A perfect atmospheric worship song from Phil Wickham to end a stressful week.
A quick hit list of thoughts to start your weekend.
Victory- Just before Thanksgiving, I went and saw Creed with a good friend. The movie, besides being a quality addition to the franchise, examines the theme of time. In the end, time always wins. Decide what you’ll do with what you have. Fight for what is important and keep moving forward.
Verse- The largest challenge of faith. We are called to walk towards what we do not see in a world that demands proof. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and still believed.” We are the generation separated by thousands of years and still believing. Do good. Serve. Love. Parent your kids to be contributors to society. Give someone hope. Do it all for faith and the assurance of the unseen.
Christmas song- Val loves Christmas music. I can take or leave it. In the realm of holiday songs, this is the classic and one that stands above the rest. I rank Chris Tomlin’s version of “Joy to the World (Unending Joy)” as a close second.
Final Thought- Break Free.
Ever find yourself speaking with someone who has an agenda? How about every day of the week? The world is filled with it. Work in any business and you’ll be dealing with customers, suppliers, vendors, and an army of people with agendas. This afternoon I had a conversation with a friend who is transactional by nature. I’ve known him for a year now and he lives his life around the principal of what can you do for me?
Writers are often told to not write for the market, as, by the time your novel is ready, the current trend has moved on.
Too many communities of faith build themselves around service veiled in transactional pitches (you need a small group, to give, to join up, to get community, to go on the missions trip).
Jesus offered the ultimate alternative: grace. The cross as the final transaction, erasing the need for all others.
We need to shift our view, to understand that service and contribution grows from the hope of faith, that salvation is not a bargain purchased online, at the store, or at the polls in November. The world will change through selfless love, not agenda.
This month, know you can break free. Stuff is not the point. The point is unending hope born so long ago. The moment the universe broke apart on a quiet night for the birth of a baby who changed everything.
We all believe something. We define ourselves by it. Time will win in the end, so keep chasing your calling in confidence. Even if you can’t fully see the end result. Break the dynamics of transactions. Stand on grace.
Have a cup of hot chocolate and grab hold of a moment of peace in the chaos.
Then do it all again tomorrow.
As writers, we measure equity in words. Some of us capture scenes over long and flowing pages. Others use pointed sentences with as few words as possible. We spend years searching for the right way to get the image across, over this divine psychic transaction that occurs when we put our thoughts on paper and transmit them to you, our readers.
Listen to a conversation and you’ll learn from the words used. Is one side trying to gain approval or power? Sit next to a first date and a couple married for forty years and you will be able to hear the difference.
Go to the playground and listen to the parents that are engaged and playing, compare them to the miserable others and, even worse, the silence from the parents on their cell phones while their kids do whatever they want.
Words are powerful. All it takes is a smell, sight, snippet of conversation and we can recall something that was said to us years ago, for better or worse.
As you enjoy your weekend, think about what you are saying. How can you build someone up today? Who needs to hear that you love them? What child needs to see your smile and hear some laughter?
Do what you can to make it happen.
After a beautiful morning of taking Aiden to the playground, I decided to look to the past for some Weekend Inspiration:
I had grandparents that could, and parents that can cook and I remember many nights with the smell of fresh pasta and sauce on the stove. Now that I have kids, I traded in tradition for ease more than once and this lesson rings in my ears every night at dinner:
Taken from a letter my mother wrote me before I went to college. We had a cat at the time, so the original was “pet a cat and you’ll feel better.” I think it applies to all pets and is a great reminder for the darker nights of the soul:
I was shy growing up, to a fault. Maybe it was the only child thing where I’d grown used to being by myself. Now, looking back, I’d tell my self to:
Every summer we would take a vacation as a family. As I grew from playing in the sand to walking with Val and finally watching my kids play in the sand, this is clear:
Have a great weekend!
I’ve made it my goal to find some new and interesting worship songs. I’ve started at The Good Christian Music Blog and worked my way out. Check out “Holy” by Isla Vista Worship.
A new post series will be starting today and continuing on the weekends. They’ll be a short hit of inspiration, from an image to line of a song or video. My hope is that they’ll serve as a moment of encouragement for the the new week to come.
A line from Val’s favorite worship song, Oceans. When the storm is raging, don’t forget to keep your eyes above the waves to the change that is coming.