Saturday, April 11, 2015

Weekly Smorgasbord

I've got a few recent links to share. I added a couple of categories that could easily become regular fixtures- "on the funny" and "on the random". Neither truly make sense the way the others typically do, but I usually have some outlier posts that I can't fit into a topic, so I created these to see if it makes things any easier. 

On Faith:
Posted: 27 Mar 2015 12:27 PM PDT
"One of the most destructive mistakes we Christians make is to prioritize shared beliefs over shared relationship, which is deeply ironic considering we worship a God who would rather die than lose relationship with us."
Posted: 28 Mar 2015 11:48 AM PDT
"I was fascinated that very items scientists identify as increasing our level of happiness are the very things that God calls us to as followers of Christ.  As we fulfill the great command to love God and love others, our long-term relations and connections to other will naturally grow stronger and deeper (Matthew 27:37-39). When we keep our eyes on God in our workplace, we naturally find more meaning and satisfaction in our labor (Colossians 3:24). As we walk in greater levels of faith, hope, and love, we can't help but grow in optimism and a willingness to try new things (1 Corinthians 13:13). And those who give themselves fully to God will be filled with an inexpressible joy (1 Peter 1:8)."
Posted: 28 Mar 2015 11:35 AM PDT
"We remember Jesus' script flipping phrase, "You have heard it said, . . . but I say to you . . . ," and have appropriated its spirit of reform for our own time to wonder more imaginatively how what was a concern to our people-loving Jesus in first-century Palestine might translate as walking justly, loving mercy, and living humbly in our own radioactive days. Hear the good news of God's word. He calls us to become larger in love and in solidarity with the vulnerable, to participate in our most imaginative relief work."

On Relationships:
Posted: 27 Mar 2015 12:36 PM PDT
"My body's lack shows me my need to belong to a body who fills in the gaps. A body that cares for and belongs to each other. A body that breaks when I break and rejoices when I rejoice and feels need and provides."

On Parenting:
Posted: 27 Mar 2015 09:13 PM PDT
Y'all. This photographs will rip your heart out.

On Maturity:
Posted: 27 Mar 2015 09:03 PM PDT
"The pink was pretty and pregnant with meaning. It glows in my memory, but this red is so so good too. If you're in pink today? Enjoy every moment. Breathe in all the beauty of being fresh and brand new. It is the sweetest of seasons. But when your season of red comes? You're going to love it. I promise."
On Being Busy:
Posted: 28 Mar 2015 10:43 PM PDT
Guys. Guys! This is a real big deal. Some people like being busy. That's okay, I think, if it's not ruining your life. Other people feel the need to be busy because that's what our culture says is a good and important life. Here's the thing. Two kinds of (bad) busy: 1) busyness we can't control (e.g. you're living in poverty and need three jobs so yu family can eat) 2) busyness we can control (everyone else) So speaking to #2. So many times we want to be busy because a) we can't handle being alone with our thoughts and with our people and b) we are terrified of a life that looks unimportant and uninteresting That sucks and ultimately saps the joy right out of life. Be willing to say no! [If you want to. I said "yes" to a lot of things I shouldn't have for those reasons above. It took moving 1200 miles away, leaving my comfort zone, and completely restructuring my priorities to figure it out. Maybe just reading an article could help you :)]

On Race:
Posted: 25 Mar 2015 07:15 PM PDT
The first question I ask a white person hungry for justice is, "have you displaced yourself?"  And 98.9% of the time, the answer is no.  You will never speak the heart language of Black Americans if you haven't done much to get inside the shoes of what Black Americans live every single day.  And if you can't displace yourself online by reading black bloggers or at the library (or Kindle shop) by reading black authors or perspectives, what makes you think you will make any sort of real difference if you can't attend an all black Church for 4 weeks in a row or if you actively avoid going to the black grocery store or shopping in black neighborhoods?

On Story:
Posted: 28 Mar 2015 06:45 AM PDT
"People tell their story in different ways, but rarely with words. Sometimes it's how they carry themselves or the way they wear their hair. And sometimes it's the scar on their wrist or a frown or a smile on their face. The evidence is there. It's up to you and me to be attentive to the story they wear, and to invite them to tell it. It means being willing to watch for a story to emerge from unexpected places."

On How Much the Internet Knows About You:
Posted: 27 Mar 2015 08:30 PM PDT
"When we or our friends share stuff on their services, either publicly or privately, clever algorithms can derive a lot of of detailed knowledge from a small amount of information. Did you know that you're pregnant? Did you know that you're not considered intelligent? Did you know that your relationship is about to end? The algorithms know us better than our families and only need to know ten of our Facebook Likes before they know us better than our average work colleague."
On the Funny:
Posted: 28 Mar 2015 10:27 PM PDT
Posted: 28 Mar 2015 12:29 PM PDT
"He stopped, leaving my pants on. "You're not into this, I can tell," he said. "Do you want to make a pros and cons list? I have a legal pad around here somewhere." He scooted off the bed and looked in the top drawer of his dresser. I pushed myself onto my knees and peeked over his shoulder to see the contents and to assess whether, if need be, there would be enough room for me to eventually store some of my things in it. There was." This is so raunchy. But so hysterical.

Posted: 28 Mar 2015 12:19 PM PDT
"Math. Do math. Overcomplicate as much as possible with multiple plus signs. Have as many people holding numbers and plus signs in the photo as possible. Throw a minus in there too for fun—and to unintentionally make people speculate about tragedy—to really get people talking. 1+1+1+2-1+3-5+1+1+1=ALL THE FACEBOOK LIKES."
On the Random:
Posted: 28 Mar 2015 12:23 PM PDT
Cooking Cinemagraphs- cool to watch
Noteworthy Quotes from the Week:

We're very good at loving people 1000 miles away but not very good at loving people two feet from us." -Peter Scazzero

"The purpose of the church and of the sacraments is to give the world a glimpse of the kingdom, to point in its direction. When we put a kingdom-spin on ordinary things - water, wine, leadership, marriage, friendship, feasting, sickness, forgiveness - we see that they can be holy, they can point us to something greater than ourselves, a fantastic mystery that brings meaning to everything. We make something sacramental when we make it like the kingdom. Marriage is sacramental when it is characterized by mutual love and submission. A meal is sacramental when the rich and poor, powerful and marginalized, sinners and saints share equal status around the table. A local church is sacramental when it is a place where the last are first and the first are last and where those who hunger and thirst are filled. And the church universal is sacramental when it knows no geographic boundaries, no single political party, no one language or culture, and when it advances not through power and might, but through acts of love, joy, and peace and missions of mercy, kindness and humility......And even still, the kingdom remains a mystery just beyond our grasp. It is here, and not yet, present and still to come. Consummation, whatever that means, awaits us. Until then, all we have are metaphors. All we have are almosts and not quites and wayside shrines. All we have are imperfect people in an imperfect world doing their best to produce outward signs of inward grace and stumbling all along the way. All we have is this church - this lousy, screwed-up, glorious church - which, by God's grace, is enough." -Rachel Held Evans (from Searching for Sunday)

"Blessed indeed are 'those who have not seen, and yet have learned to believe!' Blessed are they who ask for no miracles, demand nothing out of the ordinary, but who find God’s message in everyday life.…Blessed are they who are quick to hear, humble, free-spirited – that is, free from daily anxieties. Blessed are they who are able to find God’s message in the gospel reading for the day, even if they have heard it a thousand times, or in a sermon with no message in particular, or in phrases with no charismatic power about them. Yes, blessed are those who can find God in the rhythm of the mundane: in work and rest, success, joy, in encounters that gladden the heart, but also in occasions for disappointment or sorrow. Blessed are those who can see the Lord in all things!" -Romano Guardini

"Toddlers, it doesn't matter if you're Christian or Jewish or celebrate Easter or Passover; the most important thing is that you bring shame to your family in a public setting today. Have fun. I love you." -Honest Toddler

"If we listen to only one side of a controversy, there will be no justice, but only favoritism towards the side we listen to and oppression and neglect towards the side we tune out. Only when both sides are genuinely, fully heard, even if they say contradictory things, can we work towards real justice for all people." -Owen Weddle
"Untrue: "In the cross we see that of which humanity is capable: self-transcendence in surrender to the Other." Richard John Neuhaus. If Good Friday were about self-transcendence it would be you on the cross, not Jesus in your place." -Josh Encinias
"Grace and mercy means what we do is important to God, but that we ourselves are still important to God when we don't do what is important." -Owen Weddle
Noteworthy Images from the Week:

 [Two people I respect and admire a great deal. Respecting each other and celebrating the Resurrection together.]


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