Seven days of collecting what I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.
(1) photo from this week
(2) projects I’ve been up to
Ash Wednesday is March 6, and that means It’s time to talk about Lent! (That might not feel exciting, necessarily, but it still warrants a couple !!) I put together a substantial post about why and how we practice Lent: Lent begins in 2 weeks! [Lent Daybook explained] I’m working on a follow-up post of recommended resources for Lent, but don’t get too hung up on needing the right things. Lent is mostly about the Church’s heart toward God and God’s heart toward us.
I added another segment to a series of Spiritual practice stories on Instagram: Becoming Secure in the Father’s Love. I fully intended to write a blog series during Epiphany on spiritual practices that have been life-giving for me. It didn’t happen on the blog for a variety of time-related reasons, but I’ve been grateful for the IG platform to share what I’m learning and to hear back from you. Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, I believe you can also view what I’ve shared about the practice of silence and noticing without judgement.
(3) reminders that God loves us even when it’s the end of February in the Northeast
(4) reasons to be encouraged about being a person who goes to church
My friend Amy (who also happens to be the Children’s Ministry Director at our church) wrote a note about how much she’s been enjoying teaching our 4th-6th graders even though it’s been a reminder that “What every teen knows, however, is that the church is not cool. The good news is that the church does not have to be cool to be relevant. What the church has is Jesus, and he is enough.” See the rest of her note here. And take heart!
On the subject of children, here are three simple but profound ways to help your kids soak in the Scripture. via The Homely Hours
Be glad that this exists, and receive their wisdom. via Anglican Multi-Ethnic Network (AMEN)
These weeks of Epiphany are all about the world-shaking truths Jesus spoke in what we call the Beatitudes. Would that world leaders read and follow what this Vietnamese church leader’s written: The 8 Beatitudes of the Politician . H/T: Global Christian Worship
(5) meaningful, thoughtful, nuanced pieces on current events
What Local Government Should Do in the Wake of Amazon’s HQ2 via StrongTowns
A Spot of Good News in the Ebola Crisis: Vaccine Supplies Are Expected to Last via Stat News (This IS good news! Here’s something I wrote for Think Christian in 2014 when the news about the Ebola crisis was much bleaker: Balancing Vigilance and Providence in the Face of Ebola ),
In Black History Month and every month, there are so many stories to celebrate. Here’s a small, but profound moment: Marian Anderson’s ‘defiant performance’ at the Lincoln Memorial. via The Kid Should See This
I no longer refer to myself as [*merely] Pro-Life , but Consistent Life. It’s pieces like this that help me think through biases and double standards of both political platforms: The Price of Violence: When Dehumanizing the Vulnerable Hurts One’s Own Causes by Julia Smucker via Consistent Life Blog (Here’s a related piece I wrote for TC in 2017: Making Space for Pro-Life Feminists.)
*UPDATE: The author of this piece, Julia Smucker, reached out on my FB page to graciously share some insight on the matter of terms:
“We're a pretty diverse mix of people at Consistent Life, coming to it from different places, but I think I can safely speak for all of us in saying that we view the term as an extension of the term pro-life rather than a replacement of it. Personally, before I knew the term consistent life, I would sometimes say I was "pro-life across the board" - for all human beings, across all the life-or-death issues. That still holds true. And knowing the unfortunate political baggage that terms like "pro-life" sometimes get saddled with, I still am often quick to underscore the breadth of what I mean by it: "I'm pro *everyone's* life," and such like.”
Thank you, Julia!