Thursday Thanks (71-75)

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) Camp
Much of the past week was spent at Bible Camp with 22 teenagers. The rest of this list will likely feature facets of that wonderful experience.

2) Fire
There is something special about a campfire — I could simply watch one for hours. Add in calm nights, special songs, heartfelt prayers, and the gathering of friends — that’s a pretty special time — night after night after night.

3) Prayer
One activity at camp involved prayer stations. I’m always amazed at how quick-to-engage the teens are in these very focused times that inevitably provide one of my camp highlights.

4) Sun
I’ve been helping at camp nearly 15 years straight. We’ve never had a rain-free week… until this year. Sun, sun, and more sun. I nearly forgot where I was!

5) Leaders
Perhaps the key ingredient to a successful camp is the team of leaders. And this year’s was wonderful: filled with friends that I enjoy and folks who did their jobs so well, while loving the campers in some really sweet ways. Well done!

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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 (52)

Missing last week’s Six-Pack has left me with a larger-than-usual pile of options for this week’s collection.

As a result, I’ve got an unusually strong offering for you today! Without further adieu, here are six of the finest posts I’ve recently enjoyed regarding faith, ministry, or who-knows-what.

If six feels steep, start with two. The *Picks of the Week* provide an easy entry point.

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) Faithful to the End: An Interview with Eugene Peterson (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
If you’re a pastor, it’s hard not to love Eugene Peterson. Far beyond his providing us with one of the liveliest modern Bible translations, he has poured himself (for years) into writing theologically-loaded, yet pastorally-rooted pieces that are like high-quality nourishment to many in ministry positions. Here, he offers some rich reflection on his decades of service.

2) The Number One Way Leaders Get Derailed
Michael Hyatt offers this observation for all leaders eager to stay on course.

3) Five Things I’ve Learned Since Leaving Full-Time Ministry
Jake Ray, for ChurchLeaders, offers five insights he had about ministry after leaving. Grab these now — they may save you grief. They may even keep you from leaving.

4) It’s You, Not Me: Why More & More Ministers Are Leaving Churches of Christ (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
This recent piece by Sean Palmer has generated a lot of buzz in my church circles.

5) Today, Just Be Average
HBR challenges the perfectionists out there to try something really hard: Settle down for a day.

6) 20 Encouraging Quotes to Level Up Your Life
Lifehack knows I love quotes, so let’s end there 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 most worthwhile?
  • Why that one?

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

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Saturday Six-Pack (33)

After a week away, we return with our Easter edition of the Six-Pack.

So find a seat and a few minutes. It may be that one of these ministry-minded or faith-focused articles is just what you need today. If not, I’ve attempted to include enough who-knows-what to fill the gaps.

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) Twelve Ways to Keep Your Church Small
If you are looking for fresh ways to limit the attendance or participation in your church, Don Nations offers a dozens ways you may not thought of before.

2) Failure as Necessity (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
In this video, Seth Godin is interviewed on why he sees failure as such a powerful experience. One of his lines: “If I fail more than you, I win.”  If you like the idea of “winning”, this interview is worth a listen/watch.

3) Ten Reasons Why We Struggle with Creativity (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Some great insights (via Psychology Today) await any who wish creativity flowed more freely.

4) 9 Things You Should Know about Duck Dynasty
I confess I have never watched an episode of this show. But I have numerous friends who love it. For those who wish they knew more about the show and its bearded wonders, the Gospel Coalition provides this nine-course meal.

5) Everyday Idolatry: Amused Apathy
What is expressed in our addiction to entertainment and our fear of boredom? Jonathan Storment tackles that one here.

6) Are Leaders Made or Born?
Forbes Magazine offered this piece, addressing one of the most common leadership questions they receive. If you think you are a leader or you wish you were a leader, it’s a quick and useful read.

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

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Your input makes this post better!

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