The E3 Adventurous Life

Life is an adventure. Every day is chock full of its own surprises.  It is exciting to wake up and see what will be. 

It does not have to be mundane.  The same thing day in and day out.

Whether you wake up and go to work or wake up on vacation life is an adventure. Exciting and new.  Come aboard. (Singing “The Love Boat” theme song, are you?)

How can life be adventure? Well, when you wake up you don’t really know what will actually happen by the end of the day. It might be planned but anything is possible. 

It’s also a mindset. If you expect to go on an adventure you will find one in your day.  You will enjoy the small moments and the epic ones. Each are exciting in ties own way.

The E3 Adventurous Life is one that keeps life exciting. Or at least helps one keep the mindset of adventure.

What are the 3 E’s?  Well, here they are:

Explore

Experience

Enjoy

Explore – It’s going out and trying something new, going on a new route to wherever you may go, It’s learning about life, yourself or a skill. 

Experience – Go make a memory with a friend, furry or human.  Share an adventure  together.  Spend time with those you love.  Be truly present with one another.

Enjoy – Have fun! Every one should laugh and/or smile each day. Today will be said and gone before you know it.  Tomorrow is a new day.  So enjoy today for all that it’s worth. Go out on your adventure and have a joy-filled time. 

Begin each day with a hopeful expectation for the adventures that await you that day.  Be excited to explore, experience and enjoy.  

At the conclusion of the day reflect back on the adventure.  Write down how you explored, experienced and enjoyed. Look forward to tomorrow’s adventure. 

May we all embrace this crazy, random adventure that we call life. Don’t be afraid to miss out on something new out of fear. When you do feel fear keep holding on to Jesus’ hand.  He’s not letting go.  Keep holding on. Then go on the next adventure.

This Week’s Challenge

Write in your journal how you Explored, Experienced and Enjoyed the adventure that day.  See how the E3 Adventurous Life mindset begins to set in.  See how this change in mindset impacts your whole outlook. 

Want to Go On a Treasure Hunt?

This past spring I finally went on my dream vacation.  I visited ireland with my best friend!  For 10 years I wanted to go to the Emerald Island and explore.  To sit in pubs, meeting new people and experiencing the culture was a dream to me.  I Could. Not. Wait.

The original plan was to go after Seminary graduation.  Well, graduation came and went.  Due to many different circumstances the trip did not get planned and put on hold.  

This spring we made the decision to just go.  We booked the non-refundable tickets and the excitement started to build.  Let me tell you it was well worth wait.

One day we explored the village of Howth, along the coast east of Dublin.  The weather was perfect.  We hiked the Cliff Walk and saw some great views along the way.  I was in heaven!

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A scenic overlook at Howth, Ireland

Isn’t that view incredible?  I wouldn’t mind living there one day.

For lunch we found a quaint eatery in town.  The restaurant featured fresh seafood in a relaxed environment.  While waiting for our food to arrive I looked up at one of the walls and saw this sign.

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Some great advice from a sign in a quaint restaurant in Ireland.

 

Isn’t it great?

I don’t know about you but there are definitely days that I need to hear these words.  So much so it is the background on my watch.  It’s a nice daily reminder on those not so great days.

Days like the one I spent in Howth are not only good days but INCREDIBLE days.  However, some days are not so great.  To survive the day can be considered a success.  Am I right, or am I right?  Regardless of what the day brings there is always something good in it. 

Our God is a loving God Who loves us unconditionally.  He journeys with us each day, on the perfect days and not the so great days.  He knows and feels our joys and pains.  The best part He shows us how He loves us every day.  It is like a little treasure hunt every day!

When we wake up in the morning we get to go out on our adventure searching for the joy He has planned for us.  Some days it is a sign of His great love.  Other days we are reminded how He provides for our daily needs.  Still other days He gives us a glimpse of how He works through us to reach out to others.

While the Israelites, God’s chosen people, were wondering in the Wilderness before going into the Promised Land God provided them with manna (literally means “What is this?” It was like coriander that they ground up and baked into cakes). They picked up what they needed for the day (twice as much the day before the Sabbath) knowing full well God will bring more the next day.  It was a daily blessing from God to them.

Go read Exodus 16:1-5 to see it for yourself.  You’ll see without fail every day there was manna on the ground with the morning dew to provide nourishment for all of God’s children. 

So be resolved to go about your day today to find your own manna from Heaven.  How is God taking care of you?  What is the good in your day?

It’s pretty fun to go on a new treasure hunt each day.  I love not knowing just how God is leaving manna in my life and then discovering it at some point during the day.  Happy hunting!!!

This Week’s Challenge:  At the end of each day, write down in your journal how your day went.  Was it a great day?  A not so great day?  

Next write down the good in the day.  How did God show His love?  How did He work through you to show love to someone else?

Give God all the glory and praise.  Thank Him for His loving grace and mercy. 

Learning to See from a Whole New Perspective

Take a look at the doodle.  What do you see? . . . .  

Learning to change your perspective

What do you see in this doodle?

Now look at it again. Focus on a different aspect of it.  

What do you see?  Is it different from your first glance of the doodle?

I began doodling crazy patterns like this one WAY back in high school.  Being bored in class can lead to some interesting discoveries of hidden talent within yourself.  In order to stay awake in class day in and day out I would doodle.  Twenty plus years later I am still doodling and still discovering new patterns. (Disclaimer: Now it is not out of boredom but as a way to brainstorm and stay focused in meetings.)

The biggest takeaway from all of these doodles (I have a notebook that I keep all of them in) is how you can look at a pattern from one angle and see certain aspects of it.  Then you look at the very same pattern from a different angle and completely new aspects begin to pop out.  Crazy!

These lessons also apply to discipleship.  When one becomes a ReSolved disciple of Jesus Christ the world and the people around him begin to look completely different.  They have not changed at all.  But his perspective, or the lenses he sees them through, has changed. 

No longer do the quick judgments come and go without a thought but they may still come and one is aware of the judging and does his best to repent and do better next time. Instead of keeping to one’s self there is more of a willingness to go meet someone across the room and start a conversation.  Seeing a need in the community and the joy to be used by God to meet the need.

You begin to focus on different things because you are beginning to see the world as God sees the world. 

The chorus from “Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath beautifully illustrate this change:

Give me your eyes for just one second

Give me your eyes so I can see,

Everything that I keep missing,

Give your love for humanity.

Give me your arms for the broken-hearted

The ones that are far beyond my reach.

Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten.

Give me Your eyes so I can see.

Changing one’s perspective can be scary.  You don’t always know what to expect.  You are out of your comfort zone, unaware of what is coming next. But isn’t that the exciting part?  That’s where the adventure lies. This is where faith truly begins.  

ReSolved disciples are daily being transformed, changed from the inside out, by the Holy Spirit. Their perspective on themselves, their community and the world changes.  We are given a glimpse to seeing the world as how God sees it.  It is not a lot but boy does it change our entire perspective!

The ‘doodles’ we have seen in our lives previously are now seen from a different perspective.  Our hearts become broken for people or situations that may not have impacted us previously.  We become passionate for new things.  We are forever changed and therefore have a permanent new outlook on life and people. 

So as you go about your day today note how the world looks different to you.  Pray to see the world as God sees it.  Be ready to be amazed.  The new perspective just may change you in ways you never thought possible.  But have no fear God is with you always.  Just follow in His footsteps and take in the new views.   

This Week’s Challenge:  What is one area that God has changed your perspective since becoming a ReSolved disciple?  Journal how you used to perceive that thing/person and specifically how God has changed your perspective. Now what will you do being aware of this transformation?

4 Simple Ingredients An Infinite Number of Possibilities

Water, Hops, Barley, and unknowingly at the time, Yeast.  Four simple ingredients. Over five centuries ago German law makers set the ingredients for all the beer made in their country.  Their original intention was to regulate the demand on barley so a pricing war did not develop between the bakeries and the breweries.  This short-term decision has had a lasting effect on the craft beer industry ever since.  Each beer made has these four ingredients in it.  While over time other ingredients have been added these four remain the base ingredients for beer.

There are a wide variety of beer styles but they each have these four ingredients in them.  Water may vary based on its origin.  The Hops differ according to the flavor profile the brewer wants to achieving.  The Barley changes as the color and malt base is considered.  As a craft beer enthusiast it is quite exciting to see what the imaginations of the brewers craft from them.

The Missional Life Habits (MLH) are similar.  They remain the same for each ReSolved disciple but they play out differently based on the individual disciple and their particular context.

Each ReSolved disciple lives out each MLH in her life as God has called and gifted her. They shape her life and interactions with others. They become natural and begin to influence each aspect of her life.

Each disciple strives to Be Present, Listen to Learn, Serve, Share.  These 4 Missional Life Habits are simple but yet so comprehensive.  They infiltrate our whole beings and help transform us.  As each one of us is created differently we employ the MLH differently.

Just as each craft brewer finds a unique combination of water, hops, barley and yeast producing a new beer, a ReSolved disciple finds her own unique way to live out the MLHs.  Not only for herself but also within her own context. 

The possibilities are endless.  There are as many as there are disciples out living out the MLHs.  As we grow in our faiths and ministries the practical application of the MLHs in our journeys will change.  One will see herself perhaps naturally applying one more then the other 3 but still they all remain.  Helping us reach out to those in our lives with the Gospel and showing how we all have been resolved by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

So the question for you is how can you best live out the MLHs in your life? In your context?

What ways can you be truly present with the people God has surrounded you with?

How are you listening to others to learn about them as a child of God?

In what small ways do you serve someone meeting their true needs?

When are you sharing the Gospel in word and deed with those who have not heard yet for themselves?

The Missional Life Habits are intentionally simple so that they become natural to each of us as we live out the ReSolved disciple’s life.  They can be adapted to fit our own giftings and contexts.  As you go about your daily life look for those moments the Holy Spirit is leading you to put into practice each or all of the MLHs.  Pray for the words to share.  Seek the moments to listen to learn.  Step through the doorway to serve and then share.  

Be not afraid, fellow disciple.  Have courage.  Take comfort in knowing the Holy Spirit is with you always providing the words and opportunities to live questionable lives in the world.

This Week’s Challenge:  Focus on one of the Missional Life Habits this week to look for opportunities to practice and grow in it.  

        • Do you find yourself talking a lot in conversations?  Perhaps focus on Listen to Learn.  
        • Have you found yourself distracted by your devices?  Challenge yourself to put it away and truly Be Present with those you are with.
        • Is there a friend/neighbor in need?  How can you serve them this week?
        • Who has not heard the reason why you love Jesus?  Pray for the opportunity to share it with them.

Cheers to a New Church Theme Song

I grew up with the show “Cheers” airing.  Sam, Woody, Carla, Norm, Cliff and Norm.  A random group of people who became friends.  They came together at the corner bar and over time became close friends.  In any other circumstances they may not even have met let alone get to know each other.  Their theme song sums it all up:

“Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name.”

(http://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/cheerslyrics.html)

A place to go and everyone knows you.  They smile when they see you.  (“NORM!!”)  Troubles are shared with one another.  Joys celebrated together.  Through the differences people see we are all the same.  You wanna go, take a break from all your worries, and hang out with friends.

Here’s a question, doesn’t that sound like the Church?  A break from our worries.  People know us.  Troubles are shared.  Joys celebrated together.  We are hanging out with friends.  Some friends we may never have gotten to know if we didn’t meet at church.  It would be so cool to see that song in church or playing for a church’s promo video.  That would be sweet!

Community developed by spending time together, sharing experiences, challenging one another to grow.  Church isn’t just what we do on Sunday mornings.  It is who we are and who we love and serve with in the world.  Our names are known.  People are glad we came.

May we be the Church that truly lives out the words of this theme song each day in all that we do and say.

Dare: Maybe suggest to your worship director about possibly singing the “Cheers” theme song one week during the service.