Archives For #stories

I recently had the opportunity to help tell the story of two of my friends named Jeremy and Nicole.

I won’t write their whole story here, because you can and should watch them tell it in the video below. But just to convince you to press play, I’ll get things started. To say Jeremy and Nicole have had a challenging few years would be an understatement. When their first son, Toby, was born, they discovered he had something called GRACILE syndrome. He struggled to survive, and sadly they lost him at two months of age.

They also discovered that, because GRACILE was a genetic disorder (an extremely rare one at that), each of the rest of their children would have a 25% chance of having GRACILE. In the video they share about their decision making process to try again, giving birth to a healthy child named Levi. Once more they decided to try, but their third son, Lucas, was also diagnosed with GRACILE syndrome. Despite knowing this 3 months into pregnancy, they chose to carry Lucas to term and give birth so they could meet him, if even for a short time.

It’s a tragic story, but one filled with God’s grace. How they can trust and love God through times like this is beyond me, but perhaps they can help you understand in this video:

It is a great reminder that no matter what you go through, God can grant you peace and offer you His presence. Jeremy put it this way,

“We started out the journey just wanting God to heal Toby. That was it pretty much, that’s who God was in that situation to us. He has to come in and heal. By the end of the journey, we felt like we could see God completely clearly, being right there with us, standing with us as Toby died. We came to know that God was there and that God is good, even in a situation like that.”

Brian Burchik shares why artists don’t have to wait to be “picked” by traditional industry leaders to pursue their dream and create excellent art.

He shares a central conviction and paradigm shift that guided his entire writing process, along with how innovation and creativity fueled his approach to creating the #LiveFully e-book.

-Do you feel called to start something new? To create a work of art, or begin a new project?

-Is anything holding you back from stepping out and going for it? 

We’d love to hear about your personal ventures in the comments below. Share what you’re up to and how the #LiveFully community can encourage you along the way.

 

We are so excited to share an interview with the incredibly gifted and bright musician Tayler Buono. Tayler is a musical artist that is passionate about creating songs that impact the world. Last year, Tayler was a contestant on the CW’s TV show “The Next,” and now has over a million views on her Youtube channel.

In this interview, she speaks about the connection between her music and her faith, as well as her desire to make an impact in mainstream music. Enjoy!

Tayler is awesome, so…

-Watch her music videos here

-Follow her on Twitter @taylerbuono and check out Facebook page here

 

 

I’m not going to pretend to be the American Idol expert. I’ve never watched it consistently. However, there’s no denying the talent it has produced, with music stars like Kelly Clarkston, Carrie Underwood, Jordan Sparks, and most recently Philip Phillips (yes, the song you’ve heard on 18 commercials, 9 sitcoms, and the summer Olympics).

I don’t know much about this Idol season, but one thing I do know.  You must watch eighteen year-old Angie Miller’s recent performance of her own song “You Set Me Free.” Blown away, the judges responded by giving a standing ovation. Mariah Carey and Keith Urban seemed to be on the verge of tears. When you watch for yourself, you see exactly why.

The power of her voice matched with the raw lyrics are overwhelming. This freedom she sings about comes from deep, personal experience. The profundity of the song impacts the listener in a way that is hard to explain (evidenced by the judges responses afterward).

This is the power of art at its finest. When people use their God-given gifts to create art that is good, beautiful, and true, it draws us away from our normal existence. I believe it has the power to draw us toward God, the Creator of all that is good, beautiful, and true.

Picture 42

I don’t want to read more into the life of Angie Miller than is available, but simple glances at her own social media sites provide a window into what motivates her music.  Her Twitter profile reads, “Through music I aim to show that loving God and being a good influence to others is my goal!!” On Instagram, she states, “Love God, Others, Music, and Dream Big.” It is obvious that God is the one that has set her free, in a way no mere human being ever could.

Judging by this video alone, I know we will see a lot more of her in the future.  We pray for more and more artists to rise and shine for God, creating art that will inspire full life in goodness, beauty, and truth. #LiveFully

I was recently interviewed by Tammy Helfrich for her “Life Changers” series. Tammy is committed to helping others realize that their voice matters and to embrace their story. The Life Changers series is “about people like you and me, who decided to do something different. They decided to change their life, or the lives of others around them.”

In the interview, I share some of the lessons we’ve learned since moving overseas. You can read the full interview here: LifeChangers: No More Ordinary. Here is a little preview:

Tammy: What was the breaking point for you? What made you say “enough of ordinary”?

Evan: My wife and I had discussed moving overseas since before we married. In the beginning, I thought it was just a pipe dream. One night, however, she spoke about it with such vivid hope that something dawned on me. “Maybe this isn’t a ridiculous idea, maybe God has laid this on our hearts for a reason.” We prayed about it every night for two years, and the more we prayed about it, they more we wanted to do it.

There were two major breaking points for us. First, I never wanted to just talk about dreams and then never go after them.

I believe if you have a dream, you need to go after it. (Tweet that!) 

You might fail, but I think failure is much better than never trying. Secondly, we were tired of being so busy all the time. Both of us were working full time and in night school. We wanted to actually experience our newlywed years together, and we wanted to go on an adventure together. So we moved to the other side of the world!

To read the rest of the interview, where I discuss trusting wholly on God, stepping out of comfort zones, and the terrors of driving on the left side of the road, head on over here. While you’re at it, check out Tammy’s blog and say hey in her comments section!

A Family Living Fully

Brian Burchik —  January 16, 2013 — 2 Comments

To follow Jesus is to live fully.  His life is the best life.  It’s not easy, but it’s always worth it.  It calls for sacrifice and leads to true satisfaction.

After watching this 6 minute video, it is apparent that this family is experiencing deep satisfaction as they have made particular sacrifices.  They are a shining example of life to the full. (And we like that the video is exceptional in quality too.)  Enjoy! #LiveFully

Check out the I Like ______ campaign that featured this video here

James 1:27- Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Today, we’d like for you to meet our friend Jason Young. Jason is not only a successful entrepreneur, but an incredible husband and father.  I (Brian) have looked to Jason for wisdom and coaching over the last several years, and God has used him to breathe courage into me like few ever have. Enjoy!

#LF: What do you believe your purpose is?

I believe that my purpose is to equip influencers (leaders). This can take on different appearances, but at the end of the day I want to have equipped influencers. I look at purpose like a filter. If I have an idea or opportunity and it doesn’t make it through the filter, I know that it is not for me. Here are three examples of how I am living out my purpose right now:

(1) I am coaching a leader how to create remarkable experiences in their large church.

(2) I spoke to several thousand college students last week about how to increase their influence by deciding how they are influenced.

(3) I partnered with a popular and respectable publishing company in order to crowd source conference notes, and make them immediately available in a blog post format and all speaker sessions in a single free PDF download.

#LF: How are you working to impact your sphere of influence?

I have always worked through relationships. More specifically, I discover channels that people find important and work hard to add value there. Why this approach? If they already pay attention to those self-identified channels, why would I not begin where they already find value?

I often like to surprise and delight leaders in my sphere of influence. People are accustomed to the day-in and day-out routine of life. So, when a surprise meets them in the middle of their day, you would be amazed at how this can be a microburst of impact. I find many leaders today want to impact their space with notable moves and sensation-worthy attention. I find the opposite to be more my style and, to me, more deeply valued. Continue Reading…

Today we interview Christine Niles. She is a writer and corporate refugee with a heart for orphans, and a mother of two girls adopted from Ukraine at ages 12 and 14.  She is also the author of “The Secret No One Tells You: a manifesto for the discouraged.”  Christine blogs about adoption, parenting, and making a difference in the world at www.riverofthoughts.com.  Follow her on Twitter @croyseniles.

#LF: Why are you so passionate about adoption?

The “right” answer is because God calls us to be, but the honest answer is simply because we’ve learned through personal experience how amazing a “written off” kid can be and how God makes beauty out of pain. The idea of a child’s potential being lost because I wouldn’t step out from my comfortable little life and open up my home and my heart?  Unacceptable.

#LF: What made you move from thinking about adoption to actually living it and doing it?

A scared little 12-year-old girl named Masha. We were busy enjoying our “dual income no kids” life of freedom and fun when we heard about a hosting program that brought kids (some adoptable, some not) to the US to stay with families and experience a little hope and love. Over the three weeks that we hosted her, she blossomed from a timid, scared girl to a vivacious, fun-loving kid.  She taught us about love in a way we never could have imagined on our own. Continue Reading…

As you’ve read before, my wife Morgan and I recently moved to New Zealand. Consider this the full account of the miraculous work God did to get us here smoothly.

Prayer Proceeds Miracles

We dreamed of moving here for years. The more we talked about it, the more we wanted to go. Eventually, we decided we needed to do more than talk about it, so we began to pray. And we did. Every single day.

The Banks Peninsula

We prayed for two years. We prayed for wisdom, we prayed for provision, we prayed for doors to open, and we prayed that God would guide our hearts in the right direction.

The more we prayed, the more our hearts gravitated towards New Zealand. Doors started to open and connections came about in the most unlikely places imaginable. We made our decision and on July 3, we boarded a plane and started the 31 hour journey to our new home. Continue Reading…

A few months ago I was given a Kreativ Blogger Award Nomination because of this site. This is as close to winning an Oscar as I’ll ever get, so I am quite honored. Now, just to be clear…this isn’t something that’s voted on, this is one where EVERYONE is a winner!  It’s a great way to recognize and spread blogging love.

Here’s what nominees do:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Share a list of seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate seven favorite blogs/bloggers for recognition.
Pretty simple, and pretty cool too. Because now you’ll get to learn about 8 great blogs around the web that I believe can help you #LiveFully. Continue Reading…