October 17, 2012

Say what you want to say, make it mean everything...

Great thoughts (as always) from Seth Godin, check out his post on Civilization and The Curious Imperative - "It never made sense to be proud of being ignorant, but we're in a new era now. Look it up."

Semi-related: from Lifehacker: How to Spot Truth in the Sea of Myths, Rumors, and Lies on the Internet.

Donald Miller: In Life, Move Through the Fear Rather than Around It.

Taylor Burton-Edwards on the recent Pew study indicating that young people with no religious affiliation has risen from 15% to 19.6%:  "Nones" Rising - What Does It Mean for Us?

Fred Clark, looks at the theological implications (and fundamental limitations) of Calvinism through the lens of science fiction here, also check out his post on Mark Twain vs. Loy Mauch.

McSweeney's: Brand Name Author, also awesome Allow Me to Evade that Specific Policy Question with Sweeping Generalizations about America.

Mike Todd: Part of the Solution, Or...

Thoughts on "amicable separation" in the United Methodist Church by Jeremy Smith, You Need a Left Wing and a Right Wing to Fly.

Lifehack.org: 16 Ways to Connect and Become Unforgettable.

Bicycling Magazine makes a good case that sometimes the biggest obstacles towards bike-friendly communities are cyclists being un-friendly.

Want better health? Try practicing forgiveness. The website, Good, reports that "Truly forgiving those who have wronged us is good for our health in myriad ways—it lowers blood pressure, improves sleep, and increases life span."

New music from Matt & Kim:


October 4, 2012

Stained Glass Scars

It's national poetry day, and I don't think I've put this one on my blog before...

"Stained Glass Scars"

Her tattoos tell a story
She tries to keep them covered up
Lest anyone connect the dots
Disconnected, interwoven, overlapping
Words, pictures, symbols
Painted across her body
Fragments and fractiles
Outward and visible signs
Of something inside
She has no name for
Each mark, a memory
Early attempts at teenage rebellion
One to shock the parents
One from that Spring Break trip
One from the summer job
One from that time down in Dallas
One from that weekend she still can't remember
One for that guy she met
And one for when he left her
Broken and alone
One by one by one
They all add up
But do they equal anything?
She had to wonder
As she wandered
The empty, unnamed streets
In search of something
She's still looking for
She once heard about this guy
Pierced and scared
Maybe he was like her
Maybe he could like her
Maybe he could unravel the artwork
See past the cutaneous canvass
Of stained glass scars
To that place that can't be covered in ink
Once she tried to meet him
But the stares she got
Let her know she didn't belong
Might have been the hair
Punk rock pink
Didn't match the muddy browns
Betrayed by silver roots
She sort of suspects the guy she was looking for
Wasn't really there anyway
There was a cool looking cross on the wall
Sort of like the one on her shoulder
Maybe someday someone will tell her what it means
Frankly she's too scared, too scarred to ask
So...
Do I finish this piece like a comeback story
Where she finds Christ in all his glory*
Or do I make it a tragic tale
Convict a church that often fails
Maybe I leave it a mystery
Leave the answer to you and me.

(*Note: the "comeback story/glory" line is borrowed and rearranged slightly from a song by The Hold Steady called "Charlemagne in Sweatpants", written by Craig Finn. Craig, I think you are awesome, please don't sue me).

October 3, 2012

"Well you forgave and I won't forget..."

Dearborn: Where Americans Come to Hate Muslims. Important and insightful article about the Detroit metro area. I'd know a little bit about Dearborn's history, and Mayor Hubbard, but I had no idea Christian Arabs have been immigrating to the area since the 1880's.

Bikes: Good for You, Good for the Economy.

Jay Voorhees: The Ministry of Resources

Richard Beck on the Hunger Games and Harry Potter: "Well, Christians, at least American Christians, are okay with murder but really, really scared of magic."

Lifehacker: DIY Washing Soda - follow the links to see how to make your own washing machine detergent. I haven't tried this, but some friends have and say it works great.

Roger Olsen: Whatever Happened to the "Evangelical Left"? On a similar note, I may be having a review of the book A New Evangelical Manifesto: A Kingdom Vision for the Common Good coming down the pipe in the next few weeks.

Fred Clark: Gatekeeper Gatecrashes a Wedding - great post on criticism of Brian McLaren officiating his son's same-sex wedding. Also from Fred: A Documented Case of False Prophecy, on the evangelicalist fears surrounding President Obama's election in 2008.

Lifehacker: How Can I Help a Friend Who is Spreading Malware? Disregarding the "help a friend" angle, there are some good basic computer security tips in there.

Jeremy Smith: The Hulk's Secret is Discipleship's Secret. I think Jeremy might be on to something there, even though I probably would have expressed it a little differently. As Christians, I think we need to claim our anger - it's okay to be angry; I have to believe that it was anger that led Jesus to turning over the tables in the Temple. The question is what should we (or do we) get angry about, and how do we channel that anger for good? Bruce Banner wasn't the Hulk 24/7, but he was willing to go there, when it mattered. Unfortunately the church is filled with angry people, but 99% of them seem to be angry at the wrong things, like the color of the sanctuary carpet, or children making too much noise during worship.

Seth Godin: Denying Facts You Don't Like.

Want to look "manly" and "dominant"? Shave your head.

Love this - a newspaper in Iran fell victim to The Onion's article saying that rural whites in the US preferred Ahmadinejad to Obama.

26 Ways You Can Heart Your Pastor.

Awesome new images of Saturn's rings.

"White Flour!" and "Wife Power!" using humor to counter-protest the KKK.

How Reddit Became the Internet's Vigilante Voltron.

Mumford and Sons... I read something recently that unfortunately I didn't save so I can quote it accurately, but said, in effect Mumford and Sons makes great music that reflects their faith, but then the drop the f-bomb enough so they'll never have to play at "Christian music" festivals...