book, even though the last chapter has been read.
Best of all, Beginnings reminded me of some powerful truth about my story. I got to whisper that truth to those voices who speak shame and smallness over me.
The ones who tell me there isnt hope for my life to change.
The ones that tell me Ill never find my way out of the darkness.
The ones who tell me Im not qualified.
The ones who tell me my story is over.
The ones who tell me that God cant use me.
The ones that tell me Im stuck.
The ones who tell me that God cant be trusted.
I told them that the God who hovered over the waters of chaos in the beginning of all things is still hovering, always inviting us into something beautiful and new. (8) Im invited into something beautiful and new, even if it is hard to see in my dark corner.
I told them that being stretched and feeling scared isnt necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it means that the Lord is expanding me so that I can care for others better. God might not tell me what he is doing because I couldnt handle it. It isnt because he doesnt love me, but because he does. We are rarely ready to see to the shalom of another. (35) God is in his kindness is just giving me the next step to take, getting my heart ready to love deeper than before.
I told them that the Lord gives good gifts and good dreams. He is responsible for outcomes, not me. Hes given me the gift and dream of writing. Whether it helps one person or more than I can count, that is up to him.
I told them that God can handle me being honest with him. In fact he wants to know my heart. You can stand up in these long seasons of waiting and let God know how disappointed you are. You can boldly ask God for what you want. (99)
I told them that facing your monster requires you stand in an in between place where you abandon your turf and your rules in order to create new space. (118) This is where the Lord works. This is where the Lord meets me. It takes tremendous courage to go there, but it is always worth it.
I told them that Gods dream for Gods children is that they would be a blessing to the world. (148) This is his dream for me. He can use me. It can seem impossible. It can seem strange. He specializes in the impossible and strange.
I told them that I dont rest because Ive earned it. I rest because it is a gift. I rest because I was made this way by someone who loves me. The Sabbath is not a requirement we must meet. It is a gift we can receive if we are willing. (180)
I told them that darkness and chaos doesnt mean Im stuck or finished. Darkness and chaos often mark a new beginning, and I can walk confidently into each new beginning knowing that the Lord can use it in my becoming process.
May I become more and more of who I was meant to be, one who trusts the Lord fully with all of me.
*Tyndale House Publishers & NavPress have provided me with a complimentary copy of Beginnings, in exchange for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
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