Monday, October 14, 2013

A Curious Owl and the Best Things You'll Read All Week

by Ben Howard

Reads of the Week

1) These Hallowed Grounds: Our Story by Benjamin Moberg

"My brother and dad are with me and if you look at us, you might think that this has been a breeze. Don’t let the winks and nods fool you, our laughs are a long time coming. Take a walk down our memories of the last two years to a late night in October and you’d see how deep we were. You’d hear me choking out my secret, her heart breaking in half, and several, painful minutes in which she cannot breathe."

2) Vigilante by John Blase

"I don’t know why but the Lord would say to me/boy, look and see and I looked and saw the bones beneath/their suits, boast and swagger barbwire spines"

3) A Sermon on Faith, Doubt, and Mustard Seed Necklaces by Nadia Bolz-Weber

"I think we sometime mistakenly think having faith is like being the little engine who could – I think I can I think I can…and if we just muster up enough – a tiny mustard size amount of faith we can do anything – we can trust God when things are bad and never struggle or doubt and we can even uproot bushes into a watery grave if for some reason we think that’s what is called for."

4) Lament by Saskia Wishart

"Maybe it is time we learn to say less, and enter in more. To walk beside those who are stricken by loss. Maybe it is time to allow all the sadness and frustration at the world to bubble up and spill over the edge of the pages, finding their way into silence."

5) It's Okay Not to Have an Answer by Sarah Markley

"If I’m honest, I have trouble making a big deal out of things that don’t affect the work of the Kingdom today. If I’m honest, and I try to always be, I have trouble seeing how things like billions versus thousands affect my relationship with Jesus and how arguments about things like that should change anything about my desire to see grace and love abound in the world."

6) A Tale of Two Tables by Heather Goodman

"Well, anyway, that was one restaurant – two tables.    But I have found that it is easy to smile and greet someone during worship.   It’s easy to lay hands on them and pray – to even see their broken hearts and call them out and notice that they are lonely people – heck, to share ‘prophetically’ with them that they are lonely and that God wants to heal them of this – but then, when it comes time to go out to eat together, we all too often leave them sitting at their own table again."

7) The God of No Compromise and the Government Shutdown by Morgan Guyton

"A cross whose purpose is to uphold God’s uncompromising intolerance for imperfection creates a God in the image of Keyser Soze or Darth Vader, because it defines God’s goodness not according to any sort of benevolence towards humanity, but as His demand for nothing less than perfect conformity to His will."

8) The First Reading by Leigh Kramer

"I flattened the paper and took a deep breath. I could do this. But I didn’t recognize my voice. Thick with emotion, wobbly. I read the verses and my voice cracked thinking of a day when death will be destroyed. When there will be no more tears or family vigils in ICU rooms. No more heartbreaking decisions, no more missing loved ones. No more learning to do life alone. No more sorrow."

9) Blurring the Lines by Trudy

"Actually, one of the most difficult things about living here—far worse than power outages and diarrhea—has been the way I am forced to learn about myself. It was easy back in the States to think of myself as a kind, compassionate person. I was generous. I was hospitable—so I thought. Or so maybe I am? But it certainly doesn’t feel like it now, when I’m not just faced with poverty but immersed in it. I’ve learned the limits of my compassion—those rough edges of tiredness and impatience where I just no longer have anything left to give to my fellow human beings and where I so easily recede into selfishness and survival."

10) The Gospel According to Karaoke by Richard Beck

"Karaoke, according to Mark, is a practice of vulnerability and community. You take a risk when you get up in front of strangers to sing a song. And yet, the quality of your singing doesn't matter. What matters is jumping in and taking a risk. Being exposed and vulnerable is what is welcomed. That's what gets you the embrace, just getting up there and participating. Being an exposed and vulnerable human being."

Honorable Mention

To Be Inconvenienced by Kristin Potler

In the Nail-Painting, Gin-Drinking, Continuous Healing of Being Together by Elora Ramirez

"Jesus (Still) Hates Religion": An Interview with YouTube Sensation Jefferson Bethke by Jonathan Merritt

Tweets of the Week

What if *actual* Rhinos joined the GOP?" - Alan Noble (@TheAlanNoble)

I keep trying to sell out but no one is offering me any money. :(" - Emily Maynard (@emelina)

That part of the Bible when God is like, "I only care about the heart, not your face." But then David walks in with his pretty eyes...whatever God, you're not fooling anyone." - Caitlin Kellogg (@cait_kellogg)

On Pop Theology Week in Review

Einstein: A Tale of Cats and Eschatology by JaneAnn Kenney

"Now, I’m not one of those Left Behind sort of eschatology nuts, although not having read the books or watched any movies (are those movies out yet, Nic Cage?), I don’t suppose I can say for certain."

On Pop Theology Podcast: Episode 43 - Wine, Sunsets, and a Plethora of Tables by Ben Howard

"Every week at On Pop Theology, we read a lot of blog posts to put together our 'Best of the Week' post."

The Gospel of Orange is the New Black by Rebekah Mays

"I recently finished watching the first season of the new Netflix series Orange is the New Black."

The Disparate Worlds of Warring Minds: The Epistemology of a Government Shutdown by Ben Howard

"My first thoughts last Monday, the first day of our government shutdown, were about the show The Newsroom."

Matriculation Day by Lyndsey Graves

"I’ve been repeatedly exhorted to come to chapel in order to hear my name called."

Song of the Week

"Fly From Heaven" by Toad the Wet Sprocket


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