Laudable Linkage

Here are several posts that spoke to me this week:

What Can God Do with Broken Hearts? “Where we tend to dispose of what has been broken, God treasures it. Where the human instinct is toward those who are confident, assertive, and self-sufficient, the divine eye is drawn to those who are humble, who are contrite in spirit, and who tremble at God’s Word. Where the world looks to those who are whole and strong, God looks to those who are weak and broken, for his specialty is bringing much from little, beauty from ashes, strength from weakness.”

It’s a Terrible Thing for a Sheep to Go Astray, HT to Challies. “Baarack probably thought it was a great adventure when she wandered off from her flock. Yet, fast-forward a few years, and that freedom was shown to be a massive problem. With no-one to look after her or encourage her, she was close to death.”

Has God Abandoned Me? “He bends down and begins writing in the dirt. The Bible doesn’t tell us what he wrote. I wonder if that’s because his intention was deeper than words. He wanted to show us he’s not afraid to stoop low into our dirtiest messes and get our dirt on his hands.”

Is Your Wisdom Really Wise? “Although I’ve never seen these qualities hanging on a wall like the fruit of the Spirit, James 3:17 provides us a compact description of ‘the fruit of wisdom.'”

Being the Bad Guy, HT to Challies. “The thing is, all my terrible plots have ended in failure. I guess I’m not really that great at being an evil mastermind. Somehow, the children have always found a way to defeat me. Which is fine. Actually, I’m happy. I want the bad guys to lose, too.”

5 Things to Say to Help a Depressed Christian. “While these descriptions can help you understand depression a little more, you don’t have to know if someone has been clinically diagnosed to help them. You don’t have to be a counselor to be a loving and compassionate friend.”

The Commitment Cycle. “It’s a reminder to slow down, do less, and go deeper on the stuff that really matters. I want to be intentional about optimizing for quality over quantity, choosing focus over frenzy.”

No Purpose for Old Folks, HT to Challies. Loved this story with it’s ironic title.

The World Needs Your Story, HT to Challies. “I don’t need to go viral for my contribution to the world to be valuable. My story doesn’t have to be seen by the masses to be meaningful.”

Looking the World Back to Grace, HT to The Story Warren. A delightful piece about how Anne of Green Gables sees things: “If Anne seems out of touch with reality, it is because she is in touch with a deeper reality. Matthew and Marilla are good people, but they are pragmatic people, in bad need of a reminder that there is more to their world than meets the eye.”

A Prayer for Our Nation on September 11. “We remember the fear and uncertainty we felt that September morning. But like the Americans at Fort McHenry in 1814, we also remember the hope you gave us as the smoke began to clear and we saw our star-spangled banner, still waving, unfurled over the battlefield our enemies meant to be our place of defeat. Lord, encourage and strengthen us on this day, for You are our true hope.”

It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years since 9/11. I shared my experiences and impressions of that day here as well as subsequent anniversaries. One of the young men in our church shared the following verse in the aftermath. Life is short and uncertain. Only in God is our refuge, strength, and comfort. My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones that day.

Shared from The Story Warren, William Blake’s poem, “On Another’s Sorrow.”

Remembering…

It’s hard to believe it has been 17 years since the horror of 9/11. Though the days that followed were grief-stricken, I miss the coming together as a nation and the expression of faith from those days.

I saw the following on a couple of different places on Facebook. I don’t know who originally put it together. But it’s a poignant reminder that we never know what a day may bring forth.

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It also reminds me of a quote from Jim Elliot, who died just before the age of 30 at the hand of others: “When the time comes to die, make sure that all you have to do is die!”

Enjoy every day as if it were your last, and be ready in case it is.

I am not sure how many of those we lost on 9/11 had made arrangements for eternity. I hope they all did. If you have not, please read more here.

Laudable Linkage

I’ve discovered some great reads around the Web recently. Here are the latest:

Treat Yourself to the Voice of God. “We’re prone to take one of the single greatest gifts available to us and treat it as a life-sucking obligation rather than a life-giving opportunity.”

After my post about Principles For Interpreting the Bible, I was pleased to see “Contending For Old School Hermeneutics” said some of the same things but also said some things I didn’t.

The Whole Sentence Matters. An illustration of the above, how one “popular” verse changes meaning a bit when read with the verse above it.

Kindness Changes Everything, and it’s different from just being “nice.”

Waiting to Die, HT to Challies. Working through the dark thoughts and emotions that come with a terminal diagnosis.

On Empty Nests, Christian Mommy Guilt, and Misplaced Identity by Jen Wilkin. “It’s as if our love is a cosmic batch of heart-shaped cookies we must divvy up. Give anyone more cookies than Jesus and your identity is misplaced. But shouldn’t there be a way to give Jesus all the cookies without depriving our families as well?”

A Prayer For Kindred Spirits. “The nurturing of just one kindred spirit can be enough to keep the voices at bay. It’s as if this secret I’ve been carrying around, afraid to share, has been loosed into the world, and it’s okay. There’s nothing like the deep, soul hug which takes place when realizing you’re amongst those who know the kind of person you really are. And it’s okay.”

3 Reasons Your Small Group Is Not the Church.

4 Practical Guidelines For Reading Old Testament Stories.

Do’s and Don’ts For Visiting Someone With Alzheimer’s.

Everyone Can Do Something.

9 Things You Should Know About Mother Teresa.

[Food and the Bible] When Eating Is Sinful.

Spelling Out Unconditional Love.

The High Calling of Bringing Order From Chaos. Sometimes I feel frustrated that this is such a constant battle, but this helps give it perspective.

Old Books, Disagreements, Loving People, HT to Worthwhile Books. Reasons to read books that contain things you disagree with.

Permission Not To Change a Thing. With all the nice photos on Pinterest and plethora of decorating and house-flipping shows, sometimes we feel a constant urge to do something to our homes. It’s certainly not wrong to redecorate or freshen things up or even do a grand remodeling. But it’s also ok not to.

With the 15th anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow, there are a lot of articles about it. I’ve only read a couple in depth so far: “We’re the only plane in the sky” about the president and those with him the first 8 or so hours (warning: a bit of bad language) and The Story Behind the Haunting 9/11 Photo of a Man Falling From the Twin Towers.

That’s it for today – hope you have a good Saturday.