Thursday Thanks (31-35)

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!

Sunday isn’t quite Thursday, but I don’t want to fall behind, so here goes!

1)  Words
I love that there are sounds that can embody thoughts, with slant and style and nuance. Written or spoken, language is certainly a love of mine. This is still somewhat shocking to a “math and science” guy in high school days!

2) Green
The park outside my office window has become very green very quickly. The rods and cones in my eyeballs are happy about this change.

3)  Sleeping Children
I love my three daughters all of the time, and their waking moments are certainly the most entertaining. But there really is something priceless about watching them sleep, hearing their breaths and brushing their cheeks and stroking their hair. The words mentioned in #1 above would be hard-pressed to capture the tenderness of such moments.

4)  Haircuts
My last haircut was a couple weeks ago, but I love that fleeting feeling when your hair is just the right length. It doesn’t last long, so enjoy it while you’ve got it!

5) Swish
The church where I work used to be a school building. Basketball nets still hang in our auditorium. Coffee breaks do nothing for me (I don’t drink that stuff), so when I need to get my blood pumping, 5 or 10 minutes of shooting hoops is my activity of choice. It amazes me that the sound and motion of a ball sailing through the mesh never gets old. I have loved that since I was a kid, and I’m sure I will until I’m bracing myself at the free throw line with a walker.

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • 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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More Effective Communication

If yesterday’s video didn’t help your development into a more effective communicator, this one certainly may.

Or not.

Effective Communication

There is something to be said for clear communication.

I’m just not entirely convinced this video shares the key to it.

Sunday Six-Pack (34)

Saturday escaped me, but the Six-Pack is rolling out before this weekend passes me by, all the same!

The best ministry-minded or faith-focused articles I could find this week? Here they are, with some grace space for a bit of who-knows-what.

If six options stuns you, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and pick up steam from there.

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

Today’s edition:

1) Providential Accidents
Edward Fudge was writing about the doctrine of hell long before it became trendy. Here is an interview, with Scot McKnight, on his path and findings.

2) 42 Successful People Share the Best Advice They Ever Received
The Business Insider offers this pile of wisdom, much of which your mother may have shared with you back before you were paying attention.

3) Three Ways to Go Further, Faster (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Michael Hyatt offers the single most important move he’s made toward gaining on, and accomplishing, some of his life goals.

4) Why are Some Words More Persuasive than Others?
Lifehacker offers this piece on the psychology of language. Fascinating read for any communicator who cares about getting their point across as effectively or powerfully as possible.

5) The Most Overlooked Key to a Growing Church (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
In this short piece, Rick Warren reminds of a simple, easy-to-forget characteristic that should never be forgotten.

6) John Wesley’s Secret to Making Disciples
Gary Thompson‘s post shares the list of questions that used to guide Wesley’s “accountability groups” before the term even existed. Could this still work today to mature followers of Jesus?

Blessings on you, my friends.  May the week ahead be filled with God in ways that you can sense. Tune yourself in, and walk on!

YOUR TURN: Add a line below to direct other readers to the best stuff above or to highlight the piece that gave you something worth keeping.

Your input makes this post better!

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Saturday Six-Pack (26)

Happy New Year, friends!  I hope your 2013 is off to a smashing start.

The end of 2012 saw me doing some digital housekeeping, part of which was sifting through pieces I’d bookmarked over the past months as suitable Six-Pack links.  So here is a smattering of less-recent-than-usual articles that may have been missed in weeks gone by.

As usual, if a half-dozen options paralyzes you, begin with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move from there.

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

Today’s edition:

1) Showing Up
When you feel discouraged over a lack of fruit for your efforts, there is a certain measure of pride and satisfaction to be taken in the simple fact that you continue to show up.  So says senior pastor Mike Glenn, in regards to ministry.

2) When Are We Going to Grow Up? The Juvenilization of American Christianity (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Christianity Today’s Thomas Bergler considers how the Western world’s changing views on youth and adolescence have impacted, and in some regards stunted, our expressions of Christian faith and community.

3) Pornopoly
The impact of pornography upon society and relationships cannot be over-emphasized.  Dave Dunham, for the Gospel Coalition, makes this compelling case while spelling out some of the impacts that the average mind might not consider.

4) Have the Courage to Be Direct (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
The call to blunt conversation is particularly piercing to anyone in a leadership position; however, it is equally important to anyone who cares about simply building the life that he/she wishes to liveThis HBR piece will help you to consider what keeps you from more direct interactions, and how you might make such an impacting move more frequently in the days ahead.

5) How to Write a Joke
Jerry Seinfeld muses on how his creative process works in this short video from the New York Times. For anyone whose work involves creativity, this just may resonate. Or it may just highlight the silliness of things you worry about!

6) The Secret Structure of Great Talks
In this TED talk, Nancy Duarte reveals what makes all the difference in the world in the presenting of ideas.  The best idea in the world isn’t worth anything if it stays stuck in one’s own mind.  How to present effectively?  Here’s one woman’s take on it.

Blessings on you, my friends.  May your weekend be refreshing in rest, play, and worship.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff above by making a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

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