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A Gentle Call for Unity


If you’ve found your way over to my blog via the One Word Blog Carnival – Gentleness, welcome! It’s probably a stretch to say this particular post fits into that category. Just consider this post a cleansing of the palette if you will. A chance for a bit of silliness in your hectic day. Sorry/you’re welcome…

Last week I posted an Easter candy review that included a Peeps epic battle scene at its conclusion. Not surprisingly (for this blog, anyway), I received comments from disgruntled bunnies demanding a rematch against the chick peeps. Here is the result:

(Sorry, BunBun. Those little suckers were just top heavy!)

Yesterday, I posted links to Billy Coffey and Bryan Allain’s blogs where they argued their cases why you should root for either the Yankees or the Red Sox, respectively. And while I know the following video will not sway a devoted fan either way, in this particular battle, well, see for yourself…

But enough with all of this discourse and dissension! What the world needs now, is Love. Sweet Love. We need to put aside our differences and become the Great American melting pot we once were!

Now, if you’ll excuse me…I have a microwave that needs a good cleaning.

Faithfulness – To thine own self be true


image courtesy of photobucket.com

“To be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” ~ e. e. cummings

“This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” ~ George Barnard Shaw

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” ~ William Shakespeare

“It is better to follow the Voice inside and be at war with the world, than to follow the ways of the world and be at war with your deepest self.” ~ Michael Pastore

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” ~ Judy Garland

“If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world, it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets off and makes you different from every other living creature.” ~ Bruce Barton

“What you really have to do, if you want to be creative, is to unlearn all the teasing and censoring that you’ve experienced throughout your life. If you are truly a creative person, you know that feeling insecure and lonely is par for the course. You can’t have it both ways: You can’t be creative and conform, too. You have to recognize that what makes you different also makes you creative. “ ~ Arno Penzias, 1978 Nobel Prize winner for physics

For the most part, I enjoy being me. I now understand after years of fighting to be like someone else, it was never God’s intention that I be anyone but myself. I fought it for years, seeing only my shortcomings and rarely my strengths. But somewhere along the way, I figured out God can use our weaknesses just as well (and sometimes better) as our strengths. It’s not always easy being me, just as I’m sure it’s not always easy being you. But I believe to be comfortable in your own skin, to accept the person God made you to be, allows you to serve Him and others.

God gave you your own light to shine in this dark world, be faithful to that light and not only will your own light shine, but you will better reflect His.

***

This post was written for the One Word Blog Carnival: Faithfulness hosted by Bridget Chumbley. To read more posts, please visit her at One Word at a Time.

Bob Henson’s Mission of Goodness

The following is a short story written for the One Word Blog Carnival: Goodness hosted by Bridget Chumbley at One Word at a Time. To read more posts, please visit her.)

Bob Henson’s Mission of Goodness:

I watch in horror as CNN streams continuous coverage of the devastation in Chile. Another earthquake. The body count seems relatively low, but it’s still early.

I missed the chance to go to Haiti. Oh sure, I sent money. I encouraged others to give. I prayed for the people there. But it didn’t feel like enough. I decide this time, I wasn’t going to miss my opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I decide to take a week off from work. There are people suffering, and I need to help them. Since I’m the boss of my own renovation company, I decide to reschedule all the upcoming jobs for the next two weeks. Sure, no work means no paycheck for my employees, but at least they have roofs over their heads. We all must make sacrifices in the face of such enormous tragedy.

I finalize my plans. As my wife helps me pack for the trip, she laments that I will miss our son’s first band solo, and our daughter will be disappointed that I won’t be taking her to the father-daughter dance. This makes me sad, but when God calls you to a mission, you answer the call.

I say goodbye to my family. We pray together, asking God to protect me in Chile and my family while I am away. One last check of my supplies – I need to make sure I have plenty of film for my camera.

As I drive to the airport, I notice a sea of brake lights ahead of me. When I finally get close enough, I see an old, broken down car in the center lane. A woman with two young and unkempt children are in the car. She is on the cell phone, presumably calling her husband or boyfriend to come help her. People can be so irresponsible! I say a quick prayer for God to get me to the airport on time despite this unexpected delay. I refuse to let Satan keep me from my mission!

Prayers answered. The traffic starts to move again once I get around the broken down car. As I approach the airport, I tune my radio to the AM station which gives parking capacity updates. Unfortunately, the lot at the airport is full. I will have to park off site and take a shuttle. I say a prayer thanking God for giving me the wisdom to leave myself plenty of time to get on my flight.

Pulling into the shuttle lot, I spot a man – obviously homeless – approaching my car. I try my best to avoid eye contact with him, but it’s too late. As I pull into a parking space, he is approaching my car. Please Lord! I don’t have time for this!

I roll down my window and explain to this man that I don’t have any money to give him. (I do, but I’m not about to help fund his addiction.) I ask him his name and promise to pray for him. I grab my luggage just in time to make the shuttle.

I get through the security lines and run to my gate. Praise God for silver-elite status! My first class seat is waiting for me, and fortunately it is a seat by itself. I can spend time with the Lord instead of talking to a stranger on this long flight.

The plane touches down in Taici. Santiago is still recovering from the earthquake, but I have arranged for a driver to pick me up and get me to the heart of the destruction.

As I stand at the curb with my luggage waiting for my ride, I reflect on all the sacrifices I have made in order to answer God’s call for me to help the poor people of Chile. I ask God’s blessing on my journey here and ask that he allow me to do big things for His Kingdom. I am looking forward to doing my part in this mission of mercy; showing these people what the love of Christ is all about…

Now…where in the hell is my driver?

The Root of Kindness


image courtesy of photobucket.com

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post called Patiently for the blog carnival. I’ll confess I already knew what I was going to write about, I just didn’t know how I would work the topic of “Patience” into it. In case you missed it, it was my first attempt at a short story. The post was about was domestic violence. The story was fictional, but statistically speaking, the scenario I described is all too real. Based upon the number of views that post received, I knew I couldn’t just leave it at one post. I needed to follow up.

So, here we are. The topic this week is “Kindness”. Again, I wondered how to work that theme into my post. Then, like an answer to prayer, this Sunday’s sermon was on that very topic. But more about that later…

Since I have never been the victim of domestic violence, I felt it would be disingenuous to attempt to write about it with any authority. I briefly corresponded via email with a survivor of domestic violence, which was the catalyst for this follow up post.

I also spoke with a friend yesterday. We’ll call her “Barbara”.*

Barbara’s story has a happy ending. After sixteen years of physical and emotional abuse, she finally broke free of the cycle and is now happily married to a great guy.

I wanted to know what the “last straw” was; what finally made her say “Enough”. Her answer was both predictable and chilling. She told me, “I just quit caring. I told him I didn’t give a shit if he beat me anymore. That’s when he started in on our oldest son.” She didn’t leave right away, but that was the beginning of the end to her nightmare. In the end, she did get away, and she is alive to tell about it.

Now, back to the topic at hand: Kindness. The following is an excerpt from Jeff’s sermon on Sunday:

1 Corinthians 13:4 tells us “Love is patient, love is kind”…

UNDERSTAND Kindness

When we use the word “kind” today, we typically compare it with words like “nice” or “compassionate.” Those aren’t bad comparisons, but neither of those words goes far enough to get at the heart of what Paul is saying here.

The Greek word translated “kind” is χρηστεύομαι “chrēsteuomai, (pronounced khrā-styü’-o-mī).

It comes from the root word χρηστός “chrēstos” (pronounced khrā-sto’s)

Chrestos means “fit for use,” or “useful.”

On the most basic level, kindness MEETS NEEDS.

Barbara was fortunate. She had family and friends who were willing to meet her needs. When she finally left, a friend opened her house to Barbara and her three children. It wasn’t convenient and it wasn’t easy. But a true act of kindness seldom is.

If you know someone who is a victim of abuse, I am speaking directly to you. Ultimately, the decision to leave – to choose life – is up to them. Just understand that their abusers have convinced them they are worthless and undeserving of a better life. It is your obligation to prove to them otherwise; to provide a safe haven and your unwavering support to them. It could literally be the difference between life and death.

Meet their needs.

Chrestos.

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in times of crisis preferred to remain neutral.” ~ Dante

***

This post is part of this week’s One Word Blog Carnival: Kindness, hosted by my friend Bridget Chumbley at One Word at a Time.

*A very special thanks to my friend and sister in Christ, “Barbara”. I am so grateful to know you my friend. You are a beautiful example of kindness and grace in action.

Patiently

The following is my first attempt at a short story and is part of the One Word Blog Carnival: Patience hosted by Bridget Chumbley at One Word at a Time.


image courtesy of photobucket.com

She was 17, just a few months away from graduation and looking for a fast way out of a bad situation. She’d heard her dad promise her mother he would stop hitting her; had been hearing it for years. And her mom waited for him to make good on all those promises. Patiently.

She’d seen so much hurt in her young life that when she saw the “health care professionals” booth during the career day at school, she thought being a nurse would be a good fit. She wanted to help some of the hurting stop. So she filled out the necessary paperwork to enroll in nursing school, mailed it off and waited to hear back. Patiently.

Five years later, she’d made a good life for herself. She loved being an ER nurse. The money was enough to get her a place of her own. A good life in many ways, but also a little lonely. So when the handsome EMT took more than a professional interest in her, she agreed to dinner and a movie. When dinner and a movie turned into a something more, she wasn’t so lonely anymore. Sure, he drank a bit more than what she would have liked, but he worked long hours and needed a way to unwind. Besides, he promised her he would quit after he got the promotion he was working so hard to get. So she waited for the promotion to come and the drinking to stop. Patiently.

A year later, the promotion still hadn’t come and the drinking hadn’t stopped. She got up the courage to tell him she was leaving one night, but instead she said yes to him as he took her hand on bended knee and placed a ring on her finger. He must really love her, and she knew she could love him back.

She paced the floor of their tiny kitchen, waiting for him to arrive home from a late shift. The pregnancy test had confirmed what she already knew – they were going to be parents. Surely the added responsibilities of fatherhood would make him stop drinking. He said he never wanted to be a drunk like his dad.

When he finally arrived home much later than expected, he smelled of bourbon and sweat. She was angry and probably shouldn’t have told him he was going to be a drunken dad just like his father. That was the last thing she remembers before she saw his fist coming towards her face. Then everything went black.

She woke up the next day in the hospital with her husband by her side. When the doctor started asking questions about her multiple injuries, her husband’s cold stare and the tightening grip on her hand drained any courage she had left out of her. He had already convinced the police it was an accident. Surely he could convince the doctor as well.

Twenty years and two children later, the drinking and the beatings continue. So do the empty promises. And just like her mother, she still waits for her husband to make good on all those empty promises. Patiently.

***

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

85% of domestic violence victims are women.

Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.

Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline website features a “quick escape” button that will immediately redirect you to an unregistered site in case you think your computer may be monitored, or you can call them toll free, 24/7 at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or 1.800.787.3224 (TTY).

If you are being abused, there is help out there, and no one has the right to raise a hand to you. This story is a work of fiction, but sadly, all too real for many women. You can find other, real life stories here: Love Fraud dot com

To read a story with a much better ending, please visit Recover Your Joy.

Keeping the Peace

We do that, don’t we? Keep the peace; allow things to go unsaid. We don’t rock the boat. Instead we keep our mouths shut and harden our hearts in the process. Thing is, these things left unsaid? We choke them down, hiding them deep. They fester. They grow. Spreading like a cancer, and if we don’t treat the root cause they begin to affect every aspect of our lives.

Are you really mad at your wife because she left dishes in the sink?

Is it such a big deal that your husband forgot to pick up the dry cleaning like you asked?

Funny how everything becomes all or nothing: “You NEVER keep this kitchen clean!”

Or: “Why do I ALWAYS have to remind you twice to pick up the dry cleaning?”

Really? Tell me in honestly if your wife has never cleaned the kitchen or that your husband always has to be reminded again and again to run an errand for you. Bet you can’t.

But it’s so much easier to bitch about dishes and dry cleaning than to be vunerable and say “I don’t feel loved. I’m not important to you.”

Worse still is not expressing love because you make the assumption that they already know. They might, but everyone needs reassurance.

And remember: Love is a verb, not a noun.

This post is part of the Blog Carnival – Peace – hosted by Bridget Chumbley over at One Word at a Time.

Lust and Cheating


How’s that for a title, huh? Okay – actually, this post is for the One Word Blog Carnival hosted by Bridget Chumbley, the topic is Lust, and I’m cheating because I’m posting a short story by Brian Russell instead of writing my own. (Aren’t I clever?)

So there you go…

Through Cracked Glass by Brian C. Russell

The crack in my windshield grows a little bit each day. It’s like the roots of a young sapling, sprawling to find water. I didn’t think it’d get this bad. It started with a chip, which started from a pebble. I swear if it were quiet enough, I’d hear it creak as the glass pulled apart.

I hate coming out here, but it’s what I do. My world is filled with watching people go in and out of buildings. Stores, restaurants, houses. In and out.

Oh, there’s the happy couple now. I fling my sunglasses into the passenger seat and pull the camera to my eye. These’ll be good.

She looks happy wearing a red pair of shoes she didn’t have before walking into the store, and he looks excited. His sunglasses were on before he came outside, and his jeans have strategically placed holes. She’s got a headband to match the shoes, I imagine, and khaki capris.

In each picture, they’re a freeze frame of perfect happiness. In each picture, they’re a snapshot of how her marriage should be.

In and out of stores, there’s sure to be a restaurant stop soon. Maybe then I can get some grub. I’m lucky my job doesn’t normally require me to drive fast. This windshield’s going to shatter someday soon. It’s only a matter of time.

This lady, I’ll call her Helen for her privacy sake, she probably just got bored. Bored with her housekeeping life, bored with her husband’s workaholism, bored with everything. But this new guy, he buys her gifts, takes her on dates. To Chili’s? She must’ve been pretty bored.

The people I watch mimic their actions. Popping in and out of these relationships. In and out of love. It’s amazing how quickly people can become shallow, empty hulls of the fruit, I’m sure, they once were.

A knock startles me. It’s a knock on my passenger window. I push the button and roll the window down a few inches. “Can I help you?”

His eyes are watery. It’s the client. I didn’t recognize him. “Stop. Just stop.”

I unlock the door. “Get in.”

“I can’t take it anymore.” He slumps in the seat. “She doesn’t deserve this.”

“What do you mean? She’s cheating on you.”

He sniffles. “I know. I’ve gotten the pictures. But, I realize now that I wasn’t providing for her.”

This is an interesting turn. It’s never happened to me before. “What are you going to do? Confront her?”

“No.” He straightens up in his chair, breathes in deep through his nose. “I’m going to go home, and do some laundry.” He sighs. “I’m going to earn her back.”

I set my camera down and stare at the client. He’s looking right back at me. “So, why the change of heart?” What else am I supposed to say?

He smirks. “First Corinthians. I’d heard it a million times, but seeing my wife with another man… it… The message used to go in one ear and out the other. You know?”

“Yeah, I get that.” In and out, people do it all the time.

“You might want to check it out too. It’s amazing what small things can have such a big impact.” His nose twitches as he gets out of the car.

The sprawling crack in my windshield creaks, I can’t hear it, but I see the glass splinter a bit more. All this damage from a pebble. “Yeah, I get that too.”

***
To read this story from the wife’s perspective plus more short stories from Brian C. Russell (and I would strongly encourage you to do so, and while you’re there tell him to write more), visit him at at his website and follow him on the twitter at @Brian_Russell.

The Dos and Don’ts of Church Planting (Repost)

This post is part of the Blog Carnival hosted this week by Bridget over at One Word at a Time – Church.

Confession: This blog post was originally written to be used as a guest post on another blog, but it was waaaaayyyy too long and “not sarcastic enough“. Which is rather ironic, because I think that just might be the only time in recorded history that anyone has told me that I was not sarcastic enough. I’m gonna be honest, it was a refreshing change from the deep, breathy sighs and the knowing looks of disapproval that I am accustomed to. So, I figured, “Why let all this creative genius just waste away in the ever-increasing pile of google docs that are in various states of completion? I’ll just subject my loyal readers to my long-winded diatribe! (You’re welcome.) Without further adieu, I give you my magnus opus: The Dos and Don’ts of Church Planting (The Really Long Version).

Note: To read the shorter, funnier version go here: Stuff Christians Like #488 – Planting new churches.

Have you ever or are you now in the process of either planting a church or thinking about planting a church? If you answered yes to the aforementioned question, then answer this next question: Why? And don’t just say, “Because all the cool kids are doing it.” While that may be true (snort), that’s really not such a good reason. There are actually several good reasons not to be involved in a church plant. Here are three:

1) Because you’re burned out, angry and/or fed up with your current church.

Many of us have been there. But if you leave without exhausting every reasonable attempt to reconcile past hurts and disagreements, not only will you carry that bitterness and anger to your new church home, but not doing so ignores some really sound biblical doctrine. (Incidentally, this is applicable to all Christians, not just us super hip church planters.)

2) If your spouse/significant other is not completely sold out on the idea.

Planting a church is a fantastic experience. It can also be incredibly frustrating, scary, all consuming and just down right hard. If your spouse has even a hint of reservation about the idea, run – don’t walk – away. Your marriage is more important than the church plant.

3) If your future location is somewhere you have never lived and/or you know nothing about.

I’ll get some flack for this one. There are many successful church plants started by folks who knew squat about the area they planted in. John Burke’s church in Austin comes to mind, and I know there are many others. Gateway is amazingly successful. But before he started Gateway, he was the executive director of ministries at Willow Creek. I’m guessing he had a few connections. Plus he’s Baptist, and you Baptists are loaded! You can do statistical analysis and socioeconomic projected population studies out the wazoo, but for me, the best resources for knowing your target area are the members of your core group who intimately know the needs of their community. If you decide to be involved in a “parachute drop” church plant, don’t think it’s going to be like a vacation. Houston for five days is fantastic and fun-filled. Houston (or anywhere else) 24-7 looks a little different. You have to live there, get to know people and the culture. Understand that you need a good support system and a really committed support team for the long haul. Know that there will be times when you may feel abandoned and lonely; even second guessing your decision.

So, why should you be part of a church plant? My simple answer is that you have exhausted every other option. You have prayed and prayed and then prayed some more about it. God says, “Go plant a church,” and you say, “No, really. I’m good.” Then God says to you, “I AM totally not kidding. Stop worrying about your own comfort and financial stability and get out there and love on some people who would never even think of stepping through the doorway of your local church. They might be messy, abandoned, or marginalized, but they’re mine and I love them!” (God may not use words like “totally” when He talks to you, but still.) Then, if you don’t come by humility naturally, be prepared to be taken to school. Because if you’re really down with G-O-D, He will humble you in ways you’ve never imagined.

So, what are some dos and don’ts I can share with you based upon my vast year and a half experience with church planting? I’ve got roughly 897, but I’ll try to keep it brief:

Do employ the K.I.S.S. methodology. Understand what your point and your process will be. (Also sometimes referred to as a mission or vision statement.) Simple doesn’t mean easy, it only means simple. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend “Simple Church” by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger.

Don’t attempt to offer a bunch of programs to attract new members. Concentrate on how your church can best serve your community, beginning with the members of your core group.

Do have a pastor that has an absolutely sound, biblically based theology and make sure you are in firm agreement with them on the non-negotiables.

Don’t get bogged down with things that are more about tradition and personal preference such as using a worship eagle as opposed to an interpretive pop and lock dance set to Toby Mac’s “Feelin’ So Fly”.

Do make sure that your core group consists of people willing to lead and to be lead. You should be of like mind and vision for the church. If you’re a pastor, it’s not a bad idea to have at least one or two core members who would be willing to take a bullet for you. Because depending on where you plant, that might be a distinct possibility.

Do have a plan and a timeline for at least the first two years of your church. You can always opt to adjust things or make a change if needed, but it’s good to have a baseline. (Plus, if you are receiving support from other churches, it really bugs them when you say stuff like, “Que sera sera, Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see”, and then make a sweeping, full body twirl whist holding a scarf in your hand.)

Don’t get all stressed out about meeting some arbitrary deadline for your launch date. God’s timing is not always in line with ours, and the expense of a building is a huge financial commitment. Meet in homes for as long as it is practical. Invest your money in people via missions and outreach.

Do splurge for a professional looking sign if you meet in someones’ home and you regularly have over 25 people every Sunday. Something like “We are not a Cult” would be a good option.

Don’t recruit new members from other churches. First off, that’s just rude and doesn’t conform to the Golden Rule. Secondly, our mission is to make new disciples, not to play musical chairs, and third, like Jeff (my pastor) puts it, that fruit might be easy to reach, but it has already been picked, and frankly some of it is rotten. (The rotten part is my statement not his, but he wishes it was.)

Do attend the Exponential Conference in Orlando. Not only is it a great place to network and meet some great folks who are in the same boat as you, but in years past they have hosted the likes of Francis Chan, Erwin McManus, Craig Groeschel, Neil Cole, Alan Hirsch, and (gasp) Tim Keller! Incidentally, if Brent Foulke or anyone else from the conference happens to be reading this, I’m not above accepting free passes to the conference in exchange for say, unprecedented exposure to your conference via a link on Hey Look A Chicken. Which, incidentally has been read by literally tens of people on every continent on planet earth save Antarctica. And seriously, who’s gonna plant a church in Antarctica?

Don’t check your email and/or your blog if you’re sitting near me at the conference like you did last year. I will hurt you. (And seriously, I don’t want to see all the cool new apps on your i-phone.)

Do your homework before you agree to work with a church planting organization. There are some fantastic ones out there, but make sure that their vision for the church is in line with yours. Don’t agree to anything because you need funding. We are self funded, so that’s not an issue for us, but I know that is a luxury, not the norm. Incidentally, money will quite often follow the vision.

Do lots of research. Read books by successful visionaries and pastors that have blazed the trail before you. If they have a blog (and who doesn’t?), put them on your list of blogs you read on a regular basis. They’re a great resource. (Just remember that the bible is your best resource! Too preachy? Sorry, my bad.)

Don’t make wickedly funny, sarcastic remarks on pastor’s blogs. They rarely respond, and just between you and me, I’m pretty sure they find you incredibly annoying…(Not that I have any personal experience with this, I’m just saying.)

Do keep your sense of humor. Sometimes you may have to laugh to keep from crying.

Don’t plant a church if you don’t have a sense of humor. And incidentally don’t visit Convergence Christian Church either. If you’re extremely intense (or what I like to call “Darren Patrick-ish”) and don’t see the humor in a bunch of woefully imperfect prodigals attempting to live a life abiding in Christ, then I’m pretty sure you’d hate us.

A very special thanks for their insights and contributions to my excessively bad run-on sentences to my friend and pastor Jeff Hogan; as well as Beth, my fellow rockin’ awkward church planter in Terre Haute, Indiana: Land of the Slanket.

So, there’s my take on church planting. What has been your experience?

Community


If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you may know that the blog Stuff Christians Like is what inspired me to start my own blog. I love the sense of community that Jon has created on his site. Take a look at my sidebar. Every blog listed there and many more that aren’t are folks I’ve found either directly or indirectly from the comments section of Stuff Christians Like. He truly is the Kevin Bacon of the blogosphere.

Last Monday, Jon asked the question What if?:

“If only you had a platform with hundreds of thousands of friends from around the world that could easily organize and radically change the world through the power of something like a blog. If only…

Right now, right here, you and me and the Stuff Christians Like community have the chance to be much bigger than a blog. I am growing overwhelmed but the sense that God has given us all a tremendous gift called, “being alive on Monday” and He’s holding His breath in eager anticipation to see what we’ll do next.

And what’s next for Stuff Christians Like is that we’re going to build a kindergarten in Vietnam. (No segue whatsoever; we just jumped into that, didn’t we?)”

That’s when something amazing happened…Stuff Christians Like raised $30,000 in 18 hours and funded the building of a kindergarten in Vietnam.

And now the community of Stuff Christians Like would like to build a second kindergarten.

This is not the post I had originally scheduled for Bridget’s blog carnival topic of “Community”. But last night I saw the following from Jon Acuff on twitter:

@prodigaljohn: I’ve got 5 on it. Tomorrow, Acuff family is matching the 1st 100 $5 donations for 2nd kindgrten http://tinyurl.com/yaye6aa

And I thought, “How cool is that?” So I sent Jon the following direct messages:

prodigaljohn: I’ll match the next 50.

prodigaljohn: I mean the next 20 ($50)

prodigaljohn: Okay…I suck at math. I’ll match 20 (that’s $100 right?) Sigh…

We send a couple DMs back and forth and then Jon tweets this:

Want to play matchmaker? @katdish is matching $1 for every $5 the Acuffs match tomorrow for $500 for Vietnam. You in? 25cent match means $25

So…are you in? Click on the link and get the rest of the scoop from Jon.

Remembering

When I heard the topic for this week’s blog carnival, this song was the first thing that popped into my head and I just couldn’t shake it. I’m not going to pretend this song has any deep, hidden spiritual meaning…

But then again, lyrics can mean different things to different people; may even mean more or less depending on the season of life one happens to be going through. That’s the beauty and power of a well written song.

So what do I take from the song at the moment? I’m reflecting on memories – both sweet and sad. That’s a good thing, I think. Just as long as they don’t prevent us from creating new ones.

Remember yesterday, live for today. Keep your eyes on the Eternal.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

I’m so tired but I can’t sleep
Standin’ on the edge of something much too deep
It’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can’t be heard

But I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

I’m so afraid to love you, but more afraid to lose
Clinging to a past that doesn’t let me choose
Once there was a darkness, deep and endless night
You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light

And I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

And I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Weep not for the memories

***

To read more posts on the topic of “Remembering”, hop on over to the blog carnival hosted by Peter Pollock at Rediscovering the Church.

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