Have you ever been surprised by where you find community?
I often try to surround myself with people most like me – socially, in age, in interests but, often where God meets me with deep fellowship is where I least expect. Each Wednesday morning this past year, I arrive at my church and join twenty or so ‘grey heads’, mainly over 65 and beyond folk, a mere decade beyond my own slightly greying head for Bible Study.
We meet in the large open space aptly named the Fellowship Hall. Fresh coffee and pastry treats await in the tiny one walled kitchen where I grab my Styrofoam cuppa Joe and follow the blue willow painted walls to the large U shaped classroom of fold out metal tables and chairs.
A fairly ordinary setting for a gathering of saints, but that’s where I’ve found these faithful followers who’ve gone the distance with their faith. God meets me in unexpected places – in unexpected company. Where have you been surprised by community?
PhotoCredit: MyFaithRadio (I had to include a photo of my favorite grey haired woman, Anne Graham Lotz)
2) Fresh Eyes to See My Limitations (A Lesson Learned from Studying Gideon, Priscilla Shirer study) –
I was deeply encouraged this spring studying Gideon, by the idea that God uses our limitations – that our very weaknesses position us for a showcase of God’s strength and glory!
Somehow, I’ve believed the lie that I must ‘fix’ myself into a better placement in order for God to be able to use me or bring me to the promised land He has for me.
For me, personally, this means trying to have a more whole and healthy body, a strengthened frame for God – that I might be able to hold it together for whatever God’s calling me to. It sounds silly written down, but it is a mode I’ve operated from. The truth is God offers to be my strong.
3) ‘Marginalia’ – Naming My Odd Habit
I never knew there was a name for my uncontrollable urge to circle, underline, and draw madly on any book or written paper within my reach.
I thought I was alone in my compulsion – now I have a name, and a habit, that I apparently share with others.. Some impressive others, such as: Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, and John Adams, to name a few.
Quirkiness loves company – at least mine does!
4) Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due!
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations.” – Mark Twain
I like Mark Twain’s description of new ideas as mere ‘new and curious combinations‘ of old ideas, yet I want to credit those who’ve influenced my thoughts.
I recognize my thoughts are a discombobulated mass of ideas that pop into my head unplanned and unannounced, like a freshly made batch of popcorn – wildly pounding out a sharp crescendo of resounding thuds in my brain.
When I pause for a 2nd look, I realize the mad jumble of thoughts originated from some of the places I’m ‘feeding’ on – through blog posts, books that I’m reading, or conversations with others.
I find it easy to credit direct quotes from others, but how do I credit patterns of thought or ideas that have recently challenged or grown me? Bottom line, I don’t. It’s too confusing. But, I’m rethinking that.
One example from this past year is Frederich Buechner’s writing and Emily Freeman’s thoughts on living life small, Tuesday living.
Reading from these authors has effected me and given life to a heart of listening which has spilled out into my words penned on this blog. It feels good to acknowledge another – thanks-giving is always the right choice for me. Just a thought…
Giving Photo Credit – A valuable article which has helped me with photo crediting is: http://pegfitzpatrick.com/oh-snap-can-i-legally-use-that-photo/. I have finally learned the answer to the question about using Pinterest photos on Instagram: “Can I post a photo from Pinterest and put the link to Pinterest as the photo credit? No. “ Now I know.
**You might want to consider joining this quarterly habit shared on Emily P. Freeman’s linkup, of looking back and seeing what your life is telling you – it may be something silly, serious, or somewhat informational. Feel free to share a life lesson in the comment section. Blessings to each and every one of you!