Sunday, September 27, 2015

Weekly Smorgasbord

Here's your weekly list:

On Faith:
Posted: 04 Sep 2015 01:21 PM PDT
"Because of the way love operates--dying for rather than killing, serving rather than ruling, giving rather than taking--love cannot create a "steady state" in the moral order. Love will not be consistently "in charge" of an evil world because love will not use violence to forcibly keep dissenting others in line."

Dream House. — Coffee Crumbs
Posted: 05 Sep 2015 02:38 PM PDT
"This is not my dream house. Never will be. But for all its faults this place has seen a lot of dreams come true. So a few years from now, when we pull out of the driveway for the very last time, I'll have tears in my eyes. Tears for all the dreams brought to life here. Tears for all the dreams waiting ahead. But mostly, tears for the God that never abandons this fixer upper, no matter what kind of laminate she's living on."

Posted: 12 Sep 2015 07:36 AM PDT
"Now, I am not an agnostic. I am a Trinitarian theist who worships a resurrected God-man who is, in my opinion, quite a Guy. But I spend a lot of my time doubting what I believe, sometimes holding onto my faith by my nervously trimmed-down fingernails. This is no embarrassment to me, even as a Christian pastor. Faith is hard, and I refuse to pretend otherwise. Pretending that we don't have doubts leads people to overconfidence, arrogance and presumption. It does not challenge us to go any deeper in our intellectual understanding of faith. And it is a terrible apologetic for skeptics who have questions about religion they would never ask us because we are so damn certain they're going to hell and we're not." 

I really appreciate this guy's honesty and vulnerability. Recently, I read a book by a woman who is a pastor's daughter and is married to a pastor and she was begging pastors to be more vulnerable- for themselves and for their communities. But honestly, it's not just in the pulpit. I've been thinking about this alot- how often I am afraid to admit my own doubts and fears and dark places. I also commend him on the way he engages the atheists and agnostics in his comment section and doesn't seem to be threatened by them at all.
Posted: 08 Sep 2015 01:56 PM PDT
"Um, sorry, I know it sounds terrible and some will get their hackles up when I say it, but I firmly believe this—God's not always enough. Sometimes we need people. In the flesh. A living, breathing person...As followers of Jesus and cultivators of the kingdom here on earth, I think "being held" should be offered for free. People shouldn't have to pay for it. People shouldn't have to be starved for it. People shouldn't have to feel guilty for wanting it. People shouldn't question their spiritual dedication for needing it."
Posted: 06 Sep 2015 01:48 PM PDT
"The next thing he said I wrote on a slip of paper in his office and have carried it around with me since. It's our choice, whether to hate something in our lives or to love every moment of them, even the parts that bring us pain. "At every moment, we are volunteers."" 

Beautiful, beautiful piece on Stephen Cobert. His faith is very inspiring to me.

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 01:43 PM PDT
"But Scout is outraged and we, through her eyes, are as well. Atticus Finch is a hero to all of us who grew up on the bleachers with a book in hand—a kind of "Rudy" for the burgeoning literati. He was the first character many readers like myself found who could be admired uncritically. When Atticus shoots dead with one shot a rabid dog trolling toward his children, the idea that power is greatest when demonstrated as restraint became a mantra for my life. I worshipped this man."

On Marriage:
Posted: 06 Sep 2015 01:49 PM PDT
"We were married in the traditional way. Our two families knew each other, so a meeting was arranged. We'd never met. He came to my house with his mother, and we went to a room for two hours and talked. We talked about our expectations, our idea of love, and our plans for the future. I thought about it for two days, then I sent him a text message, saying: 'Let's do it.' And he wrote back: 'Alright, my dear.'"
Posted: 06 Sep 2015 01:10 PM PDT
"Shortly after we were married, I got tuberculosis and rashes broke out all over my body. They smelled so bad that I had to be cleaned three times a day. She always made me fresh food and made sure I had clean clothes every time I bathed. One morning, during this time, she asked me: 'Would you do the same if I got sick?' I promised her: 'I'll do even more.' She died a few years ago from a brain tumor. She was in bed for the last three years of her life. Toward the end, she couldn't identify people. Water from her brain would drain from her eyes. I ran home from the shop three times a day to help her go to the bathroom. I was always sure to turn her. She never had a single bedsore. In the end, the doctor told me: 'It would not have been possible to take better care of her.'" 

And I so often grumble about doing such little things for Peyton.

On Syria:
Posted: 16 Sep 2015 01:58 PM PDT
""Black Sunday" is what Douma residents call Aug. 16. At least 122 people died in one of the war's deadliest air attacks, on a vegetable market, according to rescue officials, the Syrian Network for Human Rights and other monitoring groups." A heartbreaking look at daily life.

On Swimming Pools:
Posted: 29 Aug 2015 01:51 PM PDT
"Today, that complicated legacy persists across the United States. The public pools of mid-century—with their sandy beaches, manicured lawns, and well-tended facilities—are vanishingly rare. Those sorts of amenities are now generally found behind closed gates, funded by club fees or homeowners' dues, and not by tax dollars. And they are open to those who can afford to live in such subdivisions, but not to their neighbors just down the road." Just some interesting thoughts. I get that government can grow too large and certainly I don't think a pool is a basic human right or anything, but one thing I did LOVE about NYC was the availability of the public pools and how it leveled things out a lot (guess what? you can hardly have a backyard, so no you can't have a private pool and guess what? private SCHOOL costs half your paycheck so no you're probably not joining a country club). I liked for our neighbors' kids in "Section 8 Housing" to get to enjoy Summer just as much as my small people did and I liked that this was one of the many instances (public transit, public playgrounds, ect. being others) that forced us to interact with people that weren't just like us.

On Processing:
Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:46 PM PDT
"Let's take the long way home. Let's embrace the silence to consider. Let's give ourselves permission to think, to listen, to be sure."

On Creativity:
Posted: 28 Aug 2015 12:47 PM PDT
"If you feel empty, just know there's plenty of beauty and truth out there for you to find and present with your unique voice. Everybody polishes the pottery differently. Find it, clean it up and show it to the world and they'll likely think you're a genius."

On Wounds:
Posted: 28 Aug 2015 12:22 PM PDT
"Maybe "Time heals all wounds" is true. I don't know. Or maybe we should be less concerned about the wound and more concerned about the kinds of people that this mixture of "time" and "wound" is transforming us into."

On (Poking a Little Fun at) Literature, Music, Art, and Fashion:
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Required Reading Essay Questions Written By a First-Year Adjunct Who Does Not Have the Time or Wherewithal to Do the Required Reading.
Posted: 29 Aug 2015 01:25 PM PDT
"In The Sun Also Rises what, in addition to the sun, also rises? Is it the rent? I bet it's the rent. Why is the rent so high?"
Posted: 18 Aug 2015 10:20 AM PDT
Posted: 07 Sep 2015 02:08 PM PDT
So funny.
Posted: 28 Aug 2015 01:17 PM PDT
Funny spoof on fashion trends.

On Brooklyn Ridiculousness:
Posted: 29 Aug 2015 02:02 PM PDT
Oh, Brooklyn. I miss you so much, in spite of how utterly absurd you are.

On Phonics:
Posted: 16 Sep 2015 02:07 PM PDT
"There are strings of consonants that are sometimes written like full words, like "hmm." However, these are just sounds rather than actual words. You will also find that most words in English won't have more than three consonants in a row, because otherwise it gets to be too difficult for English-speakers to say it. There are exceptions, of course—take the word "strengths" for example, which has a string of five consonants (though it only has three consonant sounds in a row: ng, th, and s). In other languages, like Polish, long strings of consonants are more common." Phonics is nuts, y'all.

On Fun Experiments:
Posted: 07 Sep 2015 02:15 PM PDT
I pinned this, but it looks so fun I wanted to share it here, too!

Noteworthy Quotes from the Week (or Month):

"I like a friend who asks a hard question and does not predicate the continuation of friendship upon receiving an agreeable answer." -Seth Haines 

"The world teaches us daily that we get what we deserve. That's why, daily, we need to hear the Gospel: God gives us what Christ deserved." -Nick Lannon

"Popular morality does not equal Christian—America has never been a Christian nation, but a popularly moral one. Popular morality changes. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes toward more Christian views. If you keep that in perspective, it's a lot easier to not get in Facebook fights. I'm sure it helps with digestion, too." -Preston Yancey

"There is a myth flourishing in the church today that has caused incalculable harm: once converted, fully converted. In other words, once I accept Jesus Christas my Lord and Savior, an irreversible, sinless future beckons. Discipleship will be an untarnished success story; life will be an unbroken upward spiral toward holiness. Tell that to poor Peter who, after three times professing his love for Jesus on the beach and after receiving the fullness of the Spirit at Pentecost, was still jealous of Paul's apostolic success. Often I have been asked, 'Brennan, how is it possible that you became an alcoholic after you got saved?' It is possible because I got battered and bruised by loneliness and failure; because I got discouraged, uncertain, guilt-ridden, and took my eyes off Jesus. Because the Christ-encounter did not transfigure me into an angel. Because justification by grace through faith means I have been set in right relationship with God, not made the equivalent of a patient etherized on a table." - Brennan Manning 

"Forgive me, Lord, for I have sinned. Because when I sat down in my room for one hot minute and my daughter kept calling my name, I hid in the closet and crouched down. I did this, Lord. You saw it. Please forgive this trespass as I forgive those who trespass against me by saying my name too many times." -Jen Hatmaker 

Noteworthy Images from the Week (or Month):

Noteworthy Videos from the Week (or Month):

Not only is Rain for Roots really talented in regards to singing/songwriting, these videos are great! 

"You are not straight outa Compton. Straight outa Upstate New York."‪#‎sippinoncokeandrum‬ ‪#‎shimmyshimmycocoawhat‬


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