Monday, February 08, 2010

Monday Mix Tape

i made you a mix tape of all my favorites from this week!

With the exhaustion of being a single mom for a week (God bless all you single mothers out there.  My respect for you continues to grow and grow!), it was a weekend for light reading only.  No heavy thinking allowed!  This book from my monthly book club was the perfect choice:

If you've been around this site at all, you should know how I feel about this author.  I want to be like her:  a woman of deep conviction and creative discipline plus the ability to treat subject matter with a light touch.  May I never grow toward a heavy-handed, thick-hearted, thin-lipped stingy religious woman. Shudder, shudder, shudder.

So a regular dose of Madeline does my heart good. Yes it does.  And this brief romantic novel was a light touch of the author's skill in storytelling -- as fiction and as memoir.  A young college graduate eager to make it in the post-war world of theatre spends a summer as a theatre apprentice in a little beach town.  She has no money, no family and not much experience -- in theatre or in love.  Spend some time reading L'Engle's life story and you may get the two stories confused.  Elizabeth Jerrold, in Joys... is intelligent, sensitive, and tall.  So was L'Engle.  It kind of makes me want to write a story about a young girl -- passionate, creative, and short -- coming of age in the Baptist circles of the mid-80's.

Also, this book may have the most purely romantic lines I've ever read in any of L'Engle's books:
Then she said, "Ben, I - I can tell you how I feel about -- about everything. I think you're the best friend I've ever had. I -- I'd lie down and die for you if you wanted me to. "
"Honey," Ben said. "When I get you to lie down for me it won't be to die."
Click the link to pre-order this book, due out in the beginning of March.  If you care at all about a "theologically informed, biblically grounded, liturgically sensitive, artistically alive and missionally shrewd vision for the Church and the arts" (David Taylor) you will place this book on your bookshelf between Schaeffer and Willard.  With contributing authors such as Eugene Peterson and Jeremy Begbie, that's no stretch. The content is taken from the Transforming Culture Symposium, April 2008 and includes chapters from Andy Crouch, John Witvliet, Barbara Nicolosi and Joshua Banner, in addition to David Taylor.   David has been sharing excerpts from his book over at his blog.  If you're stressing about the ten bucks Amazon's gonna rake in, you can kick the tires of the thing over there.  Also -- for whatever it's worth -- I've blogged about the content here.  (Barbara Nicolosi actually called me a "zealous soul" for all the cyber-space I dedicated to the symposium.  I'm taking that as a big compliment. Huge.)

  • Through A Glass, Darkly:  I guess I read a lot of blogs.  I'm not sure if this is a good thing to do or not.  Every once in awhile I consider just dropping the whole habit.  But then I read a post like this and understand that -- in moderation, as all good things -- there is spiritual formation to be had in the reading and wrestling in prayer with the learnings of others.  Even the others I may never meet before the new heaven and earth. For me, this post is one of those posts.  
  • Plywood People:  The undergrad course I'm taking (Perspectives on the World Christian Movement) has enlarged my understanding of cross-cultural work throughout the world.  Recently we were discussing how to know the safest places to give toward agencies committed to bringing justice to the overlooked and abused throughout the world.  I'm hoping this site will add to my awareness and learning on this topic.  I was especially attentive to the question in this interview about the products we purchase.  During one of our classes we watched the dramatic retelling of a Chinese Christian woman's persecution.  Part of her duties during her imprisonment and torture was to assemble Christmas lights for Western retailers.  God help us. 
  • The Apparent Project Blog:  From the home page: The web log of the staff of the Apparent Project...serving the poor in Haiti and making their needs known through media and the arts.  I stumbled on this site as I've been learning about the rescue efforts in Haiti and want to spend a lot more time getting to know about these people and this project.
  • The High Calling Blogs:  This post was a great start to my weekend.  After reading it I decided my title for the weekend would be Tamara Stewards Her Sense of Humor
Films & Television:
  • Flight of the Conchords: Dry, hilarious, slightly-sweet, occasionally crude, and the perfect way for the artist-types in our house to laugh at themselves just a little bit.  Andrew received season two for Christmas and I'm still catching up on it whenever he and I get a chance to watch together.  We watched several episodes on DVD on Friday night. (I giggled so hard during a songwriting scene with Bret, Jermaine and Murray that I think I scared  annoyed Drew.  Just too perfect...)
  • In the not-so-funny category:  District 9.  We watched it at the theater this summer.  It impacted me so deeply, I sat through the credits and cried.  There's something about the innocence of the main character getting swallowed up, literally, into the nightmare life of an alien prawn.  It's like Beauty and the Beast, only backwards.  I cried again in the last scene when the creature sits designing delicate flowers out of the refuse of the dump he lives in.  And I can't help but think of the Fall and the promise of a new Heaven and a new Earth (and new bodies) someday. And making art to relieve some of the suffering of a cursed Earth.  These are just my thoughts, you might just see an action/adventure blockbuster, I don't know.
Places:  Some photographs from Brian's trip to Senegal.

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