Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Weekly Smorgasbord

Not a whole lot for y'all this week, but a few really good ones that caught my eye:

On Faith:
Posted: 09 Jun 2013 08:54 PM PDT
"This is how high the bar is right now as a leader in the church, that people will wait in line to thank a speaker for not lying to them or trying to pretend to be someone else".

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 08:45 PM PDT
"What is needed, in my estimation, isn't a generic call to "faithful presence"--be nice and a hard worker wherever you are--but a way to get the radicalness of something like the Sermon on the Mount infused into "everyday ordinary living.""
Posted: 09 Jun 2013 08:28 PM PDT
"Read instead as the ancient Christians read it, Paul's statement is not merely that we should take our anxieties to God, good as that may be. It's that the judge of the universe is near so we can have confidence that wrong will be set right. It's not about trying to suppress our worries and trust God, which is for many a necessary but challenging effort that contains within it many of its own worries. That's the wrong focus. It's about the realization that God will soon wipe away every reason for worry. It's a reminder of our real hope."

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 08:14 PM PDT
"If the Church is to be the last bastion of light and hope for the world, we must open our big glass doors. To everyone...If the Church is to be a stronghold for the weak, the starved, the sick and dying, we must invite them in. And welcome them...If the Church is to lead people to the foot of the Cross, then we better have a damn good answer when the world asks, "Um, excuse me. Where is the Sanctuary?"

On Parenting:
Posted: 09 Jun 2013 07:53 PM PDT
"No one doubts that there are significant economic forces pushing parents to invest so heavily in their children's outcome from an early age. But taking all the discomfort, disappointment and even the play out of development, especially while increasing pressure for success, turns out to be misguided by just about 180 degrees. With few challenges all their own, kids are unable to forge their creative adaptations to the normal vicissitudes of life. That not only makes them risk-averse, it makes them psychologically fragile, riddled with anxiety. In the process they're robbed of identity, meaning and a sense of accomplishment, to say nothing of a shot at real happiness. Forget, too, about perseverance, not simply a moral virtue but a necessary life skill. These turn out to be the spreading psychic fault lines of 21st-century youth. Whether we want to or not, we're on our way to creating a nation of wimps."

On Privilege:
Posted: 09 Jun 2013 09:13 PM PDT
"I am a person of privilege in almost every category. That privilege allows me to benefit from systems that oppress, hurt, and marginalize people. Does that mean that I am an oppressor? In the current binary configuration, I am not oppressed so I must be an oppressor.  We have seen all too well how this line of reasoning goes.  As a white person, I am located in a place of racial privilege. Does that make me a racist? While I benefit from systemic racism, I am not consciously attempting to participate in or reinforce the prevailing racist structures… in fact, I may even be attempting to undermine them and confront them."
On Reading:
Posted: 09 Jun 2013 08:33 PM PDT
"Reading can create an intangible sanctuary where all are invited, regardless of faith, to receive benedictions that send us back into our respective broken worlds with more courage, strength, and hope. Reading can be an invitation to turn, face God, and live...Reading and writing as a way of engaging the holy is not a new idea, and yet, we don't consider it enough anymore as a viable way to make small pockets of sanity and sense within the various wards of our crazy human existence. "
On Modesty:
Posted: 09 Jun 2013 08:21 PM PDT
"In a place where the birth rate is high, a single can of formula costs at least two week's wages, and privacy is hard to come by, nursing in public is pretty much a necessity. Breasts can't be regarded as for the bedroom only. The concept of modesty certainly exists, but it's more often applied to women's hemlines than their necklines. This setting is just one example. As we travel across the globe, we see what constitutes modest varies from place to place, and in certain contexts, women feel no shame about exposing their breasts."


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