Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
For example, a tip on your golf swing may be very useful if you’re already playing three times a week and hitting a bucket of balls after work every day. But a subscription to a magazine about taekwondo will only be as useful as your decision to drag your fat a** into a dojo and start actually kicking people. Over and over. Otherwise, you’re just buying shiny paper every month.
Some bizarre and unnecessary opining about sex in the article, but otherwise it has some great points that are especially useful as New Year's Resolution season rolls around.
via Bearing Blog
"There are so many people who are lonely or grieving loss or bad family histories," Rice said. "For them, a holiday with all the expectations of merriment can be alienating." [...]
"There's a very clear and explicit welcome at the start that acknowledges there are people who struggle with the holidays," he said. "It's very low-key. We invite people to bring whatever they are struggling with." [...]
The evening's preaching takes on a different tone as well, he said. "The homily is directed more toward the core, theological meaning of the Incarnation, of God joining us in all of our struggles and our pain."
Friday, December 19, 2008
As a parent, I believe (with the older apologists) that it's essential to preserve a small, inviolate space in the heart of a child, a space where he is free to believe impossibilities. [...]
This sheds light on a seeming paradox in St. Paul's letter to Roman Christians: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made..." How does one see "invisible attributes"? Only people raised on fairy tales can make sense of that. It belongs in a terrain where magic glasses can illumine what was heretofore hidden, where rabbit holes open into wonderlands. No wonder some atheists like Mr. Dawkins want to kill Harry Potter.
Read the rest here. (NOTE: link has adult discussion of Santa Claus, so it might not be one to read with young children looking over your shoulder.)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
If you had to point to the biggest obstacle in society today facing Orthodox Christianity, what would it be?
Our own sins. They always have social consequences. We construct society, for good or ill, far more than it constructs us. It has no free will; we do. It is merely what we make; we are not merely what it makes. By "orthodox Christianity" I assume you mean the whole nine yards, the whole treatment.. That begins with faith, and truth, and teachings, but it ends with the works of love, with being saints. Only saints can save the world. And only our own sins can stop us from being saints.
Read the rest here.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I think part of the real difference here is that people have strongly different ideas about how unlikely it is to experience something that is non-material...The difference is not so much between people who look for "real explanations" for things and people who don't, but rather between people who discount all non-material explanations and those who don't.
Read the rest here.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
It happens. You’re having one of those days where everything that can go wrong does. You log in to Twitter and a 140-character rant turns into a small novel as you spill your guts on everything that went wrong that day.
The next thing you know, a chunk of your followers have seemingly dropped off the face of the Twitterverse, leaving you to wonder…
Was it something I said?
With Qwitter, you can find out exactly what that “something” was. Qwitter tells you when you’ve been un-followed and what your most recent tweet was when it happened.
I admire anyone who could use that and not get completely neurotic about it.
via Suzanne Sadler (Twitter)
Monday, December 15, 2008
Speaking for myself, without the Advent season, I might not manage to set aside a few minutes each day to reflect on the tangled trails I have traveled in the passing year, and to realize just how far into wilderness I have strayed. Especially in an election year, it seems, one can wander pretty deeply into the weeds, and the world, beautiful as it is, is also full of abyssmal holes, and tricky nettles and the thickets, which make us feel entrapped, even if we are not.
Advent coaxes us out. We look up and there is a darker sky than before. The stars show more clearly, and they inspire us to hack through the stuff that has begun to imprison us within the year so that we may walk a freer path, made clear.
Read the rest here.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
How to create abundance out of simplicity? That is the magic I attempt to create each Christmas. Abundance, because Christmas is about the abundance of God's blessings: symbolized by the diversity and array of the ornaments on the Christmas tree. Simplicity, because we are an American family, and material goods of every description are constantly drawn to us as though by magnetism.
Read the rest here.
via Like Merchant Ships
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
We log on and read that Mrs X knitted fifteen sweaters while homeschooling her seven year old in third year Latin, took all ten kids to the TL Mass, and got home in time to take her seven year old to Orchestra practice. And mom of three, with her dirty t-shirt, dirty diaper clad three year old (who is also her oldest), and mountain of laundry thinks that she is somehow failing. It's ridiculous. But what mom-of-three doesn't realize is that Mrs. X used to be her. But now, seven kids later, she has learned how to run a home efficiently, she has older kids to help, and has learned to relax. They are living in different world.
Read the rest here.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The propaganda machine portrays the victim group as less than human. In Rwanda, the Hutus called their Tutsi neighbors 'cockroaches.' In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge said their victims were "worms." To the Nazis, Jews were "vermin."
Dehumanization is the most powerful psychological tool used in all mass murder and genocides, Zimbardo said. "Dehumanization blurs your vision. You look at these people and you do not see them as human."
Instead, the enemy is treated as a germ -- as something to eradicate, or else face the threat of infection.
"Purification is at the heart of genocide," said Harvard's Lifton. "In that purification ... [the killers] are healing."
Recently discovered photos show Nazi officers at a retreat near Auschwitz relaxing as though they are taking a break from a routine job, not an extermination factory. "In order to carry out the function of killing, one must instill in that environment a sense of ordinariness," said Lifton.
At least nothing like that goes on here in modern America...or does it?
Saturday, December 6, 2008
A growing body of research is finding that praise based on talent and intelligence -- as opposed to effort -- not only doesn't help kids achieve success, it actually backfires.
Children who are praised as smart, special and talented stumble at school when faced with challenges that don't immediately reinforce the mantras they hear at home. They're also more likely to avoid tasks at which they may fail than children who are praised instead for their hard work.
Read the rest here. It reminds me of this must-read article about telling kids they're smart from a while back.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
It should be no surprise that countries that are permeated by contraceptive sex, fight harder for access to abortion than they do to ensure that all babies can survive both in the womb and out. It is foolish for pro-lifers to think that they can avoid the issues of contraception and sexual irresponsibility and be successful in the fight against abortion. For, as the Supreme Court stated, abortion is "necessary" for those whose intimate relationships are based upon contraceptive sex.
Read the rest here.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
In a modern supermarket, all produce is available year round, fresh and ready to eat. Nor is there any real doubt that food will always be there. If you don't have food, the feeling goes, it is because someone is denying you your rights.
In a society in which people are closely dependent on the local harvest, there was real and immediate reason to be thankful once the harvest was safely gathered and stored. Plenty was worth celebrating and being truly grateful for, because there was the ever present possibility that a bad harvest would result in widespread hunger.
Read the rest here.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
via Rocks in My Dryer
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I've learned to let go of any entitlement mentality. If other people don't have to struggle with their weight and I do, so what? Other people struggle with other issues that I don't have to. My job calls for handling a lot of food even though I can't eat a lot myself right now. A bank teller has to handle money all day and not keep any even if she's broke.
I also found the inspiration she drew from her Down Syndrome children to be inspiring. Some particularly good posts: Diet Update; More Diet Discussion; and When Your Spouse is Overweight. Some excellent food for thought (hah!) for anyone interested in the subject of weight loss, particularly from a Christian perspective.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
This video of a cat reminded me of something I put myself through every year when I get the winter clothes out of storage, and am inexplicably seized by the hope that maybe I will suddenly — and for no apparent reason — be able to fit back into my skinny jeans, so why not try them on? At the close of the video, Em summed it up neatly with the same interjection I always end up using: “Stuck!”
Friday, November 14, 2008
via Faith & Family Live
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
via This Burning Woman
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
You want to see what it means to love one's neighbor? Marilyn Mock, who lives in the Dallas suburb of Rockwall, went to a foreclosure auction with her grown son last weekend to be with him as he purchased his first house. While there, she saw a woman sitting at the edge of the auction hall, sobbing. It was Tracy Orr, a housekeeper who was there to watch her humble house sold off to the highest bidder.
Marilyn couldn't stand it. She bought Tracy's house, sight unseen, and told her to move back home. Now Tracy will be paying her mortgage to Marilyn, not to the bank. If you go to the story, be sure to watch the video report from the scene. Tracy, through tears, says nobody's ever done anything like that for her before. And Marilyn is not a wealthy woman, it seems from the story.
via John C. Wright
From Alexander Tyler, a history professor at the University of Edinburgh. Written in 1787:
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy...which is always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage
UPDATE: See Catherine's comment below for a question about the accuracy of this quote. Thanks, Catherine!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
In all the arguments about abortion, one thing gets lost: the argument for love. The argument for tenderness. The argument for cultivating our own human natures in such a way that we become loving, tender, giving, careful with others, careful with ourselves.
Read the rest here.
[I told my future wife] that although our future together was very important, I couldn't be happy unless I was succeeding in my career. You see, I said, to succeed at anything you need to have one thing as your goal. Whatever your goal is, everything else should be built towards achieving that goal.
When I look back, I don't even know the guy saying those things. But it was one of those moments that I didn't realize at the time was a big moment...She wiped her eyes and said she would've hoped that I could be happy with her and our future children in our imaginary house no matter what kind of work I did.
And that's when I said it: "I can't be happy unless I'm writing for big newspapers or magazines. I need to succeed. That's just me. It's the way I'm built. You have to accept that."
Read what happened next here. Great, great post.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
We live in time as we live in the air we breathe. We love good fresh air, but we do not love “time.” We may love the existing moment because of what it offers, but time itself spoils our greatest moments. Nothing can quite come up to expectation because of it. It is strange that this seems to be true of humans alone. Animals, so far as we can tell, are unaware of time. They are untroubled. Time is their natural environment. Why do we sense it is not ours?
Read the rest here.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
So, is the candidate’s stand on the issue of shedding innocent blood important enough to disqualify him as a candidate? Yes. While a single issue can’t qualify a candidate, it can disqualify him...I don’t think someone is a good candidate just because he is prolife. But he cannot be a good candidate unless he is prolife.Read the rest here.
via Amy's Humble Musings
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
That link takes you to directly to a video that takes a minute to start playing, but it's worth the effort to see it. Sorry, I couldn't find a YouTube version to embed.
via Joyful Chaos
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Webster had no help with his dictionary, and ultimately defined more than 70,000 words. In order to understand the roots from which words blossomed, he acquired a working knowledge of at least 20 languages, including Sanskrit...Ferreting out 20,000 more words for inclusion in his masterwork was a daunting task. Webster’s passion for investigating the origins of words slowed the process even more.
Webster was a born-again Christian who often displayed his deep religious convictions not on his sleeve, but in his definitions of words. For example, in showing how the word "fear" might be used in a sentence, he wrote, "We have reason to fear the punishment of our sins."
Read the rest here.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Dear Geek Squad,Cute.
I recently purchased an HP Printer, and when I am in the room watching it, it works perfectly. However, nearly every time I leave it unattended, the papers come out wrinkled, sometimes even shredded, with blurred ink. If I re-start the print job and baby sit it, there are no problems. You can imagine that this has been very frustrating, and I would appreciate one of your technicians coming out to fix whatever the problem is.
Friday, October 17, 2008
An abortion clinic that performs abortions up to the sixth month of pregnancy has worked out an arrangement with two area hotels to provide substantially discounted room rates for women seeking abortions. [...]
Right to Life has confirmed that the Clarion Hotel in Cherry Hill offers a reduced rate of $59 for a room originally priced at $109 to those women who provide a receipt from the clinic that says they have to stay overnight.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
One I didn't see listed but is excellent in terms of security and memorability is: combine the letters of two names. So, for example, if your husband's name is Paul and your son's name is Henry, you could do use the cryptic but easy-to-remember hpeanurly as a password (hpeanurly). [Obviously, you might want to choose names harder to guess than that, but you get the idea.]
via Those Headcoverings
Kristin Pass, an 18-year-old senior with Down syndrome, became Aledo High School's homecoming queen Friday to a joyous standing ovation and the flutter of a thousand tissues on a remarkable night for an amazing young woman. [...]Read the rest here.
"It's just something you can't even imagine," [her mother] said. "And afterward, everyone was just running down to her, congratulating her.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
[Democracy] is not sacred and it's not eternal. It works just so long as you have a Christian or post-Christian culture that still holds by custom and convention what it no longer holds by creed: namely, things like the doctrine of original sin, natural law and the fear of God. As long as a culture has such things, even in lingering form, democracy functions as a restraining valve on original sin by keeping power from being concentrated in the hands of too few.
It's a thought-provoking post. Read the rest here.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
via Works for Me Wednesday
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Next Sunday, six computer programs will answer questions posed by human volunteers at the University of Reading in a bid to become the first recognised "thinking" machine. If any program succeeds, it is likely to be hailed as the most significant breakthrough in artificial intelligence since the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. It could also raise profound questions about whether a computer has the potential to be "conscious" - and if humans should have the 'right' to switch it off. [...]
The test will be carried out by human "interrogators", each sitting at a computer with a split screen: one half will be operated by an unseen human, the other by a program. The interrogators will then begin separate, simultaneous text-based conversations with both of them on any subjects they choose. After five minutes they will be asked to judge which is which. If they get it wrong, or are not sure, the program will have fooled them.
Structured living is often lost when anxiety hits because your feelings of panic are so overwhelming...This feeling-based reaction to life is terribly harmful. It leads to instability and to being able to count on nothing, not your feelings, not your actions, not your schedule. Everything in your life is chaotic. All people, but especially people with anxiety problems, need structure to their living. The chaos that is caused by impulsive, feeling-driven planning undermines all structure and exacerbates the feeling of being out of control that characterizes anxiety disorders.
There's more here.
Monday, October 6, 2008
(Some of my favorites that have been affected by this are Rocks in my Dryer, Betty Beguiles, Creative Minority Report, Holy Experience, Leave the Lights On, Testosterhome and Toddler Dredge...oh, and my other site.) Just FYI!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship...is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things -- if they are where you tap real meaning in life -- then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough...Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you....Worship power -- you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart -- you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on. [...]
It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in the head. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.
By writer David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in September.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
In many ways, this crisis reminds me of another crisis of morality, the crisis many refer to as that which was brought about by a "sex without consequences" mentality which underpinned the so-called sexual revolution. [...]
And so it is with the financial crisis: the quick gratification of instant wealth was a siren whose song couldn't be ignored, and the allure of "wealth without consequences" became a powerful temptation to far too many people. But there are always consequences to our bad actions. It may be that the innocent will suffer more than the guilty, or that the consequences will be delayed by as much as a whole generation--yet sooner or later, the bill for sin will come due, and will cost far more than we ever gained from our sinful actions.
Read the rest here.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sloth is a sin against God, and not against the time clock or productivity. The fact is that it’s possible to work too much, in a way that's not in keeping with our dignity and ultimate good. The essence of sloth is a failure to fulfill one's basic duties. Surely one such duty is the human vocation to work. Yet another such duty is the enjoyment of leisure, to take time for worship. The gentleman lying on the sofa may be a more popular image of sloth, but the workaholic, who's on the job 24-7 and in the process neglects God and family, is the more typical manifestation of sloth in our culture.
Read the rest here.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I watched as my brand new husband ripped the wrapping paper off a gift from his friends. The box showed a picture of ugly candles. Ugh. I didn't want those in our new home, but I also didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. When I penned the thank-you note, I gushed over how wonderful the candles were and we really enjoyed them. A few weeks later, a letter arrived. It said, "We're glad you like the box we used to wrap your gifts, but you should probably open it." With dread in our stomachs, my husband pulled the box down from a shelf in the basement and I watched in disbelief as he pulled out many smaller gifts including the bread basket I had hoped to receive, some tools, and other various fun gifts.
Totally something that would happen to me.
via Rocks in My Dryer
Friday, September 26, 2008
via Aggie Catholics
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This is VERY relevant information for me. Inspired by those shows, I was trying to convince my husband that we should undertake grand home makeover projects in which we, say, build an entire home entertainment center complete with sliding cabinets and nesting drawers in a weekend. "C'mon, how hard could it be?" I would say. "I saw that dude on Trading Spaces do it all by himself in like a day!" Oh, the naivete.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Jesus has yanked all of us into the wilderness. Jesus has stripped away the illusion of financial security. It’s scary at first. You look around and only see 'lack'-- a lack of food, a lack of water and a lack of shelter.
Yet I’ve been hanging out in the desert of financial uncertainty for a while. Let me show you around.
It’s harsh here, but beautiful. Here’s a place to test an inner strength you never knew you had. The friends who see you in your humility, the ones who lend you diapers when your babies run out, or who whip up baked lasagna when their own husbands are unemployed, or who join their hearts in prayer when you just can take the collection calls anymore, those are the dear, dear friends. You can't make a single friend like that on a singles cruise in the Aegean Sea.
It is harsh here in the desert. Yet it is still. It is the perfect place to hear the soft, tender words of God.
Read the rest here.
via Thinking Christian
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I sometimes feel that my day-to-day life has a lot in common with the painful process of learning to read. It's easy for me to get lost in the tiny tasks that fill my days: Change this diaper. Fold these clothes. Chop these vegetables. Sweep this floor. Grade this math work. With my attention on these smaller tasks alone, though, I risk losing sight of the whole picture of my motherly vocation. All the little things a mother does in a day are necessary parts that make up a whole, just as learning letters and sounding out m-u-d was a necessary part of Stephen's first sentence.
Read the whole thing here.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
A senior Canadian doctor is now expressing concerns that such a prominent public role model as the governor of Alaska and potential vice president of the United States completing a Down syndrome pregnancy may prompt other women to make the same decision against abortion because of that genetic abnormality. And thereby reduce the number of abortions.
Published reports in Canada say about 9 out of 10 women given a diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to terminate the pregnancy through abortion.
Dr. Andre Lalonde, executive vice president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Ottawa, worries that Palin’s now renowned decision may cause abortions in Canada to decline as other women there and elsewhere opt to follow suit.
via Cartago Delenda Est
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Here's a perfect example of why you should always approach "healthy" labeling on food products with a skeptical eye. Summer did a quick side-by-side comparison of regular Mott's apple juice with new Mott's Plus Light. What she found was that except for a few added vitamins, the Light product was just Mott's juice diluted by 50% with water—but selling for the same price as the 100% juice.
Monday, September 8, 2008
DJ: What spiritual practice has most shaped your walk with God?
Eugene: Keeping a weekly Sabbath -- a day my wife and I define as "praying and laying." A day we don't do anything that has to be done.
When we realized that the command to keep a Sabbath is one of the most repeated in Scripture and yet the most ignored in our culture, we had to readjust radically the way we were living. No other decision has made as much difference to our lives across the board. It has impacted our marriage, children, church life, friendships, writing ... the works.
Sabbath-keeping shifted our attention from what we were doing for God to what God was doing for us. Our work became subsumed in His.
Read the rest of her post about the subject here.