Thursday Thanks (26-30)

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 would take me two years to complete!

Monday is nowhere near Thursday, but I’ve fallen a post or two behind, so I’m doing what I can to gain on any missed opportunities for gratitude!

1) Knives
My kitchen work is limited, but among the pleasant experiences of preparing food, I might count using a high-quality knife near the top of the list. There are few things as frustrating as using a poor knife to cut, chop, or peel. But a knife that does its job excellently – that is a form of culinary contentment I can grasp.

2) Swings
This afternoon was pleasantly warm, enough so that playtime moved out into our backyard. Three girls and two swings brought all forms of laughter and giggles. It’s amazing how much fun can be had in the to-and-fro rhythm of a swing!

3) Pepperdine Bible Lectures
As I mentioned earlier, I spent last week attending this annual event about I heard much over the years. Now I know what all the fuss is about – beautiful location, encouraging crowd, and top-notch content. I will definitely plan another trip some year.

4)  Friendliness
Today a repair man came to make some changes to our cable and Internet services. This young man was highly capable at his job but even more so, he was exceptionally friendly. Such people bring a smile to my face and a prayer of gratitude to my lips.

5) Toffifee
I am not a big chocolate fan, but some time ago, my wife gave me a small box of this usually-limited-to-Christmas treat. I can’t be certain, but I may have loved her even more than usual in that moment!

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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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.

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Happy Birthday Youtube!

Recently Youtube turned eight years old. In case you struggle to grasp the site’s impact on our lives, this piece may offer some much-needed perspective.

Saturday Six-Pack (7)

Welcome to the weekend, for another installment of the Saturday Six-Pack.

Typically, these online offerings are faith-focused or ministry-geared, but occasionally they fall into the “disorderly pile of who-knows-what” description in my blog’s tagline!

This week’s half-dozen:

1) Proof of a Good God: ‘Crucified Under Pontius Pilate’
Thoughtfully written by Mark Galli, this piece looks at Jesus’ crucifixion as they key strand to answering the question: Can we trust God to be truly good?  Tie-ins are made to the discussion around Rob Bell’s “Love Wins”.

2) The ‘Above All’ Commandment of the Sabbath
Need a call from God to quit striving after transformation?  Look no farther than one of the Ten Commandments.

3) ‘Blue Like Jazz’ Opened Yesterday
The film based on Donald Miller’s best-selling book opened yesterday in select theaters.  Head here if you need some help catching up on this not-featured-on-Entertainment-Tonight piece of work.

4) The Good Life: An Interview with Trip Lee
I’ve never been a huge rap fan, but for some reason, I’ve been inundated with notice this week about Trip Lee’s latest release.  If you care to learn of the life and faith behind this rising artist, Tim Challies’ post is worth a bit of your weekend.

5) The Staggering Demand for Pornography
Chaplain Mike presents some shocking research on the vast power of the internet to spread this soul-crippling poison.  How do Christians pursue purity in the world-of-the-web?

6) Creativity Lessons from Charles Dickens and Steve Jobs
Every leader in our rapidly-changing world needs well-honed creativity.  The lives of Dickens and Jobs offer some helpful trends to notice in how creativity is nurtured.  So says Anne Kreamer of the Harvard Business Review.

There you have it, a Saturday smattering to fill you.  Have a great weekend, friends–renew yourself and reverence God.