1) Spring Flowers – You know the old proverb “April showers bring May flowers”. Well, the April flowers here in the state of Virginia are pretty spectacular right now. Rhododendron, irises, roses, columbine, pinks, and begonias are dazzling with color in our backyard. More varieties will come in May, but these flowers have sure helped us thrive with the “stay at home” COVID-19 order. The rains have come, for sure, and the flowers keep coming. Glory!
2) Beyond the Guitar Podcast – So everyone who visits this page knows we’re huge fans (followers, supporters, whatever) of Nathan Mills (at Beyond the Guitar). The fact that he is our son could be how we “discovered” him, but not the reason we love his music. He is one of the hardest working, most creative, big-hearted musicians I know. When he plays classical guitar you can hear the emotion of the pieces – whether film or TV show themes, or video game music. There was a time when he livestreamed for awhile on an app called krue which is no longer with us but a lot of fun for its season. On his livestreams, he would even sing and talk awhile with us about the music we all loved. #NathanSings and #NathanTalks are rare these days. Well, until now!! Last week, Nathan, with close friend and fellow musician Jeremiah Dias, launched their podcast. They talk about how it all began – both their friendship and their music careers. Who knows what all they will cover next time, so you’ll want to subscribe.
3) Wisdom from Vala Afshar – Mr. Afshar calls himself, on Twitter, the Chief Digital Evangelist @Salesforce. I don’t really know what that means, but I do know that he earns a followership because of the dense amount of great information he posts. All encouraging. All fascinating. A few days ago, he listed out 33 bits of wisdom as a thread on Twitter.
As I got older, I realized:
1 lost money can be found; lost time is lost forever
2 learning to learn, and changing yourself is a superpower
3 you are not your job
4 networking is about giving
5 best teacher is your last mistake
6 good manners as important as good education
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) April 9, 2020
Some I’d heard before, but in that long list, I was reminded of how much we have in us (ability/opportunity) to change the course of our lives “as we get older”. Of the 33, here are a few of my favorites:
- Networking is about giving.
- If you are waiting for a title to lead, you are not ready to lead.
- Imposter syndrome is real.
- Love and cherish your parents by giving them your time.
- Takers may end up with more, but givers sleep better at night.
- Good listeners hear the unsaid.
- Never ruin an apology with excuses.
Did any of these remind you of a favorite wisdom statement? Please comment below. Thanks.
4) A Small Town with COVID-19 – Albany, Georgia. I have a dear friend from that little town in South Georgia and a very large and favorite church calls Albany home. Other than that, Albany, Georgia, was unknown to me until this Spring when COVID-19 swept through there. It apparently began when an older gentleman came to town in March to attend the funeral of a friend. He either came to town with the virus or contracted it while in Albany. After his death, several others from the funeral party also became ill with COVID-19. As the weeks went by with more and more cases, Albany became the fourth hardest hit town in the US.Photo Credit: Downtown Albany, Ga Facebook page
I have devoured all the news out of Albany over their response to COVID-19. Rural populations don’t have the medical resources available to larger towns and cities. These people must determine how to work together and how best to respond to the health crisis they (nor any of us) were prepared for. So thankful for their resilience.
Many Albany pastors are standing in agreement that it is not yet the proper time to open up normal church services. You’ll see the pictures/names of those who have prayerfully united in this decision. #pastorsunitedhttps://t.co/IeISsAxkiS
— Michael Catt (@MichaelCatt) April 23, 2020
5) Caring Communities – Of course, none of us prefer the mandates of self-distancing and staying at home. It’s one thing for us individually to take a break from people or to spend a few days in a staycation of our own choosing. To be given orders from our government is something we are not used to.
The isolation is itself difficult but the unknown is worse. Are we making a difference in holding off COVID-19? It is possible we could do less but we will never know (hopefully) how bad it could get if we weren’t self-distancing.
After so many weeks of self-isolating, and the clinical knowledge growing in the medical community, we are beginning to have mixed messages of what is necessary/appropriate.
Getting cynical is not the answer. Nor is throwing off caution.
While we are sorting out next steps, what a blessing it is to be in caring communities – surrounded (six feet apart) by people who love one another and encourage and inspire each other.
These communities could be attached to our work or our neighborhood. Our church or civic group. Our family and friends. Photo Credit: Jared Burwell, Movement Church
People we can count on to reach out to us and serve us when we need them the most. People we can reach out to as well.
5 favorite finds for this week…what are some of yours? Please respond in the Comments. Keep safe and be well. God is with us.
Country singer and songwriter Lauren Mascitti was, just until last week, a contestant on the TV show American Idol 2020 season. She is amazing. Lauren’s performances on this show, especially her original songs, were so big, full of heart. Her original song “God Made a Woman” is my favorite (minute 2:35 in above link). The lyric version is here.
Union University alumni Ben and Mindy Cayer are the married couple featured in this powerful viral photograph. Ben and Mindy met in Union’s nursing program in 2007. https://t.co/9nXFXKK0cl
— Trevin Wax (@TrevinWax) April 22, 2020
Photo Credit: Karen Garner