I’ve wanted to do this for a while, so here I am doing it, even though I don’t have all the details planned out in my head. Sometimes we just need to make a move forward before we know exactly where we’re going.
I’m an avid reader, an accidental researcher, and an all-round curator of relevant information. I realize the relevant part is debatable, but for certain, it’s information that’s good to know for living like it matters. If we’re committed to living like it matters, then we’re committed to learning, changing, and growing.
My new Just For You feature (that’s what I’m calling it for now) is where I’ll share some of the best stuff I’ve read, heard, or seen lately.
It’s best because it challenged me the most; I learned something or it changed my perspective. Or it softened my heart. Or inspired me.
I won’t necessarily agree with what I share, but I share it because God used or is using it to do something within me.
Worth Waiting For
Last week, a tweet from Diane Langberg made me think about patience, and helped me realize why it hurts so much when we’re not patient with one another. Think about how valuable we make someone feel when we wait on them: to speak, to heal, or to learn something. I understand better why patience is part of the fruit of the Spirit and I’m asking God to give me more of it.
Hate’s Not Worth It
I Am Second creates excellent films of people telling their painful but inspiring stories. The latest is a short film called I Hated. The film features five story tellers who overcame their hatred and found hope. Every one of us can relate to one or more of these stories. In these rage-filled days we need to hear how the Light of the World broke through the darkness of hatred. He can break through ours, too, if we let Him.
Worth Making Time For
I receive a weekly newsletter about writing called The Habit by Jonathan Rogers. More than that, it’s about creative expression in any form. Because we are made in the image of The Creator, we have a natural inclination to create. The most recent newsletter was a beautiful reminder about why our creativity is important to the world.
If you think of your creative efforts as primarily self-expression, or self-indulgence or self-anything, then, of course a loving, giving person is going to find it very hard to prioritize creative efforts. But I want to suggest to you that your creative efforts are among the most important ways that you can be loving and giving to your family and to the communities in which you find yourself.Jonathan Rogers in A Note to Mothers
The Apostle Peter tells us to be always ready “to give an account of the hope that is in you.” When you write, paint, make music…that’s what you’re doing: you are giving an account of the hope that is in you. You are telling a truer story. You are looking out on the world and saying, “Here is what I see.” That’s not a selfish act. Is it an act of self-expression? Sure. So is cooking a meal for family and friends.
Creative work is (or ought to be) selfless work. It’s worth making time for.
Recent scientific studies have proven the positive effects of creative expression, specifically writing or journaling, on our mental health. Those of us who’ve journaled most of our lives know this well. If you’ve never journaled but want to give it a try, let me know and I’ll give you a few tips.
Worth Every Minute
A few weeks ago I watched a documentary about Dolly Parton and became a fan. Then a friend suggested I listen to a podcast series called Dolly Parton’s America. I’m seven episodes in and every one of them have been delightful and surprisingly deep. I’m a bigger fan now.
Even if you think you don’t like Dolly or country music, take a listen. Just listen to the first episode and see if you don’t love it. I promise, you’ll see Dolly, her music, and possibly the world, in a new way.
What Do You Think?
What do you think? I’d love your feedback on the curated content. Were you encouraged? Inspired? Disappointed?
I’d also love to hear about some of the best of what you’ve read, heard, or seen lately.