Sunday Stuff 3/11/13

PumpkinIt has a been a great week around the internets. Here I share some of my top picks.

2 classic examples of the non apology apology this week.

First prize goes to The Sun for their teeny tiny ‘correction’ of a piece from a couple of weeks back which cause a massive hoo hah. The Sun claimed there were over 600,000 foreign health tourists coming to the UK for treatment, putting a massive strain on the NHS. Turns out, as if we were ever surprised, that this was a complete fabrication.

The second prize goes to the Pembroke College , Oxford’s Rugby Team’s Social Secretary who sent an email with the subject line “FREE PUSSY” to 50 club players earlier this week encouraging players to spike girls’ drinks and get them pregnant. Said social secretary may have stepped down from his job but I await news of his 9and others) expulsion. The very absence of an apology and the existence of the usual ‘we’re sorry if you felt offended’ remarks is just part of the victim blame culture that pervades society. My feelings aren’t hurt Mr Social Secretary – you were wrong.

A statement issued by the club said: “Pembroke Rugby Club accepts that the emails circulated earlier this week about our proposed Crew Date were entirely misguided and represent a serious case of poor judgement.”

In the statement, PCRFC explained that the “challenge” was intended as a “harmless drinking game joke, and was in no way intended to mean that the team member should lace their dates’ drinks with anything illegal and/or to engage in any sexual abuse.”

Best blog of the week: Co-dependency on the Church: There is hope by Crispin Fletcher Louis summarises some amazing points from the accompanying video of Carl Tuttle. Carl’s rise, fall and rise as a renowned pastor in the Vineyard Church is pretty well known. In the video (included in the blog) which inspired Crispin’s blog, we hear Carl’s story of how to find a pure meaning of leadership.

It’s a story about: the folly of a focus on event over process:

the folly of placing identity in role and position over authenticity and relationship,

the folly of a dualism that says “Church” is where all the action is,

the good news that He is always looking to break through just to get to us—as individuals—with his love for His humanity.

Best way to spend 37 seconds of your life: Look at this video of just how insane levels of photo manipulation have reached. Perhaps this is nothing new to many of us interested in photography, but for anyone with even the slightest body image issue, this could be revelatory. I had an interesting discussion around this topic. Some felt that we should all be happy with how we are made and that things like this are bad because they make us unhappy with what we look like. I understand that but I think it goes further. I think it is ok to not be perfectly happy with what we look like. Many of us tweak and colour and paint and shave and go even further to change our looks. What worries me is that those who want to try something different are given false targets to strive for. Did you see how they increased the size and changed the position of the model’s eyes? Of course we should be happy with what we’re like, that goes without saying but if you do fancy a chance of image, to get healthier or find something aesthetically pleasing, knowing what is real and what is false is important.

Halloween was upon us again without so much as a moment to realise it was even October! I’ve really come around on Halloween over the last few years having been dead against it. But I am trying throughout my life to look at things differently and really decide why I believe what I believe because I’ve discovered just how many opinions I have that have just been inherited. I struggle with an ‘us and them’ mentality that many churches propagate and Halloween is a hot button to many congregations. I really enjoyed this blog from The Verge Network: 3 ways to be Missional at Halloween or why Jesus wouldn’t attend the Harvest Party at your church.  I’m not in agreement with every point herein, but do love the challenge to get out of our churches and stop the alternative parties and muck in, on the one night of the year people on streets are actually talking to each other.

How can we then show people THAT Jesus to our communities during Halloween? Be THAT House

You know “that” house.  When you were a kid and you went to a house and said “trick or treat” and they handed you a full size candy bar, it was like winning the lottery.  It was such good news, you’d tell strangers dressed up like a clown zombie where to find the goods.  Everyone knew that house in the neighborhood and if you didn’t have one in your neighborhood, you’d travel what seemed to be miles to get to that house.

Be THAT house.  We have been blessed to be a blessing.  Think about how this shows people the Father.  Everyone is expecting to get a small fun size bar.  It’s what they’ve earned by dressing up and having the courage to knock on your door and say “trick or treat.” What they know they haven’t earned is a full size candy bar…it speaks to this idea of grace and blessing.

You don’t need to tell the kids this, but it starts to tell the story of what your house is about to the neighbors.  It tells a different story than what they expect or are used to and this is exactly the story of the gospel.

And while  I’m at itBest ‘just cos I’m a girl doesn’t mean I have to be a witch or a princess on Halloween’ photos.

Totally the utterly completely best find of the week: Addie Zimmerman recently released a book I have added to my Amazon wish list after reading this short blog: To the Current Pastors from the Formerly On Fire.  This abstract made me jump up and down and clap my hands a lot!

The “on fire” faith is not sustainable and there should not be the primary goal of ministry.

I think that deep down, everyone knows this, which is why when we haul vans full of teens to retreats and conferences, we talk about mountaintop experiences and valleys of faith. We warn them that the feelings won’t last and try to help them figure out how to hold on to what they’ve learned in spite of that.

And yet, in my experience, the unspoken ethos of church youth groups and parachurch organizations is that, when it comes to faith, bigger is always better. We try to encourage others toward passionate faith by putting students who seem to have sparked into fire on pedestals.

And I don’t think it does anyone any favors – not the kid on pedestal, not the kids looking up at him.

What it does do is create a culture of trying harder to attain some elusive feeling, scrambling to earn God’s love, and the constant need to prove devotion through bigger and better sacrifices.

Would love to hear your thoughts on any of the above!

Tweets of the week:

@JessBWatson  For the love of the last shred of my sanity, can we stop asking celebrity moms how they “juggle” it all??

‏@C_S_Norton : Satan’s pretty weak if all he can conjure up is some small children in silly hats asking for sweets. #notabigdeal

@MoAnsar : “Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever has not kindness has not faith”~ Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

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