Today, I’m guest posting as part of The Network for Chris Vonada at his blog, I’m Just Thinkin’. In my post (When Words Sting), I share 5 suggestions for responding to insults. Here’s an excerpt to get you started.
“If I get a 1,000 compliments and one insult, guess which one I listen to?
The insult, of course.
I have an unbelievable ability to ignore a swarm of positive words and camp out on the one negative.” Jon Acuff (http://www.jonacuff.com/blog/quit-giving-the-haters-phds/)
It’s probably happened to all of us at one time or another – someone says something to us that absolutely stings.
Maybe they call you names. Maybe they are just rude. Maybe they insult you.
Words can hurt!
Words can sting!
Words can leave a gash on our hearts!
So how can we respond when this happens? How can we move past the pain of words?
If you’re visiting from Chris’s blog, I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you’ll check things out and become a regular part of The Stretched Community. You can sign up to receive daily blog updates by adding your e-mail on the main page (I promise not to send you spam). To help you get a taste of my other writing, here are a few of my favorite posts:
How do you deal with words that sting? What step do you need to take today to get past wounds that have been caused by words?
Today, I’m guest posting as part of The Network for Tor Constantino at his blog, The Daily ReTort. In my post (5 Reasons To Go On A Missions Trip With Your Family), I share some thoughts about faith, family, and missions. Here’s an excerpt to get you started.
Early this month, our family traveled to Guatemala to serve the orphans and widows in and around the village of Santo Domingo Xenacoj.
Deciding to go in the first place was a pretty significant leap of faith.
- As a father and husband, did I think we would be safe in a strange land removed from many of the luxuries we currently enjoy?
- Did I really want to spend my vacation time working instead of relaxing somewhere?
- How were we going to come up with the money necessary to make this trip a reality?
These were just some of the questions that troubled me for weeks as we processed this decision last fall.
Having arrived at the other side of this mission trip, I can tell you that we made it. We were safe. The vacation time from work was well spent. And God provided the funds for this trip in ways that far exceeded our greatest expectations. (Click here to keep reading.)
If you’re visiting from Tor’s blog, I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you’ll check things out and become a regular part of The Stretched Community. You can sign up to receive daily blog updates by adding your e-mail on the main page (I promise not to send you spam). To help you get a taste of my other writing, here are a few of my favorite posts:
Have you ever taken a mission trip with your family? If so, how did it impact your family? What’s holding you back from going on a mission trip?
Today, Carol Peterson shares her STRETCH thoughts while I’m on vacation. Carol is guest blogging as part of The Network. For more information about Carol, check out her bio at the end of the post. After you read her post and add your comment, I hope you’ll go check out her blog!
Gumby—that guy from the 60s made of green rubber. Pull his leg and it bounces back in place. He’s flexible. He stretches to the fullest and then springs into shape even if things get a little too stretchy. Because Gumby teaches us that we can stretch. And even if life gets twisted, we’ll still be alright in the end.
But Gumby is not like Mr. Fantastic of Marvel comic book fame. No, Gumby, is the nerdy, folksy guy we loved before we knew about super heroes. He’s a regular guy. A t-shirt sold online has Gumby’s picture on it saying: The original Mr. Nice Guy.
Because, have you ever seen Gumby when he’s not smiling? And waving?
Gumby makes me want to be a nice guy, too. I can’t be the original Mr. Nice Guy because Jesus claimed that role before the beginning of time. But I can try to be Christ-like. And sometimes that means—like Gumby—I smile and wave at people to give them a cheery hello and a “have a nice day.” Really—have a NICE day. And is there anything I can do to help make it nicer?
It also means being green. Not green as in environmentally responsible, although that’s good, too. But green, as in fresh and full of life. Living life to the fullest and keeping the smile on my face while doing it. Having a childlike freshness to my faith. And sharing that faith with others.
So today as I think about what it means to be stretched, I have decided I want to live like Gumby—flexible, friendly and green. I hope next time you see me; you’ll smile, wave and call me Gumby. I’d like to call you Gumby, too.
In what way do you need to be more like Gumby today?
Carol Peterson’s mission in writing is to educate, entertain, and inspire. Her published books provide busy teachers with creative ways to help assure compliance with curriculum standards. Her first self-published book helps folks study the Bible, because the Bible is even better when you know what it says. Her blog From Carol’s Quill (http://carolpetersonauthor.com/) encourages faith in Jesus.
Today, I’m guest posting as part of The Network for Lynn Mosher at her blog, Lynn Mosher – Devotionals That Encourage. In my post (Out of Control: Faith Lessons From Flight), I share some thoughts about letting go and enjoying the ride. Here’s an excerpt to get you started.
This week, I’m traveling for business to the Chicago area. Last Monday, I took a flight from the Philadelphia International Airport to Chicago O’Hare Airport. I have always enjoyed flying, but I have to admit it’s become a little more challenging to fly as I’ve gotten older. I don’t like the turbulence, and I don’t enjoy the butterflies in my stomach I used to like.
While the plane was coming in for its landing, I was sitting in the back seat of the plane looking out the window. My natural tendency was to grab onto the arms of the seat and to force my feet into the pretend brake. But something made me change my mind and loosen up the tension flowing through my body.
(Click here to read the rest of this post.)
If you’re visiting from Lynn’s blog, I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you’ll check things out and become a regular part of The Stretched Community. You can sign up to receive daily blog updates by adding your e-mail on the main page (I promise not to send you spam). To help you get a taste of my other writing, here are a few of my favorite posts:
What are you holding onto too tightly? How could loosening your grip and giving up control make your flight/life more enjoyable?
Today’s guest post comes from Terrie Thorpe. Terrie is part of The Network, a blogging community of Christ followers. Terrie’s post shares her thoughts on moving forward. Check out her post below and then hop on over to her blog. Her bio and contact links appear at the end of the post.
What keeps us moving forward? I have pondered this idea for sometime and this is what I come to conclude. For the Christian it is faith. But for those who do not hold to belief in Jesus, it is a form of self-motivation, ever reaching into the darkness of the future.
So what is this faith that we Christians cling to? Let me tell you what it is not:
1) It is not wishful thinking – crossing our fingers in hopes things will go right.
2) It is not an unfounded hope – believing in something impossible.
3) It is not blind – mindlessly following ancient teachings.
Faith is an uncompromising knowledge—at the heart level – of the truth of God. In the book of Hebrews, the writer expressed; “Faith is the confident assurance of what we hope for will happen. It is the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) There is only one way to know this faith and its by a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus through His Holy Spirit. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
The reality of faith is action. We must move forward beyond perceived boundaries to reach our goals of maturity. When we believe Jesus and receive what He said is truth, we are born again. Being born again comes with many benefits including God’s own Spirit living in us. The Holy Spirit is who leads and guides us. We grow in faith through believing and acting on what the Word of God says.
In recent years the Lord has led me in many directions. I had hoped for several years to write about my relationship with Jesus. In time my faith grew enough to write and publish two books about my experiences. I shared many of my personal trials and victories through God’s grace and truth.
When I came to Jesus, I brought a lot of baggage. Several decades of issues and misconceptions about the Lord, the Holy Bible and my position as a believer. I discovered it was those issues which held me in bondage for the longest time and prevented me from living the full life Jesus purchased for me at the cross. It is the payment at the cross which set us free.
Over the years the Lord patiently assured me of His love and presence in my life. He led me to people who could clearly explain my issues and how to get rid of the strongholds in my life. The scriptures came alive and I began to discern how to apply truth to my misconceptions. Like the layers of an onion, the Lord went deeper and deeper to heal my hurts, pains, fears that prevented me from freely loving Him. I can not say that all my issues are healed, some raise their ugly heads, but now I have a better view of God’s love for me and understand I have a part to play – I must actively get rid of things the Lord shows me are lies or harmful.
John 10:10 says “The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy – but I have come so that you may have life to the full.”
I am still amazed to what extent the Lord will go to show me that He hears my prayers, knows my thoughts and desires. How He moves in others to bring love and hope to me in the smallest of ways, like free cup of coffee, when I didn’t have money; A smile or an encouraging word from a stranger. These are some of the ways I daily encounter God as His child and His friend.
How am I moving forward these days? Knowing that the Lord goes before me and protects my flank. Even when I can’t see the outcome, I know the Lord is with me and directing my footsteps. Using the skills (courage, faith, love and forgiveness) I have learned to defeat the evil that comes against me and letting the peace of God rule in my heart because I trust in Him.
How are you moving forward today?
This is a guest post by Terrie Thorpe: author, blogger and writer of Christian Living articles. Her books “Am I Really Saved? Answering Questions of Christians” and “Footsteps of Jesus – Becoming a Disciple” are geared toward new Christians and those who have lost their way. Enjoys hiking, gardening, reading and sharing Jesus with the world!
Follow her blog: Light for the Journey
Today, I’m guest posting as part of The Network for Deborah Anderson at her blog, Faith, Fiction, and Unvarnished Truth. In my post (Sensational), I share some thoughts about what it means to merit great public interest and excitement. Here’s an excerpt to get you started.
The events of the last week had many of us glued to our televisions, radios, newspapers, and news websites. Every twist and turn in the Boston Marathon Bombing was broadcast through the news and amplified through social media until Friday night when the second bombing suspect was captured. I’ll admit it. I was sucked into the story.
The story was sensational. The Boston Marathon Bombing caused great public interest and excitement.
What other events come to mind when you think of the word sensational?
I think of the Space Shuttle accidents, September 11th, the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, the death of Princess Diana, the wedding of Prince William and Catherine, the Super Bowl, natural disasters, and presidential elections.
In our media saturated world, it’s easy to quickly sensationalize an event. Within moments, people around the world know about events happening on the other side of the planet. It’s a natural human response to place our attention on these types of events. (Click here to read the rest of this post.)
If you’re visiting from Deborah’s blog, I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you’ll check things out and become a regular part of The Stretched Community. You can sign up to receive daily blog updates by adding your e-mail on the main page (I promise not to send you spam). To help you get a taste of my other writing, here are a few of my favorite posts:
This is a guest post by Chris Vonada. He is an author and geologist with many other hobbies. He lives in Jacksonville, FL. Visit ChrisVonada.com to find out more about his books: Common Ground… Geology Happens! and Believe… And You Say?
Have you heard that one before? I sure have, and, believe it to be true. It seems whenever I fill up my world with stuff to do there are always times when I’m running a little behind (like delivering this blog post to Jon S. a day late – yikes!). I guess this happens to us all, that things don’t always go exactly as we plan at times. Planning is essential to being productive. It’s always a bit of a challenge to me when the unexpected comes up, and I have to make a choice between, basically, living out my life and following my own plans. What’s more important? They both are important, really.
“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon
I guess in some ways what Lennon was referring to was the choice between living in the moment and planning for the future. In the end, I’m guessing that this Beatle followed his own good advice. Remember, his life was cut short by an unplanned aberration.
While I always try to balance my life in terms of where I’m choosing to spend my time, I also believe that I should strive to stay “stretched to transparency” when it comes to living for Jesus. Stretched to transparency – basically living for Him in such a way that it’s apparent to others why I’m doing what I’m doing. Maybe that’s tweeting a Bible verse, or sharing part of the Gospel to inspire a friend in conversation. It could also be writing a little bit more about how I see Jesus in the beauty of our majestic mountains, or how the soothing sound of waves rolling up on the beach remind me of Him. Transparency is the modus operandi when it comes to living life as a witness for Jesus.
Someone once told me living the life of a Christian is boring. You know, not all that much fun. Why? I’m guessing that some think of fun as what we call living in the world vs. planning, or “waiting” for our eternity. But is that completely correct? It sure is a different twist on the Lennon quote, right?
“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon
Maybe that was what JL meant, a twist on living IN the world vs. living FOR eternity? Not so sure now?
If you’re not staying stretched to transparency, you’re not living. (Click To Tweet)
So many times when we think of Christ we’re seeking something, like eternal life. I found a gold nugget recently, about living our lives NOW… and a little more about what Jesus had planned for us in this life:
I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). John 10:10
Have your cake and eat it too? Yep, that’s what Jesus said, you can enjoy your life now and see Him in eternity. So many times we’re told that we have to sacrifice to “cover up” our sins. Jesus offers us a rich and satisfying life now, and the promise of a future.
“Stretched To Transparency” – shouldn’t I be talking it up throughout my daily walk? I think so. What’s there not to be excited about this overflowing life, and living for Him?
This is a guest post from Chris Vonada. Chris is an author and geologist, and also enjoys reading, running, anything outdoors, travel, family, friends, music and life! He writes about his passions at I’m Just Thinkin’ (http://chrisvonada.com). You can also follow him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/
Today, I’m guest posting as part of The Network for Carol Peterson at her blog, From Carol’s Quill. In my post (Courage Through God’s Word), I share some thoughts about courage. Here’s an excerpt to get you started.
When you think of courage, who or what comes to mind?
Maybe it’s the lion from The Wizard of Oz who fought through fear and insecurity until he discovered courage in the quest to conquer the Wicked Witch of the West.
Maybe it’s Maximus Decimus Meridius, the Roman general portrayed by Russel Crowe in Gladiator, who stood up to the Roman authorities and the competitors in the gladiator arena.
Maybe it’s Amelia Earhart who challenged the limitations and obstacles of flight and inequality to courageously go where no woman had dared to go.
When we think of courage it’s easy to think of the strong, the bold, and the heroic. We often assign courage to those in the limelight – sports stars, politicians, movie stars, rock stars, and other celebrities. It’s true that many of famous people have demonstrated courage in overcoming tremendous odds. I don’t mean to diminish their accomplishments, but I think we can find deeper meaning for courage if we look to those around us and to those outside the spotlight. (Click here to read the rest of this post.)
If you’re visiting from Carol’s blog, I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you’ll check things out and become a regular part of The Stretched Community. You can sign up to receive daily blog updates by adding your e-mail on the main page (I promise not to send you spam). To help you get a taste of my other writing, here are a few of my favorite posts:
I am so excited to share guest blogger Eileen Knowles. Eileen guest posted here back in July 2012 while I was in Guatemala (Living the Lessons). Today, she shares about a recent STRETCHING experience in which she references a recent blog post – Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone…My First Vlog. Please read her post, answer the questions, and stop by Eileen’s blog for more great writing.
(I’d love to share your STRETCHED story with The Stretched Community. Let me know if you’re interested in becoming a guest blogger here by leaving a comment.)
Last week, I tried something new and scary on my blog. I stretched out of my comfort zone. I came out from behind my computer screen and recorded a video post. And, not only that, the Lord was prompting me to share a portion of my journey in recovery and freedom from addiction.
I’ve shared my story before on my blog, but never in front of a camera. I sometimes find it amusing how God decides to work when He prompts us to move beyond the familiar. He didn’t call me to simply show my face and talk about something lighthearted and safe.
If God had left it completely up to me, I would have LOVED to talk about coffee. I love coffee. Other people I know love coffee. Wouldn’t being in front of a camera talking about something like this be a nice place to start when we choose to follow God out into unknown territory?
But, God had a different plan for me last week. And, His plan didn’t involve a small timid step. His plan involved a bigger leap of faith.
Eileen…share what I’ve done in your life. Encourage people to not give up. Remind them that they are not alone in their struggles. Tell them about freedom!
I was reminded last week that God never calls us out in order for us to play it safe. There will always be risk involved when He invites us to take a leap of faith. Yet, if we choose not to trust Him or to follow His lead, we risk something far greater.
As I stretched beyond my comfort zone last week, it was this beautiful what-if question that carried me forward.
What if by taking this risk God uses me to help just one person move from captivity to freedom?
God desires to use each of us in a unique way…and, most likely, the journey will involve some scary stretching! [Click to Tweet]
Take a moment a think back on your most recent trip out of your comfort zone.
What was the result?
What did you learn?
Eileen Knowles is a small town Arizona girl who studied English at The University of Arizona a long, long time ago. She now lives in small town North Carolina with her husband, Roger, their nine-year old son, and one quirky dog named Bisbee. When she is not working part-time as a Virtual Assistant for eaHelp, she thoroughly enjoys drinking coffee, running, playing Scrabble, and writing about how cool it is to journey through life with Jesus holding her hand.
Eileen is passionate about leaving a legacy for her son and encouraging others along the way who might need a dose of hope poured into their weary lives.
You can find her taking at The Scenic Route