Honestly, this week has been a bit of a struggle. I don’t know if it was just the recovery from the holiday weekend or what, but motivation was not a hallmark of the past week. Kids were needy, time seemed sparse, and I was feeling hit by the “why do I even post anything at all” bug. By the end of the week I had posted something, we managed to go over to a friends house for dinner, and went to a local arts festival in addition to the normal routine things of life. Despite that I’m not sure if the kids are less needy than the beginning of the week, if anything it is less needy but more contrary. I’m not really sure if that’s an improvement.
While my week may have been a bit of a struggle, there have been a number of good blogs this week that have made me think. The holiday famine of last week seems to have lifted and we again have a week of plenty. So lets get to showing you what those were, shall we?
What it Means to Not Mean Anything by Ben Howard
“But I’m learning more and more that meaning or purpose or just simple reason isn’t inherent to all acts or decisions or omissions or inclusions. Many, many things are done for, more or less, no reason. Meaning is something we infer from our own interactions and often we infer it where it doesn’t exist.”
In Which I Want to Be a Person by Sarah Bessey
“Instead, when we are privileged to be present as someone’s heart is breaking open with pain and longing and doubt and questions and terror and loss and grief and love and hope and fear, before our very eyes, as they are in the midst of wrestling with God and it’s tangible and not fixed by seven-steps-to-a-better-life-and-whiter-teeth, how about this?
How about we be a freaking person, right alongside of them?”
For Those of You Who Have Grown Weary by Steve Wiens
“We are surprised by our weariness, by our limits, by our failure. But even the strong are weak, and even the tireless ones fall into exhaustion (because tireless is a label that those of us who are tired give to others we only assume are not tired). God is not surprised by our limits and our weariness. God waits for our weariness to sink in, and meets us there. It is God who waits for us to show up in our weariness. And it is God who gives us what we do not have.”
I’m Pretty Sure God Isn’t a Helicopter Parent by Peter Enns
“Wisdom, which is the goal of the maturation process, can’t be scripted with insured success. It’s about learning how to negotiate life’s moments when they come up. Personally, I think that is a great way of summarizing the process of parenting and of spiritual growth.”
The Power of Sacriledge (or, God Said Haha) by Charity Erickson (at On Pop Theology)
“In The 40 Year Old Virgin I saw for the first time something I valued depicted on-screen in a way that didn’t make me want to excuse myself from normal society and slink away to die a pariah’s death outside the city walls, moldering in a puddle of embarrassment. “
Jeans, Social Justice, and One Small Thing by Addie Zierman
“Someone once asked on Facebook, “What is the biggest deterrent for you to shopping ethically?” and I felt like an asshole because, honestly? It’s convenience. It’s a toddler stuffed in the front of the shopping cart, sobbing and flailing. It’s having ten minutes and a budget. It’s options and the catharsis of buying a new shirt from the sale rack for two dollars.”
Love ’em and Forget ’em. (an open apology letter to my children) by Leanne Penny
“This is my job as your mommy, to help you learn about life and how to think and respond to the world around you. My bad choice lately has been this: I have been too worried about how the world is thinking and responding to you.”
When Orthodoxy is a Big Wide Word by Preston Yancey
“I have a Mary heart with a Martha defence parameter. At my deepest and most true, I want to sit in the presence of the Christ and abide there continually, to want for nothing more than His words and will, and to keep rooted to the Source.
But in my desire for that, I take up arms and busywork when something seems a threat to right belief. Conviction tumbles out like a whirlwind, a fierce desire to see no one ever enslaved to a teaching that would prevent them from the surpassing love of God. Tweets and blog posts itch in my fingers and the words tumble faster than my heart has time to preach the law of Love.
I Martha about all over the place and trip over Mary all the time.”
“One of the perennial debates that goes around evangelical circles is the topic of biblical ‘inerrancy’ and ‘historicity.’ Did the events in the Bible actually occur? Can the Bible be trusted as a factual document? My buddy, Zack at The American Jesus wrote a really challenging blog a few weeks ago about the topic. You’ll have to make up your own mind about his assertions.
But every time this debate surfaces on my blog reader, I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that we’re missing something. My ‘missing the point’ radar goes haywire. Given two choices – to either believe all of the Bible, or be a heretic, there must be a third choice.”
“A novelist I respect named James Scott Bell gave some writing advice I think applies to more than just fiction. In his book Conflict and Suspense he says, ‘Perfect people are not interesting to us. We need to see flaws in the characters as well as strengths.’
He’s talking about building conflict into a story, of course, but I think there’s something true about this idea in life, too.”
Can We Stop Tolerating Tolerance? by Tyler McKenzie
“But we can’t let tolerance hijack the very foundation of our faith. There is a time and a place for tolerance. It’s not bad. What this word represents fits within the broad spectrum of responses that love requires of us. I find myself lovingly tolerating all sorts of stuff all the time (most recently, the Twilight series with my wife). In fact, tolerance tastes a whole lot like one of our favorite Christian words, grace. And we like grace. But this doesn’t mean tolerance is love. They overlap, not equal.”
5 Reasons I Reject Unconditional Election by Micah J. Murray
“As I’ve told this story to people from various Christian traditions over the years, I’ve often heard the response: ‘Well, those questions and answers were hardly representative of John Piper. Perhaps you were interacting with a straw man of Calvinism.’ Desiring to be gracious and charitable, I determined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I had misunderstood the theology, or maybe it had become twisted in the second-hand telling I heard.
But this morning as I wandered the kitchen in my pajamas searching for hot coffee, I stumbled across this post from John Piper at Desiring God that so clearly articulated these problematic views: ‘Five Reasons to Embrace Unconditional Election'”
Whew, well that was a lot eh? It seems like everyone was storing up from last week being a bit busy. You have any to add? Any of these make you think? Want to know what I think about any particular article? Feel free to comment.