Smelling Like Communion

>Communion 01 St John's Lutheran Asheboro, NCphoto © 2010 Blanche Knake | more info (via: Wylio)

Today, Jon Acuff posted a piece on showing “grace on a plane.” In it, he described various opportunities he’d had to do just that.

While an extremely cool idea, and the title itself not a half-bad play on “Snakes on a Plane,” it wasn’t the specific examples themselves that struck me, but the ending.

Jon describes how, a few weeks ago, a woman spilled wine on him. And how he laughed it off, helped her clean it up, and thereby showed her grace on a plane.

What I thought as I read the end of the post was that he must’ve disembarked smelling like communion. Now I realize that wouldn’t necessarily be the first thought of those he might’ve encountered that day, but hear me out:

In showing the woman grace, he’d (figuratively) left a sweet-smelling savor in her nostrils that day. The savor of kindness, and not of rancor. In his act of kindness, he was Jesus to her that day.

Shouldn’t we be about the same business? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we left the smell of our communion with the Lord in the lives others where, and when, we intersect with them?

I think so.

So let’s go, church! Let’s go forth and “smell” of communion today–and everyday!

What do you think? What savor do you leave in the lives of others?

Waiting to See

>Waiting Safetyphoto © 2008 Patrick Emerson | more info (via: Wylio)

I am looking forward to that time when the faith shall be sight, when the mortal shall take on immortality. It’s not some kind of perverse death wish, but rather a desire to be whole.

You see, for several years I’ve had sleep apnea. I had hoped that by losing weight this year it would improve; it hasn’t. I stumble from bed bleary-eyed and tired everyday. Added to this is hypothyroidism–which I’m having checked out today.

Don’t get me wrong: I have a good life, great kids, a wonderful wife, but my body is just so tired all the freaking time! It gets old, you know? And I’m not even (that) old–though my age at the end of this month will match the late Douglas Adams’s answer for life, the universe, and everything.

I feel naked, exposed, sharing this with you, but there you have it (and my purpose for sharing): will you please pray for me? Pray that we can these health issues worked out, that I can sleep well at night, that I can keep doing my thing here on the blog.

Thanks so much!

May I pray for you? Please share your requests in the comments.

The Monster Behind: How Books Helped Me Heal

>Overlook Hotel / Timberline Lodgephoto © 2010 H.L.I.T. | more info (via: Wylio)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to read. Whatever it was, if I started, I’d finish (though I did give up on Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series after the fourth book. Don’t ask, I won’t tell).

Like I said, bookwise, I finish what I start. Usually. (Never have yet made it through War and Peace, Les Miserables, or Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. Who knows why? I know, as I’m reading, that I’m in the presence of greatness, but there’s just something in me that’s not engaging with those stories. I don’t think it’s the fault of the books; perhaps it’s me that still has some growing to do?)

Lately, however, I find that I’ve got several books going, and have finished nary a one. Chalk that up to random interests, work, blogging, husbanding, childrearing, etc.

In fact, here’s what I’m reading now:

A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin.

Pocket Guide to the Apocalypse, by Jason Boyett.

Introverts in the Church, by Adam S. McHugh.

40 Days Living the Jesus Creed, by Scot McKnight.

There are almost certainly others that, as of this writing, I haven’t finished, but over the weekend, my kids and I visited our local Barnes & Noble, where I read (Shawn Smucker and Alise Wright are you ready for this?) the first chapter of John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Stephen King’s new introduction to The Shining.

This introduction, strange as it may sound, helped me put some long-standing issues into perspective–helped me understand that there’s often a monster–which we don’t see–behind the one we do. In this context, I’ll just tell you that while my dad was certainly no Jack Torrance, he was no great shakes either. But his dad, and stepdad, were much, much worse.

And like the famous Forrest Gump said, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

At this point, at nearly forty-two years of age, I’m so over being defined by my wounds. I’ve found that wounds heal, scars fade, and God’s grace covers me–covers you–everyday.

I can’t speak for you, but sometimes I find His grace in the most unexpected of places; such as in the introduction to a nearly forty year-old ghost story.

How about you? What are you reading? What (other than the Bible) is your go-to book? What’s on your nightstand awaiting your attention? Where have you found healing in the written word?

Share away in the comments.

Sunday "Shares"

>Sharing workphoto © 2010 janelleorsi | more info (via: Wylio)

Today has been a lazy, hang-out-with-the-family kind of day. It’s been restful, relaxing, rewarding to enjoy some repose together.

As I reflect back upon the previous week, here are some posts that brought a measure of rest to my soul:

Hands down the funniest reflection on Genesis (do “funny” and “Genesis” normally come together in your mind? Nevertheless…) I’ve ever read was Ben Emerson’s take on Genesis 49: Famous Last Tweets. Imagine Jacob tweeting his last words to his numerous, numerous spawn, and you’ll just scratch the surface of just how good this post is.

The best blogging advice of the week I read was Jeff Goins’s piece on The Overlooked Secret to Influencing People. His secret sauce? Just ask. That’s it. As easy, and as hard, as that.

The best series on writing goes to author Rachel Held Evans, who spent a whole week dishing on the trade, and craft, of writing.

Best series on parenting goes to Adam McHugh, who turned his blog over to guest posts by introverted parents (of which I was honored to be one).

The post I had the most fun writing this week was Speed Bumps on the ‘Roamins’ Road.

What did you read, or write, this past week that moved, touched, or refreshed you?

Today is "Share Your Best Posts" Day

>SHAREphoto © 2011 SHARE conference | more info (via: Wylio)

As a blogger, I don’t feel like my work is ever done, is ever quite good enough. I engage in (admittedly sinful) bouts of comparison altogether too often.

But that’s not what today is about; it’s about showcasing our best posts, the ones we felt came off closest to the way we wanted, or possibly even surprised us.

The ones I’m proudest of are some that have never appeared on this blog, but were hosted as guest posts on other blogs. Thus I bring you:

The Perfect Storm, which originally appeared on Alise Wright’s blog back in January. In it, I talk about how the confluence of rejection and health conditions lead me to serious bout of depression. Alise has been one of the warmest, most welcoming souls I’ve encountered on the Internet. Please check out her blog.

More recently, I had the opportunity to guest post for Bryan Allain. Bryan has been a mentor to me since I began regularly blogging last Fall. My guest post there was: Overheard In A Public Restroom, wherein I discuss some of the rather embarrassing things my daughter has said to me in, well, public restrooms. I also get to show off my funny side. Totally check Bryan out.

Lastly, from an errant comment left on his blog, Adam McHugh invited me to guest post as part of a series he did this week on introverted parenting. Here is Parenting As An Introvert: The Questions. If you are an introvert, know an introvert, or love an introvert, I highly recommend that you visit Adam’s blog.

Enough about me. Let’s hear about you. If you’re a blogger, please share a link to some of your favorite posts, with a note about why they’re special to you.



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