Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quotables

"Seeing is of course very much a matter of verbalization. Unless I call my attention to what passes before my eyes, I simply won't see see it." Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. -John 1:14

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"My life is full of small rocks, pieces of asphalt..unwanted debris. But somehow God allows each to be served up anyway. Jesus talked to social outcasts, loose women, lawyers like me, and religious people and said they would not just be so many decorations or window treatments, but He would serve them up as well. He said this was true even though we're full of the kind of grit and that accumulates over the span of a life and quite a few parking lots.

"The only thing that Jesus said He couldn't serve up were people who were full of themselves or believed the lie that they were who they used to be before they met Him."

-Bob Goff, Love Does

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"God writes a lot of comedy...the trouble is, he's stuck with actors who don't know how to play funny." -Garrison Keillor
 
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“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It's a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines."
 
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“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”  -C.S. Lewis
 
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"God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man." -C.S. Lewis
 
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"On Judgement Day, Yahweh will not ask you why you were not Moses, he will ask you why you were not his beloved Izzy." -Brennan Manning
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“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  -Frederick Buechner
 


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10



May your Christmas be warm even if snow is falling, filled with laughter and time to remember God with us. In the midst of wrapping, busyness, parties, yummy cookies, presents, may your family or those who bring you joy remind you of Christ who came. This "indescribable gift!" (2 Cor 9:15)



Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

When You Want to Say Something

It seems hard to rightly honor those lost, but sometimes, you want to say something, rather than just keep talking about sleighbells and snow. 

I've been amazed at the outpouring on the blog sphere sharing resources, love and support to those grieving the Sandy Hook tragedy.

 As Kindnessgirl shares, "May we meet the darkest dark with the brightest light."



-Here are some resources that address talking with children about tragedy.

-This post made me remember that even though we may walk through grief, that
it is real, there are also promises of hope, glimpses out there of people and places to see when you are looking for something good again.

Everyone processes things like this differently, and it's important to acknowledge that. If you're a practical, need to know how to help person, you might be asking, "what now?" My friend Amy shares some ideas.

My heart hurts when I think of those children and their families. For even in this very bad nightmare though, I know it's not the darkness that is the end.

There is so much darkness around. But, I'm constantly reminding myself that hope wins in the end. It is the story I want to tell. It is the writing on the wall. I don't have children, but I know the faces of the kids I see everyday. Many of them experience so much hurt, sadness, grief, longing. Sometimes I think they need a safe place to land. A safe place to be upset a little while if they need to be, or even to be happy awhile.

Don't give up and don't shy away if the kids in your life are experiencing grief. I pray space for them if they want to say something too.

Friday, December 14, 2012

On Community and Journey Friends

"A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity." -Proverbs 17:17


This week, I had the pleasure and joy to meet up with my good friend Traci.

Traci is one of those people you can sit down with and the fullness of life and the Lord is evident when you are with her. We laugh and yet talk about things that people might not talk about much, because we know where each other has been, and what may appear awkward becomes normal.

 
 
 

Not sure you can really see it from these pictures (and okay we're not actually related), but we're mistaken for sisters sometimes when we're together.

I'm always thankful when I remember where God has met needs I didn't even know I had at the time in the form of faithful friends.

Change is good.
I'm in the field of helping people; I have been for years, but through counseling I work with people on discovering what kinds of things they'd like to see change. One thing that saddens me is when I see people who don't have support systems in their lives. I'm constantly reminded, from my own life as well, that things are so much harder when we try to go this journey alone!

So, back when I didn't even know I needed a small-small group like this, Traci was part of a group of mine at church that were called Journey Groups, smaller groups who met and were able to walk through life and faith together in a closer way. We started out unsure what it would become, but it was a truly redemptive smaller community within a community. I'm still reminded of the life that can spring up from those places when I let it.

What do you like about community? What is challenging about community?

Who are those friends in your life who have journeyed with you and seen you down the long roads?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas is Coming!

It is now officially halfway to Christmas in the month of December.




Christmas is coming and I love Christmas music. I like checking out at least one new album an artist is putting out a year; recently I've enjoyed songs from Jason Gray's Christmas Stories: Repeat the Sounding Joy.  Check it out. "Joy to the World," "O Holy Night," and "I Will Find a Way" are some of my favorites.


What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Unwrapping Blog in a Book

"The Father wants to draw us into the story of his Son. He doesn't have a better story to tell, so he keeps retelling it in our lives." - Paul E. Miller, "A Praying Life."

Not too long ago, I saw Phil Wickham live at a worship concert. It was great! And it made me consider all the times his music had spoken to me. Words resonate with me, words in music especially, and even moreso when it's a song about the Lord.

Today, I'm linking up with Emily Freeman (on a Wednesday) to celebrate Tuesdays Unwrapped. Seeing on purpose the small or big gifts everywhere.

I thought it was kind of neat that after the concert, I stumbled upon the beginnings of this blog when it was just a seed in written form which I had titled: Blog in a Book. Some time back, my friend Mandy gave me a journal/book to write in and I was determine to set the stage for what might me a new writing adventure. I had started the journal writing about music, specifically one of Phil's songs, True Love. Looking back, the words behind this song moved me forward and set me scribbling and onto a new writing venture. I thought I'd unwrap it for you today.

What could be more faithful than the morning? In Phil Wickham's song, "True Love," he speaks of a love more faithful than the morning. The morning is pretty consistent; God gives us grace to see light and dark each day, and his mercies are new each morning.

It is a loving God who is more faithful than even seeing the morning.

"come close and listen to the story..."




I think sometimes we skirt around the heart of story of Jesus. That the Father gave up his Son for us so we could be fully united with Him, freeing us from all the walls that separated us from Him.
Romans talks about this as well.
It's hard for our minds here and now to comprehend sometimes, but there's something in what God says that speaks, yes my child, as much as you think you know about the world and how it works and what you can see, there's no where you can go that you will depart from me. I am with you always. Nothing can separate you from me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Wonder

 

From the Airplane Window:

The clouds are starting to break. There are lights below. I can see flashes from other airplanes zigzagging below. The world beneath is starting to open up again. For a moment, I don't want it to yet. Looking at the sky in all its beauty, I want to keep it that way. The clouds look like snow as it starts to thaw. The ground is slightly visible now. The lights below look like a Christmas tree. It all looks the same down below; you'd hardly know there was life everywhere, people with families. There's no more sunlight now. Down below I see blue spots that look like rivers or maybe lakes.

I see flashes of light again. The ground is lighted and glistens now. Every which where - I love the lights. All over the ground as we inch closer to the bottom: lights. The city is farther in the distance for sure. Its compact. Roads spring up. It's beautiful at night. More patches, flashes of light. We keep moving . . .

Linking up for Five Minute Friday (a little late on Saturday!) for the topic Wonder