top3 for January 15, 2021

Here are three things I’ve read and have been thinking about this week. Have a great weekend everyone!

#1

There is no force in the world better able to alter anything from its course than love. You can get someone to remove his coat more surely by a warm, gentle sun than with a cold, blistering wind.

John Ruskin

I personally try to embrace a leadership style which prioritizes carrots over sticks; chooses honey rather than bitter herbs. I can’t say that I am always successful, but it is my goal! That is probably why this statement from the 19th century English critic John Ruskin captured my attention. I also think it is quite a contrast to the cancel culture that swirls all around us.

1 Corinthians 13 says “love never fails”. It may be delayed but never denied. Love is not only a noun – it is a strategy that will bring about the peace we all so desire in our world today.

And if it is delayed – it will be worth the wait.

#2

New word I learned from this Arthur Brooks article in The Atlantic Magazine:

Topophilia

“There is a word for love of a place: topophilia, popularized by the geographer Yi-Fu Tuan in 1974 as all of “the human being’s affective ties with the material environment.” In other words, it is the warm feelings you get from a place. It is a vivid, emotional, and personal experience, and it leads to unexplainable affections.”

I have warm feelings for a lot of places…wonder what that says about me? Don’t answer that question! Each place I’ve lived in both childhood and as an adult brings about a particular sense of ‘home’ for me. Thankful for the gift of home which for me is love, security, and purpose. I pray daily that my presence is making a home for others as well.

#3

“and a little child shall lead them”

Isaiah 11:6b

We often think of this as a prophecy for Jesus (which I would agree). And I also found myself wondering if another meaning could be pointing toward a time in our society when the truth of God is so well-known and abided by that even a child could lead us? In effect, leadership would be “child’s play” because we are all so aligned with the true leadership from God.

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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