Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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#IFgathering2016: Quotes and Notes

Just got back from Austin! It was a fun event, and I loved making new friends and discovering new speakers and resources. God showed up and big and small ways, as He always does. He is faithful.

It was a powerful statement to see over 2,000 women gather, get equipped and be unleashed to live God’s calling on their lives. And there were over 100 countries watching from over 2,000 live streams all around the globe! It is quite the community.

Here are my notes from a number of the speakers. And if you’d like to watch the live stream recordings, they are free until tomorrow evening at www.live.ifgathering.com. Enjoy!

 

Jo Saxton

  • Jesus is the redeemer of your life. Jesus is the one who restores your purpose.

Jennie Allen

  • When you have nothing to prove and nothing to protect, you have freedom.
  • We are like Peter. We are zealots and sinners.

Ann Voskamp

  • There is a space and place for you at the table. There is no disgrace.
  • Jesus first miracle was at a table, a gathering.

Eugene Cho

  • John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” There are a lot of theological issues we can disagree on, but this isn’t one of them.
  • Is it possible that we’re more in love with the idea of follow Jesus than actually following Him?
  • John 13-17
    • To follow Jesus is to know that He loves you.
    • To follow Jesus means that we hear His voice.
    • To follow Jesus is to love people.
    • To follow Jesus is to usher in the Kingdom of God. (Gal 3:28)
  • Listen to the Holy Spirit first.
  • If you believe the grass is greener on the other side, maybe the Holy Spirit is telling you to water the grass you’re standing on!

Bianca Olthoff

  • In following Christ, and in times of trial, we may not understand the why, but we must know the Who.
  • John 11:1-32 (Lazarus)
    • The challenge in the midst of the chaos is to still believe.
    • When we change our posture, and fall at the feet of Jesus, we are changed.
    • If he doesn’t heal, will you still believe?

Vivian Mabuni

  • Let the Bible be your primary source of Truth.
  • Read your Bible with intention.
  • Read like the Word points you to God, not for what you can get out of it for yourself.
  • We tend to think of the fruit as the blessing, but the vine is the real blessing—our relationship with Christ.

Rebekah Lyons

  • The Bible gives you what you need to push back the darkness.
  • There is a boot camp required for the next phase of what God wants you to do.

Esther Havens

  • When time is short, pick one scripture to meditate on throughout the day. Also try an audio version to have the Bible on the go.
  • What would happen if we didn’t care about being known (famous), but only about making God known?

Margaret Feinberg

  • Color or mark up your Bible, if needed. Make it yours.
  • It takes seven years to produce the first fruits/wine at a vineyard. It takes perseverance.

Shelley Giglio

  • Luke 8:1-3, 17:11-17
    • Mary Magdalene was cured of demons, and she was also present at the death and resurrection of Jesus. He surrounded himself with all kinds of people.
  • John 19:25
    • Sometimes we don’t know what to say or do for hurting people, but we can simply be near them.
  • John 20:11-18
    • We can be saved by Jesus, but sometimes we don’t recognize Him.
    • Mary didn’t recognize Him until He called her name.
    • The next thing He said to her was, “Go.”
    • Your role in the Kingdom is at its best when you can tell people about Jesus.
    • Believe. Engage. Respond.

IJM Staffer (We were asked not to give her name.)

  • Isaiah 61 (a garment of praise from brokenness)
  • Pain turned into hope.
  • If the speaker’s life had gone perfectly, or as she wanted, she would never have been part of this work.
  • Sometimes we are more ok with letting our flesh rot than showing another person and asking them for help.
  • We’ll search for anything, even garbage, to cover up our pain. (part of her personal story)
  • Giving a garment of praise to someone else, sharing it, is life-giving.
  • We need to be a source of God’s love to those without hope.
  • Quoting Gary Haugen, “If the bad guys are ganging up, why can’t we?”

Melissa Russell

  • IJM is making slavery too hard to do good business.
  • Holding people accountable to crimes is what will change the system.

Jen Hatmaker

  • Jesus told his disciples to love well again and again. It sounds easier than it is.
  • Some people we find easy to love, and can easily leave God out of it.
  • Loving the hard people is what points others to God.
  • Jesus loved everyone with touch, presence, proximity, dignity and as a friend.
  • When we love people well, we love them as friends and equals. There is no agenda.
  • Power, fear and superiority keep us from loving others well.
  • God’s Truth will provide you with the how and why of loving well. If you get push back, you’re probably doing it right.
  • Jesus was scandalous and reckless with His love!

Angie Smith

  • I don’t want to have spent my life trying to look like other Christians instead of trying to look like Christ.
  • Story of Isaac’s almost sacrifice (Genesis 22) is the first time the word, “love” is used in the Bible. And the same word/context is used later to describe Jesus’ sacrifice.
  • 2K years later, Jesus was crucified in the same area as God provided the sacrifice for Abraham and Isaac.
  • In times of testing, have you been more focused on the thicket or the cross? We aren’t promised the ram, only the Lamb.

David Platt

  • John 17
  • Where has God placed you? Recognize your unique place.
    • God loves people not only so much that He gave us His son, but He sent you our uniquely and with authority. Don’t keep this love to yourself!
  • Realize what’s at stake for those around you.
    • It may sound hateful to say to others that Jesus is the only way out of Hell, but if you believe it, it’s hateful not to share it.
  • Remember the simple purpose God has given you: make disciples.
    • Jesus’ revolution revolved around 12 men.
    • You don’t need a blog or movement or website or to be famous: you just need to make one disciple. What if we all just made one each?
    • Love makes you do strange things!

Jennie Allen

  • We exist for the glory of God and the good of the people.
  • Jesus walked in surrender and obedience.
  • Acts 2:42
  • Its not about what happens in this room at this event. It’s about what happens when we leave.
  • People need to see a compelling reason in you for why they should know Jesus.

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Special shout out to Be The Bridge! Join us in racial reconciliation!


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I’m Headed to #IfGathering2016 Tomorrow!

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.29.11 PMIf you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, then you know I love attending conferences! Well, this weekend I’ll be a first-time attendee at IF: Gathering in Austin! I have friends who have been to this event, volunteered at the event, participated in the live stream, watched the live stream, and followed the event year-round—and they all absolutely love it. So, I’m excited to experience it myself.

The IF: Gathering vision is “to gather, equip and unleash women to live out God’s calling on their lives.” Pretty awesome, right? I know it’s going to be a blast.

If you’d like to watch the live stream, then just visit the website and sign up. I have a bunch of friends who’ll be doing the same.

You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter for updates and my perspective.

I can’t wait to share with you all that I learn!


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Atlanta’s Benevolent Beverages

I love a good cup o’ Joe, and am getting more partial to a tasty cup o’ tea too. But whether I’m picking up something on my way to work, meeting a friend over a steaming mug, or working off-site, I like it best when I can make sure that my drink is doing something good in the process.

I want to support businesses that are trying to make the world a better place, and my suspicion is that you do too. This is an easy way to quite literally, put our money where our mouth is.

So here are a few of my favorite local altruistic experiences:

Dr. Bombay’s Under Water Tea Party

Refuge Coffee Company

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company

Cafe Jonah

 

Have you been to any of these? If so, what do you think? If not, give ’em a try!

And if you’d like to check out other companies doing good things, take a look at these recommendations.


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My 10 Most Recommended Books

I love recommending books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, etc, to people. I absolutely love it!!! And I also often get asked about what I’m reading, watching, or listening to. So, I figured I’d also tell you about a few books I love. In fact, these are probably the 10 books I’ve recommend most over the years—at least for now. ;) And they cover a variety of subject matter and genres, so hopefully you’ll find something that piques your interest.

I hope you enjoy them too!

  • Experiencing God by Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King
  • Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff and Chery WuDunn (also A Path Appears)
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision by Andy Stanley
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
  • A Passionate Life by Breen and Kallestand
  • The Starfish and The Spider by Ori Brafman, Rod Beckstrom
  • Where Am I Eating? by Kelsey Timmerman

Ok, and here’s a few more to grow on because I couldn’t resist:

  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
  • A Path Appears by Nicholas Kristoff and Chery WuDunn
  • Mudhouse Sabbath by Jennifer Winner
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe
  • The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
  • Mark for Everyone by N.T. Wright (one for each New Testament book)
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Five Minute Journal by Alex Iconn and UJ Ramdas

What about you? What would you recommend?


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My First Personal Retreat

me timeI’ve taken several vacations by myself, but New Year’s Day marked my first personal retreat. And it was time. Actually, it was way overdue.

At the end of last year, I was exhausted in every way, and had chosen RENEW as my word/theme for the year. I really wanted to cling to that word, but needed a catalyst to help get me there. So, I used some hotel points to get away. I knew if I stayed home I’d find too many distractions.

Rome, Georgia, ended up being the destination. And I was able to check in early and check out late, to maximize my stay. I had my computer, a few books, and a ready heart. (And, of course, a change of clothes.) I’d already been collecting resources that I wanted to work through, but as I predicted, ending up following a few rabbit trails, too.

My original intent was just to spend the night and fit in all my retreat activities into that 24 hour period. But I was tired and kept stumbling upon new resources so I ended up extending the retreat through the weekend, at home. Being able to focus at the hotel proved to be a great starting point, though. It gave me the energy and determination to keep up the work . . . but there may have been a pedicure and couple Netflix breaks. I mean, come on, we’re talking about 72 hours here. I’m not a monk.

These are the primary resources that I spent time with:

They are awesome, and I’d recommend any of them. They greatly enhanced my retreat, and I believe, came to me at just the right time.

There are also a few (hopefully) regular practices that came out of this weekend, which I believe will help to keep me RENEWed during the year. The first is The Five Minute Journal, mentioned above. I hate journaling, but this one was recommended on a podcast I listen to, and it sounded like something I could do. It’s just a couple bullet points to answer each morning and evening, and there is an introduction that shows the reasoning and science behind the questions. So far, even in my most groggy morning state, I’ve been able to keep up.

The second is meditation. I’ve tried it before, and failed miserably. My mind is constantly going 90 miles an hour! But like journaling, I know the benefits and want to reap them. I need to be able to clear my mind and listen in silence. That will do me a world of good. And meditation is one of those things that kept popping up around me in various ways at the end of the year, so I knew it was time to try again. The blog post mentioned above by Rick Warren also speaks in-depth to the practice. (Funny note: I have a book called The Will Power Instinct that I started several years ago. But the first chapter says that you have to be able to meditate for 10 minutes to continue the book in order to get the most out of it—so, yep, I’ve never finished. Maybe this is the year!)

The third is, well, to borrow another Rick Warren-ism, purposeful relaxation. The second half of that blog post was what I actually went online to find, and strangely, it was paired with meditation. I’d heard him speak on the topic before at a conference, and couldn’t remember exactly how it was phrased. I love the way he puts it: divert daily, withdraw weekly and abandon annually. Honestly, it’s going to be hard. I’m a multi-tasker. But for me, one of the best ways to do this is to unplug for a while. I’m usually connected even when I travel, so there is usually a nagging feeling that something needs my attention. It’s going to be a hard lesson to learn, and hard to fit into life when there is always something pressing. However, as he notes, if Jesus felt the need to do it, I should too. So, I’m trying to weave more of this into my life.

And that’s it! That was my personal retreat. It was wonderful. Another lesson that came from this time was just how valuable it was, and that this is something I should continue however I can. I usually try and fit books and articles and podcasts into the busyness, but having this dedicated time for it, with a specific purpose in mind, was well, RENEWing.

The reality of life hit me hard just after my personal retreat. Of course it did. Of. Course. It. Did. And it was frustrating because I wanted to keep the good vibes going. Life was interrupting my zen! But I realized that I wouldn’t have been prepared for it without this retreat. So, it’s already served me well in ways I couldn’t predict, and I guess that’s just another reason I should continue.

First one down, hopefully many more to go.

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