Have You Seen? {September 22, 2019}

Vicki Reyes, a cross-cultural worker with The Evangelical Alliance Mission and a doctoral candidate at Biola University, is looking for participants for her research concerning the experiences of overseas workers who were reared by a parent who had mental illness (depression, bipolar syndrome, or schizophrenia). Participants will be kept anonymous. Vicki’s hope is that this research can become a source for healing, as well as a resource for member care departments. Workers who grew up with a mentally ill parent who are interested in participating, as well as those who would like more information, can contact her at [email protected].

Last Week’s Theme: Opposites

Living an Opposite Kind of Life by M’Lynn Taylor—”Like him, we scarcely know what life will throw our way, but as we’re reminded in John 16:33:’I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ (NIV) I find that when trouble hits, I often default to my flesh, not my faith. The only way to combat that and continually choose to do the opposite of what’s EASY is consistently reminding myself of God’s truth. I hope you are encouraged by these verses as you face your own trials.”

Imago Dei, Cross Culturally {Book Club} by Rachel Kahindi—”Common knowledge is often specific to a culture. This is why we feel like such idiots when we are learning to live in a new culture. People around us expect that, as adults, we already have certain common knowledge. Because it’s assumed we already know, no one tells us these things, and we blunder along, committing various cultural faux pas. Also, we bring our own common knowledge with us and judge the people around us for not knowing what ‘everybody knows.’ “

The Opportunity of Opposites by Julie Francis—”Some days I do want to give up. Forget the local dress, the local food, the local way. But, in humility, I must keep learning, keep growing and keep becoming like the people I desire to serve in the name of Jesus Christ. I can keep learning language and studying verbs. I can memorize new vocabulary and listen carefully when someone corrects my pronunciation. Each day, I can remember in humility to keep an attitude that says ‘I want to understand you and learn from you because you are made in the image of God and you have something to teach me.’ ”

Hope for the Rootless Days by Sarah Hilkemann—”This is the opposite of my nature. I slowly go deep, devote myself for the long haul and struggle to let go. But the goodbyes keep coming, in rapid succession it seems. Even with all the changes and struggles, I felt connected to the Cambodian culture after five years. There were things I loved and things I hated, but it also was a place tattooed deeply on my heart. I knew that it was time, time to return to States for a different season but even in that peace I have felt the goodbyes deeply.”

A Different Kind of Opposite {The Grove: Opposites} by Jenilee Goodwin—”I had to ask myself, ‘Why do I always see things as contrary, competing, and completely different?’ As I pondered this thought, I decided that I love the picture of these two pieces of my life sitting parallel to each other, complementing the differences and working in tandem from one side of the globe to another. I felt challenged to see the opposite things as prepositions rather than adjectives or nouns. I started noticing ways that one life complements the other. I decided to see the opposites at the table together.”

From Around the Web

Struggling with Re-Entry? This Retreat Might Be For You

To Joyfully Be Manure

Dear Tanzanian Friends, I’m Sorry for Being a Jerk Sometimes

Identifying Your Blindspot. (Do Asians And Westerners Think Differently – Part 2)

Lost in the Land of Plenty

Noteworthy on Instagram: What Happens When You Give Too Much and On Outsiders and Idols

Finally, Forever Changed By the Flood 

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message) Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Could there be anything sweeter than little children, captivated by the catchy rhythm of a tune, swaying and dipping without a care in the world? Their arms stretch out wide, they make the moves up as they go, and everyone around smiles and claps.

But as adults, we often stand at the edge of the dance floor of this life because we don’t know the moves. We don’t want to mess up when all eyes are on us, so we stay hidden.

But there’s a better way.

There is freedom in stepping on to that dance floor (whether literally or figuratively) and learning to relax into the unforced rhythms of grace. Grace that comes from knowing to whom we belong, knowing the forgiveness that is available when we mess up. Grace in trying and failing, finding healing along the way as we trust and throw our arms out wide.

This week we have stories from our writers about the impact of dance in their lives- whether that is taking a dance class, free-styling it with their family members, or understanding the rhythm of relationships. What has dance meant in your life? How are you learning to live lightly and freely?

Link up your own posts this week at The Grove, and share all of your dance-related thoughts on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesDance!

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