Saturday, June 27, 2015

7 quick takes on 7 links I can't stop thinking about this week


| 1 | We Need To Talk About White Culture at The Daily Beast
"If that sounds shocking, think about this: How many times have we explicitly asked Black folks to address the “problems” of Black culture, from fatherlessness to violent music to shootings in Chicago? African Americans engage in these conversations regularly. Now it’s time my White brothers and sisters lead their own conversations as well."
I'm trying to listen well to the conversations coming out of Charleston and Ferguson and Baltimore and McKinney.  I wrote about my own conviction and repentance last week:  This is an opportunity to repent.  Open now my ears, Spirit of the living God.

| 2 | Breaking the Chains at Austin Chronicle 
"Realizing that no substantial progress against slavery could be achieved unless advocates and activists from different sectors placed a greater emphasis on collaboration, Allies CEO John Nehme has worked with other stakeholders to launch the Slave-Free City Network, to serve as a complement to the Central Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking, a group of service providers that acts as a safety net for trafficking survivors."  
We've learned so much from our friend John Nehme and Allies Against Slavery about the prudent and hopeful work required to reach the goal of a slave-free city. Kudos to Lizzie Jespersen and The Austin Chronicle for bringing to our attention those who are working strategically toward the same goal.

| 3 | What to Expect After the Supreme Court's Marriage Decision at Christianity Today 
"There will be times to stand in defense of Christian witness. But let’s not mistake a greater awareness of the pluralism that actually exists in our society as the immediate threat. We might see it instead as an opportunity—an opportunity to offer a more credible witness to the world as we find it. As Hauerwas reminds us, “the church does not exist to provide an ethos for democracy or any other form of social organization, but stands as a political alternative to every nation, witnessing to the kinds of social life possible for those that have been formed by the story of Christ.” Those forms of social life play out in how we honor marriage and singleness within the church, and how we show love of neighbor to those outside of the church. The coming months and years will give us plenty of opportunity for both."
I am a slow processor and when it comes to news events that stir up a social media frenzy I prefer to read backward.  Granted, April is not that long ago in the scheme of human history, but I find the non-anxious tone of this article so much more helpful than much of anything else coming through the wires at this moment.  I am also following the direction from  Anglican Archbishop Foley Beach in his statement yesterday to the Anglican Church of North America:  "Today there is no place for either triumphalism or despair, so we prayerfully and sincerely urge a spirit of charity by all."  

On a side note: I've begun to grieve (late in the game because of my ultra-Protestant background) that Christians didn't care as deeply about the way this issue defined marriage as much as they have about the Supreme Court's ruling this week.  When we all started swallowing the pills for greater convenience and control, didn't we essentially alter the definition of marriage then?

| 4 | 2015 Audubon Photography Awards at the Atlantic

I mean really -- these photos are amazing. The mama and baby ducks is a lovely and the mama and baby woodpeckers together tell the whole story of parenting, don't you think?

| 5 | The Latin Pope and the Irish Poet by Brett Foster at First Things / Sister Things at Bearing Blog

I'm getting to  understand Pope Francis’s new encyclical, Laudato Si, which the Vatican released last week by circuitous route.  I find these two posts especially helpful because both authors are also getting to the truth slant -- in the stories of saints, poets and authors.  This is my favorite way of understanding and I hope to spend a good bit of time pondering all of these things. 

| 6 |  Pray for Muslims During Ramadan 2015 at Open Doors / Ramadan Resources - help in praying for and reaching out to Muslims at Lent & Beyond Anglican Prayer blog 

"During these 30 days [of Ramadan] Muslims seek a revelation from God and hope to be forgiven of their sins through their works of prayer and fasting. Why should this matter to Christians? Because 1.6 billion people identify as being Muslim, making it the world's second largest religion. And Islamic extremism is the number one persecutor of the Church worldwide. ... The number one thing that persecuted Christians request is prayer." 
I am grateful for the work of those who live with and minister to the beautiful Muslim people across the world.  I am heartbroken for those who are persecuted in every form by Islamic extremists. I am grateful for these resources, and have committed to pray for all especially this month.  Will you join us?

PRAY SCRIPTURE (via Lent & Beyond) 

Meditate on Ephesians 1 and let the words of Scripture lead you in prayer as you fast. For example, you could pray as follows: 

“God, we praise you for your glorious grace and pray that you will adopt many Muslim men and women into your family (verse 5).” 

“Forgiveness of sins only comes by redemption through your shed blood, Jesus. Please open many eyes to the mystery of your gospel, that they would believe and receive salvation (verses 7-8).” 

“Cause the words of truth – your gospel – to come to every corner of [the Muslim World], that many would receive the inheritance of eternal life (verse 13).” 

| 7 | Telling Brian Wilson's Fractured Life Story on Film at All Things Considered on NPR 

"It's interesting that at the end of the movie, when the credits are rolling, you have the actual Brian Wilson playing piano in a concert — recently, I guess?
Yeah, of him performing "Love And Mercy." After everything we've gone through in the movie at that point, we see the real Brian performing, what he really looks like at that time, and that he came out of this — not unscathed, but he came out of it. And he's the last one standing, it turns out; unfortunately, both of his brothers died, and he's still there. The most fragile one, for some reason, has survived all this and is still out there performing."
Brian and I saw Love & Mercy on his birthday.  I grew up listening to my Dad enjoy the Beach Boys and never thought much about them other than a few vague notions of tragedy and celebrity gossip.  I never knew the real story.  It's been a while since I've been this touched by the power of story in a film.  I kept thinking through the whole thing "If Beauty really can save the world, does that saving always require a sacrificial savior?" 

The movie was so good (including performances by Paul Dano, John Cusack and Elizabeth Banks), all my husband and I could do afterward was drive through the lit up downtown streets of Austin, blaring Beach Boys tunes from the speakers of our (old people) mini van.  It's not often that the taglines in a movie teaser are actually true, but I can't deny it:  I will never listen to the music the same way again.  


Hoping for a good and content weekend for us all, friends.


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