Saturday, January 26, 2013

Good Stuff Saturday 1-26

penpadpaper - Guest Post: What is a Memoir?  - A guest post by ME! Until I figure it out, I’m operating under the assumptions that an autobiography is a recitation of facts. A memoir however is a story of a life. An autobiography is by famous people. A memoir is by ordinary people. So I will be writing a memoir. However, I still worry if I’m doing it right.

National Geographic Photo of the Day - Snowy Owl, Long Island
National Geographic Photo of the Day - Kangaroos, Australia 

Thoughts on Peace 

penpaperpad - Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poem  - In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I’m going to be participating in International Peace Poems. This is a worldwide effort to have a discussion about peace through poetry. Just two lines of poetry can make an impact. There’s lesson plans so that teachers can incorporate this activity into the classroom.  Click on the interactive map on the site to see what people in different parts of the world have contributed. Of course, you as an individual can also send a submission.

Campfire Cowboy Ministries - Peace, Plain and Simple - It freakin’ tears me up to see good people, especially ones that I know personally, with no real peace in their life.  I have been around and come across some people and things lately that I can’t get outta my head.  It’s buggin’ the snot outta me.  There are a lot of people alive today who live every single day with no peace in their life.  I’m not talking about peace between husband and wife, father and son, boss and employee, etc.  I’m talkin’ about inner peace.  

I So Hear You!!

Prodigal Magazine - Guilty of Quitting Too Soon  - We argue like we don’t understand the fact that we, the Church, will never entirely agree on the proper response to the issues that concern our culture. Here is truth: we are still commanded to live in peace and unity. We are called to love, regardless of views, regardless of theology, regardless of embarrassing mistakes we’ve made. What is antichrist more than any given erroneous theological view of an issue is the disunity that manifests when we discuss these things.

The Well-Thought Out Life - I Love America (surprised?)  - But you know, even if I still have this weird identity thing going on where I don't feel ownership or belonging here, I really do love this place, and I thought a lot about it in the Fall as Isaac and I explored small-town Texas and I watched all the hubbub around the elections. 

Prodigal Magazine - Step Into the Light - I was tucked into a booth with two of my best friends when I finally let it out. I could barely speak and was crying as I revealed to them something that had made me feel so ugly, so disgusting and so insecure for so many years.
Their eyes were understanding and sympathetic as they saw how deeply this had been hurting me, how dark this secret shame had been…  and then they laughed. Not a mean laugh, but an incredulous laugh, amazed that I’d believed such a ridiculous lie for so long.

Katie Axelson: Living a Story Worth Telling - Privacy  - Ouch.

I’m an introverted writer. The loudest way I process is with a pen on a piece of paper. A lot of those thoughts could be turned into good blog posts.
If I could blog some version of everything I write, my life would be easy.
But I can’t.

Words Matter

Thoughts on Life, God, and Ministry - Slinging Scripture in a Post Christian World  - As I was reading through the introductory notes in one of my study Bibles, it made mention of the fact that in Philippians, Paul makes no quotations of the Old Testament.  One can speculate the reasons why, but the writers of this particular study suggested that since these were Roman citizens with little to no Jewish background or heritage, Old Testament references would have been irrelevant.  The notes also mentioned the fact that there was not enough Jewish presence in the city to start a synagogue, which was often a precursor to starting a church.

The Church of No People - Quit Ruining the Internet  - But it should be clear to anyone who reads the comment section of the average news site that most people are completely incapable of rational, civilized discussion.  Comments are often the rhetorical equivalent of chimps hurling feces at each other.  Many of these comments come from people who claim to be Christians.

No SuperHeroes - Unintended Road Blocks  - I have to admit, many of the comments from Christians have been shocking. While I know it is not the intention of the people, we can inadvertently put roadblocks in the path of those potentially coming to Christ. 
This is not limited to America.

Compassion Tells a Good Story

Compassion - The Prince and the Villainous Creatures  - Once upon a time, in a small West African village, there was a young prince named Poubila. Providence and birth had given the boy riches no other boy his age could ever dream of.
He had a dozen servants who were busy night and day, anticipating his every desire and responding as devotedly as servants ever could. His birth in itself had been a royal event that gathered kings, queens and merchants from neighboring kingdoms. As his parents’ only begotten son, he enjoyed great love and care from the whole kingdom.
However, as months and years passed, the boy showed very little physical development. Despite all the medical care and nutritious food he was given, the child remained frail and visibly malnourished.

Courtesy of Compassion International:

Compassion - Leadership Profile: Jonathan Almonte  - In late 2011, a taxi driver who was taking Jonathan home told him, “I know who caused the difficulties in this country; it’s the Christians’ fault.”
The driver wondered why Christians can’t get together to speak up and try to find fair solutions to the real problems of the nation.
Jonathan was stunned, but believes that talking to that taxi driver  was like God speaking to him. The driver wondered why a Christian couldn’t be the president.

Courtesy of Compassion International:

A couple more thoughts

unchained faith - Anger is Not HateFighting back with our words is not “stooping to their level.”  It is a wise way to express the anger we feel at injustice.  It is not wrong to protest.  It is not wrong to say we are angry and we don’t want to take it anymore.  It is not wrong to openly speak against Pastor Mark and his ilk, even using words that may shock or offend.  We need people who are willing to do these things.  What would be wrong would be to resort to physical violence, illegal means, or psychological warfare in order to force these men (yes, men) to change or step down.

The Church of No People - Why I'm a Fundamentalist and You Should Be One Too  - Why do I like fundamentalism so much?  That is, real fundamentalism.
I guess another word I would use to describe real fundamentalism is minimalism.  
When it comes to most theological debates, I just don’t care.  They don’t seem to matter much to me in the grandness of God himself.  Jesus didn’t seem to care too much either.  He wasn’t wasting his time in pointless arguments.  If that guy can sum up the entire six-hundred and some odd Jewish laws into “love God and love your neighbor,” it makes most of our arguments seem pretty pointless.  Jesus concentrated on the fundamentals of faith.
This Ship's (B)log - The Art of Breaking Hearts - It was real.
It did happen.
You experienced it alongside the narrator, and you took it into your heart as your own.
This is the magic of reading.

And My Favorite Thought! (I want to start doing this.)

A Deeper Story - Praxis of Prayer  - I’m prone to forget promised prayers if I don’t somehow incarnate the intention. If I want to be true, I must make my prayers tangible. Moving mysterious prayers into time and space with objects I can see, touch, even smell help me remember to pray. My good intentions gain some gravity, my prayers some levity.
I imagine this is part of the rational behind prayer beads and rosaries – the prayers can be felt in our hands as the strand wraps round our fingers, beads and knuckles pressed together in supplication. It’s not about counting prayers, but remembering to pray them

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