Monday, December 23, 2013

Top 5 Favourite Blog Posts from 2013

I read over 50 blogs on a daily basis (read = scan), and here are some of my favourite posts from some of my favourite writers, all posted in 2013. From youth ministry to movies to leadership to social media, it's all here, in no particular order:

Donald Miller - How to Love and Be Loved
Here’s the thing about people, though. Not everybody is going to like you back. 
But that’s okay. You shouldn’t hardly think about that at all. A dog can only take so much love. I have more than I even know what to do with. Here’s how I got it: 
1. I am genuinely excited about seeing and being with people. Seriously, if you are excited about people, you improve the chances of them being excited about you. It’s best to genuinely love them and want to be with them and enjoy their smells. One of the differences between people and dogs is that people can fake whether they want to be around somebody but dog’s cant. People like dogs because dogs are genuine. But people can be genuine too if they practice and they learn to trust and forgive.
Adam McLane - Why You Should Delete SnapChat 

The central premise of SnapChat is that what you are sending is private. That’s a lie. There is a very real risk that everything you share with any app or on any website will become public. One day, every image you post online may  become associated with your name. When you post something online you give up the ability to control where that image goes. So even if you aren’t using your real name to post with SnapChat, that “private image” may one day pop up in a Google Search of your name.
The same is true of anywhere you post something online. You always must know that what you are posting could become public.

Brett McCracken - "Parents Screwed Us Up" Movies
All of these films suggest that an individual’s brokenness, frailty and failings are in large part a product of the brokenness, frailty and failings of their parents. An obvious enough point. Sin is a generationally perpetuating thing, after all. But sin is also something to be owned individually. And let’s face it: brokenness is often just a softer way of saying sin. Even as I empathize with the young people in Place, Spectacular, and Short Term 12, and understand how rough their paths have been made by their parents, I know that they are ultimately accountable for what they do with what they’ve been given, just as I am. We can only blame our parents so much. All of us have problems. All of us are problems. But in spite of ourselves and in spite of our families, new life is possible. Thanks be to God.
Brooklyn Lindsey - Why Yes Helps Your No | Setting Boundaries
I wondered what it would be like if I tried this in real life.For every person walking by my office, for my children asking for a moment of my time, for my husband, or our neighbors, for strangers and people I brush past in public places. If I can help, I will do my best to help. To say yes. 
Most of the time, it really only takes a few minutes to help someone out.If I can't say yes, I'll try to get them to someone who can say yes or give time on a day more appropriate. It's changing my perspective on the phrase "living sacrifice".
Geoff Stewart at Download Youth Ministry - What Really Matters to Students 

For lots of us another part of our work involves connecting with other youth pastors through networking, social media, conferences and speaking events all of which make an already full schedule even busier. It is so easy to get caught up in all sorts of things that are peripheral to the job, and can come at the cost for the students we are entrusted to lead. This fall I have been really focused on being available to connect with as many kids as possible each week. Prioritizing my work in the morning and leaving the last few hours of my day for students has been life giving for myself and I pray, the same for the students.
Those times just sitting with a student, treating them to a coffee, focused on them, hearing their heart, hearing their struggles and encouraging them is powerful and in my mind a large part of what youth ministry it about. I know that an adult taking time out of their busy schedule was a huge moment in my story and I pray that I can create spaces for the same thing to happen in our ministry.

What blogs are you reading? Share 'em in the comments.

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