How to Beat The Winter Blah’s, Link Up’s for You

{From Outside the City Gate Team}


January did her swooping in thing. She dive-bombed us and we were ready, mostly. We hugged her and celebrated with her and we just loved on her good. Then most of you shared the word that was speaking fire into your 2015 and you claimed those babies.


But now we are sitting here, mid-way through already, and winter? Well, winter does what winter does. These are the days of standard gray skies and teeth-chattering-boot-wearing-heat-seeking hours that push our toes under thick blankets while dreaming of crackling fireplaces.  And so what if you are planning your next vacation. Even if that vacation is only taken in your imagination.


Some of you filled up your bird feeders as you now watch the big, fat Blue Jays trying to boss the Red Squirrel’s into having their turn. Then the Red-Headed Woodpecker, which reminds you of the cartoon from your childhood Saturday mornings, hops in his vertical downward hobble on the trunk to another feeder attached to a tree. All the while, velvet Red Cardinals flit to and fro like a flock running off the Finches on yet another feeder. And those terrifying snakes are sleeping in their cold-blooded way and you are mighty grateful for all these things.


But in the event none of these are your reality (or even if they are), these link-ups today are sure to bring some interesting, encouraging, intriguing, joyful, and thought-provoking colors to your landscape.  And thank you. We have a mighty big soft spot for this community right here.




With Praise and Gratitude:


BREAKING NEWS , by Jennifer Lee with friends, and God moving people to compassion, answered this gi-normous prayer-miracle.




With Mystery and Joy:


The Trembling Mystery, by Winn Collier with, “The fact that mysteries surround us may allow the world in which we live to be honest or bearable or once again overwhelmed with grace – but mysteries, if they are true, require…” ~Winn Collier


Lucky, by John Blasé at The Beautiful Due because, “This dark world needs joy in spades. Don’t ever, ever hide your joy.” ~John (in response to someone asking “How do you receive gifts that are denied to others?“) A much worthy answer for each of us.




With Stories that Move or Challenge Us:


The Good Lie, about the Lost Boys of Sudan


Selma, insight into our past




With Thoughts & Inspirations on Writing:


Encouragement for Your Writing Soul, by Lisha Epperson with her Give Me Grace series where she says, “This year, as you make plans to accept invitations, ask about opportunities…put yourself out there in ways that call for increased faith – let this be encouragement for your writing soul.”


Stocking the Pond, by Shauna Niequist because, “The first part of writing is noticing.”


Bravely Capturing Words, by Cindee Snider Re is a series of inspirational pictures paired with words to keep you at it.




With a Call to Gather:

In Darkness and In Light, by Holly Grantham at SheLovesMagazine in which, “I want to pull close all the light-drenched moments and store them deep in the secret places…” ~Holly 




With Creative Courage:

Delight: East Meets West, by Jordan Brittley a look at young women praising, encouraging, and knowing God, toward the truth that, “Yes we are loved! YES! We are beautiful!”

Delight: EAST MEETS WEST from Jordan Brittley on Vimeo.




With a listening ear:


The Church in the Woods by Esther Emery at SheLovesMagazine: “I bought it for so long, that if I didn’t bend my neck to the church with a small ‘c’ that I couldn’t call myself a Christian. I bought this teaching that my desire for solitude was dangerous, that if I wanted to spend Sunday in a chapel of tall trees and listen to the sermon of the brook I was no less than selfish and maybe as much as a heretic.”  ~Esther Emery


Dear Church by Amber Cadenas at Beautiful Rubbish: “Can you trust that my leaving from underneath your roof is not the same as leaving the family? I am not abandoning you. You are, for better or worse, woven into my story. And long, long before my story ever was, you laid out for me a history.” ~~Amber (from December, 2014)




With a Penchant for Cabin Fever:


Best Trips of 2015, by National Geographic. Just click through and get an arm-chair tour of the world and the states.


20 U.S. Cities You Must Visit In Your 20’s, by HuffPost. Who says you have to be in your 20’s? We can hang with the best of’em.


With A Little Fun and Cute-ness:


The kids told the story, in their own voice, as the grown up’s ad lib the scenes. Have you seen it?




And lastly, With Our Own:

sunday circle group

The Sunday Circle Group is coming Feb 1st 2015. Our vision is to bring together a non-competitive cooperation of the Body of Christ to share as a free-offering to those who are displaced from church community, or feel lost in their own, or for anybody who needs a circle of faith builders in their lives, and wants to be with a community of dreamers. This will be in the form of a newsletter, only, via email.

You’re invited to be part of it!

Subscribe to our mailing list for exclusive content. No spam.


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