Archives For Jon Stolpe

You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.

C. S. Lewis

My wife and kids will tell you that I’m a bit of a book hoarder.  I love getting books in the mail, and I love supporting other authors.  I especially love to promote these books when they have an impact on my life.

This week, Andi Cumbo-Floyd released her latest book, Love Letters to Writers.  And it’s just what I needed!

Despite the fact that I am getting ready to release my own book (December 5th – Rooftop Reflections – go to rooftopreflections.com to find out more information), I have felt disappointment and discouragement regarding my own writing consistency.  I’ve allowed the busyness of life and other activities to take me away from my passion for day-to-day writing.

Andi’s new book provided the right encouragement and reminders I needed to take a new look at my writing and my approach to writing.

In Love Letters to Writers, you’ll find 52 chapters or letters designed to challenge and encourage your writing.  I love the way each letter spoke to me and brought me back to a place in my writing experience where I thrived.  If you are a writer who needs a little (or a lot) encouragement, this book is for you.

If you are not a writer but you are someone who is trying to develop a daily discipline in your life, I think you’ll find Love Letters to Writers helpful.

Pickup a copy of Love Letters to Writers today!

What daily discipline are you trying to develop in your life?  How will your life be different by developing this discipline?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

Heart Condition

November 18, 2017 — 2 Comments

What’s the condition of your heart?

Last Friday night, I met with my men’s group (DIBs – Dudes In the Basement) for our DIBs Fall Summit 2017. DIBs is a group of guys who have committed to meeting together for 20 years. We have 17 years left in our commitment. During the Summit, we focused on the condition of our hearts. After some food and ping-pong, we gathered to talk about our hearts.

When it was time for me to share, I confessed that I felt overly busy. I honestly left very little room for “being still and knowing that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). There are a lot of great things I am doing – Dynamic Marriage, Stretched Men Group, Rooftop Reflections book launch, new job in June at Siemens, H.O.P.E., etc. I shared that I had been having trouble sleeping over the course of the previous two or three weeks. I honestly believe I was dealing with the feeling of overwhelm.

In my sharing, I paraphrased Psalm 19:14 to fit my current condition and desire: May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart AND MY SCHEDULE AND MY TO DO LIST be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Does my schedule reflect a heart for God?

Do my thoughts reflect a heart for God?

Do my reactions and my actions reflect a heart for God?

Do my motives reflect a heart for God?

What am I doing to gain a better understanding of God’s heart?

How am I helping others see God’s heart?

These are all questions I believe are worth answering or at least pondering as I consider the condition of my own heart.

The men in the group challenged me to look at my schedule and consider what may need to go. Following the conversation, I realized I needed to start by giving up one activity that I was doing out of loyalty instead of out of passion.

In his book The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks encourages readers to give up living in their Zones of Competence and Excellence so they can live in their Zone of Genius. In order to live in this place, we must constantly be looking at our activities and commitments. We must do the hard work of finding where we are passions lie and getting rid of the other stuff.

I think this also applies to our heart. In what we do, think, read, say, etc. are we drawing closer to God’s heart?

What’s the condition of your heart?

The most anxious time was during launch, just because that is so dramatic.

Sally Ride

ONE MONTH FROM TODAY, my upcoming book (Rooftop Reflections) officially releases.
The book is ready to go, but there is still work to do before I can release the book to the world.
This is where I could really use your help.

In today’s world, a successful book release requires the support of a lot of people.  Gaining traffic and traction for a book launch happens when people talk about the book and share it with their friends, family, and colleagues.  It happens when people introduce the book and the author to other people with influence.

Rooftop Reflections is all about encouraging readers to move from the ordinary to find the extraordinary in their lives.  The book shares my story and passion for Guatemala, and it challenges readers to find ways to serve their neighbors around the world and right next door.

Today, I am officially starting the Rooftop Reflections Launch Team.  If you think you can help, I’d love to invite you to join the team.

When you join the launch team, you get…

When you sign up for the Rooftop Reflections Launch Team, you’ll get a pre-release PDF version of the book, and you’ll get access to the Rooftop Reflections Launch Team Facebook Group.  In addition, you’ll get updates on the book release.

When you join the launch team, you agree to help…

In exchange for joining the Rooftop Reflections Launch Team, I’m asking you to post a review for the book over at Amazon.com.  I’m also asking you to promote the book and share your ideas for making the book launch a BIG SUCCESS.

To sign up for the Rooftop Reflections Launch Team, go over to the book website at rooftopreflections.com and hit the link to Join the Team.

(If you know someone who is a perfect fit for the launch team, please pass this along to them and encourage them to sign up TODAY.)

Thanks in advance for you help!

 

“Maintenance is terribly important.”

Manolo Blahnik

I went to the dentist this morning for a cleaning.  When the dental hygienist told me it was time for a periodontal exam, I cringed.  I have done a terrible job flossing since my last appointment, and I knew it would show in the exam.  Sure enough, there were a few areas in my mouth that showed my lack of daily dental maintenance.  My teeth were fine, but my gums need some work.  Thankfully, it’s not too late.  I have time to turn things around and to improve the health of my mouth.

If we don’t maintain our oral health, we will lose our teeth.

If we don’t maintain our automobiles, our cars will eventually need a significant repair.

If we don’t maintain our fitness by exercising and eating well, we will likely face an early death along with other health challenges.

Maintenance is really, really important – in every area of our lives.

What’s the condition of your heart?  I’m not talking about the organ in your chest.  I’m talking about your soul.

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?  Mark 8:36

What are you doing to maintain your soul?

Don’t forget to take care of your soul.

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

When it comes to your soul, what does your maintenance look like?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

The Choice to GO!

October 16, 2017 — 4 Comments

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

Confucius

 

Stop or Go?

 

It’s Monday morning, and you have a choice.

You can stay in bed or wallow in the memories of the weekend.

Or you can embrace the opportunity that awaits you in the week ahead.

I choose to embrace what is waiting for me today and in the week ahead.  I choose to look for the green light in my path.

A good way to get started is to get some exercise, spend some time in God’s Word, and eat some breakfast.

Choose to start the week with a positive attitude no matter what you are about to face.

What’s on my agenda for this week?  Dynamic Marriage tonight, H.O.P.E. tomorrow night, dentist appointment tomorrow morning, Stretched Men Group on Thursday night, continuing the performance evaluation process at work, and working on my book launch.  These things and more are the opportunities I am embracing as I head into a new week.

The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.  Psalm 118:24

What’s on your agenda this week?  Where do you see a GREEN LIGHT in your path?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

“If you don’t take a Sabbath, something is wrong. You’re doing too much, you’re being too much in charge. You’ve got to quit, one day a week, and just watch what God is doing when you’re not doing anything.”

Eugene H. Peterson

This morning, I’m sitting in Starbucks.  I often use this time before church to write, to read, and to observe.  I treasure this time as it gives me an opportunity to pause – to collect myself for an hour or two.

Life has been moving at a blistering pace lately.  Leanne and I are leading an incredible marriage class at our church.  My mastermind group for men is gaining momentum as we get further into the semester.  Work has been consuming as we navigate through the performance evaluation process.  Last weekend, we visited Grove City College as Isaac moves closer to college.  This weekend, Hannah is home for fall break.  And I’m in the middle of getting my book ready for release.

In my reading time this morning, I read an article about hustle and balance by my friend, Ellory Wells.  In the article, Ellory explains why he is choosing hustle right now.  I get it!  I’m a hustler for sure.  BUT… I’m also convinced we need SABBATH.  We need rest from time to time.  We need the intentional moments and opportunities to connect with our God, our family, our friends, and even ourselves.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  Exodus 20:8-11

My Sunday morning Starbucks time is part of my SABBATH experience.

Today, I’ll go to church; I’ll have lunch with my family before Hannah heads back to Messiah College; I’ll probably take a nap in front of a football game; and I’ll catch my breath.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”  Mark 2:27

Do you make time for SABBATH?  What does SABBATH mean to you?  How would your life be different if you really incorporated SABBATH into your life?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

Building a Dynamic Marriage

September 17, 2017 — 3 Comments

A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.

Andre Maurois

Marriage requires effort, intentional actions, and the support of others.

Leanne and I have watched and wept as we’ve seen a few marriages around us collapse.  On the other hand, we’ve been so blessed to see many of the marriages around us thrive.  And we’ve also witnessed the simple survival of many marriages.

We celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary this summer.  We’ve had our ups and a few downs.  We’ve felt distance at times, and we’ve felt amazing intimacy in our marriage.

What we’ve learned is building a dynamic marriage – a marriage that grows, evolves with life, and thrives – takes work.

Early this summer, we traveled to New Jersey to become certified facilitators for the Dynamic Marriage class associated with Marriage Dynamics Institute.  The weekend training was intense and powerful.

This week (actually tomorrow), we will be starting our first Dynamic Marriage class.  The class is 9 weeks long, and it will take participants through and intentional path toward building a stronger marriage.  Twelve couples have signed up for the class (a full class) which means thirteen couples (including Leanne and I) will have the opportunity to significantly impact their marriages.

We’d love your prayers for the couples in this class and for us as we facilitate.

If you’re interested in participating in a future Dynamic Marriage class, let me know.  You can email me at jon@jonstolpe.com.

What is one thing you have done to invest in your marriage?

 

“Oh I get by with a little help from my friends…”

With a Little Help From My Friends (Billy Shears)

When you read the lyrics to this song made popular by Joe Cocker and The Beatles, you can see it might be a song promoting drugs and the experience of “getting high with a little help from my friends.”  I choose to interpret the song as a reminder of the need for a helping hand in our lives from time to time.

“Everybody needs a helping hand
Take a look at your fellow man
And tell me what can I do today
‘Cause everybody needs a helping out
If that ain’t what it’s all about”

Amy Grant (Helping Hand)

Maybe this song is a bit more appropriate.

The bottom line is this:  We all need people in our lives who will encourage us, lift us, and push us to become the people we were meant to become.

The main reason I started the Stretched Men Group mastermind group for men was to provide a helping hand to men who want to become better husbands, better fathers, and better leaders.  We are a week and a half away from the start of the next semester of the group, and I want to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to get the helping hand you need right now.

If you want to plug into a group of men who will challenge you and help you, now is the time to do something about it.

Go over to the Stretched Men Group website (click HERE), and sign up to get information TODAY.

(The next group starts on Thursday, September 21st and will run for three months.)

 

Sometimes we find ourselves in desperate situations. It seems like there is no hope, no future, and no prospect of things getting any better.

As I was going through old emails today, I discovered an email that had a video link to the work site where we build a house earlier this summer. The video shows the dusty location where our team would build a house for Lydia and her family. Check out the video below.

Now look at these pictures of Lydia, her family, and the house.

I don’t know what your situation is right now.  I don’t know what uphill battle you are facing.  I don’t know the dusty, barren period you have found yourself in recently.

But I do know there is HOPE for you!

Hope rises from the dust.

“If you find you are weak in persistence, surround yourself with a Mastermind Group.”
Napolean Hill (Think and Grow Rich)

A few years ago, I joined a mastermind group for entrepreneurs.  This group gives me a place to share my ideas and to get the feedback I need to keep moving forward.  It’s also a place where I can help other entrepreneurs as they process their next steps.  I haven’t been disappointed with the experience so far.

Last year, I launched my own mastermind group.  After wise advice and consistent encouragement, I started the Stretched Men Group.  This mastermind group is all about encouraging guys to become better men, better husbands, and better fathers.  The group runs for three-month semesters.  After each semester, mastermind members have the opportunity to continue on with the group (or not), and new members have the opportunity to jump into the group.

The next semester is getting ready to kick off in the middle of this month, and there are still a few open spots.  I’d love to fill the spots with guys who want to take the next steps in their journey.  If you’d like to find out more information about the group, I’d encourage you to go over to the groups website (click here) and sign up for a FREE informational (no pressure) phone call from me.

In the meantime, I’d encourage you to check out this video from my friend, Ray Edwards.  In the video, Ray offers some fantastic tips about what to look for in a GREAT mastermind group.

If you’re looking to experience these five essentials and your path to becoming the man you were meant to be, I’d encourage you to check out the Stretched Men Group.

Don’t wait.  The next semester will be starting soon!