Monday Mindset: Inspiration

I want to consider how this word can be a mindset. I see it in three ways.

The first thing jumping out at me about inspiration is a question: what inspires me? Do I know where to turn when I need inspiration? Is there an activity, an author, a place, a song…What gets my creative juices flowing? What charges my battery, jazzes my mood, and puts a pep in my step? Here are a few of mine:

The important thing is to know yours. Know when to reconnect with them. And, keep your eyes and heart open for inspiration to break through.

In the collage I posted above I hope there was at least one pic that gave you pause to wonder. The middle top pic was something I saw one day when I was riding my bike on a rails-to-trails path. I love to see things that make me giggle, snort, and spew my coffee. The sign was on the post to warn drivers that there was a bike path crossing. All I could see was the upside down bike. All I could think was, “now that’s some kind of trick riding.” And I must have chuckled about it for the next five miles. Seeing the quirky and unexpected inspires me.

Next as we think on inspiration I want to encourage you to think about who inspires you. Do you have their books? Can you call them on the phone? When was the last time you connected with them in some way? Don’t lose touch with your inspirers.

Finally, who will you inspire today? Whose mood will you intentionally seek to lift? Whose creativity will you encourage? You will come in contact with a multitude of people by chance–live inspiringly! But who will be on your heart or mind to reach out to? Have you ever gotten one of those out-of-the-blue calls that resulted in renewed verve and vigor? Who can you do that for today?

Be mindful, friends. Be inspirational!

Lent Day Seventeen: Staying Connected

I miss being on Facebook. Long story about why I’m not, but for now let’s just leave it at: it wasn’t my choice. When I stop to really think about it, what I miss the most is some of the connections and reconnections that I made. It was good to catch up with old friends from high school and keep tabs with family separated by distance. I don’t however miss the wasted hours of gaming that I got sucked into.

When I was “unfriended” by the major site for sociality it wasn’t long until this little extrovert wandered over to Twitter and got connected. Interestingly though, the connections I made were much more intentional. I chose to follow people who expressed like ideas, but also those who could stretch my thinking, who could encourage me, teach me. I only follow one family member and a handful of personal friends or acquaintances. There just aren’t a lot of people that I know who know me there.

Now Pinterest, that’s a completely different story. I know people there and I am having a blast finding new ideas and letting my creative little girl who has been buried deep within out to play! New recipes. Crafty ideas. That place makes me smile!

I’m imagining that you’re wondering what on earth that has to with God or Lent. I’m glad I’ve made you wonder. (insert small smile here) Wait for it…This morning on Twitter I read the tweet of a highly esteemed Christian pastor-leader-preacher-writer that said, “God created Twitter. How can we serve His purpose?” (Ray Ortland) This simple tweet really caught my attention. What I failed to notice originally was that there was a URL attached that directed me to a blog interview with Pastor Ortland where he discussed his thoughts on how we can use the vast array of social media to share God’s message. I’m glad I just went back and read it. You can find it here:

A couple years ago, when I still was on FB, a pastor friend of mine decided that for Lent he would give up his presence on FB. For him it had become a time waster and he decided to use that time instead for going deep into the Word and his relationship with God. He encouraged others to consider the same kind of action. While I understood his intentions, I wasn’t inclined to follow his lead because I was very conscious of using my media connections as an opportunity to discuss my faith journey.

He was also taking this position because of some very negative experiences he had on FB. I was thankful that I hadn’t had much of that happen for me, but I saw others doing battle with this. Some of the misunderstandings were toxic and painful and I could easily imagine not wanting that to be a part of your daily experience. But on the other hand, do we always run away from confrontation, or do we learn how to confront in a Godly manner?

So what do we do with this? How do we survive in this viral community without being of that community? Is that what Jesus prayed for us (see John 17)? I choose to land in the thinking of Paul in Colossians: “Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone (4:5-6, NLT)”

Maybe Pastor Ortland was right. Maybe God did create Twitter. Let us use it wisely and to His glory.

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