Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Weekly Smorgasbord

 On Faith:
Lessons from Little People: Paying Attention ‹ Story Warren
Posted: 23 Nov 2015 09:39 PM PST
"In other words, the more you notice the details of your own story, the better the story you will tell. Or in even more other words, when you are keenly aware of God's work in your life, it will be difficult to keep Him out of the retelling of it."

Posted: 21 Nov 2015 09:55 PM PST
"That picture has stayed with me for years, the idea that God has carved out something so personal for me to carry, and no one else can carry it the way I can. In ancient times the yoke had to be carved carefully so it wouldn't rub a sore spot into the shoulders of the beast that wore it. I love that picture: God's plans for me won't rub sore spots on my spirit."

Posted: 21 Nov 2015 04:22 PM PST
"Could it be our scars when fully healed become the thing that allows us to believe in God's goodness? I can't help but think I've gotten it all backwards. I want these scars gone. I want the heart etchings of pain erased. Jesus proved the depths of grace with scars. God is proving the depths of His grace with our scars. The scars remain but the doubts diminish."

Posted: 21 Nov 2015 12:39 PM PST
"The truth-I-am-so-slow-to-learn is this: there are many ways of feasting, most of which do not need to involve food at all. The phrase, "feast your eyes," is a true one, one of the truest I know. Those of us with even one eye that works reasonably well are among this planet's most blessed people. Ditto to ears, mouth, hands and legs. With these physical gifts, we can celebrate the beauties that are all around us, every single day. Yes, there are also sights, sounds and situations that are far from beautiful, and we are called to do all in our power to help soften the rough edges of life in the communities where we live and work. But over and around and even in the middle of those rough spots, there is always evidence of Beauty. God shows up in the most surprising places."

On Hope:
Posted: 08 Dec 2015 09:23 PM PST
"No matter how we're hurting — it's only when we lose hope that the real horror happens."

Posted: 08 Dec 2015 09:22 PM PST
"To understand and appreciate the beauty of a flower, we have to know the dirt from which it bloomed. I fear we are spending too much time avoiding the piles of dirt around us. We are too afraid of getting dirty, searching for an easy way to do this life, an easy way to enjoy the roses. And while we search for this easy life, and avoid the piles of dirt, we are missing out on the beauty around us—just waiting to be discovered."
On Advent:
Advent Junk Journal | Addie Zierman | How To Talk Evangelical
Posted: 23 Nov 2015 10:45 PM PST
"But here's the great thing about the Advent Junk Journal. There is only the tiniest space to write. There is no daily scripture reading with study questions and fill-in-the-blanks that mock you if you don't have time to do them. I make a point of never including much more writing space than a small notecard or post-it…and then I write down one thing."

On Refugees:
Posted: 21 Nov 2015 09:59 PM PST
"My gosh I could sit there all day and soak in the stories. My gosh I could stay up all the night long wondering how I can communicate to you, the reader, the people of my country, what an absolutely precious gift these lives are. How refugees, more than any people I have ever met, have extended the kindness of Christ to me. But also: how razor thin the margins of survival are. How lonely so many feel. How there are families like this everywhere, everywhere, who just want someone to talk with for a little while, they want to drink tea and share what they know. But we have to be close enough to knock on the doors. "

Posted: 21 Nov 2015 01:22 PM PST
"Here's to Clay. Here's to the wrestler. Here's to the bleach that bleeds red or blue from identity's wool."

Maybe my favorite sentence I've read on the Internet in awhile (and I've read a lot of them). No surprise it comes from Seth.
On Parenting:
Dear Reader, I Have No Advice: Grace in Parenting | Mockingbird
Posted: 23 Nov 2015 10:01 PM PST
"What I want to offer you is a word of grace for yourself. Being a parent in church is hard, even when there are two parents sitting in the equation. It can feel altogether lonely and frustrating when you are doing all of it by yourself. I would encourage you to find time and moments of spiritual solace that might exist outside of your Sunday morning worship...Which brings me to my final point. Children ruin most of life's pleasures, at least for a time: nice meals, quiet reading, happy hour, walks in the woods, almost any moment of intimacy. I believe it is prudent to go ahead and tack "church" onto that list. Because, as in all aspects of parenting, it is easier when we accept the reality of what is and stop desperately clinging to the hope of what could be. Your son will learn how to act like a reasonable human being in worship."

 Once again my friend Sarah knocks it right out of the park.

Posted: 21 Nov 2015 09:43 PM PST
"I want my son to know me. To really, really know me. I want him to know me for more than the snot-wiping, lunch-making, tickle monster and hide-and-seek partner that I love to be. I want him to know that before my belly bulged to enormous proportions, I spent years playing violin and relished summers at music camp. I want him to know that I carry a preserved four-leaf clover (a real one) in my wallet that I found when I was eight years old. I want him to know that I learned to drive on a stick shift and that one of my all time favorite things are clean, fluffy sheets."

Posted: 21 Nov 2015 10:26 AM PST
"Perhaps this is all a dress rehearsal, a preview of what's to come. Perhaps this is all a glimpse into my own future, and he is paving the way for my emotional expectations. The day he gets his driver's license. The day he leaves for college. The day he gets married. At some point we are bound to trade places, and I might be the one burying my face in the carpet, sobbing hysterically. Everything will come full circle, and the Velcro will rip once again. "

On Relationships and Holidays:
Posted: 23 Nov 2015 09:44 PM PST
"In the podcast, Cain explains that introverts can be extremely, genuinely social—even for long periods of time—and enjoy being so. But for true introverts, putting on this extroverted front over a period of days or weeks is exhausting. This phenomenon has a name: it's called "emotional labor," and it's what you experience any time you project (or, to put it not-so-nicely, fake) an emotion or attitude that doesn't come easily."

Posted: 21 Nov 2015 01:16 PM PST
"Hmm. Should I make mulled wine? Nah. When I send the invitations, I'll write, "Could you bring wine?" in the postscript of two. Coffee and tea I'll have ready; which is to say, I'll have filled the tea kettle with water and put it over a high blue flame; steaming hot water for the French press or tea bags, whichever. The simple white mugs we use every morning will work just fine in the evening, too. And of course there'll be cream in the stoneware pitcher, sugar in the sugar bowl, and honey in the honey pot, because, hello, coffee and tea. About those invitations, since there'll only be four going out for this evening with drinks and dessert, I should put effort where effort is due (I send enough email and texts the rest of the year). They'll be made of the plain white cards I keep upstairs in that plain wooden drawer. Stamped one way, then another, and written with sure black ink, they just might be impossible to deny."

Posted: 21 Nov 2015 01:04 PM PST
"On the day of the party, I strung every donated strand of lights from every fence post in our yard. I put a handful of glittered Christmas trees on each picnic table. I made ten gallons of chicken chili and mixed up an igloo cooler of hot chocolate. I filled large jars with marshmallows for roasting and peppermint sticks for licking. I arranged cookies on trays and stacked Little Debbies in neat little piles. A fire was made in the backyard and sticks prepped for roasting. At dusk, my dear, sweet man and my precious kiddos made their rounds through the neighborhood and invited everyone they saw. And as soon as it got dark, everyone with no where else to be gathered under the lights and around the fire."
 On Outrage
Posted: 21 Nov 2015 12:49 PM PST
"It's hard to justify not joining the clamor over every single wave of rage, every single issue that becomes the issue of the day. They are such true horrors. But our whole planet is darkened, we knew that already. We can't afford to forget that we are capable of action. Where is your action? I'm trying to look close: neighbors I care about, family that needs me. I've witnessed, recently, very powerfully, the extension of this kind of relationship to the global scale. We—humans in general and SheLovelys in particular—do well in the world not by multiplying and extending our outrage, but by multiplying and extending our relationships."

On Reunion Tours:
Posted: 21 Nov 2015 09:44 PM PST
""While this year saw the 30th anniversary of Brothers In Arms pass by uneventfully, that still doesn't rule out the possibility of the band's first tour since 1992 suddenly hitting arenas in major cities across the United States. Sadly, many Americans would struggle to afford decent seats if Dire Straits played a show in their town today, let alone purchase basic merchandise such as commemorative reunion hats and T-shirts. This would leave them at risk of missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the classic 'Sultans Of Swing' guitar solo up close and in person." Bridges advised that, at the very least, Americans keep a small pool of emergency reserves on hand should Cheap Trick or REO Speedwagon come to their local fairgrounds."
Noteworthy Quotes:

"The four great events in the saving career of Jesus are described in the Bible both actively and passively, as deeds done both by Jesus and to Jesus. Thus, we are told with reference to his birth both that he came and that he was sent; with reference to his death both that he gave himself and that he was offered; with reference to his resurrection both that he rose and that he was raised; with reference to his ascension both that he ascended and that he was exalted." -John Stott, Authentic Christianity

"Until we glorify peace to the extent we glorify violence, there will be no rest." -Seth Haines 

Don't discount Christ on account of his sinful followers. In truth, the depth of our sin shows just how mighty a savior he is!" -Nick Lannon [I share Nick's pithy, Gospel filled statuses all the time, but this may be one of my favorite. I was just talking about this with someone today! Low anthropology, guys.]

Noteworthy Images:

[One of my favorite things- A VENN DIAGRAM.]

Noteworthy Videos:

"That war is much bigger than ISIS, but it is crucial for understanding so much that has happened in the past year, from terror attacks to the refugee crisis. And to understand the war, you need to understand how it began and how it unfolded."

Oh gosh, hysterical. "It's been a pretty big problem. We take so long to get anywhere. Because we're taking pictures of our feet."

Anyone with even the slightest bit of wanderlust, I think this will be five minutes you enjoy. I thought this was so beautiful and such a creative idea. 


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