March 7, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 86

Hey sweet friends, Happy Weekend!

I pray the weekend unfolds slowly for you, full of Sabbath Rest and Great Reads! (Wait... that's why I'm here! I'm here to hook you up!)

Featured today are posts by Jennifer Dukes Lee, Addie Zierman, Tiffany from Simply for One, Wendy Speake, Deidra Riggs, 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 Jennifer Dukes Lee with If You’re Feeling Lonely? This Post is For You...
"I don’t like to talk about it, but over the last several years, I have experienced painful seasons of loneliness. And during those seasons, the enemy makes me think it’s because I’m not “enough.” My inner critic buys into the lie that I’m not fun enough, kind enough, friend enough. And there have been painful disconnections from people in my local life who treat me differently than they used to because I wrote a book and speak about Jesus as a part of a growing and active ministry. I have fat tears rolling down my cheeks as I write those words. Because the separation hurts. (I am tempted to delete those words. We’ll see if they stay in the final draft.)

I want you to know this. I am still me, the same Jennifer who desires deep heart connection. I am still me, the same Jennifer who needs someone to encourage her, just as I pour out encouragement to others. I am a human with real hurts and heart needs. I am still me, struggling with brokenness, and like you, I need girlfriends to sit down with me in my mess, and help me pick up the pieces. Just because I hold a microphone and talk about Jesus, doesn’t mean I’m any different from you. I don’t have all the answers.

I desire deep connection. Like you, I need someone who will ask me how I’m doing, and then stick around to hear the long answer."

* This one by Addie Zierman with 
On Letting Go of Our Poverty Myths...
"Most of what I know about poverty are myths.

What I know about poverty is wide-angles and broad strokes. It’s filtered and fictionalized. I know the story of the good, hard-working, honorable poor, against whom the deck has been stacked. I know, too, the story of the ignoble poor — alcoholics who can’t keep jobs, drug addicts and prostitutes, high-school drop-outs who keep getting knocked up.

I am a white, middle-class girl from an affluent Chicago suburb. I live now in another suburb near Minneapolis, and though my husband and I have, at times, struggled to make ends meet, we’ve never known poverty. The shades of it. The nuances of it. All the secret and hidden feelings; the way it bleeds through all the lines and fictions we use to define it.

I came to Armenia thinking that I understood. I came with my glossy photo of my sponsored child, and I had invented a story of mythic proportions of what all this would be like. The details were fuzzy, but I knew that my fictional sponsor child would be sweet, grateful and a little dirty around the ears. He will love me immediately, I thought. He will be speechlessly grateful over the gifts I’ve brought him. He will crawl in my lap, and I won’t miss my boys so much.

* This post by Tiffany over at Simply for One with The Art of Stillness... 
"Somehow in my admittedly mixed up frame of mind is a voice that pushes me forward harder and faster. It tells me that my worth is dictated by my degree of motion. That the quantity in my days marks the quality of my life. That results outweigh process. That life becoming a blur is somehow normal, or right, or good.

That my busyness will be an acceptable offering on His altar.

But it’s not acceptable or right. What is it? Ridiculous. Truly. It is a never-ending cycle of ridiculousness and a battle that can only be resolved by a Higher Source – or an external force.

Newton’s First Law of Motion:  Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion [UNLESS] an external force is applied to it.

You can picture that constant state of motion, can’t you? Your head down, charging ahead, propelled by the prize and then {SMACK, SCREECH, STOP} you come face to face with that blessed External Force, our irrevocable source of Wisdom, Knowledge, and Purpose.

When God {the external force} meets us {the perpetual motion}, everything changes."

* This post from Wendy Speake with The Courage to Live This Authentic Life... 
"On my drive home that afternoon I was so full of feeling that it just sort of spilled over in the form of tears.  Driving and crying I thought to ask myself, “Why are you crying?”  And a deep-down core part of me whispered back, “I just feel so known.”

I hope you have the chance to sit with someone today, or in the days ahead, who listens with their whole self, the way Nicole listened to me.  And I hope this person speaks from their heart and with their wisdom, the way my friend spoke into my life."

* This post from Deidra Riggs on A Quiet Appeal to Us, in the Spirit of Matthew 18...
"Imagine that I’m whispering to you. Or, at the absolute most, imagine that I’m talking in a very soft voice. There’s enough yelling going on out there, don’t you think?

The Christian corner of the Internet is getting a bit too loud and brash for me, despite the fact that I am not one to shy away from confrontation. I don’t go looking for it, but I’m not afraid of it, either.

Many years ago (and I’m still whispering, here) Jesus gave us (and by “us” I mean people who have decided to try to follow his example) clear instructions, telling us how to respond to one another when we think we see someone doing something that doesn’t sit well with our interpretation of what it means to follow Jesus. I think Jesus was on to something. Here’s what he said, as recorded in Matthew 18:15: “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you.”

I’m still whispering, and I’ve given consideration to the fact that you may think I’m stretching things here. But, I believe the principle of what I’m about to say has merit, and what I have to say is about the between the two of you part of that verse.

I think it might behoove us (and I’m still talking about the same “us” as before) to make better use of the Direct- and Private-Messaging functions on our social media platforms. Or, maybe we can consider email. Or a phone call. Or even an invitation to tea. I believe Jesus knew we’d do and say things that might offend or alarm or disappoint or even scare each other. I think he knew there’d be times where we might disagree with one another. I also think he meant for us (that same “us”) to find a way to live together as a witness to the world of what love really looks like, because, without love, we’re nothing more than the creaking of a rusty gate. It’s a good thing the bible often uses images of oil to represent the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

The world is watching us (still whispering, here)."

*You guys... I know.  There are some writers that I just always share here because every time they write - they are speaking my language! Deidra is one of them and can I just tell you that she is as real and laid back and honest and challenging (in all the best ways!) in real life as she is online and if you can imagine spending a weekend with her... well - I could... and I wanted to... so I signed up to attend Jumping Tandem.  If you can image it too, you should pray about joining us at Jumping Tandem.)

* This one from right HERE with hin Ice over a Deep Well... or, We Don't Have Time to Maintain These Regrets...
"Thin Ice over a Deep Well..."

I wrote this phrase in a post last week. As I went back and reread it, it caught my breath because rivers of living water should be free to overflow - as in, out of our bellies... out of the deep deep wells...

The "Thin Ice" is our regrets that stop up the flow of the Spirit.

Regrets form a thin ice over the deep well that is within us. I think we get so lost in our identity because we get to caught up in our regrets. But if we would see who we really are, we would learn to just let those go because they do not define us!"

Lastly, we wrap This Thing up with a video because that is how we do, and I swear I was going to do something that was NOT a Jimmy Fallon video but then there was this, soooo...

OH wait... there is also THIS ONE... because, you know, #COFFEE (and #Portlandia!)

Have a great weekend, friends! 

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