Sunday, March 9, 2014

Weekend Link Round-up: so many links!

Lots of good reading for your Sunday afternoon. Enjoy! :)

"It’s Not Just Sabbatarians Who Need Sabbath":
Sabbath teaches us to depend upon God. By taking one day away from our normal responsibilities, we declare our dependence upon God. We do not need to work seven days a week in order to have daily bread; we can work six days and spend the seventh in worship, rest, and Christian fellowship, and through it all trust that he will provide for our needs. 
"Words of Radiance and the Art of Creating Epic Fantasy":
A big book doesn’t indicate quality—but if you find a big book that you love, then there is that much more of it to enjoy. Beyond that, I felt—and feel—there is an experience I can deliver in a work of this length that I could never deliver in something shorter, even if that’s just the same book divided up.
"The Ratatouille Trap":
And yet I think there is a serious danger here, a Ratatouille trap. It is so much easier for nice people, and I am ignoring the bigots, to encourage hapless dreamers that we forget to check for what this post assumes: aptitude, drive, and gumption. I once met a student who hated reading, memorizing, or long hours who had as his ambition going to Harvard Law School. When I pointed out what the student would have to do to get to Harvard Law School, he accused me of “stealing his dream.” I was happy to map out an actual plan to get him there, but he wanted to dream about getting there instead. He wanted the lifestyle of a retired, super-successful lawyer, but was not willing to do the work or run the risk of doing family law in a local strip mall.
"Rediscovering Jesus’ Hymnbook":
Godly anger, heart-wrenching sorrow, dark depression, effulgent joy, honest questioning, and exuberant praise are just a sampling of the emotional range covered by the psalms. Most churches sense the burden of teaching their people how to think. Very few consider their responsibility to teach their people how to feel. The psalms serve as the tutors of our affections.
"Marked by Ashes":
At my first Ash Wednesday service several years ago, I knelt in a quiet, contemplative sanctuary and was surprised by feeling almost irrepressible rage. As the priest marked each attendant with a cross of ashes on our foreheads, I felt as if he was marking us for death. I was angry at death. I was angry at the priest as if it was somehow his doing. 
"Ashes to Ashes: Death and Dogs and Children and Jesus":
So there I was, kneeling and thinking, ‘I can’t believe we’re all here sitting in our own places and it’s all so calm’, and I hear Elphine begin to say ‘shshsh’ over and over and over again, and then the faint mosquito tones of Marigold hissing “wait wait wait wait.” By that point we were all covered in ash. Elphine had herded them forward, pushing and pulling and generally bossing. Then psalm 51. Then the hissing and whispering. Mid way through the litany the hissing became full throated talking and gasping. Then, mercifully, the peace. Elphine brought them up and handed them to me. “I’m sorry,” she said, “Marigold asked me why we had to have ashes all over us and I told her that she was going to die. Sorry.”

Last but not least, who knew this song could sound this good?

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