This week has a wide variety of great posts, some that made me smile, others that convicted, some that sombered me. I pray they’re a blessing to you.
Going to Hell with Ted Haggard by Michael Cheshire. I’ve watched the HBO series. I’ve followed this scandal. I’ve felt ambiguous about it all. But Michael Cheshire helped me remember grace in hard times.
Of course, I understand that if a person doesn’t repent there is not a whole lot you can offer. But Ted resigned, confessed, repented, and submitted. He jumped through our many hoops. When will we be cool with him again? When will the church allow God to use him again? It’s funny that we believe we get to make that decision.
Your Greatest Work by John Saddington. I love this post about John’s father who works as a chaplain in hospice. It convicts me that our life is truly about serving others, not about building elaborate empires.
The stories he has chosen to share with me are so epic and are so categorically different from the challenges that I face daily that have a hard time reconciling and understanding them.
But my father’s voice never wavers, never falters, and there’s a sparkle in his eye as he tells me them. There is no doubt that this is his gift, his greatest strengths and talents tuned perfectly to the work laid out before him. He’s fully alive.
It’s something to marvel at – after nearly 40 years in corporate america working with a legendary Fortune 50 company, eventually becoming the CEO, it’s hard to imagine him achieving any other greater success professionally or finding a better place that might suit him.
On Dancing, A Titus Update by Amber Haines. I’ve been following baby Titus’ health journey–a boy who mysteriously can’t gain weight. And as one who has walked through issues with our daughter, I have deep empathy. Which is why I so admire the dancing.
The next morning at breakfast, I was alone with Titus and a pile of dishes at the sink. The other three boys were with family. I found the song again, put Titus in his high chair, and put on my long purple dishwashing gloves. Titus began fingering at his little bites of fruit, but soon I had backed away from the sink, clapping my hands together, tapping in my house shoes, eyes closed and pouring. After a minute I looked up at Titus’ face and burst into laughter. His mouth was open with food in it, mesmerized by my crazy.
I begged that this would be his first memory: the wet gloves, the penguin pajama pants, the tears, contagious laugh, and a wick in the candle waving fire. There has been more doubt in this season than in any other, but I believe. I know it now. If this life experience with all its pain isn’t to make me holy, if it isn’t to show us that there is dancing in the morning, then it would be true that God isn’t real.
Be Secretly Incredible by Caitlin Muir. I love this tribute to her grandfather. It makes me want to be quietly changing lives by the way I live my life.
Secretly incredible people are the ones who can face life with a twinkle in their eye, knowing that even when they are down, they aren’t out for the count.
They know that even if they are passed over by billions, they are one of a kind. That even if no one knows their name or calls them by ugly ones, they still have worth. Their worth is not determined by anyone other than God.
They still have a story to tell and a heart to offer love.
Secretly incredible people are free to live vibrant lives that leave marks on generations to come.
Not Presents but His Presence and Other Christmas Cliches by Addie Zierman. Spot on post about the schmaltzy ways we try to cute-i-fy the Christmas story, set against a truer-than-life backdrop.
Maybe you’re sad. Maybe it’s dark. Maybe it’s Christmas, but you don’t feel it in that way you’re supposed to.
The candles are passed around the sanctuary, lit one by one across the pews, and you are so numb that you barely even register the hot wax dripping on your fingers. I know.
Peace now. There is no right way to do Christmas.
You hear the angels sing or you don’t. You are filled with joy, or you’re not.
In the end, Christmas happened, happens anew every year, regardless of how we experience it.