Welcome to Adulting – Treasure of a book for young adults!

Welcome to Adulting by Jonathan "Jp" Pokluda

You’re an adult . . . now what?

Adulting is hard. But sometimes we make it harder than it has to be. Combining entertaining stories from his own experience, insights from the Bible, and compelling evidence from research, Jonathan “JP” Pokluda lays out a roadmap for how to navigate your life as an adult, addressing topics such as:

· friendships and dating
· career and money management
· interpersonal conflict
· controlling anxiety
· recovering from addiction
· discovering your purpose on this earth

If you’re struggling to find a footing in the world of adult life, this witty, non-patronizing guide is for you.

“I remember the first time I went grocery shopping, paid a bill, and rented a room. These were all highlights of adulting before the catchphrase was even created. In Welcome to Adulting, Jonathan Pokluda spends less time on the trivial and more time on the transformational. He points the way and gives advice on how to live an adult life that honors our holy God.”–Kyle Idleman, pastor and author of Not a Fan and Grace Is Greater

“If I could go back to my twenty-two-year-old self, I would hand her a copy of Welcome to Adulting and tell her to soak up every word. Jonathan so candidly and beautifully breaks down the myths of life after college and leaves us with a roadmap we’ll return to again and again, no matter how old we are.”–Jennie Allen, author of Nothing to Prove; founder and visionary of the IF:Gathering

This book should be read by every young adult at the age of 17 and then at 21!  It has so very many important truths that it is a treasure chest needing to be unpacked.

The author acknowledges upfront that he made a plethora of mistakes as a young man and he wants to use his knowledge gained the hard way to help others not make the same mistakes.  He has broken the short, easy-to-digest book into eleven chapters.  Life and Purpose are the first two, followed by Authority, Work, Money, Community, Conflict, and Dating and finishing with Worry, Recovery and Eternity.  Each chapter ends with a few discussion/reflection questions.

Pokluda pulls in quotes from others, such as from a friend of his who says, “So whether it’s mothering, medicine, CEO, sales, teaching, ministry, writing or so on…it is important to remember toil in work was part of the curse and it is difficult and you do the things you don’t like because it’s RIGHT and OBEDIENT and HOLY.  And on the days work is fun, smile and celebrate, and on the days work isn’t fun, don’t rethink your whole life.  Do the work.”  He also uses studies and statistics such as, “…people who have premarital sex are more prone to divorce later on.  In fact, having even just one premarital sexual partner makes you about four times more likely to divorce within the first five years of marriage, and having multiple partners results in a divorce rate five to six times higher.”  His own personal examples are also sprinkled throughout – and he is a great story teller!

This is such a powerful tool to help young adults as they transition from teenagers under mom and dad’s roof to adults navigating the world themselves.  I cannot recommend it highly enough!  I am grateful to the publisher for giving me a copy of this book. I am freely writing a review – all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Author: Jonathan “JP” Pokluda is teaching pastor at Watermark Community Church, with an average weekly attendance of 12,000 people, and leader of The Porch, an influential gathering of thousands of young adults who come hear the gospel and get equipped for Kingdom purposes. Pokluda came to understand the grace of the Gospel in his early twenties after being involved in different denominational churches his entire life. This ignited a desire in him to reach people in their twenties and thirties for Christ. He lives with his wife, Monica, and their three children.

 

 

 

 

 

Shelter of the Most High – a novel

Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Wow!  Once again, I’m blown away by Connilyn’s amazing story – and all the things it makes me ponder.  Taking place in around during the Biblical days around the time of Joshua, Sofea is from Sicily and, after being captured by pirates, ends up in Israel, in the City of Refuge Kedesh with her cousin Prezi.  There she doesn’t know the language and there are no dictionaries to help translate.  Her entire life has been flipped 180 degrees – her family is gone.  Instead of living in a coastal, seafaring, pagan, human life-sacrificing village, she now has been taken in and being loved by a YAWEH fearing household in a landlocked city.

If you have read Connilyn’s previous books you will recognize a number of characters – but if you have not, you shouldn’t have any problem following the story because it does stand alone.  I thought this was great historical fiction – giving a depth to the time of the Bible when the Israelites had settled in the Promised Land.

Amazing story – full of familial love, romantic love and ultimately, Godly love.  Mercy reigns!  I loved this novel and highly recommend it!  I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publisher. I am freely writing a review – all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Author:  Connilyn Cossette is the CBA bestselling author of the Out from Egypt series. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, was a finalist for the Christy Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christian Retailing’s Best Award. She lives in North Carolina with her husband of over twenty years and a son and a daughter who fill her days with joy, inspiration, and laughter. Connect with her at http://www.ConnilynCossette.com.

Where in the World is Kris? Australia

20181017_090648

No photo shop – he’s a real koala!

“I come from a land down under, where women glow and men plunder.” Well, I’m not from there but Kate and I visited the land down under (and heard that song a lot) earlier this month!  Wow! Australia is amazing!  We didn’t have a lot of time, but we stayed very busy and saw so so so many amazing things. I just want to tell you about some of them.

First of all, I was a little nervous about the very long flight (and getting on the plane – but that’s a different story), but the reality was the flight is so long that I watched a movie, then took a sleeping pill and then still had a good 10+ hours to sleep so, when we arrived there I wasn’t feeling too exhausted (of course I had my neck brace, my eye mask, my foot sling, etc…)!  Our first destination was to fly north to Cairns and go to the Great Barrier Reef – which is actually almost 3000 reefs, so it isn’t really 1 reef.  (And, the Australian airline Qantas is great!).  Cairns is a sleepy seaside city, so we wandered and relaxed after arriving – no swimming at the beach though because of the crocodiles!  And they have some massive sized bats there – just flying around in the evening.  I don’t mind bats, but these made me feel a little uneasy!

20181015_113327

Nemo!

Our excursion to the GBR would begin early the next morning. We elected to go on a smaller boat which would take us to two different sites. Both were sites were good and we saw lots of fish and coral and even a giant clam.

Confession though – I’ve dived in Bermuda and the Caribbean and can’t honestly say the GBR was any better but maybe if we had done deeper, more experienced dives?  The reefs appeared healthy and we got to hear a talk from a marine biologist about the health of the reefs and more.

We also did an aborigine experience – complete with fire and didgeridoo and a dinner buffet that included emu, kangaroo and crocodile. (Emu was “gamey” but the kangaroo and crocodile were quite yummy.)  I have no desire to play the didgeridoo!20181014_211413

We picked up the pace when we returned to Sydney – only a 3-hour flight away but when you take the 5am flight, you get a full day! 20181015_131118.jpgWe opted for a pass that got us the Hop-on, Hop-off Bus, Sea Life Aquarium, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, Sydney Tower and Madame Tussaud’s! I’m usually not that impressed with the open air, sightseeing buses, but it really was great for Sydney – the blue bus goes further out of town taking you to Bondi Beach (the famous Sydney beach).  20181015_163830We saw things we would not have otherwise seen so I highly recommend it! The bus also has a running commentary about the history of the area and what you are seeing.

We also thought the Aquarium was fun.  It has some wonderful glass tunnels you walk through while rays and sharks glide over you!  20181015_122218There we also got to

 

go on a little boat through the penguin enclosure – they really smell!  And we saw a dugong – a cousin to the manatee (they look very similar but the dugong has a tale more like a whale and the manatee has a tale more like a very large beaver).  The Aquarium’s dugong is named Pig – they feed him romaine lettuce every 15 minutes and he is quite a messy eater!  A few years ago we swam with manatees so it was fun to see the dugong.

At the zoo we saw a Tasmanian devil, kangaroos, koalas, an enormous crocodile and lots of snakes (but no petting of any of the animals!).  My thoughts as we went through the displays were I was glad I didn’t have to be the zoo keeper for all the dangerous, highly poisonous critters there!20181016_114633

We had fun at Madame Tussaud’s – posing with Spider-Man and Superman and Wonder Woman.  Kate liked Wolverine and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  But my favorite display at Madame Tussaud’s was of the Queen and Prince William and Kate!

20181016_113019

I think they said that the Queen has had more wax models made of her than any other person.  I couldn’t resist getting a photo with Nelson Mandela since I’m going to his country in a few months.  In addition to those places, we also did a tour of the Sydney Opera house – including a brief symphony concert!  The building really is unique with great acoustics and gorgeous wood.  20181017_180722Our guide told us all about the design and the architect – Jorn Utzon,a Swede, who was basically fired from the job halfway through the project.  He did live to see the day that UNESCO recognized the opera house as one of the most outstanding places on earth in 2007 even though it had only been built 34 years earlier.  There are more than a million Swedish made tiles covering the roof – and they are designed to never need cleaning.  The Opera House was the place to be that day as Prince Harry and Meaghan were also visiting about an hour before us!

Another place we enjoyed visiting was the Sydney Tower.  Rising high above Sydney it offers great views of the entire area – and we were fortunate because the rain dissipated and we were able to see those views!  We went late in the afternoon so we not only got to see the day view, but also the evening view.

1016180501Our biggest event in Sydney was actually climbing the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, or the coat hanger as they call it. What an experience! We showed up at our appointed time and after getting our flight suits on and divesting ourselves of all personal items, got our safety harnesses on and began the assent – through the pylon, up ladders, and finally to the top of the bridge.  1016180526  1016180553The view was magnificent, especially since we had done the evening/night tour, so all the lights were twinkling in the skyline.  I am always amazed by God’s creation – either the natural or the man-made and seeing the city lit up was wonderful!  We were also really thankful it wasn’t raining!!

Our last day in Australia was spent on a tour of the Blue Mountains.  I didn’t think we could top the climb from the previous day but…   We began by going to the Featherdale  Wildlife Park where we touched a wombat, petted a koala bear and fed kangaroos – even the joey in his mama’s pouch! This was a fabulous place and I only wish we could have stayed longer!

20181017_091401.jpg

2018-10-31 (2)The koala’s fur was very short and thick and soft!  The kangaroos reminded me of my golden retrievers – they just wanted the food and would hold your hand to keep the food there.  Petting koalas and feeding kangaroos was pretty amazing!!20181017_091648.jpg

From there we went on to the Blue Mountains, named because the many eucalyptus trees cause a blue haze.  We didn’t see any wild koalas, but we did see some amazing rock formations (the Three Sisters).

20181017_125310 20181017_130939

We were told that that Aborigine Dreamtime legend is that there were 3 sisters who were turned into stone to protect them during a battle.  Unfortunately, the person who turned transformed them was killed in the battle and no one else could change them back so there they stand.  This is a beautiful area with the Katoomba waterfall,  rain forest and and eucalyptus trees!  We went to Scenic World and rode the skyway, a cable car that has a glass floor so you can see the valley below your feet.

20181017_135745

20181017_145035The view of the waterfall from there was magnificent!  After that we went down to the valley floor via an old mining railroad that goes down at a 52-degree incline – the steepest in the world – which was quite the ride (we did it 3 times!).  We finished our day by going back into Sydney via the river – a river cruise!  (Interesting fact – Sydney Harbor and the river that feeds it is a known breeding ground for bull sharks – it’s not very safe swimming outside protected areas!!).20181017_180722.jpg

Australia gets lots of tourists – and most of them are from Asia.  I guess they aren’t used to Western toilets.  In every toilet they had picture signs showing that squatting on the toilet is not the thing to do – and to please throw the toilet paper in the toilet, not the trash. 20181017_115035.jpg As we wandered, we were as likely to hear Chinese spoken as English.  We did enjoy some amazing Thai food, right around the corner from our very quaint, Victorian flat (well, the building was Victorian but they had updated in the 21st century so we had old floors, tall ceilings and modern Ikea furnishings!)

So, with 2 days in Cairns, and 3 days in Sydney, our 5 days in Australia were over and it was time to return home!  We didn’t see everything but we sure experienced a lot! And our return trip was wonderful – 14 hours in first class sitting next to each other!  Yes, they gave me pajamas to wear and I lounged my way back the the USA!  20181018_125035.jpgI’m looking forward to my next trip!  P.S. While we were in Sydney, we saw the Royal Caribbean ship, Radiance of the Seas, set sail – maybe someday I can cruise from Sydney!20181016_130922