February 28, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 85

Happy Weekend, everyone! Can you believe it is almost MARCH already?

It's crazy how February just sort of evaporated (or froze, for some of you!) and here we are, nearly staring March full on in the face! Let's pray she greets us warmly... (Spring, anyone?)

Featured today are posts by Erin Salmon, Donald Miller, Amber Haines, Zach Hoag, Lindsey Nobles, Shauna Niequist, Lisha Epperson, 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 Erin Salmon over at The Year of No Fear with When you’re struggling to stay...
"I’ve always been told that I am good at encouraging others, and deep down, I get incredible joy from watching other people excel in their passions as a result of my encouragement. And while my friends are champions of building each other up, I lament that most of the time I feel unworthy of their uplifting because I believe that my life does not hold as much significance and meaning as theirs. After all, they are going, and I am staying behind. At times, it has been easier to hide. 

What I’m finding is that none of us are called to a life of hiding — but some of us are called to a life of staying. And just as it takes a strong person to pack up their lives and plant a church in another state or province or country, it takes an equally strong person to stay behind. Both are significant callings, meaningful ways to spend a life."

* This one by Donald Miller over at Storyline with 
What a Relationship with Jesus Feels Like...
"Today, I study The Bible and it certainly seems alive but it’s not like it used to be. I find The Bible fascinating and am still drawn mysteriously to Jesus, but it’s more like being with somebody I’ve spent years with than with somebody I just met.

I read once that when a person falls in love the brain creates a chemical that bonds the person to their love interest. Sadly, after two years, that chemical subsides and another chemical is created that continues the bond (if nurtured and protected), but the bond is less passionate, less energetic, and more thoughtful and familial.

I suppose that’s how I feel about Jesus now.

I feel like He’s family.

Or, more appropriately, I feel like I’m in His family. It’s almost like we once had a passionate thing and now we’re just kind of growing old together.

* This post by Amber Haines over at The RunaMuck with Women Set Apart... 
"I wonder what you see when you look into mine. What do my children see? Do they see that they are chosen and claimed, that they are set apart like a well-crafted poem for the ears of the king?

There are women who are set apart, and their God is to be feared. There is a kindness in the eyes of women who know the love of God, and even in weakness, there’s a strength that can’t be toppled. Women who do not fear death are like that. Slavery just isn’t their thing. It doesn’t have dibs on them, so they do not hoard. Instead they spend themselves like people who see the difference in Christ. They are set apart, you see, the consecrated ones."

* This post from Zach Hoag over at A Deeper Story with Jimmy Fallon and the Joy of the Lord... 
"What makes Fallon different from the others is the kind of childlike, optimistic, inclusive comedy he creates. While he can certainly engage in thick sarcasm, he is decidedly anti-cynicism. And rather than make guests the butt of his humor (as Letterman was often known to do) or the straight men to his punchline, Jimmy always gets his guests in on the joke, creating sketches, games, and bits that include his celebrity talkers and magically transform them from performers into just…people.

People having a hell of a lot of fun...

Watching Jimmy has become a spiritual discipline for me precisely because it restores my faith in the reality of joy. And not just any joy. A divine kind of joy. A joy beyond circumstances.

The joy of the Lord."

* This post from Lindsey Nobles on Owning Our Gifts...
"Y’all, God didn’t make us all to be speakers, teachers, singers and writers. He made some of us to be team builders. He made some of us to be connectors. He made some of us to be strategic leaders. He made some of us to be award-winning home makers. He made some of us to be welcoming hosts. He made some of us to be prayer warriors. He made some of us to be freedom fighters. He made some of us to be compassionate caretakers. He made some of us to be wise counselors. And he made some of us to be loyal sidekicks.

We all need to own who God created us to be. And remember that we are His masterpiece. Designed purposefully to play a specific part in His good work."

* This post from Shauna Niequist on You Are Enough...
"I thought maybe today I might not be the only one who needs the reminder: YOU ARE ENOUGH.

You. Yes, you. Wherever you’re reading this–in your office, or on your phone as you nurse a baby. If you’re in your dorm room or in between meetings or stealing a few quiet moments before the kids get home. You–yes, you–are enough.

You’re enough because you were created by God, out of nothing but dust and love, and that’s what makes you enough. You’re not enough because you’re smart enough or pretty enough or working hard enough–although you are, to be sure, all those things: brilliant and beautiful and working your tail off. But that’s not what makes you enough.

What makes you enough is your createdness. God made you. He made you, dreamed you up, spun you out of thin air. That makes you so much more than enough. That makes you a work of art–because you were created by a master.

As I leave behind hustling and earning and pushing, if those old ways of living aren’t what make me enough…then what does? If it’s not the doing and the being capable and the being needed and the being whatever, then what is it that makes me valuable? What is it that gives me the right to stop all this hustling?

What gives me the right is my createdness. I keep coming back to the dignity, the beauty, the value, of having been created by God. That’s the core of it all.

I’m enough, because God made me.

And you’re enough, because God made you."

* This post from Lisha Epperson over at outside the city gate with Faith and the Midlife Heart...
"I’ve shared on my blog my families struggle to find a church home. Number one on my list was convenience. I won’t belabor you with the two-hour mini series that ensues….any time we try to leave the house. I won’t tell you how, even the thought of “let’s go” sets in motion some kind of evil force that works religiously to keep us from going …. anywhere. No, I won’t tell you about that. Today I’ll tell you how hard it’s been to feel like I belong…and why I can’t blame this feeling on my new church. I’ve felt this way for some years now.

The church isn’t speaking to my midlife heart.

Family centered ministries meet the needs of our children but the heart of a mid-lifer is a sacred mosaic. A labyrinthine cavern of questions and longing for engagement, mission minded service and purpose. The midlife heart is an uncaged bird, uncompromising in flight. It wants to do, to love more. It will pursue its mark. We’re fine tuning our callings and confirming our relevance. Mid lifers need the church.

I’m not alone in this. Statistics show the midlife set is watching 50 Shades of Grey and enjoying the guilty pleasure of Scandal. What they aren’t doing is attending church. Married people with school-aged children aren’t joining and if they grew up in church…they aren’t staying.

I keep going but I don’t see middle-aged people in church."

* This one from right HERE with Slow Down... Let's VISIT...
"To Visit...

To connect, on purpose... to set aside time and space to invest, and spend wisely this currency of time.  

Yes. This.   This is what we long for when we long for Community.  It's not just the not being alone. No, it's also the intentionally being together!

My Honey and I... we do this. We are wired for relationship and we place a high value on valuing others. We host a Home Group on Wednesday evenings again and filling this house with friends for the purpose of visiting --with each other, and with God... this is our Jam!

Week after week, we set an atmosphere and set aside time to fill these walls and make room for a little visiting, in hopes of a Visitation!"

Lastly, we wrap This Thing up with a video because that is how we wrap this weekend edition up... and ya'll know how much I love some Jimmy Fallon... enjoy!

Have a great weekend, friends! 

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