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Flotsam and jetsam (9/23)

cuddling on the bus

Good Reads

  • The Evangelical Orphan Boom: However well intended, this enthusiasm has exacerbated what has become a boom-and-bust market for children that leaps from country to country. In many cases, the influx of money has created incentives to establish or expand orphanages — and identify children to fill them. (New York Times)
  • The Female Holocaust: Indian parents killed an estimated 6 million girls in the last decade, but U.S. lawmakers can’t agree on what to do about it. (World)
  • Adults Are More Anxious Than Ever, but Teens Are Upbeat: This comprehensive look at attitudes about the state of childhood in America conveys a widespread sense that families today face complex and interconnected challenges rooted in an economy that typically requires earnings from two parents — and leaves them too little time to shape their children’s values, especially against the tug of an inescapable media and online culture. (The Atlantic)
  • Don’t Cancel That Short-Term Mission Trip: I’m an advocate for wise stewardship and for doing away with our old colonial approach to missionary efforts. But I’m also concerned youth are getting left out of opportunities to be involved in the global church. Isn’t there a place for students in this new paradigm of sustainability? (Gospel Coalition)

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Just for Fun

  • In case you were wondering, don’t ever get in a neck-wrestling contest with a giraffe!

A Prayer for Sunday (Hildegard of Bingen)

hildegard of bingenA renaissance woman. That would be an apt description of Hildegard of Bingen if it wasn’t for the fact that she lived well before the beginning of the European renaissance. Nonetheless, she was one of those amazing polymaths of the middle ages, people who developed high levels of expertise across a broad range of disciplines. And in Hildegard’s case, that meant she was a writer, composer, poet, theologian, philosopher, abbess, artist, scientist, and a partridge in a pair tree. Okay, maybe not that last, but you get the point.

Hildegard of Bingen died on September 17, 1179. In honor of her amazing life and ministry, this Sunday’s prayer comes from her.

O Great Father we are in great need;
Now therefore we implore, we implore you
Through your Word, by which you have
Filled us with [those things] we need;
Now it may please you Father for it befits you
To consider us with your help,
So that we might not fail and lest your name
Might be blackened in us
And through your name, deign to help us.

Saturday Morning Fun…10 Bets You’ll Always Win

Not that I encourage betting, mind you. But if you were going to bet when you shouldn’t, you should make sure that you win the bet you shouldn’t have made. So should you choose to make the bet you shouldn’t, here are some bets you should win every time.

They’re also good if you should have some kids you’re looking to entertain. And a bunch of matches laying around.

Flotsam and jetsam (9/20)

google second page

Good Reads

  • Professors’ Pet Peeves: I reached out to my network and collected some things that really get on instructors’ nerves.  Here are the results. (The Society Pages)
  • The Case Against High-School Sports: The United States routinely spends more tax dollars per high-school athlete than per high-school math student—unlike most countries worldwide. And we wonder why we lag in international education rankings? (The Atlantic)
  • The myth of lucrative college majors: If college is simply about maximizing future income, then I suppose it makes good sense to take stock of what careers are likely to pay after graduation when deciding on a major. Yet Christians should keep in mind that the calculus of the kingdom of God is distinct from that of the kingdom of this world. (Think Christian)

Continue Reading…

A New Way to Keep Track of My Pictures and Infographics

pinterestUp to now, I have basically stayed away from Pinterest. But someone recently pointed out that I share a lot of pictures and infographics on this blog, and that Pinterest would actually be a great way of gathering all those images in one place so they can be more easily retrieved later.

So I gave it a shot and set up my new Pinterest account. I’ll be using this site both for images I’ve already shared on the blog and for pictures/infographics that I thought were interesting or funny (often both) but that just didn’t make it onto the blog. So the Pinterest account will have some new images along with the ones already posted here.

To begin, I’ve set my Pinterest account up with four boards:

  • Humor
  • Bible & Theology
  • Culture & Society
  • Life & Ministry

I went back and added some of the images I’ve used over the last year, though I didn’t even try to be comprehensive.  And I’ll continue adding new images as we go.

You don’t need a Pinterest account to access my new site. But if you are a Pinterest member, feel free to follow me there. And let me know so I can follow along with your pins as well.

Accidental Worship Heresies

mistake (200x300)aYou know that moment when the words leave your mouth and there’s nothing you can do to get them back? You’re not alone.

In a post over at The Village Church, Michael Bleeker shares what happened when he asked worship leaders to tweet stories of their “accidental worship heresies,” things they’ve either said or sang in a worship service that didn’t exactly come out the way they intended. And it’s an impressive list.

Among my personal favorites:

  • Misquoted Col. 3:16 as, “psalms, hymns and spiritual thongs” while officiating one of my best friend’s wedding. (I don’t even want to think about what a “spiritual thong” would be.)
  • “I thy great father and thou my true son,” during Be Thou My Vision. (For some reason, I don’t think the church has ever officially declared it a heresy to claim to be God’s father.)
  • “I’d rather have silver than Jesus or gold.” (Now that’s just silly. Who would rather have silver than gold?) Continue Reading…

Flotsam and jetsam (9/18)


Good Reads

  • Why a theologian can never retire: one of the frustrations of the job I have had is you are never sure that you have done it well. To be a theologian comes with a kind of ambiguity that means you are unsure whether what you have done is theology, not to mention whether it is theology done well. Nor can you ever be sure, even if you think you have done theology well, that is the end of the matter. To do theology well means you have a sense that you are never finished. (Stanley Hauerwas)
  • Can Faith Ever Be Rational? The implication seemed to be that faith cannot be based on reason and, perhaps, that faith can never be rational. But is this right? Might faith be rational under some conditions? Could faith be warranted as an attitude one should (sometimes) adopt in guiding actions and beliefs? (NPR)
  • Francis at the six-month mark seems a force of nature: A pope is expected to be the CEO of a global religious organization, a political heavyweight, an intellectual giant, and a media rock star, not to mention a living saint….Yet at his six-month mark, which falls today, Pope Francis is drawing better reviews on those five scores than anyone might reasonably have anticipated. (National Catholic Reporter)

Continue Reading…

The 12 Kinds of Procrastinators

I am definitely a Sidetracker, though The Cleaner makes an appearance pretty regularly as well. (Click to embiggen.)

procrastinators (550x1002)

Flotsam and jetsam (9/16)


Good Reads

  • Don’t Knock Beauty: If we lose our desire for beauty, it will only serve to diminish our desire for our beautiful God. The balance, I suppose, is learning to long for the beauty that matches his character and reflects his beauty. And then, once we find it, we give praise to the one who gives beauty to all that is beautiful.
  • Liberated from Ideological Captivity: Ideologies are dangerous. They carry power and distort thinking and vision. Racism, sexism and tribalism have no place in gospel-centric theopraxis.
  • Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy: The GYPSY needs a lot more from a career than a nice green lawn of prosperity and security. The fact is, a green lawn isn’t quite exceptional or unique enough for a GYPSY. Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSYs want to live Their Own Personal Dream.

Continue Reading…

A Prayer for Sunday (Anne Bradstreet)

anne bradstreet Living in colonial America in the mid-17th century, Anne Bradstreet was a prominent poet and author, and she was the first woman to be published in the British colonies of North America. As we would expect from an author living in Puritan New England, her writings are full of theological themes and allusions. But she is also famous for stressing the value of women and the important role they play in society.

Anne Bradstreet died on September 16, 1672. In honor of her amazing life and ministry, this morning’s prayer comes from her.

As spring the winter does succeed,
And leaves the naked trees do dress,
The earth all black is clothed in green;
At sunshine each their joy express.
My sun’s returned with healing wings.
My soul and body do rejoice;
My heart exults and praises sings
To You who heard my wailing voice.
My winter’s past, my storms are gone,
And former clouds now seem all fled;
But, if they must eclipse again,
I’ll run where I was amply fed.
I have a shelter from the storm,
A shadow from the fainting heat;
I have access unto Your throne
You who are God so wondrous great.