You may have noticed that last Sunday my wanderings didn’t show up. That would be because we were in the midst of buying and moving to our new house and we didn’t even have internet last Sunday. This past week has just been very busy with the transporting of our possessions to the new house in the middle of a snowstorm, unpacking those possessions, cleaning the house, and dealing with any unexpected issues along the way.
In doing all this we’ve spent most of the last week in a state of tiredness but we’ve made our house partly functional, and we’re doing more each day. We’ll get up to fully functional at some point. However, I just wanted to put out this little update on how we’re doing and what I’ve been reading on other blogs the last couple weeks. My own blog has been quiet the last week or so, but I did post two smaller posts two weeks ago. Again I just haven’t had the time or energy to write too much the last week.
I know this last week blew up over the whole Phil Robertson comments thing, but to be honest I’m kind of tired of that so you won’t find any posts on that here. However, the last two weeks I have found a good number of interesting posts to look at. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
Love Showed Up (A Story and a Series Announcement) by Leanne Penny
Leanne recounts one of the difficult times in her life, the death of her father, and how friends were able to demonstrate their love for her in a very tangible way. My summary of the story really doesn’t do the story justice. It is a story that is both sad and uplifted all at the same time. Makes me think of how I could better show love to those around me when they’re going through difficult times.
The Myth of Apolitical Jesus by Ed Cyzewski
I often struggle with how to best interact with politics as a Christian. I found myself liking Ed’s post about politics and Jesus. Not because he gives me a set answer to the question, but because he doesn’t. That may sound odd, but if you read his post maybe you’ll understand what I mean.
A post about how we all maybe think that Jesus is a lot like us. That he’d like the same things as us, mock the same things as us, and just be a lot like us minus the bad parts. What is so interesting about this post is that Ben notices how that can be wrong, but also that in some ways it is very true. Jesus really did become like you and like me in the incarnation. Not that this means we have all the same likes and dislikes or anything, but that there is more common ground than we perhaps always realize.
The Sky is Always Falling by Randy Thompson at Internet Monk
Have you heard lately that the world is getting worse and worse? That there is no hope for Christianity in this dark world? That the church is going to cease to exist? I know I’ve heard arguments like these before and I’m pretty sure that anyone with interest in Christianity probably has too. I’d say this post tackles the idea pretty good and should give us some good perspective.
God’s Reversal of Fortune by Tim Fall
One of the great things about the coming of Christ is how many things get thrown on their heads in his birth, life, death, and resurrection. One area I’ve never thought to compare is the situation of the prophet Isaiah who is prophesying the coming of Jesus around the time of the fall of Jerusalem and the situation of Jesus’ birth. It was interesting to think about that reversal for the first time.
The Most Loving Thing? by Chaplin Mike
I know I’ve heard that the most loving thing is to tell the truth. Usually from people trying to justify their stance on some issue of doctrine or sin. The most recent example I can think of is it being John MacArthur’s reason for his Strange Fire conference. Chaplin Mike argues thought that the most loving things to do is listen. Which I would say is true. Not that it can’t be loving to tell the truth, but rather if we aren’t willing to listen to somebody and hear where they’re coming from are we really loving that person? I think telling the truth is often mainly out of the desire to be right and love for another person is often a lesser interest.
What My Kids Did to Our Manger Scene by Jon Acuff
This one is just pure humor. Enjoy some manger scene shenanigans.
I’ve Found My Next Resolution: Become ‘Person of the Year’ by Matt Appling
The title may leave you wondering about Matt’s ego, but the post doesn’t. Basically it’s the idea that we can be person of the year to other people by making a difference for others and showing that you care. This may sound a bit sappy or something to some, but I also think that this kind of thing is a lot harder to take the time to do than to say.
The Balance Between Empowerment and Performance by Tim Elmore
An article that wonders about why so many kids these days have such high anxiety, but low ambition. He kind of focuses on the idea that we don’t prepare teenagers for hard work and perseverance because when they are young we give them trophies and accolades for very little. Tim postulates that this could have an effect as they get older and more expectations are placed on teens. It’s an interesting read and make me wonder about raising our own kids.
Christianity Needs Celebrities by Ben Howard
I don’t think that this post came out after the whole Phil Robertson flap, and if this is the case it’s quite an interesting timing for such an article. I’m not really sure I agree with this post entirely. My reaction to the Phil Robertson was that this is why we really don’t need Christian celebrities. I’m not sure that as Christians or even as humans we should settle for the easily digestible portions that celebrities often bring. I think we need to look at celebrities as humans not merely as products or representing some product.
The example given of Pope Francis seems to be proof of that. I don’t view the Pope as very easy to pin down. I think that he may be more complex than what a lot people or media stories try to present. Plus I don’t really view the Pope as a celebrity, but more as a famous, influential leader. What’s the difference? The difference is I don’t see the Pope as primarily trying to market himself or a particular product. I see him living out what he believes the Christian faith to be. In some ways he’s not caring about how famous he is, he is just doing what he thinks needs done. I do think that Christianity needs people who are famous for their accomplishments and their lives, but I’m not sure that in my mind at least Christianity needs celebrities. So yeah I didn’t really agree with the post, but it did make the think.
How Fear Governs Our Work with Students and What to Do by Tim Elmore
I thought this was very interesting. It’s an article that talks about how schools are actually safer today than they were in the past. This is not a narrative that I had in my mind or presented on the news. If these statistics are to be believed, then it makes some of the silly rules and regulations that schools are putting into place in the name of safety even sillier. He gives some examples of the kind I mean in his post. This was definitely eye-opening news to me in a good way. Any of you know about those stats?
That’s the list from the last two weeks. Hopefully with Christmas I’ll be able to post one next weekend, but we’ll see. I’m not sure if I’ll actually post on my blog this week otherwise. At some point I’m hoping to do a recap of 2013 and with the coming of the new year put out some new goals for 2014 like I did for 2013. We’ll see when I get to those. Until then hope you have a Merry Christmas this week.