All I’ve got to say is that this has been an up and down week. On the down side, Anastasia has been not feeling the best. We’re not sure what was wrong with her, but she wasn’t sleeping well at all for most of the week, having some stomach issues and just not acting like herself. So with her not sleeping all week most of the group was exhausted a good portion of the week. I also had a phone call with the bank on Monday that led us to believe we were going to have to save longer to get the house that we’d like (and hope it was still there), and that was a pretty big downer too. The final topper was that we were hoping to go to a Halloween parade that was superhero themed for Ryan with my parents, but due to Anastasia not feeling well most of the week and the fact that it was like 30s out and very windy we decided it was probably better to not do that. We still went and visited, but didn’t get to go to the parade.
However, the good news pretty much offset that. Basically the phone call with the bank wasn’t as bad as I thought. After looking at the numbers a bit closer and realizing what the categories were, we realized that we probably could put an offer in on the house we were interested in. So Friday we put in our offer and it was accepted. Of course the negative to all this is that the next month or so will be super busy getting a mortgage, a home inspection, packing and then we’ll probably be moving a week or two before Christmas, just the kind of added stress we need, but it does make for an awesome Christmas present I guess. Plus that just seems to be how we roll on major life changing events, at least this move isn’t accompanied by a new job and new little one on the way, plus the move is only like five minutes away and not twelve/thirteen hours.
So yeah exciting times, mostly. On the blog well I started a little four part series on balance. I posted the first part this week and have worked on the second. I’m hoping to post that second part out tomorrow. I did get some positive feedback on giving what I think about the links I post, from my wife, so I’ll continue doing that.
So speaking of the blog posts of the week, let’s get into them.
10 Marriage Reality Checks (from 10 Years of Marriage) by Rachel Held Evans
Honestly, these 10 reality checks are pretty much what we’ve found out in our 8 years of marriage. Some admittedly we’ve never thought or talked too much about like the divorce thing, but the practical idea of working at our relationship is certainly something we know, even if we sometimes don’t take the time to do it because kids and everything. Some good thoughts here for those who don’t try to constrain marriage and relationships to strict gender roles and models of household leadership.
Life Begins at 30 by Matthew Grant McDaniel
I hit thirty earlier this year and pretty much felt this. It’s a pretty good reminder that we don’t have to have everything in order by the time that we’re thirty. I know I certainly needed it when I turned thirty and really still need it every once in awhile.
The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled by Nicole Cottrell
Here’s one I don’t quite agree with, but not fully disagree with either. I wouldn’t call denominations the greatest trick that the devil ever pulled, but denominations are certainly capable of being very good or very bad. I would say that the elevation of one denomination over the others can be a very negative thing. If one denomination thinks they have everything right and are the only true believers, well I think there are massive problems with that. It was an interesting read and I resonated a bit with it, but not in full agreement either. What do you think?
“You’re not a pacifist are you?” by Brian Zahnd
I’m not a pacifist, but the way he presents pacifism or well not pacifism, but that “to live gently in a violent world is part of the counterculture of following Christ,” is I think a good way of presenting things. I don’t think he changed my mind necessarily, but it was a good read. It’s also not that I’m pro-war. I do have pacifist sympathies, but I just can’t quite go the full way. I’ve thought about posting about why I’m not quite a pacifist, but haven’t as of yet. Maybe sometime in the future. Overall though I thought this was a very humble and thought-provoking reflection of pacifism as it relates to following Christ. I maybe also might pick a little at his insistence that being pacifist is the lonely walk, it seems quite popular in certain circles it may not be the majority of people but there are many out there.
One Small Change: One LESS Thing by Heather Caliri at Addie Zierman’s How to Talk Evangelical
In a world that seems to always be clamoring for more as being better, this post focuses on trying to do a little less. To make time for friend, for be able to help those in need, to see those around us better. I liked it, I’m not one who is always rushing around, at least yet, but this is good to keep in mind.
Why I Quit Being Nice by Allison Vesterfelt at Storyline Blog
I know this is one of my favorite blogs, but I resonated with this blog quite a bit. Sometimes you just want to be nice, you don’t want to be accused of judging so you stay silent. You want to be known as nice, and at least in my case this means more that I don’t want to actively make people dislike me. This brings up that sometimes being passively “nice” isn’t really being kind to others.
3 Reasons I Quit Loving the Sinner and Hating the Sin by Beth Woolsey
While it has become kind of a Christian cliche all on its own to make fun of or actively disagree with Christian cliches this was a thought provoking read, partly because my wife asked to hear my opinion of it so I put a bit more thought into it than some others. I’m not the biggest fan of “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” However, I do understand what it is getting at in its purest intentions. Is it used too much to mask an us/them mentality. Is it used to exclude rather than include.
Are we ultimately called not to really confront anybodies sin other than our own? That I didn’t agree with. I think we actually need to be in relationship with those people, instead of like drive by or internet judgment that people do. A lot of these debates center around what love is. I’m of the mind it is somewhere in between the fundamentalist idea that we have to tell the truth, even without tact, because telling the truth is loving and the more squishy everybody is just okay the way they are and we shouldn’t ever try to question some of their behaviors or choices because it’s not our place.
Why I Wish I Had Been Taught to Doubt My Faith by Matt Appling
I came from outside the church and was already in my late teens when I came to follow Christ, so I didn’t have this kind of upbringing. I had a lot of questions coming from outside of the faith about things that didn’t always seem to line up with what the Bible said. They weren’t fundamental doubts about the tenets of faith, but maybe doubts that all of Christian culture was really derived from the Bible. That said I’ve seen this kind of mentality that the world is what’s bad and not us since my time of coming to faith. So I think he’s onto something here.
7 Thoughts on Violence and Peace by Nate Pyle
While this isn’t necessarily the way I’d put my own wrestling with pacifism, I feel like I’m kind of in a similar spot as Nate Pyle presents in his post. I wrestle between the reality of violence and the Bible’s presentation of peace. He brings some good thoughts to the table and may not convince anyone of changing minds or anything, but I think he does a good job presenting the tensions that he’s wrestling with.
So there we go, any thoughts about these posts? Any others you found interesting during the week? Other comments about the events of the past week you want to throw out? If so, feel free to leave a comment.