Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weekly Smorgasbord

Here are last week's links.



    On Faith:
    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 06:31 PM PDT
    "I believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him as the Only Way, truth and light and the Cross as my only hope and salvation and the Word of God as a pure word, a sure word, the only inerrant, infallible Word. I believe it is only people who are fallible and interpretations that are errant and studying the Word of God – is about having the Word of God study us. Sometimes instead of shooting someone a clarifying question – we shoot arrows. I thought my heart might bleed to death....That's how the enemy tries to cut the Body with two wires: If you disagree with someone on one point – then you must disdain or dismiss them entirely. And if you acknowledge or affirm someone – then you must agree with them entirely. This is a lie. Break it....Having Christian convictions can't ever negate having Christ's compassion."
    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 06:16 PM PDT
    " I struggle with an impulse to critique, to deconstruct, to dismantle. I too easily write people off and assume the worst. I am undoubtedly my own worst enemy. I see sharp edges that need softened, and I realize every problem has the same answer:..More grace...This just might heal the world, mend relationships, sooth our inner turmoil. It could grease the machine of humanity and keep it running rather than grinding to a halt, stalled out for lack of mercy. It reminds us we are brothers and sisters, not demigods over one another. It is the way Jesus came, and it is precisely what saved our souls."

    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:36 PM PDT
    "It happens with Beth Moore, with Steven Furtick, with Don Miller or with Rick Warren. It happens with Christine Caine, with Andy Stanley or anyone else we elevate. It even happens with people we know and with whom we are friends. When we take a person and hoist her or him to a place that is too high we deify them. And God says there isn't room for that in the kingdom."

    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:33 PM PDT
    "Jesus is in the business of making all things new. And I've lived enough broken and loved enough friends through their own cracks to know that redeemed is not the same as fixed and that holes can still ache even when we're whole again. Death, divorce, loss, heart break – admitting them doesn't make us immune. Or cancel the loss. Or restore the missing."

    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:26 PM PDT
    "If I really, really believe in naked Jesus on the cross who bore all my shame and sin and muck, then I have to believe His sacrifice is sufficient for you too. His mercy sparks deep mercy in me toward you....Oh that you would experience this new, new life Jesus offers you, brothers of the last name. I invite you on the journey. And if we ever meet under the evergreens, by God's life-altering grace, I will hug you. I will pray for you. I will weep. I will say forgiveness words. I will welcome you to the family of the messy-yet-redeemed."'

    SO powerful.

    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:23 PM PDT
    "I started taking notes on myself throughout the day and I was shocked by the frequency of sentences that conveyed a subtext that didn't line up with my heart for them. Obviously this is a work in progress, but I will say I have made changes and have already seen results. ...So, before I get into the details, I want to encourage you to spend the next few days making notes as you parent throughout the day. Write down the words you say the most frequently, the things that surprise you, and anything else you feel like the Holy Spirit leads you to consider. It's the first step in what will be a long journey, but you have to start somewhere."

    On Parenting:
    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:25 PM PDT
    "I'm sure that looking at your iPhone in the middle of the park was not your finest parenting moment, just like I'm sure you've had many fine parenting moments that I'm unaware of. Like the time you stayed up all night when your son was colicky, holding him tightly in the rocking chair, singing to him with tears streaming down your face because you were so tired it physically hurt. Or the time when you missed your best friend's 30th birthday party because your daughter was sick and you couldn't bear the thought of leaving her with a babysitter when she didn't feel well. Or the time when you consoled your son after he was bullied at the playground and reminded him that no matter what that other kid said, he is a child of God and he is loved. Or like the day when you tearfully handed in your resignation letter to the job that you loved, so that you could stay home with your kids full time and pick up their cheerios, change their diapers, and scrub crayon marks off their dolls....I know I know you are more than a mom on your iPhone. You are more than a single moment at the park. You are working hard, fighting hard, to survive this calling of motherhood. I’m sorry that not everyone sees you this way, and that some are snickering from across the park, judging you up and down without so much as even knowing your first name."
    Posted: 07 Mar 2013 11:51 AM PST
    "You're the mom who is also my sister. Between the two of us we have seven kids, so we've both long given up the idea of truly meaningful phone conversations that aren't interrupted constantly by the needs of our offspring. We're okay with it, because we're both pretty good writers and we can text a blue-streak. You're on the bench watching my nieces and nephews play while I'm watching your niece and nephew play, and we're Facebook chatting about recipes and paint colors and laughing until we cry just like we would if you were here. Sometimes we have the hardest conversations imaginable that way, and time stands still on both of our benches, and I want to throw my phone far away from me, but I hold onto it and so do you, because sometimes, Mom on the iPhone, our phones are our lifelines to one another. And that's okay."
     
    On Friendship:
    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:32 PM PDT
    "And I still prefer the days they drop by when candles are lit and carpets vacuumed. But if I believe what I say about community, then that includes the messy days. The ones where I've been too tired to catch up on much of anything. It includes welcoming my people into the nooks and crannies of my ordinary and remembering not to be ashamed."

    On Conversing:
    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 06:09 PM PDT
    "Instead of approaching dialogue as a means to an end (agreement on an issue, a changed viewpoint, or even common ground), John explores it as a spiritual practice. Dialogue becomes a way to love and value one another. A way to do the long, hard work of peacemaking that Jesus calls us into."

    This sounds like a really interesting book.
    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:35 PM PDT
    "Me? I'm beset by filters. I am the product of a conservative religious upbringing and have spent a decade writing within a conservative religious publishing culture. Every word that comes out of my mouth or gets tapped into my keyboard passes through a grit-removing sifter. How does this sound? What will they think? Does this align with my brand?"

     I personally had to work hard on using my filter, so I come at this from a different sort of angle. But I do think there's a point to be made here and Jason makes it pretty well.

     On Sex:
    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:22 PM PDT
    "Yes. We should be talking about sex. We should be writing about it and talking about it and making it something that isn't a hushed subject that is only fit for the back corner of a room under our breaths. It is a part of us and part of our hearts and our griefs and we should release it from the confines of taboo."

     I've been thinking about this lately. It's definitely something I talk about pretty candidly, but not something I write about much. Honestly, I'd like to write about it more, but I think it's very important that we be (very) careful how we do that. One thing that gives me a lot of hope is that Sarah is one of the more conservative bloggers I follow, so I will be interested to see how she does it.

    On Birth:
    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:30 PM PDT
    Such a beautiful birth story (complete with the Mumford background).

    On Calling:
    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:30 PM PDT
    "I stood on the hills of Tara beside Scarlett, hands and back aching with labor in the fields, the smell of the fire that consumed Atlanta seeped deep in my skin. I felt the soft fur brush upon my cheek, heard the snow crunch as I stepped from the wardrobe into Narnia, and lamented with Anne Shirley the fate of flame-red hair...These characters, these stories became a part of how I viewed the world. They shaped my understanding that behind the headlines, history lessons, and artifacts of time were a host of real lives, personal stories that painted a picture fuller and deeper than what we were taught by just looking at statistics...Stories are my calling. Not just the writing, but the seeking, the holding of stories, listening as humanity groans and rejoices."

    I just LOVED this post and it resonated with me so.

    On Reading:
    Posted: 14 Mar 2013 01:29 PM PDT
    "Reading aloud gives you and your children a common language through which to filter their experiences."

     Loved, loved, loved this list.

     On Telling the Story:
    Posted: 06 Mar 2013 08:20 PM PST
    "But as a Christ-following story-teller, I confess that writing authentically is sometimes difficult. After all, shouldn't our stories reflect the character of Christ? And if this is so, how do we deal with doubt, pain, seedy characters, or precarious (if not embarrassing) predicaments? Are we allowed to write in a way that renders the world as it is, or should we soften it, make it more palatable for our parents, priests, and fellow parishioners?"
















    Enjoy!


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