Category Archives: blogging

Last words about love

This is the last synchroblog for our team. We have enjoyed these past few years blogging together but have decided to close our synchroblog. One of our regular bloggers has announced that he is going to start up a new synchroblog. You can find his site HERE.
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This month’s synchrblog asks bloggers what they would write about if this was thier last blog.

It’s sort of like asking a person to think about what they would want their last words to be.

As I pondered this idea I knew that I would want my last words to be about love because imo love is the main thing, the biggie, the thing that trumps everything else. If someone was to try and remember something I once said I would like it very much if it was something about love.

So, here are some Last words about love …. from me.

spreadyourlove

Loving is risky and requires us to be vulnerable. That’s scary stuff but it is worth it.

People accept the love they think they deserve.

We can love others without loving ourselves but the love or lack of love we have for ourselves does impact the way we love others and the way we receive love from others.

If we hurt someone with our words or actions we shouldn’t demand that they love us well without taking time to regain their trust and demonstrating our love to them in better ways. Forgiveness, regaining trust and being vulnerable enough to love again after a relationship suffers a blow is a process. Love is patient.

The opposite of love isn’t always hate … sometimes it is indifference or silence or polite but meaningless interaction.

When it comes to faith the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6)

Loving requires us to be generous. Loving is more than a feeling. Love is an action we choose.

If we keep having to declare that our actions are loving we may not be loving well. If what we call love is consistently seen as unloving we have to examine what we are doing and why. We can always justify our actions and words by calling them “tough love” but most of the time if someone consistently feels unloved by us it is because we aren’t loving them well.

Real love is worked out in the details of life. Real love enters the world of another person and feels what it is like to be that person. Real love sees through the eyes of the other. If you want to grow in love focus on the details.

Say “I love you” to your friends and family. Of course our actions mean the most, but adding those three little words to loving actions is a priceless combination. Don’t miss out on the opportunity. And add a hug when you can! The human touch is very important when it comes to showing our love.

Love is powerful – but more than that – love is enough. It gives so many the courage to stand up against injustice and for the goodness and protection of others, it causes us to give generously of ourselves and our possessions, it helps people open themselves up to new understandings and perspectives, it motivates us to check on our neighbors, to give to the poor, to visit the sick, to take care of our children, to build a life with someone. Love changes those who love and those who are loved … and as a result it changes the world.

Spread your love everywhere you go! You won’t regret it. It is worth it. It is enough!

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I hope you will check out the other synchroblog posts this month (I’ll add links as they become available).

K.W. Leslie – Synchrobloggery
Glenn Hager – Parting Shot
Clara Mbamalu – What is love?
Carol Kuniholm – A Final Synchroblog
J. A. Carter – Last Words
Tony Ijeh – Sharing Jesus

Dear Me

This post is part of the June Synchroblog which asks the question “what would you tell your younger self if you could travel back in time?” So, without further ado, here you go …

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Nothing mind blowing here – in fact, I feel like I have known these things all of my life, although it took a long time for me to “really” believe them.

My younger self would probably say, “tell me something I don’t know, like where to invest my money and who to marry!”

Yet, these are the things I would share with the hopes that my younger self would “get it” a lot sooner than I did …

1) You are enough! No, seriously, you are! So stop doubting yourself and get on with being “you”! Don’t waste any more time trying to be what you think others want you to be. Be you and enjoy it! You will be loved and accepted as you are! No, not by everyone – but there will be “enough” love and acceptance. So, believe in yourself! You are smart enough – you are good enough – you are pretty enough – you are enough!

PS Other people are also enough! Let them be who they are – give them lots of space and encouragement to be themselves!

2) Take more risks! Don’t just do the things that you know you are good at … do the things that you are passionate about – the things you dream of doing. Sure, you might have a few more failures but who knows what you might succeed at … and a few failures here and there make for a good story.

3) Give up perfectionism! Being perfect is way over-rated! AND it’s impossible to achieve! You will only end up frustrating yourself and others. Lower your expectations of yourself, others, even God! Relax a little more! Breathe deep several hundred times in a day! Spend more time in the present! You really don’t want to miss a thing!

4) Think for yourself! Don’t believe anything until you have thought about it, examined it, pondered it, studied it, argued against it and finally deemed it worthy to believe! No matter who said it or endorsed it! No matter how many people believe it or how long it has been believed! No matter how many times you have heard it! Think for yourself!

5) Always! Always! Always! stand up for what you believe in … while at the same time Always! Always! Always! take into consideration that you might be wrong about what you believe! So live out what you believe with conviction but hang on to enough humility to be able to receive new information. Your beliefs will change over time and it doesn’t have to be so hard when that happens.

6) Invest $50 in the stock market every month. Eat out less – buy a few less clothes – go out one less night a month. You can do it and it will be worth it!

7) Intentionally create stillness and quiet into your life. Learn to meditate and do it regularly. Go for walks or ride a bike alone. Sit and daydream. These things will open up the creative juices inside of you like nothing else. This is how you will discover the best ideas that are living inside of you. This will be one of the most important aspects to becoming a whole, healthy, happy person. Start immediately!

8) Trust your gut! You really can know what you should do, what job to take, who to date, what to purchase etc. That doesn’t mean you have to decide quickly. Take your time and think about it, gather information – but in the end trust your gut. You will know – so trust yourself!

9) Worry less! It doesn’t help. Think about what needs to happen and make a plan and do it … but stop worrying about it.

10) More often than not LOVE is the answer! I know it sounds cliche but it is true. Love is what matters and more times than not it is what wins in the end. It’s hard to explain but trust me on this one. Don’t ever give up on love! Give it, receive it, embrace it, practice it! LOVE LOVE LOVE! LOVE ON!

Be sure and check out the other synchroblog posts!

 

 

A Few Of My Favorite Things in 2011

Wow! 2012 is taking off in a hurry.  

I have almost waited too long to post any kind of reflection about last year!  However, I do want to say something about 2011 so here are a few of my favorite things in 2011.

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Adele.  Sure they overplayed her songs on the radio but before that happened there were those times when hearing her sing was one of those “I’m glad to be alive” moments.  So I can’t make a list of favorite things from last year without including Adele.  

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Pinterest.  I heard about it and didn’t think it sounded interesting.  I tried it anyway and immediately loved it.  Pinterest is a place to organize and share online images that you find interesting or inspiring. Once uploaded or shared on Pinterest, these images become known as Pins, which the user can place on customized, themed Boards. You can create Boards for any topic imaginable, from cats to classic cars to cats driving classic cars. The possibilities are endless. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds. 

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Synchroblog.  It’s not new but it remains one of my favorite things year in and year out.  A synchroblog is a collection of similar articles or posts made by a group of bloggers who have agreed to blog on the same topic on the same day.  The synchroblog group that I participate with has a different theme each month – such as “The Devil Made Me Do It“, “Hope” and “Experiences In The Wilderness“.  I love it because it keeps me writing, connects me with other bloggers and gives me a chance to hear a variety of voices.  If you like to blog you should try it out. 

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Timeline.  Yes, I like timeline.  I have always wished that it was easier to look back at something on Facebook and I also wished for a more visual experience.  I think that timeline delivers both of those things without losing any of the features that I like about Facebook.  I know there has been a lot of complaining but I don’t pay much attention to that as it happens everytime Facebook makes any changes.  Timeline was definitely one of my favorite things in 2011! 

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Photo Books.  I created some online photobooks for the first time last year, ordered printed copies and absolutely loved them!  I love digital photography but I also love having a printed version of a photograph. The photo books are a perfect was to enjoy a collection of printed photographs! I used Mixbook and liked the process and end product. There were lots of styles/themes to choose from and I had the ability to customize everything.  I already have plans for more photo books this year.  

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Paste Magazine.  Paste is a leading online destination for pop-culture enthusiasts, covering music, movies, TV, books and video games. Each month you get 4 issues, 28+ high-quality downlodable MP3s, exclusive videos, in-depth articles and more for only $2.99. You can pay monthly, cancel at any time, and never miss an issue!  I love Paste Magazine!

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson.  The book trilogy (Dragon Tattoo Trilogy) and the movie (only the first one is a movie at this point)!  The characters are rich and interesting, the stories unique and dark.  I was intrigued throughout all three books and for a change I thought the movie was just as good.  I suggest reading the books first and then seeing the movie.  

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Provoketive Magazine.  It’s like a blog but better. Provoketive Magazine is an online space of rich conversation about life, faith, justice and culture. The desire is to provoke the reader’s imagination through conversation and open up spaces of dialogue, learning, and hope.  It is one of the fastest growing online magazines and has over 120 writers contributing to it’s content. If you would like to contribute to Provoketive, begin here

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The Help. I always see a lot of movies and this past year was no different. At one point during the year I had been to the same theatre 14 weeks in a row (at least that is what Foursquare reported to me). As usual I saw the good, the bad and the ugly. The Help was one of the good ones. I had read the book quite a long time before the movie released and had almost forgotten how much I liked the book. The movie reminded me how good the book was and I was pleasantly surprised that the movie was just as good (although the book did have some great story lines that weren’t covered much in the movie). I am glad to see it is getting some recognition and hope to see it win some more awards during the Oscars later this month.  

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Spotify. Oh, how I love Spotify.  Who would have ever believed that there would be an app that was free where you could listen to practically any song you knew anytime you wanted!  On top of that Spotify has all sorts of social networking features that help you share the music you are listening to and discover new music when your friends share what they are listening to with you.  It’s amazing!!!!  And for a small monthly fee you can even take it with you on your smart phone, your ipad or your ipod!  Amazing!!!!!!!!! 

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Those were a few of my favorite things in 2011.  What were some of yours?

The Saturday Evening Post

I submitted The Eight Letter – Humble Pie post to The Saturday Evening Post at Elizabeth Esther’s blog.

This is where bloggers gather on the first Saturday of each month to share their latest and greatest blog posts.

Here’s how to participate:

  1. pick one of YOUR posts from the past month. Insert a link to that specific post (not just your home page) in The Mister Linky form on Elizabeth’s blog.
  2. compose a new post at your site with a link back to Elizabeth’s blog so your readers can participate, too. The more the merrier–it’s always fun to discover new blogs!

Synchroblogging Is Back

Wordle: Synchroblogging


synchroblog is a collection of similar articles or posts made by a group of bloggers whohave agreed to blogon the same topic on the same day

After taking a bit of a break.  Okay, it was a long break.  And after the most excellent leadership of Phil Wyman (The Why Man) for several years, we (Kathy, Liz & Sonja) are attempting to breathe new life into this form of blogging again.  We would love to hear your voice and invite you to participate in the upcoming synchroblogs:

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SEPTEMBER

CHRISTIANS AND THE IMMIGRATION ISSUE – 9/8/2010 (second Wednesday of the month) As Congress debates how to handle illegal immigrants already within U.S. borders and how to more effectively handle hopeful immigrants in the future, Christians will need to consider what it means to love these new neighbors in our midst.

Please email your name, name of blog, title of post and link to: Sonja Andrews at synchroblog@gmail.com by close of business CST on 9/7/2010 if you would like to be included in this synchroblog.

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OCTOBER

LEGALIZING SAME SEX MARRIAGE – 10/13/2010 (second Wednesday of the month) For more than a decade, the issue of same-sex marriage has been a hot button issue; resulting in legislation, lawsuits and ballot initiatives attempting to either legalize or ban the practice. Division among religious groups have also resulted over the decision to recognize same-sex marriage or condemn it.  Let your voice be heard regarding this history making issue.

Please email your name, name of blog, title of post and link to: Liz Dyer at synchroblog@gmail.com by the close of business CST on 10/12/10 if you would like to be included in this synchroblog.

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NOVEMBER

SEEING THROUGH THE EYES OF THE MARGINALIZED – 11/10/2010 (second Wednesday of the month) Marginalization results in an individual’s exclusion from meaningful participation in society and it’s source is many.  Economic circumstances, illness, disability, geographical location, gender, sexuality, race, religion are all dominant sources of individuals being marginalized.  Sometimes it’s easy to see holidays or certain systems from a position of power or privilege.  As God’s people, what does it mean to see the world through the eyes of the marginalized?  What is it like to be one of the marginalized? How can we be part of bridging some of these gaps?  Use your voice to make a difference on this sensitive issue.

Please email your name, name of blog, title of post and link to: Kathy Escobar at synchroblog@gmail.com by the close of business CST on 11/09/10 if you would like to be included in this synchroblog.

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DECEMBER

ADVENT – THE JOURNEY – 12/8/2010 (second Wednesday of the month)  Advent is the dawn of a journey that leads us not only to Bethlehem but potentially to a new understanding of our relationship to God and his beloved creation.  Share your thoughts about the journey of advent during this inspirational season.
Please email your name, name of blog, title of post and link to: Sonja Andrews at synchroblog@gmail.com by close of business CST on 12/7/2010 if you would like to be included in this synchroblog.

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PLEASE SEND YOUR IDEAS FOR FUTURE SYNCHROBLOGS (THAT YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO HOST) TO: synchroblog@gmail.com

AND …

PLEASE INVITE OTHER BLOGGERS YOU KNOW TO JOIN OUR SYNCHROBLOG.  THE MORE THE MERRIER!  THE MORE DIVERSE THE BETTER!

PS  This week (Aug 9 – 13) has been the “Big Tent Synchroblog”  There was a great turnout (more than 50 posts) .  Feel free to join in.  Go here for a list of contributors.

PSS   Brian McLaren called for a synchroblog the week of August 23 as BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK.  He suggested we blog on Christian education/spiritual formation for kids and youth that week?  Go here to see his announcement.

Three Things Tuesday: LOST, The God Imagination and God Is Not Male

First Thing:

(the promotional photo of the Lost poster belongs to ABC/Touchstone TV)

Being a big, huge, humongous, gigantic, colossal, enormous, monumental, epic fan of the tv show LOST, I have to mention that the final episode of the series aired this week.  I personally thought the finale was fantastic, but some long- time fans don’t feel the same way.  Some feel there were too many questions left unanswered – others feel the finale revealed that they had been duped for six years because they were under the impression that the show was about the mystery of the island and the finale was all about the characters, their lifes and their relationships with each other.

Now don’t get me wrong – I loved all of the mysterious stuff, all the theories and how when one question was answered I was left with 6 new ones … but I’ve known all along that this was a character driven show and that in the end it would be about the characters.  IMO enough questions were answered and the ones that have not been answered are a gift – in that we can still have many great and passionate conversations about our theories.

In the end LOST was about people, their struggles, their flaws, their fears, their guilt, their failures, their hopes, their successes, their dreams, their progress, their relationships, their redemption and the part that community or the lack of community plays in the life of people.

I feel that the writers, the actors and the producers have been true to that idea from the beginning to the end of this series and I think they created one heck of a backdrop that kept me coming back week after week as they told the story of some very dark, personal journeys.

I will definitely miss the show and all the community that was created around the show.  Thanks for the good times, the good lessons and the good memories.

Second Thing:

Jonathan Brink has just announced that his book “Discovering The God Imagination, Reframing Suffering, Justice, and Reconciliation in the Gospel Story is now available for pre-order.  The book offers a new conversation about how we understand the gospel, the problem that God is solving and how we can participate in the solution to the problem.  I’m really looking forward to reading this book and have already placed my order.  Go here today and pre-order one for yourself.  (I also recommend that you take a look at Jonathan’s blog which always has interesting content)

Third Thing:

Tony Jones is currently exploring an apophatic approach to God.  His first apophatic statement is:  “God Is Not Male”.

I have no idea how many statements Tony will share with us but several interesting things came out of this one post. One thing that I found interesting was that people were showing up to argue against the statement – I don’t really know what to say about that because even in my most conservative “the bible says it and so it is true” days I never thought the Bible said anything at all about God having a particular gender or even that God was both female and male.  I have always understood scripture to indicate that God was beyond gender.

Another interesting thing that developed out of my interaction with the statement “God Is Not Male” was that I was reminded that I naturally and unconsciously put God in a box all the time and that I must be very intentional to struggle against limiting God to my own imagination in hopes that I will recognize any divine revelation if God sees fit to lay one on me.

What do you think about the statement “God Is Not Male”?  What apophatic statement would you make about God?

Year In Review: Because I Knew You

The holidays are over and another year has flown by.  As I look back on 2009 I am reminded of videos, blogs, articles, poems, music, and books that have touched my life – in response I’ve laughed, cried, ranted, been silent, learned, struggled, loved, given, received, hoped, tried, been fearful, inspired, courageous, challenged and changed.

Behind all of the blogs, music, books, poems etc are people, mostly people I don’t know personally, but who, never the less, are having a significant impact on my life. It’s really pretty amazing to think about and I am very grateful for these people.  Like the song “For Good” (from Wicked) says …I’M WHO I AM TODAY BECAUSE I KNEW YOU.  

So, in honor of these people and 2009 let me say some “thank yous” with a few shout outs.  Feel free to share your own 2009 memories and shout outs in the comments.

I thoroughly enjoyed the blog Stuff Christians Like.   The posts make me laugh and teach me lessons about myself and others.  If you aren’t familiar with this blog check out Lady Gaga, Rum and Thinking Your Naked which lists the top posts for 2009.  Thanks Jonathan Acuff – for the laughter AND the lessons!

They were on ABC News, written about in The New York Times and tweeted about by Ashton Kutcher.  If you haven’t heard of them you are missing a real treasure … “they” are the PS22 Chorus, a childrens choir from a Staten Island elementary school … their secret: Gregg Breinberg, their music teacher.  Mr. B (as his students call him) has a heart for helping kids learn to love music.  One of Mr. B’s students said this:  “At first, when I sang, I had no emotion,” she says. “I didn’t move. But Mr. B taught me to sing with feeling. With feeling and heart.”  Watching these kids brings tears of joy to my eyes – for some reason their collective voices and moves to the beat give me hope.  Thanks, Mr. B and PS22 Chorus, for the joy and the hope!  Here’s  just one of the many videos on youtube of the PS22 Chorus:

Adele Sakler (author of the blog Existential Punk and one of the few people in my blogging community that I have met F2F) started Queermergent in Jan 2009 as a safe place for those who identify as LGBTQ to engage in mature discussions regarding the LGBTQ community of faith.  It was through Adele’s acceptance and encouragement that I did my own coming out as an ally of the LGBTQ community by telling my story through a post  that Adele published on her site Queermergent.  Thanks for the encouragement and acceptance, Adele! 

I discovered Spoken Word poetry in 2009.  It inspired me to write my own spoken word poem  (a fun, creative experience) and eventually led to me discovering poet and activist, Andrea Gibson.  She’s a pretty amazing artist.  Be sure and check her stuff out – two of my favorites are Ashes and I Do.  Thanks Andrea, for your brave, inspirational poetry!  You have me thinking about things I never knew.

Synchroblogging (a group of folks blog on one topic on the same day) was still close to my heart in 2009.  There hasn’t been much going on with it in the last part of the year but it still could rise again.  I like it because it pushes me out of my comfort zone and gets me to reading, writing and posting about stuff that I might not think of on my own, like quantum physics.  And I like it because the people who participate are great thinkers who are kind but not wimpy. My synchroblog post, Mary and Martha: A Story About God’s Radical Hospitality, which was associated with International Women’s Day (initiated by uber-blogger Julie Clawson), still gets more traffic than any other post I have written.  And my post for the Bridging The Gap synchroblog  tops the charts on my blog for the most comments and best conversation.  I even received the Bridge Builder Award because of it.  So thanks to all the synchrobloggers out there, you know who you are – I am learning a lot because of you! 

I want to give a shout out to Eugene Cho, author of the blog beauty and depravity.  I love reading his blog because Eugene is so transparent and open.  He is a courageous and compassionate person who is an inspiration to me.  I have to admit that I sometimes feel bad about myself after reading his stuff as he is one of the most altruistic people I have run across…but he is so full of love and grace that I never feel that he is pointing a finger at me.  I really admire his endurance and gumption when it comes to the charity he started, One Day’s Wages, and on top of everything else, he has a great sense of humor.  I don’t know if he and I agree on everything theologically but it really doesn’t matter to me, because I like him as a person!  Thanks Eugene for challenging and inspiring me.  (for more great blogs check out my blogroll)

I love to read books as well as blogs so I can’t reflect on the last year without thinking about the books I read. I usually choose books because of someone’s recommendation or review.  Some great books I read because I heard about them through blogs and social media this year (many were published before 2009 but I read them last year) include Pete Rollins new book, The Orthodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales; Samir Selmanovic’s book It’s Really All About God; Don Miller’s book A Million Miles In A Thousand Years; Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell (I even went to the tour); The New Christians: Dispatches From The Emergent Frontier by Tony Jones, The Help (a novel) by Kathryn Stockett; The Twilight Series  by Stephanie Meyer, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and a children’s book by Douglas Wood called The Old Turtle and The Broken Truth (which prompted a post from me).  So…thanks Pete, Samir, Tony, Rob, Don, Kathryn, Stephanie, Khaled and Douglas for making my life richer!

I can’t reflect on 2009 without thinking about Twitter.  I actually joined Twitter in 2007 (I’m so cutting edge:>) but it took a couple of years for enough others to jump on the bandwagon to make it fun and worthwhile.  I’ve met so many amazing people through Twitter and discovered an online community that is fluid, diverse and for the most part, friendly.  It was December of 2009 before I realized just how real this community was.  A fellow twitterer, @Gideony, who was prominent among a particular group of peeps that I follow and interact with, took his own life.  Several hundred of us were shook to the core over the loss of our friend.  As we shared our grief we realized that through our tweets, replies, DMs and retweeting we had begun to know and care about one another.  The virtual had become real for us.  So I say to my fellow twitterers – thanks for the community that you have helped form and for allowing me to be a part of it…and to @Gideony: I miss you and remember you with fondness and love.  (P.S.  I’m on twitter @lizdyer if you want to connect)

Of course I could go on and on but I think that is a good sampling of 2009 so I will stop here and wish you a Happy New Year to you and yours.

May Y☺ū have Peace ♥ ¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Health ♪♫•*¨*•. Wealth .•*¨*• Success ♥¸.•*¨*•♫♪  Love  ♥ ♥ ♥   and  A Happy New Year! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸♥