Sunday, October 11, 2015

Weekly Smorgasbord

I know I've been sharing a ton lately all at once, but this is the last "catch up" one of these I'm doing and now it should be more consistent, but a smaller handful of links each time.

On Faith:
Posted: 15 Sep 2015 03:06 PM PDT
"One of the most beautiful mysteries of grace is that when we have questions stirring, when we know complaints lie beneath our tidy exterior, when we experience fogged in and rainy days of the soul, we get to experience the glory of God by coming to him when we are most empty, most hungry and most in need. That is the very moment that we are able to be nourished by the Bread of Life. "
Posted: 13 Sep 2015 01:19 PM PDT
"I commit to a lifetime of ongoing conversion and transformation, recognizing that I am always on a journey with both gifts and limitations."

Wow, this is beautiful. I loved all seven!
Posted: 26 Sep 2015 09:41 PM PDT
"'Go out to the highways and byways, go out to tell the good news fearlessly, without prejudice, without superiority, without condescension, to all those who have lost the joy of living. Go out to proclaim the merciful embrace of the Father. Go out to those who are burdened by pain and failure, who feel that their lives are empty, and proclaim the folly of a loving Father who wants to anoint them with the oil of hope, the oil of salvation. Go out to proclaim the good news that error, deceitful illusions and falsehoods do not have the last word in a person's life. Go out with the ointment which soothes wounds and heals hearts.' Pope Francis, from earlier today, from his homily for the Canonization Mass for Blessed Junipero Serra. That paragraph is enough to make you want to become a Christian again (or for the first time), huh?".

 Yes, it does.
Posted: 25 Sep 2015 02:20 PM PDT
"Christians' relationship with the secular world, then, should focus first on having lives that compel others to want to consider Jesus. "As far as it depends on you," Scripture says, "live at peace with all men." Instead of taking a moral stand against secular ethics, then, what if we focused on on embodying Jesus' Spirit-filled, life-giving ethics beautifully and compellingly?"

Wow. This is so well written and is one of those things where I really want to copy and paste the whole thing because this guy articulates my own thoughts so well.
Posted: 25 Sep 2015 02:22 PM PDT
This is sort of adorable, people of DC.
Posted: 25 Sep 2015 02:21 PM PDT
"Unbelieving women either compete for the attention of men through outlandish messages that communicate some variation of "easy lay," or in the grip of resentment they give up the endeavor entirely, which is how we get lumberjack dykes. The former is an avid reader of Cosmopolitan and thinks she knows 15K ways to please a man in bed. The latter is just plain surly about the fact that there even are any men."

Well, Doug Wilson is being crude, overgeneralizing, emphasizing the complete wrong thing, and being awful towards women. This doesn't really shock me anymore. The degree to which he does those things still does.

On Friendship:
Posted: 21 Sep 2015 09:46 PM PDT
"Because at the end of the day, Aaron's professor is exactly right: It doesn't matter how much you love someone. What matters is that they know it."

Posted: 13 Sep 2015 01:10 PM PDT
"Be the first to say "what's going on in your life?" and to share authentically. Sometimes we are fearful of opening up and letting others into the deep, raw, vulnerable places of our hearts and souls." 

Great list!

On Writing:
Posted: 13 Sep 2015 12:34 PM PDT
"Truth is, I too often care more about the appearance of concern than I do the condition of my capacity to give love or otherwise accept it. Too often my reactions to the news of the day are simply that—reactions. Too often I don't approach the pressing social issues of our generation with the sobriety of spirit born only in quiet prayer and mediation. And so, I find myself bouncing from one issue to the next, never making an impact in any of them, notwithstanding the occasional fifty spot I might funnel through a donation website...If I were writing unafraid, I'd ask the church this: are we still enough to notice where the Spirit blows? Are we stopping long enough to examine our motives—especially as it relates to social justice issues—to reflect on the whether we're living from the deep well of love or the shallow well of the cool? I'd ask whether we know our neighbors, whether we care to know our new neighbors." 

Huh. Wow. Yep.

On Guns:
Posted: 04 Oct 2015 01:14 PM PDT
"We as a society have made our decision. Monthly high profile gun massacres are the price we are willing to pay for increasingly unregulated access to guns by virtually everyone - with minor impediments for felons and people who have been adjudicated as mentally ill. If you step back from what I grant is the sincerity of many who advocate this non-naming, the whole thing is really just clearly a joke as a way to somehow take action about the growing scourge of mass gun violence. It is a grand evasion because we need to make ourselves feel better by finding a way to think we are doing 'something' even though we're unwilling to do anything that actually matters."
Posted: 06 Oct 2015 12:44 PM PDT
"Each of those tragedies came with the same breaking-news urgency as Columbine, but none generated the same sense of expected action because fewer and fewer people actually believed things could change. The last 16 years have been a lesson in how "never again" can be cowed into "I need a drink.""

On Reverse Culture Shock:
Posted: 26 Sep 2015 12:47 PM PDT
"The feelings of intensely missing who I used to be, that naive little darling do-gooder. What is new to me is the realization that I can never go back to the girl who used to live here. She is gone, and the one who has replaced her is so fragile." Such a beautiful post on the shock of re-entry. So relatable.

On Seasons:
Posted: 26 Sep 2015 12:01 PM PDT
"And when we say fall, when we say autumn, we're talking about the whole thing: the ducks and the chipmunks and the pumpkin carving and the harvest celebrations. We're talking about dark mornings and cold feet and apple pies. About the beauty of transition…and also the cold, harsh jolt of it. All of it is true, all of it simmered down like cider to one, bare, single word. Autumn."

On Young Humanitarians:
Posted: 24 Sep 2015 02:20 PM PDT
"Today's his tenth birthday. He's a very emotional young man. He likes to solve other people's problems. One time when he was five years old, he came with me to the store and we bought two pounds of fresh apricots. I let him carry the bag home. He walked a little bit behind me the entire way. After awhile, I asked him to hand me an apricot. 'I can't,' he said. 'I've given them all away.' I knew then that I was raising a humanitarian."

On Micro-Aggression and Political Correctness:
Posted: 13 Sep 2015 09:46 PM PDT
" progress is made toward a more equal and humane society, it takes a smaller and smaller offense to trigger a high level of outrage. The goalposts shift, allowing participants to maintain a constant level of anger and constant level of perceived victimization.s people compete for status as victims or as defenders of victims."

 Interesting ideas (many of which I'm not sure I agree with), but honestly some fascinating observations.
Posted: 13 Sep 2015 01:52 PM PDT
"Some of us identify as gender-questioning," Jack called back to the officer. "And we reject your Eurocentric imposition of the jungle-rescue narrative."

On Naps:
Posted: 21 Sep 2015 09:23 PM PDT
"My, my. The prophet Elijah was suicidal, and the Lord brought him around with some hearty snacks and a couple of naps. Maybe God knows something we don't. I could talk all day about the rest of faith, about the finished work of Jesus, about how all that needs to be done has been done, and everything is ours in Christ. But I doubt I'll hold your attention for long. It could be that you're staring zombie-like at the Facebook feed, with glazed eyes and spittle pooling in the hollows behind your collarbones, because you're too physically exhausted to care much about spiritual rest. You'd love to remember the good word Jesus spoke to you last month or last week or last night, but you're too worn out to hold it at the front of your mind. Your emotions are running away with you. You're blowing things out of proportion. You're saying things you don't mean, don't believe, because you're too weary to cling to the truth." 

On Living Slowly and Listening Well:
Posted: 13 Sep 2015 10:20 PM PDT
"Maybe you can relate to this distracted, grey, indecisive mindset. Maybe you are feeling it too: the rush to produce, the pull to compete, the thoughts flying fast and furious, the mad sprint toward the finish line. I've got a secret for us both: that kind of race doesn't have a finish line."
Posted: 26 Sep 2015 12:52 PM PDT
"I had learned that it is in quiet that we honor the sacred and painful moments of life. I had learned that presence is more than speaking, and that words can be barriers that separate us from others and from entering the moment we are currently living."

On Memories:
Posted: 21 Sep 2015 10:35 AM PDT
"I have deeply engraved memories of my grandfather discreetly handing me $5 bills (I couldn't comprehend that amount, not in those days), telling me to go buy whatever I wanted. I remember going on the rides and walking through the animal barns. I remember my mom making me a bed under one of the counters while she and my dad worked late into the night. I feel asleep to the smell of fair food, the sound of footsteps scuffling just past my head on the other side of the counter, and I dreamed of the view of the fair from the top of the Ferris wheel."

Just beautiful.

On Poetry:
Posted: 21 Sep 2015 10:06 PM PDT
"And almost everyone gets it wrong. This is the most remarkable thing about "The Road Not Taken"—not its immense popularity (which is remarkable enough), but the fact that it is popular for what seem to be the wrong reasons. It's worth pausing here to underscore a truth so obvious that it is often taken for granted: Most widely celebrated artistic projects are known for being essentially what they purport to be. When we play "White Christmas" in December, we correctly assume that it's a song about memory and longing centered around the image of snow falling at Christmas. When we read Joyce's Ulysses, we correctly assume that it's a complex story about a journey around Dublin as filtered through many voices and styles. A cultural offering may be simple or complex, cooked or raw, but its audience nearly always knows what kind of dish is being served."

On Entertaining:
Posted: 22 Sep 2015 12:41 PM PDT
So pretty! 

On Transportation:
Posted: 15 Sep 2015 02:54 PM PDT
Sorta crazy, sorta fun.

(Hilarious Take) On Contemporary Christian Music of the Past:
Posted: 26 Sep 2015 09:52 PM PDT
"You guys. This feels like airing our dirty laundry in front of the seculars, and I'm embarrassed to do it, because there's a huge part of me that feels very affectionate toward this song. One thing I will say: Michael Tait, Kevin Max, and Toby Mac are genuinely talented vocalists. But this song…I can't defend it. It starts off with "Pardon me, sir, your epidermis is showing" and it just gets worse from there. It's every white person who has ever loudly proclaimed that she "just doesn't SEE color" at a public zoning meeting, in a song."

Noteworthy Quotes: 
"So many fathers are petrified when their sons show strong sensitivity, or feel things strongly. 
Here are 3 tips for parents who have sons who feel things strongly. 
1. Remind them daily that their feelings are a gift and not a curse. Not to suppress them but express them appropriately. And remind them of moments everyday where they pulled them off like a champ.
Every night I tell Losiah, "Buddy, I'm so impressed at how you handle ALL of your emotions. Today I saw you..."
2. Remove the ridiculous notion that boys don't cry. Encourage their tears and let them know how proud you are that they are strong enough to cry. God created their sensitivity.  3. Teach them a wholistic masculinity.
I made up this Whittaker Man Creed for us.  Strength to care for those they lead.  Compassion to feel for those in need.  Joy to spread around like seed. Celebrate your sons feelings." - Carlos Whitaker

Tonight I sat on the back deck, friends around an unlit fireplace, and we talked music for our Sunday morning service. The boys stayed up a little too late; Titus ran more laps around the deck than the Energizer Bunny. I ate a little too much pie, had a little too much ice cream on top of it. I lost myself in the rhythm of the crickets' chirp a little too quickly, and waived a finger to a good man's mournful violin. My phone buzzed, and I received word that my friend Preston Yancey (my friend--I use that word with great intention as certain wise men have taught me to do) saw his first son miracle himself into the world, as first sons are prone to do. I might have gotten a little teary. Jackson's home. Another little brother has come into this world of little brothers. Tonight I felt very very human. And in that, I felt very very loved by my friend, God. My friend--I use that word with great intention as certain wise men have taught me to do. -Seth Haines
For followers of Jesus, how you engage and regards others when you are doing politics is of higher importance than what your politics are. You can have the "right" political beliefs but when you come across as bitter, arrogant, cynical, accusatory, judgmental, stereotyping, etc., your politics are wrong. If you do not act with grace and love by default to the opponents of your political beliefs instead of defaulting towards contempt, your politics have more in common with the devil than Jesus. -Owen Weddle

Noteworthy Images:

Bartlet move right there. I just find him so endearing sometimes.

Joy is beautiful. [And I'm actually past the point where I feel the need to couch every share in "I'm not Catholic, but..." and "I'm not a liberal, but...]

Noteworthy Videos:

John Boehner Pope-side = SD reading The Giving Tree earlier today. Just kidding, I full out sobbed while Graves patted my arm.

Sometimes you just can't help yourself Check out WHITE RHINO 365
Posted by Adrian Van Oyen on Tuesday, September 22, 2015
My favorite is Ace of Base at 2:01. The cd with "The Sign" on it was literally the first album I EVER owned. And also, just watch the whole thing. So hysterical. 

FYI, no one's gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong. Also, life is demanding without understanding

A Homemade Clock Got a Muslim Boy Sent to Juvenile Detention
A Muslim boy was arrested at school in Irving, Texas, because his teachers thought his homemade clock was a bomb.
Posted by AJ+ on Wednesday, September 16, 2015
A clock, y'all.


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