friday

Friday Five

1. I posted 100 Years of Hairstyles a few weeks ago. Here’s 100 Years of Black Hairstyles. So fun to see the changes. 

2. This Is What I Think of When I Pray. A cool perspective and a simple prayer, from BuzzFeed of all places. 

3. NFL 2015 Bad Lip Reading. The NFL ones are the best.

4. Two Truths About “Being a Writer” That Nobody Talks About. This spoke directly to one of my current pet peeves. Amen. 

5. I’ve had this song on repeat all week. And now I’ll have this album on repeat this coming week. (two separate artists. Just realized that could be confusing. It’s Owl City singing Rich Mullins and Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. Spoiler alert.)

 

 

friday

Friday Five

1. I love this look at What Happens When We See Women Teach the Bible. I would venture to guess every woman I work with remembers a moment when they first saw a woman teach the Word and thought, “Yes!”

2. Withholding Our Flames “LOVE is the command. that is such warmth, love in comments and words and likes and @’s and responses. they are the bright sunny windows in the harsh winter we live in.  they are light to those around them. they envelope people in love.”

3. Anyone else wonder how the grooms felt about Adam Levine crashing their weddings?

4. A ‘Parenthood’ Writer Says Goodbye to ‘Parenthood’. I don’t want to say goodbye. Bravermans forever!

5. To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This. I am fascinated. If we see each other, I’m gonna need to talk about this. 

BONUS: Guys. I’m worried about Rosie

roses

A Bachelor Recap by Someone Who Doesn’t Watch The Bachelor

Ryan Coatney is my friend and pastor. He doesn’t watch The Bachelor, but he watches Twitter while the rest of us watch The Bachelor. He decided to write a recap of last night’s episode, using only knowledge gained from tweets. I told him I would host his recap here because it seems to be my niche more than anything else. 

 

The Bachelor: Season 19, Episode 2

While those of us in the cool club were surfing Netflix and finding a Cupcake Wars episode with Weird Al Yankovich, others of us were watching #TheBachelor. Thanks to my twitter timeline, I was able to reconstruct what must have been a humdinger of an episode, replete with unicorns and zombies and all manner of deliria. Here’s what went down:  

At the beginning of the show, the lucky lady is chosen, Megan I believe, who will get to go on the date: Lamaze classes. At first I thought it was weird, but then I decided maybe Chris is just very passionate about fatherhood. Bravo, Chris. In order to keep Megan as calm as possible while they do their breathing exercises, Chris compliments her eyes, but simultaneously reveals that his last gf, who happens to live on another continent, has prettier ones. Megan doesn’t find his attempt at flattery to be very romantic, and reminds Chris that death is not romantic either.  

Jealous of Megan’s having won the date for the night, the other bachelorettes squeezed into a limo with their costumes: Zombies, aliens, big noses, etc, and attempt to derail Megan’s lamaze classes by scaring her. Whoever scares her the worst gets the next date with Chris! Apparently it was successful, because Ashley boasted that she’d never seen a girl so scared of her in her life. But both Jordan and Tara also fell victim to Ashley’s more skillful scare tactics. Tara needs counseling and Jordan needs her heart blessed. Even though Ashley won the challenge, Chris refused the date because she looked dead in her Zombie costume.   

By the way, someone stop her from banging her head against the wall, please. No matter how hard she tries, it won’t turn her into a unicorn or a virgin. And someone get her some hug lessons.  

In the end, I think someone needs to sign all of these ladies up for economics 101. No, @possessionista, no one beautiful-mind-ed anything. If they had, they would know that when everyone tries to date the same person, no one wins. 

 

If you’re curious, here are the tweets he used to figure this out:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

friday

Friday Five

If this week is any indication, 2015 may be the best year ever for the Internet. I’m writing this on Wednesday (time travel) and I already have more than five links.

1. This Year.

2. How to Stay Sane on the Internet in 2015. Emily Freeman talks about blogging and the future. I agree with her about blogging—it’s a different kind of writing/publishing. Like she says, it’s the perfect medium for the still-thinking-through-this phase.

3. I heard just a bit of this song on the Relevant podcast and immediately had to look it up. I’ve been singing it ever since (well, really just the “Then came the morning” because I’m terrible with lyrics and that’s the only part I can remember).

4. Church, Set Up Your Singles. Amen. But for real, I like what Lore says about the church being family and looking out for one another in this way. It may or may not work out that you find your significant other through your church family, but I like that she said it is something the church family should be concerned with.

5. Jurassic Parks and Recreation. Brilliant.

Bonus Numero Uno: What Happens When We See Women Teach the Bible.

Bonus Numeros Dos: This happened on Jimmy Fallon this week and it was hilarious.

friday

Friday Five

1. Made any New Year’s Resolutions? Here are 25 Easy Resolutions to Transform Your Health

2. You may have already seen this. I know our local news did a 5 minute spot on it on NYE. #Nashville But, it’s too good not to post (also, check out the rest of her channel. She has some other great mashups.)

3. The Sad Internet: 2014 in Review. This is fantastic.  

4. That Thing You Do

5. The Boston Globe’s Big Picture Year in Review is always a great look back at the year. Here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

 

tweets of the month

Tweets of the Month Club – December 2014

Twitter was made for holiday snark. Good job, y’all.

 







friday

Friday Five

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! 

1. Keeping in the Christmas spirit for a little while longer, here’s a post on Christmas that I loved. 

2. And here’s some Celebrity Christmas Cheer 

3. It’s time for end of the year lists, videos, and mashups. First up, 2014 Photos of the Year.

4. And DJ Earworm’s remix, United State of Pop. 

5. And the Google Year in Searches: 

Here’s to the last week of 2014. Make it good, y’all. 

advent joy

Advent | Joy

My church is doing Advent differently this year than we have in the past and my pastor asked me to write something each week as we read Scripture together. Since I love Advent and enjoy writing about it, I said yes. Feel free to join us each week as we read about Christ, as we reflect on waiting for our Savior, and as we learn to be like Him in our world today.

 

Jesus came to earth, died, and rose again! It’s a story typically reserved for Easter, but the truth is, it’s part of the Christmas story, too. The reason Jesus came to earth is to save us. He came with a mission to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin—to unite humanity with holy God once again. 

And therefore, we have joy. 

We’ve looked at God’s promises and plans this Advent season. God is never surprised; He always has a plan. We can put our faith in that. We can hope in it. It reveals God’s love for us. And it is the foundation of our joy. 

Joy is made possible because we can rest in the promises of Jesus. We have been given new life! Our sins have been erased from the consciousness of our Creator by the blood of our Savior. 

Christmas is so often a time of striving. Striving to have the perfect Christmas. Striving to please everyone or anyone. Striving to “keep Christ in Christmas.” What should be the most peaceful time of year is often the most anxious. 

On the very first Christmas, the angels looked down on the frightened shepherds and said, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” 

Fear and joy do not coexist well. Joy is the confidence in the promises of God. Fear is the anxiety that God may not be good, sovereign, or that He may not love us. Joy is the confidence that He is good, sovereign, and loving. Joy is a celebration of faith, hope, and love. Joy is the culmination of Christmas—God fulfills His promises. Look, here is a Savior! Here is what He promised! Here is Jesus, God with us. 

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice! Because the Lord is at hand—He is near. He is with us. Do not be anxious. God has always fulfilled His promises. He has always been good, sovereign, and loving. He will not stop being good, sovereign, and loving. He has a plan. He has always had a plan. We can rest in the peace of that knowledge this Christmas. We can rest in that joy. 

 

If you’d like to read along, here’s what we’re reading this week:

advent joy

friday

Friday Five

1. 10 Lessons I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Blogging. I appreciate how practical this advice is for anyone thinking about or trying out blogging. 

2. Feliz Navidad – cinco people, uno guitar style. 

3. Confessions of a First-Time Sketchnoter. I am always so jealous of people who can sketchnote well. This blogger gives some tips and links to several other helpful articles on learning how to sketchnote (I just learned from this article that it’s like a whole thing. I didn’t realize!). 

4. Speed Dating in the 19th Century. This is such a great idea and my friends and I may be reviving this practice on New Year’s Day this year. 

5. Hope Is Alive. Love this Christmas song by Ellie Holcomb. “He is right here among us. Our God is with us tonight. Into our aching, into our breaking, into our longing to be made whole, Your arms are reaching, your love is holding us close. Into our suffering, into our weeping, into this need we have to be known, Your arms are reaching, your love is holding us close.” That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. 

 

advent love

Advent | Love

My church is doing Advent differently this year than we have in the past and my pastor asked me to write something each week as we read Scripture together. Since I love Advent and enjoy writing about it, I said yes. Feel free to join us each week as we read about Christ, as we reflect on waiting for our Savior, and as we learn to be like Him in our world today.

 

Sometimes I think hope is what Christmas is all about. I get caught up in imagining what hope Jesus was to the people of Israel and what hope He still is for everyone today. In a large part, I guess Advent is about hope. It is about having faith in God’s promises we cannot see. It is about waiting. But I think Christmas is about love. 

After all the years of waiting, of hoping, of having faith, after all the years of his people crying, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” God decided it was time. He sent His Son, very God Himself, into this world. God, for the first time since the Garden of Eden, walked among His people. God was with them. God is with us. 

Jesus came to earth as a human being—one of us—to fill the chasm standing between sinful humans and the holy God. He is fully God, but He made Himself fully human for us. That is love. There are countless stories of Jesus on earth. We’ll read of some of them this week. He taught, He spoke, He walked, He healed, He touched, tasted, and saw. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is John 11. I could write a book on every small aspect I love about this story, but I’ll stick to what we’re talking about here. 

Jesus had friends on earth and one of them, Lazarus, got sick. L’s sisters sent word to Jesus asking Him to come and heal their brother. They believed that He was fully God and able to heal their brother from whatever it was that he had. Jesus, upon receiving this message, decided to wait a bit longer before going to them. Makes sense, right? No. My favorite moment #1 is when it says in verses 5-6, Jesus loved them so He decided to wait around a few more days before heading their way. But, because He is fully God, He has a plan. He always has. 

Lazarus dies. And they had already buried him and were holding shivah before Jesus made it to their house. The sisters each have a moment with Jesus. Martha tells the God of the universe that if He had just been a little bit earlier, her brother wouldn’t have died. Can’t you just imagine Jesus having to hide a smile, knowing what was about to happen? He tells Martha her brother will rise again and she assumes He means in Heaven. He tells her He is the resurrection and the life and asks if she believes. She affirms that she believes He is the Son of God. 

Then, Jesus talks to Mary. She repeats what Martha said, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” She was still weeping and—favorite moment #2—Jesus is moved by her grief and weeps with her. Because He understands. He is God and He knows the end of the story. But He is also human and so He knows human grief. He weeps with Mary. 

Jesus asks that the tomb to be opened. People protest, because it’s been four days of smelly, sweaty earth time and the body has probably begun to smell. Jesus essentially says, “Trust me.” They open the tomb and Jesus prays to His Father, thanking Him for always listening. Then He simply says, “Lazarus, come out.” The God who spoke life into existence in the beginning once again speaks life into Lazarus and he walks out of the tomb. 

Because of this miracle, many Jews believed in Him. Favorite moment #3. 

We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:15-16

I love this story because it so clearly displays who Jesus is. He is God of the universe, and He is human. He understands us because He walked among us. We have a God who is with us. That is amazing. I just want to type it twenty times, because it is unbelievable. His plan—our hope, what we have faith in—was to be with us. From the Garden into eternity. Because He loves us. That is what Christmas is. 

Our reading plan for this week, if you’d like to read along. 

advent love reading