What Your Influence Is For: Sanity Not Required

I know a crazy guy.

He’s so crazy, he’s running 24 miles, rim to rim, through the Grand Canyon on September 15.

He’s so crazy, he’s trying to raise $50,000 to save 50 girls from a life of prostitution in Ethiopia.

He’s so crazy, he imagines himself his own version of Liam Neeson from Taken, kicking down doors in rescue, seeing the faces of the lost and desperate as he bursts in. He knows with every step he takes and every thousand dollars he raises, he is plucking the life of a child from the muck and mire of a life never meant for her and standing her up on a rock of restoration and redemption.

He doesn’t look crazy, but don’t let that fool you.

He is crazy because he’s inspired. Because he believes he can change something. And it’s catching.

This crazy guy I know is Steve Wiens. And he’s really doing this. All of this. So far, he and his tribe have raised over $31,000 for Eyes that See, an organization assisting with the transformation process for girls and women leaving forced prostitution. And many people are joining in on race day for solidarity runs or coming up with wildly creative ways to support him.


He’s chasing down a cause worth his time, his energy and his heart. And he’s using his influence.

Steve is a pastor, a dad, a husband, a runner and a blogger. He has a growing base of influence, people who wait for his words to show up in their morning email. People like me who look to him for peaceful, accepting wisdom and inspiration to be as crazy as their dreams tell them they can be.

Steve has a platform and he’s using it, not for self-promotion. Not to monetize his blog so he can take extra long vacations. He’s using his presence for a mighty, great good. He’s gathering the people to war and fight and run and pray. He’s giving his tribe something bigger than themselves, something only our rescuer Father God could dream up.

This is what influence is for.

Influence is for the common good. Influence is for calling forth purpose in everyone, no matter their walk in life. Influence is for giving us all a battle cry and a vision before us. Influence is not for me. It’s not for you. It’s for all of us.

You have influence in your spheres. At work, at church, in your home and community. Maybe you’re big and famous or maybe you feel like no one knows about you. But you have influence, I assure you. And it’s not to make you look cool. It’s to partner with God, make his love evident and enormous to the world, and to give everyone around you a real reason to live and move and breathe.

Use your influence for big things today. Speak kindness, use gentleness, motivate and empower instead of belittling and demeaning. Don’t wait for vindication or revenge. Throw flowers instead. And call the people around you to greatness by the very way you live your crazy, inspired, generous life.

And now that you want to know more about this crazy guy, here’s what you can do: Come throw your hat in with Steve and the great rescue effort, or if you want to learn more about Eyes That See, the organization he’s sponsoring, visit the site here.

Buy this book & give 3 people clean water

Today is a really big day! The first book I’ve ever been published in became available for purchase today! #CouchRebels is on sale right now for only $9.99click on the picture of the book to skip this post and buy it now. [I wrote about it a few days ago right here.]

This book is no ordinary book, however. This book has POWER. Tell me how many books you have read that can give clean drinking water to 3 people this year? 


Extraordinary, indeed. This eclectic collection of stories from radical adventurers and Jesus followers who refused to live comfortably not only inspires but also redeems. Every purchase of the book will provide clean water to 3 people. Amazing.

How did they do it? In one sentence, CausePub, the organization who published the book, partnered with Blood:Water Mission and committed to give a starting donation of 50% of sales to the charity, a number that will increase through the year. Found out more at Cause Pub.

Read the journeys and beautiful epiphanies of those who took the route of love and stumbled into incredible stories and revelations all their own. And at the same time, do a good and generous thing for others who need one of the simplest yet most vital things in life: clean water.

You can make a difference in the lives of others, in grand or small ways, just like the storytellers here. And isn’t that what we all really want from our lives?

Click the book image to the right to purchase the book. Or just click here. And then do two things at once: Get Inspired and Be Generous!

These stories pump water

I love brand new ideas, really good ones I wish I thought of. Don’t you?

Well, here’s one for you. Have you heard of CausePub yet? If you haven’t, you’re about to.

I just wrote a story for CausePub, an organization creating books for a cause through group-publishing. [Click here to read the story and vote]. [Their current book project is called Couch Rebels, a collection of stories about folks who rebelled against horizontal life and got up to do something, to change something, even if the thing they changed was themselves. The concept is genius. Here’s how it works.

  • CausePub identifies a charity or cause they want their book to support
  • CausePub solicits stories from adventurers and story-tellers
  • After stories are submitted, they approve the stories and post them to their site
  • Story-writers solicit votes from friends and strangers
  • CausePub selects great stories they love with the most votes
  • The Couch Rebel book will be published as a Kindle eBook on August 14. So soon!
  • When anyone purchases the book, the proceeds are divided between the cause, the writers and basic overhead costs.
  • For Couch Rebel, 50% of the proceeds will benefit Blood: Water Mission. The breakdown is in the graphic below.

[Follow CausePub on Twitter here and find them on Facebook here.]

Here’s where I need your help: I wrote a story for CausePub, and I need your vote.

The story is below. It’s a story about a time when God met me and my seatmate on a plane to Atlanta. I didn’t see it coming. I love this story because it makes me like God even more. Please read and take a second to click VOTE. Thank you so much.

What God Thinks About You

“So, where are you headed?” I asked the young brunette next to me to end the awkward silence. She smiled the stranger smile, as if wondering how long this conversation might take. “Somewhere tropical. With friends.” She needed a little prodding, and I wondered if I should just lay off. Instead, I offered my own less glamorous destination: Atlanta.

I attempted to stir the conversation with more questions about her destination, responding with appropriate amounts of awe and jealousy. I hoped we would catch a common thread in our lives and the chatter would take off, giving me an opportunity to eventually talk with her about Jesus.

But no such luck. The conversation flailed, and we politely took up our books. I leaned into the window, pretending to read, but inside I argued with myself, knowing God might have bigger plans for this three-hour plane ride.

Eventually, my discomfort with silence grew larger than my desire to be well-mannered company. “What are you reading?” I finally inquired. She stammered a bit. “It’s a little unconventional. I’m not sure I want to say.” She tucked the pink book cover down toward her lap. I attempted to reassure her I didn’t have plans to judge, but I wasn’t going to push it. But what was she reading?

“I’m reading about artificial insemination,” she offered hesitantly, waiting for the verdict to read on my face as she turned the cover toward me. “I’m not married yet, but I’m 35. And I want to have a baby.”


Click the button below to keep reading and vote.