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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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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:
Expressing concern that his summer vacation is too quickly passing him by, local incoming seventh-grader Matthew Valentine told reporters Tuesday he now has just two weeks left in which to acquire a cool new identity before school starts.
The 13-year-old acknowledged that he must dedicate all his remaining free time to developing a socially acceptable persona he can display to his classmates, noting that he still has a lot of work to do if he is to assemble a recognizable combination of attitudes, style choices, interests, and favorite bands that will win his peers’ approval during the upcoming school year.
“The clock is ticking, and I still haven’t figured out who I’m going to be yet,” said Valentine, adding that he hopes to remake himself as a popular kid, a scenester, a rebel, a hip-hop head, or a member of some other respected social category prior to his first day of classes at Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
Read it all.
I realize that people who talk at length about their pets are tedious at best, and often pitiful or repulsive. They post photos of their pets online, tell little stories about them, speak to them in disturbing falsettos, dress them in elaborate costumes and carry them around in handbags and BabyBjorns, have professional portraits taken of them and retouched to look like old master oil paintings. When people over the age of 10 invite you to a cat birthday party or a funeral for a dog, you need to execute a very deft etiquette maneuver, the equivalent of an Immelmann turn or triple axel, in order to decline without acknowledging that they are, in this area, insane.
This is especially true of childless people, like me, who tend to become emotionally overinvested in their animals and to dote on them in a way that gives onlookers the creeps. Often the pet seems to be a surrogate child, a desperate focus or joint project for a relationship that’s lost any other raison d’être, like becoming insufferable foodies or getting heavily into cosplay. When such couples finally have a child their cats or dogs are often bewildered to find themselves unceremoniously demoted to the status of pet; instead of licking the dinner plates clean and piling into bed with Mommy and Daddy, they’re given bowls of actual dog food and tied to a metal stake in a circle of dirt.
I looked up how much Americans spend on pets annually and have concluded that you do not want to know. I could tell you what I spent on my own cat’s special kidney health cat food and kidney and thyroid medication, and periodic blood tests that cost $300 and always came back normal, but I never calculated my own annual spending, lest I be forced to confront some uncomfortable facts about me. What our mass spending on products to pamper animals who seem happiest while rolling in feces or eating the guts out of rodents — who don’t, in fact, seem significantly less happy if they lose half their limbs — tells us about ourselves as a nation is probably also something we don’t want to know. But it occurs to me that it may be symptomatic of the same chronic deprivation as are the billion-dollar industries in romance novels and porn.
Read it all.
Ricochet is a surfing superstar who helps teach the disabled to hang ten, too.
Watch it all from NBC.
A new US geological survey indicates that some parts of the US are at an increased risk of earthquakes, especially along the east coast.
New seismic hazard maps updated for the first time since 2008 show highest risk west but also increased risk east.
"The eastern US has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments," the report states.
Read it all.
Watch it all from Digg.
Watch it all.
3. Encourage everyone to “take a step back”
There comes a point in most meetings where everyone is chiming in, except you. Opinions and data and milestones are being thrown around and you don’t know your CTA from your OTA. This is a great point to go, “Guys, guys, guys, can we take a step back here?” Everyone will turn their heads toward you, amazed at your ability to silence the fray. Follow it up with a quick, “What problem are we really trying to solve?” and, boom! You’ve bought yourself another hour of looking smart.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Psychology * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * General Interest Humor / Trivia * Theology Anthropology
"Sometimes I'm asked to do both [magic and funerals] at once," said Lee, 76, a licensed funeral director from White Plains, New York. "People have come to know both sides of me, so they ask. And I say, why not?"
Lee, who long ago claimed the moniker "mortgician" in his AOL email address, wouldn't call himself a pioneer or part of any special movement in after-death care. But he's among many who are turning the idea of the solemn, sedate funeral on its head.
Call it the rise of the personalized "fun funeral."
The wide range of what's considered "creative" or "unusual" when burying a loved one means there are little to no statistics on such practices, but industry experts say redesigning the standard funeral is increasingly popular.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Movies & Television Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending * General Interest Humor / Trivia * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Just a wobble away - that's how close Tropical Storm Arthur will come Thursday to the Lowcountry.
Forecasters said the eye of the storm will pass 100 miles out to sea or closer. On Wednesday, the storm's winds extended 90 miles from the eye.
The National Weather Service's forecast Thursday night called for strong winds and rain squalls for Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties - harsher nearer the coast - but not tropical storm conditions.
Read it all.
(Craige Borrett photo)
Even we Christians seem to have sidelined joy in entertainment to explore the bleaker side of reality. We find ourselves praising sad standups for what they can teach us about our faith. We binge-watch shows like Breaking Bad, House of Cards, and Mad Men for the way their broken characters and their brutal worlds will reveal the dark side of human nature. Yes, we've seen how recent heavy dramas can show us the real weight of sin and the moral consequences of our decisions, but these kinds of programs can't become our only tv obsessions.
Just as we proclaim a God of grace and justice, of love and law, Christians need balance in our pop culture engagement. So do our neighbors. We need the light of the funny, silly, and joyful to glow in the dark. Shiny-happy shows don't tell the full truth, but neither do shows that punch us in the face. We've spent enough time embracing suffering and being skeptical of joy and happiness. All the more so if, as C.S. Lewis said, "Joy is the serious business of heaven."
Fallon's spirit is no shtick. His joy has been there all along. As a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1998 to 2004, he notoriously broke character, holding back laughter in the background of a sketch or cracking a smile in the middle of a punch line. His critics cite these incidents as weaknesses. I think they prove how much he likes his job.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Movies & Television Psychology Religion & Culture Young Adults * General Interest Humor / Trivia * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
While our friends from India traveled around California on business, they left their 11 year-old daughter with us. Curious about my going to church one Sunday morning, she decided to come along. When we returned home, my husband asked her what she thought of the service.
"I don't understand why the West Coast isn't included too," she replied. When we inquired what she meant, she added, "You know, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the whole East Coast."
--Ann Spivack in Reader's Digest
Bats are being treated as though they are more important than worshippers, a Conservative peer has said, as he urged a fightback against churches being turned into “historic bat barns”.
Lord Cormack, a committed Christian, told the House of Lords that bats are a causing a "menace" to historic places of worship.
The former MP for South Staffordshire and Vice President of the National Churches Trust said the mammals were "a particular menace to many old churches" pointing to cases where "remarkable 15th-century brasses" were being corroded by bat droppings.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture Rural/Town Life * Economics, Politics Politics in General * General Interest Animals * International News & Commentary England / UK
Watch it all.
So delighted to see"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" win Best Musical. We saw it and recoomended it last year BEFORE it opened. Do please put it on your list and check out the other winners.
Auckland's best-known Anglican Church is shutting its doors for three months after Sunday morning's service so it can undergo a facelift.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell has hosted the funerals of Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Paul Homes and Sir Paul Reeves.
More than 100,000 people attend the church each year.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ
My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:
Avoid alliteration. Always.
Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)
Employ the vernacular.
Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
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Despite local married couple Jim and Nancy McFadden’s recent decision to seek new romantic partners while still staying together, sources reported Monday that the rest of the world’s population is not exactly jumping at the chance to partake in the open relationship. “No thanks, we’re good,” 7.1 billion global inhabitants of every age, race, and sexual orientation reportedly said "no thanks, we're good"...
Heh--Read it all.
A group of Anglicans in a small Canterbury community are vowing to take the battle for Christ Church Cathedral to the court of public opinion after a judge lifted a stay on a planned demolition of the 110-year-old building.
Justice Graham Panckhurst released findings on Friday lifting the stay on demolition of the cathedral.
However a small group of Anglicans say the fight is not over.
Akaroa resident Mike Norris organised a group of parishioners to meet and discuss what the decision meant for their battle to restore the cathedral.
"This is the beginning of the next stage of the campaign," he said. "We have gone through the courts, which has not advanced our cause, now it is time to go through the court of public opinion."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch History Urban/City Life and Issues * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.
The High Court has permitted the deconstruction of the earthquake-damaged Christchurch Cathedral, but the Anglican Church says it won't happen any time soon.
Justice Graham Panckhurst yesterday lifted a stay against the Anglican Church taking the iconic stone building down before it had committed to building a new cathedral.
It wants to reduce it to a height of two to three metres and build another cathedral in Cathedral Square, but that was fought by the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.
I wanted the picture for my father, a Navy Veteran, and he insisted I got in the shot--KSH. You may read more about the remarkable Robert Besal there.
Filed under: * By Kendall * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military * General Interest Photos/Photography * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Look through them all.
Watch it all--simply amazing. From the basement of a drug dealer, go figure.
This is just wow--watch it all.
Watch it all.
"Take from us all doubt and mistrust. Lift our thoughts up to thee...." as the prayer said this morning. Don't miss the shot in the middle of Saint Paul's Cathedral. Watch it all.
Watch it all. The Wash. Post wrote up the background:
Sorry, if the pivotal episode of your favorite TV show is on and a tornado warning is issued, TV stations can, should, and will cut in and cut off programming to provide potentially life-saving storm coverage.
Typically, the shows are streamed online, either in real-time or after the fact for your viewing pleasure.
But that never stops some angry viewers from bombarding stations with nasty complaints over missing such indispensable shows as Grey’s Anatomy and Big Bang. They sometimes take the form of obscenity-laden tirades. Gawker reproduces some of these selfish missives, too profane to share here.
Monday morning, something beautiful happened. KSFY anchor Nancy Naeve – out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota – spoke her mind on this disgusting practice...
'Despair, or folly?' said Gandalf. 'It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope. Well, let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy!--J.R.R. Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings (Mariner Books 2012 reissue of the 1954 original), p. 302 (emphasis mine)
After three deployments to Iraq and three to Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Dennis Swols is agitated, prone to bouts of anger and unable to really talk about his time on the battlefield.
But as Swols sits in a small office in the Robinson Health Clinic at Fort Bragg, his hand drops to the furry head beside him and his mood brightens. Settled at his feet, Lexy, a 5-year-old German shepherd, gives Swols a few moments of distraction.
It's her job. And, according to Swols, she's good at it.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Psychology Stress * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military * General Interest Animals * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Check it out (Hat tip:TF).
April was one of the most successful months in the South Carolina Aquarium's 14-year history, thanks to a rare visit from a band of dancing mermaids.
The aquarium, which is a nonprofit organization, saw record attendance during the month it played host to the World Famous Mermaids of Florida's Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, a team of female entertainers who wear elaborate fish-tailed costumes and perform synchronized underwater dances.
Read it all from the local paper and you have to love the picture.
Well done, good and faithful servant.
...[The] church has started an appeal to raise £160,000 for repairs following the winter storms.
St Phillip and St James in Leckhampton is 130 years old and grade-II listed but is no longer wind and watertight.
Read it all.
We took this one just as we were leaving Camp St. Christopher after celebrating our 27th anniversary. What can I say? The children got their mother's genes.
I deny any knowledge whatsoever of the people in this photograph.
For those interested you may read a lot more about Camp Saint Christopher there.
You know those lonely nights and weekends when you're left to your own devices and forced to entertain yourself? Maybe you ponder the meaning of life, maybe you tackle a creative project or maybe you -- wait, let's face it: You probably turn on Netflix. Well your dog faces the same lonely existential crisis and his solution is, naturally, solo fetch.
Hey, it's better than destroying your shoes.
We put together a compilation above of pooches tossing the old ball/stick around by themselves, and uh, to themselves.
This is just wonderful--Enjoy it all--KSH.
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