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“It’s a beautiful moment when somebody wakes up to this reality, when they realize God created them so other people could enjoy them, not just endure them.” Donald Miller

 

Scary Close is the first book I read this year.

It’s tagline is “Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy.”  It is a book about the risk involved in choosing to impress fewer people and connect with more, about the freedom that comes when we stop acting and start loving. It is a story about knocking down old walls to create a healthy mind, a strong family, and a satisfying career.

It is a scary read.  It is a beautiful read.

At the end of it I felt a bit naked and exposed.  I felt a stronger call to be more authentic and to rediscover who I really am and to be that.  Not that I’ve been hiding, but that there was more to be and that I am a work in progress.  God is at work in each one of us, we are His masterpiece, created on purpose with a purpose.

It challenged me to be more vulnerable and to love more, to not be afraid of who perhaps I really am.

“It costs personal fear to be authentic but the reward is integrity, and by that I mean a soul fully integrated, no difference between his act and his actual person. Having integrity is about being the same person on the inside that we are on the outside, and if we don’t have integrity, life becomes exhausting.”  

I ended the year feeling really stretched and somewhat peopled out, and I look at that as a symptom of something, something a little bit undefined at this stage, but it means something.

My “one word” for the year is REDISCOVER and Scary Close was the beginning of that journey, that rediscovery.  It made me ask myself questions that I dont know answers too, or even that there were questions to ask.

“I LIKE WHAT THE DANCER MARTHA GRAHAM ONCE said, that each of us is unique and if we didn’t exist something in the world would have been lost. I wonder, then, why we are so quick to conform—and what the world has lost because we have. William Blake said about Jesus that he was “all virtue and acted from impulse, not from rules.” If we are to be like him, aren’t we to speak and move and do, to act upon the world and take new ground from the forces that work against our unique genius and beauty? What if part of God’s message to the world was you? The true and real you?”

So, hello 2016.

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OUT OF THE OVERFLOW – I sleep with the Pastor

We must start living our daily lives, and doing ministry out of the overflow of God. People need Jesus more than they need me, or you. We need to start praying for God to root all of us out, so we have more room to fill Him in. I want when people to see me to see Jesus. I want when I leave a place, or a conversation for people to desire more and more of Jesus. I want them to experience Jesus, not Jessica.

May the anointing of God start filling us, and the places we go. We sing these songs to be the lights of this world, or songs to fill us up and send us out. But are we just sleeping and singing corporate karaoke or are we truly awakening to the power of the words of these songs and desiring every cell in our body to be covered by Jesus.

 

 

The Mr. Miyagi Guide to Practicing Your Craft Jeff Goins

Remember that scene from The Karate Kid in which Mr. Miyagi made Daniel wax his car? (What — you’ve never seen that movie?! Shame on you. Go watch it now. It’s a classic!)

The point of the exercise wasn’t to teach Daniel how to buff. It was to teach him the fundamentals of a craft he didn’t understand.

So Daniel spends weeks doing this repetitive, boring task, without really understanding why. Over and over again, he scrubs that car until it shines like nothing else — until finally he can’t take it anymore.

He didn’t sign up for this. He wanted to learn Karate. He wanted to be awesome. And this felt like a chore, a waste of time. But Miyagi shows him what he’s been doing has been preparation for all the moves he’s going to learn. In fact, he’s already learned them — without realizing it.

Daniel learns an important lesson here. And so do we when we commit ourselves to the work, not just the fruit.

 

 

Why superheroes don’t inspire us anymoreTyler Ward

What social research says about the power of vulnerability at work & at home.

Research shows that projecting as if we have it all together is both “dated” and “destructive.”On the contrary, when we’re willing to take off the masks of who we “should” be to admit who we currently are, we create a human connection that is not only necessary for relationship, but critical to inspiring (or leading or helping) others.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of inspiration. Brene Brown, a long-time student of vulnerability and the author of “Daring Greatly,”says it this way:

Our ability to be vulnerable forms the basis for our connection with others, a connection that is critical if we are to inspire others. (Read more)

Vulnerability inspires change. Peter Fuda and Richard Badham spent 5 years studying the effects of vulnerability in a professional workplace. Their conclusion?

When a leader (read: parent, pastor…etc) admits their own weakness, it invites a mutual accountability that creates momentum for change. This act of humility is seen as courageous and inspires others to follow suit. As more members of the team join the process, the snowball becomes more tightly compacted and almost impossible to stop.

 

 

 

Focus, Perspective, and Leading Well – Christine Caine

THE MORE LIFE I LIVE, AND THE MORE CIRCUMSTANCES I FACE, THE MORE CONVINCED I AM THAT IN ORDER TO FULFILL OUR CALLING, WE MUST BE SELECTIVE IN THE THINGS WE LOOK FOR IN LIFE.

If we as leaders truly desire to live out our God given purpose and destiny, we must make the decision to follow God with our whole hearts and maintain a passionate faith walk. I have come to the realization that the perspective we maintain actually determines the purpose in which we walk in.

As leaders it can be easy to become distracted and miss the plans and purposes God has for our lives because our focus is on unimportant, insignificant things (that just happen to be screaming the loudest for our attention!).

 

 

4 Places to Encounter Jesus That May Surprise You – Jonathan Merritt

A few years ago, I found myself in a time of profound spiritual emptiness. I’d been working in the church world for many years and my time of service was a period of sweet struggle. Crafting sermons, trying to make much of Jesus. Calling people to faith, and reminding those who found it to keep doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

BUT SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY MINISTRY HAD BECOME A JOB. ANOTHER WAYPOINT IN MY EFFORTS TO SAVE THE WORLD. I SPENT MORE TIME TALKING ABOUT GOD THAN TALKING TO HIM. MORE TIME DESCRIBING GOD’S PRESENCE THAN BATHING IN IT.

I had become a travel agent pointing to God like a far-off tourist attraction when I should have been travelling there myself.

I tried to balance my increasing workload with budding writing opportunities, a juggling act that often left both efforts unfinished. I was moving bricks from one stack to another. Worse still, I was moving farther away from the God I wanted so badly to draw near to.

So I decided to take a journey to meet the God of the Bible. What I discovered is that Jesus often shows up in unexpected spaces.

 

 

+ this great one:

If I’ve learned anything about dreaming, it is thisJon Acuff

i love tedtalks.

they’re short, punchy, well spoken, well written, witty, deep, provoking.

an art form.

these are some of the tedtalks i like and also am watching at the moment.

ted_talks

Meg Jay – Why the 30’s are NOT the new 20’s

Russell Foster – Why do we sleep?

Brené Brown -The power of vulnerability

Richard St. John – 8 secrets of success

Shawn Achor – The happy secret to better work

Aimee Mullins – The opportunity of adversity

Steve Ilardi – Depression Is a Disease of Civilization

Cameron Russell – Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model

Suzana Herculano-Houzel – What is so special about the human brain?

Angela Lee Duckworth – The key to success? Grit

Matt Cutts – Try something new for 30 days

Richard St. John – Success is a continuous journey

what’s your favourite tedtalk?

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