Pick of the Clicks 2/23/14

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So many goodies this week. I hope you have a few minutes and a hot beverage ready to enjoy some of these:

First off this week: the most important.If you click on nothing else this week, please do this: click HERE to add your name to a letter to the secretary-general of the UN asking that when the 2015 Millenium Development Goals are revised with their specific anti-poverty goals… that they will list JUSTICE and FREEDOM FROM VIOLENCE as goals for the world’s poor.

That’s what the Locust Effect was all about: raising awareness that the poor are vulnerable to violence: and this week Sojourners published Jamie Calloway-Hanauer’s review of the book, which is the best precis I have read on the topic. Jamie’s article is here: Finding Hope in the Locust Effect.

Then, on to the hilarious. Thanks to Google translate, this page (originally in Japanese) tells 10 top travel tips for Japanese tourists visiting America. I horse-laughed at #7.

Pippa Biddle’s article on why I stopped being a voluntourist, and so should you, is MUST reading for anyone involved in international philanthropy work, who serves in short term missions (or who gives to short term missions).

As someone who is a fairly new writer, I SO appreciated these words of tempering wisdom from Lesley Leland Fields: The slow writing revolt. So good.

Brian Zahnd’s article My problem with the Bible is brilliant. Don’t be deceived by the title: this post is not a petty complaint. Whether you feel you have a “problem” with the bible or not, this is excellent reading and the question of “who are you identifying with in the story?” is such an important one for humility and correct interpretation. Spot on, Brian.

Jen Pollock Michel’s article on Redeeming the ‘Do What You Love’ mantra has some excellent insights on how we view work. I loved this quote in particular:

If manual labor is not contemptible, neither is it inherently virtuous. In fact, we must be warned against a heresy that often creeps into our conceptions of holiness: that desire, or doing what we love, is the reflexive impulse of the sin-sick self. We are wrong to safeguard ourselves—from ourselves—by always running instinctively towards the difficult and undesirable.

Jen makes an excellent point. She has a book on desire coming out later this year, and I can’t wait to read it.

Then, I was privileged enough to spend some time with a handful of young women and we got talking about singleness, sexuality and how we have conversations among women about these things in the church. In light of that, these two articles were particularly excellent:

Shan Steven’s thoughts On being single, annoyed, happy, lonely and needing support. Married friends, we would do well to read this.

Also, Stephanie’s post on Let’s talk about bananas is so good. We need to change the conversation about abstinence, sex, sexuality and how to handle All That.

I loved this piece from Emily Wierenga: How a stay at home mom can change the world. Yes!!

Loved too this call to armor by Jenny Rae Armstrong on the newly re-launched Redbud bloggers site: We are not called to be timid. Nope, we are not, and Jenny’s piece is encouraging in the sense of giving-you-courage!

Then, top honors to Michael Wear for his article in The Atlantic this week on The changing face of Christian politics. As a Christian who has lived in the US for nearly 10 years and often bounced between deep shame and utter alarm of all that is said and done in the name of “Christian” politics, this piece was profoundly good news (and profoundly good writing).

Finally, a video for you. Gracie Cole is an amazing woman. I have the tremendous privilege of counting her family as friends. But even if I didn’t know her, I would want to share this with you, because Gracie is just that cool. You can check out her website here.

Top of my blog this week: the post on being married to a grad student held its position at #1 for the second week in a row! However, the post I really wanted you to read (in case you missed it) was this one: about choosing between the Good and the Best.

Happy clicking, everyone! Oh, and last thing – just in case you thought I’d forgotten about that petition against violence – here’s the link again. Please sign it. It takes 37 seconds (I timed it).

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6 thoughts on “Pick of the Clicks 2/23/14”

  1. I am very offended by The Problem with Little White Girls (and boys) — The Problem with being a Voluntourist. I would not consider this a must read by any standard. There are a few valid points in this otherwise offensive article, but honestly being able to build a brick wall has nothing to do with race. There are so many places where people can go and serve, both locally and globally. It simply takes a little research and a willingness to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus. It’s never about those serving and always about our Savior. I’ve never desired to be remembered personally, but I’m always on my knees praying that my Jesus will be remembered. There are so many awesome articles and organizations out there, please share those.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Elizabeth. I know it is hard to raise a voice of dissent. I first came across this article when it was posted by three godly, American, white women: two of whom have served long term in overseas missions, and the other has been involved in both sending and serving in missions for many years. I read it because of their endorsement, and found it a very uncomfortable read. I am one of those who has led short term teams, trained them, them, and helped raise THOUSANDS of dollars to send students abroad. I know that the heart of those students and their benefactors WAS to serve Jesus, and in no way do I mean to undermine our motives in these efforts. However, there is an uncomfortable truth we need to grapple with about the impact of sending very expensive and inexperienced people overseas for very short periods into very complex situations. My linking to it was not meant to be offensive (forgive me if it was), nor is it meant to be a let’s-not-do-missions vote… But I think this is SUCH an important voice to hear and consider so that we can continue to be wise in our decisions and ask better questions in our planning. I’m sorry if this caused you distress tonight.

  2. Reblogged this on let's think slowly, together. and commented:
    For a person like myself, who enjoys corners and quiet moments, it was a surprising delight to find myself filled with a bit of joy that I was selected at a “Pick of the Clicks” this week. I’m excited to keep this topic (and all it’s layers-more thoughts coming soon) going here on the blog and around tables of friends. Thank you, Bronwyn, for helping push that goal along! Grace and peace, y’all!

  3. Oh wow…I horse laughed at the Japanese article when it read, “Americans have plenty of leisure time, even housewives!” Also, the White Girls article was super interesting to me. Jonathan and I did a short term missions trip to China when we were newly married and I’ve questioned many times if we should have gone. I felt like a tourist while we were there, and while I know God used us I’m positive the money spent sending us could have been used much more efficiently. Good things to think about!

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Bronwyn Lea

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