Life Changers – 2/27/15

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A quick writing update before moving on with Life Changers for this week.

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT: I WROTE A BOOK!! I can’t believe it, I wrote a book! It’s for you – my blog readers – it’s my labor of love for you wonderful people! It will be a short, approx. 100 page ebook, and will be ABSOLUTELY FREE to all my blog subscribers. I will be releasing title name and cover reveal in the weeks to come. If you’d like to be kept updated, please click on this red button to get new posts and my new FREE book release delivered to your inbox.

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And now onto some real gems around the internet this week. Pick up a Black Tea Latte, settle down and enjoy!

For some inexplicable reason, llamas were trending on the internet this week, so what better place to start? I don’t get the internet sometimes, but I do laugh at it.

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Ken Wytsma has recently released his new book, The Grand Paradox, and Jonathan Merritt interviews him here. Fantastic opener: following Jesus is supposed to be awkward. Explain.

The very nature of faith is tension filled. Walking by faith is foggy, unclear, and rarely comes with a sense of what the outcomes are. Just think of a time when you closed your eyes or were blindfolded, needed someone to steer you, and were groping with your arms for any wall or door jam that would tell you where you were. We don’t like tension so we look for ways to relieve it. Choosing faith, however, is choosing to stand in the tension and wait for God to be the resolution to the awkwardness we feel.

I always learn so much from Stephen Bauman, the CEO of World Relief. Here he debunks five myths re: social justice.

Nearly twice as many children are alive today in Mozambique and other Sub-Saharan countries because their mothers are implementing solutions to improve nutrition, protect against malaria and dehydration, and avoid mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

Cara Strickland has been hosting single friends on her blog to share their perspective. Check out their words:

to married couples in general I’d say that life is about journeys and stages. Some of us are on unique & different ones than others. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need each other nor does it mean that we cannot learn from one another. There is no “us” and “them.” There is just “us.” We are all the family of God. I think it limits us and our ability to imagine what community looks like celebrating the different life stages of each other when we create subsets that don’t allow for us to participate in the learning & celebration of the others.

This piece in Ed Cyzewski’s series Rohr for Writers is solid. Above All Else, Avoid Success

The crazy thing, according to Rohr and Merton, is this: Praise can be more threatening to our spiritual health than criticism. While negative reviews or insults can be deeply wounding, we can at least see what they are and take steps toward counseling and healing.

There is no ready balm for the damage done by success. Who would think of going into counseling to counteract the negative side of success? We may even tell such a person to stop being ridiculous.

This title speaks for itself. Who Would Jesus Bomb? A Nonviolent Response to ISIS.

We need to work towards addressing the conditions that become the breeding ground for groups like ISIS. At the same time, we do need to act in the short-term too in order to stop the brutality. So what could that look like?

I love Julie Clawson’s book reviews, they are the most thoughtful ones I come across with meaningful engagement with the content (as opposed to the ones where you can tell the reviewer hasn’t even read the book…) I have heard Callid Keefe-Perry talk about theopoetics on podcasts before, fascinating conversation. Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer.

Where I most resonate with theopoetics as a movement is in the ways in which it creates space to hear our truths spoken to us in our everyday lives. From the beauty of the world, to the pain of illness, to the stories of our favorite films and books, to the rich conversations we hold as we break bread and drink wine with friends—we are surrounded with theopoetic articulations of the Divine. There is no sacred secular divide here, nor an outdated mind body dualism. All is accepted as icon that draws us in, engages us, and transforms us. To be the church is to encounter these stories, name continually anew the ways the divine is moving in the world, and be moved to action to love, serve, and realize the potential of all.

I love blog posts with phrases like this scattered throughout: I don’t know. I have no answers. I question it.

Me too, sister. I don’t know either. On ISIS, God’s Love and the Narrow Way.

Many of those Shiites, Yazidi and agnostics stood up to injustice and were crucified, burned, beheaded, stoned, raped, tortured and thrown off of buildings for their courage and convictions. Did they endure these atrocities simply to plummet straight to hell?

What changed your life this week?

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