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I want to say thank you to the many people who wished me Happy Birthday on yesterday’s blog. I can’t adequately express how encouraging everything that you wrote was (you may want to go back and check out everyone’s comments – there was some great wisdom there).  It was humbling and wonder…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
I want to say thank you to the many people who wished me Happy Birthday on yesterday’s blog. I can’t adequately express how encouraging everything that you wrote was (you may want to go back and check out everyone’s comments – there was some great wisdom there).  It was humbling and wonderful. I mean, in this rough and tumble life, sometimes it feels great just to be noticed. So, please know how much I appreciate it.  I’ve actually come to love some of you as much as one can in this virtual world that we inhabit.
 
Also worth noting were the many people showing up to send birthday wishes on Facebook (incidentally, have you noticed – that’s the one thing
Facebook does better than anything else. I’ll bet you 10% of the
comments on FB are people remembering each other’s birthdays and
anniversaries). All our lives we strive for significance and well-celebrated birthdays help put enough gas in the tank to drive a little longer.

Many of you were kind and perceptive in what you shared.  I honestly want this blog to be not about me, but through it, somehow to ignite hope, to at least hint at a better world, to lead us to a place where it’s not just about us and our needs. And you reciprocated – you noticed that I’ve been slogging away in the salt mines of this blog for four years and you gave me permission to seek God for a fresh word. Good friends always do that for one another.

You surprised me and lifted my spirits. I’m still mulling it over and seeking God’s direction, but here are six preliminary observations:
 
1. It’s not about me.  We all get tired and need to take a break. But we need to get over ourselves. If the blog is breathing life into people and God’s in it, then there are ways to keep going without burning out. I’m going on vacation in a couple of weeks and will use that as the point on the calendar from which to re-launch.
 
2. The feedback helps. I write in private and need to know if the effort is worthwhile or is starting to miss the mark.
 
3. It’s a great vision-caster. A World Race parent emailed me and said, “I had deep concerns. I knew nothing about AIM and wanted to do my due diligence as a father before allowing [my daughter] to pursue this path. A leader’s “voice” is one of the things that differentiates organizations. Because of the skills God has given you as a writer, your written voice is strong. God is using your words.”
 
4. The community is a life-source. It certainly is for me, and it turns out, many of you find encouragement from one another. Although I’m the instigator, I’m just one person and need to pay attention to the wisdom of the collective.
 
5. Still, it needs to change. Things that don’t change stagnate. That’s the problem with a lot of churches, incidentally. The blog is about coping with too much comfort, for goodness sakes. At a minimum, I’m going to be cutting back my output and re-directing time freed up to investing in some of you, particularly those of you itching to get off the sidelines.
 
6. We need to hear from God. We need more examples of how people wait on God for direction. This moment is such an opportunity for us as a community. Already this morning I’ve received some direction from the Lord from some of you who are praying.

So, after writing yesterday’s blog, I asked God about it on my morning jog. Thankfully, it seemed as though he responded.  I’m looking for confirmation and I want to sit on it for a while before sharing it, but the essence is this:
 

Many of you have large reservoirs of untapped greatness in you. And I think God wants us as a community to call that out and create a place of amplified ministry. We all need people calling us out. Pray on it. Perhaps some of you may get some revelation as to how we can better minister together.

Comments (9)

  • I can imagine this blog disappearing, it’s a daily staple for me, almost like a devotional. It keeps me out of myself and I really hope you continue to keep it going. You have a real talent for writing, expressing the needs of others and showing God in everything you write. Maybe you could have your teams take turns updating it and sharing their stories on a rotating basis. Just a thought and a prayer. Good Luck Seth, and God Bless you and your ministry.

  • Amen! Unfortunately for some of us the only true community we can find is in forums like Facebook and blogs. I’m not too sure if this is good or bad.

  • I’m not sure that online communities are a bad thing; this one anyway. I know I wouldn’t be here without them, my life was so empty and meaningless before I came across Seth’s blog. I was hurting and reached out to him and he reached back as busy as he was and I was just blown away that someone who was responsible for 10,000+ people actually took the time to give me a call. He took the time to introduce me to Christians in the area and recommended books to read to help me deal with the pain and grief of my old life. He was the only one who reached out to me and although it was my decision to be born-again, Seth was the stepping stone that got me there. Thank you Seth, I’m not sure I ever told you what and influence you’ve been. (I’ll stop writing now lol)

  • amen, one thing I am come to see through your blog and all the comments that the body of Christ needs those who can build up, encourage , and challenge us in our walk with God and in serving Him. And I know for sure God never wants to give us less and take us to a certain point to just leave us so as I continue to pray for you and this ministry so I also have a excitement and enthusiam to see what God will do next!! blessings to all!

  • Seth – I just posted this on the “God, I am Sorry Blog” and thought it fit here as well…
    *************
    Seth, This is great. When I wrote that first blog back in 2006…
    I had no idea that I would be a full time missionary with such a heart for
    prayer and for the lost, seeing captives set free – just a few years later.
    Thank you for who you are and for all your support and for helping my to
    figure out who I am and was made to be and do, IN HIM.

    As I read these confessions and prayer requests to our Lord Jesus… I found
    myself praying on behalf of each one of these that have brought the sacrifice
    of a broken and contrite heart to God’s alter.
    He is well pleased.

    I think you have about 300 subscribers Seth – that’s a pretty nice size prayer
    tent in my opinion!!!

    I would love to see 300 radical Jesus followers partner together and pray for
    not only these that have responded here – but for the many strategic prayer
    points that are discussed on your blogs daily!

    Let’s form a PIT crew – “personal intercession team” here…

  • As a relatively new reader to your blog, i enjoy it and appreciate your insights, Seth. I liked one of the comments from yesterday to just do it as you feel the Lord lay something on your heart. Who says blogs have to be every day, every week, every month? His yoke is easy – meaning when we slip our heads into the harness next to Jesus’ – we’re connected. He does the leading and heavy work, we’re just along for the ride! Burn-out doesn’t happen if we stay plugged into the Power Source … but as someone who has been in church and Christian ministries all my life, i know it sure is easy to let ourselves get unplugged especially trying to meet the demands of our often self-imposed expectations. Anyway, be encouraged that you are blessing and helping others – and know that the Lord will lead you well.

  • As is often the case “a writer says it best”….I agree with Jodi’s comments here.

    Your insights Seth are helpful, your chiding genuine, your prose not self absorbed or promoting a book/product and your authenticity refreshing.

    But then again…I love you friend. I’m not objective. It’s been a thirty year journey.

  • Your ponderings sound good so far. I don’t have anything to add from God, but I am watching this space to see where He takes you in this. Turnings in the road are wonderful things. Turn right instead of left and you could end up somewhere great you never anticipated when you started the journey. The only way to find out is to try it. My thoughts always end up with Robert Frost at such moments:

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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