Businessman Michael Phillips was the owner and Chief Operating Officer for one of the fastest growing IT firms in the United States when he decided to walk away from it all after he heard a calling from God.
In June of 2012, Michael left his business and gave his truck away to a stranger in a donut store parking lot. He said that this was the day his “all in” journey began.
Michael launched the All In Movement in 2013, which focuses on reigniting and refreshing the hearts of Christians across America to live “all in” for God. Michael is now sharing his journey through a book titled, Just Choose, which focuses on helping people understand how to live with impractical faith in a practical world.
“I thought I was happy, but it wasn’t until I went ‘all in’ that real life began,” says Michael. “Millions of people know deep down inside that they aren’t quite where they’re supposed to be. They know God has a purpose for their life, but they aren’t sure how to pursue it. The goal of the book is to help every person understand who they are, why God specifically created them, and how to live their life in response to that.”
Michael never wanted to write a book, but then God started telling him to ‘write it down’ so he kept a journal of the ups and downs and lessons learned.
“I believe God had me write the book to solicit a choice from every Christian in America,” says Michael. “It’s time to be ‘all in’ or all out, but there is no more in between.”
Cassidy came to fame with his role as Keith Partridge in the hit ’70s TV show “The Partridge Family,” playing the eldest of five children. He began touring the world as a singer and had hit songs such as “I Think I Love You.” At the time, his fan club was bigger than Elvis and the Beatles. Teenage girls flocked to his concerts screaming.
He continued to perform for half a century. Over the past weekend, however, Cassidy was performing in California when he struggled to remember lyrics to his songs.
“I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” he said to People, regarding the disease.
Cassidy’s mother, Actress Evelyn Ward, died in 2012 at the age of 89 after suffering from Alzheimer’s-related dementia. He was very outspoken about his mother’s battle with dementia.
Need a hint?
It is not a car, a house or a sharp suit.
Pratt posted on Instagram that a wooden tray with an engraved picture of Jesus and the Scripture Philippians 4:13 is his item of choice. Pratt explained in the caption that his brother makes pocket dump trays that are used to throw wallets, keys, lighters, change or “pistols or whatever else we keep in your pocket so you know exactly where it is the next day. Well, he wanted to make me one and asked me what I wanted on it.”
When his brother asked what he wanted the tray to say. “I went for the usual Chris answer,” he wrote. The “American bald eagle smoking a cigar, holding a machine gun and an American flag whirling all bad ass in the wind maybe with some nunchucks or something.”
After thinking it through, Pratt wanted something more significant to his heart that he can take on the road with him. He wanted something less straight up. “So I thought about this great bible verse Philippians 4:13 which I’ve relied on for strength from time to time. And he knocks this thing out in like a day! Reclaimed wood and a wood burner.”
Pratt is open about his love and relationship with God and how faith has molded his life. “The Guardians of the Galaxy” actor talked about 1 John 2:10-11 as his Scriptural basis: “Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going because the darkness has blinded them.”
Pratt said he found Christ before his career really shot off. It began when a man named Henry came up to him and said, “Jesus told me to talk to you.” The Holy Spirit moved and Pratt started attending church. Pratt and his wife became even closer to God when their son was born nine weeks prematurely. “We were scared for a long time. We prayed a lot,” Pratt said. “It restored my faith in God, not that it needed to be restored, but it really redefined it.”
Pratt thanked his brother who was his hero when they were growing up and is, in fact, his champion today.
“Thanks to my big brother from the same mother for my awesome #cullypepper dump tray. It’s my favorite thing I have.”
What does Pratt’s favorite tray and favorite inscription mean?
Philippians 4:13means “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
In the beginning of the book, “Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope,” Mark Kelly wrote that he and his wife, Gabby Giffords hoped that 2011 would be “the best year of their lives.” Kelly would command the last flight of the orbiter Endeavor, Giffords would begin her third term in Congress, and the two would hopefully conceive a child together.
Instead, 2011 was punctuated, first with terror and grief – then with a daily routine of hard work, occasional setbacks and personal triumphs. Together, Giffords and Kelly, a couple bonded deeply by love, learned what survival really meant after suffering a severe brain injury.
From the moment Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly found love and a new life with each other, the pretty Arizona congresswoman and the brave astronaut captured each other’s hearts.
The couple met in 2003 when both were selected to attend a young leaders’ forum by the National Committee in U.S.-China relations. The next year, they met again when the group reconvened in Arizona. At the time, Kelly was 40, newly divorced and living in Houston with two daughters. Giffords was 34, living in Tucson, 18 months into her first term as the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona Senate.
“I thought she was out of my league,” Kelly said. “She had a compelling urge to learn everything she needed to know to represent the people of Arizona. If she was working on legislation that had to do with the death penalty, then she needed to visit death row.”
It wasn’t hard for those closest to Giffords to see how her feelings were really beginning to grow for Kelly.
“I remember Gabby telling me she met this fellow and then she giggled,” said Robert Reich, former labor secretary and close family friend. “I said, ‘He must be tall, dark and very handsome,’ and she laughed and said, ‘No. He’s short and bald, and I love him.’”
Kelly was just the man Giffords was looking for. He was smart, supportive and sincere, all characteristics she had been searching for in someone. They were both incredibly smitten.
The two wed in 2007 on a beautiful organic produce farm outside of Tucson. After the wedding, Kelly returned to her job in Houston and Giffords to her work in Arizona and Washington, D.C. as a U.S. representative. The couple’s commuter marriage continued until Giffords was shot on Jan. 8. 2011 by Jared Lee Loughner in a shooting spree.
Since the shooting, their lives have dramatically changed, now filled with work, movies, friends and ongoing speech, yoga and physical therapy for Giffords. While the couple has to deal with their share of adjustments and challenges, the six years since the shooting have brought the two closer together; they’ve learned a lot about life and love along the way.
“Now we live in the same place and see each other more often than we ever did,” Giffords said. “It’s taught me how important it is for a relationship to have a strong foundation of loyalty and respect.”
There are a number of lessons they’ve learned on their journey that have really helped keep the couple happy, healthy and moving forward. One of them is acceptance. Giffords has physical limitations and walks slower than she used to. She has nonfluent aphasia, which means she understands conversation clearly but struggles to speak in complete sentences. This experience has taught Kelly how to be a more patient person and the benefits that come with that.
“To communicate basic ideas might take 20 minutes as long as it used to,” Kelly said. “It requires a lot of patience. I never thought of myself as a very patient person, but I’m a lot more now.”
Another major lesson they’ve learned is the power of positive thinking.
“The injury Gabby suffered was horrific,” Kelly said. “It will affect her for the rest of her life. If the roles were reversed, I’d be a little bitter, but she isn’t. She pops up everyday looking ahead and trying to figure out how to be a positive force in the world. She doesn’t get down; she realizes we can’t go back in time and there’s no undoing this. There’s no point in feeling sorry for yourself; all you can do is try to do the best you can do with what you’ve got.”
Finally, one of the greatest lessons they’ve learned through all of this is the value of loyalty and teamwork.
“People come up to me all the time and commend me for hanging in there,” Kelly said. “I always find that odd because what’s the other option? In situations like this, you don’t bolt and leave – the idea never occurred to me.”
While Giffords continues to rely on Kelly’s assistance, this doesn’t stop her from being a supportive partner who gives as much as she receives.
“Before the shooting, we balanced each other because he loved to talk and I was more reserved,” Giffords said. “While I was in Congress, I often looked to him for his expertise in the military and science. He looked to me for my experience in politics, business and life. Now, Mark does most of the talking but we still lean on each other for expertise. Our relationship has always been based on mutual respect and adoration.”
Every day Giffords tackles new challenges, encouraged by the fact that Kelly will always be by her side. We can all learn a great deal from their love and the incredible lessons they’ve learned along the way.