Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Weekly Smorgasbord

Links for this week (which is really the second half of last week's list):

On Faith
Posted: 10 Dec 2012 09:49 PM PST
"Our Master did not give us this gold of forgiveness so that we might hide it. He wants us to use it. He wants us to make things happen with it. He wants us to take our salvation and turn it into biscuits, hot on the table. He wants us to take our salvation and turn it into contagious joy, into sacrifice for others. He wants us to use it."

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:14 PM PST
"While symbols can be important, we have focused perhaps too much on them instead of the underlying reality they reflect. Instead, we need to go back to the basics of living as disciples of Christ, living missionally for Christ and demonstrating the Gospel in tangible ways within our schools, workplaces and communities. While I would be happy to see the Ten Commandments back on the courthouse wall, the fight over symbolic issues is backfiring, alienating people from the truths of the gospel rather than attracting them to it. The kind of Christianity the world responds to is the authentic "love your neighbor" kind. Its appeal can't be legislated through court battles and neither can courts stop its spread."
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:24 PM PST
"But more seriously, I think if we're honest with ourselves we evangelicals can confess that we believe moving Leftward is more dangerous (theologically and soteriologically) than moving Rightward. Leftward leads to the abandonment of biblical authority and of the resurrection and divinity of Christ (which we regard as critical for salvation), while Rightward leads to a hardening anti-intellectualism, hyper-legalism and an increasingly militant opposition to all things human. Move too far to the Left and you're no longer really a Christian. Move too far to the Right and you're just a nut-job, but a saved nut-job. That seems to be the assumption. While there may be some truth to the assumption, criticizing those on our Left but not on our Right is a practice we should reject. There are just as many theological problems on the extreme right as there are on the extreme left, and conservative evangelical extremists do damage to our cause just as much as Muslim extremists do damage to the cause of Islam."

Excellent points. 

On Family:
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:19 PM PST
"you see, it's not about finding the perfect fit for your family. it's about finding the right family for each orphaned child. and it won't be perfect. it will be messy. hard. discouraging. lonely. exhausting. painful. raw. but it will also be wildly beautiful. full of love. life changing. exhilarating. purpose-giving. redemptive. it will expose things about yourself that you never knew were there. deep wounds that need healing as well as strengths you didn't think you had. it will change your perspective. it will break your heart. but it will be good. so, so good."

 Such a beautiful,powerful post.

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 12:56 PM PST
"I don't want my girls to be children who are perfect and then, when they start to feel like women, they remember how I thought of myself as ugly and so they will be ugly too."

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 09:31 PM PST
"Mommy and Me classes, homemade lactation cookies, and learning Cantonese is all gravy, and if you can throw them in the mix once in a while, good on ya, Lady. I have about 9,000 things I've pinned on Pinterest and I think I've done four of them which is fine by me because those are above and beyond goodies, and not part of my just-scraping-by norm." Loved this post. Loved it. Language warning, though.
Posted: 03 Dec 2012 09:29 PM PST
Sweet nursing post (don't look if you're not into breastfeeding pictures).

On Issues of Social Concern:
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:17 PM PST
"So, could the human version of licking and grooming — hugging and kissing babies, and reading to them — fortify our offspring and even our society as well?..."This science suggests a very different reality," Tough writes. "It says that the character strengths that matter so much to young people's success are not innate; they don't appear in us magically, as a result of good luck or good genes. And they are not simply a choice. They are rooted in brain chemistry, and they are molded, in measurable and predictable ways, by the environment in which kids grow up. That means the rest of us — society as a whole — can do an enormous amount to influence their development.""

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 12:57 PM PST
One reason I wish Mississippi (or anywhere in the US) didn't have the death penalty.

Posted: 03 Dec 2012 09:15 PM PST
"Like the article discusses, we need as a society to talk about and be more aware of how (particularly) men wrongly interpret signals that (particularly) women send out. But we also need (particularly) boys to learn that a consent won through pestering isn't much of a consent at all. I wish I'd learned that lesson before I had to." Interesting (in a disturbing way).
Posted: 03 Dec 2012 09:14 PM PST
"Because ironically, much like the dogs followed their nature when they encountered something unfamiliar in their pen, people exhibited their own pack mentality as they descended upon Elizabeth Derkosh, Maddox's mother. Endlessly, it seemed, they sought to reaffirm to one another that this could only have been due to her idiocy and neglect, with comments denigrating her invariably getting more support than the few attempting to call off these wild animals. Common themes emerged in their attacks." People can be so cruel.
On Entertainment: 
Posted: 10 Dec 2012 09:38 PM PST
"Lincoln says the Civil War is about slavery. Full Stop. No mealy-mouthed "brother against brother" nonsense. No vague whining about tragedy. Slavery is the tragedy. No homilies to states rights. The right at stake is the right to enslave. And the black people doing the killing and dying are not confused. Nor are the authors of the Confederacy. I have never seen these facts—basic history though they may—stated so forthrightly, without apology, in the sphere of mass popular culture...A Frederick Douglass biopic, this is not. But hopefully it might be a step toward making that possible.' AS a history buff and someone who cares deeply about social justice, I'm excited about seeing this. As someone who loves the South, I'm a little frightened.

Posted: 06 Dec 2012 09:17 PM PST
Funny, I named it #1, too.

On Various (Some Extremely Random) Topics of Little or Great Importance:
Posted: 07 Dec 2012 01:18 PM PST
"But if we think more deeply about pleasure, we realize it isn't always so straightforward or even comfortable. After all, why do so many of us love sad poems, disturbing horror films, or intense, subtitled psychological dramas. Why am I capable of loving Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska" or The Smith's "Meat Is Murder" or Elliott Smith's "From a Basement on the Hill" — while at the same time I can enjoy T. Pain, Taylor Swift, and dancing with my kids to Psy's "Gangnam Style"?" "With the arts, we inherently understand that without the darker, more confounding elements, there can be no light. Wine is no different. Just as in novels or films or musical compositions, the more complex and ambitious the wine, the more unique and potentially discomforting aromas, textures, and flavors we'll find." For some reason, I found this interesting. Please don't ask me why.



Emily said...

Great articles! Thanks for sharing!

Emily said...

Great articles, thanks for sharing!