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.

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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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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!

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Tuesday Trick: Learning a New Language


Like many, I have dreamed of being multilingual but have taken few serious strides toward the goal since Grade Twelve French class ended.

If you are one of the diehard dreamers, then Gabriel Wyner’s example of tackling this task so successfully as to learn four languages in four years may both inspire you AND provide you with some concrete steps for moving forward.

This article is full of potentially valuable links to helpful resources for formulating an intentional process to deliver you to the doorstep of expanding the range of your tongue!