Have You Seen? {December 21, 2014}

Welcome to Have You Seen?  This is where we review last week, share other posts you’ll love from around the web, and give you a peek at what’s ahead. Enjoy rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading.

Last Week’s Theme: Birth

A Story of Hope and Grace by Beth Everett — “We had not gone very far before our team leader looked at me and said, “She’s not going to make it. We need to stop.” We pulled to the side of the road and helped our pregnant passenger find a place to rest in the dirt.”

The Practice of Feeling Pain {Book Club} by Amy Young — “Pain originates in the body. Pain happens in the flesh. Suffering, on the other hand, happens in the mind. The mind decides what pain means and whether it is deserved.” Barbara Brown Taylor

The Great Author Wrote Himself into the Story by Renee Aupperlee — “The great Author wrote Himself into the story so that we would have a way to truly know Him. He accepted a role in the story that would cost him his very life, so that we might know forgiveness, and so our relationship with Him could be once and for all fully restored.”

A Second Rebirth by Lauren Pinkston — “So when my feet stepped onto that Southeast Asia tarmac and into the humidity of my new home overseas, my heart was long overdue for another *born again* experience. And oh, how that experience came. Within three months, I waded through interpersonal conflict. I wrote a blog post that went semi-viral in a nasty way, and I lost a blogging trip competition on which I was hanging way too much hope.”

The Grove: Birth by Patty Stallings — “What have you been chosen to birth? Where are you in the birthing process? What resonates with you as you consider what God could be creating within you?”

Christmas Project Update –You guys are amazing! Together we have raised around $1,800 and have only $700 to go. We’re so close! If you haven’t yet, will you join us as community in saying to the least of these, “We see you.”? See the live update and donate here.

From Around the Web

Favorite Blog Posts About Re-entry and Transition by Ruthie — “One of the reasons I started this blog is that there does not seem to me to be a good collection of articles specifically about M’s experience with re-entry in one place.  And sometimes hearing other people’s stories helps.  But there are some great things that have been written…here are some of my favorites.”

Parenting Kiddos who Sabotage Big Days by Jen Hatmaker — “This is our 4th Christmas with Ben and Remy home, and last year I finally tracked our history and noticed that Christmas produced an inevitable cocktail of unintentional sabotage, overreactions, and meltdowns (or total withdrawal). The best of days ended in their tears, yelling, and devastation.”

Rethinking the Christmas Story by Rachel Pieh Jones — “Living in the developing world, in a place where women give birth at home, in a culture much closer to the culture of Jesus’ location and time in history, has changed the way I read the Bible.”

Cranberry Bliss Bars by Sarah Beth — “My goal though was to show you that you could have an equally decadent treat with a lot less of the expensive ingredients than the original recipe I adapted said. In fact I even used homemade cream cheese and they were just as yummy as the ones with real cream cheese.”

Standing in the Middle of No Man’s Land by Lauren Pinkston — “And I’m standing in the middle of No Man’s Land, totally understanding both sides but not willing to fully join either one. And I wonder when someone is going to stand up for that middle ground. Where’s the balance in our theology? Where’s the balance in our political views? Where’s the balance in our basic capability to live peaceably with one another?”

And Now for Next Week

The Theme is…


It’s been four years since I’ve seen snow fall.  That’s what comes of living on the cold edge of a dry desert.

I’d love one good snow for my kids to romp in, but other than that I can’t say I miss the cold mess.

But there is one thing I miss about snow, that hushed holiness that hangs in the air as crystals fall, the earth blanketing itself.  That moment when pure beauty comes down and covers the dead and brown in pure glory.

But you know what?  I have that same sense heading into this week.

Holiness hangs in the air.

Divinity coming down.  Pure glory blanketing a dead and weary world, that we may seep new life, and burst forth in joy.

Immanuel, come.  

May we seek your face, the sweet sense of your presence this week.  

May we meet you in intimate moments, amidst jubilant gatherings and in quiet retreat.

May we delight in joy of you here with us.


This week at The Grove, we want to see what Christmas looks like for you.  Will you snap a picture this week and bring it to The Grove to share?  Whatever it looks like for you, we want to see the joy of your Christmases around the world.

Much love,

Danielle for the Velvet Ashes Team

Photo Credit : Gratisography / Photo Credit: Nanagyei via Compfight cc

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