Saturday, December 1, 2012

Good Stuff Saturday 12-1

Pictures and Videos

Pictures of Poverty - Double Sweet Guatemala

Pictures of Poverty - An angel in Burkina Faso

An amazing result from some really hard work. Marching Bands are awesome!

Articles that opened my eyes

Katie Axelson: Living a Story Worth Telling - Top Four Things Never to Say to Someone Single  - But instead I found a swarm of (mostly) women crying out the same frustrations. In reflection on the comments and conversations, here are the top four things NOT to say to someone who is single:

Prodigal Magazine - Yes (Wo)man  - And when two different friends (who both wanted to call me their “best” friend, by the way) would compete for my attention at the same time, I would have this way of convincing each of them, separately of course, that there was plenty of me to go around. I could go down in the GUINNESS Book of World Records for the shmuckiest people-pleaser.
It really does get exhausting after awhile.

Shwan Smucker - Why Our World Doesn't Need More Santas  - For a few hours, those women had someone to help them with their kids. For a few hours, the kids had kind men around to help them build their gingerbread houses or tease them or talk to them about school. For a few hours, the Kingdom of the Heavens was among us.
* * * * *
We try to be Christmas to people by giving them presents and money, and that’s not all bad. Gift-giving can be an important part of showing someone that you care. But people don’t need more Christmas – they need more Incarnation. They need us to be love, in person, dwelling among them.

Drip Jesus- Did That Please You?  - I read this a few days ago and I had to put the book down.
Not because I was angry with Ravenhill, but because I was convicted.
I mean, I ask myself a derivative of that question each week:

Articles that made me think

Prodigal Magazine - The Only Break-up Advice You Will Ever Need -

But they didn’t actually help me walk through my pain and do any real growing.

They kept me focused on the external things rather than what was going on in my heart and soul.
Those rules offered me a chance to justify behaviors I knew were unhelpful to me, because a certain list allowed them. They gave me the chance to mask my pain, to sort of feel like I was doing it all the right way, without truly engaging in a meaningful way with my sadness. What those well-intended, thoughtful lists of advice offered me was another chance to control more than my proper share of the situation.

Uknown Jim - Has Blogging Jumped the Shark?  - Why? Because most blogging is simply a way for writers to find instant gratification. Real writing takes time. Going for the quality, not quantity. It means writing a thousand words to keep a hundred.
It means grinding it out and hustling on a project. Putting in extra hours instead of just publishing something to stick to a blogging schedule.

Top of the Page - Leaving my Nets  - This account in Mark reminds me that being a disciple is inconvenient. It can confuse and hurt the people closest to you. And it requires total devotion. To live in joy and deep fulfillment, sometimes we have to walk away from something. We have to leave our nets and follow Him. 

So back to Christmas. I haven't asked Jesus, yet, where all my "nets" are that I need to walk away from to follow Him this season. But one, certainly, is the way we have handled gift giving in the past. This year, my husband and I are walking away from some of our past traditions in that regard. We got uncomfortable. We lost joy. We had a vision for more. So we left some nets. And it's not completely smooth in our extended family. We seem a little crazy.

101 Books - "F. Scott Fitzgerald Died Believing Himself a Failure" - Think about that for a second.
One of the most prominent American authors of the 20th Century had 25 people at his funeral. The minister did not even know who he was.

Articles that made me feel a part of a bigger community

Red Letter Believers - Don't be a Stranger to Danger  - He’s put all that medical experience to good use. He’s now a top nurse at a hospital and I’m so proud of him. I wonder how many little boys he's cared for over the years and he looked at them with knowing look. "Dude, how you got this injury is just so awesome."

There is something about living on the edge that is dismissed as foolishness in our grown-up society. People are taking all the fun out of our society. There' s a new report about how dangerous bouncy castles are! Really?  "Ban them," they cry. 

But my problem is that I have mistaken dangerous things for stupid things, and made tragic mistakes that were just plain dumb. I've spent a lifetime sorting out the difference.

Run With the Big Girls - My First Love  - I even planned this whole challenge to try to motivate myself, and I fear that I may lose.
But as I’ve been thinking about it, one of the biggest reasons I started this blog was to gather a community of people who were dealing with all of the same stuff.  And as I go on this journey, maybe motivate someone else along the way.  Helping people.

A Deeper Story - Thank You Church  - Even so, we experienced the hands and feet and heart and mind and hospitality of Jesus in the aftermath of our daughter’s illness. The church fulfilled its role beautifully and profoundly. A few snippets:

Katie Hawkins: Missionary to Albania - Gëzuar 100 Vjetorin e Pavërsisë!!! - Today is Albania’s Independence day. But not just their Independence day but their 100th Anniversary! So a normally undercelebrated holiday has become quite festive! There are flags everywhere and people have been wearing Albanian colors for the past two weeks. However, there has been a big controversy.
The flags.

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