Six Things I Learned in May 2017[I scheduled this post before I learned of the recent tragic event in Portland. Praying now for the victims.]
May was full of surprises: some made me smile, some made me wince, and some made me laugh.
1. “Life is not about how fast you can live it. And no one cares how fast you can go if you can’t first do it well.” Mick Silva
“I believe to get every artist to realize what’s needed and then to pursue it, God has to be the great patient teacher, using our frustration and impatience to draw out our passion, and to help us learn to express what the art demands in the way we were specifically designed to do it.”
Read the rest of Mick’s post here.
2. Scholar Dr. Kenneth Bailey noted: sometimes we make abstract what is concrete in the Bible.
When Psalm 23:3 says: “He [God as the Good Shepherd] restores my soul” or “He brings me back,” it isn’t an abstract image.
Rather it is the concrete image of a lost sheep, who’s scared and hiding under a rock or bush. The lost sheep makes a ruckus; the Shepherd must find the sheep before its cries for help attracts a hungry wolf or another enemy.
The shepherd doesn’t call the sheep because lost and terrified sheep can’t move. Its legs are rubber.
Instead, the shepherd must carry the sheep on its shoulders and carry it home. (Insights via Dr. Bailey)
Psst. I expand on how our weaknesses can open us to God’s grace and power on June 6, 2017, along with a link to Dr. Bailey’s talk on Psalm 23 as part of our “Be Transformed” Series.
3. Keri Smith reminds us: your actions speak louder than your words.
“It is not enough to speak about a belief in equality, justice, liberty, tolerance and love if by your actions you are illustrating the opposite by dehumanizing people, calling for their murder, justifying physical violence against them. Your actions speak louder than words.” – Keri Smith
Read the rest of Keri Smith’s post here.
Pray for civil discourse to return to public debates. (I did not vote for Trump.)
4. I’m in awe: Daryl Davis shows how to “overcome evil with good” (see Romans 12:21 NRSV).
Shepherd (a former KKK member) said of Davis: “You can take a positive action against a negative action and come out well.”
Read more of musician Daryl Davis’ unusual approach here.
5. This movie made our family laugh, smile, and get teary. Plus, I learned a little bit about Sweden.
(Ok, I was the only one who got misty at the end).
If you’re familiar with the Enneagram, I wager the main character is a One on the Enneagram. If you saw the movie or read the book, what do you think? I like how he grew, became more healthy as time progressed.
6.The best thing about teaching Psalm 23 was meditating on it, over and over, for several weeks.
As a “soul-training” exercise, James B. Smith recommends reciting Psalm 23 “before you fall asleep each night, and again when you awake.” (p. 92 of The Good and Beautiful God)
Why? Smith says when we let the images of Psalm 23 wash over our mind, we “imbed this true narrative” into our soul. “Your mind and your body will begin to be shaped by these words,” says Smith (92).
What did you learn in May?
Or what resonated with you from my list?
I always appreciate your presence, comments, and emails. Thank you!