Thursday, March 19, 2015

Weekly Smorgasbord

Some links that I loved this week. Some of these are older but somehow didn't make it into previous posts (I don't think?). Anyway, here they are:

On Faith:
Posted: 07 Mar 2015 11:57 AM PST
 This is the kind of thing that led to my post on laying down some baggage. Because damn if somebody's not going to throw you under the bus for "being led by your senses" rather than "a theological understanding grounded in the explicit teachings of Scripture." False dichotomies abound. I was sort of unfair to Dr. Mohler in my comments on Facebook when I shared this, but I do think it's problematic. I think Preston (below) does an excellent job of speaking to the issue. 
Posted: 09 Mar 2015 11:06 AM PDT
Who went wrong? My parents, who taught me to pray and know the Scriptures? My pastors, who taught me Jesus longs for all of us to be reconciled to God? My youth leaders, who taught me the Spirit is always at work in us? I became an Anglican, but I do not feel ashamed of the tradition I was raised in. I feel exceptionally blessed to have been raised in it. The Baptists gave me a fierce love of Scripture; the Baptists taught me to want salvation for all people. My questions about what those things meant and mean were not unsafe in the Baptist faith, at least not in the faith I experienced, so words like yours always startle me, especially from someone who is in the position of leadership you hold. I am an Anglican, but I do not dismiss your faithfulness. I do not doubt your convictions or openness to the Spirit of God. Were you to come to our church, the Table would be open to you, for we confess and serve together the same Good Shepherd. More importantly, we were found by the same Good Shepherd. I can guess your criticisms of my faith and the Christian faith as expressed in Roman Catholicism. Baptism, Communion, justification, and so on. I take these matters seriously, not least of all because it’s my job to. But as we both know, the world is becoming increasingly hostile to orthodox Christian faith. We both know the souls of many hang in the balance. We both know the witness of the church faces countless challenges. I’ll be direct: why are we wasting time?"

Well, Preston as far more gracious and generous to Al than I was. Which is convicting. Every word of this is really, really good.
On Family: 
Posted: 16 Mar 2015 06:29 PM PDT
"Gingerly walking, slowly healing, taking all help that is offered. I remember the first-baby-me, the one who wanted to be seen as capable and together, and bless her heart. What a waste of energy on independence. Now I eat meals other women prepared for my family and I praise them at the city gates. I lean heavily on my mother and my sister for disciplining my children, for an extra set of hands, for help cleaning the kitchen. I am humbled and so I receive from my people. I cry when my milk comes in and I sort through our delivery, my recovery, my emotions, receiving prayer and wisdom from friends. One day again it will be my turn to make the meals, to lay hands and minister with prayer and perspective, and a folded load of laundry, I will be ready."

This whole thing is so beautiful.

Posted: 07 Mar 2015 08:13 PM PST
"Plans change. Flights are delayed, museums are closed on random days, the food isn't what they said it'd be like, and it thunderstorms on beach days. Such is life. ...Yes, this happens in real life, too, but it seems to happen more often than not on extended worldwide travel. It can be hard on my sensibilities as an adult, but embracing change and learning to go with the flow teaches my kids how to flex in all parts of life. In fact, they've taught me a thing or two in this department—it's been a joy to watch them adapt to changes and adjust their expectations on the go."

Posted: 07 Mar 2015 05:10 PM PST
"So, don't be discouraged when you see my clean kitchen or your friend with the amazing closet and beautiful hair. Don't be discouraged by the mom who gets her kids to eat well-balanced paleo meals or the friend who is always hosting all these fun play dates and parties. We're all struggling with something else you're not seeing and we're all "real," I promise." This is actually something I've given a good bit of thought to. I think this article makes great points in that we all have areas we are strong in and areas we're weak in and we should just be encouraging each other and building each other up. There's no need to shame someone for their strengths (by pretending they are an illusion) to avoid shaming others for their weaknesses (e.g. a messy house). It can be a "both and" thing. Also, it's helpful to keep in mind that everything is a curated image, at least to an extent (and sometimes subconsciously). But the chick with the messy house is presenting something to you just like the one who moved the laundry hamper out of the way before she snapped the picture.

Posted: 11 Mar 2015 08:16 PM PDT
I love the idea of a more structured quiet time. I've wondered how this would work going forward, especially as we have a small-ish house and would like more little people in it =)
On Childhood: 
Posted: 16 Mar 2015 07:27 PM PDT
"This is the hope of glory: feeling the decadent evening love rising warm in pinking cheeks, covering eyes to things not for children. This is the hope of glory: the wonder of traveling mercies, snowy peaks and Carolina tide, and ever asking 'are we there yet?'"

On Story:
Posted: 07 Mar 2015 12:19 PM PST
"But far above art and style is heart and story, and sometimes the deepest most beautiful moments in life don't add up to fit a cohesive feed. They happen in artificial light, in front of cluttered boxes, with crooked lines, harsh shadows and yellow hues. Their story is their art. This week, I added some of my most beautiful moments ever to my feed. There's no soft, natural light, no strategic perspective, but they represent the most important thing about my art and my brand, I hope--love. Love can't always be packaged with soft light and pretty details, love doesn't always photograph well or fit with our style, but the story blooming under those fluorescent lights, the emotions surging in that crowded room--it was art, it was beauty, and it looked and felt more cohesive with what I want to capture and share than the perfect afternoon light ever could. It was beautiful."

On Cancer:
Posted: 07 Mar 2015 08:07 PM PST
"You might think seeing a breast cancer scar 'Oh, that's ugly, that's scary' but yet when you see these images they're raw, they're unflinching and yet they're beautiful, they're empowering". So brave.

On Crowds:
Posted: 08 Mar 2015 08:07 PM PDT
"It is only in a crowd that man can become free of this fear of being touched. That is the only situation in which the fear changes into its opposite. The crowd he needs is the dense crowd, in which body is pressed to body; a crowd, too, whose psychical constitution is also dense, or compact, so that he no longer notices who it is that presses against him. As soon as man has surrendered himself to the crowd, he ceases to fear its touch." So fascinating. I know this has been true of me this year. And it adds an interesting dimension to my shoe tying anecdote from this morning (i.e. often New Yorkers are forced to touch each other regularly and indiscriminately- you've already been humbled a bit- so it's much easier to bend down and tie a stranger's shoe, which happened to me recently- blog post soon (maybe tomorrow?)).

On Jeans:
Posted: 07 Mar 2015 08:06 PM PST
If I had a nickel for every time someone wearing these things told me graphically about the porn he had watched, flipped off the principle behind his back, or enjoyed the view while I engaged is the most absurd acts of thirteen year old PDA on the campus of a prestigious college preparatory school, I'd have....probably a whole JNCO pocket full of nickels. And also a very different early adolescence. Wouldn't trade it for the world. It was a formative experience and some of those friendships live on to this day. But ‪#‎hardishardyo‬ and ‪#‎sevenththroughninthgradewasHARD‬ ‪#‎sorryMinnieIknowtheywereyourhardestyearstoo‬

On Southern Snowstorms:
Posted: 07 Mar 2015 08:14 PM PST
This is THE BEST. I nearly spit out my drink. So on point since a) Minnie actually uses the word "catywampus" on the regular and b) Sweet Dixie Champagne is the only way I'm making it these days. P and I were howling (and missing the South something fierce).

(Our Apartment) On Streeteasy:
Posted: 07 Mar 2015 08:04 PM PST
So who wants to buy our eight hundred square foot apartment for half a million dollars? ‪#‎priceyplacetoliveyo‬
Noteworthy Quotes from the Week:
"“My identity as Abba’s child is not an abstraction or a tap dance into religiosity. It is the core truth of my existence. Living in the wisdom of accepted tenderness profoundly affects my perception of reality, the way I respond to people and their life situations. How I treat my brothers and sisters from day to day, whether they be Caucasian, African, Asian, or Hispanic; how I react to the sin-scarred wino on the street; how I respond to interruptions from people I dislike; how I deal with ordinary people in their ordinary unbelief on an ordinary day will speak the truth of who I am more poignantly than the pro-life sticker on the bumper of my car. We are not for life simply because we are warding off death. We are sons and daughters of the Most High and maturing in tenderness to the extent that we are for others—all others—to the extent that no human flesh is strange to us, to the extent that we can touch the hand of another in love, to the extent that for us there are no “others.”" - Brennan Manning
Grace abounds in contemporary movies, books, novels, films and music. If God is not in the whirlwind, He may be in a Woody Allen film, or a Bruce Springsteen concert. Most people understand imagery and symbol better than doctrine and dogma. Images touch hearts and awaken imaginations. One theologian suggested that Springsteen's 'Tunnel of Love' album, in which he symbolically sings of sin, death, despair and redemption, is more important for Catholics than the Pope's last visit when he spoke of morality only in doctrinal propositions.” -Brennan Manning
{{SD here: Gnosticism, and plenty of contemporary Christianity, says that these things are unhelpful and wasteful. Or worse yet, downright bad. Ol' Brennan says they are good and Grace abounds in them and the folks at Mockingbird have carved out a whole niche for pointing people to the Cross using pop culture. Basically, I've found my people. #‎andIdonthavetowatchfireprooforlistentokloveifidontwantto‬}}

"If your Bible study doesn't offend you with the humbling message of the cross, if it tells you steps to get better, it isn't Christian." -Elyse Fitzpatrick 

If you tell your own story with sufficient candor and concreteness, it will be an interesting story and in some sense universal." -Fredrick Buechner

Noteworthy Images from the Week:


{MLK removing a burning cross from his yard. The child beside him is his son.}

Hope you enjoyed and learned something new! 


seth said...

Well thanks for linking up. Hope y'all are well.

seth said...

Well thank you! Hope all is well in your world.

Mallory Pickering said...

This was great! I need to read and talk more about gnosticism. I have been reading some articles about it, but I still don't feel like I have a good grasp on it. Growing up, I felt like whenever someone was criticizing someone else's spirituality or theology, they called it "gnostic." Like everything was gnostic all the time. The way I THINK of it is someone (or a group) who thinks they have this special insight or wisdom that isn't common to everyone. But I could be wrong!