July 4, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 103

Happy 4th of July weekend, my friends!

Featured today are posts by Velynn Brown, Kristen Welch, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Jon Acuff, Liz von Ehrenkrook, Billy Coffey, 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 one by Velynn Brown over at Mudroom with I’m the Only One. But I’m Staying...
“Is everything ok?” she asked.

Not wanting to state the obvious and risk the total unraveling of both my daughter and I, I decided to answer in bullet points.

“No. Gonna go talk with her. Thanks.”

“Ok. I get it. I’m so sorry. You have such a brave girl.”

Her response made burning, proud tears begin to roll.

“Yes, I do.” I looked her in the eye and smiled.

My daughter and I walked outside and found a bench. I took my time wiping her tears. I reached for both her hands and looked deep into her eyes. I was quickly trying to put together the words I needed to say. This was not only a teachable moment but a building block opportunity to cement down kingdom principles of her identity in Christ and her God-given uniqueness as a beautiful Black girl.

My older two children and I had already had this same conversation in similar situations. It was now her turn. She was now of age where she could see, feel, and experience the isolation and rejection of being the only minority in the room. Her childhood glasses of “see-no-color” had been exchanged in an instant to “I’m-the-only-color” in the room.

I went on to tell her that she was created in God’s image, that she is wonderfully and fearfully made. I told her that there is no rightful reason why people should treat her differently because of the color of her skin. And that if they did—it was called sin. I would tell her that in God’s family we are all the same and have the same Father. I would tell her that God doesn’t have favorites and she has the same right to step foot in any church that carries the name of God that she wants to.

She responded with “Yes Momma  . . . I know Momma . . . You already told me that Momma.”

Convinced that enough of my motherly words of affirmation and truth had stabilized us both, I took her hand and began heading to the van. I was ready to go.

She pulled her hand away and stopped in front of the church.

“Mommy, but I still want to stay.” 

* This post by Kristen Welch over at We Are THAT Family with This Is What I’m Going To Do Today (In Response to the Supreme Court Ruling)... 
"We are too comfortable in our easy faith.

We are too concerned about our neighbor’s sin when our own is glaring.

We need less comfort and more concern for others.

We need to spend less and give more.

We need to cling to the Cross instead of fear.

We need less of us, more of Him.

Our faith in action isn’t a To Do List. It’s a response to Christ laying down His life for us. We comfort and care because we have been comforted and cared for. We give because He has been generous to us. We love because He first loved us.

I want people to see my love for others louder than my opinions and doctrine. I want my children to see me love people. Period. Locally and globally. The Church hasn’t done a good job of both standing for absolute truth and loving  people no matter their religious beliefs, race or sexual preference. It’s time we do both well.

If we hold the Bible as truth, we know the end of time as we know it, will come. And we can let hope arise within us or walk in defeat. We can convince people we are right or we can lay down our life for those we think are wrong. We can spend our days bemoaning a Supreme Court decision or we can spend it on the Great Commission."

* This post from Jennifer Dukes Lee with Everyone’s Welcome. Nobody’s Perfect. Anything’s Possible... 
"My husband and I walked into a church yesterday morning in Nashville as strangers. We had arrived awkwardly early, bumping into the people who trying to leave the building after the first service ended.

I smoothed the front of my dress, wrinkled from five days in a suitcase. I tucked a stray hair behind my ear. If you were there, we were the ones who looked like reanimated corpses from The Walking Dead. We’d been awake quite a while, due to the construction crew that decided to use jackhammers outside our hotel-room window at dark o’thirty. We needed coffee and Jesus, in equal proportions and with extra caffeine, thank-you-very-much. My husband found a tall, aluminum coffee server along the back wall. He pulled back the spigot. It was empty.

“Hey, let me help you with that!” came a voice from behind us.

The man thrust out a hand. “Hi, I’m Zach.” His shirt had two words screenprinted on the front: “Everyone’s welcome.” (Apparently even the zombies.)

He shook our hands, and then disappeared for half a minute. He returned with a fresh pot of coffee, and poured us two cups.

He asked us where we were from (a farm in Iowa), what we were doing in Nashville (I had spoken at a conference), and what had drawn us to this church (we had heard about the church from others who attended).

Turns out, Zach’s job at the church isn’t Official Coffee Fetcher. Turns out, Zach is one of the pastors.

Soon, he was giving us a tour of the place – showing us the kids-ministry area, the church’s recording studio, a few of the offices.

During the tour, I got to thinking about what it means to really see people, to let them know they are welcome, to let them know they’re more than a number in a world where everything is monetized and where worth is calculated in Instagram likes, and Facebook followers, and the bottom line.

It begins by stopping everything we’re doing to let someone know they’re worth it."

* This post by Jon Acuff with How to look good on the Internet. 
"Hitting pause before I hit publish gave me a second to realize a few things.

1. No one online has ever said I’m a bad dad. 
2. Even if strangers online said I was a bad dad, who cares? They don’t really know me. 
3. Sometimes I miss moments in my attempt to document them. 

That third one is a bit of an epidemic right now and the reason is that a significant shift happened in social media a few years ago. We used to use social media to document moments we experienced. Now we use it to create moments so that we can document them. We once used social media to document moments we had. Now we create moments just to document them. 

We stage our lives because the whole world is a stage. Instead of being present to a moment with my kids, I tried to use the moment to create a message about who I was as a dad.

This post by Liz von Ehrenkrook  over at So I Married a Youth Pastor with The Minority...
“In Portland – well, 20 miles south – it’s easy to wonder what all the fuss is about racism. As a white woman, I’m aware how absurd and thoughtless that sounds. But in Oregon, I’m not the minority and when you’re not the minority, you can spout all day long how you’re not racist and whine, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

On Tuesday, Mat and I crossed the Texas/Arkansas border and landed for the evening in Memphis, Tennessee. I wanted to explore Graceland and Mat was curious about the massive pyramid we were greeted by after traveling across the bridge into the city. We decided to Hotwire a hotel and found ourselves in a rundown neighborhood – not abandoned but not busy – near the airport in the King’s Signature Hotel.

I became very aware of the color of my skin and everyone else’s. I became very aware how nice my clothes were, even though I was wearing pants I’d worn for a couple days and had even slept in, and worried that having out-of-state license plates painted us a target. Especially in this city, especially in this neighborhood.Click over to read the whole post and see how God spoke to Liz... it's so good!

* This post from Billy Coffey over at The High Calling with Know Their Stories…
“Everybody has a story. You should know that.”

Yes. I should. I do. But sometimes, I need reminding.

It would be wonderful if we would all walk around with signs that preemptively explain the nasty things we do: I'm sorry I'm behaving like this, it's just that                  . Fill in whatever is appropriate. I'm sorry I'm behaving like this; it's just that I’m sick; my dog just died; my child is getting picked on at school; my mom has Alzheimer’s; I’m alone; I've lost my hope.

I wonder how much better we would all get along if we did that. But of course we would never be so open, so vulnerable. I suppose, then, we all should just imagine that a sign is there above everybody.

* This one from right HERE with The Symphony of Summer... a Poetic Offering...
"But oh, how this Symphony of Summer
overtakes the senses and again, I close my eyes.

The scent of freshly mowed lawns takes me back to childhood
 --to the freedom of the unplanned summer days of the 70's...

Where summer felt cool like long lush grass between toes
like hair windblown and sun-kissed by unmapped bike rides...
like freeze tag and laying on hot cement to warm skin
after a too long, too cold summer evening swim...

Where inside was not encouraged 
and games were played outdoors,
Where everybody knew your name,
and freedom meant having
the luxury of being bored...

Where cookouts, lemonade stands,
and Watermelon feeds gathered a crowd,
Where what started out as a simple party, 
turned into a food fight, sticky and loud...

Where we roamed familiar streets in packs,
collected coins for the March of Dimes,
where ice cream trucks sang out 
and joy squealed long, every single time.
Where we had sleep overs, piled in backyards
and we would talk and giggle and stare at the stars...

The lazy days of a 70's style summer
-it seems- have returned
and some thirty years later,
I am thankful for it!"

Lastly, we close This Thing up with a video each week and sometimes it is funny and sometimes it is worship... this time - well, this Crowder song is on repeat around here and I just can't quit it! Enjoy!

Happy Weekend! 


  1. Having been gone for ten days, this post of yours is even more helpful now. I now know what poats I definitely need to read. Thanks friend!!

    1. That is exactly how this turned into a Thing! ;) Happy to help hook you up!


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