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Bob Robinson

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Wisdom for Graduates: There Is Life After College

One of my colleagues at CCO, Erica Young Reitz, has written a very helpful article for those who have graduated from college, “There Is Life After College.” Here’s a nugget: “More than advice, the best thing I can offer is a little help closing the gap between your expectations of life after college and the […]
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Amy Sorrells

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COVER REVEAL!!! Then Sings My Soul, my sophomore novel!

I’m BEYOND excited to share with you the cover of my second novel (coming March 1, 2015 from David C. Cook), Then Sings My Soul! In the coming weeks I’ll share more information about the history and inspiration behind this … Continue reading →
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Tom Volkar

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Delightful Work Rides Again at a New Location

Copyright © 2014 Tom Volkar. Visit the original article at http://delightful.server265.com/delightful-work-rides-again-at-a-new-location/.This post is for all of you faithful Delightful Work subscribers. I’ve been wrtiing again at Coreu.com. Please join me to subscribe to my blog there.  Here are some recent posts if you want to know what I’ve been up to. How to Live a […]

Duane Scott

Visit Duane Scott ~ Scribing the Journey

lost in love

Someone once said, “Let my heart be broken by the […] The post lost in love appeared first on Scribing the Journey.
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Glynn Young

Visit Faith, Fiction, Friends

Your Work Matters

I’m sorting through files at work, files that cover roughly the last 10 years. It’s about four file drawers in volume. It’s remodeling time at work. We’re facing a total of three moves. We were first moved three weeks ago, into the space we will eventually occupy permanently. But it has to be remodeled, and so we will move again to temporary quarters before we return to our redesigned workplace. I was moved from one office to a smaller office; I was fortunate, as most people moved to cubicles. What I will eventually end up with will make a cubicle look like an executive suite. They tell us it’s collaborative workspace, designed to foster team communication and synergy. Whenever you hear the word synergy, you know that someone is trying to save money.There wasn’t time to do anything with these files except bring them with me. We had about a week’s notice of the first move; I had no time to do the careful sorting they require.One pile is paper that can be recycled.One pile is what needs to go in a special cabinet unit for shredding.And one pile, the smallest, is what will go to the company archives.It’s all mixed together, so it has to be sorted carefully. The files represent the last 10 years of my work life. The height of the three piles tells me that most of what I’ve worked out can be recycled.  The second biggest pile has to be shredded. The most valuable pile will go the archives.It’s easy to start thinking of the book Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Is it really all just a chasing after the wind?Here’s a brief that was filed in a lawsuit settled years ago. That’s an easy decision – public document, no pending litigation – it can be recycled. Others have to go to the shredder. And here’s the speech I wrote for the CEO in 2006, given to a large group of college students. It’s a beautiful speech. I heard it when it was given; I was there in the auditorium, sitting on the front row. I flew to the event with the CEO on the corporate plane. That had happened only once before. At the dinner before the speech, I bumped into a fellow speechwriter I hadn’t seen in almost 15 years. The CEO did a fine job with the speech. Actually, he did a superb job. The speech was widely distributed afterward. It was reprinted in Vital Speeches of the Day, which is a big deal for speechwriters and CEOs.And now it’s almost eight years later.  I’m not part of the speechwriting group. I’m called “social media strategist” which sounds a bit too presumptuous to me. What do I do with the notes of my conversation with the CEO about the speech? Part of me says keep the notes with the final text for the archives. Part of me says that isn’t a good idea. I place the notes in the pile to be shredded. CEOs have to trust their speechwriters. It’s easy to think that this is where all of our work ends up – recycled, shredded, perhaps archived and rarely seen except by an occasional academic researcher (our archives are managed by a local university). Does this matter? I ask myself. Is it really all vanity?I think about that speech. It didn’t change the course of history. But it did inspire a few college students to do something with their lives. It moved a few teachers and administrators to think about life outside the university.And the important point is that the speech was done well. Written well. Written with care and attention, with a special effort to find exactly the right story that would illustrate it. Part of what that speech did was to tell that story, the story of a woman farmer in South Africa who brought in a crop so bountiful that she was able, for the first time in her 45+ years of life, to buy a pair of new shoes.The story mattered. The speech mattered. The work – the hard work – I put into it mattered. And it all mattered because I didn’t ultimately write the speech for the CEO, or for my own gratification, or for the story of the woman and the new shoes.No, I wrote it for Someone else, because the work I do is ultimately about that Someone else.And it matters.The High Calling is hosting a community linkup on the theme of “Your Work Matters to God.” Take a look at the submission guidelines, and consider whether or not you might have a story to tell.Top photograph by K Whiteford. Bottom photograph by Lucy Toner. Both via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission. Community linkup badge designed for The High Calling by Jennifer Dukes-Lee.
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Jim Lange

Blind Spots

Over the last several months, I have been putting the finishing touches on a companion workbook to my book, Calming the Storm Within: How to Find Peace in this Chaotic World....

Sheila Lagrand

Visit Godspotting with Sheila

How I Became A(n Accidental) Novelist

Cover for the First Installment of Remembering for Ruth I never thought of myself as a novelist. I have tremendous admiration for fiction writers, but for the past five years or so I had been focused exclusively on nonfiction. Prior to that came a few decades of not-writing. And just before that, academic writing. I have to reach […]

Michelle DeRusha

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When You Find Jesus Where You’d Least Expect {I am a Spiritual Misfit Series}

I’m  grateful to have gotten to know this week’s featured writer, Kelly Greer, during an online writing group hosted by (in)courage. Kelly and I really click in a misfitty way. When I read her story, all I could think about was the first time I attended church under a backyard tent at a family reunion […]You just finished reading When You Find Jesus Where You'd Least Expect {I am a Spiritual Misfit Series}! Consider leaving a comment!
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Amy Sullivan

Visit http://amylsullivan.blogspot.com/

An Outdoor Movie Night and A Giant Permission Slip to Refocus

Last weekend, we hosted an outdoor movie night.We projected the original Parent Trap on the front of our house and ate a 20 gallon tub of popcorn with the neighbors. The super moon came out and so did new friends. Our movie night started late, and went until way late. At one point, the only people watching were the adults as the kids were busy stringing together a slew of glow sticks and using their new creation as a whip.That's summer for you.A couple of days later we watched Shakespeare in the park.I spent the first part of the play repeatedly saying, "But, really, I've never heard of Tartuffe!". Turns out, Tartuffe isn't Shakespeare. It's Molière. This I did not know. This I still loved.People with zero plans of anything except sitting in a camping chair, eating picnic food, and watching a play.Another scoop of summer for you. It's like a giant permission slip to lounge and refocus.You go. Tell me about all of the the fabulous happenings in your world or if your happenings are not fabulous, tell me how you have been spending your summer days.: :Have you peeked at this?Linking with Jenn. Follow @AmyLSullivan1
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emily wierenga

Visit in the hush of the moon

An Open Letter to Mothers Who Have Miscarried

Dear Mothers Who Have Miscarried,I've lost two, and it's near torn me apart, this longing to be in heaven with my babies, but I've learned the secret to staying on earth.I learned the secret, just weeks ago, and I want to share it here with you, if I may?It was December, a cold afternoon and I was meeting in a church with a prayer team. They asked me about the babies I'd lost and I wept so hard I couldn't speak because this past spring, God had told me my Madeleine would live. And then she'd died. He'd told me about her personality, and then she'd slid from my body, and I gave birth to Stillborn Faith that day.I've been grieving ever since and sometimes it's just a white lace shoe that undoes me. Or a pink dress.  Or the sight of a woman's rounded womb.And I met with the prayer team and they prayed over me, that the Grief would end. I nodded tearfully.Following the prayer, one of the women pulled me aside and told me she'd heard a pastor speak once, on miscarried and aborted babies, and that this pastor had received a vision of a nursery in heaven. In this vision, the pastor saw a nursery filled with miscarried and aborted babies, angels watching over them, and upon reaching heaven, mothers who'd lost their babies would be given a second chance to raise them.Now, friends, I don't know that there's anything in Scripture that talks about a nursery in heaven but I also know that heaven is mysterious and unfathomable and eternal, and that a nursery is something akin to the loving character of God the Father. He may just give us a second chance to raise our babies.I breathed long and hard and fast after she told me this. Because if this nursery does exist, then suddenly God's words to me in the spring made sense: his words saying that my baby would live (even though on earth, she died); his words describing her personality, as though she were already alive.Because no life is lost to Jesus.The night I lost my first child, I had a dream, even as I slept: a little girl with golden curls sat outside my bedroom door playing with toys, and when she looked at me, she had her father's eyes. And then I looked down at my arms and there was a little boy asleep in them, but I couldn't see his face.If this nursery exists, that dream was of my daughter, playing in heaven (and the baby in my arms? My eldest son, who was conceived months later).And my daughter's waiting for me--even as your children are waiting for you.13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139)Friends?Our God does not lie.If he's told you that your baby lives? She does. Maybe not on earth. But nothing can separate us from the love of God--not even death, Romans 8 tells us.May you be filled with hope. This world is not all there is.Hallelujah.Your sister,e.*** Hey guys--I hate asking this, but I guess it's part of being a "professional" writer; I created an Author page yesterday and am wondering if you'll consider Liking me? Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/emilytwierenga. XOXOSubscribers that had been using the RSS method may have tore-subscribe and choose the non-comments feed. Old (dead) link: http://canvaschild.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/defaultNew (working) link: http://www.emilywierenga.com/feed/
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Tod Bolsinger

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Seminary Grads Give Schools all “D”s.

“Speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him…” Ephesians 4:15 In my new role at Fuller Seminary, I have been trying to follow the example of our faculty. Academic Dean and Leadership Professor, Scott Cormode teaches his students, “Leadership begins in listening.” And Scott...

Jeanne Damoff

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Rising From the Ruin

“For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains You give me are more precious than all other gains.” C.S. Lewis If I asked you to define a “good gift,” what would you say? Feel free to press pause on this blog post to ponder that question for a while. It’s an important […]
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Susan Jones

Visit Just ... a Moment

Seasoned ~

leaving behind all that hinders for a higher good "words and feathers are easily scattered but not easily gathered up" anon *  *  * Let your speech at all times  be gracious (pleasant and winsome),  seasoned [as it were] with salt,  [so that you may never be at a loss]  to know how you ought to answer anyone  [who puts a question to you]. Colossians 4:6 *  *  *
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Brock Henning

Visit Lifesummit

Paying Yourself Extra for Free

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.comAt 4:30 a.m. on a snowy December morning, all I had on my 13 year-old mind was getting each nearly-frozen newspaper off my sled and onto each customer’s porch. The faster I could unload papers, the sooner I could melt back into a toasty bed. But I stopped after ten houses, glancing back.Four newspapers had missed their targets by a mile, each sticking out halfway in the snow. Hey, I was paid for delivering newspapers to the premise, not customized handling. And besides, my toes were cold.I thought of the elderly couple who lived at one of those homes. The next morning I returned to my usual route. This time every newspaper landed on a porch, and I placed a few, the ones I'd went back to the day before, just inside the storm doors. And for the elderly couple, whose storm door was locked, I deposited a plastic bag-wrapped newspaper in the mailbox adjacent the door, same as I’d done the day before. But when I opened their mailbox this time, I found a small package wrapped in Santa Claus gift wrap, with my name on it. Inside was a pair of wool gloves that fit perfectly, and a note shakily written to match the writer’s voice. Thank you for placing the newspaper in our mailbox. Sometimes it’s hard for us to pick it up.And when I got my first real job on a payroll at 16, at the local hardware store, I pushed the shopping cart for a middle-aged woman and loaded paint cans and houseware items into her car. She couldn’t walk very well.I was paid to work in the store, and to load heavier items like bags of sand and mulch and salt rock, and to only go out to the parking lot to retrieve empty shopping carts. I wasn’t paid to push a customer’s cart, but I did it anyway. She thanked me and offered a five for my trouble. I politely refused.I think of the numerous times during my professional career, when I’ve stepped outside of my hired job role to fix a problem that was not my responsibility to fix, but I took a shot at it anyway, foregoing my own work for another. I didn’t always fix the problem, and I certainly didn’t get paid extra for the effort, but it was a chance to communicate something that always pays off, and in some cases can change another’s life. Somebody cares.When a person says ‘no’ to something they are not paid to do, is that wrong? No, it is not. Then should we only say ‘yes’ to those things we are paid to do? After all, we need to make a living, and we’re all limited by time. We can’t be all things to all people. But didn’t Jesus Himself say “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28 NIV)? How do we know where to draw the line?I think you’ll know.I never hand-delivered every customer’s newspaper to their door or mailbox. I couldn't finish my job if I did. I’d offer that 9 out of 10 newspapers flung 30 feet from the curb to the door every morning, most largely missing the doormat. But that 1 out of 10, the one I knew I should help, I gave extra for free.This post is part of The High Calling's Community Post topic, "Working for Free". Click here to read more insightful posts on this topic!

Heather Holleman

Visit Live with Flair

When You Say No to Yourself

I'm struck by the prolific green bean bushes. The more I pick, the more they produce. I venture out with my colander, and I return every two days with it half-filled with crisp, long, bulging green beans. How do so many grow so quickly?I love the principle of it all: the more it offers, the more it can offer. It's a generous plant, a biblical plant.Then, while I sit crossed legged in the chairs designed for small children in the lobby of the Music Academy as my children practice piano, I read about the concept of saying "no" to oneself. It goes against the grain of everything I've read lately; instead of self-actualization, self-fulfillment, authentic selfhood, and saying "yes" to our true selves and true desires, the Christian notion of self-denial rubs at all my rough edges. It's so unnatural! It's so. . . wrong.But maybe not. Maybe this is the most natural and obvious thing in the world.It's like the bean plant that gives everything away--everything!--and finds it has more and more to offer as a result. It doesn't shrivel and suffer. Instead, it thrives at the very spot it lost a part of itself.It's right and good to say no to oneself. At that very spot, a harvest comes.

Marilyn Yocum

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Dumping My Blog

I’M THINKING OF DUMPING MY BLOG - been thinking it a while - but is it one more step away from writing? Or toward it? Unsure. I admitted to these very thoughts while riding to church a few weeks ago and wouldn’t you know it? The morning’s passage included “immediately they left their nets.” I […]

Marni Arnold

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Today, I Lost It

There I was…standing with grocery bags in my hands seeking every bit of patience I had left within me, silently praying to God to find it. Looking at my son, my blood was at a rolling boil when he looked directly at me and refused to listen to me about eating his lunch…and he knew […]