March 14, 2015

That Thing You Do Now - Vol 87

Happy Weekend, sweet friends! I hope you are enjoying a slow unfolding of Sabbath.  If not, I hope you are enjoying a productive, fun, adventurous unfolding! You know - whatever it is that you are needing, I pray you are receiving! 

This weekend for us is Round Two of all things Baby Shower! I am sure somehow, I will end up writing about it because - well, pictures! Until then... I am hear to hook you up with some of the best reads gathered from the Interwebs!

Featured today are posts by Lisa Jo Baker, John Ortberg, Sarah Bessey, Emily Freeman, Jennifer Dukes Lee, a post from right here... and - of course - a video to wrap it all up! 

Happy Reading! 
(Ya'll know to click on the authors' names below to read the entire post, yes?)

This post by Lisa Jo Baker with How Not To Take Your Life For Granted...
"What I have now is once what I wanted so desperately: healed marriage, healthy children, meaningful work. I don’t want to lose sight of these in the chase after my next prayer request.

In the season of rain – still – pray for rain. Presume nothing; take nothing for granted; treasure everything.

Because, once the rain begins and sends soup splashing all over you, it’s tempting to walk away from the answered prayer and move on to the next thing.

I do not want to do that.

I want to sit and revel in what God has given me here and now. I want it to splash up and onto and all over me. I want to pray for its protection and its continuation.

I want to be soaking wet with gratitude for all that God has showered down on this life in between loud kids and messy bedrooms.

Daily, between soap suds and dirty dishes, I want to pray for what I have."

* This one by John Ortberg over at A Holy Experience with 
How to Walk Through When You See No Way...
"Often in the Bible these opportunities seem to come in unmistakable packages. A burning bush. A wrestling angel. Handwriting on the wall. A fleece. A voice. A dream. A talking donkey like in Shrek.

But there is another picture of God-inspired opportunity sprinkled across Scripture that is easier for me to relate to.

It is a picture of divine possibility that still comes to every life. It is a picture I have loved since my college professor Jerry Hawthorne introduced it to me:

To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: “These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” (Revelation 3:7-8, emphasis mine)

A door, Dr. Hawthorne said, is one of the richest images in literature.

It can mean safety (“my door is chained and locked”) or hiddenness (“no one knows what goes on behind closed doors”).

It can mean rejection (“she shut the door in my face”) or rest (young mothers’ favorite room is the bathroom, where they can close the door and be alone).

But in this passage a door means none of those things.

Rather, it is an open door, symbolic of “boundless opportunities. Of unlimited chances to do something worthwhile; of grand openings into new and unknown adventures of significant living; of heretofore unimagined chances to do good, to make our lives count for eternity.”

An open door is the great adventure of life because it means the possibility of being useful to God.

* This post by Sarah Bessey over at She Loves Magazine with Flawless... 
"To some, my stretch marks and grey hair, my freckles and my round body are impediments to overcome, a flaw to fix, a battle to wage war against. And yet those are the very aspects of my body that I have come to love because they tell me the hard-won stories of my own life.

I believe that our citizenship in the Kingdom of God is a bit upside down to the world’s ways. After all, our imperfections, our mess, our reality only makes us more beautiful, more valuable, more precious. The very things that the world disdains about us can become our greatest ministry to one another, make us precious to the ones who love us, or become our altar for meeting God.

The same thing holds true for our whole selves: the world only tells us the places where we are broken, the places where we’ve failed, the places where we are weak and imperfect and inefficient. But the Gospel tells us that those places, the places of our dry desert and lonely wilderness, will bloom with beauty and richness. The mended places are places of strength for us. What the enemy meant for evil, God will use for good."

* This post from Emily Freeman with On Learning to Leave Things Behind... 
"There have been some things I’ve been holding on to for many years, hurts and expectations of myself that, though I’m not sure exactly where they have come from, I definitely know they need to go.

One catalyst for this letting go came several weeks ago as I watched the live-stream, along with many of you, of Christine Caine speaking at the IF Gathering in Austin. Something she said poked  me awake.

“If the horse is dead, it’s time to dismount.”

I have many dead horses I’ve been trying to ride and when I heard these words, I sensed a quiet whisper – or, more accurately, the voice of a tiny Australian woman – inviting me to let some things fall gently away. Like the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey said to Edith, “You must learn to leave some things behind.”

The last several weeks have been for me a tangible practice of learning to leave some things behind."

* This post from Jennifer Dukes Lee on Set Yourself Free. Live An Unmasked Monday...
"Hey friend,

It’s Monday, and you know what I’m praying?

I’m praying that we live comfortable in our own skin today. I’m praying that realness becomes a habit.

I pray that we’d know there is far more right about us, than there is “wrong” about us. And those things we think make us wrong? They are also what make us human. And all of that “wrong” stuff actually makes us more approachable to every other human who is struggling with her own set of wrongs!

Do you believe today that you are loved and valued by your Creator, exactly as you are, not as you mask yourself?
We cannot mask ourselves into a version of ourselves that we find more amazing.

Maybe someone else needed to know this today: the you God created, is the only you that He wants you to be."

* This one from right HERE with You're Loved No Matter What...
"At the heart of this book, Holley Gerth partners with God and wants to make sure that you get this: You were never created to be perfect! 

Just let. it. go.  (Not as in Frozen, but as in stop the madness, my friends!)

Perfectionism always tells you that you are not enough, that you are lacking or less than, that you must try harder and do more. Perfectionism is bossy and exhausting and oh my goodness, it just never ever ends. However, as Holley points out, 

"Gratitude is like kryptonite to perfectionism."   (You're Loved No Matter What, pg 140)

You're Loved No Matter What is all about your freedom and Holley offers tips and encouragement to help you stop the pursuit of perfection, and replace it with a knowing that you cannot earn the love that you seek. It's yours - 'No Matter What'!"

Lastly, we close This Thing up with a video each week, and sometimes it may be a worship song, or a funny, (or Jimmy Fallon! What?) but we like to end our time together here with a little something uplifting. So, in honor of how this weekend for us is all things Baby related... there is this! (And you're welcome!)
Way to go, Pampers! Way to go!                                         

Have a great weekend, friends! 

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