Some of the thought-provoking reads from this week:
The Worshiper, HT to Challies. Interesting twist at the end of this one.
How to Make the Bible Come Alive. I always cringe at this phrase, because the Bible IS living (Hebrews 4:12)–we don’t make it come alive. But that’s exactly what Ryan Higginbottom talks about here: how to deal with and present the Bible in the faith that it is living and active. I especially liked this: “Some leaders break out the bells and whistles. They think that if they jazz up the setting, or the presentation, or the activities, then people will really pay attention and get a lot out of the Bible study. However, this approach is doomed from the start. It presumes that the Bible is (at worst) boring or (at best) inert, and that what God really needs is a good carnival barker.”
The Halloween Night That Changed My Life, HT to Challies. I loved reading this testimony that “God’s grace is stronger than the hardest heart.”
When Art Reminds Us of Eternal Truth, HT to the Story Warren. “‘…The Lion of Lucerne is the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.’ —Mark Twain. Art has a transcendent quality. It can cause us to contemplate the struggles and joys of human experience. Sometimes it overwhelms us with the beauty of the mundane or the eternal. I believe that the search for truth, beauty, and goodness is inherent to the artistic process and is so embedded in the human heart that even if artists do not acknowledge the Creator in their hearts, their art often communicates some truth of the Divine.”
Toxic, HT to Challies. “‘Toxic’. It’s a word that has invaded Christian speech, but could I suggest a moratorium on this adjective, please? For two reasons: . .” I especially like the second one.
In the End, There Are Yellow Tulips, HT to Challies. “When I walked into the church, she stood there with an apron on and a bouquet of yellow tulips extended towards me. I put my hands out and took them as she pulled me close in a hug. She knew those yellow tulips wouldn’t fix the hurt. She knew those yellow tulips would die in a few days. But that wasn’t the point. She saw me.”
A Grandmother’s Heart for Her Loved Ones, HT to Challies. “Grandmama bear wanted to confront those who’d wreaked havoc, demand an explanation, and describe the painful aftermath of their actions. But in the two decades since the horn-blowing incident, my spirit has become quieter and gentler because of the influence of the Spirit that dwells within me. So instead of lashing out, I took my jumbled emotions to the One who hears it all and bears it all.”
Should I Charge Other Christians for My Expertise? HT to Challies. “People just ask them to do little jobs or little consultations, say, in the evening or after church — it’s their gift, after all — without even thinking how this may be unbiblical by mooching or exploiting.”
It’s not about the nail, HT to Tammy. This video is a hilarious take on the “Don’t try to fix it, just listen” stance.
Oh, ‘the clear crystal of praise.’ Stunningly necessary, yes.
Send refreshing, Lord! Amen.
Enjoy your weekend, Barbara …
I recently was guilty of fixing instead of listening (pointed out by someone who loves me very much). Why do I get fixated on changing another when I really need to examine my own motives? God and I are working this out! 🙂 Thanks for shares today!
It’s funny, I had the opposite take-away from the video–that sometimes the answer to our problem is right there, but we want to vent instead of taking care of it. But your take is right, too–we need to listen and empathize instead of trying to jump in and offer our solutions. I guess it’s a matter of balance and seeking God’s wisdom in the moment.