PRESS ON

After watching the bombs explode in front of her at the Boston Marathon finish line, Jennifer was painfully aware how mere seconds mattered between life and death. It was then that she understood how God is both the God of eternity as well as the God of our moments.

Life can feel like a race with twists, turns, uphill climbs, downward descents, and long stretches of highway. From the big explosion days to the monotonous and quiet ones, the stories of endurance, faith and trust will inspire you to press on and never give up as you run the race of life.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Let this book motivate, accelerate, and encourage you to press on in faith as you trust God in every area of your life. An easy read full of inspiration in easily swallowed doses. Highly recommend!

The Benham Brothers
Authors, Speakers, and Entrepreneurs

Jennifer is a certified speaker and trainer for the John Maxwell Team. For as long as I’ve known her she’s been an inspiration to other’s, not only with her words but also with action.

Jen is one of those rare individual’s who won’t let the obstacles in life stop her from achieving her goals, whether big or small. Her challenging life experiences have led to this moment -- where her message needs to be heard. Jen is an excellent role model who’s positive thinking, determination and inner strength have guided her through the toughest of obstacles.

I would highly recommend Jennifer McAlister to anyone looking for some assistance in achieving their personal goals and finding purpose.

Doug Shaffer
General Manager/EVP at Jorva Entertainment Productions

Jennifer survived the Boston Marathon bombing, but this isn’t a book about that. Each one of us are survivors in the maze of life, and need inspiring stories like hers to lead us out. She is among the greats of our generation, alongside speakers and authors like Nick Vujicic and other inspiring world changers.

Tammy Kling
TEDx speaker, bestselling author, founder, The Conversation Ceo, OnFire Books

Two of my favorite faith topics: perseverance and trust are thoroughly explored in Jennifer McAlister’s book Press On. If you want to understand how boldness and humility go together, how strength and weakness are at once the same and how pain can feel so good then build time into your workout schedule to read this book.
In describing the role trust plays in our daily pursuit of life she says, “If we really want to see the power of God it has to be personal and we have to be in a place where we need it.” Her writing lacks complicated platitudes --- this is simple and clear perspective you can use now.

Jennifer brings a tone to her writing that goes way beyond insightful and compelling. She says, “I want to honor Him by living with purpose, boldness and a sense of urgency.” That’s the hallmark of someone who’s truly learned how to trust in God alone. Each chapter in Press On delivers tough truths from a spirit of total abandon. If that sounds extremely robust, it is in an exceptionally intimate way. Jennifer doesn’t just let you hear her conversations with God – You get to experience the living dialogue God has with her. She says, “This word brings me to my knees.” And it will for you too.
Trust me! This book will press you to take a fresh look at how you pursue your goals, live your dreams and listen to God.

Brad Bloom
Publisher, Faith & Fitness Magazine, FaithAndFitness.net

Many years ago I adopted the mantra of an older friend (not a runner) who said, “The day I spot someone running with a smile on their face is the day I take up running.” That mantra kept me out of the race for years… until I spotted my friend Jennifer McAlister running through our neighborhood. The writers of Scripture often compared life to a long race filled with distractions, obstacles, setbacks, and tragedy. Sometimes it feels like survival is the best we can hope for.

Whether you’re a fierce competitor or only thinking about thinking about getting off the sofa someday, Press On will encourage you to something better than surviving. This book is filled with honest stories of both struggle and victory that will inspire you to stare down the course marked out for you, turn your attention toward Jesus, and press on toward a life of joy, courage, and hope. I heartily recommend it to you.

Chris Freeland
Lead Pastor, McKinney Church

I have had the privilege of hearing Jennifer McAlister speak at the annual “Phillip’s Wish” kick-off event for the past several years and have been tremendously impressed. Jennifer is an inspiring speaker – as well as a gifted writer. Her personal stories convey a sense of empathy I’ve rarely seen and she has literally moved me to tears with her heartfelt reflections. Jennifer’s speeches are always the highlight of the event for me and I’m sure for many others!

Larry Postel
Screenwriter

Loved the book! It's real! Great read. Easy read. I loved the stories in it and the faith from it. I felt like I was in it. Great descriptions of Jennifer’s experiences with poignant insights to strengthen the reader. I believe this book is going to encourage many people. Congratulations on the high level of excellence and may many, many more of these follow.

Jeff Klingenberg
Lead Pastor, Highridge Church

This book will encourage you to trust more, believe deeper and reach higher. Jennifer shares her struggles honestly and the reader is encouraged to find their significance in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Becky Hyde
CEO Metroplex Women's Clinic

Press On is invigorating words on a page! More than words it is a collection of stories of perseverance and a deep developed trust in an unshakeable God who is on control of all things. This book will inspire you to put your trust in the One who is able to safely bring us to our final destination! Jennifer will encourage you to press forward and live life with eternity in mind.

Debbie Brown
Fitness Associate at Houston's First Baptist Church

A QUICK LOOK FROM A FEW CHAPTERS OF PRESS ON

  • MILE 26.1 - THE BOSTON MARATHON

    ...The hotel lobby was thick with tension and fear as people were anxiously trying to locate family members and friends while at the same time wondering when the next blast would be. As I stood in the crowded lobby, I watched as people were reunited with loved ones and witnessed the look of relief on their faces as they hugged and cried. They were given a gift, and they were appreciating it to the full. I knew Jason was okay because I had spoken to him, but until I had him with me, I couldn’t rest—it really felt like I was in a war zone. Why was it taking him so long? My mind starts playing the “what if” game, and I found my eyes glued to the door waiting for him to arrive. It worked as well as waiting for water to boil, but I couldn’t help it. While looking outside, I watched as the streets of Boston continued to fill with emergency vehicles, their sirens an eerie reminder of the seriousness of the situation. Looking up, more helicopters were hovering overhead, all on high alert, just like everyone surrounding me in the lobby as we nervously waited for what was to come.

  • BORROWED BELIEF

    My heart raced as I stood in my wetsuit, surrounded by hundreds of other triathletes. This was my first official triathlon, and I was about to swim 1600 hundred meters, or a mile, in the open water. Not being the best swimmer, I told myself that I just needed to survive the swim and not worry about the waves, the other swimmers, my lack of experience, or my rapid pulse. In spite of my trepidations, I took courage from the prayers of my friend, Toni, who showed up that morning to support me. She reminded me that God would give me His strength, and she would be waiting at the shore for me.

    It has been said that courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. My choices were to give in and go home or get out there and try. For me, I realized that quitting hurts worse than trying, so I started to make my way to the water. As I did, the road sign warning “Turn around, don’t drown” was on auto-repeat in my brain. I was officially outside of my comfort zone...

  • LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE

    How many times have we rushed through our day, even when we are serving others in our own families or at church, but forgotten to slow down and make eye contact and make them feel loved and appreciated?

    One of my very good friends, Cyndi Bunch, runs a nonprofit ministry called Phillip’s Wish. It is a wonderful organization started by her son when he was only seven years old. Little Phillip’s heart hurt over all the people he saw on the streets of Fort Worth one winter and was worried that they were cold. Unlike many adults, he decided to take it upon himself and do something about it. So with the faith of a child, he emptied his piggy bank and told his mom that he wanted to make sure everyone he saw outside would be warm. He gave his mom the change from his piggy bank—all he had—and asked her to buy a blanket with it. Needless to say, what started out as a child stepping out in faith by confronting a problem most people would turn away from, one blanket turned into thousands, and within a year a ministry to serve the homeless was born.

  • FIGHT FORWARD

    Have you ever been in a fight and felt like giving up? I’m not talking about a literal fight, but a fight for your peace of mind, or an inner struggle that challenged you. When this happens, we need others to lift us up and support us along the way. There are times when we need someone to inspire us, tell us to keep moving, or help us see a different point of view. We need each other in this crazy world even when we don’t understand this type of “help” at the time.

    The saying, “You don’t get what you want, you get what you fight for” was all I could think of as I made the decision to flip over on my back and start swimming toward my goal. I was halfway through my first half Ironman swim, and I was determined to not make the mistake of stopping and treading water when I got tired. No matter what happened, I purposed in my heart that I would continue to keep forward momentum. I didn’t care how much it hurt; I was going to fight forward!

MILE 26.1 - THE BOSTON MARATHON

...The hotel lobby was thick with tension and fear as people were anxiously trying to locate family members and friends while at the same time wondering when the next blast would be. As I stood in the crowded lobby, I watched as people were reunited with loved ones and witnessed the look of relief on their faces as they hugged and cried. They were given a gift, and they were appreciating it to the full. I knew Jason was okay because I had spoken to him, but until I had him with me, I couldn’t rest—it really felt like I was in a war zone. Why was it taking him so long? My mind starts playing the “what if” game, and I found my eyes glued to the door waiting for him to arrive. It worked as well as waiting for water to boil, but I couldn’t help it. While looking outside, I watched as the streets of Boston continued to fill with emergency vehicles, their sirens an eerie reminder of the seriousness of the situation. Looking up, more helicopters were hovering overhead, all on high alert, just like everyone surrounding me in the lobby as we nervously waited for what was to come.

BORROWED BELIEF

My heart raced as I stood in my wetsuit, surrounded by hundreds of other triathletes. This was my first official triathlon, and I was about to swim 1600 hundred meters, or a mile, in the open water. Not being the best swimmer, I told myself that I just needed to survive the swim and not worry about the waves, the other swimmers, my lack of experience, or my rapid pulse. In spite of my trepidations, I took courage from the prayers of my friend, Toni, who showed up that morning to support me. She reminded me that God would give me His strength, and she would be waiting at the shore for me.

It has been said that courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. My choices were to give in and go home or get out there and try. For me, I realized that quitting hurts worse than trying, so I started to make my way to the water. As I did, the road sign warning “Turn around, don’t drown” was on auto-repeat in my brain. I was officially outside of my comfort zone...

LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE

How many times have we rushed through our day, even when we are serving others in our own families or at church, but forgotten to slow down and make eye contact and make them feel loved and appreciated?

One of my very good friends, Cyndi Bunch, runs a nonprofit ministry called Phillip’s Wish. It is a wonderful organization started by her son when he was only seven years old. Little Phillip’s heart hurt over all the people he saw on the streets of Fort Worth one winter and was worried that they were cold. Unlike many adults, he decided to take it upon himself and do something about it. So with the faith of a child, he emptied his piggy bank and told his mom that he wanted to make sure everyone he saw outside would be warm. He gave his mom the change from his piggy bank—all he had—and asked her to buy a blanket with it. Needless to say, what started out as a child stepping out in faith by confronting a problem most people would turn away from, one blanket turned into thousands, and within a year a ministry to serve the homeless was born.

FIGHT FORWARD

Have you ever been in a fight and felt like giving up? I’m not talking about a literal fight, but a fight for your peace of mind, or an inner struggle that challenged you. When this happens, we need others to lift us up and support us along the way. There are times when we need someone to inspire us, tell us to keep moving, or help us see a different point of view. We need each other in this crazy world even when we don’t understand this type of “help” at the time.

The saying, “You don’t get what you want, you get what you fight for” was all I could think of as I made the decision to flip over on my back and start swimming toward my goal. I was halfway through my first half Ironman swim, and I was determined to not make the mistake of stopping and treading water when I got tired. No matter what happened, I purposed in my heart that I would continue to keep forward momentum. I didn’t care how much it hurt; I was going to fight forward!

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Who do you trust? We never really have the opportunity to think about these things until we’re in the midst of a storm or until faith is tested. A broken relationship, loss of a loved one, or an issue with your finances may have you reaching out for someone to lean on or a friend who could offer you wisdom, but it can be difficult to know who to confide in. In our darkest hour, who do we trust?

Are you destined to take the path you’re about to step onto? It might be worth the pause to ask that question.

Throughout this book, you’ll hear me offer advice from my own journey, and I hope it opens your eyes and heart to consider that no matter what you’ve been through, God knows and has a plan. We can’t always see the fruit of our labor, or the rewards, but if you know God has given you a dream, keep going. Don’t give up!

One of the primary reasons people say they cannot work out is a lack of time. The busyness of a career, supporting a family, and juggling the demands of life can be a challenge to fit in. Time is necessary for everything in life: successful relationships, family bonding, creating a healthy lifestyle, or building a company. How can we make the right choices in life each and every day if we can’t even make the right choice at lunch or dinner? It’s tempting to reach for what’s available and quick, rather than what’s healthy and takes time. Each and every day we are presented with about a hundred different choices.

Seventeen years ago, I decided that I wanted to learn how to sew, and I wanted my first project to be a king-sized quilt. I don’t advice this approach to anyone wanting to try one’s hand at quilt making because it was a whoopin’! Not only did I have to learn the basics of sewing (like threading the machine), but I had to learn how to cut and measure the fabric into small squares, then sew the squares together into long strips, then sew those strips together with the goal that it would form a nice pattern when it was all done. After the top part is complete, you have to get padding sewn in, and then it was my job to hand stitch all around the edges of a king-sized quilt. My little side project ended up taking me about three years to complete.

It’s easy to have faith when things go right, isn’t it? When everything goes our way, it’s pretty simple to say you’ve got faith, and you are trusting God to meet all your needs. But the true test comes when things don’t really go the way you imagined.

A NOTE FROM JENNIFER

I hope this book encourages you to trust God in every area of your life as you press on to know Him more. Yes, He is the God of our eternity, but He is also the God of our moments, concerned with every detail. I’ve learned as much, if not more, on the seemingly monotonous days as I have on the big explosion days. In fact, when God answers my little prayers, in light of all that is going on in the world, it makes me realize how big He is! Zechariah 4:10 reminds us not to despise the day of small things. When you realize the whole universe can’t contain the Lord, you know that everything is small for Him, and nothing is too difficult. I pray you trust the author of your hope as He writes a beautiful story for your life and may you point others to Him as you trust Him along the way.

Please feel free to contact me at: jennifer@press-onbook.com