Henri Nouwen writes potently…..Perhaps like me you’ve never heard or seen him speak, then let me forward the invite of a dear friend, to watch & listen here. It’s an eight-parter: but utterly worth it.  Here are some of the most striking bits for me!

The voice that calls you ‘beloved’ us the voice that loves first.
Love and wounds are never separate.
Our ‘chosen-ness’ is for the sake of others!
Dare to put your brokenness under the blessing of God.
Suffer and so enter the blessing of God. It’s not easy, but this is the call.
‘Where in my day was I ….chosen/blessed/broken & given? ‘
My little life does not end on the day I die.
There is no fruitfulness without my dying.
Live to be food and drink for others.
The call of the beloved, is what prayer is all about.
Discover your own poverty & know that the voice of the beloved says, ‘Don’t be afraid!’
Be amongst the fellowship of the weak……
An obedient person is someone who can listen to the voice of the beloved!

Nouwen

I came across this proverb a while back:- “let go or be dragged!”

It is so appropriate in more ways than one. I need the reminder, so I share it…. As a partner, a parent, as a leader, as a friend, as someone healing from woundedness, one of the greatest gifts we can learn is the art of “letting go”.

Letting go doesn’t mean giving up.  It doesn’t mean not caring.  It doesn’t mean not being engaged or connected……but it does mean taking our grip off of things so tightly.

It means learning how to be less co-dependent. It invites us to trust God is at work in ways we can’t see. It means knowing and responding to our limitations. It necessitates us to be more fully human.  It means being very aware of how much power we give to things in the past or the present that we have absolutely no control of.

When I reflect on places of wounding past, “let go or be dragged” comes to mind.  When I was hanging on so tightly to the past, I was the one suffering. I was the one experiencing self-increased misery.  We take things more personally than we should.  We can’t stand it when people disapprove or disagree. We’re truly not as strong as we think we are. In the back part of last year God keep on squeezing this truth into my heart – to just let go……  A white-knuckle grip of life is not effective and is the very antithesis of the life God wants for us.

Don’t get dragged all around the place…….  Just as Corrie Ten Boom said, ‎”Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”

What about you? What do you need to let go of this year? What will you let-go of today?

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‎”Say to God, ‘Father, I’m sick of being a common Christian. I’m sick of being only halfway. I want to know You.’”  A.W. Tozer

My mornings see faith and coffee best together…..It leaves me momentarily stranded when people just drink hot water or herbal goodness. Regardless I am not sure why they go together. They probably don’t. I’ve had this phrase stuck in my head the past few days and I can’t get it out: decaffeinated Christianity.

Thought of the day: Jesus came to save us from the disappointment of decaf Christianity.  He came to offer us the caffeinated kingdom – extra shots and all – that keeps us awake late at night and alert us in the morning. He has us longing for more….and for home.

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“My secret is that I need God—that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love.” Douglas Coupland

1 Malcolm Gladwell on criticism, tolerance and changing your mind. Brilliant stuff. 
2 “The more you work in the future, the less competition you will have.” David Hieatt learnings and lessons.
Mining and refining, from Paul Tripp’s world. Really helpful stuff.
4 “A bigger God, not a hipper pastor.” That’s whats needed!
5 Tyler Ward’s stunning writing on eight things for newly-weds.

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“Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

Teresa of Avila

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“Daily living by faith on Christ is what makes the difference between the sickly and the healthy Christian, between the defeated and the victorious saint.” AW Pink

1 Friedman’s theory of differentiated leadership made simple. Six minutes of video here. 
2 Thirteen lessons learnt from a burnt out pastor.  Worth your time.
3 Silence in a noisy world for we all have limits. Fil Anderson’s writing here.
4 Prayers that never work indeed. Ken Baker says it well.
5 Hard-hitting questions about what our shopping says about the gospel.

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GK Chesterton, says it brilliantly in Orthodoxy.
“Buddhism is centripetal, but Christianity is centrifugal: it breaks out. For the circle is perfect and infinite in its nature; but it is fixed for ever in its size; it can never be larger or smaller. But the cross, though it has at its heart a collision and a contradiction, can extend its four arms for ever without altering its shape. Because it has a paradox in its centre it can grow without changing. The circle returns upon itself and is bound. The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travellers.”

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And so as drizzle comes down. Here’s a few snapshots from my mind.
Humidity, sunshine and driving ease makes Florida kinda dreamy.
Favourite t-shirt spotted: “you had me at bacon.’
Disney is great…..but Universal won out for most of us.
Chef was my favourite movie from what I saw over the summer weeks. And no I still haven’t yielded to watching Frozen.
Meditating on a few verses of scripture still wins out for me.
The American can-do mentality is mostly great!
Riding roller coasters was so enjoyed for the first time in my life. The Hulk was the best of what Orlando offered.
Card-playing with family is even more fun, when you hardly know how to play. I gladly lose.
I ate more steak than normal. That is very good.
I read far fewer books than normal. That isn’t at all good. 
Group travel rather thins out the holiday restfulness! And BA we’re still waiting for your help after being badly handled on the return leg.
All’s well & the autumn is looking good. Exploration, service & trust.

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from today….. 11th Sunday after Trinity.

“God of glory
The end of our searching,
Help us lay aside
All that prevents us from seeking your kingdom,
And to give all that we have
To gain the pearl beyond all price,
Through our Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.”

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“No single attribute creates more beauty in the world than a life lived out of love. Imagine how the world would be different if each of us left every person we ever met better than we found them. Imagine a world where love was the rule, where love was the boundary, where it was unthinkable to violate the principle: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’…Whatever else we may accomplish in our lives, if we neglect this arena, if we diminish the importance of human relationships, if we live our lives for any lesser principle than the principle of love, our lives will not be our greatest works of art.”

Erwin McManus, from “The Artisan Soul”

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