Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit saps a person's strength.
"Something a little lighter next time, like the Twelfth Night."
These are the final words in a 1990's movie, Shakespeare in Love by John Madden (not to be confused with the once Oakland Raiders coach, John Madden - a name I grew up hearing, lol - ol).
The joke is I LOVE conversation starters. I have a book in my car, a recipe box in the kitchen, a deck of cards in the living room all with the intention of words (words to prompt, words to coax, words to educate). The gimmicks have become relics (dusty and outdated) but the need to connect has not.
A generation ago, before the invention of social media, I was combing the isles of merchandise at a youth workers convention hall. It was the days were free stuff was everywhere. The audience was geared toward big kids who hang out with younger kids so it was really cool stuff. Games and gadgets, balls, music cd's, pens, bibles, things that make noise, things to soften noise; it was a carnival for the senses. A curriculum caught my eye. It was so simple it was embarrassing - a box of random pictures ... for thought-provoking discussion. I bought it.
Fast forward to this picture of multimedia: What do you see?
One word answers:
First thought: #possibility #worldview #global #music #faith #depth #introspection #resilience #storage #hope #brainstorm #ideas #connection #travel #weatherthestorms #collaboration #dialog #reachingout #direction #future #wholeness
Culture has embraced words like, "none", "done" to describe religious affiliation. I get it. I am there with you UNTIl the Holy Spirit grabs hold of me and words such as hope and faith seep into the sap of this old tree. Today - so much sadness in Houston, Texas, in the streets where I live, in the news, with a co-worker I stand beside, or in my own aloneness but I am reminded of that simple box of pictures in a pile of merchandise at a youth convention.
The curriculum is so simple.
LOVE until it hurts. Love deeply.
Enter into the story of someone else until LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR is not words on a page but the deep marrow inside your bones. Jesus entered the story. Your story.
Paul (in writing a letter to the Philippians):
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.
If I didn't know this person (Paul) and I had never even opened a bible (or gone to church), there are two things that stick out:
Loving Christ and loving others deeply. Simple, right? It's risky to love. It's risky to offer water. It's risky to be vulnerable and yet, that is exactly what the scriptures are all about - a vertical and horizontal love, called
I used to think I was born to early, then too late but mostly ... at just the right time.
Social media is that same box of pictures - only the pictures are out of the box. Yes, yes, I get it. Social media is bad. It is diluting relationships. It is changing the brain chemistry. It is - fill in the blank but it also allows us to enter into a story. Will you?
So - I lightened up my blog with a hashtag skit - to laugh, to love, to hope, to imagine, to dream, to breathe.
God was the inventor of laughter.
Fewer words and a bigger heart, I pray for you ... my fellow travelers.
#community #water #brokenBread #washedFeet #theCross #journey #hope #perseverance #faith #love
May you choose joy
A fellow point guard for the faith; a writer, deep thinker, music loving, jeep blazing ... follower of Jesus.