Throwback Sundays…What Makes Your Heart Smile?

I love days and moments that make my heart smile. Those times where I am overflowing with contentment, peace, and gratitude. And I’ve had quite an abundance of days and moments like that since moving to Nashville. I have a new phrase I like to use to describe those moments…”sunrise in my heart” (see video) but I still treasure them.

Check out the rest of the post here and share what makes your heart smile. :)

Ponder…A Good Friend

A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.  -Lois Wyse

I love this description of a good friend. I have a lot of friends. I have a few good (I’ll say great) friends who are just that…keys to sanity in a world that at times seems completely insane. :) And I am beyond grateful for them!

Saving the Church?

“The arts will save the Church.”

I’ve heard that said countless times in the last couple of months and I’ve even said it myself. But, the more I’ve been thinking about it, the more something about that phrase just doesn’t sit right with me.

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that the arts can have a very meaningful and sacred place in worship. They can both guide people to the Father’s feet and be a response of worship when sitting there. However, I think saying they will save the church is giving them entirely too much power. To be honest, I’m not sure that the Church even needs saving. And if it does, I think it’s a bit presumptuous of any of us to think that something we do will save it.

Now here’s the thing, I understand what most people who say something like that mean…where they’re coming from and what they’re getting at. But, I think that language…one of something we do saving the Church…is a dangerous one…one that will slowly change our motivations if we’re not careful.

Honestly, that realization is a relief to me…it takes away a lot of pressure. Does that mean I stop using my creative and artistic gifts to serve the Church in worship? Absolutely not. But, it does mean that I remember that the Church doesn’t need me or my art or creativity. That at the end of the day I’m simply asked to pour out what has been given to me.

I just can’t shake a question that’s been nagging at me for months…what would it look like if “better” art or “more” creativity wasn’t our focus. I wonder if a focus on truly living out the faith we claim to have as a community of believers would result in expressions of worship far beyond anything we could ever imagine because they wouldn’t be born out of a creative brainstorming session but rather an encounter with the living God as we walk in relationship with Him.

I don’t have the answers of what that “should” look like…or even necessarily if the Church “should” look like that to begin with. I just like to ask the inconvenient questions. :)


Throwback Sundays…That Person

When I re-read this post, I laughed…almost out loud. This is the first paragraph…

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying before: “Man is not an island.”
Well, let me tell you, I’ve tried, for much of my life, to prove that wrong. I am by nature an introvert. Most of the time I am much happier being by myself. While I enjoy people around people at times it takes a lot of energy out of me and after a few hours I’m usually exhausted. I love extroverts, I admire their ability to interact with people all of the time and not get tired, but that’s just not me.

I laughed because of how much I’ve changed since I wrote that a year and a half ago. I have become much more of an extrovert than I would have ever imagined possible. I think that at my deepest core I am still an introvert. But, I am definitely an extroverted introvert. I don’t get nearly as drained from being around people as I used to and in fact these days if I go too long without human interaction it drives me crazy.

And these days I’m more deeply grateful than ever for the people in my life who…
help me see and understand things about myself I can’t see for myself
hold me accountable
remind me who I am, what I believe, and what I’m all about
bring me back down to earth when I’m flying too high
help me up when I’m in the valleys
know just the right thing to say, just the right thing to do
help life make sense when it gets cloudy.

You can check out the rest of the post here.

And if you don’t have at least one person in your life like that…find one! Community is great and not to be undervalued, but one on one relationships where you get to know another human being deeply and be known deeply is something I think we’ve forgotten the value of…or maybe we run from because it can be messy, scary, and uncomfortable…or maybe we just don’t make time for it.

Inconvenient Filter

I’ve written 5 different blog posts this week that have gone unpublished. And they will probably stay unpublished because of a filter I came across recently. A filter of Scripture that is, quite honestly, inconvenient. It’s inconvenient because it requires humility and not always saying what’s on my mind. Two things I don’t always enjoy :)

I was reading the book of Philemon recently and verses 8 & 9 stood out to me. Paul writes: “Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love.”

Those verses convicted me. They convicted me of the fact that oftentimes, what I think is important to say, or what I want to say isn’t necessarily wrong, but that doesn’t make it right either. I could be bold and say it because “I have every right to.” But, when I stop and filter it on the basis of love, I am forced to ask if there is a better way or even a better time to say it. I’m forced to admit that what I think must be said really may not need to be said…or at least not in the way I want to say it at the time I want to say it.

That doesn’t mean I’ll get it right every time…that I’ll heed the filter when I should. But, I’m certainly going to try. Because in the end, I think there’s a lot of wisdom in it. I think there’s something to the whole “on the basis of love” thing. And it doesn’t just apply to blogging.