Saturday, July 7, 2012

Good Stuff Saturday 7-7

Have you done the survey yet?  If not, Saturday is a great time!

Since travelling last week and having family commitments, my list last week was shorter.  That means this week is longer.  That and I needed to hear a lot from God this week, so I'm passing it along.

Photos and Poetry
Pictures of Poverty - Charming
Pictures of Poverty - Whoaaa! No way.

Amazing stuff you need to read!
A Deeper Story - Debris - But the truth is that there is misery in the heart of God, misery felt deeply and truly for the despondent. And if we don’t ever feel that same sense of anguish, then we are running from the truth, from our very call to be the hands and feet of Christ.

-of Paper, Pints, and Tweeds - Book Notice: The Art of Faith - The Art of Faith caught my attention because reclaiming the role of the visual arts in the community of the Church is something that has been on my mind as of late, and will I believe prove itself a much more formative issue than many of the more controversial issues we often read and write about.

Compassion - What can one surrendered life do? - She sold her engagement ring, bought inventory to make more hats, and in a success story nothing short of amazing, soon had celebrity clients and high-end department stores calling with orders.
Notable customers like Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barbara Bush and Teresa Heinz Kerry added to her prestige.
Her hat business was bought out by a large corporation, and Darcy found herself walking through newly opened doors to what looked like the good life.

Courtesy of Compassion International:

The Jackson's Journey - Adoption Update: We need your prayers  - And so - we picked ourselves up, looked at our options one more time, and decided to push forward. When every other door seems closed, we are choosing to (try to) walk through the one that might be open just a tiny crack! There is one agency that told us they would be willing to submit our profile to the Thai Red Cross. This is not an application - it's just a preliminary profile to see if by any chance the Thai Red Cross (TRC) might make an exception for us. Typically, only infertile families can apply to this program - but because we don't know if we're infertile, and we don't have any children, she seemed to think there could be a chance they would overlook that rule and consider us for an adoption. She also thought the fact that we have lived in Thailand, work in Thailand, speak basic Thai, and have so many connections to the country and culture could work in our favor. So we have taken a chance and submitted our profile and photos to the Thai Red Cross.

Red Letter Belivers - When there are no answers - There are times in everyone's life when things just happen and you can't do a thing about it.  Like when you slip on an icy sidewalk and everything flings out of your hands while you fall flat on your back. Or when the car spins out in front of you and you can't maneuver around it. Or when you stand at the edge of the emotional tsunami, mouth wide open and arms pushed forward in hapless defense. Some things you cannot fight.

True Beggars - Attitude Adjustment - James MacDonald's book Lord, Change My Attitude. MacDonald writes:

"Looking a little closer at Numbers 11:1, it's hard to miss the fact that we choose our attitudes. 

The Rantings of a Dad - Oh she knows what to do - Potty training is not fun. We take 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. I know we have to be patient but come on! Sit and go. 

Why is it such a big deal? I've done it in the woods while hunting before. My old football coach in High School bragged about going number 2 at the geometrical center of the United States because he could, and I quote, "Go anywhere." 

The Well Thought-out Life - The man on the airplane with one leg  - The guy that brought the wheelchair took a sideways glance at the leg and said, "IED?"


"That sucks, man."

That response and his tone of voice, instead of the many others that could have been given, made both the man and I chuckle. 

The Arizona Russums - Flowers Fade Friday: Forgotten God - And today I just want to show you one teensy tiny picture of what this looks like for me. Not to force you to do it too, but just to show you what it might look like to invite the Spirit in without being some overly spiritual freakazoid. And maybe you can ask God to show you new ways to invite the Spirit - His Holy Spirit - into your own life.

This is what it looks like for me. It is small. It is simple. But it is powerful. Because the Holy Spirit is God, ya know?

The Story Movement - What does it Meme? - A meme to me is a random picture with random words that have little, or no, value. But real messages have value. They have lots of thought go into them, they have intention, they have drive and purpose. Poems, prose, essays, and articles all have a depth that can rarely be found in these culturally addictive picture messages.

Amazing blogs this week! 
The Esau Project - 10 Things to do in the heat - It’s hot.  My car thermometer said 108 on the way home last night.  There is not much you can do without overheating, but I’ve tried to compile a list of some things you should think about trying this weekend while it’s this hot.

The Esau Project - When it just doesn't make sense - This is where I find it hardest to trust.  These are the times that I don’t really like dealing with.  I want to be able to see things through and fix the problems that happen along the bumpy road toward the destination.
So we’re here.  And I can’t make it rain.  I can’t say words that make it make sense.  I can’t do anything that will bring comfort to your soul.
Jon Acuff - 4 words I say when I fail - Sometimes I fail.
And when I do, I say these four words:
This too shall post.
It used to be “This too shall pass,” but then I learned something about sharing your failures with people.
Jon Acuff - Why are we surprised Tiger Woods took so long to be awesome again?  - There’s only one Tiger Woods. And when one portion of his life gets wrecked, he’s incapable of sealing it off completely from the other parts of his life. We don’t work that way. That’d be like smelling smoke in the vents of your house and saying, “Don’t worry, the problem is in the basement. We’re on the second floor. We’ll be fine.”

I'd laugh...But this all happened to me - Forgiveness Jesus Style - Over the past few years I have encountered both the king and the servant from this story.  The kings- of which there are many- have seen the sin and failure (the debt) in my life and have forgiven me anyway.  Paul writes that sin will always be with us on this side of heaven.  My past sins serve as a reminder of how much I need Jesus, but the debt has been erased by the sacrifice of Jesus and these "kings" I have encountered along the road.

I'd laugh, but all the happened to me - Remembering Andy -  Andy kept Mayberry free of crime, and he did it in his own, laid back manner. He never carried a gun. He never needed one. Andy, and the show, was all about respect.

Shawn Smucker - Surviving the worst case or finding a stranger in your kitchen at 4 am  - I don’t know if that’s how it works or not. I don’t know if that’s how God thinks. But there is a peace that comes in the midst of worst-case scenarios that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. There’s an incredibly tangible sense of presence. The soap bubble bursts, and while I realize that yes, this worst-case scenario stuff sucks, I’ve had another, even more startling realization.
I can get through it.
Shawn Smucker - On receiving unexpected checks in the mail - But I wonder. I wonder if maybe emergency truck ramps sometimes look a little different than what we expect. Perhaps emergency truck ramps sometimes come in the form of a friend’s shoulder to cry on, strong backs to bear at least a small part of our grief. Or a parent’s basement to live in. Maybe what feels like the worst case scenario, like losing a job, is itself the emergency truck ramp.

And death – even death! Could it be that death is the last great emergency truck ramp, leading us safely away from this life and into a place of peace and stillness?
Shawn Smucker - What is the point of silence - I wonder about the nature of silence, of stillness. I wonder about finding it in a world that places such high value on shouting and noise and being heard.
There are, after all, things that I lose when I enter into silence: the ability to defend or explain myself. To petition verbally on behalf of myself or others. To control the amount and timing of attention that I receive.
But is that all that silence has to offer? Loss? Disadvantage? A lack of control?
Mustard Seed- Marriage Monday: Love and Marriage - It has occurred to me over the past few months that one reason marriages fail so often today is that we do not really know what love is.  Sure we all know what romantic love is, but what do we do that runs out?  When the honeymoon is over?  On the days when your spouse is getting on your last nerve? 

Mustard Seed - Thristy Thursday: Jesus clears the temple -  Lets say your neighbor decides to have a yard sale.  Nothing wrong with that. Right?  Now lets say you wake up Saturday morning and he is having it in your garage.  Now that’s a problem.  I would react much the same way Jesus did.  Now I’m not trying to say churches shouldn’t have yard sales.  What God was saying is that His house should be kept holy, not used to make people rich.  I wonder what Christ would do if He came into some of our churches today?  

No Superheros - Selective Sight - In our attempt to be Christ-like, we must consider something. 
Jesus was different.
Jesus went to the cultural outcasts (women)
Jesus went to the "losers" or half breeds. (Samaritans)
Jesus gave a voice to the voiceless (lepers)
Jesus went to the economically and hygienically challenged (fishermen)
Jesus went to the porn stars and the mafia bosses (Mary and Matthew)
No Superheroes -In today's world, can we rest?  - At the core of this command, God wants us to trust him rather than our own efforts. By stopping our work one day in seven, we place our trust in God to achieve what we need to do. It takes us from the place of striving and into one of dependence.

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