Today, Amy Francis is featured on the blog as my guest contributor. Wesley and I had the opportunity to meet Amy in Toronto this summer while celebrating the birthday and engagement of a childhood friend. (Shout out to Brendon & Camille Best!) Amy is a recent graduate of Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Canada and a regular contributor to RELEVANT Magazine. I am excited to hear her thoughts on Canada, Community, Christianity, and the Church. Amy is parked at www.amyhopefrancis.com . Go by and show your love. Now, grab your favorite fall beverages or rainy season drinks and enjoy:
How my relationship with church changed drastically, and stayed the same.
[otw_shortcode_dropcap label=”W” font=”Calligraffitti” background_color_class=”otw-green-background” size=”large” border_color_class=”otw-no-border-color”][/otw_shortcode_dropcap]hen I was young, church was a scheduled reminder of God and the “something more-ness” of human existence. Church was also a social place where I learned how to be genteel, how to treat others decently, and to respect my parents.
When I moved out of the house and into the dorm rooms of York University, I was acutely averse to campus church because of the social anxieties I felt. Yet inside I longed to feel connected to people and a greater cause than just my career.
Good enough, I started searching, and church found me. I met people who inspired and challenged me in my faith, and they invited me to their Sunday gathering.
Some of the most important lessons learned are the ones about oneself.
Last Sunday, my husband celebrated his birthday. We took time early that morning to reflect and discuss some of the key lessons he has learned along the way. In our 9-year journey together, I have gleaned much from him. Some lessons have been learned through observation while others have been learned through conversation. All lessons learned have made my quality of life better. Here are 5 life lessons learned that I believe we can all use:
1. Smile More:
If you’ve ever met my Wesley, chances are you will meet him with a smile on his face. Leading studies show that greeting someone with a smile – softens his/her defenses and makes you more approachable and trustworthy.
Wesley is an EARLY morning person and as a result I find myself rising early as well. It is amazing how productive you can be in the first 3 hours of the day while the rest of the world is asleep. It presents an awesome opportunity for personal and professional development in the midst of quiet.
It has been close to 2 years ago that Wesley and I made the decision to move back to Atlanta to plant Tri-Cities Church on the South side of Atlanta. Although viewed as altruistic in some sense, it left me lost and dissatisfied. I left my ‘dream’ job at the nation’s top university (Go Tigers!) where I helped shape the world’s future leaders. I left to return to a common place. A place where I have been many times before… a place all too familiar…a place where I have lost and struggled…a place where I truly did not want to invest my blood, sweat, and tears. A place where I wanted to forget– I felt stuck. Yes! I am a Pastor’s Wife and I felt Stuck. Read more
[otw_shortcode_dropcap label=”H” font=”Rock Salt” size=”large” border_color_class=”otw-no-border-color”][/otw_shortcode_dropcap]ave you ever had a dream so big that it consumes you? A dream so gargantuan that it frightens you. A dream so pressing that it will take the energies of more than one person to bring it to fruition as soon as possible. A dream so intuitive that it takes foresight, insight, hindsight, and a crazy dose of faith. Many want to live a more fulfilled and rich life but your dreaming determines your living.
It is said that the poorest person in the world is one without a dream. We are not living unless we are dreaming. Many times we find the very essence of our existence embedded in the dreams we have been given. To follow these dreams we must get uncomfortable. It requires that we remove ourselves from our comfort zone and pursue a path that will almost always place us in a place of vulnerability. Read more