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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Beautiful reflections today in the nave, such lovely vivid colours pic.twitter.com/UvuJgJ59ns— Lincoln Cathedral (@LincsCathedral) February 25, 2015
Watch the whole incredible thing. You may also read more about it there.
I only managed 7/12--see how you do.
Q1. In which battle did Napoleon die?
* his last battle
Q2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
* at the bottom of the page
Q3. River Ravi flows in which state?
Read it all.
Good morning. I’ve been re-reading Peter Ackroyd’s Life of Thomas More recently, prompted to do so by watching Wolf Hall. More’s characterisation in Wolf Hall seemed to drain him of his well attested sense of humour. It puzzled me. Ackroyd has reminded me of More’s wit. Sometimes it’s assumed that no seriously religious person will have a sense of humour at all. ‘Where are the jokes in the gospels?’ I was once asked.
That Jesus had a sense of humour became evident to me once I began to preach. In the Church of England scripture readings are set for every day. One of the many purposes of what’s called the Lectionary is to stop clergy just using their favourite bits of the Bible....
Read it all.
NBC News meteorologist Dylan Dreyer heads to a frigid Niagara Falls to check out the frozen-over falls.
Amazing pictures--watch it all.
Watch it all-just so well done.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Media Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * General Interest Animals
The photo here is of all this year's speakers along with hosting bishop Mark Lawrence, second from the right, and the Rev. Jeff Miller, furthest right, conference organizer. The speakers in order from the left are: Alister McGrath, Os Guinness, Tom Wright, Ross Douthat, Mary Eberstadt and Michael Nazir-Ali.
Check them all out courtesy of Joy Hunter, and please note there is a slideshow option (above the top lefthandmost picture).
99% of people are stupid. Luckily, I’m part of the other 2%— Bill Murray (@BiIIMurray) January 25, 2015
The bird in the pine tree just didn’t look like a red-tailed hawk. It didn’t look like any native raptor. But it sure made itself at home.
When the vultures swooped in for feeding recently at the Center for Birds of Prey, the crested caracara dropped down, too.
Staff and visitors were wowed. The once-a-week “vulture restaurant” feeding exhibit can draw any number of raptors — hawks, eagles and the like. But the crested caracara is normally found in places like Mexico. It isn’t been seen in the United States much north of the Everglades.
Read it all and you really must see the picture.
The first time he put a sidecar on his motorcycle, JD Whittaker was in Egypt, carting around radio equipment for the Air Force during the Cold War. When he got home, he built one for his family.
"Kids grow up and, of course, they want to bring their dog," said Whittaker, one of 18 riders and their dogs featured in "Sit. Stay. Ride: America's Sidecar Dogs," a Kickstarter-funded documentary. "When the kids are gone, all you've got left is the dog."
Read and watch it all.
Check them all out courtesy of Joy Hunter.
Economic historians have long supposed that Africa’s historically low population density shaped its development. Rulers struggled to exercise control over scattered populations, the theory goes. Malfunctioning states inhibited growth because property rights were insecure and infrastructure was worse.
But why was it that land in precolonial Africa was so abundant, and people were so scarce? A new paper* by Marcella Alsan of Stanford University blames the tsetse fly. The pest, much like the mosquito, lives off the blood of people and animals and in the process transmits disease, in this case a parasite that causes sleeping sickness. To domesticated animals, on which it likes to feed, its bite is fatal. Its prevalence, the paper argues, made it considerably harder for Africans to develop agriculture.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine History Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Politics in General * General Interest Animals * International News & Commentary Africa * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Two years ago, the Smithsonian Institution acquired a conceptual work by Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar that reflects on the funeral of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The piece — titled “Life Magazine, April 19, 1968” — is one of Jaar’s lesser-known works, produced when he was culling through the archives of the iconic magazine.
Alongside a reproduction of a photo of King’s funeral that ran in “Life,” Jaar graphically lays bare the nation’s racial divisions at the time of the civil rights leader’s death. In one frame, Jaar represents all of the African Americans at the funeral march with black dots. In a second frame, he shows the white people present as red dots. There are thousands of black dots and only a few dozen red ones.
Jaar produced the work in 1995, but until recently it has not been exhibited. “There was no interest in showing this kind of stuff at that time,” the artist, whose work focuses on the politics of images, said in a phone interview Thursday.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch History Race/Race Relations * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Sources confirmed today that the brainwashed morons at First Baptist Assembly of Christ, all of whom blindly accept whatever simplistic fairy tales are fed to them, volunteer each Wednesday night to provide meals to impoverished members of the community. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in town who have fallen on hard times and are unable to afford to put food on the table, so we try to help out as best we can,” said 48-year-old Kerri Bellamy, one of the mindless sheep who adheres to a backward ideology and is incapable of thinking for herself, while spooning out homemade shepherd’s pie to a line of poor and homeless individuals.
Read it all from the Onion.
it's the second one in in case you get taken back to the beginning.
I would love to agree with this, but can’t quite. All iconoclasm is not alike. Reading Fraser’s essay I found myself remembering Mikhail Bakhtin’s great essay “From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse,” in which he compares ancient and medieval parody with its modern equivalent.
Ancient parody was free of any nihilistic denial. It was not, after all, the heroes who were parodied, nor the Trojan War and its participants; what was parodied was only its epic heroization; not Hercules and his exploits but their tragic heroization. The genre itself, the style, the language are all put in cheerfully irreverent quotation marks, and they are perceived against a backdrop of contradictory reality that cannot be confined within their narrow frames. The direct and serious word was revealed, in all its limitations and insufficiency, only after it had become the laughing image of that word — but it was by no means discredited in the process.
By contrast, “in modern times the functions of parody are narrow and unproductive. Parody has grown sickly, its place in modem literature is insignificant. We live, write and speak today in a world of free and democratized language: the complex and multi-leveled hierarchy of discourses, forms, images, styles that used to permeate the entire system of official language and linguistic consciousness was swept away by the linguistic revolution of the Renaissance.” Parody for us is too often merely iconoclastic, breaking images out of juvenile delight in breaking, not out of commitment to a reality too heteroglot (Bakhtin’s term) to fit within the confines of standardized religious practices. I think Charlie Hebdo is juvenile in this way.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Art History Media * Economics, Politics Terrorism * General Interest Humor / Trivia * International News & Commentary Europe France * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Holy cow--watch it all.
Filed under: * General Interest
There are 31 in all--check them out.
Great fun--watch it all.
It includes a great video as well as pictures of the oh so cute little girl--check it all out.
It was a year of mysteries. To list some of the more baffling ones:
A huge airliner simply vanished, and to this day nobody has any idea what happened to it, despite literally thousands of hours of intensive speculation on CNN.
Millions of Americans suddenly decided to make videos of themselves having ice water poured on their heads. Remember? There were rumors that this had something to do with charity, but for most of us, the connection was never clear. All we knew was that, for a while there, every time we turned on the TV, there was a local newscaster or Gwyneth Paltrow or Kermit the Frog or some random individual soaking wet and shivering. This mysterious phenomenon ended as suddenly as it started, but not before uncounted trillions of American brain cells died of frostbite.
An intruder jumped the White House fence and, inexplicably, managed to run into the White House through the unlocked front door. Most of us had assumed that anybody attempting this would instantly be converted to a bullet-ridden pile of smoking carbon by snipers, lasers, drones, ninjas, etc., but it turned out that, for some mysterious reason, the White House had effectively the same level of anti-penetration security as a Dunkin’ Donuts.
Read it all.
Filed under: * By Kendall Harmon Family * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Christmas * Culture-Watch Children Marriage & Family * General Interest Photos/Photography
Look at them all.
When many religious orders were founded centuries ago during the Middle Ages, agriculture was more than a way of life; it was a way of survival. Monasteries were self-sustaining, growing the food they ate. While farming has become less common as society has urbanized, Schortemeyer says the abbey's farm is more than just a quaint business. Other sisters have questioned the ranch's value, but Schortemeyer says it keeps the sisters connected to the outside world.
"When our neighbors are suffering from drought or suffering from flooding, we can totally relate to them. We're not above and beyond. ... It's good to be at the mercy of the environment, and so that other people know we don't live some ethereal life," she says.
Benedictine monasteries, with orders like the Trappists and Cistercians, use the motto Ora et Labora, meaning prayer and work. That motto doesn't represent separate ideas to the sisters. All day long, prayer and work are intertwined.
"Praying with the scriptures is like chewing your cud," Schortemeyer says. "So all through the day, we're ruminating on it. We chew, chew, chew, swallow, regurgitate. So it's not just 'the Lord is my shepherd,' it's 'the Lord is my cowboy.' "
Read or listen to it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Dieting/Food/Nutrition Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Energy, Natural Resources * General Interest Animals * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The relationships between medical doctors and the pharmaceutical industry are subject to strict rules that require the public disclosure of payments for meals, trips, consulting, speaking and research.
No laws or regulations – including the new FDA directives –
require veterinarians to reveal financial connections to drug companies. That means veterinarians can be wined and dined and given scholarships, awards, stipends, gifts and trips by pharmaceutical benefactors without the knowledge of the FDA or the public.
Of the 90,000 veterinarians who practice in the United States, about 11,000 – or one of every eight – work in food animal production, according to a 2013 workforce study. Livestock and poultry specialists advise growers on health issues from insemination to birth to weaning to fattening to euthanasia. They also treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. Many train farmhands how to spot disease and administer drugs.
In some ways, the role of the veterinarian is more complicated than that of the medical doctor. For a veterinarian, the patient is the animal but the client is the owner.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Dieting/Food/Nutrition Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * General Interest Animals * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
An orangutan held in an Argentine zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognized the ape as a "non-human person" unlawfully deprived of its freedom, local media reported on Sunday.
Animal rights campaigners filed a habeas corpus petition - a document more typically used to challenge the legality of a person's detention or imprisonment - in November on behalf of Sandra, a 29-year-old Sumatran orangutan at the Buenos Aires zoo.
In a landmark ruling that could pave the way for more lawsuits, the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) argued the ape had sufficient cognitive functions and should not be treated as an object.
The court agreed Sandra, born into captivity in Germany before being transferred to Argentina two decades ago, deserved the basic rights of a "non-human person."
Read it all.
Dan Taylor stood up in front of 13,000 people earlier this year and made them laugh. As the opener for comedy legend Russell Peters, Taylor was the envy of almost every comic in the industry. The next Sunday he stood in front of 300 people and preached, like he does most Sundays.
Pastor by day, comic by night, Dan Taylor of Edmonton, Alberta is making waves in the Canadian comedy scene after being named Edmonton’s top comic by Sirius XM satellite radio network. It also nabbed him the opportunity to open for Peters in Edmonton.
The recent exposure has shot Taylor to the top of Canadian comic lists, an opportunity he is using to minister not only to audiences, making people laugh in a way that honours God, but also back stage, being good at the craft and living a life of integrity.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * General Interest Humor / Trivia * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Anthropology Theology: Scripture
I really loved this--watch it and see what you think--KSH.
Watch it all--so lovely (just over 3 minutes).
There’s only one problem: apparently none of it ever happened.
Yes, a version of that quotation was uttered by a pope, but it was said decades ago by Paul VI, who died in 1978. There is no evidence that Francis repeated the words during his public audience on Nov. 26, as has been widely reported, nor was there was a boy mourning his dead dog.
So how could such a fable so quickly become taken as fact?
Part of the answer may be the topic of the pope’s talk to the crowd that day, which centered on the End Times and the transformation of all creation into a “new heaven” and a “new earth.” Citing St. Paul in the New Testament, Francis said that is not “the annihilation of the cosmos and of everything around us, but the bringing of all things into the fullness of being.”
The trail of digital bread crumbs then appears to lead to an Italian news report that extended Francis’ discussion of a renewed creation to the question of whether animals too will go to heaven.
Read it all.
Barn No. 5 at Hilliker’s Ranch Fresh Eggs is about to become a state-of-the-art multiplex for hens. Two massive scaffolding-like structures, each the length of four school buses, are getting their final nuts and bolts, and in a few weeks, 8,000 cage-free chickens will come thronging and clucking into these new “aviary” roosts. Moving freely around the barn, they will perch on rows of shiny bars, nest on private mats, and quench their thirst from tiny water nipples. While one conveyor belt whisks chicken waste out the door, another one will collect the bounty – a nonstop supply of brown and white eggs.
The roosts, which line both sides of the barn, are replacing dense rows of wire cages that housed chickens for some 60 years. Frank Hilliker, a third-generation egg farmer in this dusty town north of San Diego, strolls through the barn, hoists himself up to the top of the roosting tiers, and surveys the chickens’ new domain.
“Those are privacy curtains,” he says, pointing down at a strip of tomato-red plastic flaps. “Inside is a little AstroTurf pad that they get to lie on, and that’s where they lay their eggs!”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Dieting/Food/Nutrition * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * General Interest Animals * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
As good a year as it was for Groot and company, there was one person who stood apart: Jimmy Fallon, EW‘s 2014 Entertainer of the Year. In his first year as host of The Tonight Show, the 40-year-old turned the revered late-night franchise into the hottest party in town, a celebrity playpen full of games, music, surprise guests, and good vibes all around. Where else could you see Emma Stone shut down a lip-sync battle or Will Smith do the Stanky Legg? The fun is so infectious that even Barbra Streisand decided to return as a guest, a thing she hasn’t done in over 50 years. All the while, Fallon managed to do something almost no one expected: get the Tonight Show‘s ratings to increase from when it was in Jay Leno’s hands a year ago
Read it all.
Tricolored Heron, Bull Island South Carolina (Selimah Harmon) pic.twitter.com/LZk2JUw6Pi— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) November 30, 2014
Rev Engin Yildirim, from the Church of the Resurrection (a Turkish language parish in Istanbul) has sent details of a privileged meeting when he and other Christian clergy greeted Pope Francis on Saturday 30 November 2014 during his official visit to the country.
Read it all and make sure not to miss the picture. For those interested in the background of the parish you may read more here and the parish website is there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary Europe Turkey * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Francis
For those who missed it earlier, a wonderful typo from Morning Prayer today, in the last line of our 1st reading. pic.twitter.com/xMhUpEd388— Pete Wilcox (@PeteWilcox1564) November 26, 2014
The long-billed curlew is as quirky looking as it is large. Its bill stands out like a jousting lance. The two-feet-tall bird is the largest shorebird on the continent - where it's left on the continent.
That might not be in the Lowcountry much longer.
The only places it's really seen here anymore are a few, very remote islands in Cape Romain. You're lucky to see two at any one time. They are "probably going to disappear from our state," said Felicia Sanders, S.C. Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist.
Read it all.
Enjoy it all.
Watch it and enjoy.
That’s just who I am.
For many years, I was taught that idolatry was sinful. As a good Christian, I fought the desire to commit idolatry, and repented when I got it wrong. But the desire to worship idols never went away.
I wanted it to, but it didn’t.
So it has been such a blessing to discover that worshipping one God, and him alone, isn’t for everyone. There are thousands of Christians out there who have found faithful, loving ways of expressing worship both to God and to idols, without compromising either their faith or their view of Scripture. In recent years, I have finally summoned the courage to admit that I am one of them. Let me give you a few reasons why I believe that idolatry and Christianity are compatible...
Read it all
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship * General Interest Photos/Photography * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations
I loved there--check them out.
On Thursday 17 July a Beefeater planted a single ceramic poppy in the Tower of London moat.
Since that day over 800,000 have been added and more than four million people have visited the display - many of them taking photos as the poppies continued to swell in number.
We've collected some of the pictures posted by visitors and volunteers over the last four months - creating a fascinating record of how the display evolved from a single poppy to a vast sea of crimson.
Scroll down the page to see the installation grow before your eyes...
Please do not miss this (from the Telegraph).
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children History Marriage & Family * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary England / UK
Look at them all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children History Marriage & Family Military / Armed Forces * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Watch it all, and, yes, you will likely need kleenex--KSH.
[Stacy Pride's dog] Paco died this fall, two years after her husband's death. Pride wanted a special way to say goodbye to a special pet.
Although the family had buried earlier pets, this time she went to McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremations to have Paco cremated. She picked out a simple copper urn to keep Paco with her family forever. Her daughters bought her a charm with Paco's nose print because he loved to kiss with his nose.
With that, the family joined a growing number of pet owners scampering for the same kinds of services for pets that they long have relied on to mourn human loved ones.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children Marriage & Family Religion & Culture * General Interest Animals * South Carolina * Theology
Here the bridal couple stood, facing the floral setting, and exchanged cows--Reader's Digest October 2014 page 47 LOL
Watch it all--loads of fun.
Watch them all.
"We embrace freedom because we believe fervently in the fullest breadth of individual human possibility, and share a deep conviction that no one's horizons in life should be dictated by the conditions of his or her birth. Nothing is more quintessentially American than that conviction. But interestingly the word 'place' rarely plays any role in this freedom narrative, and in fact, what role it plays tends to be negative."--Wilfred McClay in Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister, eds., Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America (New York: New Atlantis, 2014) p.6
“The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.”--just quoted by Bishop Ken Clarke at the South Carolina Clergy Conference
Albert and Winnie Sami gave nearly $5 million to Zoo Miami on the condition that they remain anonymous until after their deaths.
Read it all.
Kelly Wood, 29, and her husband Ethan Bushman married last month, waiting seven years after they met in order to further their education and careers.
“I felt if I had gotten married at an earlier age, it would have been too young,” said Wood, a nurse in San Francisco whose husband is 30 and finishing a graduate degree. “Just being older and more established in our careers and our goals in life, that groundwork is letting us enter into marriage as strong as we can.”
Couples in the U.S. are increasingly postponing marriage, a decades-long pattern exacerbated by financial struggles still facing young adults five years after the end of the deepest recession since the 1930s. The delays are contributing to a lower birth rate and less homeownership, limiting consumer spending.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Marriage & Family Psychology Sociology Young Adults * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
This year Robert Wilson has been back to Helmand to mark the end of Britain's long conflict. His pictures are going up on huge billboards across Britain this week, some close to military bases, others not. For the images, Wilson was looking for ordinary human details to personalise the war, and has chosen sites across the UK where he can juxtapose his photographs with scenes of normal life.
For example a billboard showing a makeshift military bus stop in Camp Bastion will go up on the side of a bus stop in Yeovil and a photograph of a makeshift garrison church will be displayed opposite a church in Camden, London.
Read it all and make sure to enjoy the photographs.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary England / UK Middle East
Enjoy each one of them.
World Animal Day was started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. October 4 was chosen as World Animal Day as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
Read it all and check out the links.
Even with their technological head start, the U.S. and its allies are coming late to this battle for hearts and minds. Social media’s volume, velocity and verisimilitude have left the U.S. struggling to counter it and mine the communication for reliable information.
By the end of this year, the Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union projects that 55 percent of the world’s 2.3 billion mobile broadband subscriptions will be in developing countries, where unemployed youth can use them to access messages from Islamic State and other extremists.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Globalization Media Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Foreign Relations Politics in General Terrorism * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Watch it all--adorable.
The great ideals of the past failed not by being outlived (which must mean over-lived), but by not being lived enough. Mankind has not passed through the Middle Ages. Rather mankind has retreated from the Middle Ages in reaction and rout. The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
--What's Wrong With The World (CreateSpace Independent Publishing reprint of the 1910 original) p. 23
Filed under: * General Interest
Filed under: * General Interest
It's been 25 years since Hugo tore into the Lowcountry, its eye passing just north of Charleston Harbor and leaving an indelible scar on the lives of the people who lived it.
If a storm that powerful made landfall today just south of Hugo's path, at Kiawah Island, the buzz saw of its worst, north-side winds would shear nearly all of the Charleston metro area and the storm surge would submerge the barrier islands.
According to an experimental Hazus computer model run by a College of Charleston team, a landfall just south of the city from a Hugo-scale hurricane could tear up nearly half the homes in the region and destroy tens of thousands of them. Tens of thousands of people would be homeless, at least temporarily, and thousands forced to shelters. Businesses and jobs could come to a standstill, and the loss to the economy alone could be far more than $2 billion.
Read it all.
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
--M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled
When Hurricane Hugo struck on Sept. 21, 1989, sleepy little Summerville was still adjusting to a growth spurt that would see the town grow from a village of 6,492 people in 1980 to a town of 22,519 in 1990.
It had been years since the Lowcountry had seen a serious hurricane, and many who lived through Hugo now admit they just didn't prepare the way they should have.
“Personally, I didn't take it seriously,” said Margaret Goodwine.
By the time she realized the gravity of the situation, “it was really too late to do anything,” she said.
Read it all.
The fact that there are now two cowboy churches in the Fort Worth Stockyards is a sign of the times: Dozens of these churches have popped up in the last 15 years, constituting a rapidly growing constituency of new Western Christianity that embraces simple services over big-church productions.
Westby's church is a nondenominational congregation with a relaxed, indoor service featuring lots of music and no formal sermon. Miller's, meanwhile, is associated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and has been open for a little more than a year with a focus on ministry that goes beyond Sunday morning.
The two pastors don't conflict or compete: They say there are enough cowboys, or at least enough people who want to worship like a cowboy, in the Stockyards to go around.
"Talking to someone about religion is like talking about politics," Miller said. "Talk to them about their horses and their spirituality, that's what they connect with."
Read it all.
"The closed fist receives nothing."
--Micehle Oka Doner, Readers Digest (August 2014), p. 156
Filed under: * General Interest
Take the time to watch it all.
Since the Jennifer Lawrence photo hack, Internet security has come under scrutiny. But why do many young women feel the need to take and share nude selfies in the first place? Don’t get me wrong: I think hackers are morally reprehensible and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But I also think that we need to build an alternative to the dogma “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.” Young women are told that it’s a sign of being proud of your sexuality to “sext” young men—a philosophy that has turned girls into so many flashing beacons, frantic to keep the attention of the males in their lives by striking porn-inspired poses.
Today if you watch the famous Algerian-French singer Enrico Macias singing to his late wife, Suzy, about how he “won her love,” their dynamic seems as if it’s from another planet. Some might watch this decades-old video and imagine her passivity indicates that she wasn’t empowered. But I see something else in her shy manner and dancing eyes: a drama between them that was not for the public to see. The words of his song are certainly moving—“In the exile’s nights, we were together/ My son and my daughter are truly from you/ I spent my life … waiting for you”—and yet there was even more than what those beautiful lyrics revealed.
The pressure on girls today to take sexy selfies comes out of a culture that routinely equates modesty with shame, instead of recognizing it for what it really is: an impulse that protects what is precious and intimate.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Psychology Sexuality Teens / Youth Women * General Interest Photos/Photography * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Take a look at them all.
Examine them all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Economy Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Terrorism * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Check it out--wow.
This is a long download but an important file to take the time to listen to and watch. There are a few pieces I would have wished to do differently in terms of the choices for specific content, but the actual footage and the music is valuable.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch History Music Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
It isn't easy, but it is important--I make myself do this every year on this day. Watch it silently, and watch it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch History * Economics, Politics Terrorism * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
(Courtesy of our son Nathaniel Harmon, who now lives and works in NYC).
Filed under: * By Kendall Harmon Family * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch History * Economics, Politics Terrorism * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Efficiently combines the frustration of being in a relationship with the loneliness of being single
Girlfriend in other state provides convenient way to ignore your fear of meeting new people
More pillows for yourself
Technology allows couples to communicate as if Skype session is a prison visit with thick sheet of glass between them....
LOL. Read it all.
These are just remarkable--take the time to look at them all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Books History Religion & Culture * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary Europe Italy * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
“What day is it?", asked Winnie the Pooh "It's today," squeaked Piglet "My favorite day," said Pooh”
Ever since rivers have been dammed, destroying the migration routes of salmon, humans have worked to create ways to help the fish return to their spawning grounds. We've built ladders and elevators; we've carried them by hand and transported them in trucks. Even helicopters have been used to fly fish upstream.
But all of those methods are expensive and none of them are efficient.
Enter the salmon cannon.
The device uses a pressure differential to suck up a fish, send it through a tube at up to 22 mph and then shoot it out the other side, reaching heights of up to 30 feet. This weekend, it will be used to move hatchery fish up a tributary of the Columbia River in Washington.
Read it all and enjoy the video also.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Energy, Natural Resources * General Interest Animals * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Take a look.
Filed under: * General Interest
Our favorite blog host, the Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon, has been showing off the beauty of Camp St. Christopher in the family vacation photos he's posted (here and here). As August winds down, we invite our readers to share comments about some memorable vacations and vacation destinations - and perhaps also hoped-for vacation destinations. Where would you choose to visit if time and money permitted?
Previous Open Threads:
Laughter the Best Medicine
Filed under: * General Interest
See if you can match these 20 famous names from church history with their pictures. Let us know in the comments how you did!
The quiz is here.
Here's an excerpt.
What do you want to come from this?
Jeremy: I think the perspective that we hope others will gain from this is that in suffering there is hope, namely Jesus himself. Often we are tempted to think “why me” when suffering comes about and unless we see it in the larger picture of God’s glory and the unfolding and revealing of his character and nature to the world we will miss the joy that it is to be part of God’s great story.
In suffering there is hope, namely Jesus himself.
Brian: I think I would like those who look into our lives through this time to see Christ and see He alone in our refuge in trying times. This “strong tower” comes in the form of prayer, Scripture, and the Holy Sprint providing comfort and peace in our hearts in the darkest moments. Through this peace we are able to worship and glorify him no matter the outcome.
Esther: I want people to see Christ lifted high and to see that God’s plans for each of our lives is always for our good and His glory. God is Sovereign, he is Holy and he is good- all the time, no matter what the circumstances in our lives are- we can trust him to lovingly walk us through the dark and scary times as well as the joyful times of our lives.
How has this affected her faith?
Brian: In conversations with Mom I’ve picked up a sense that she has a deeper understanding on Christ sufficiency in all circumstances. He really is able to give peace and comfort when we have no where else to turn.
Stephanie: I had a wonderful conversation with my mother-in-law one day while she was laying in the bed at Emory University—looking at her through glass. She said:
"Steph, I have asked myself many, many times in my life, Is Jesus enough? I wasn't always sure how I could really answer that. When I was being put on that plane to come to the US, I knew I was leaving my home where all my things would be destroyed. I was saying goodbye to David, not knowing if I would see him again. I was getting on that plane unsure if I would be alive when I got to the US to see all of you. It was that moment when I cried out and knew, 'Jesus, you have to be enough. Jesus, you are all I have - you are enough.'"
Oh how perspective changes—He really is enough!
It's worth reading the whole article.
Wonderful news that Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have both been cured of Ebola and released from Emory University hospital today.
Dr. Brantly's press conference is excellent - It's wonderful to hear his testimony to God's faithfulness.
A video of his press conference and an accompanying short article are here.
Update: NBC News has a written transcript of Dr. Brantly's statement.
The photo is courtesy of Selimah Harmon; you can out more about Camp Saint Christopher there.
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
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
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?
[...] 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.
...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
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
Robin Williams died this morning, his publicist confirms. You can read a statement from his wife Susan Schneider there.
[hat tip to Pat Dague at Transfigurations, who has a nice photo of the super moon from her neck of the woods.]
Check out these two galleries of wonderful super moon photographs:
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