Friday, August 28, 2009

500 Days of Summer

Finally was able to see, "500 Days of Summer" and I really liked it. Definitely not your typical movie. It's neat how they move backwards and forward with the 500 days ... very creative.

I've been a fan of Zooey Deschanel ever since her breakthrough performance in Elf. She was in Yes Man too which was a crazy, yet inspiring movie nonetheless. I actually heard about 500 Days of Summer awhile ago while reading this article in Relevant Magazine. Made me really want to check it out.

Listening to stories in general reminds you of what makes the world come alive. ~ Zooey Deschanel

So, if you haven't seen it yet ... definitely check this movie out. I think you'll find it to be hopeful in a way you might not expect.

And for those of you who have seen it ... what did you think? All I know is it made me want to be a greeting card writer. That would be a fun job!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wide Awake

Got a chance to share this video with the class I've been helping to lead this summer. I don't know about you, but I find it really inspiring.

There's a reason we have aspirations, ambitions, and dreams. I wonder what it would look like if everyone pursued their dreams. Don't you think the world would be a better place?

Human history is dramatically affected by the dreams that we try to live out. The dream of one person can create a different future for so many people. It’s amazing how a dream can have the power to change an entire planet.

What would happen if ... all of us began to discover our God-given dreams? What would happen if all of us began to live wide awake and began to live our lives in such a way that everything we did ... every choice, every act, if all of it was used to fulfill those dreams and make the world a different place?

If all of us began to live wide-awake, if all of us began to live out the dreams that God created us to live, the world would never be the same again.

Oh, and the book by the same title, is pretty good too (only $8 on Amazon ... sweet!). Definitely challenging if you've ever wanted to stop living a mundane life.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Simple Pleasures

  • Coca-cola with ice on a hot day = pure bliss. Refreshing. It's the simple things that bring a smile to our faces.

Here are more of my simple pleasures in life.
  • Beautiful flowers

  • Blue skies

  • Crème brûlée

  • Spectacular views

  • Candy

  • What are your simple pleasures?

    What is it that causes you to smile? What do you enjoy?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Live Inspired!

This blog update is coming a little late, but last Sunday, I got a chance to lead on one of my favorite topics ever. I've been helping to co-lead a college/young adult class and while the material has been really good, there are some lessons that you love just a little bit more. Mainly because it connects with you so much. This was definitely one of those times.

I had an opportunity to ask the question, "If you could do anything with your life, assuming time and money were no object, what would you do?" It's always fun to read the responses to this question because you get serious answers and some not so serious answers. Here's a sampling of what people wrote down on post-it-notes ...

  • Create a cure for cancer
  • Eat every kind of meat on earth (except humans)
  • Work with youth in ministry
  • Go to a culinary school & work at a restaurant or open up a patisserie/shop
  • Inspire young & old to do hard things to restore & repair the world
  • Become a concert pianist
  • Go to outer space
  • Work for Dunder Mifflin
  • Discover & eat the world's best chocolate chip cookie
  • Eat at every expensive restaurant in the world!
  • Travel around the world & serve God along the way

Don't you love it when people share their dreams? There's a reason we have dreams and passions in life. I truly believe we have these desires not by accident, but for a greater purpose. And when we pursue our passions and do them for something bigger than ourselves, that's when life truly starts to get exciting.

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness
and the world’s deep hunger meet.
~ Frederick Buechner

It was really beautiful to try to inspire these students to go for their passions with a greater purpose: to glorify God. Like the quote from Frederick Buechner says ... The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done.

I just know I want to be a champion of that. We, as the church, should be the ones who are unleashing others to pursue their God-given passions, gifts, and abilities for a higher calling. It was never meant to be for ourselves. Life is truly found when we give ourselves away. And the beauty of it is that we'll find it was God's will for us all along.

How about you? If you could do anything with your life, assuming time and money were no object, what would you do?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Where did that come from?

In my effort to get this new blog up and running, I realized I didn't even take the time to explain the title.

Life is an interesting thing ... filled with moments that take your breath away ... moments of joy ... moments of despair ... struggle ... change ... yet I find it's in the power of one moment that seemingly can alter our lives forever.

I remember having one of these moments. I was listening to the cd, "Ending is Beginning" by Downhere and there was just something about the track called, "Hope is rising." I know what it feels like to stop believing ... whether it be for a moment or for a season of life.

And yet, there is something so incredibly beautiful when hope rises up again. It's this sense that no matter what comes our way, the future will be better. There is optimism ... a belief in greater things to come. And most of all, it is grounded in this huge confidence in everything that God can do. I love moments when hope becomes real ... when it rises up in you and you feel ready to rise up. You begin to live the way God has always intended.

So, if you're tired of reading ... check out the song and may you live filled with hope. Because really ... there is no other way to live.

I've lost all my earthly optimism,
That it's all going to be alright,
That the good will win this fight.
Somewhere between youth and disappointments,
The dream became despair, the love became a lie.

Just now, I've reached the end of my line,
Just now, I'm too tired to keep on trying.

Hope is rising, it's a sunrise, for the end
Hope is rising, and it's breathing for me again,
Hope is rising again.

Soon beneath the roses I will lie,
All the memories of my days, gathered to the sky,
Soon all my work will find it's worth,
And all my strength returned, to the water and the earth.

Just when I reach the end of my life,
Just when my eyes dim out the last light.