Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weekly Smorgasbord

Links from the past week (and some from a little farther back):

On Family:
Posted: 25 Oct 2012 08:43 PM PDT
"It hit me in the darkness of his cluttered room that these days are numbered. Some night in the future, Little Dude will ask me to snuggle with him before he falls asleep, and I will have no idea that it will be the last time. I won't know to pay attention or to try to commit every minute to memory. Days or weeks or months later, I will try to recall when that last snuggle happened. I won't be able to."

Posted: 24 Oct 2012 02:31 PM PDT
I'm always so interested in reading posts about parenting older kids. This one was really interesting.
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 02:30 PM PDT
"A family "wanting children" is necessary, but not enough, to solve the global orphan crisis. Together for Adoption's message is important because we need a movement of believers who will not rest until the suffering cry of every orphan is heard. And the church is still largely unaware of this cry. There are countless roles for Christians to play besides adopting children. If we want that type of movement to happen within the church, and to happen in a way that brings great glory to God, then it must be motivated by the good and wonderful work Christ did for us, not by our own desires."

Posted: 24 Oct 2012 02:29 PM PDT
"Am I Mom Enough? No, no, a thousand times no. The gospel reminds me that I am neither a good mother nor a good person—just a forgiven one. While I will endeavor to practice the divine art of self-sacrifice, both for the sake of my family and for the love of Jesus, I must also recognize that acts of selflessness will not propitiate the gods of public opinion, not even God himself."

Great thoughts here.

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 11:52 AM PDT
Cultivating a mood of calm repose. I want to do better at this.

On Faith:

Sex, Shame, and the Gospel… resources for conversation
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 02:32 PM PDT
"No other arena of Christian ethics kills the hope of the gospel more than the slaughtering we've done of sexual ethics. We invoke church discipline in this arena inconsistently and harshly, in ways that elevate some sins above others...We sometimes act is if heterosexual sin is less offensive to God than homosexual sin. And worst of all, actions become labels: She's not a teenager sold into sexual slavery who performs sex acts as a means of providing food for her family; she's a prostitute. He's not a man who occasionally fantasizes about sexual experiences with other men - he's a homosexual. She's not a woman who loves her husband fiercely, but in one night of drunken weak will, gave up her fidelity at a high school reunion and woke up with regret. She's an adulterer."
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 02:32 PM PDT
"I felt angry at the main tent city. Angry with God, angry with the world, angry with my own self, how is this place even possible in our world, in 2012? I could not bear the smell, the sights, the truth of this place, and I saw babies the age of my tinies there, naked, hollering HEY YOU snapping sass, and all of my carefully reasoned understandings about how everyone has a different calling and some of us are just called to different things than poverty relief and caring for orphans stank rank like heresy." "I walked the rubble, and nodded my gentle Bonsoir as dusk gathered, and suddenly I thought, Oh, my God, I would be terrified here. I would be so scared here, in the darkness, how do these women bear it? And one of our guides said, before the spotlights were installed a few months ago, the night fell and it was "a rape camp." Grim words."

Oh, this is so hard to see, even from the comfort behind a screen.
Idolatry of the Family
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 02:31 PM PDT
"Because an idol carved in the shape of a smiling family is still an idol."
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 02:29 PM PDT
"I wholeheartedly endorse teaching the foundations of Christianity. Foundations of Christianity are a very different animal than Christian living principles. Foundations start with an understanding of God, who He is and what He has provided. Foundations establish how God has revealed Himself and His redemptive plan for His creation through Christ. Foundations teach who Christians are according to what the Father has done through the Son by the Spirit. Foundations teach how the individual salvation relates to the corporate entity of the church."

 Interesting thoughts here.
Posted: 30 Oct 2012 12:14 PM PDT
"I don't like Christian movies (for the most part), because I don't identify with them. They have too much gratuitous hope. And this is just as sinful (if we want to go there) as gratuitous sex. The bathwater is dirty and sometimes the baby needs to be too. It's called life. Not gratuitous. Just life. Hope can be found in a much more creative way with bows left off." 

Y'all know Peyton and I have had many a conversation about why we're not big fans of "Christian" movies. To be clear, I wouldn't really say I *hate* them, but I thought this article was interesting because it gave a larger picture of what Christian movie makers could be doing wrong other than just creating films that are sub par aesthetically. For example, I discused the movie "Tree of Life" in a post the other day. It is a great example of "not "Christian" Christian" movie. It's power lies not just in that (I think)  it's probably better made than most "Christian" movies, but in the depth of the story it tells.
Posted: 30 Oct 2012 12:03 PM PDT

"But when it does come many people do exactly what the rich young ruler did: get spooked, turn around, go back home, and continue to do what they've always done but do it harder. For example, strive for better church attendance or join a more 'serious' bible study or commandeer the benevolence team – the kinds of things we've kept since our youth, scenarios where we can touch the bottom (all, I might add, perfectly good and pleasing things). And you know what? That's okay; as best I can tell going back won't fiddle with your eternal salvation. But it will faddle with your temporal satisfaction; in other words, you'll die 'grieved' because you'll know in your gut of guts that Jesus invited you out in the deep end of the ocean and you chose the shallows.shallows. Now in the interest of full disclosure I should mention that out there in the deep you might drown, or get eaten by a shark, or get a charley horse then flail around thus drawing the attention of leviathan. The only guarantee is God’s presence. That’s the deal. That’s the deep...Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides?...But I must also confess that if you let go and swim out after the Man of Sorrows…oh what tales to regale, stories of the sea and that gleam in your eyes and the smell of faith and hope and love on your skin, the deepest of these being love."

Beautiful post.
Posted: 30 Oct 2012 12:00 PM PDT
"It is very rare for me to see an egalitarian define "complimentarianism" fairly. I almost always see it framed with "control," or "patriarchal hierarchy." I have even seen egalitarians assert that complimentarians use the issue and threat of rape to control women...At the same time, I think most complimentarians mistakenly think that egalitarians are a bunch of rebellious, bra-burning, ultra-feminist women and weak men who don't deserve respect and submission. This cannot possibly be the case either."

 "It is a slippery slope when you say there are no rules for men and women. I get that. But the slope is equally slippery when you create a checklist, and you reduce people to a list of rules (something people are always prone to do). People are pretty squishy, and it's really hard to get squishy people to fit inside rigid, one-size-fits-all rules from the beginning until the end of time." 

This really sums up a lot of how I think about this.
Posted: 30 Oct 2012 11:55 AM PDT
"And then I switch, tell the Lord he needs to leave me alone too, that I need to go back to my comfortable lifestyle of expensive gadgets and everything I ever want and never having to deny myself because this is all so uncomfortable." 

How often do I do the same thing?

On Politics:
Posted: 30 Oct 2012 12:10 PM PDT
"While the church is to proclaim the salvation of God in Christ, the state is charged with keeping order, punishing wrongdoers—and more broadly, with securing the conditions of life that allow individuals to realize their gifts and callings : in a word, to flourish. Put another way, the mission of the state is to secure justice. Justice, as it turns out, is the social manifestation of the kingdom."

On Social Issues of Great Importance:

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 12:01 PM PDT
"1 out of 5 American children face food security issues...Simple and real talk translation: They are hungry." And when you start dehumanizing the poor, you have no desire to build relationships with them. You have no interest in their stories. You have no interest in relationships. You believe stereotypes that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society. Listen: When we're not interested in building genuine mutual relationships, you rob people of their dignity and they become projects and not people. They become statistics and not reflections of our selves. Listen: How can you love and serve the poor if you don't even know the poor? This conversation needs to happen especially in the Church." 


Posted: 30 Oct 2012 11:58 AM PDT
"But for pro-lifers, there must be a question: If life is sacred, how can we justify killing so many innocent children?...As an American, I'm outraged. As a pro-lifer, our policy of drone strikes is something I cannot abide." 

I haven't done enough research, but I think I agree. How can I call myself pro-life and condone this? A Pakistani four year old is of no less value than the (close to) four year old sleeping in the next room.
Posted: 30 Oct 2012 12:08 PM PDT
This post offers a counter point of view. It's good, I think, to look at it from both sides.

On Various Other Topics:
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 02:27 PM PDT
I'm really trying to embrace this-- it makes my spirit more hospitable.
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 12:37 PM PDT
"Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren't dumb and you aren't shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?"

So beautiful. What grace. Would that we all could have a heart like Stephens'.

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 11:56 AM PDT
Great ideas here!
Posted: 30 Oct 2012 12:04 PM PDT
Good tips for introverts at conferences (and maybe just in life, too).

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 11:54 AM PDT
This chick led me to about 95% of the blogs I love...some of which have brought about important change in my heart and life. She's been gone for a while, but she's back with her beautiful words.

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 11:51 AM PDT
"'A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which , at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.' William Faulkner"

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 11:51 AM PDT
"For a long time I was mentor-lonely because I wanted to find the perfect, 3-dimensional older female soul-sister whose life mirrored mine in every way. I never found that person (probably because she doesn't exist!) Maybe you've found that one perfect person. But for the rest of us, I'm giving you permission to get your mentors a la carte. Find a writing mentor, if you do that. A dating mentor. A parenting mentor. Find a mentor in your workplace. Whatever else you need. All different people. That's fine."

 Important stuff here.


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