A few fabulous links for your weekend enjoyment:
Meme of the week:
(and I loved Her.meneutics’ caption on this: “Get behind me, inspirational calendar!”)
Want to read a love story? This is part of my own love story, about that time on the leeward slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, when I realized that I’d met the man I was going to marry. Over at the lovely You are Here Stories blog: The sign of windmills.
Want to laugh? Read Laura Turner’s A Christian Case for ‘Magic Mike‘.
Magic Mike was actually … about a priest who gained magical powers through prayer and went around healing Irish villagers through dance!
No, okay, it was actually about strippers.
Want inspiration? Read Jen Michel’s Is there value in short-term missions?
Jeremiah, what do you see?” God asks the prophet, conscripting him into missionary service (v. 11). And maybe all ministry, all prophetic witness begins, not with saying, but with seeing. And maybe seeing the world is one way to begin to loving it.
Want to read something that will make you hold your breath and see things from someone else’s shoes? This letter from Ta-henisi Coates to his son is staggering.
At the onset of the Civil War, our stolen bodies were worth $4 billion, more than all of American industry, all of American railroads, workshops, and factories combined, and the prime product rendered by our stolen bodies—cotton—was America’s primary export…
Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage…
…You are a black boy, and you must be responsible for your body in a way that other boys cannot know. Indeed, you must be responsible for the worst actions of other black bodies, which, somehow, will always be assigned to you. And you must be responsible for the bodies of the powerful—the policeman who cracks you with a nightstick will quickly find his excuse in your furtive movements.
Want to read something gorgeous and soul-filling? Read Amy L Peterson’s The Bearable Weightiness of Being, on travel, motherhood, and reading Milan Kundera.
Yet even as I begin to believe in the goodness of commitment and a weighty life, I am still wary of relationships that might tie me down; I still chase that unencumbered lightness I had at twenty.
Want some perspective? Leslie Leland Fields’ Have We Made Too Much of Gender? is a sage word in a crazy season:
Our identity and self is neither fully contained nor fully explained by our manness or womanness or any shade or stripe in between. Indeed, we’ve spent so much time dividing and defining our sexual identity, even in the church, we have lost our most essential identity and with it, our sense of unity.
Yes, God made woman and man different, but that’s not the end of the creation story.
Want something fascinating? Krispin Mayfield’s The Shalom of Neurochemistry, looking at the relationship between oxytocin and human connection….
Oxytocin reminds us what we were created for: connection. This hormone delivers a reward, like we experience from sex or food, just for being connected to others. The benefits of oxytocin are not limited to mood; it aids digestion, regulates heart rate, reduces drug cravings, improves social skills, and has been shown to increase generosity. Scientists have even demonstrated that it encourages monogamy; one study showed that under the influence of oxytocin, committed men were more likely to keep their distancefrom attractive women. We are meant to pursue monogamy, tenderly care for our children, enjoy close friendships, and maintain peace with acquaintances in our community. Oxytocin reminds us, on a chemical level, of who God is, his Trinitarian nature that is in constant communion with himself. It’s like shalom packed into a hormone.
Want to find a way to explore Twitter without getting lost or losing your soul? Aleah Marsden’s Ten Tips for Making the Most of Twitter is bite-sized, sanguine and SO HELPFUL. (Because honestly, the first time I looked at Twitter I was all “what the hairy heck?” but now, thanks to Aleah’s coaching and introductions, it has been a place to connect with some really cool people!)
Want an excellent resource for figuring out the place of women in the Bible (and a great tool set for just approaching the bible in general?) Natalie Eastman’s book is out, and fantastic. Read more here.
Wondering what else I have this week? Some more thoughts on the one thing that marriage does that living together doesn’t: it makes you family (featuring guest appearances from Beyonce and Madeleine L’Engle)
That’s all folks! Enjoy 🙂