Saturday, March 23, 2013

Good Stuff Saturday 3-23

It is 2:22 AM. I will not be going to bed anytime soon. I also will not be fixing up this link list anytime soon, so here it is until I get around to fixing it.

It is now 11:30AM. And I feel together enough to do this the right way. Lock-ins are rough on adults

National Geographic Photo a Day - Brandywine River, Delaware
National Geographic Photo a Day - Kyrgyz Yurt, Afghanistan
Pictures of Poverty - Whew! Life is Exhausting. Uganda

Changing the World
Prodigal Magazine - Do You Have a Playstation? - His country has been bleeding for centuries. Various militias and governments have come and gone, but there has been one constant: war. When civil war isn’t tearing the country apart, war often spills over the border from neighboring countries. The result is an utter devastation and deprivation of the human spirit.
The DRC’s wounds were opened even wider on October 26, 2000, when the PlayStation 2 was officially launched in the United States. The DRC has the misfortune of possessing some of the richest coltan deposits in the world, a mineral used in the manufacture of the PlayStation 2 and many other consumer electronics.
The unparalleled success of the PlayStation 2 led to a flurry of market speculation that drove the value of coltan up to over ten times what it was worth only months before.

International Justice Mission - IJM Kolkata: Landmark Convictions Against Five Notorious Traffickers  - Today, five men were convicted of sex trafficking crimes in two cases in Kolkata. One of the men, a notorious trafficker named Nakul Bera, was also found guilty of rape. It was the first time this particular court gave a conviction for both trafficking and rape in the same case.

Katie Axelson - I Want This One - When most children should be confident their daddy is the best jungle gym ever made, Stephanie had never known a daddy. She had no mommy. She had nothing but the harsh words thrown at her about her race.

Compassion - A Cup of Cold Water - Facts about water on World Water Day and what you can do about it.

Something to Teach You and Make You Think Harder 

Katie Hawkins: Missionary to Albania - From the Missionary - So when I see responsive obedience, that’s where my mind goes too. You evaluate your situation and react accordingly to what you see and what you already know and have learned. To me, it means becoming more obedient as you learn and grow. Hopefully becoming more obedient (and displaying that obedience most effectively).

Campfire Cowboy Ministries - Wormed in a Squeeze Chute  - How many times have you met someone who had a quirk or two about them that just annoyed the crap out of you?  How many people do you come across on a daily basis who have traits that annoy the crap out of you?  How many times have you been around someone and as soon as they were gone said or thought something like, “I don’t know why they act like that.”  Or, “The way they act or responded is ridiculous.”
Just like a horse that was run thru a squeeze chute to be wormed as a colt, people have things in their past that we can’t even imagine.  Sometimes those things cause them to be man hating and/or fearing people.  Sometimes it causes alcohol or drug abuse, or any number of negative and lingering effects on their lives.  But sometimes those people have not let the trauma of their past dictate the rest of their life.  

Prodigal Magazine - I'm Learning to Like My Anger  - I expected a volatile yet removed deity, but instead I read about a God capable of being deeply engaged with a group of people. Someone who is angry and destructive all the time doesn’t have the capacity to also be truly vulnerable in intimate relationship.
I realized that God gets upset at the same things that make all the muscles in my back clench around my spine: manipulative authority figures, dishonesty, greed running rampant, injustice, spiritual abuse, and using power to take instead of practicing love. I actually liked God a little more when I realized we get mad over the same type of abusive behavior patterns.

Prodigal Magazine - What Are You Made Of - Jesus called it the narrow road.
It might be easier to coast along and not hit any bumps on that smooth, wide road. But that’s the way out, not the way through. That’s the path of least resistance, and it’s no coincidence that it’s also the path with the least to gain. Just like Bilbo Baggins, we have a choice. We can stay safe in our little hobbit holes, or we can go out that door and face a dragon. - Don't Be A Man After God's Own Heart  - Think about it:
- David only repented after being confronted. In other words, after he got caught!
- David was not quick to repent. The child was born so there was at least 9 months between sin and repentance.
Neither of these are models I would teach my children. 
And a Few Aha! Moments - Family First  - The pressure to perform at our jobs is immense. Society does promotes family values in words, but criticizes when the value is actually applied. President Obama of the United States does not engage in many activities in the evening so he can spend time with his daughters. Because of this, critics label him anti-social or judge him or a lack of engagement with politicians.

You can disagree with Obama is whatever you like, but he is an example in his family life. He is faithful to his spouse and spends quality time with his daughters. We have so few examples of this we should note it when seen.

The Grocery Run - Know Thyself  - I would love to believe that I am some energetic, wide eyed, beauty that gets everything done, all the while sustaining the people in my life. Reality strikes and I’m worn, tattered, and perplexed why it takes three reminders for my kids to get their socks on. I need help, and I need some sleep.
Accepting busyness is not the answer. Being aware of the unnecessaries will help. What can I give up today? What needs my undivided attention? Is it playing with my kids (when was the last time that made it on the list?) or securing some quiet time for my heart? Should I make one goal (fold the laundry) and be open what life has to give? What can I let go of? There will always be essentials (dishes, making the bed), but what about distractors (Facebook; twitter, etc).  Can I say no to those for one day?

The Ramblings of Denise Dilley - Where Is Home?  - Sometimes home is sitting quietly in pj's on a Saturday morning sipping coffee - ahem - Mt. Dew and reading a good book. A book that speaks of dreams, of a place where people come first. Where "love is about seeking the best for a person, even at expense to ourselves and even when it is hard in the moment." A place where animals matter, art is appreciated, and stories - real or fiction - are shared and honored and lived.

I'd Laugh, But This All Happened To Me -  Remembering Black Thursday  - You see, it doesn't matter how much you love each other or love Jesus, a week of someone never picking up their dirty underwear, leaving wet swim suits on your bed or not flushing the toilet can start to wear on you.  The anger inside you starts to build, but you hold it in.  Then, suddenly (and usually completely unexpected by the person in question) you lose it.  You throw the wet suit at them; their dirty underwear ends up in the ocean; or you just start screaming.  On our trips, we could usually predict about when these things would happen.  We called it Black Thursday.

Extra Goodness for Other Interests

Jeff Goins, Writer - Is Your Writing Timeless?  - But we could argue issues all day long, and even if we came to some kind of compromise about the most moral way to conduct ourselves or who should be president, tomorrow we’d start over. The next day, we’d wake up and have something else to argue about.
And in 10 years, we’d hardly recognize what we were talking about in the first place. All the while struggling through Old English to find out how Beowulf bares the same humanity as Holden Caulfield.

The Daily Gallen - Set Sail for New Beginnings  - Harbor Shores is a spoof of teen dramas that fill the broadcast schedules of networks such as the CW or ABC Family - but with a twist. Rather than full-fledged episodes, Harbor Shores tells its story through the overly melodramatic recaps that play before the episodes.
If you’ve seen any teen drama, you know what we’re talking about: “Previously on…”
More specifically, Harbor Shores tells the story of April Showers, whose family has just moved to the idyllic town on the shore. April attracts the attention of popular lacrosse player Tyler Swift and lovable outsider Paul Oppenheimer.

National Geographic: Phenomena: Laelaps - Reinventing the Mammoth  - During his session, George Church confidently stated that enough of the mammoth genome is now known that biologists could sufficiently alter living elephants into mammoth hybrids capable of living in the Arctic. That’s easy enough to say offhand, but later the same day Beth Shapiro laid out how little we actually know about mammoth genetics and the hurdles involved in using DNA scraps to reinvent a mammoth.

Mike Matheny - Calling Pitches  -I had a question from one of our media people about one of our young catchers. I was taken aback when they asked me if I had been calling the pitches for him in the game. I laughed and then I realized that they were serious. It really shouldn't have been a surprise to me as an overwhelming percentage of youth coaches have decided to call the game for their young catchers. I believe this to be a mistake.