My sabbatical is officially over and I’ve returned to work. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to get away and now I’m excited to be back. I will be getting back into routine with blogging, posting about how I spent my 3 months away as well as some of the things God was speaking to me during this time.
Sabbatical gave me a very unique opportunity to spend some time with my treasures. These are the most important people in the world to me.
Jonathan Malm (blog|twitter) asked me to write an article for Sunday| Magazine as a piece of advice for worship leaders dealing with prima donnas. I told him that I’ve been fortunate in that I haven’t had much experience dealing with difficult personalities at my church but that I could talk with some who have, put my leadership thinking cap on and come up with something that I hope would be helpful.
“Not For A Moment” is a song I heard Meredith Andrews sing this summer when she was leading worship at a Harvest Bible Chapel we were visiting. I was struck by the power of the lyric and the simplicity of the melody. It is a beautiful song available now on the Vertical Church Band Live Worship CD. Find it on iTunes USA and iTunes Canada.
Last week I had the privilege of leading worship at Muskoka Bible Centre near Huntsville, ON. If you have never been up to the Muskoka area it is hard to describe what a jewel it is. Lakes, forest, sunsets, quiet – it is a place I have been enjoying since I was a kid.
My friend Julie took this photo – it really is this beautiful.
MBC invited me to come and lead worship this week for the evening chapel sessions. A few people had been asking about the songs we had done so I thought I would gather everything in one post so you could search iTunes and look for chord charts, etc. God was good to us in our time at MBC.
Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia released their newest (anybody keeping track on what album number this is??) CD today and it does not disappoint. Cornerstone (iTunes USA|Canada) is another great album from Hillsong Live full of songs the church will be singing for many, many years.
If you’re deciding between the regular and deluxe editions, make sure you check out “Praise Him” which is only available on the deluxe edition and is co-written by a Canadian worship leader.
It’s pretty easy to find lots of tutorials and tips on how to write the greatest blog post ever – so much information is available on writing great blog posts but it’s pretty hard to find information on how to write horrendous, awful, terrible blog posts. Until now!
Ever wondered how to write a horrendous blog post? Simply follow these rules!
Write your headline as a ridiculous question Something like this: Is This The Summer Of The Black Plague? Make sure you tweet, facebook, instagram that headline all over the place to get people intrigued and then answer the question in the post with an “Of course not – but you should still get your vaccines!”
Solve a major problem in three easy steps Are you terrified of clowns? Do you have a debilitating mental issue? Are you great at making enemies? Well let me give you three steps to the solution: Step 1, focus on the positive. Step 2, envision the future. Step 3, step out in faith. Cured!
Overpromise and underdeliver
I love blog posts that talk about saving money. “Want to know how to save TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS in one day?! Of course you do! Here’s how you can save $10,000 in ONE DAY. First, find a diamond ring that costs TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. Next, don’t buy it. You see – you’ve just saved yourself $10,000!! Congratulations!”
Bloggers.. we can do better. Don’t get caught in the trap of writing for Google and SEO. Write for people, write for purpose.
Sabbatical has given me an opportunity to spend long periods of time in the same sections of scripture. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading and meditating on John 5 & 6. The healing at Bethesda, the interaction with the Jewish leaders, the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus’ teaching on the bread of life, the desertion of many disciples and then this first confession of Peter.
So much in these two chapters which speak of the nature and authority of Jesus, the sufficiency of His provision and our common desire to seek what Jesus gives in ways which can’t fulfill.
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28-29
“Love Does” by Bob Goff is one of those books which almost reads itself. Had I not had minor things like getting my kids to school, needing to shower, taking the dogs out for walks, preparing meals for my family.. you know.. minor things.. I would have finished this book in one sitting over a few hours. “Love Does” is a pageturner!
I had heard & seen Bob Goff’s name pop up in conversations here and there with friends and online. Bob is a definitely quotable character on twitter (@bobgoff) and it seemed like everyone who interacted with him in real life was blown away by his generosity, kindness and wisdom. As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I would be reading it!
You don’t need another Christian message or a self-help book. You need to have your paradigms about the world shifted into truth. That’s exactly what you get in Love Does. Have you ever noticed that the real change in your life-the growth that sticks and becomes a part of you-never happens with a program or the sheer grit of your best efforts? It happens over time, like a glacier slowly carving valleys through the mountains.
“Love Does” takes the idea that love is simply a warm fuzzy feeling that comes as a response to the things that we treasure and instead reminds us that love is more than a feeling, it is action – love does! From stories about sailing trips, law school, 9/11, engagements to incredible adventures with his family, Bob reminds us that love – if it is truly love – puts us in to action. In Bob’s case, that has put him in to action all over the world but particularly in Uganda where he is helping to rescue children from slavery and prison.
As I read “Love Does” I found myself laughing out loud (the literal kind, not the phony LOL kind) several times. You will find yourself taken by surprise with the joy, fascination, curiosity and wonder Bob has with life and all it has to offer. You will become very familiar with two of Bob’s favourite words – whimsy and caper - and reading this book you will find inspiration to pursue both in your own life.
Things I see differently because of this book:
My kids’ 10th birthdays
Don’t get me wrong – this is no self-help, happy-go-lucky, look-on-the-bright-side fluff with nothing to say. Bob’s love for Jesus (a love which does many things) pours out on every page and we are reminded that the love of God expressed through Jesus is so much more than a nice feeling towards us. The love of God does so much – it saves, it restores, it renews, it hopes, it perseveres. Only because of the love of God are we able to live and love the same way.
So the minor things in life? Getting kids to school, taking dogs for walks, preparing meals – I promise you will see those minor things in a whole new light when you read this. You will see every moment as one that has the potential for loving in a way that does something meaningful, lasting and significant. I am so thankful for Bob Goff and for this book.
Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson
Young artists – don’t believe the lie that to be a great artist you must create NEW things in NEW ways. Innovation and creativity are just as much about the past as they are about the future.
Three videos popped up in to view the other day which put this on display beautifully -
Three videos, three great examples of creativity combining what is already available – everyone has access to the material, very few have the innovation, creativity, commitment and humility to take what is already out there and bring it together in a way that becomes something completely new.