Saturday, December 29, 2012

Good Stuff Saturday 12-29

Thanks to Kevin Haggerty at The Isle of Man with his Funhouse Friday post, I remembered that I needed to prepare my Good Stuff Saturday post. So head over there, thank him, and then laugh. After that come back over here and check out these great reads.


National Geographic: Photo A Day - Mohawk River Picture: New York Photo 

National Geographic: Photo A Day - Wildflower Picture: California Photo

National Geographic: Photo A Day - Farmers, Basque Country

Christmas Leftovers

The Life of a Christ Follower in Albania - Christmas Shoeboxes For as long as I can remember, one of our family Christmas traditions is filling up shoeboxes. I remember the excitement of going out and buying as much stuff that I could cram into the box. Then getting it home, sorting it, packing it and wrapping it nicely. We’d take them to Church sometime in November and I didn’t think much about it until it was time to fill them up again the following year.

This year, for the first time, it was different. I was at the opposite end.

Jaime, the Very Worst Missionary - This. - But I can't help it. I just feel like the commercialization of Christmas has stolen too much, and now it's a mere shell of what it ought to be. It makes me squirm when people say, "Jesus is the reason for the season!"

I want to say, "It's hardly fair to blame this mess on Jesus."
Thoughts from House Mountain - Why I Do Not Celebrate Christmas   - This is why I do not celebrate Christmas but I worship with the Advent season instead! Even though they are almost the same thing, Advent brings me Hope, Peace, Joy and Love! Which is the true meaning of Christmas!
It is not about a wreath and different colored candles, Advent is about Christ coming to earth and living among us to show us how to live.

Cultural Differences

Prodigal Magazine - Do You See What I See? Probably Not  - We became members of the church down the street where I attended from the time I was in junior high up until I left to go to college. And although I spent numerous weekend retreats, endured countless lock-ins, and was witness to and participated in rededications with the same people year after year, no one I was friends with at church knew the truth.

The View from Here - My Apologies  - These are just a few examples of the many things that I will be apologizing for during the next few weeks. Please be patient and gracious with me and my family if we get the opportunity to see each other. We've been looking forward to this visit for a while now, and we really just want to enjoy our time together without being awkward or weird. Thanks for your understanding, and once again...I apologize.

Compassion - What Teenagers Learn and Share  - We met several wonderful teenagers at the Assemblies of God Zone 1 and Communaute Evangelique Child Development Centers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. They were asked two questions:
“What is the most valuable or helpful thing you’ve learned at your center?”
“What have you learned at the center that you have taken home with you and taught to your family?”
This is what they shared with us …

Courtesy of Compassion International:

Compassion - Hope as Wide as the Prairie  - One time, a co-worker from Guatemala told me that Americans had never known what it was like to be poor. I instantly thought of my great-great-grandmother, working at 4 as a domestic servant.
Of the countless other pioneers who scraped and sacrificed and barely got by, in many ways living a similar lifestyle to what millions of subsistence farmers still lead around the world. My forebears certainly knew what it was like to be poor — even if it has been largely forgotten by my generation.

Courtesy of Compassion International:

A Few Other Things You Should Read

The Isle of Man - Why We Can't All be Good Will Hunting: Thank God for the Brick Layers  - The argument by Williams' character was that Will was right, in a way. There's nothing wrong with laying bricks. It certainly is noble work. But it isn't for everybody, and Will would have been wasting his life by making that choice, because of his incredible gifting.

It's inspirational. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people see that scene and movie, as well as other similar pieces of art, and they are inspired in the wrong way.

Let me explain.

A Deeper Story - 36 Birthday Pearls - #7, #17, #19, and #23 challenged me. This is a pretty awesome list, so go find what challenges you. Then do it!

This Time Around - A Spectacular Story Teaser  - It's probably some kind of sin to say this, but I don't watch Doctor Who. However, this little story snippet makes me want to start watching it. If you watch Doctor Who or House, M.D., you will want to read this.

Red Letter Believers - Why is the planet Mercury smiling at you? - Even the rocks cry out! The photo is cool, but the interpretation of said photo was super awesome.

I'd Laugh...But All This Happened to Me! - The Real Life School of Student Ministry  - I passed the test, but I did have to stop and ask myself how willingly I would do those things. Because if I don't do it willingly, then am I really doing it for the right reasons?

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