Friday, March 22, 2013

Ginny's Quick Picks for Friday, March 22

I follow a blog called Conversion Diary, the musings of an atheist-turned-Catholic-mother-of-six-with-a-great-sense-of-humor. Every Friday she does a post of seven "Quick Picks," somewhat random thoughts she's collected through the week.

I'm going to experimentally borrow her idea here today.  The aim is to give you at least one link, or quick idea, that adds to the richness of your life in some way or another. Let me know if you like this kind of thing or not, okay?

Here are 7 links to thoughts that have stretched me, comforted me, or made me laugh this week. This post provides my comments and/or an excerpt from the links.  For full benefit, click on the highlighted hyperlink and go directly to the article.

1)  Some Clear Thinking On an Emotionally Charged Issue:  

From the Blog, Living on Tilt, posted by Katherine Harms in Religion and Politics: "To Dissent Is Not the Same as to Hate."  

Christ taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who abuse us. This means that even though we are called hate-mongers or accused of venomous speech, Christ expects us to respond with love. We can and must dispute with the people who assault what is right, but we must not engage in name-calling and vicious sound bites. When one United States Senator feels comfortable calling another United States Senator a “wacko bird” it feels as if the underpinnings of civil society are wobbling. Those of us who claim the name of Christ must depend on Christ to give us words for the conversation that express our message without demeaning our opponents. 
2)  Interesting in the News:
From the Israeli news source, Arutz Sheva, the article, "Temple Groups Practice Passover Sacrifice," by Maayana Miskin.
This news item interested me because my speculative novel, Zinovy's Journey, mentions a time in the future when blood sacrifices will once again be performed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  In my story, that time doesn't last long. It's quickly outlawed by the world government in power at the time.  But the incident gives Zinovy a chance to struggle with his personal phobia about the shedding of blood, as well as the hideous concept of a God who would require blood sacrifice from his people. 

3)  A Unique Take on Spirituality and Religion:

From Time Magazine, Ideas column, the article, "The Problem With Being Spiritual But Not Religious," by Rabbi David Wolpe.

No one expects those without faith to obligate themselves to a religious community. But for one who has an intuition of something greater than ourselves to hold that this is a purely personal truth, that it demands no communal searching and struggle, no organization to realize its potential in this world, straddles the line between narcissistic and solipsistic. If the spirit moves you to goodness, that is wonderful. For too many, though, spirituality is a VIP card allowing them to breeze past all those wretched souls waiting in line or doing the work. Join in; together is harder, but together is better.

4)  On Personal/Spiritual Growth:

From Along The Banks, by Camille Eide, "Irony of God #47: Surrender Brings Freedom"

Camille is an author I met at a writer's conference one year.  She's a delightful friend and writer, who makes me laugh and cry when I read what she writes.  In this article she says:  With each surrender, I find myself a little freer in my soul, a little less chained to my willful flesh, a little closer to Jesus, a little more like him.

5) Intriguing Quote of the Week: 

I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.

After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.

I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened.

6)  Today's paraprosdokian* (not in any way to be taken seriously):

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

*from the Greek meaning 'beyond expectation.' A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to re-frame or reinterpret the first part.

7)  And last, but not least. . .  

From a Facebook page called "So funny ha ha pictures," who (hopefully) has the right to display this Bizarro Comic.  

Not too sure why this is funny, but maybe some of you will get it.  ;-)

Disclaimer:  I did not "Like" this Facebook page because I'm not sure I would "like" every cartoon posted on it!

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