This is one of the most thoughtful ideas I’ve heard of in a long time.
January 29, 2008
January 29, 2008
And I have a sticker to prove it. Get out and vote. If you’re not registered, click here to find out how: http://www.register-vote.com/.
January 29, 2008
Dear writer friends o’mine …
I found a new site today that is a link between writers and publications. I have submitted an article and plan to submit more, just to see if it “works.” You have to sell full rights and the article prices are quite low. It’s a great find for me as an editor, but it may or may not work for you as a writer. It’s worth checking out though: http://dailyarticle.com.
January 25, 2008
Nest is a nonprofit dedicated to changing the lives of women in developing countries. It supports women artists and artisans in the developing world by providing micro-credit loans to be used for the purchase of the supplies and materials necessary to begin and/or maintain art- or craft-based businesses.
The funds for these loans are generated by selling a unique line of clothing, accessories and merchandise for the home produced exclusively for Nest. Recipients of Nest loans in developing countries also make their crafts available to Nest as repayment for the micro-credit loans.
What I found:
January 22, 2008
Today is the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion. According to NPR, there is a push for “human life” amendments aimed at granting legal status and rights to embryos in many state courts these days. Click here to listen to their report.
January 18, 2008
Well, while I’m product name-dropping, I might as well fill you in on the best candy bar I’ve had in years. Twix has a limited edition candy bar: Twix Java. It rolled out in select stores last month. I found mine in an airport convenience store yesterday. It rocked my world. Go and find one now. You’ll thank me.
January 18, 2008
Did you know Panera donates all unsold bread and baked goods to community organizations at the end of each day?
January 15, 2008
Lost & Found: A Memoir
by Kathryn Slattery
release date: March 2008
Lost & Found is a book Kathryn Slattery needed to write. Unfortunately, it’s not one that everyone will enjoy reading. It’s a painful story. The memoir recounts a sad childhood in a dysfunctional family, then a young adult life spent trying to make sense of it. Thankfully the story’s tone begins to change when Slattery encounters Jesus’ grace in her adult life and then makes peace with her childhood as she cares for her ailing elderly mother. While some readers will enjoy the flawless writing and even identify with the struggles of the writer (an alcoholic father, eating disorder, chronic anxiety), one can’t help but feel weary of the memoir format.
January 9, 2008
If you’ve ever watched the ultra-popular National Geographic Channel television show called “The Dog Whisperer,” you’ll notice that the show really isn’t about getting dogs to behave. It’s about training the owners on how to interact with them. Obedience follows proper instruction and handling.
In a strange way comparison, Authentic Parenting isn’t so much about getting your kids to behave; it’s about becoming the kind of follower Jesus is calling you — the parent — to be in this postmodern culture. So if you’re looking for 10 quick tips to trick your kids into being angels in public, look elsewhere. This book is intellectual, meaty and challenging to the reader.
While the writing easy to read, the challenge the content presents is a little more difficult to digest. “Parenting, boiled down to its essence, is modeling,” the author, Mary DeMuth, writes. “How you want your children to be on the inside must match your own insides – and your insides need to be surrendered to the kingdom of God” (p. 44). DeMuth, a speaker, writer and church planter, spends plenty of time showing you how to take steps to do just that.
But the book isn’t without practical application. DeMuth encourages being polite and respecting one another (novel idea!); to practice forgiveness in the home; to coach instead of direct older children; to spend time in nature; to value the arts. She also goes into great depth into the intangible bigger picture: how to bring truth, authenticity, community into your home to prepare your children for the world we live in today. She advises:
• Engage your children in conversation. She gives an example of how they do this: “Our practice over the last several months has been to play ‘high-low’ every night with our children as we eat our dinner” (p. 59).
• Read with your children: “Reading creates a haven because it gives families shared experiences. It opens up imagination. Good books teach lessons, not by preaching but by unveiling a well-told story” (p. 100).
• Create a safe environment: “Home is the place our children return to, the compass they guide their lives by. As they leave our homes, they’ll be more apt to return to what we value if home was a refuge” (p. 103).
• Live out a vibrant faith: “What kind of faith do we want our children to bring to this postmodern world? A stoic, stuffy religion that beckons people to rules and regulations? Or a vibrant, life-giving, grace-abounding relationship with Jesus that infects and affects the people around them?” (p. 216).
“Children shape us,” DeMuth writes. They are also a reflection of our faith: “Through our children, we see ourselves, where we are with Jesus” (p.88). What a wonderful tool God gives to shape and mold us as we shape and mold others. Regardless of how fast the culture changes around us, the way we love and instruct our children can sustain them for a lifetime.
January 9, 2008
My 6-month-old daughter loves gadgets. Already! Remote controls, cell phones and most of all, my laptop. She loves the lights and movements she sees on the screen, and the feeling of pressing those irresistible buttons that light up on the keyboard. Sometimes she’ll just run her hand over the smooth part leading up to the keyboard.
I dug into my closet and brought out my old laptop that’s probably more than 10 years old. It would be a perfect toy for my gadget-loving girl, except that she wants nothing to do with it at all. She wants Mommy’s shiny new laptop, the one she sees me using (probably too much).
The same tendency happens among the ministry. We often desire to do the jobs that are most public (preaching, singing, leading) because, well, they’re the most visible. It’s human nature. Ministries that are behind-the-scenes are just as vital: bus ministry, cleaning, prayer, administrative duties.
Jesus modeled what we now call “servant leadership” in His time here in the flesh: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45, New International Version). In his writings to the Philippians, Paul instructs us to follow Jesus’ example: “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion” (Philippians 2:7-8, The Message). Matthew 6:3-4 implies that God will reward what is done in secret.
I saw a beautiful example of servant leadership this past weekend. I arrived early for afternoon singing practice and saw our worship leader’s wife, who has a very public role singing and leading the choir sometimes, with a bottle of Windex and paper towels. She was cleaning the front doors of the church, fully dressed for church that night. She saw a need and fulfilled it — out of the public eye. Her small, simple act reminded me that worship isn’t just a public act. It’s the daily pursuit of loving God and serving others, no matter what form that may take.
God, help me to realize when I’m coveting title, position and visible roles for the purpose of self-fulfillment. Open my eyes to needs that can be met in secret. Forgive me for not wanting to get my hands dirty in the work of the Kingdom. Thank you for the beautiful example of servant leadership You set for us with Your life recorded in the Scriptures.
I once heard a writer and prayer-ministry leader share with a group that he and God have secrets. There are things that he does that only God knows about. He gave us one example (but only one, so the rest would remain secret). He was in a public restroom when he happened upon a stall whose toilet seat was covered in vomit. Instead of recoiling in disgust and using a different stall, he cleaned it. He realized that someone was going to have to do that, and it would probably be someone who has to deal with the nastiest of human filth every day, so why not give that person a break? Actions like that build character, and no doubt make God smile. Find something to do this week that can become a special secret between you and God.
More Scriptures on being a servant: Ephesians 6:6; Matthew 10:38-39; Mark 10:43-45