Have You Seen? {December 3, 2017}

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.

Thanks to you, on Tuesday $3,300 was raised in one day! With the matching fund, the end result of that one day? $6,600! Incredible. We are well on the way to meeting the $31.393 goal. Psalm 84:5-7 says:

And how blessed all those in whom you live,
    whose lives become roads you travel;
They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
    discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!
God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and
    at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!

Through your generosity, your lives and this space are the roads that God travels. Truly, we are Not Alone.

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Last Week’s Theme: Shepherding

Oh, We Like Stinky Smelly Sheep by Renee Aupperlee—”And I think I am beginning to understand this truth: there is no other place I want to be than to be tucked in tightly to my Good, Good Shepherd. He is the ultimate green pasture, the still waters that restore my soul.  I don’t want to ram my head into a wall like that sheep. I want to stick close to the One who loves me more than I can imagine.”

You Are Not Alone {#GivingTuesday} by Velvet Ashes Team—”During our leadership retreat over a year ago, we sensed God asking us as a community to “Sustain.” For the first three years after Velvet Ashes was born, we blazed a trail of growth and ideas and about worked ourselves into burnout. God challenged us that if we did not practiced what we value—being connected to Him, rooted in community, and with healthy rhythms—we were not rightly handling what He had entrusted us with.”

The Importance of Good Shepherding on the Field {Book Club} by Amy Young—”Each one of us needs to be growing spiritually and rooted in God, have our identity in Christ, and hear from the Holy Spirit.With a solid personal foundation when it comes to overall life on the field and risk in particular, Anna turned to the important role shepherds play during risk. As one who has led others on the field during two “risky” situations, I found her counsel to be one I hope many leaders read and learn from. The field staff and the home office do need to have strong communication. Before any risk season, a foundation of trust will go a long way in mitigating the distrust that can arise.”

Together As Sheep by Kelly Delp—”This season of my life is teaching me that, while pastoring brings with it a lot of roles, that of shepherd is the most vital. Sure, I am passionate about leading an organization well. I want to dream, I want to hear from God about the direction of this church. But on Sundays, there together with this gorgeous flock, what matters is that we eat together. It matters that together we wait for the voice of the Good Shepherd, that we are sensitive to follow His lead.”

Being Shepherded to Become a Shepherd by Spring Davis—”It started out as an invitation. She wanted to have a mentoring relationship with me, yet I was hesitant. I met with counselors before, and it was helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of and share my heart with. I struggled with the professionalism, when what I really needed was a friend. She asked me if I would like to meet regularly, and our mentorship began with me being the youngest in her Sunday school class. Then she invited me to her house to talk. From there, our relationship easily and organically grew.

Shepherd of the Valley {The Grove: Shepherding} by Patty Stallings—”Psalm 23 paints a peace and rest-filled abundant life with our Shepherd. Then in the moment right after the reassurance our Shepherd “leads in paths for His name’s sake,” the path turns through a dark valley. And not just dark, but a valley of the shadow of death. Along the path, in the haze and chill, we see shadows of gravestones of lost roles, relationships, dreams, plans, hopes, expectations, assignments, opportunities.”

From Around the Web

Cross-Cultural Worker Road Rage 

When Being Grateful Is Not Enough 

Supporters: in Long-Term Cross-Cultural Work 

Surviving Christmas Overseas

So This is What Burnout Looks Like 

Creating Thanksgiving in China 

Cross-Cultural Work Means Choosing the Desert 

The Cross-Cultural Work of Smallness 

Finally,Six Great Culture Books for Kids —Plus a Giveaway!

And Now for Next Week

The theme is ….

In her book Those Who Wait: Finding God in Disappointment, Doubt and Delay by Tanya Marlow she writes, “We spend our lives waiting, yet we all hate to wait.”

Advent is the season of waiting. I find it confusing and comforting that the Church Year begins not with a big party, but with waiting. This mirrors and honors our experience

Tanya goes on to say:

  • Waiting is uncertain
  • Waiting reminds us we are not fully in control of our lives
  • Waiting causes you to doubt yourself
  • Waiting means continually trying to keep your balance
  • Waiting ends eventually and sometimes your dreams are realized

Waiting is hard. It is also formative. God, in his infinite mercy and wisdom built waiting into the Church Year. And so this week we will wait together as we talk about waiting.

Join us in the comments all week and link your own blog post at The Grove.

This week, as you find yourself waiting, take a picture and share it on Instagram with #VelvetAshesWaiting and let us see what  waiting looks like in your corner of the world.

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