Posted by The_Elves

This and the following two entries are sticky. Look for new entries below Summer Open Thread #3.


As my pointy-eared elven colleague reminded us last week "While Kendall's away, the elves may play." It's time to lighten up around here before summer flits away!

Yes, the world news is grim, but Proverbs 17:22 reminds us "A cheerful heart is good medicine", so please take a few minutes to share something that's made you laugh in recent days:
- a good (clean) joke you've heard;
- a limerick;
- a funny video or picture;
- an amusing story

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)* General InterestHumor / Trivia

August 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm - 13 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Links to some of the entries that have been recently featured / stickied at the top of the blog:

**Index of All Recent Entries about Diocese of SC Litigation**

TheSunday on T19 thread with links to great sermons, prayers, etc.

Summer Open Thread: What Book or Books are You Reading right Now?
Summer Open Thread #2: Your Chance to be a Guest Blogger

Churches in West Africa call for prayer as Ebola virus spreads
The Gafcon Chairman’s August Pastoral Letter

You can use the "featured (sticky)" category link to find more posts that have been featured in recent weeks. Additional featured entries continue below - click on the read more link..

Read more...

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)

August 19, 2014 at 2:09 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

We'd love to hear from T19 readers on the following topics:

1) Share memories of a sermon that greatly influenced your life - what was the text, who was the preacher, what year was it?
2) Who are the best preachers you've ever heard give sermons? What made their sermons or teachings memorable and excellent?
3) Are there links to good sermons available online that you would recommend?

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics* General Interest

August 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm - 5 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



The photo is courtesy of Selimah Harmon; you can out more about Camp Saint Christopher there.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* General InterestAnimals* South Carolina

August 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Kibera, Kenya (CNN) -- Heaps of trash pile up for miles in Kibera, a district of Nairobi that houses nearly 1 million people and is one of the poorest slums in the world. Aluminum shanties fill the horizon, and an odor of urine cuts through the air. A man trots through the narrow, unpaved streets on a camel. If you make your way through this crowded maze, however, you will find the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, a free public school for girls and, recently, a few boys. Peek in through the windows, and you'll see a sight that seems incongruous next to the grimy chaos outside.

In this school, where there is no electricity and temperatures often top 90 degrees, dozens of students in neat wool uniforms are sliding their fingers across touch screens, reading a lesson on their Amazon Kindle e-reader. The students, who range in age from 14 to 20, are cheerful, welcoming and quick to share the genres of books they like to read in both Swahili and English. Their school is one of 28 participating in a program with Worldreader, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that provides modern technology -- usually Kindles -- to improve literacy in the most impoverished parts of the world.

By expanding access to education in areas where books are a scarce resource, the Worldreader team is trying to break the cycle of poverty, one electronic page at a time.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

August 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Speaking at Holy Trinity Clapham on Sunday


From here with thanks and the audio may be listened to here

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

August 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In this interview, Archbishop Beach announces several important new staff appointments and gives some information about how the ministry of both the Anglican Diocese of the South, and ACNA will function under his leadership. The section with Archbishop Beach starts at about 8 minutes and lasts for about 7 minutes in total.




Here is the YouTube link should you need it.

UPDATE: There is an excerpt of a letter from Archbishop Beach at the ACNA website which explains a bit more about these appointments.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican Provinces

August 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

August 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The fiction of Flannery O'Connor, especially her novel The Violent Bear It Away, resists the relegation of Satan to an abstract principle and thus to his ultimate irrelevance. She envisions Luciferian evil in traditional terms as a personal power determined to achieve his own supremacy. When Satan appears in her fiction, she candidly observed, he is not to be understood as "this or that psychological tendency." She cites Baudelaire's celebrated dictum that the Devil's greatest wile is to convince us he does not exist, and she declares his considerable success in our own time.

Yet for all that is traditional in her conception of Satan, O'Connor is concerned not to make him obvious, lest he be easily dismissed as a bogeyman. In fact, her demons disguise themselves in thoroughly Freudian and Jungian terms. Freud regarded Satan as nothing other than a symbol, albeit a powerful one, of repressed erotic desires or else of neuroses lying deep within the unconscious, often negatively projected "onto individuals or groups that we identify as enemies or potential enemies." In the work of Jung, Freud's student, Lucifer represents the massive destructive energy resident in the universe as it stands over against the equally enormous constructive powers that Jung links to the divine. Yet for Jung, Lucifer's name still applies: He is the light-bearer whose demonic negativity dwells in a mandala-like complementarity with divine positivity. Only as good incorporates evil into itself, Jung teaches, can higher wisdom and wholeness be attained.

It is noteworthy that, when I ask students to identify the voice that speaks inwardly to young Francis Marion Tarwater from the very beginning of the novel, they respond in Jungian and Freudian ways. They almost always answer that this "stranger" who gradually becomes Tarwater's "friend" is the boy's sub-conscious mind, his inward self, his alter ego. Such obtuseness is as predictable as it is inexcusable. Yet it plays perfectly into O'Connor's fictional purposes. Far from being an artistic failure, her ploy enables her readers, at least potentially, to experience Francis Marion Tarwater's own terrible awakening to the true identity of his inner voice.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryReligion & Culture* TheologyTheodicy

August 19, 2014 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

I have been thinking about this one a lot, lately. I was thinking about it long before I read Manage Your Day-to-Day, but that book helpfully distilled it to a single sentence: “We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period, and underestimate what we can do over a long period, provided we work slowly and consistently.”

This is our temptation in all areas of life: to look for the quick fix, to look for the one or the few great moments that will accomplish more than the hundreds or thousands of smaller moments. “Anthony Trollope, the nineteenth-century writer who managed to be a prolific novelist while also revolutionizing the British postal system, observed, ‘A small daily task, if it be daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules’. Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.”

The spasmodic Hercules: this is how many of us behave. We behave as if one moment of great activity can overcome a thousand moments of inactivity, as if one moment of taking hold of opportunity will overcome all those moments wasted. The unglamorous habit of frequency is what makes up so much of life’s progress. Yet we are constantly tempted to put our hope in the brief and the glamorous.

Read the full blog entry at Challies.com

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* General Interest

August 19, 2014 at 6:00 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord, who hast given us thy Word for a light to shine upon our path: Grant us so to meditate upon that Word and to follow its teaching, that we may find in it the light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Attributed to the Thought of Saint Jerome

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 19, 2014 at 5:28 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Dear Prime Minister,

Iraq and IS

I am conscious of the speed at which events are moving in Iraq and Syria, and write recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges faced by the international community in responding to the crises in Syria and Iraq.

However, in common with many bishops and other correspondents here in the UK, I remain very concerned about the Government’s response to several issues. I write with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to put these questions to you.

1. It appears that, in common with the United States and other partners, the UK is responding to events in a reactive way, and it is difficult to discern the strategic intentions behind this approach. Please can you tell me what is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq? Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe. Islamic State, Boko Haram and other groups represent particular manifestations of a global phenomenon, and it is not clear what our broader global strategy is – particularly insofar as the military, political, economic and humanitarian demands interconnect. The Church internationally must be a primary partner in addressing this complexity.

2. The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yezidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your Government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

August 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England has written to David Cameron accusing him of lacking ‘a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamic extremism as it is developing across the globe’. The letter, signed by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, and approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, also reportedly accuses the PM of turning his back on Christians slaughtered or made homeless in northern Iraq – and wonders why Cameron has chosen to concentrate on the plight of the Yazidis instead.

These criticisms are spot on. But I’m surprised that the C of E has had the brass neck to make them.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

August 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

As you probably know, an Islamist terror group that goes by the acronym ISIS has been gobbling up huge swathes of territory, executing Christians and other religious minorities, and even destroying priceless artifacts. Tens of thousands have been forced to flee with little more than the shirts on their backs. My friend, Canon Andrew White, vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq, says, "The Islamic State simply said 'we can do anything now that the world is just looking at Gaza' . . . in reality that is true. Iraq seems like old news, yet things just get worse and worse here."

Tragically, until last Thursday's announcement of humanitarian aid, the President's silence on this issue has been deafening, too...

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

August 18, 2014 at 9:12 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Diocese of Truro is facing a shortfall of more than £1m in the next financial year, a bishop has said.

It comes as new figures revealed Anglican churchgoers in Cornwall currently donate 20% less than those in any other diocese in England.

People in the county give about £5.80 per week, compared with a national average of £8.40.

The Bishop of St Germans said unless urgent action was taken, such a level of debt was unsustainable.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)

August 18, 2014 at 9:08 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A call by the world's most senior Anglican bishop for Christchurch to stop clinging to the past has been criticised by those fighting to save the city's earthquake-damaged cathedral.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby made the comments during a visit to Auckland last week, saying the city should not "be boring" and should look to England's Coventry Cathedral as something to aspire to.

Coventry Cathedral had incorporated the ruins of the city's old cathedrals when they were destroyed by time and war.

Great Christchurch Buildings Trust member and retired reverend Graeme Brady said he was always moved by the old ruins, but the rest of the cathedral had dated very quickly.

It was a shame Coventry's authorities had "completely wiped out" all of the city's old buildings and replaced them with a "concrete mess".

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

August 18, 2014 at 8:36 pm - 6 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Psalm 35:24a Expanded Bible
Lord my God, ·defend [vindicate] me with your justice.

Our Father in heaven,
We are fallen creatures and see through a glass darkly. We lack understanding and are much to be pitied. Have mercy on us all.
Both the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina believe their cause to be just.
Your justice is perfect in all its ways. Your justice is informed by knowledge that is too great for us. Your justice is true.
As Her Honor Judge Diane Goodstein considers the outcome of this trial, we humbly ask that You clothe her with a mantle of manifold understanding and wisdom, justice and mercy. May Your name be glorified. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina

August 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, we beseech thee, to prepare the way of thine only begotten Son; so that when he cometh we may be found watching, and serve thee with a pure and ready will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 18, 2014 at 7:53 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From the perspective of Catholic social doctrine, democratic self-governance is not inevitable, it’s only possible; and its possibility can never be taken for granted. Even established democracies can decay, to the point where what Benedict XVI called the “dictatorship of relativism”—the use of coercive state power to impose regimes of lifestyle libertinism in the name of tolerance, while marginalizing those who object in the name of classic moral truths—becomes a real and disturbing possibility. That possibility is well advanced in parts of Europe. It cannot be ruled out in the United States.

It takes a certain critical mass of citizens, living certain habits of mind and heart, to make democracy and the free economy work properly. The formation of those habits is an essential task of the free associations of civil society, and the Church plays a critical role in shaping the moral understandings that animate those free associations. “History” continues because the task of forming the virtuous citizens that make freedom work never ends.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

August 17, 2014 at 5:00 am - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

August 17, 2014 at 4:59 am - 6 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered a curfew Saturday in the city of Ferguson and declared a state of emergency after fresh violence erupted overnight amid public anger over the shooting death of an unarmed young black man by a white police officer.

The curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m., starting Saturday night.

“This is a test,” Nixon said at a news conference, saying “the eyes of the world” are watching to see how the city handles the aftermath of the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, 18.

The announcement comes after community activists had taken to the streets and social media Saturday in hopes of preventing another night of looting and violence in Ferguson after at least three businesses fell victim to a predawn rampage by young men who targeted local stores as others tried desperately to stop them.

Read it all and join us in praying for all invovled.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMarriage & FamilyRace/Race RelationsViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

August 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The pattern is becoming all too familiar to residents of Nigeria’s embattled northeast: Gunmen believed to be members of the militant Islamist sect Boko Haram descend on a village, burn houses, round up scores of young people, load them onto trucks and then drive away.

Four months after Boko Haram shocked the world by abducting nearly 300 girls from a rural school, fighters shouting “God is great” snatched dozens more young people from another village in recent days, according to officials, local journalists and Nigerian news media.

This time, the target was boys and young men, who were waved into trucks at gunpoint, prompting fears that they would be hauled off and forced to fight for the militants in their war against the Nigerian state.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureTeens / YouthViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* Theology

August 16, 2014 at 11:32 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

--Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 16, 2014 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Given the discussion about Ebola in the current open thread, this article from the Economist may be of interest. The graphs comparing Ebola with other diseases in West Africa, and per capita health spending in various countries are worth looking at. - the elves.


Ebola is now exposing how hard it is to contain an outbreak, particularly in poor countries. Stopping Ebola should, in theory, be straightforward. There is no cure, but there are ways to treat victims that will maximise their chance of survival and help prevent transmission. Patients should be isolated and kept hydrated, their blood pressure monitored and secondary infections treated. Those who have come into contact with the infected should be watched to see if symptoms develop. If none emerge within 21 days, the person can be deemed virus-free.

But all this is labour-intensive. “You still have to have a cadre of people who at the end of the day are able to go out there,” explains Ian Lipkin of Columbia University. That depends on strong health systems or substantial international help. In this case, there was neither.

The outbreak began in three of the world’s poorest countries. Guinea spends $62 per person on health each year, compared with $3,364 in Britain. Sierra Leone has two doctors per 100,000 people, compared with 245 in America (see chart). Such health workers as are available in the countries affected by Ebola are under severe strain. About 150 have been infected and 80 have died, the WHO said on August 8th. Médecins Sans Frontières, a non-profit organisation that has 680 health workers in the region, now says that its staff “simply cannot do more”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAfricaGuineaLiberiaNigeriaSierra Leone

August 15, 2014 at 6:00 am - 12 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the book provides an encouraging reminder that God's people continue to stand in his power around the world. We meet Dennis, a poor yet influential pastor in Liberia, who works with his North American partner to drill wells, preach the gospel, and lead Christians in villages throughout his country. Grace, a Filipina missionary working with her husband, Noe, leads a church and cares for sex trafficking survivors and HIV/AIDS patients in Cambodia. Allan Yuan, a 90-year-old pastor in China, baptizes dozens of believers on the banks of the Ye Xi River after spending decades in prison for his faith.

But these are not always stories of triumph. Keesee remembers the life of Gayle Williams, a nurse ministering to children in Kabul, Afghanistan, who was killed by a sniper's bullet. He tells of Ika, a Muslim-background believer from Indonesia, who was rejected by her family, kept from her children, and cut off from her community. These stories reveal that God does not always take away our pain even as he comforts us within it.

Dispatches from the Front assures us that God has raised people around the globe to bring his Word into difficult circumstances.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* Culture-WatchBooksGlobalization* TheologyChristologyEthics / Moral Theology

August 15, 2014 at 5:56 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jesus, our Master, do thou meet us while we walk in the way and long to reach the heavenly country; so that, following thy light, we may keep the way of righteousness, and never wander away into the darkness of this world’s night, while thou, who art the Way, the Truth, and the Light art shining within us; for thy mercy’s sake.

--The Pastor's Prayerbook

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 15, 2014 at 5:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I was fortunate, in my own life, to have a bold counseling professor tell me what he saw—immaturity, arrogance, insecurity. We live in a culture of affirmation, and I believe in affirming young men and women entering ministry or leadership positions. But not without some honest feedback—about their relational patterns, hidden insecurities, and messianic dreams.

Spiritual health is not about climbing some moral ladder, but about what Jesus calls "purity of heart." This means that our inner life matches our outer. Remember, this was the problem of the religious leaders in Jesus' day. They were hypocrites, play-actors, doing life on stage but hollow within.

It takes time and suffering for growth to happen. This is why the poor, broken, and unclean seem to be privileged in the New Testament—they've already hit bottom. Our humiliations breed depth, grace, forgiveness, strength, courage, curiosity, and hope—all the attributes that make healthy leaders. Otherwise we'll quickly experience what happens to anyone living a lie: We'll get caught, fall, or alienate everyone we love.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

August 14, 2014 at 5:01 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

From Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience. A beautiful reflection on sending her son off to college, partly written as a letter to her son, partly a reflection on parenting. You may need the kleenex for this! - the elves


[...] Remember how we read a million library books together? I’ll never regret every page we chose over screens.

We ate three meals a day together at a table (and don’t think that doesn’t change the shape of a soul and the world). And we never pushed back our chairs until we’d had our dessert of Scripture. Life is about one thing: Coming to His table and inviting as many as you can to come with you and feast on the only Living Food. We gave you this.

And for better or worse, your Dad and I taught you how to work hard. Make it for the world’s better, son. [...]

And never forget that happiness is when His Word and your walk are in harmony. Never stop keeping company with Christ– and all the sinners, tax-collectors and cast-offs. Be an evangelist and use your words with your hands because your part of a Body and never stop loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, and loving others as yourself. Make that your creed.

It’s true, son: Be different and know everything you do matters. It’s what the Christ followers know: One man with God can change a culture. God didn’t put people in your path mostly for your convenience; He put you there for theirs. Loving the poor will make you rich, I promise.

The only life worth living is the one lost.

And no matter how loud and crazy and broken the world is, child? Let joy live loud in your soul.

Believe that you are His beloved – it’s only when you trust that He loves you that you really begin to live. Really, count a thousand blessings more – why wouldn’t you want joy? Sing to no one and everyone on the front porch in the rain and laugh so much they question your sanity. Pet the dog long.

Because really, none of us knows how long we have. Remember that a pail with a pinhole loses as much as the pail pushed right over. A whole life can be lost in minutes wasted… in the small moments missed. None of this here is forever grace. That’s why it’s amazing grace.

Do it often: grab a lifeline by stepping offline. You’ll see your true self when you look for your reflection in the eyes of souls not the glare of screens.

This is what you always need to know: You have nothing to prove to anyone – if you’re in Him, you are already approved.

Read the full entry here.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyTeens / Youth* General Interest

August 14, 2014 at 9:49 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Social Security Act is signed into law, assuring retirement income for all working Americans. Payroll taxes...are set at 1% (Courtesy of Barry Ritholtz)

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketTaxesThe U.S. GovernmentSocial Security

August 14, 2014 at 7:02 am - 5 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...to demand that a work be “relatable” expresses a different expectation: that the work itself be somehow accommodating to, or reflective of, the experience of the reader or viewer. The reader or viewer remains passive in the face of the book or movie or play: she expects the work to be done for her. If the concept of identification suggested that an individual experiences a work as a mirror in which he might recognize himself, the notion of relatability implies that the work in question serves like a selfie: a flattering confirmation of an individual’s solipsism.

To appreciate “King Lear”—or even “The Catcher in the Rye” or “The Fault in Our Stars”—only to the extent that the work functions as one’s mirror would make for a hopelessly reductive experience. But to reject any work because we feel that it does not reflect us in a shape that we can easily recognize—because it does not exempt us from the active exercise of imagination or the effortful summoning of empathy—is our own failure. It’s a failure that has been dispiritingly sanctioned by the rise of “relatable.” In creating a new word and embracing its self-involved implications, we have circumscribed our own critical capacities. That’s what sucks, not Shakespeare.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryPhilosophyPsychology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

August 14, 2014 at 6:19 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy thought can drag downwards; an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 14, 2014 at 5:38 am - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

ERBIL, Kurdistan -- Islamic terrorists in Iraq are beheading children and burying people alive, and it won't stop there...

Read it all and watch the video where there is a report from Dr Sarah Ahmed of Canon Andrew White's FRRME

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

August 13, 2014 at 7:26 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Hmmmm. Having children is now categorized as women successfully "meeting their fertility goals." Doesn't matter how you do it, it's all about choice and personal satisfaction. SAD. -the elves
More single U.S. women over the age of 35 are having children, even as the overall birth rates for unmarried women in the United States have dropped, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. There were 1.6 million births to unmarried women in 2013, the lowest since 2005, when there were 1.5 million, the data showed.

Running counter to the trend were middle-aged and older women having children outside of marriage. The birth rate for unmarried women between the ages of 40 to 44 increased 29 percent from 2007 to 2012 and 7 percent during that time for those aged 35 to 39, the CDC said.

"Many women are postponing births until their 30s, and the stigma of having a child outside of marriage has faded," said Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University who has studied the issue but was not involved with the CDC report.

Women who choose to give birth at an older age now have greater medical options for increasing fertility, said Sally Curtin, a CDC statistician and an author of the study. "There's more out there for women to meet their fertility goals," she said.

Here's the full article

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyWomen

August 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Rev. Andrew Symes at Anglican Mainstream offers a reflection on the challenge of balancing "the inward and the outward life," critiques former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams' recent interview "How Buddhism Helps me Pray," and examines British values and Christians' response in the face of the challenges presented by multi-culturalism. -the elves


So the life of discipleship is oscillating between rest in God, and fruitful action in the world; both undergirded by active, unhurried, worshipful, compassionate, sometimes agonized prayer. It constantly moves between the two poles of wonder at the sacrifice of Christ dealing with my sin and winning my forgiveness, and engaging sacrificially with others, enabled by the indwelling divine living presence. There is an enormous richness in teaching over the centuries, in different church traditions, on Christ-centred prayer, and on maintaining these two poles, sometimes paradoxical, of inward and outward life, rest and yoke, of abiding and being productive, of atonement and empowerment. Yes there might be imbalance in the teaching of different groups, just as each of us because of our personalities tend to prefer contemplation or activism. But that doesn’t mean we are at liberty to reject clear teachings of Scripture or go searching outside the Christian tradition when Jesus commands us to come to him.

But sadly this is exactly what Rowan Williams advocates in a recent interview:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10942056/Rowan-Williams-how-Buddhism-helps-me-pray.html

The whole article is about Williams’ morning spiritual disciplines – what evangelicals might call his “quiet time”. He begins encouragingly by talking about the ‘Jesus Prayer’ (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”) – one would think that this could be a great opportunity to explain its meaning to the secular readers who clearly are interested in this detail of the personal life of a celebrity. But the phrase does not prompt reflection, in order to worship or pray to the living Christ – it is simply repeated as a mantra, as part of a Buddhist-inspired technique of focusing on one’s body living and breathing in the moment. The former Archbishop does not give any indication at the end of the interview that God might really exist out there, a divine person separate from us, calling on us to repent and come to him in Christ. Rather “God ‘happens’: a life lived in you”, and the uncomfortable meditative technique is apparently a way in which anyone who puts in the work can become aware of this “inner light”.

Is Rowan Williams embarrassed about embracing and articulating fully the Christian story and the wonderful resources that Christ offers his followers by grace? Does he feel that Jesus is not enough, and the insights and practices of others faiths are needed to get closer to God, to feel loved, to have strength to face the day and help others? Or perhaps he believes that in synthesizing aspects of different religions, he is modelling inclusivity and helping to promote community cohesion between the different faith groups in Britain? This is suggested by his recent appearance as a speaker at the Living Islam Festival at the Lincolnshire showground. But again, is modern Britishness best achieved by a synthesis of Christian, secular, Islamic and Buddhist – and if so how, given the radically different worldviews of these four faiths?

Christianity is in retreat, yet secularism and Islam are becoming more confident in demanding the hegemony of their values. Many orthodox Christian leaders are responding by self-ghettoisation: increasingly arguing that faith is a private matter and that Gospel values, the ethics which flow out of taking on the yoke of Christ and being fruitful in him and on which the best “British values” are based, are only applicable to the converted. We continue to thank God for groups like Christian Institute and Christian Concern who have resisted this route. Liberal thinkers such as Rowan Williams want to engage in the public square, but seem to do so with embarrassment about the apparent former dominance of Christianity: the result is the articulation of a more “generous and inclusive” faith which synthesizes, merges with and ultimately submits to other worldviews rather than confronting, challenging and transforming them.

Read the full entry at Anglican Mainstream

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican IdentityAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMulticulturalism, pluralism

August 13, 2014 at 9:55 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

...Professor Gordon Claridge, of the University of Oxford's Department of Experimental Psychology, studied personality questionnaires filled in by 523 comedians (404 men and 119 women) from the UK, US and Australia.

"We found that comedians had a rather unusual personality profile, which was rather contradictory," Prof Claridge says.

"On the one hand, they were rather introverted, depressive, rather schizoid, you might say. And on the other hand, they were rather extroverted and manic.

"That was a rather unusual profile. The actors we compared them with didn't show that, and this was highly significantly different from the norms on the test.

"Possibly the comedy - the extroverted side - is a way of dealing with the depressive side. Of course, this is not true of all comedians."

Laughing to cope

It is not. Not every comedian has difficulties, and depression is far from particular to creative personalities.

Depression is the single biggest killer of men aged 20-49 in the UK, according to the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm). It touches all corners of society...

Read it all

Filed under: * General InterestIn Memoriam

August 13, 2014 at 7:41 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From Saint John's, Vancouver, Bruce Hindmarsh, the James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology, speaks on the Book of Common Prayer which he first encountered as a teenager at a bookstall in a mall in Winnipeg. Listen to it all--wonderfully nurturing and encouraging stuff.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship--Book of Common PrayerSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologySeminary / Theological EducationTheology: Scripture

August 13, 2014 at 5:49 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We beseech thee, O Lord, to give us more love to thee, more joy in our worship, more peace at all times, more longsuffering, more kindness of heart and manner. Grant us the grace of meekness and the power of self-control. May we know something of what it is to be filled with the Holy Ghost; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

August 13, 2014 at 5:45 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

With Kendall away, and we elves also having limited blogging time, now's your chance! If you were Kendall (or an elf) for a day, what entry or entries would you post at T19? In the comments, please provide links to any good articles, videos, sermons, etc. that you think T19 readers would enjoy and find edifying. Please provide more than just the link itself, but a sentence or two as to what the article, etc., is about, and why you recommend it. Thanks. -the elves

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)* General Interest

August 13, 2014 at 2:02 am - 9 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

[H/T to Pat Dague at Transfigurations]

Here's an excerpt:

Jacob: “How would you define the “Anglican identity”? What does ACNA distinctively have to offer both Christians and non-Christians in America? Should Anglicans have more of a “confessional” identity? Is the new catechism an attempt to develop a more confessional identity, especially given Dr. Packer’s recommendation to teach it in ACNA parishes at the Provincial Assembly?”

o Abp. Beach: “Let me answer that last question first. I think a lot of us get in trouble when we think we have the Anglican identity, because we’re a diverse lot. From our formation days back in the Reformation, we’ve been a diverse group. Currently – and this is something I think that’s very distinctive about who we are – we are a group that is Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, and Charismatic. Some call that the ‘Three Streams,’ and that’s a simple way of explaining it. But, even some of our most Anglo-Catholic folks would be more charismatic than I am. All of us tend to have those three streams somewhere in our mix. I think that’s very unique for American Christianity today. All of us have our core; my core would be evangelical. Although I have the other two pieces, my core or default is evangelical. But, these streams enable us to bring the richness of the breadth of Christianity, and it’s truly powerful when these streams are together.

Jacob: “Should Anglicans have more of a “confessional” identity? Is the new catechism an attempt to develop a more confessional identity, especially given Dr. Packer’s recommendation to teach it in ACNA parishes at the Provincial Assembly?”

o Abp. Beach: “Anglicans are pretty confessional already. If you say Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, we confess the Apostles’ Creed. On Sundays, we confess the Nicene Creed. The Anglican Church in North America is a product of the Jerusalem Declaration, which is a very confessional statement. I would say we’re already very confessional. The purpose of the catechism is to introduce Christianity to a culture that is no longer a Christian culture, and the intent is to bring the basic teaching of the faith this culture.”

Jacob: “Does this catechism represent a more ‘missional outlook,’ would you say?”

o Abp. Beach: “More than any other catechism we’ve had in history, our catechism very missional. All of the other catechisms were written for cultures that were already Christian. Ours begins by describing how you even become a Christian. And then, all throughout it, there are references to the faith and prayers to pray. With the online version, there will be links to deeper articles. Again, the intent is to be missional. But at the same time, we want Anglicans to be disciples. We want Anglicans who understand not only what we believe, but why we believe it.”

Read the full interview at Juicy Ecumenicism

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican Identity

August 12, 2014 at 11:09 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

August 12, 2014 at 11:01 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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