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Author: host Created: 10/16/2008 7:40 PM
As you head into the weekend, we'll give you a biblical, theological, or spiritual reflection to help you grow.
By host on 4/9/2010 7:00 AM

We live in the age of sharing…at least in certain spheres of our life. If I open iTunes to listen to music or podcasts when I visit my local wireless-enabled coffee shop, I often can see the music playlists of the other persons who are also listening to their tunes. As long as they leave their laptop open, I can "stream" their music through my computer to listen to anything that catches my interest. I'm always surprised at the eclectic mix of tunes most people have on their computers; showtunes sit next to electronica, and country hits appear in playlists with classic rock. In reality, I almost never actually listen to the music, but I occasionally do browse the lists just to get a peek at someone's personality, a window into someone's soul.

We participate in the age of sharing. Ever noticed this little image before on a website like ours?

When you click on the icons, you become an evangelist of sorts. Whatever page, product, song, or article you happen to like is instantly shared on your favorite social network with your friends, or even just through email if you prefer to "kick it old school." Click on the Twitter icon from one of our daily emails, and you can immediately Tweet the world, "Hey, you really should see this."

By host on 4/2/2010 7:00 AM

It doesn’t seem good,
this Friday
when we remember
a betrayal, an arrest,
a trial, an angry mob,
many denials, the mocking,
the suffering, the death, the sorrow.

How did it come to be
known as good?

By host on 3/26/2010 7:00 AM

On the brink of Holy Week
I anticipate the excitement,
confusion, disappointment,
fear, anger, sorrow and joy
to come with the remembrance
of past events.

About to fall forward,
I pull myself back and
remind myself to
experience the journey
as it is remembered.

By host on 3/19/2010 7:00 AM

If you have been paying close attention over the past two weeks, you probably noticed that the articles with my name on them have come from the archives of the DifferentVoice.com website. My plan had been to take this month off from writing new articles, because a major life change was to take place in my household. Two weeks ago today, a baby girl was born in a nearby town that had been promised to us by the birthparents. That day was to be the endpoint of our more than 4 year journey to adopt a child. (I've previously described our long wait as our never-ending season of Advent.) Things did not go as planned, however, and the birthparents decided 24 hours after the child was born—and after we had spent part of the day with her—that they were going to keep the child. For the past two weeks, I've been grieving the loss of that child and the relationships we had formed with that entire family. The sadness was deep and like nothing I had ever experienced before in my life.

As is true for many people today, I reached out to share the news through Facebook with my friends, since I had provided occasional updates about the adoption in recent weeks there. Many wonderful and loving comments in response to my messages helped me to begin to move through the grief…but a realization soon dawned in me. While I was grateful for all of the well-wishes and promises to hold us in prayer, I yearned for friends to be physically in my presence. I wished for someone to literally stop by to give me a hug, go for a walk with me, or take me out for a cup of coffee. In short, I needed to experience a more literal "with" in Paul's well-known instruction to "Weep with those who weep" in Romans 12:15. 

By host on 3/12/2010 7:00 AM

picturesThis article by Tim Gossett was originally posted on February 13, 2009.

Is Christian Education just another interest?

By host on 3/5/2010 7:00 AM

Today I offer a quartet of short poems. I hope that one or more of them bless you on your journey.

Self-talk

Creative
Imaginative
Wonderful
Amazing
Loved, loveable and loving
Created in God’s image
Always remember

By host on 2/26/2010 7:00 AM

As Christians we are called to live in community. Ours is a relational faith. As a faith community, we nurture and support one another and together we are the “body of Christ”. Last weekend, ten women gathered together in central Iowa for the Different Voice Women’s Retreat. For one weekend, we were the body of Christ for one another – a community of women who took time for ourselves and together were renewed physically and spiritually. It was a Spirit-filled weekend. One of the wonderful things about the experience was the gifts we gave to each other; gifts that can only be given and received when we live together in community.

By host on 2/19/2010 7:00 AM

The posts piled up over the past few days on Facebook and Twitter, and people talked about them in real-life conversations. "What are you giving up for Lent?" "Did you read the story about the guy in the military overseas who gave up Facebook for Lent?" "This year, I'm taking on a good habit instead of giving up a bad one." And then there was the girl at a friend's youth group, who asked her peers, "Could you give up texting for Lent?" (The answer in my church: apparently not, as I noticed some of the middle school girls huddled over their cell phones during the Ash Wednesday service!) For many (including me, I'll admit) this kind of story sharing has become the new ritual that begins the season of Lent. The Ash Wednesday cross is now the secondary mark (pardon the pun) that a new church season has begun.

By host on 2/12/2010 7:00 AM

The season of Lent is just around the weekend! Lent is a season of spiritual preparation for hearing and receiving the good news of Easter. For some people Lent has traditionally been a time of “giving up” something – a symbolic sacrifice to help remember the sacrifice that Jesus made. This practice was not a part of my faith tradition as I grew up, though many of my friends gave up (or tried to give up) things for Lent. Several of my friends would give up chocolate each year during Lent. To be honest, I am not willing to give up chocolate for 40 days! For the first thirty-five years of my life, I did not give anything up for Lent. One year not too long ago, however, I did give up something for Lent. I gave up yelling at my children.

By host on 2/5/2010 7:00 AM

Jesus called me the other day
On speakerphone.
Interestingly,
His voices sounded like
Friends of mine from church.
“I have a job I’d like you to do.”

I saw Jesus smiling the other day.
His face was that of a child,
Who picked up a backpack
Containing food lovingly packed.
The smile accompanied knowledge
That he would eat this weekend.

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