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Friday, April 16, 2010

Always learning?

When I mentor or teach writers—elementary school kids with big dreams, teens, or adult writers—one of the first things I tell them is never stop learning. I also tell them that even if you think you know something so well you could do it in your sleep, keep practicing and improving it.

I got a nice object lesson of this truth the other day.

We were in a martial arts class, practicing blocking moves. In this particular class, we’d gone over these techniques for weeks. I was pretty confident I knew what I was doing.

But then all four advanced belt leaders had something else to show me.

At first, I was discouraged, thinking I’d never get it.

Then I realized they weren’t telling me the same stuff they’d told me last time or the time before. They were teaching me more advanced techniques and pushing me to learn more, to keep improving.

It clicked that evening that even if I know a million and one things about any given subject (I don’t), there are always a million and two things to learn.

Always learning has a ton of benefits—sharper mind, growing base of knowledge and wisdom, winning Trivial Pursuit. That last one matters, truly. Ask my friend Carrie.

It has benefits for the people around you too. Your learning can be a source of inspiration and it can give you opportunities to mentor and help someone else take one more step toward their dreams.

What can you learn today, this week, this year?

Then look around and find someone a few steps behind you in learning that same thing. Teach them, encourage them, and share what you’ve learned.

You’ll touch a life. You might even inspire a God-sized dream.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

A beautiful look at the richness of Easter through the art of one of my favorite painters, Ron DiCianni.

Enjoy... and worship Him today. He is risen, indeed!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Final Week of Jesus

This week, my daughters and I are reading through one of my favorite non-fiction books about Easter: And the Angels were Silent by Max Lucado. This book recounts in beautiful words and heart-healing stories the final week of Jesus.

Here's a snippet from the beginning of And the Angels were Silent ... "Commonly clad. Uncommonly focused. Leaving Jericho and walking toward Jerusalem. He doesn't chatter. He doesn't pause. He is on a journey. His final journey.

"Even the angels are silent. They know this is no ordinary walk. They now this is no ordinary week. For hinged on this week is the door of eternity. Let's walk with him. Let's see how Jesus spent his final days. Let's see what mattered to God."

As we've read, we've talked about what mattered most to Jesus. What He talked about this last week. What He taught about. What He did during these seven days...Jesus clearing the temple- His passion for God and His anger at those who would keep us from truly worshipping. We've talked about truth and lukewarm faith and the courage to dream again. Of sandcastles and tides and the fact life is fleeting. And that Jesus is coming back.

No matter how many times I've read this story- I've owned it since before I was married- I cry as I read each chapter. The words are that evocative and the truths that soul-watering.

It's one of the ways I keep this week in my heart.

I hope, no matter how you do it, that you keep this week in your hearts too. Remember who Jesus is and what He's done.

Remember the scourging and the cross.

Remember the blackness of Friday and the glory of Sunday.

An empty tomb. A risen Saviour.

And celebrate!
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