Have You Seen? {December 23, 2018}

Welcome to Have You Seen? We’ll review last week and share other posts from around the web. Enjoy rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading.

Interested in submitting a guest post to Velvet Ashes? Make sure you check out our Submissions page to see what themes we have coming up and the spots we have open!

We truly believe our community is “Better Together”. This year’s campaign goal is to raise $25,000 to fuel the impact of our not-for-profit organization in the coming year.

Thank you so much to those who have already given! We are excited to report we have raised $12,057.00 so far! Make sure you head over to our Better Together page for live updates. It’s definitely not too late if you haven’t given yet, and you can help us reach our goal before December 31st at midnight EST!

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MAP Global is a support agency that exists for the callings of its individual partners. Providing all of the services of a traditional sending agency, MAP Global is different in that our org. chart is upside down with your ministry and calling at the top.  If you are entrepreneurial, pioneering and obediently following God as He leads you into new territory, MAP Global might be the perfect fit for you! Check out MAPGlobal.org for details and use promo code “Velvet” to receive 50% off of when submitting the Partnership Application.

Last Week’s Theme: Let Us Go

If You Say Go + Sweet Potato Sausage Casserole by Ashley Felder—”These are legit concerns for my little mind to worry over. But when I get stuck in a cycle of trying to figure out solutions that I can’t possibly solve, I’m reminded that He can. In fact, He loves to! He adores it when I lay those at His feet, sit back, and watch in awe how He’ll handle all of them. Often times, in much grander fashion than I could come up with!”

2018 in Review: All About Books {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”December is the perfect time to slow in the midst of the Christmas busyness and reflect on the year that has passed. And what could be more fun to remember than the best books that you have read over the last 12 months? That’s what we are doing today, my friends! I’m going to share my top five favorite books of 2018, and then we’re going to have a party in the comments. I hope you’ll join us and share the best book (or two or three or ten) that you read this year. Which book inspired you? Which book had you in tears or rolling on the floor laughing? I hope you enjoy this roundup as we all share together and give each other the gift of new ideas of what to read next!”

Two Little Words by Maria Mullet—”Imagine with me as God the Father turns to God the Son, and says, ‘Let’s go.’ He’d been waiting for this moment, watching, grieving, rejoicing, longing. It had been years since those evening walks in the garden, and now, the time was right for the snake-crusher to appear. In the way that only the Infinite Triune can, God the Father and God the Spirit sent God the Son off to the land near Eden, and yet, because of their omnipotence and their oneness, they all remained near. Sometimes visibly swooping in like a dove, other times meeting Him in a secluded place of prayer, and always, except for that one haunting moment in history, always keeping watch. And now, the fullness of time has come, and these two small words whirl the plan of redemption into action.”

Awakened From Comfort by Kimberli Tundevold—”Was this like the night that the angels arrived? Quiet and cozy and oh-so hygge, that trendy Danish concept of winter comfort. Is this how the shepherd version of me would be, watching the fire crackle and spit, mesmerized by its glow? Come on a journey with me. A parallel journey with one step in the  ‘Let us go’ of my present day situation and another imagining the equivalent shepherd version of me, nestled within the ‘Let us go’ of Luke 2:15.”

Going to Jesus {The Grove: Let Us Go} by Laura Cerbus—” ‘Let us go,’ I say, and I think action and adventure. I read the thrilling stories of Paul and the apostles in Acts, the stories of men and women in the past, and I am eager to join them. I hear and say ‘Let us go,’ and I think first and foremost about my activity: my proclaiming, my teaching, my discipling, my serving, my loving. The truth is, I’ve been acting self-sufficient, and the reality of my dependency is hitting hard. Now that I am dried up, empty, with nothing left to give, the myth of my self-sufficiency is evaporating. Only now do I see that I have been working out of a sense of duty, and right, of calling even, but not out of the joy and awe that comes from meeting Jesus.”

From Around the Web

It’s the time of year for fun book lists! Check these out from Emily, Amy, Tanya and Bayta!

Thoughts on Being a Single Adult in December

A Blessing on Your Life Overseas

lighting the survival candle

Finally, Glory is a Woman Fully Alive

And Now for Next Week

The theme is….

treasured up

Luke 2:18-19 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Maybe the treasures have been few and far between this year, difficult to recognize or accept. The loneliness settled in like a heavy blanket, prayers felt unanswered, home a source of confusion rather than comfort. Here we are at the end of the year, and there’s more hurt to tuck away than gifts.

Mary endured an unplanned pregnancy, undignified delivery, and unexpected guests. And yet she marveled. She paid attention. She wanted to remember.

Can we do that?

As we prepare to celebrate our Savior’s birth this week and look toward the close of this year, our posts will give space for peaceful reflection and grace. We pray that you feel God’s comfort right where you are, sense His love and delight in His gifts. You can join our conversation at the Grove, share your own blog post links, and post on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesTreasuredUp. You can also show us what Christmas looks like around the world with the hashtag #VelvetAshesChristmas.

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