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Choosing to Stand for What Matters Most

Written by Kim MeederAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Kim Meeder

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List Price: $11.99

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On Sale: October 04, 2011
Pages: 192 | ISBN: 978-1-60142-204-0
Published by : Multnomah Books Religion-Business-Forum
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

True beauty is not about how you look…
but how you live.

Women are constantly bombarded with the lie that how we look is far more important than who we are. It’s time for a clarion call back to the truth.

Journey with gifted storyteller Kim Meeder as she encourages women to see that true value is defined by our Creator and that our worth has a purpose of eternal proportions.

Real beauty isn’t a look, it’s an action. It can be found by making one crucial, life-defining choice—to lay down personal ambitions and selfish desires, pick up your sword of encouragement, and fight for those who are losing their battle for hope. As you do, fierce beauty is revealed—along with lasting value, fulfillment, and joy.   

In Fierce Beauty, Kim shares inspiring true stories from her own life of adventure, love, and loss—including her parents’ shocking death when she was nine years old and her struggles with self acceptance, knowing God, and standing for Him. Through it all, you’ll discover life lessons about trust, transformation, surrender, forgiveness, and genuine purpose.

Ultimately, life comes down to one question: Will you serve yourself or your King?

              Includes discussion guide for individuals or groups.

               “You were not created to be a princess of entitlement
            but a warrior, fighting to bring love and hope to the world.”
                                         – Kim Meeder

 

Excerpt

The Fracture
One True Anchor

      How had it come to this?
      I was in no man’s land—literally a place where no human being should be. Step by foolish step, my pride had brought me to this bitter, frozen end. Though the terrain was intensely beautiful, all that waited for me here was my own death.
      At more than 14,000 feet, I dangled motionless above an infinite void. I clung with a white-knuckled grip to the only device that could save me, my ice ax. Hanging from a near-vertical sheet of ice only yards below a mountain summit, I was surrounded by a silent world of white. The expanse around me no longer concealed the fact that this could be the exquisite location where my life would end. Frayed thoughts twisted around the clutter of all my what-ifs. Finally the noisy and confused voices within my mind stilled. All that remained of my broken ability to reason circled in my head like a lost boomerang, proclaiming with each weak pass the same whispered message:
      How did it come to this?

      One of the highlights of my life occurred when I was five years old. Seared like a brand on my soul, the memory of that moment feels me with heat even now. Earlier on that long-ago day, with all the determination and strength that a little heart could muster, I’d gripped the back pockets of my dad’s 501 jeans. Like a human mule, he’d patiently towed his youngest daughter up her first mountain. At 10,457 feet, requiring a round trip of less than five miles, Mount Lassen’s small volcanic summit is not much of a challenge for those who frequent the high places. But for a young girl, reaching its peak was a triumph of love and wonder.
      While my dad and I sat shielded by a rock wall, I snuggled close to him for warmth. The wind seemed to resent the vertical detour demanded by this small volcano and screamed all around us. My hair whipped around my face in a frenzied mass of black knots. With nothing above us but sky, I huddled in awe, captivated by the wonder that swept down and away like a living, undulating quilt of unthinkable beauty. Distinct from anything forged by the hands of men, this exquisite mantle continued beyond human sight in a decadent tapestry. Great forests appeared as deep folds of green and rushed down to embrace a myriad of sapphire lakes. Caught up in Creation’s never-ending flow, green eventually gave way to amber as forests poured into vast plains of golden grass.
      The rapid compression of air moving over the volcano’s peak created cloud spindles. The white wisps appeared before our eyes, danced wildly across the summit, and disappeared just as swiftly. I was certain my dad and I were the only two people on earth who saw them. Like translucent sprites they tumbled and rolled in captivating shapes. Through exuberant eyes I watched them call me to join in their frolic. They seemed to play from the beginning of their brief lives right up to their last twisting moments. Spiraling down into threadlike strands of white, they waved one last good-bye before dissipating forever into a heavenly ocean of blue. 
      That moment with my dad on Lassen ignited in my heart a deep and passionate love for the mountains. There was an indescribable, fierce power in these high places—and also incredible wonder and beauty. I was hooked.
      Later, more favor poured into my life when my dad was hired as a weekend downhill ski instructor on the lower flanks of northern California’s Mount Shasta. At 14,162 feet, Shasta isn’t the highest peak in the lower forty-eight states. But most agree that by sheer mass, it’s one of the biggest. Shasta’s base-to-summit rise of nearly ten thousand feet is second only to Mount Rainier and Mount Whitney in the contiguous United States. As an active, stand-alone volcano, Shasta dominates the horizon for more than one hundred miles in every direction.
      Often I joined my dad in this impressive setting. I vividly recall one day hanging between his lanky legs as he held me under my arms. I stood on tiny wooden skis fastened with cable bindings to huge boots. “Ready, Kimbo?” my dad asked with the enthusiasm of a parent gifting his child with something he loves.
      Together, we perched on the crest of what my youthful perspective saw as a daring precipice. With the pure, unshakable faith of a child, I looked at my dad’s slender thighs and saw the trunks of two strong oaks. His grasp was firm enough to convince me that as long as I was locked in his protective embrace, we could ski through any peril. Had I glanced up, I’m sure I would’ve seen his superhero cape wafting majestically behind
him. I braced myself by pressing mittened hands on the inside of each of his thighs. Like a pint-size copilot, I bobbed my head and said, “Okay, Daddy.” We pushed off into a serpentine world of white, the beginning of many glorious weekends filled with father-daughter adventures.
      That string of shared activities ended, however, much too soon. I was nine years old when the inconceivable happened. Divorce was tearing our family apart. My dad sought help in many professional directions, but, tragically, the help he so desperately needed was not to be found. One day a friend of my father’s picked up my sisters and me from school and took us to our grandparents’ house. No one spoke. During that drive I knew something catastrophic had happened. At my grandparents’  house a distraught woman tried to comfort me in her arms. She kept repeating, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so deeply sorry.” Finally she blurted out, “Your father has just murdered your mother and killed himself.”
      My first thought was that she was a liar. She had to be a liar because what she said simply could not be true.
      I tore away and burst out the house’s back door. I ran and ran through a small orchard until I fell, facedown, in the powdery, dry earth. I heard screaming and realized it was coming from me.
      “Jesus, help me!” I cried. “Help me!”
      And then, He did.
      I didn’t really know who Jesus was. I’d been to church only a few times in my life. Yet in that moment of despair, I somehow knew He was the only safe direction I could turn and if I didn’t, I would die.
      What I understand now is how on that terrible day the Lord of all Creation came and knelt in the dirt beside a breaking child. He reached down and took the small hand that reached up to Him…and He has
never let go. 
      Only through His grace did I begin picking up the pieces of my shattered life. My sisters and I moved in with my grandparents and started attending church. In the years that followed, I learned that Jesus was my Redeemer and my shelter. Despite the grief and despair I faced, I always found comfort in Him.
      Another of my refuges was the mountains. Once I began driving, I set about climbing every horizon—no matter where that horizon was. In these wind-chiseled cathedrals of stone, my heart felt truly free. The subtle, mighty voice of breezes murmuring through ancient, high-altitude forests perpetually called me to come and rest within their boughs of peace. Heavy sorrows and burdens felt too weighty to follow me to these wild places. The farther I hiked, the farther behind I left my pain. I sensed that all the tragedies that gripped my heart were not strong enough to chase me into thin air. I scaled many of the peaks surrounding California’s Redding basin. Once my husband, Troy, and I moved to Central Oregon, I climbed most of that skyline as well. The one glaring omission from my ascensions was Mount Shasta. Believing it would be too painful, I purposed in my heart never to go back.
Kim Meeder

About Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder - Fierce Beauty

Kim Meeder is the author of Hope Rising, Bridge Called Hope, and Blind Hope. Along with her husband, Troy, she owns and operates Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Central Oregon, a nonprofit organization that rescues abused and neglected horses and pairs them with disadvantaged children, offering them a place of safety, peace, and hope. She has been a popular guest on the Focus on the Family radio broadcast, Dr. Dobson’s Family Talk, and featured on the CBS Early Show.

 

Praise

Praise

Praise for Fierce Beauty

"The vibrant leadership of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch Founder Kim Meeder is superseded only by her unwavering commitment to the Lord. Her buoyant spirit is contagious!  Kim is "the real deal" and I'm always a better person for being in her presence.  In this bold new venture, the same burning passion she has exhibited in ministering to wounded children and horses finds a new target: women. Fierce Beauty challenges us to abandon our shallow lives of insecurity, pain and selfishness and instead embrace a warrior's pose.  We can no longer afford to sit idly by ... let's march on!"   
—LuAnne Crane, Executive Producer & Co-Host, Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson


“Kim Meeder poured her heart onto these pages, encouraging readers to be authentic, to defend their hearts against sin, and to find peace in unexpected places. In Fierce Beauty you will be challenged to embrace God’s unconditional love when faced with roadblocks. Kim’s words will inspire you to stand up and run your own race—straight into the open arms of Jesus. This book stands alone for self-study, and it would be an outstanding choice for your small group.”
—Carol Kent, Speaker and Author of Between a Rock and a Grace Place 

“Kim understands the fears and insecurities that plague so many of us—even as women of God. With her unique combination of wisdom and compassion, Kim encourages us to discover the life that God has called us to, and to experience His peace in the process.”
—Danae Dobson, author and speaker

“Kim Meeder knows first-hand the courageous heart adventure of healing. Fierce Beauty will empower you to recognize your surrender to the King as the most powerful road to purpose, strength, and beauty.”
—Dr. Juli Slattery author, Family Psychologist, Focus on the Family co-host

Fierce Beauty is a breathtaking read from the first page to the last. With a writing style that pierces the heart like exquisite poetry, Kim Meeder tells a story filled with life-changing honesty and often startling “fierce beauty.” Ultimately, it celebrates the resiliency of the human heart and God’s power to change us, no matter the trials or heartaches of the past.”
—Diane Noble, award-winning novelist

“Through tantalizing true-life tales, Kim Meeder captivates our interest and takes us to the edge of amazing experiences, then steers us to our heavenly Father for His love, mercy, and hope!”
—Suzanne Maurer, producer of the television documentary Courage to Live: The Story of Charlie and Lucy Wedemeyer

“Kim Meeder is an inspiration and tells her life stories with such compelling, faithful insight that even the hardest heart will be converted.”
—Senator Chris Telfer

“In Fierce Beauty, Kim Meeder shares inspiring examples of what a difference our choices make. When we surrender and trust in the Lord, He gives us His hope. “Choosing to Stand for What Matters Most” gives inner peace and strength to help us through each day’s challenge. By doing so, our choices blaze a trail for others to follow.”
—Diane Nelson Nye, wife, mother of seven, four-time survivor of breast cancer, currently battling stage IV cancer

“In Fierce Beauty, Kim Meeder recounts lessons learned through her own journey and awareness of God all around her. Her words will open your heart to receive and embrace truth from God’s Word that is able to set even the most captive heart free. I was challenged and encouraged and am certain you will be too!”
—Meredith Andrews, recording artist

“Kim’s gift for storytelling made me feel as if I were there, seeing it all with my own eyes. I highly recommend Fierce Beauty to all God’s daughters that they might see themselves as God sees them and to His Sons that they might see the women in their lives through God’s eyes.”
—Renee D. Godoy, Senior Pastor of Glad Tidings Church

“Kim inspires readers not only to see the beauty of the world, but also to see the beauty in each God-created person, and to see the real beauty in a soul set free through God’s amazing grace. What an affirming message Kim offers in this treasure of a book!”
—Nancie Carmichael, author of several books including Selah and Surviving One Bad Year


Praise for Kim and Troy Meeder

Troy and Kim Meeder are two of the finest people I have had the privilege of knowing. A year ago, my wife Shirley and I visited their nine-acre Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Bend, Oregon, where they introduce dozens of wounded and needy children to abused and neglected horses. The healing and mystical bond that occurs between the animals and soul-hungry kids is wonderful to behold.  Moreover, Kim and Troy do everything in the name of the Lord. I admire these people greatly and wish somebody would give them a larger ranch on which to do their marvelous work!  I’ve seen nothing quite like it.
—James Dobson, PhD, Family Talk
Discussion Questions

Discussion Guides

1. Part 1: The Problem

1. What matters most to you? What things tend to sidetrack you from becoming all that God is calling you to be?

2. You may never have found yourself clinging precariously to the side of a mountain, but perhaps you’ve encountered circumstances just as intense. What were the choices that led you there? How did God meet you in those situations?

3. In chapter 3, Kim wrote, “Authentic beauty is revealed in what we do for those in need around us. On that day I wanted to be beautiful like Amelia…because she was beautiful like Jesus.” When was the last time you did something strictly for the benefit of someone else—knowing the person could not pay you back? Describe how you felt afterward.

4. What have you found to be the most effective ways of defending your heart against sin? What are some “arrows” you’ve encountered when you’ve let your guard down? As Kim pointed out, there is no arrow that the unfailing love of Jesus cannot remove. In a few words how would you describe His arrow-removing process in your life?

2. Part 2: The King

1. Kim says, “At some point we will all experience our best-laid plans being obliterated in a single moment. An accident, a disease, an addiction, an infidelity, a discovery, a choice—each can exact life-changing consequences.” How has God shown His faithfulness to you in times like these?

2. Have you ever experienced total peace despite tumultuous or scary circumstances? If so, how would you advise a friend to find peace in the midst of troubled circumstances?

3. In chapter 11, Kim recalled God speaking to her: “The things you choose to entrust to Me, you will have forever. But the things that you choose to hold on to will all perish.” What have you entrusted to God? What are you holding on to? Why? How are you protecting those things better than God could? When might you be willing to give those things to God as well?

4. Have you ever had a “wilderness” experience in which you didn’t know how or when you’d make it through? What are your thoughts about where God is during those times? What was most effective in helping you put one foot in front of the other and not give up?

3. Part 3: The Warrior

1. Have you ever asked, “Who am I, and what do I really have to give?” Describe some things you’ve already given, such as a smile, a prayer, a word of encouragement, a small gift. Since you are unique and strategically placed in this world—no one else can be you— what are the gifts you have that can make a difference for those in your life who might be struggling?

2. In chapter 15, Kim compared unforgiveness to a prison. She also stated, “Forgiveness is a purposeful decision to let go of our years of rubble.” Is there someone in your life you haven’t fully forgiven? If you are holding on to years of rubble, what is it costing you? Are you willing to take action to be completely free?

3. In your own race through life, what weights slow you down? Who is cheering you on? Whom are you cheering for? What is your greatest motivation to do your best?

4. Kim wrote that a warrior is one who casts down her “princess crown” of entitlement and picks up her King’s sword of encouragement to fiercely defend those who are losing their battle for hope. Consider your world, your community, your friends, your family. Of those near you, who is losing the battle for hope? If you were to pick up your sword of encouragement, what would that look like for the people around you?

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