Sunday Specials

Mar30

Sunday Specials: World Vision Waffle and Some Voices of Wisdom

*Sunday Specials are a weekly round-up of happenings on the web-o-sphere. So enjoy your coffee while checking out what’s caught our attention. 

World Vision Waffle

On Monday evening this past week I learned of World Vision’s initial decision to modify their employee policy to allow for the elligiblity of  Christians involved in a same-sex marriage to become part of the organization’s staff. Twitterverse was all energized around this particular issue. I witnessed celebration and hope as well as disdain and fear bleeding from tweet after tweet. I personally felt like I was witnessing a shift in Christian culture that restored my own sense of hope for the future of evangelicalism. This clearly divisive decision by World Vision was short-lived as they reversed their policy change by Wednesday. Though I am not ready at this point to expound theologically or psychologically or philosophically on my views of homosexuality, I will say that despite World Visions inability to live into their initial decision, I am still gut-wrenchingly hopeful that the voices of love will continue to revolutionize this relationally broken and busted-up world we live in. I have included some of the reflections on this decision that have sustained this hope below for your own explorations:

Michael Hidalgo – WORLD VISION: SOME QUESTIONS FOR ALL OF US
Kristen Howerton – WORLD VISION, THE REVERSAL OF INCLUSION, AND THE AFTERMATH
David Creech – YAY WORLD VISION
David Henson – I DON’T BLAME WORLD VISION. I BLAME HOMOPHOBIA AND HATE. 

 

One Man’s Story: Jesus is Better than You Imagined by Jonathan Merrit

The timeliness of this post from Jonathan Merrit goes without question. If you read nothing else this morning, please READ THIS undeniably honest reflection of this man’s journey through shame.

Jonathan Merrit – A THREAD CALLED GRACE

Did the childhood abuse shape my adolescent and young adult experiences, or were those parts of me already there? I’m certain I don’t know the answer to this question, and I’m not sure anyone does except God. ~ Jonathan Merrit

Voices of Wisdom

It is because of the voices of those I consider wise that I maintain a sense of hope. This week some of those voices consisted of Rachel Held Evans, Tony Jones, Jonathan Merrit and Sarah Bessey. Bessey’s post on leaving evangelicalism spoke to my heart this week so I thought I’d share it here.

Sarah Bessey – IN WHICH THIS IS FOR THE ONES LEAVING EVANGELICALISM

My friend, don’t stay in a religious institution or a religious tradition out of fear. Fear should not drive your decisions: let love motivate you. Lean into your questions and your doubts until you find that God is out here in the wilderness, too. ~Sarah Bessey

 

Malala’s Father: A Voice for Equality

In many patriarchal societies and tribal societies, fathers are usually known by their sons, but I am one of the few fathers who is known by his daughter and I am proud of it. ~Ziauddin Yousafzai

What caught your attention this week…or better yet, what broke your heart or inspired hope?

Mar23

Sunday Specials

*Sunday Specials are a weekly round-up of happenings on the web-o-sphere. So enjoy your coffee while checking out what’s caught our attention. 

2014 International Day of Happiness

Did everyone realize that the 2nd Annual International Day of Happiness was this past week?! The Gauthier household started the day with the infectious Happy song by Pharrell busting through our speakers. How can anyone resist the urge to dance while listening to that song? I dare you to try. Or better yet, go watch the first ever 24 hour music video.

Speak Fear, Praying Shalom by Osheta Moore

Osheta Moore’s honest reflections on both her fear and her desire for a shalom that irradicates the US and THEM dichotomy is incredibly moving.

So I write my friends with blogs and I confess that as a black mama with Stand Your Ground Laws picking off our children one by one—I’m terrified of ‘them’. I invite them to write prayers as we stand together for God’s wholeness in the brokenness the justice system. We are white women and black, American and Canadian, young and old, urban and suburban and my fear will no longer perpetuate ‘us’ and ‘them’. ~Osheta Moore

She references the poem below in her post so I thought I’d share it here as well.


Why I Love Thursday Nights by Shauna Niequist

I recently read Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist. It was perfect bathtime reading material that catered to my love for food and desire for community. This post on her blog gives you just a taste of her appreciation for what happens around the table.

As the months go by, as we build this little tribe week by week, hour by hour around the table, I find myself bubbling with joy in anticipation of Thursday evenings. I love planning the recipes, prepping the food. I set the table in the afternoon, and I pray by name for each person that will gather around our table later that night. I’m rarely “in charge” of the discussion or study that happens after dinner, but the table is my contribution, and it’s one that I love. ~Shauna Niequist

A Few Thought Provoking Posts on the Passing of Fred Phelps:

Fred Phelps is Dead and I’m Grateful by Emily Timbol
Fred Phelps’ Death Isn’t a Cause for Celebration by Brandon W. Peach

Soul Pancake

I love Soul Pancake (producers of Kid President) and a video they posted this week fits nicely in with our pondering upon wholeness vs. perfectionism.

 

Divergent

I know I’m a little late to the game here…but I just started reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. My hope is to finish it quickly so I can see the movie while it’s still in theaters. Not surprisingly, it was number one at the box office this past week. I’ll do my own book review and subsequent movie review in the coming weeks!

 

What’s Happening in Russia?

I try to keep up with world news in an effort to hold in my mind the reality that I am a part of a larger narrative and moment in time. Slate has been generating some interesting articles related to what is currently going on Russia:
Crimea is Putin’s Revenge by Masha Gessen
Russia Will Never Be Like Us by Anne Applebaum

What captured your attention around the web-o-sphere this week?

Mar16

Sunday Specials

*Sunday Specials are a weekly round-up of what has been trending around the web. So enjoy your coffee while checking out what’s caught our attention. 

A Thought Provoking Special

The Ban Bossy campaign by Sheryl Sandberg has been generating a huge buzz around the internet-osphere. I actually appreciate the controversial energy around the subject because it has inspired people to engage the question, “Do we as a society maintain a gender-bias that fuels the misattribution of a term to shame girls and women into silence?” And if so, what do we do about it? Although there is no indication of the research behind this campaign’s assertion that shaming girls for being assertive and exemplifying strong leadership potential can lead to self-doubt and diminished self-esteem, I personally intuitively lean towards agreeing. In part, this is likely because I too was called “bossy” as a young girl and still cringe when I think about how that made me feel. I also understand that there are times when behavior is justifiably characterized as bossy, but when a term becomes a catch-all for ANY form of assertive behavior and leans heavily towards one gender, then we need to reconsider its use. Literally banning the word is not the point. But questioning its use seems immensely valuable.

Here are a couple of different perspectives on the campaign:
Kristen Howerton – Rage Against the Minivan
Julie Ross Godar – BlogHer

 A Ridiculously Funny Special

Jon Stewart at The Daily Show inspired MANY people to join him in some #McConnelling fun. I dare you to search twitter and pick your favorites.

A Wake-Up Call Special

Rachel Held Evans has a wake-up call for all who call themselves followers of Christ…please read her post before you leave the internet this morning.

My evangelical brothers and sisters, we have an abuse problem and we need to talk about it. Talking about it does far less damage to Christ’s reputation in the world than covering it up. Now obviously, abuse is a result of sin and no denomination or community is immune to sin’s effects, but we do see a trend in which most of the organizations facing scrutiny over abuse and sexual misconduct charges of late are characterized by authoritarian, patriarchal leadership and by cultures that routinely silence the voices of women. So the point I want to make today is not that all who subscribe to patriarchy are abusive, but that patriarchy in a religious environment, just as in any environment, has a negative effect on the whole community and creates a cultural climate more susceptible to abuse than one characterized by mutuality and shared leadership between men and women. ~Rachel Held Evans

 A Celebratory Special

Phyllis Tickle turned 80 this week. If you don’t yet know who she is, now is a great day to meet her. I think she’s kind of awesome.

Phyllis Tickle

 

What caught your attention this week?