this & that

Roman and italic ampersands. Based on plain an...
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I like ampersands. I know – I’m probably behind on this trendy little piece of typographical genius, but I really do like how they look and what they do. Ampersands connect things. There’s even a blog dedicated to finding one for each day of the year: 300&65 Ampersands.

Anyway, since I’ve been away for awhile, you can imagine the backlog of links and suggestions I have! I’ll try to not overwhelm you … but I’m going to start publishing them under the “this & that” tag, so you can search ’em all if you like.

  • I appreciate Makoto Fujimara so much for his art, but also for his boldness in suggesting art and Christianity can very much be topics in the same conversation (in fact, should be). Here is a recent clip for Qideas where he talks about Beauty and Culture.
  • The Justice Conference has got some crazy big names all over it. What do you think about this buzzwordy gathering?
  • My friend Jace Yarbrough just starting writing over at Humane Pursuits and I’m sure you’ll appreciate his bright mind as you read through his thoughts on work in his article, “Work, Part I: In Defense of Brass Polishing”
  • Generous Justice – an idea from a guy I really admire (Tim Keller) – was one of the post-conference topics at the Gospel Coalition this year. I think he hits on a pretty difficult dichotomy we’ve created within Christianity today. Watch this video where he explains.
  • I’m a fan of this list that reminds us about what is done (indicatives) and what there is to do (imperatives) from Galatians. Take a look and be refreshed and motivated!Well, there’s that – now throw some this & that my way from your own reserves!

I think I like ampersands because something has got to come after every one.

Links for your Saturday

Here is a smattering of things I’ve been collecting recently and wanting to share. Thoughts on discernment, illustrated fiction, and philosophy. I hope your Saturday is of the MOST beautiful variety!

This book is more than interesting to me. Has anyone else heard about it?

This media guide looks like something every family should have in their home.

This article by Andree Seu is just the right amount of uncomfortable in its discussion of Song of Solomon and our hesitancy to embrace it.

The unfortunate demise of the young mind, as illustrated by this comic.

This clip from D.A. Carson on the intolerance of post-modern tolerance is exactly the words I wish I could articulate.

This is a video clip from Fox News interview with Tim Keller talking about his new book King’s Cross. How encouraging to see someone speak so clearly on the indisputable Gospel – manifest in the life of Christ.

This is a book called Intentional Parenting, about family discipleship, that looks REAL good!

“The Church in a post-feminist world” … doesn’t the title just make you want to read it??

I LOVE this video!

This is a random mind buster that will stretch your mind, if you can figure it out! 🙂

You lead me out of myself

INVITE FOR 2010 SWEET DINNER
INVITE info

I’m getting ready for the SO-FAMOUS Sweet Dinner (10, 09, 06), which is happening on Thursday!! I have been thinking so much about what it means to love – really, truly love people. Loving these senior girls for the past three years makes it hard to write about love without crying. They make fun of me for it, but I’m not ashamed. Maybe tears are part of the overflow, too?

All I know is, I’ve got a GIANT lasagna (ahem, I might have used a turkey pan) and I have big plans for the special heart tins my mom sent me in a package last year. I’m working on parodies and decorations.

And in all these things, every once in awhile I take as deep a sigh as I can manage to remember that all this is just a reflection… it’s all overflow and I’ve got to keep getting filled.

So, I thought these words would be good to start out the morning. One of my favorite sounds to rummage up inspiration in my soul is The Arrows from South Africa. Two ladies rocking out, weaving clever lyrics with layered melodies is what I call a good time. Well, maybe if you read these lyrics for pilgrimage you’ll get the picture. I wish I could find a youtube video to post (if you can, let me know!). Here is their myspace page.

On this pilgrimmage to the new Jerusalem
and it’s the highway of holiness that gets me there
start of the journey is the day when I let the seed
fall to the ground and the day that I die is the day
I start to climb

On this pilgrimmage to the new Jerusalem
and it’s the highway of holiness that gets me there
every time I choose Your way instead of going my own direction
those are the times when I fall right behind
that You come to lead me along
will You lead me on?

and if I ever lose my hope
You’re there to light the fire
You bring me everything I need
when You quiet me with the Love you give
and You sing those songs all over me
and You tenderly
You lead me out of myself
and You walk with me

On this pilgrimmage to the new Jerusalem
and it’s the small and the narrow gate that gets me there
I know that many are called but that only few are chosen
those are the few who abandon themselves to pursue Your kingdom come
Your kingdom come

and if I ever lose my hope
You’re there to light the fire
You bring me everything I need
when you quiet me with the Love you give
and you sing those songs all over me
and you tenderly
You lead me out of myself
and you walk with me
and you walk with me
and you walk with me
and you walk with me

Today, my chorus is, “Lord, lead me out of myself”

and let LOVE fly like cRaZy

art is dead. your death killed it.

I was talking to one of my very talented, very artistic friends recently and he made this strong suggestion:

“Art is dead.”

At first, it didn’t sit very well. The period at the end is so… so defeating. If this statement stirs up a response, even indignation inside you like it did me, then I wonder why. Why are you offended by this idea that art and creativity have died a painful death?

I’m offended because I want to believe it’s not so. Somewhere deep down, beneath the indigestion and tortillas, somewhere in that “gut” region people refer to when talking about instincts, I refuse. Something in me revolts at the finality – there is no room for explanation. Just a period and that’s it.

It’s like falling off the monkey bars on the playground and landing flat on my back. I’m laying there, with the wind knocked out of me, unsteady and unsure of what just happened.

After I caught my breath, I realized I agree with him. Nearly everything “creative” these days is a well-dressed marketing ploy to respond to our basest desires. With all our technology and supposed intellectual advancement, we tread the very same trail to bark up the very same tree, whose roots reach only as deep as our most carnal desires.

Instead of searching for music or entertainment that makes us think and question and understand life, we look for a spoonful of sugar so that (what we pass for) art goes down easy. We don’t want art to challenge us or move us or convict us because… well, that doesn’t feel good. We want to take in a movie like we take in the uber-buttered, theatre popcorn… without thinking. We want to walk out with our heads bobbing, digesting the plate full of artistic pudding without questioning the grumblings in our bellies for something of more substance.

The second part of my friend’s thought took a step closer to my offended spirit. He suggested I’m to blame. Art is dead and my death killed it. I again had to shake the shock of such a suggestion, but again arrived at a convicted conclusion. I agree.

How can something dead make something living? How can an unconscious potter work with clay? How can life come from death? We re-work the same ideas, plots, notes, melodies, story lines centered around sex, money, jealousy, and greed. Then we pronounce it “version 2.0” and, with some clever advertising, have people believing they are consuming something that has “never before been seen.” I almost apologized just now for being so cynical, but I held back because it wouldn’t be genuine.

The Original Creator took great care in designing the smallest details, from the juice pockets in oranges to the strange mating habits of penguins. Creation is so complicated that we will never, ever exhaust its intricacies. If we let ourselves marvel, we will never be bored and the subject will never be dull. Never.

How does God accomplish this? How does He keep our attention?

He lives.

This is certainly not the end of my musings on this subject, but please chime in with your thoughts!

Also, I read this article over at The Gospel Coalition and I really appreciate the views on creativity, the arts, and the church.

if it doesn’t break your heart it isn’t LOVE

I just want to say something… a simple something with switchfoot as accompaniment.

Few things hurt more than watching beautiful, amazing, inspiring, lovely kids live without the unconditional love of their parents. It can be a kid on the street or a kid in my office. Oh, boy… it HURTS to hear of empty houses and awkward dinner conversations and all sorts of cover-ups that make it seem okay.

it’s NOT okay.

This is a link for a free download of a Switchfoot song covered by Darren King of Mutemath. It’s called, “Yet” and these words keep playing over in my heart today:

If it doesn’t break your heart, it isn’t love.

what is breaking your heart today?

let LOVE fly like CrAzY

Monday Madness

WEEKEND fun

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Monday LINKAGE

Enjoy this list of wonderful things (arts, crafts, music, and generally things that have inspired in the past couple days).

  1. Sleeping at Last new music
  2. Slothpop new music
  3. beautiful mess blog
  4. inkismyfavorite blog
  5. Oh Joy blog
  6. Friends of the Challies blog
  7. this sermon by John Piper
  8. paper lanterns
  9. recycled fabrics
  10. Dr. Seahorse new cd you can download for FREE

Yes, folks. My post today is mostly pointing to inspiration instead of giving any, but there are more important matters… like planning for this weekend’s SLEEPOUT event to raise money for the Micah Project and cleaning up after a crazy weekend…. and enjoying many uninterrupted cups of coffee, accompanied by Miike Snow, Joy Williams, and Brooke Fraser.

I guess my stories about changing a car battery, learning to jerk in my living room, and making sushi at 4 am will have to wait for another day very soon!

age old faith

Kids bookshelf with German and American childr...
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Is it true? Am I really cracking open the cover of yet another book? I have pictures and napkins and bent pages marking so many books still clinging to “in-the-middle-of” status. Yet, the summer stack (in all its glossy newness) is under my window and it catches the light just right in the afternoon.

I know. I have an unhealthy appreciation for the written word. That aside, today I am starting something different and possibly brilliant. I don’t want to judge a book by its first few pages, but if I did I would be searching for a purple ribbon. Kevin DeYoung is an author I admire and follow not just because I read his books and blogs, but because I know someone who knows him and he assures me DeYoung is the real deal.

So, this afternoon, I picked up “The Good News We Almost Forgot” and I’m headed to a coffee shop to meet up with some students. They will probably be reading Cosmo or NYLON or the newest, trendiest vampire thriller. I’ll be there, with my book about the Heidelberg Catchechism like it ain’t no thing.

I hope (for my more than your sake) that this book uncovers some of the roots the saints in previous generations saw clearly.

And so it begins.