Already we have hit the tail end of July and we are beginning to think about all those projects we want to tackle this fall. Let’s not waste today though, there are many worthwhile things out there!
This week I have been a hermit. My family is in Oregon for some summer fun but like most of you I only have so much vacation time to use… so instead I am terribly lonely! Not in a bad, depressive way, but in a “the house is quiet and the dogs don’t talk back” kind of way. I have been able to give undistracted time to at least one project, but mostly I am just going through the motions and paying keen attention to the difference. The results of my “study” so far are that I really miss my tribe and look forward to their return!
Some of the things that have filled my time are these worthwhile bits that I am happy to share with you.
First up from Jonathan Dodson is a needed reminder on the way grace works backwards. How grace doesn’t just cover the present, and as he puts it, your “gospel-awakened” future, but it also deals with our past. The lingering shame of sin.
I know I have experienced the very thing Dodson describes and like him I am forever grateful for the grace of Jesus. “God doesn’t wag a finger of shame at us because of Jesus. We are not defined by our failures because of Jesus. We are wildly loved and unflinchingly accepted because of Jesus.“
I need this, and you probably do too. Read it here.
The next two probably go together because they hit us where it counts, our minds. John Mark Comer, Portland pastor and host of the wildly popular This Cultural Moment podcast, has a forthcoming book on the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry.
Turns out a significant obstacle to spiritual and emotional health is hurry. We all suffer from it, some of us by choice. The full list, the short windows of time we have to accomplish it all. Running from place to place. In fact if we are not hurried or “busy” what then are we?! Maybe less anxious…
The books appears to make the appeal to slowness for health sake. Intentional living unhurried. I haven’t read it yet but the first two chapters are available free so I plan to read it today, you should too and whet your appetite for the elimination of hurry.
Fittingly then comes the call to leave social media behind. Justin Taylor shared the TED talk video from Cal Newport, a 37-year-old professor of computer science at Georgetown, author of five books, and family man that only works until 5 most days.
Newport has never had a social media account and he suggests that yours are disrupting your life in the worst way, leaving you distracted and not at all productive.
In fact it is when we can give intense concentration to those things we endeavor to develop that we find success. I know this firsthand and you probably do too. I have even taken steps to lessen the noise of social media by removing Twitter from my phone and blocking notifications from others.
So whether it is incremental change or a wholesale escape from social media, Newport’s thirteen minute exhortation is worthwhile.
Lastly, if you are in San Diego and interested in studying Gospel Fluency with other dudes, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org and join us on the third Monday of every month in Escondido.
Have a wonderful weekend. Slow down. Don’t hurry. And listen to the blue birds outside, not the ones on you screens.