3 ways to keep growing where you live

hi there! while most of you are ready for the summer heat to be gone, me and my citizens are ready for our indian summer! bring on the 75-85 degrees! that’s a heat wave for us! and bring on the harvest in the wine country and the football on saturdays and the changing of the leaves and the pumpkin spice lattes! let me tell you…

i'm flossing and doing the orange justice over here in my living room because of you! (those are dance moves by the way) you all wowed me with how you set off to learn to love where you live this summer! thank you for downloading the summer series grid. for treating the person behind you to ice cream. for inviting your neighbors over for dinner. for literally walking across the bridge to explore a different part of your city. for making the most of your stay-cation. 

as we enter into a new season with the change of weather, the change of routine, the change of family dynamics, i want to show you how to keep growing in the midst of a new season right where you live. 

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attend a city-sponsored, community-hosted event {a summer series}

july 4th might be an obvious one, so make a day of it! what about the farmer’s market or the art walk or a grand opening? we had a voting day in June for our city’s mayor and a flea market i’ve only ever driven by. our city hall will host events and we discovered a whole new world at the park recently. 

you'll need a link to your city/community events. your town's newspaper is a good source. coffee shops often have bulletin boards with local events posted. my go-to is http://sf.funcheap.com. for locals, you can scroll down and select the date to give you today's events, many for free.

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surprise the people in line behind you {a summer series}

Surprise the people in line behind you.

    you’re already in line for your shave ice, frappe, ice cream, or funnel cake. go ahead and surprise the ones in line behind you. simply turn and ask what they want and that you’re covering it! It’s like you just gave them the moon or something similar!

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If our city had a gate...

If our city had a gate and I knew Jesus was about to come in,

I'd be there to greet Him, to welcome Him in.

I'd thank Him for coming

Shower Him with praise - stating the obvious to the Ancient of Days.

I'd tell Jesus that I know He heals, comforts and mourns. That He sits with the outcasts, has compassion, serves, breaks the chains of sin and bondage, sets us free, and loves everyone.

I'd show Him the beautiful places - all of which He made -

The bay, the hills, the cliffs on His ocean's edge.

The lavender, succulents, and calla lilies that grow wild.

The seals, the canyons, the overflowing fruit outside the markets, the tide.

I'd want Him to see what His people were doing -

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does my light matter?

this little light of mine.

i'm going to let it shine.

let it shine. let it shine. let it shine.

harry dixon loes composed this song based on this passage in the Bible:  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

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in comparison to this great big world {and it's just getting bigger and i'm just getting smaller the older i become} my light seems minuscule. but i am finding comfort that it is seen and it is seen by the Spirit of the Living God. and that's a truth for every breathing human being.

so does my light matter?

"Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you." {Psalm 139:7-12}

we can go nowhere that God's light is not there.

absolutely nowhere.

the darkest street.

the most dismal work environment.

the darkest room in your home or apartment.

the smallest hospital room.

the uttermost corner of the world.

the darkness is not dark to God's Spirit. only to us.

so wherever you step today, see it not with your physical eyes, for that can be discouraging.

change perspective. see it the way God sees it. His light is there.

you are there. your light matters.

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monday night we packed out our epic church space with 260 women who are connected to our faith community or who were invited by someone in our faith community. it was the most beautiful thing i have ever seen in our city in the 5 years i have called san francisco home.

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it was beautiful because the evening mattered to us all.

we were all thirsty to have these conversations we've been wanting to have.

for time to be carved out to know the girls that live in our neighborhoods

and to discover who works in our industries and where we spent the bulk of our time.

a powerful moment happened when we lost power and continued to sing acapella.

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no matter how dark the place was, the light was stronger!

i stood with these women who worshipped and sang with radiance.

their countenance grew brighter and we left changed.

and a friend called me later in the week to say that she can see the change from the other side of the country.

how so? because san francisco doesn't look dark to her anymore. she sees the light because she sees all that God is doing through us.

so be encouraged.

wherever you call home.

your light does matter!

it's all in how you look at it and how you step into it.

for we, as Christ followers, have the Hope of the world with us and in us.

and if you don't follow Christ, i want you to say that you see Him in me and you want the very same thing.

for the LIGHT of the world is for everyone!

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