Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What "Headlines" Lead Our Lives?


It's Warm-Up Week for October's PURSE-onality Challenge: "A Holiday-Ready Heart"!  Here's a handy checklist to make sure you're all ready. (And if you're a blogger, grab the button on the right, let me know you've added it to your site, and I'll add you to my blogroll!)

This week's give-away is for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. (It's a Gregory Family tradition to have Daniel read this aloud to us every Christmas Eve...and for him to choke up at the end!)  3 names will be drawn -- enter via the Rafflecopter at the end of the blog post or click here to enter!

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(Can't view the vlog? Click here to see it directly via YouTube!  No time to watch? Scroll down to read the blog!)


Today’s title question comes from me getting stuck while trying to read through John 11.

The first place I got stuck was at verse 16. All my life, the one word I’ve associated with the disciple Thomas is “doubting.”  

But here, after all the other disciples have urged Jesus not to go where people are planning to kill him, Thomas says to them, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Putting this into a headline, I’ve always thought of Thomas as a rather negative one:


THOMAS DOUBTS

Somehow I’ve missed this headline, which reveals some amazing courage:

THOMAS OFFERS TO DIE

I got stuck again in verses 36 and 37. Jesus sees Mary mourning, and he begins to weep. Verse 36 tells us, “Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” but verse 37 gives a very different perspective: “But some of them said, Could not he who opened th eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Two vastly different headlines:

JESUS’ POWER IN QUESTION: 
Why No Miracle This Time?

or

JESUS’ LOVE TOO STRONG FOR WORDS: He Weeps With Mourners

So back to the question: What headlines lead our lives? 

Especially when both versions are true. We have a choice.

I’m working on memorizing Colossians 3:15-17. You’ll notice a common thread connecting all three verses:  thankful, gratitude, giving thanks

Now this is in total opposition to what happens in modern media. You’ve probably heard the phrase “if it bleeds it leads.” And if we buy into that philosophy, then our holiday headlines might read:

STORES CROWDED WITH RUDE SHOPPERS

or

FAMILY BUDGET STRETCHED BEYOND CAPACITY

or


COMMERCIALIZATION DESTROYS TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

Each of these will likely be true.

I’m also trying to memorize Colossians 2:6-7, and I love the last phrase:  overflowing with thankfulness


So back to the question: What headlines lead our lives? 

During October, I’m going to focus on leading with thanks-giving, well before the holidays hit. Because I know that whatever habits I have before the holidays are the habits that will stay with me–and even get magnified–during the Christmas season.

So here are a few thanks-giving headlines leading my life right now:

CAT WITH BROKEN LEG FULLY RECOVERS

Our little cat Dusty dislocated a leg bone in June, and for a couple of months, we didn’t know if she would recover. We feared she’d end up lame. But since the cast came off, she’s been as good as new, able to leap to the top of the fence and chase the dog to her heart’s content!

I’m trying to be intentional, each time I see one of our three cats, to let a headline of thanks-giving lead my life. To pause to be in awe of God’s creative, re-creative, and restorative power in Dusty’s lie...and especially in mine!


TEACHER COMPLETES MASTERS DEGREE

I almost didn’t share this one for two reasons. First, it sounds like I’m bragging. No idea how to handle that. Second, I was really embarrassed that it took me so long: 7 years! So when people congratulated me, I shrugged it off by saying, “FINALLY...it was about time!” 

But then I realized that we do this with our positive headlines. We downplay them, negate them, or don’t even share them. In my case, God has blessed me so much in the last couple of years with important insights and key people who have helped me finish my degree, I need a headline of thanks to lead my life! I praise God that I am done!


COUPLE CELEBRATES 24th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY

On September 11, Daniel and I started our silver year of marriage. It’s all by God’s grace that we’re still together; we have opposite PURSE-onalities, and we’re both pretty high-maintenance people. When I see him in the morning and in the evening, I’m reminded to have a headline of thanks-giving lead my life.


So back, once more, to the question: What headlines lead our lives? 

And more specifically: What headlines lead my holidays?

That’s the question I’m going to be asking myself as I wear (and switch!) my “A Holiday-Ready Heart” bracelet in October. 

Yes, I’ll aim to avoid complaining, criticizing, gossipping, and using sarcasm just like in May. 

But now I realize that those are just outward manifestations of the “headline” that is currently leading my life.

And the more I practice leading with thanks-giving, the more “holiday ready” my heart will become!

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2 comments:

  1. Cheri,

    When you get time, if you get time..can I email you with questions about this one? It was awesome, very informative..it is just an area that has been a major issue in my life and I truly want to learn more..thanks..Dolores

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    Replies
    1. Dolores -- cheri (at) cherigregory (dot) com !

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