What Can We Learn from These 5 Quotes?

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I love quotes. And they love me. Pithy, thought-provoking…it’s all there. So in the midst of this blazing summer heat, I thought I’d offer refreshment in the form of a fistful of favorites. In addition, you’ll find a quick sip of thoughts. As you read the following five quotes, is there one in particular that resonates with you?

 

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So how do we fuel the curiosity within us? One way is through play. Who says adults have outgrown a playground or that our playground must consist of a slide and a swing? I admit that I’ve not always been good at playing as an adult. In fact, I’m still working on it. But playing, whether it’s through a sports activity, dancing free-form when no one can see you {cue 70’s music}, or simply daydreaming, it empowers us to be creative, free-thinkers, and more flexible.

quote3.Self-doubt is a danger to creativity. But more importantly, it’s a danger to our souls. Our testimonies. Our calling. When I began attending the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference I found my validation as a writer in receiving awards. I’d never won anything as an adult. So each time I heard my name called and the roar of applause that followed, I felt a little more like a “real” writer. I know now that my worth — as a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, friend, and writer, must be grounded only in the person of Jesus Christ. He alone is where we find our confidence. When we rest in this truth, self-doubt quietly slithers away.

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Oh boy! I’m still not sure what to think about this quote but I couldn’t exclude it. It was just too darn intriguing. Maybe it’s the term ‘stealing’ that leaves me unsettled. Edie Melson and Vonda Skelton, who led our writer’s group for years, often reminded us that there is nothing new under the sun. I don’t know about you, but that’s a relief. I used to beat myself up because I couldn’t think of something to write about that no one else had already written. Now I know that my inspiration and perspective are unique…and so are yours. I pray the Lord will open our spiritual eyes as we anticipate fresh insight from Him, even on the most hum-drum of days.

quote6.

Don’t you find this to be true? I learned this while participating in the 31 Days Blog Challenge a couple of years ago. The challenge? Choose a theme and dedicate 31 consecutive days {October} to blogging on that subject. I thought for sure I’d run out of ideas within the first three days. What I discovered, however, was quite the opposite. Creativity was at every turn! Thoughts came quicker and from unexpected places.

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My heart’s desire: to take what God has made and shape it and use it to make Him look great. For He is worthy! How about you?

 

Now it’s your turn! Was there a quote or thought you especially resonated with today? Please share. I’d love to know.

If you like what you read here, please consider subscribing to my blog. It only takes a moment to insert your email address in the right-hand column under “Get Updates” and by doing so, a NEW bi-weekly post will automatically land in your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time. Thank you for spending time with me today. I count it a privilege.

 

Cultivating Creativity // Reflecting His Image

canstockphoto5408658Notice anything different? Hope so! I’ve made some changes to this place I’ve called home since 2008.

Back then, I began blogging at the prompting of Rich Butler, a friend, and fellow co-staffer at the time. Each week as a church staff we came together to design, if you will, our weekly services. It was my favorite hour of the week. To experience God bringing to life those creative ideas for His glory felt much like Eric Liddell must have felt when he said:

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.

Bringing creative elements into the telling of the Gospel has always felt natural to me. After all, the Bible is crammed full of examples of how God uses our senses to reveal more of Himself to us.

  • Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see that the LORD is good!
  • Proverbs 20:12 – The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, God has made them both.
  • Matthew 8:3 – And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
  • Genesis 8:21 – And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

There are numerous accounts in the Gospel of Jesus using tangible “takeaways” when He taught. He was the Master of metaphors and multi-sensory teaching. The Tabernacle, Passover, The Lord’s Supper…the list goes on. Jesus knew the power of our senses {as our Creator} and He harnessed them all for the Father’s glory. And this is my desire as well.

You see, earlier this year, I sensed God nudging me to become more intentional with this little corner of mine. I prayed, I watched, and I expected. I soon realized that since becoming a student of the Word years ago, I’ve gravitated towards adding a creative element to the studies I lead, to the gifts I give, and often to the gatherings I create. That was it!

I could learn and share how to cultivate creativity in every day life, reflecting more and more of His image in the process.

From there, Fistbump Media {Dan King and Susan Stilwell} hopped on board, using their own creative gifts and talents to make this site feel more like home — a place where we can come together as a community of believers, bloggers, and whomever else God decides to bring.

My hope is that you will find this to be a place of encouragement and inspiration as we seek to cultivate creativity through our home and families, writing, meaningful gatherings, and our stories of faith…all to the glory of our Creator and King.

For a more detailed look at the “why” behind this intentional move towards creativity, visit my About Page here, or click the tab at the top of the page.

Beginning next week, I’ll post once a week and believe me when I say…you don’t want to miss next week. God revealed Himself in a subtle but meaningful way a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to share. Until then, thank you for stopping by today. I don’t take you or your time for granted. You are a blessing!

If you like what you’re reading, you can subscribe today in the right-hand margin. My weekly posts will be delivered to your inbox. Also, feel free to share with a friend! Thank you. 🙂

Suggested Reading:
Desiring God {John Piper’s site}, Make God Look Great. Create.
Stephen Altrogge’s e-book, Create. Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff

3 Reasons Why I Switched My Blog From Blogger to WordPress

Change: It's A Good ThingI’m no expert when it comes to blog hosting sites or knowing all the technical details that goes along with the process. (Just ask Dan King @ Fistbump Media, the most patient man on earth.) I did, however, know that it was finally time to make the change to WordPress.

Here are just a few reasons I decided to make the switch:

  • Self-hosting WordPress offers more ownership. Google has the right to shut down your blog without notice, although I’ve never known that to happen to anyone I know. With self-hosting WordPress (.org) bloggers pay for their hosting services. This brings in accountability, and though there is a small cost involved, I know I’m paying for my own space in the blogosphere.
  • Wordpress logoBetter SEO Capabilities. I’m still learning about the power of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but the simple addition of Yoast has helped me to visually see where I need to improve my title, images, and content for improved optimization. A sidebar button that resembles a traffic light moves from red to green as I type, letting me know the specific ways I’m increasing my SEO. Talk about immediate gratification!
  • There is no support at Blogger. Period. Got a question? You either have to figure it out for yourself, visit a Help Site, or know a Blogger guru. Seriously. Since making the switch, Fistbump Media has offered stellar service with Dan King and Susan Stilwell promptly addressing any technical issues in a very timely manner.

With Blogger, I had major issues (of my own doing) with Feedburner that were never resolved. It’s for this reason I chose to leave Feedburner, along with the mess, and start over with a new subscriber system (MailChimp) in WordPress, which is a very scary thing to do. I basically had to start over with 0 subscribers. Thanks to those of you who have already re-subscribed. If you’ve not yet done so, please take a moment to fill out the form in the right hand column. I appreciate it so much! It’s an honor to lock arms with you, moving forward in all God has in store for us.

Maybe you’re like me. Your heart beats for community, for uniting bloggers and readers for God’s ultimate glory. To this end, if you have a blog/site, I’d love for you to share your blog/web address in the comment section. If you’re a reader, I’d love to hear from you too! Is there anyway I can pray for you today?

{If you’d like to register a domain, learn more about Fistbump, or check out their latest tweets, you can view all this and more at Fistbump Media or click the Fistbump Media button located in my right-hand sidebar.}

Reference: One of my favorite sites, Gina Alyse, shares why she switched from Blogger to WordPress.

Three Books I’m Loving Right Now and Why

by Cathy Baker @cathysbaker

My name is Cathy Baker and I am a book snob. 

Okay, perhaps snob is a little harsh, but I am a bit of a  persnickety reader.

I admit I’m not an avid reader of fiction, and when I do read it, the pages turn slower. I prefer the feel of a book in my hands over the strain on my eyes reading my e-books, but I still have plenty of those as well. I prefer new books over used ones. They smell better. Is that bad? I tend to buy books based on covers and Amazon reviews. And finally, I prefer to purchase books instead of borrowing from the library only because I love to mark up my books. Fiction or non-fiction, we never know when an idea will spark, or when we’ll run across a new word we want to add to our ever-growing notebook of words. {Okay, maybe snob isn’t such a stretch after all.}

Finally, I refuse to read (or finish) anything that doesn’t hold my attention. Life’s too short. For this reason, and many more, I’m especially excited to share what I’m reading these days, mainly due to the first one.

Finding Grace, by Allison Green Martin

Allison and her uber-talented mom, Jane, attended our local writer’s group a few years back {when this book was in the works}. They drove from NC (an hour) to attend so their dedication to doing the work was never in doubt. I was excited to be a part of her critique group for this book and you can only imagine my surprise when I discovered my name in her acknowledgements section! {Thank you again, Allison!} We never know what blessings will come from being a part of a critique group. 🙂

Finding Grace, Allison’s debut novel, is one of those books you can’t put down, which is saying something from a sparse fiction reader. Her attention to details and the fluidity of the story is superb. You are sure to fall in love with “Grace”. I especially love the fact that the novel is set in Shady Grove, NC. Bravo, Allison!


The Simple Living Handbook…Discover the Joy of a De-Cluttered Life, by Loriless Lippincott

With a tremendous decluttering effort on the horizon, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the book but it was the word “Simple” that initially caught my eye.

As a sentimental semi-hoarder {did I just admit that?} I found a few pointers especially convicting enlightening:
“You are not your stuff and your stuff does not define you. Your stuff is not your memories {Ouch!} Your stuff is not your friend–he or she may have been with you or given it to you, but your friend will not vanish as a person if you get rid of the stuffed poodle.” Nothing really new here, but it’s a good (and quick) read.


The Life Giving Home…Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming, by Sally and Sarah Clarkson

Okay, so this one just arrived in the mail last week, but I had to include it. I may not be able to share what I’ve read or learned, but I can give you the reasoning behind this purchase.

I love this line on the back cover: Secrets to making home the place your family longs to be. At first glance, I felt it may not be a good fit since our kids are now grown with kids of their own, but our season in life doesn’t diminish my desire to make my loved ones feel loved.

This introvert has much to learn so I was delighted to stumble across this find, especially one with such rave reviews (5 stars). 🙂

Okay, your turn! What are you reading these days? Do you think you’ll try one or more of the above books?

And don’t forget….

 

 

 

If you’ve never tried Herbal Rose Tea, you’re in for a treat!
Imagine sipping tea in a rose garden. {No fancy gloves required!} Because this is one of my all-time favorite teas, I had to share a canister with you in this month’s giveaway.
To enter, simply leave a comment on today’s post sharing your favorite flavor of tea, or ways I can pray for you, or both.
{I’m assuming you’re a tea drinker if you’ve read this far.} Next
Wednesday, March 2, I’ll announce the winner of the random drawing done
via Random Name Picker.
For each comment you leave between now and next Monday’s post, I will
add your name to the list for drawing. Thank you and good luck!

 

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