top3 for November 17, 2017

Here is a list of the top3 things I’ve read this past week with a bit of commentary around each and a link (if possible) so you can read the entire article too.

#1 – Beyond Thankful: Cultivating a life of gratitude – WSJ

Some really practical ideas on how to be a person of gratitude which as I’ve written a few weeks back may very well be one of the biggest keys to discipleship.

#2 – “Every act of self-control of the Christian is also a service to the fellowship.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I’m continuing through Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together as part of my devotional time. I have been thinking about this quote all week. The fellowship to which I belong is strengthened by every act of self-control by its members. It gets to the heart that there is nothing I do that doesn’t impact another person. The fallacy that I can my thing and not hurt others or help others is hurting our families, our communities, this nation and world. My win is our win. My loss is our loss. This may be hard to read but not hard to put in action because it happens automatically. The implications are enormous for how we view accountability and responsibility to one another. I’ll leave that to another day and let us wrestle with this for a while.

#3 – “No difficulty can discourage, no obstacle dismay, no trouble dishearten the man who has acquired the art of being alive. Difficulties are but dares of fate, obstacles but hurdles to try his skill, troubles but bitter tonics to give him strength; and he rises higher and looms greater after each encounter with adversity.” quote from Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I have been made aware of Ella Wheeler Wilcox in the past couple of weeks and have begun to mine some of her poems and other works. The above quote is timely for those of us facing major times of uncertainty, trouble, difficulties and the like. I am at times quoted around the office as saying “conflict is the door to intimacy.” What I mean is better captured in Ms. Wilcox’s quote. I hope you find encouragement as I have in the fact that God will be with us through each season and use our circumstances to make us more faithful.