May has been a month for gathering and for celebrating milestones. Our third son graduated from Eastern Maine Community College on a Friday afternoon, and then the family landed here on the hill that Sunday for Mother’s Day.
On Monday of that same weekend, the Ladies’ Missionary Fellowship came for a turkey dinner and our final meeting before summer break. I’m grateful whenever I can fling open the door of welcome, either physically or metaphorically, and this spring, there has been a steady stream of comings and goings.
We were grateful for the opportunity to hear our youngest son play his trumpet in the orchestra at Maine’s All State Music Festival. And of course it was just icing on the cake that our grandson came to spend the night with us that weekend, snoozing in his dad’s old sleeping bag and chowing down on blueberry pancakes for breakfast.
May Reading and Writing
May was also a month of joyful gallivanting around to other people’s sites to write and interact with readers there:
Self-Discipline: A Matter of Grit and Grace— What a treat to be invited to write about the legacy of Elisabeth Elliot! I chose to focus on her incredible self-discipline and her humble admission that she didn’t always have it all together herself. And I loved her wry humor. When asked about self-discipline and weight loss, she noted that no one is actually qualified to address self-discipline around eating habits because if you don’t struggle with your weight, you don’t know how hard it is, and if you do struggle, you’ve got no room to talk! Click here to read the tribute to Elisabeth’s impact for Jesus Christ.
Reaching Out for the Adjacent Possible— If you’re feeling overwhelmed in trying to reach your goals, maybe the problem is that you’re reaching too far all at once. Over at Living by Design Ministries with Sarah Koontz, I’m sharing thoughts on a concept called The Adjacent Possible. Adjacent means ‘in close proximity’. If I am looking for The Adjacent Possible, I stop scanning the horizon for a “eureka” moment and begin looking close by for a small positive step in the right direction. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s working for you in accomplishing your spiritual growth goals. Head on over to read more about following hard after Jesus one glorious step at a time.
When Meghan Weyerbacher said I could write about whatever was interesting to me at the moment, I knew my guest post would have to be about the science behind renewing our minds (as the Apostle Paul has urged us to do!) Over at Meg’s place, you can read more about neuroplasticity, transformation, and God’s delight in coming alongside us when we expand our boundaries for His glory. And while you are there, be sure to read about the two books she has launched into the world!
We managed to fit in a few reviews this month, and they covered books I’ve been waiting for with great anticipation. I’ll share a link to my reviews, and a quick sentence or two here just to whet your appetite. And while we’re on the subject, what have you been reading this spring?
Mended by Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh— God is in the business of mending broken hearts and broken relationships, so Blythe and Helen invite readers into His neutral territory in hope that sharing individual thoughts and desires will lead to standing on common ground together.
Surprised by Paradox by Jen Pollock Michel–Jen Pollock Michel asserts that biblical faith “abides complexity rather than resists it.” (4) She wonders aloud about doubt and certainty, humility and hope, and then settles into the examination of four themes in Scripture in which paradox abounds: Incarnation, Kingdom, Grace, and Lament.
The Color of Life by Cara Meredith–Cara Meredith is one of the voices I have listened for as she navigates her own way toward seeing color and blazes trail with her words. A white woman married to a black man, Cara is raising two mixed-race sons, and she shares this emergence from her own white bubble with one eye on the future for her two children and the other cast back into history which has been shaped toward justice by the influence of her father-in-law, James Meredith, the first black man to graduate from the University of Mississippi in the early 60’s.
The Power of Christian Contentment by Andrew M. Davis–In 1643, Jeremiah Burroughs unearthed Paul’s secret in great detail in The Rare Jewel Of Christian Contentment. Pastor and author Andrew M. Davis revisits the classic work, providing updated illustrations and a fresh look at Burrough’s wise counsel:
“To be well schooled in the mystery of Christian contentment is the duty, glory and excellence of a Christian.” (40)
The Power of Christian Contentment begins by documenting Paul’s credentials for his claim, reminding readers that, while Paul tested the limits of extreme discipleship, contentment was not something he was born with or that came to him on the Damascus Road.
On the Radio
On a cold day in March when spring was still just “a promise in the closed fist of a long winter,” Susan B. Mead and I connected via Skype for a conversation across the miles. I appreciated the time we spent together and was challenged by her heart for ministry and her enthusiastic pursuit of an advanced degree happening alongside a brave adventure into radio ministry. Her program on Grace and Truth Radio airs every Friday at 4:30 Eastern Time. Click here to listen in on our conversation.
Another Book Discussion Group?
This summer here in real-life Maine, I’ll be meeting with a group of women at the home of a good friend throughout the months of July and August to learn from each other as we discussSensible Shoes: A Story about the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown. The story centers around four women whose lives are woven together by their time at a retreat center. As they learn life lessons about how to deal with sin, how to talk to God, and how a relationship with God impacts on all their other relationships, the reader is swept up in the learning process as well.
I’m hoping to take this discussion over onto a Facebook group, so even though most of you are geographically far removed from our weekly face-to-face meetings over coffee, you will be able to read along, ask and answer questions, and take part in the learning process. More details will follow as the time approaches!
Thanks for your input here, for all the ways you enter in and encourage throughout the month. Some of the best thoughts at Living Our Days happen in the comments section, and that’s because of you!
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