Thursday Thanks (66-70)

fiveEach week (I aim for Thursday), I’ll use this space to list five things (items, experiences, people, whatever) for which I’ve been recently grateful. Consider it my “blessings count”. Ann Voskamp’s famous challenge to list 1000 gifts seemed daunting — I’m committing to 500, a task which will take me two years of weekly posts to complete!

Here are the most recent entries on my list:

1) Countryside
A relative’s wedding yesterday pushed me to drive hours out of the city into the beautiful parts of our province. Lush fields, golden canola, quiet grids — the city has lots of perks, but these aren’t them.

2) Hugs
I have three sweet daughters and a beautiful wife. All four are exceptional huggers. Count this man as rich!

3) Skin
A week ago, I had a nasty blister that had left a very raw and open sore. A bit of care and a bit of time — it’s nearly healed. Skin astounds me!

4) Music
Our church ran its Vacation Bible School a week ago. In the aftermath, we borrowed the DVD that contained all the songs the kids learned. It is a special joy to watch my girls, right down to my two-year-old find pleasure in worship as they sing and move to those tunes.

5) Quiet
Worship this morning involved a darkened room and some hushed moments. I’m all for energy and celebration — and I want to be even more for them — but somehow the stripped-down hush holds a special sort of essence for this fellow.

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  • Did any of this week’s list especially strike a chord with you?
  • What’s one thing you’re particularly grateful for this week?

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Six-Pack (69)

Welcome to the Six-Pack!

The weekend slipped by me, but I refuse to miss another Six-Pack post. Let’s get at it!

If a half-dozen links feels daunting, start with the *Picks of the Week*, and branch from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) The Quiet Strength of a Peaceful Leader (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Gordon MacDonald offers this beautiful — and unusual — perspective on leadership.

2)  When Elmer Refuses to Change
Sam Rainer considers the often prickly issue of change in churches.

3)  Culture Change: Recognize the Value of Small Groups
Lots of churches use Small Groups — some well, some less well. What’s the point anyway? Quite a bit, it turns out.

4)  Playing with Fire
On the blog for Arrow Leadership, Mark Buchanan recently posted this beauty about those things that God obsesses over. If Mark writes it, it should be read — one man’s humble opinion.

5)  Canadian Appreciation (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Sports Illustrated is doing a great series on Canada in recent days. Over the weekend, Peter King, one of America’s highly esteemed football guys took in two CFL games, including right here in Regina. His piece is a treat to read!

6) You Couldn’t Tell Me a Super Bowl Would Feel Nicer
Indulge me in one additional football piece — this one by Doug Flutie, recounting his days playing north of the border. Another great piece on a great league!

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Six-Pack (65)

Welcome to the Six-Pack, the Victoria Day Long Weekend edition for those of you celebrating in Canada.

As you’ve come to expect, the six links below feature the best online offerings I have recently read, related to ministry or faith, with just enough space left for who-knows-what!

If a half-dozen feels daunting, start with the *Picks of the Week*, and move out.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) In Prison With Ann Voskamp
Richard Beck confesses to getting a new perspective in a Texas prison.

2)  Q&R: A Nasty Piece About You (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Regardless of what you think of Brian McLaren, you’ll be inspired by this response that he gave to one of his critics. Classy and gracious.

3)  Six Unexpected Faith Conversations in Pop Culture
Relevant Magazine has put together this short piece highlighting popular figures who have recently shared thoughts on faith. Hardly profound, but interesting all the same.

4)  How to Stay in One Church for 27 Years
If you’re a pastor seeking advice on longevity, Ronnie Floyd is likely worth listening to.

5)  Toward Recovering Baptism (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
I was blessed by some recent visits with my friend Kirk at the Pepperdine Lectures. Here, he recounts some highlights of the week, while musing also about some not-to-be-missed facets of baptism.

6) The Wrong Reasons to Write
Jeff Goins helps those who string words together to break free of poor reasons to keep pressing forward.

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Six-Pack (62)

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Six-Pack.

Having missed last week’s post, a small stockpiling of great material has begun. Let me skim a half-dozen off the top for sharing.

If six ever feels overwhelming, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move out from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) 20 Unusual Things 20 Successful People Do Every Day (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
For Inc.com, Jeff Haden has compiled these intriguing bits. I love getting peeks into others’ processes for creativity or organization or life. To me, this stuff is fascinating. I especially appreciate Leo Widrich’s entry — I could get into that, though those around me likely want no part of it!

2) What Saint Paul Really Said About Slavery
Scot McKnight shares a brief excerpt from Sarah Ruden on this still-provocative topic.

3) Platt Wasn’t Enough for My Church
Andy Schmitz took over leadership of a church formerly led by David Platt… sort of. Here’s his take on the non-negotiable value of flesh-and-blood pastoring.

4) Seeking God, Finding Jesus
Nabeel Qureshi is the author of “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”, and perhaps you should get to know him.

5) Twenty Years a Survior (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
The world recently marked the 20-year anniversary of Rwanda’s horrors. Many stories have been told. One you should hear is that of Clarisse Mukashumbusho, now living in London, Canada.

6) Are Mac Owners Really Cooler than PC Users?
Psychology Today picks at the famous commercials and their message.


May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Thursday Thanks (11-15)

fiveEach week (I aim for Thursday), I’ll use this space to list five things (items, experiences, people, whatever) for which I’ve been recently grateful. Consider it my “blessings count”. Ann Voskamp’s famous challenge to list 1000 gifts seemed daunting — I’m committing to 500, a two-year venture into which I’ve only begun.

Having missed last week, I am striving for a double dose this week! Keep an eye out for a second post.

1)  Comedy
Two weeks ago, my sweetheart and I enjoyed an evening listening to the stories of Danny Bhoy. This week, the untimely passing of John Pinette reminded me yet again that I do love funny people!

2) Sweeping
Of all household chores, sweeping might be one of my favourites. The labor is light enough to be done quickly, but the satisfaction of seeing results is immediate. My broom and I made a dramatic impact on my garage this afternoon!

3) Slurpees
With Spring apparently on its way (for real), I indulged in my first slurpee of the year this week. The clerk at the corner store near my office definitely sees me more in the summertime!

4) Play-Doh
Our church is incorporating Play-Doh as a key ingredient in our upcoming Sunday assembly. Who can resist that stuff?

5) Mio
A small bottle of this juice mix is tucked in my desk drawer. And thanks to it, my water consumption has been way up in the last two weeks! Mio, I salute you.

 

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  • Did any of this week’s list especially strike a chord with you?
  • What’s one thing you’re particularly grateful for this week?

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Stoke Your Passion

A little girl does some sweet back-seat conducting of her church’s choir!

What are you that passionate about?!

Six-Pack (59)

After being away last weekend, let’s get back to sharing another edition of the aims-to-be weekly Six-Pack.

This week’s collection features the usual mix of ministry, faith, and anything else that piqued interest.

If six ever feels overwhelming, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move out from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Is Peace Possible (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
The conflict in the Holy Land has been painted as an unsolvable religious dispute. But is there more to the story? Oh, almost certainly!

2) Unplug SF
If you have an issue with your cell phone — an issue of over-attentiveness — perhaps you should visit San Francisco.

3) Why I Park the Furthest from the Church
This brief post explains how Derwin Gray choose his parking spot each day.

4) Precious Memories (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Why do we love sports? Beyond the action and the athleticism, some theorize it’s actually deeper: More about connection. This ESPN piece on UNC legend Dean Smith and his battle with dementia will stir both sports fans and others.

5) The Right Culture for Community
Most churches emphasize the term “community”, as in the nature of the relationships being built between people. Ed Stetzer has some thoughts on what it takes to build a culture capable of creating and nurturing legitimate community.

6) Supernormal Stimuli
“Is Your Brain Truly Ready for Junk Food, Porn, or the Internet?” That’s the title on this fascinating article, from Gregory Ciotti. While the evolution-based assumptions aren’t mine, there is a lot of sound observation in here about how (and why) people operate within the world of today.

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]