Life Changers 11/21/14

Welcome to this week’s Life Changers. I tell people I am more interested than being evangelized than evangelizing. It’s because I really do love listening to other people’s voices. I mean, really, I hear myself all the time.

Theodicy. That’s a big word to describe why sh*t happens and why doesn’t God care. It’s a subject that has captured the attention of philosophers, theologians, writers, human beings throughout history. The exploration of theodicy sometimes takes us to very dark places. You will enjoy this author’s take on the issue. It’s long(ish) but it’s bird-themed so that helps sustain the attention span. (?)

Why Bad Things Happen to Good Parrots

Yet, despite the fact that my Creator often seems unmoved by my pain, I remain earnest in my desire to relate to Him (and/or Her and/or It)—if for no other reason than He seems to need me. And you, and birds. I have a hunch He’s still learning how to be a Creator. That’s okay, because I’m still learning how to be a mortal dependent being.

I’m sure you already know about Glennon Melton at Momastery.com. If you don’t, please let me introduce you to her, you will forever thank me. For the past couple of years, Glennon’s posts come through my social media news feed frequently, because that’s what happens to her posts. They get shared and shared. I clicked into it once and saw that she had such a massive following and promptly un-clicked. It’s partly the rebel in me and partly my heart for underdogs, to be uninterested in what’s wildly popular. But finally, I started reading some of her blogs and I quickly understood why she was so popular. It’s because she’s so kind and good and brave and true – and she inspires us to be the best that we can be. It was a wake up call to me that not everything that is popular is bad. Some popular things are bad, like drugs and football (I am sorry, that is how I feel), but some people are popular because they work hard and are just plain good at what they do. Anyway, that’s my little fan-girl moment. Read this blog and you’ll love her too:

Meltdowns are Fine. They Make Us Softer. Go Ahead and Melt.

PEOPLE NEED A NET. SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, NEIGHBORHOODS – EVERY INSTITUTION NEEDS NETS. NETS ARE GROUPS OF PEOPLE WHO WATCH OUT CLOSELY FOR EACH OTHER. WHO NOTICE WHEN SOMEONE NEEDS HELP. WHO HAVE THE SKILLS TO REALLY HELP WHEN REAL HELP IS NEEDED.

Also from Glennon, the Momastery’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide – super helpful.

Did you know I was on Momastery once? It’s one of my favorite moments as a writer, because it brought me that many degrees closer to Glennon.

For my readers who enjoyed my Open Letter to Missionaries, you might be interested in this round up of posts from Jamie the Very Worst Missionary on the subject of short term missions. Good stuff.

Kathy Escobar teaches those of us who are navigating faith crises or are shedding some of our past baggage, how to work through this with our children and nurturing their faith. Super practical and helpful. Thank you Kathy! Also, get her book!

Kids don’t need to know all the details. We said too much out loud at a time when our oldest two kids were almost teenagers in Christian school. While some things can’t be avoided when you live in the same house, my weeping, my anger about the church, and the specifics of how I had been hurt were details my kids didn’t need to know. Frankly, it left them really confused.

Read this for a fascinating discussion on pluralism – a discussion from Jon Stewart’s new debut movie.

In brief, principled pluralism is not diversity. It is something more robust. Eboo Patel wrote about it in the Huffington Postquoting Harvard religion scholar Diana Eck, who says, “Diversity is just plurality, plain and simple—splendid, colorful, perhaps threatening. Pluralism is the engagement that creates a common society from all that plurality.”

Esther Emery knocks it out of the park again with this piece. It gave me words to describe what’s going on in the deepest part of my soul. Thank you Esther, let’s cut locks.

For me, the closest to Christ Jesus I can ever get is when I am cutting all the locks on all the doors.

Ordinary Christian is OK – at Scot McKnight’s blog. This is what I’m talkin’ about.

Ordinary Christians are marked by one thing: faithfulness. They do the right thing over and over.

Please go have an ordinary week with ordinary faithfulness. That’s all it takes.

What changed your life this week? Link your favorite piece(s) in the comment section!

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