Oh if I could..

If I could marry Donald Miller’s mind I would. He blows my mind, all the time.

Flattery is fairly easy, but truly believing in the remarkable beauty of the people around us is something more. It’s not that it’s harder, because it isn’t. What it is is a paradigm shift. When we flatter somebody, it’s still about us. We are saying something nice in order to be perceived as a nice person. But when our hearts get changed by God and we see the people around us as His works of art and His kids, a love for them pours out of us. We are delighted at every person even as we are amazed at works of art on a wall at a museum. Donald Miller.

 

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Always learning.

I love to talk. I love to write. But sometimes I don’t know what to say and that often means I don’t know how to write it either.
So for those times I haven’t known what to say and I’ve found solace or wisdom in these words.
Thank you for saying it better than I ever could.

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.

Paulo Coelho

The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work; I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good….Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think are innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: My own will shall become yours.

C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

This moment of difficulty is not in the way of the plan. This moment IS the plan. The difficulties are a sure sign of his redemptive love .. Not unfaithfulness.

Paul Tripp

When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it solves a great deal of anxiety.

A.W. Tozer

In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it.

Mitch Albom.

No one can pray and worry at the same time.

– Max Lucado.

“To me, being a grown up is saying what you mean and meaning what you say. The older we get, the more true we should be to ourselves and to others”

Steffany Willis.

Drawing blanks.

Lately I’ve been drawing an overall blank about what to say here. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, in fact I think I almost have too much to say. However I find myself sitting in front of an empty word document/piece of paper and drawing blanks. Sometimes, when you’re in the middle of a process or a journey, anything that comes out is a bit risky. You might be in a great place today, but tomorrow is undecided. You’re still working through whatever it is you want to write about.

I love that while I can’t currently articulate what it is I’m thinking or feeling, there is still someone who understands. I love that while words evade me completely – I can rely on someone else’s wisdom. I love that God is big enough to handle all of it.

 
“I am not a theologian or a scholar, but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God.”
— Elisabeth Elliot

Move!

Quotes that make me think and that make me get up and do something!

Good things come to those who wait. Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up.

The way to love anything is to realise that it may be lost. G.K Chesterton

Learn to let go of things you cannot control.

Fortify yourself with contentment, for this is an impregnable fortress. Epictetus

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength. – Philippians 4: 11-13

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller

You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one. Henry D. Thoreau

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. Paul Valery

And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time. Donald Miller

I’ve gone for too long living like I’m not alive. So I’m going to start over tonight beginning with you and I. I don’t want to run from anything uncomfortable. I just want, no I just need this pain to end right here. Miracle – Paramore

Just my type.

Lately I’ve been using pintrest. It’s quite wonderful. Being a words person .. it’s not surprising that I love quotes and images and pretty wording and that I have a specific board for typography.

                                                    Source: simplygoodstuff.tumblr.com via Steffany on Pinterest

                                                             Source: greenlikebathwater.tumblr.com via Steffany on Pinterest

                                                                           Source: imgfave.com via Steffany on Pinterest

 

                                                               Source: inspirationfeed.com via Steffany on Pinterest

                                                            Source: inspirationfeed.com via Steffany on Pinterest

 
 
 
 
 

                                                              Source: theroxor.com via Steffany on Pinterest

Twitts

Firstly I’d like to start this post off with some self promotion. Follow me on twitter @steffanywillis. I’m going to make a conscious effort to update my twitter more frequently.

Tweets from twitterverse I’ve liked lately.

“I needed that sleep! Now coffee time and then back to Hunger Games!” – @msleamichele

“Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. #stopdat!” @therealshantel retweeting Rev Run.

“I’m starting to think that Jesus really does love football” @aplusk

“It’s not about what you get, it’s who your with.. Seriously” @iansomerhalder

“Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out – Anton Chekhov” @ninadobrev

“Reading the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s website. Ironic when atheism turns into a religion of it’s own.” @greggarbo

“You know it’s the holidays when you have left over lasagna for breakfast. Feast continues”. @david_boreanaz

“The feeling of building & completing a pain in ass dresser from ikea is bliss.. Until you walk away only to step on three extra screws. #how” @CandiceAccola

“Do humans know when they say “Chai Tea” they are saying “tea” twice? #uncultured #getwiththeprogram” @roshnivastrad

As Rosh would say. Humans are entertaining. 

Resurrect Me.

After reading A million miles in a thousand years by Don Miller, I became enamoured with the idea of living life. Living a crazy full life is different to living a life that you truly enjoy. My life is always crazy and full, which is good, but I want to make sure I am really squeezing everything out of life. So on a Saturday afternoon, after a lovely brunch celebrating a beautiful friend’s 30th, I was exhausted. Normally, I would have taken a nap while I fell asleep to some TV, but in an effort to enjoy my life a little bit more, I set out to try and accomplish a lot of my favourite things in a small space of time. Here is the photographic record of a productive relaxing and fulfilling afternoon.

And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time. Donald Miller – A Millions Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life.

Kissing

I seriously love Jon Acuff’s writing and enjoy of all his guest posts too.

Check out this post.

(Over the years, Bryan Allain has written some fantastic guest posts on SCL. He’s one of my friends who I hope gets to publish a book someday because he’s a funny, smart honest writer. He’s also just started BlogRocket.com to help other bloggers blow their blogs up. Today he shares, a brilliant post about a song most of us know and love. Enjoy.)

Kissing Metaphors in Worship Music

If you’re not familiar with John Mark McMillan’s song “How He Loves”, first off tell me what it’s like to live in a cave. Do you pee in one corner of the cave or do you go outside to do your business and risk being mauled by a jaguar with your pants down?

Either way, “How He Loves” is a popular song in churches right now, and one of the more memorable lines in the song goes something like this:

So heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss

Now, you’re gonna be shocked to hear this (I hope you’re sitting down in the urine-free corner of your cave), but some artists and congregations aren’t comfortable throwing in imagery more commonly associated with a 7th grade make-out party into their worship songs.

As a result, another version of the song has been recorded that describes the heaven-earth collision as a slightly different lip lock:

So heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss

I bring all this up because a few months ago I was speaking at a youth retreat and i overheard the following conversation between one of the youth leaders and the guest worship band:

Youth Leader: You guys did a great job tonight, but I wanted to let you know if you do “How He Loves” again, our kids are cool with the “sloppy wet kiss version”.

Worship Leader: Oh, are they? Okay, cool. I forgot to ask you about that, so we just did “unforeseen kiss”.

YL: No, our kids like the “sloppy wet kiss” way better.

WL: Yeah, so do we!!! Good to know for next time.

The moment I heard that conversation, I knew it HAD to be a Stuff Christians Like post. So many points to be made here.

1. Worship Bands need to start putting the Sloppy Wet Kiss Clause (SWK) into their riders.

SECTION 4C, NON-NEGOTIABLE ISSUES

“We’ve got four non-negotiables: 1) We need in-ear monitors (no wedges), 2) we need three pounds of unsalted cashews in a wicker basket, 3) we need a high-ceiling closet to drape our scarf collection, and 4) we will ONLY do the ‘sloppy wet kiss’ version of How He Loves.”

2. Why an “unforeseen kiss”? Doesn’t it feel like the person who rewrote that line just made a list of 3-syllable phrases/words to pair up with “kiss” and in the end “unforeseen” was the best they could do?

I’m guessing the list looked something like this:

#1 – So heaven meets earth like a hollywood kiss (sounds great but Christians are never gonna go for it)

#2 – So heaven meets earth like a butterfly kiss (perfect, but Bob Carlisle refuses to sell us the rights)

#3 – So heaven meets earth like a pantomime kiss (only if we want to creep out the entire congregation)

#4 – So heaven meets earth like a tongue-on-tongue kiss (somehow we’ve found something grosser than “sloppy, wet”)

#5 – So heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss (it makes no sense, but it’s the best we’ve got. Let’s do it.)

3. Never thought I’d see the day when a youth leader would say “our kids like the sloppy, wet kiss way better” with a big smile on his face.

I mean, having been one years ago I always knew junior high kids preferred sloppy, wet kisses…I just didn’t think Youth Pastors would ever find a context in which they’d be cool with it, too.

4. Why limit it to kissing? If we’re going to rewrite the song and use romantic language, let’s really open up the palette. Some suggestions…

So heaven meets earth like…

…some tender light petting

…a gentle ear nibble

…some married foreplay

…a playful butt grab

…the Song of Solomon

Let’s stop there before I get myself in trouble.

5. I’m calling it now: a Worship Leader will get fired in the next 12 months for refusing to sing the “unforeseen” version. I can already see the story…

Disagreements between worship leaders and pastors are nothing new, but twitter was abuzz today when a rogue song leader was fired for singing his favorite version of the song, How He Loves, against his Senior Pastor’s wishes. Mitch Veeneck, a worship pastor at Firepond Church in Central Iowa, sang the “Sloppy, Wet kiss” version of the song at both the 9am AND 11am services yesterday after being warned he would be removed from his position for continuing to do so.

While initial public support was strongly behind Veeneck, a new development in the story has swung the pendulum the other way. In an article posted on the church’s blog late last night, slow motion stills show the crooner flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth like a snake while singing the controversial line. More details as they emerge…

So what’s your take on the “sloppy, wet kiss” line in How He Loves? Do you like the original, prefer the toned down version, or don’t really care either way?

And by all means, if you have your own (non-vulgar) suggestions on how to rewrite that “heaven meets earth” line, pucker up and fire away.

(For more great stuff from Bryan, check out his blog or twitter feed. If you’re a blogger don’t miss his new site blogrocket.com)