Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Weekly Smorgasbord

Why, oh why, have I been so inconsistent with this lately? It's more like a monthly smorgasbord as of late than a weekly one. I could say I'm not reading blogs, but once again, I had to chop the thing and save some for next week. I guess I just don't want to take the twenty minutes it requires to copy and paste and check for errors and tidy the thing up and click publish? Or, likely I've just had more stuff I wanted to share and this got put on the back burner until I could catch up on all my beginning of the year, beginning of the month, so that was Christmas!, monthly letters to my kids, weekly happenings post and what not. I think that's the most likely. Anyway, here they are:

On Faith:
Posted: 30 Dec 2012 10:42 PM PST
"As the Creator's making sprung from the very heart of his Eternal being – all holy, holy, holy – so our small creating reflects our being. Inside this heart there are echoes of glory, mixed and muddied by a fair share of muck and mire. I paint in the middle of the mess, and it is the taut tension of brokenness and beauty that leaks from my brush."

 Beautiful, beautiful words
Posted: 29 Dec 2012 12:25 PM PST
"It's amazing how much more mercy I give to people who struggle with sins I understand. The further their sin is from my own personal struggles, the more judgmental and callous I become. I'm not proud of that. It's just where I was at that time in my walk...In many ways I have not been aggressive enough with the application of the gospel. My concept of grace needed to mature, to grow muscles, teeth, and bad breath. It needed to carry a shield, and most of all, it needed to find its voice...Grace must pick a side in the light of day, not just whisper its opinion in the shadows and dark places where we sign our name Anonymous. When a leader falls and then repents, grace picks a side. Grace is strong. Grace is a shield to those who cannot get off the battlefield. Grace is God's idea. Like a spiritual Switzerland, we stay in our neutral world where we can both forgive and judge but never get our hands dirty caring for the fallen. And when we don't pick a side, the wrong side gets picked for us. Crematoriums are more sanitary than hospitals. Let's change this!"

Posted: 30 Dec 2012 12:55 PM PST
"That's what they are. That's what these are. Holy hiccoughs, if you will. God's way of getting our attention, of inserting the mystery and majesty of Himself into my petty, limited list of to-do's. "Interruptions" that came into my otherwise semblance of selfish control. Like the heart attack rattling into full focus all my mother has meant, and means, to me. Like the other "interruptions" that deter you from getting all you'd like done, in your own little highly controlled way. Interruptions that don't allow you to coast along. Interruptions that throw in your face how you actually live with such high expectations of how life should be perfect even though we are sinners. That somehow it's not crazily gracious enough in this world knitted together by various self-wills that "afflictions" like illness, suffering, and despair are things by which we mark the default rather than the norm."
Posted: 29 Dec 2012 10:36 PM PST
"This was the first Charlie Brown TV special. It could have been the last. It would have been very easy, even understandable, for Schulz to pull the scene to keep CBS and his own team happy. But he decided it was crucial to the story, and so it stayed in despite weighty and valid concerns from important people...Thank goodness. Not only is A Charlie Brown Christmas one of the most popular holiday specials ever, winning at the time both an Emmy and a Peabody, but little Linus has now preached the gospel on national TV every year since, thanks to the extraordinarily ordinary courage of a newspaper cartoonist...In light of his example, the question now is what ordinary display of courage does God desire from me?"
Posted: 08 Jan 2013 10:18 PM PST
"People are hurting, err on the side of kindness...Decide to embrace tension. Life is too complex to force into simplicity. A life worth living is rife with tension...Marriage is the hardest fracking thing you will likely ever do besides parenting I’ve never hurt more or done anything harder than the consistent choice to love Dave the way he deserves day after day after day for almost 13 years…and to face myself when I don’t.  Enter in slowly...God absolutely loves poor people, ugly people, sick people, displaced people, emotionally abused people, mentally-ill people, train-wrecks, immigrants & even homophobes.  You should to.  And it should be tangible.If you are wealthy enough to read this post from your own private computer or smartphone, one tangible way to love the downtrodden must be financial in addition to whatever non-financial acts of service you feel called to...Children are the most vulnerable population on our planet and they deserve respect, love and honor. In my humble opinion, this includes children who are not yet born. "

I link to a lot of stuff on here. This could well be my favorite thing I've read in 2012. Take note. I wanted to cheer for all thirty six pearls.
Posted: 08 Jan 2013 10:21 PM PST
"We all (Calvinists and Arminians and everyone else) need to bend over backwards to be fair in our treatments of fellow evangelicals' theologies. There's nothing wrong with disagreement so long as it is informed and fair. Being fair, in my book, necessarily includes admitting that fellow evangelicals with whom you disagree do not actually believe what you say are the (bad) "good and necessary consequences" of their explicit beliefs."

Interesting Patheos article here. And nice that we're blessed with friends that go to great pains to do this.
On the Old and New Year:
Posted: 30 Dec 2012 11:20 PM PST
Twelve good lessons.
Posted: 08 Jan 2013 10:13 PM PST
"This year, I made only a few goals. I made them because it's in my nature to make lists. I made them because I think there's something good and honest about rolling up your sleeves and trying to rebuild the broken habits of your life."

On Political and Social Issues of the Day:
Posted: 30 Dec 2012 10:11 PM PST
"Russia's barring of adoptions broadly punishes the neediest, most defenseless, and most innocent members of its own society. In fact, this action by President Putin and the Russian parliament only affirms the purpose of the Magnitsky Act – namely, the need to defend the human rights and dignity of the Russian people – and makes the implementation of that law all the more essential."

Posted: 05 Jan 2013 10:48 PM PST
"The fear among some military leaders, politicians and experts begins with the belief that as fewer segments of society have family or friends in uniform, others become desensitized to the risks and stresses of military service. The feared risks range from a reluctance to fully support those who serve to an almost cavalier willingness to wage war, reasoning, "That's what THEY signed up for.""

Interesting article about how not having a draft really changes the dynamics of the military AND societal views on war.

On Education:
Posted: 29 Dec 2012 12:41 PM PST
This is why, at age three, given the choice between helping Annie explore the answers to her many "whys" and practicing pre-reading phonics skills, I will nearly always choose the former. [FWIW, I need to do better about telling her the answer less and guiding her gently to it more.]
On Various Other Topics of Importance:
Posted: 30 Dec 2012 11:18 PM PST
Good advice.
Posted: 30 Dec 2012 10:39 PM PST
"Three and a half years of chronic economic wobbliness, the ever-pinging of the new-e-mail alert, the insistent voices of prophet-pundits who cry that nuclear, environmental, political, or terrorist-generated disaster is certain have together turned a depressed nation into a perennially anxious one."

So fascinating, but so long. Also? I relate. But y'all knew that.
Posted: 30 Dec 2012 10:09 PM PST
This is really neat if you at all think fashion is interesting.

On Writers and Writing:
Posted: 29 Dec 2012 12:27 PM PST
I may be slightly biased, but this is a pretty freakin' good little piece of art. I've always been one to feel like the plot of a story was secondary to its characters. These characters are interesting and funny and complex and I want to know them more.
Posted: 05 Jan 2013 10:44 PM PST
"I begin with my core belief—and the foundation of almost all wisdom traditions—that there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty...Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this."
Posted: 08 Jan 2013 10:27 PM PST
This article was just heartbreaking to me. It's about a writer whose work several writer-ly friends of mine admire and that I've recently acquired a taste for. Anyway, it's painful because, according to the article, she basically made her memoirs fiction and her fiction autobiographical. I'm not sure which was more damaging to those close to her. Such a hard thing, this writing deal.

Well, there was a lot here. I hope something here brought you joy, taught you something, or maybe just validated something you were feeling.

1 comment:

Ellis said...

You are too sweet to me.

I love you, friend.