Starting something a little new here… at least for me. One of my resolutions this year has been to be a better reader. Like going to the batting cages for baseball, there’s no way you can deliver more quality storytelling without reading as much as you write.
So every Thursday, I am going to post some of my favorite pieces from the past week or so because… A) it forces me to read and think critically about everything that is put in front of me, b) it allows me to promote my fellow blogger friends who I feel have A LOT to offer the community at large and finally, c) I enjoy reading other people’s lists so much. Penny to the tray thing.
Not completely sure if each Thursday will always look like this (sometimes I may just throw down lists without my favorite quotes). There are a few books I am into right now that I wouldn’t mind introducing on here.
But I think I’m going to love this too much.
~The Story Tellers~
Spiritual Journey: The Cold Season
By Addie Zierman of How to talk Evangelical
We haven’t had a measurable snowfall since that magical December blizzard, and the whole world feels raw, exposed without its thick blanket of white.
The trees are stripped bare, and the homemade hockey rink on our pond is empty, and we have to pile on the layers and run fast from the warm car to the warm grocery store because the air all around is break-you-open cold.
Warmth and Light are Not the Same
By Stephanie Spencer of Everyday Awe
“I was walking to my car, bundled up tight with hat, scarf, and mittens, when I realized that I didn’t have my sunglasses. I hadn’t realized how blinding it was outside until I actually opened the door. As I turned around to go back and get them, my husband told me a simple fact, “The sun is always brighter when it is this cold outside.” (He has a meteorology degree, and likes to share tidbits like that with me on occasion. I guess it has something to do with the extremely low dew points that come with super cold temperatures.)”
The God of the Sea and the sea monster
“The waves were especially rough there, but I foolishly will attempt to swim in anything. As I waded out, over and over again the waves would take my 6”5 frame and fling me to the ocean floor like a rag doll. After taking a few beatings, I finally landed back on the shore with my swim trunks on my head. This part of the island has had numerous deaths by drowning over the years. I finally was starting to appreciate not just the beauty but the wildness of the sea.”
~Provocative… and Redemptive~
Deeper Problems in “emergence” Christianity
By Amy Mitchell at Unchained Faith
“There was no problem with Julie’s thoughtful remarks about the confusion over Phyllis’ speech. There was no problem with the continued discussion on Twitter, in which many women chimed in to suggest that there might be some issues within the movement, including a failure to examine privilege. But for whatever reason, the conversation turned unpleasant when the women involved were accused of “attacking” the movement and being “passive-aggressive.” In other words, it was the Emergence Christianity version of calling women “shrill.””
‘There’s Nothing Mutual About It’: White evangelicals, privileged distress and grievance envy
Slacktivist, Fred Clark
“Again, I think this is what we’re seeing now from many white evangelicals in response to LGBT people and their increasingly bold demands for legal equality, marriage equality, equal protection in the workplace and equal standing in the church. We’re seeing grievance envy. The cruel reality and awful legitimacy of LGBT people’s complaint is beginning to sink in, and evangelicals have begun to apprehend, however partially, that this gives the argument for equality a compelling moral force. Evangelicals are beginning to grasp that this is why they are losing the argument, and maybe even that this is why they cannot win.
And so they instinctively do what nearly all of us humans do when first surprised by and confronted with the grievances of others: They start asserting their own list of grievances as though it was Festivus Day.”
~Speaking of Sexual Minorities…~
Jordan at gaysubtlety
“And do you remember how, when the pastoral staff responded less-than-favorably to my testimony, you began to conclude most of your emails with “I’m for you”? And how you kept inspiring me, kept affirming me, kept speaking wisdom to me, kept being there for me even as I started to lose confidence that I would ever be welcome in the church again, and reminded me that this wasn’t “us” vs. “them” but just “us,” the church, striving in a fallen world to preach the gospel amidst disagreement? And how you never stopped asking me hard questions, either, because you desired to know truth and to encourage me to live in that truth? Thank you.”
Defusing the Transgender-Christian Debate
Dr. Trista Carr at Iam…
“God did not create humanity to live in conflict and turmoil—internal or external. He created us to live in harmony and loving relationship with the Godhead, three-in-one, and with each other. So, this side of the fall, we have to figure out how to get back to the created order as best as we can in our broken states. But the only way that that idea is even possible is through the redemptive power, atoning sacrifice, and healing presence of Jesus Christ. And this is true for EVERYTHING we encounter in life. If we indeed want to glorify God with our entire beings, we have to make sacrifices, we have to make choices that other people do not like, we have to make changes in our lives, and we have to press into God through the Word, our intimate times of prayer, and through Godly counsel.”
My Silent Half
Darkness is never just darkness. It’s distraction and interaction with our souls creates a burden we often feel we can’t bare yet are scared to come out from underneath. Because if you are inside darkness long enough the pain develops into a false security blanket; one who’s arm drapes over your shoulders like a friend who will never actually follow through.
~Favorite Response to Mark Driscoll~
From Matthew Paul Turner’s Facebook Page
“How should we respond? Should we say nothing because addressing/challenging his Tweets only adds fuel to his flaming ego? Should we bash him once again and call him out as wrong and arrogant and remind him that he isn’t God? Or should we simply suggest in a humble way that people need to pray for him because he’s obviously losing touch with reality? Honestly, I don’t know what the proper response should be. But I do know this: I don’t challenge Mark Driscoll in hopes that Mark Driscoll will change. I think Mark is a narcissist. Words will never change Mark or get him to “see the light”. I challenge Mark and Mark’s words and Mark’s brand in hopes that people will hear of his actions and resist becoming involved in the cult-like community that he has manufactured in Seattle. Yes, I know you know where I stand on most things related to “Mark Driscoll”. I’m sure I sound like a broken record. But so do the stories of pain and abuse that continue to come out of Mars Hill. And as long as that’s happening, I will not stop challenging this man’s evil. He will like never care or listen. But those who leave his fold broken and lost do listen. And they’re relieved to know that somebody knows the truth about Mark and is willing to listen to their truth about Mark.This is not just a Tweet from Mark. This Tweet is a part of a bigger brand. And that brand hurts people. That brand is dishonest. That brand continues to spiritually harm thousands. Sure, the brand is likely too big to stop. But that should not keep us from warning people in hopes that they won’t get sucked in by Mark’s brand and putting our arms around people and loving and caring for them when Mark’s brand spits them out.”
~Favorite Comment on the Blog this Week~
From Survivor Girl 007
Tremendous post!!! If we “sat in” others’ stories, then we’d truly SEE one another the way Jesus saw Zaccheus, or Mary Magdelene, or the woman at the well. The way He sees us still. To quote Shane Claiborne, “[Jesus'] message and his life are an interruption of death. He constantly interrupts whatever is destroying the life and dignity of other people – and invites us to do the same.” We straight, churched folks have forever been “destroying the life and dignity” of our gay brothers and sisters, and IT IS TIME TO STOP. So we MUST sit in others’ stories if we claim to follow Christ.
Thanks for your continued good work, RR.
Hugs and love!