On Thursdays I share some of the things I’ve read throughout the week, posts that have been food for thought. Some inspire action, and others I suppose, I find funny or fascinating. Here they are in no particular order:
1. This is one of the most beautiful and soul-awakening pieces I’ve read in a long time. I highly encourage you to read it. It’s by Andy Crouch. It’s titled: Finally Real: A Birthday Thank-you note. Here’s an excerpt:
“I pondered the question of memory. It struck me that just a few decades after my death, the only people likely to remember me with any clarity at all would be a handful of family members. It was, and still is, exceedingly improbable that my life would be memorable enough for anyone else to take lasting notice. And then I strained to remember the names of my grandparents’ parents—and realized that very soon indeed, even to my own descendants, I would be a hazy and ultimately forgotten ghost from a past as distant to them as the nineteenth century was to me.”
2. Why was Denmark chosen as the happiest country in the world in 2013? Find out → here.
3. Here is one that made me more than a little angry. This religious leader says whistle blowers shouldn’t go to the media. I am no advocate of slander. But some churches, leaders, and institutions work to silence those they are mistreating and abusing (oppressing). They care more about public relations and holding onto power than doing what is right-what Jesus would do. It is in their interest to silence whistle blowers. Sometimes victims have no recourse after they’ve followed the protocols. They have nowhere to turn.
4. My friend Micha Boyett writes about loving those who don’t love you. Here’s an excerpt from her post, “The Courage to Love”:
“The thing about humans is that in order to understand one another, we must sacrifice a bit of ourselves. It’s difficult to empathize because to do so is to reject the most self-protective part of our nature. To love is to be vulnerable and vulnerability is a dangerous thing.”
5. Jen Hatmaker writes about how putting people into superficial categories, how judging them based on their denominational, political, or other affiliations is not the Jesus way. Of all people, the church should know this. Jesus wouldn’t plunk people into categories and then immediately dismiss them. Her post is titled: “The Mythical They.”
6. Here is a fun quiz from Time Magazine. Take this quiz to find out which state (in the US) best personifies your temperament. I took the quiz and the result was ‘Georgia.’ The quiz is → here.
7. Karen Yates writes about mean girls in her post: “Learning to Fight the Bullies.” She talks about what she would say to her seventeen-year-old self. An excerpt:
“If perchance, I would have chosen to confront these girls nearly 20 years ago and ask them to their face what their problem was, I’m not even sure I would have had anything substantial, something that would hold up in a court of law, as evidence of their meanness. Because, in the words of Marianne Dashwood, ‘it was every day implied but never declared.’ These mean girls, they were so discreet, I never once caught them cheese whizzing my car. I never saw them throw eggs at our mailbox. I never heard directly from them, to my face, that they didn’t like me.”
8. This is really neat, quite a feat by the Ohio State Marching Band. They pay tribute to Michael Jackson by doing the moon walk. If you haven’t seen it, here.
9. Amy Lepine Peterson gorgeously renders the ordinary holy in her post: “A Liturgy of Celebration for a Home.” It was a beautiful benediction to one of my nights. She writes:
“I know some people might wonder why we do this; why we chant our way through an outdated prayer service, sprinkling holy water all over our new home. This isn’t superstition; we’re not here because we think ghosts and evil spirits haunt our home and an incantation can ward them off. This isn’t about good luck charms, a horseshoe hanging over the door or a double happiness symbol bringing us luck. These prayers are a way of reminding ourselves of the truth.”
10. How do we reconcile God’s goodness with the Canaanite genocides? Peter Enns engages this question here.