ah, beauty here and there and everywhere

well i am definitely in a bit of a blog lull.  it sounds like it’s contagious.  i definitely have a few things swirling around in my little head but no time or energy to put them down so just waiting until they find their way out somehow.   my back is definitely getting better; i am pretty sure it’s all stress & tension-related.  i think the sum total of 5 years of being-in-the-trenches-full-time has taken its toll.  i suck at self-care and as much as i hate to admit it, this is a wake-up call.  so, the answer is yes, i am trying to figure out some shifts in that department in the upcoming months!

meanwhile, this week we celebrate the refuge’s 3rd birthday.  3 years our little crazy community has been growing into its own.   against all odds, and despite all my kicking & screaming & wanting to quit and call it a day, we are still alive & well.  and God keeps breathing Hope & Life into each other and our community.  everywhere i look, i see redemption. and even though many wouldn’t notice or see it, the beauty & courage of my friends in the midst of ugliness & pain often takes my breath away.

i am not much of a link-er in my blog posts. i read some great stuff and once in a while link to it, but on the whole  i have just been writing my own pieces here at the carnival.   but today i thought i’d pass on a little beauty i came across in the past few weeks to share with all of you this snowy friday (i love colorado, but i will say the one thing that really, really bugs me about living here is snow in april!):

lower deck church – my friend jeromy wrote the post i had in my head for the past 3 years after getting in big trouble on megachurch staff for using this metaphor.   i laugh now when i think how we got told ‘from above’ to “stop using the titanic  metaphor because it is making some upper deck people uncomfortable.”  ha!   anyway, thanks jeromy. yes, it’s way more fun down here.

beautiful thoughts from some friends about women in ministry – thanks, guys, for your heart, your actions, your support.

naked pastor’s cartoons.  too many to link to, but they always make my day.   this one hits the nail on the head when it comes to church craziness.

voca femina issue 6 –  our little dream is moving along.  hoping it continues to grow into all its supposed to be.  check out the beauty here & if you have something you’d like to share, please submit it!  we’re having a share party in boulder on friday, may 15th, if you live here, email me and i’ll get you the details.

my favorite quote recently from inward/outward:

When Jesus sent his disciples out on mission, he told them to be poor, to take nothing with them. And he told them to do things that were impossible for them to do all by themselves. So it is for all missions. Communities and their members are called to be poor and to do impossible things, such as to build community and to bring healing, reconciliation, forgiveness and wholeness to people. Mission is to bring the life of God to others, and this can only be done if communities and people are poor and humble, letting the life of God flow through them. – Jean Vanier, Community and Growth

a new blog that is a great addition for those out there who are survivors of sexual abuse & are longing for hope and continued encouragement for the journey:  smelling God.  she got the idea from my dear friend “janice’s” interview–God’s ghetto.  thanks, amy, for sharing your story of hope.

off the map’s newest extension, the practicing church: beliefs gone good.  great stuff as always.

sara miles book–take this bread.  i read it a few weeks ago when i was layed up on the couch & captured a few highlights at the refuge blog.   it is filled with tastes of beauty in the least likely of places.  one of my favorite lines:  “you can’t be a christian by yourself.”

a glimpse of what can happen when you listen to the stirring in your heart & step out of your comfort zone.  i love this story from the radical love project in eugene, OR.   beautiful, angela.

and lastly, the best metaphor i can think of about the ways of the Kingdom. the beauty, the power, the heart & the soul of the overlooked, the least likely.  it made me cry.   susan boyle on britain’s got talent.  embedding the video has been disabled so you have to follow the link…best thing i’ve seen in a while, don’t miss it.

yeah, glimpses of beauty everywhere.

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

13 Comments

  • Thanks for the link-love, Kathy. Glad to hear your back is feeling a bit better.

    Reply
  • hi kathy: so where you been. not just kidding there have been some really big changes in my government job that have effected my family financially so i’ve been researching ways to ethically make money on the net using some of my natural talents and knowledge skills. So far I haven’t nailed down anything in particular, but I feel driven to not give up. I hope that’s not just my own self preservation instinct kicking in to bite bike and scratch to meet my own needs and not depend upon father. however i am really desiring to develop income streams that would enable to to be free from my state job and be free to spend myself on whatever father has for me next without having to draw draw any income from that. i realize that could, just be me and it is father’s business how he chooses to meet my needs and mine to simply be thankful.

    well i wanted to drop in as i’ve truthfully missed coming in here weekly.

    in brotherly love,
    Tom Wilson
    http://www.ReligionFreeJesus.com

    Reply
  • Thanks for doing a “link” post.

    I needed to hear the “deck” illustration. We did not use that termonology on Thursday night – but this came to the surface on Thursday night in a meeting ….

    Now, I have to modify my next action step

    Reply
  • Happy 3rd birthday ..

    thanks for the links … beauty here there and everywhere … yeah I see it too … God is good.

    Reply
  • Pingback: A Mending Shift » Wounded Image of God, The Conversation Continues…
  • jeromy – it was really fun getting to hang out for a bit in NM and i am glad we got to have that conversation, too. thanks for the link love back, too.

    amy – i am glad you entered into the blog fray. you have some great thoughts to share, much hope & healing to pass on.

    tracy – okay i am headed over there when i’m done. the word “tension-attention” is definitely the right word! love to you. i sent you an email today 🙂

    tom – nice to hear from you. wow, thanks for letting me know. i will love to hear what doors & opportunities open up as you listen, wait, and step out in faith. keep me posted…peace to you in the midst.

    jeff g. – thanks. i never commented on your blog, meant to go back but forgot, on your sermon. good stuff!

    jeff m. – you definitely stirred up some good stuff, jeff. thanks for sharing. talk to you soon. what’s the latest?

    mark – thanks & yeah, God is good. happy camping. church at it’s finest.

    Reply
  • Kathy,
    Myself and my wife came across your blog somehow and we just want to encourage you and tell you we really love what you have to say.
    Jesus is obviously using you and your community. We’re on a journey out of congregationdom and we’re very excited, apprehensive and humbled about what God is going to do.
    Go strong.
    Ferg

    Reply
  • ferg – thanks for taking time to say hi; it really is more encouraging to me than you know, that people are reading and finding some hope or ? in the words shared here. peace to you both on the journey to something new. would love to hear more!

    jeff – cheering you on from afar 🙂 i think i always say that to you, but it is so true! you remind me that there are people out there in traditional settings stirring the pot in beautiful and very very hard ways.

    Reply
  • Hiya, Kathy. I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself. I think we often forget about the “as yourself” part of the compassion we’re called to!

    Thanks for the link, and the other links. I learned a thing or two. 🙂

    Reply

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