Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Stuff

- I was looking at the lineup of bands for this year's Creation Northwest Christian Music Extravaganza. Wow. I don't even know half these bands. Am I that out of it? Or is it simply that I have a more cultured and discriminating taste when it comes to music?

-  Good thought for the day: "The number one way to get the word out about any organization is through the words and actions of the people in the organization.Every person in your church is like a walking billboard. How they act, work, talk, respond, and treat people represents you and leaves a lasting impression on others. It doesn't matter if your music is great. Or, if you've got fantastic design skills. Or, if your pastor is the most intelligent person on the planet. If your customer service is average or bad, your church is replaceable"  Kem Meyer, "Less Clutter, Less Noise."

- The first mission trip I ever took part in was a house-building weekend in Tecate, Mexico. A large part of Karina's family is from Tecate, Mexico. The Work of the People just spent a weekend in Tecate, Mexico, and want to remind us the people there have dignity. . .and that God loves them. Watch the video here.

-"Life presents us with a choice of getting what we want, but not the way we might want it. It's disquieting when the long-sought improvements occur in ways we don't anticipate. We are challenged to give up cherished notions that keep us stuck. Facing that dilemma is part of becoming an adult."  (emphasis mine) - David Schnarch, Ph.D., "Passionate Marriage."

- Hooray! New Stephen Lawhead book due out the end of August.

- I'm currently working my way through two books: one is on marriage, and keeps repeating the point that conflict is good, because conflict is what spurs growth. It's how we handle the conflict, and not the avoidance thereof, that matters. The healthiest marriages are not the ones lacking in conflict, but the ones in which people learn to take responsibility for themselves in difficult times.

The other book is on contemplative prayer, and is working on the thought that we have this mistaken goal in prayer to reach out to God "over there," rather than stilling ourselves and finding the voice of God already present in our lives. So the work is toward stillness, developing a calm heart and mind in the midst of life's tumult. Learning to let stresses and anxieties wash away in the calming pools of God's love. Listening and responding instead of guessing and reacting.

In their own way, each book is saying "life is hectic: take responsibility for your own body and soul, learn to self-soothe, learn to be quiet when all of life is raging, learn to be intentional rather than reactionary." Somehow both books seem the perfect fit for life and ministry right now. . .

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