Sunday, November 30, 2008

34 Great Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Great list!

via Rocks in my Dryer

A thought for the harvest season

An interesting post from DarwinCatholic about how removed we've become from seasonal cycles:

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.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day today.

(And happy Thursday to readers outside the U.S.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stone Soup

A wonderful post about what one family did when they found themselves broke with no food, and the symbolism it has for the Christian life.

Precious Gavin

A touching poem that a young woman wrote for her baby nephew who recently passed away. Really beautiful.

via MrsL (Twitter)

LIFE photos now available online

What a great project: "Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google."

via Rocks in My Dryer

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How to bring reform to your church

Rich Leonardi has 11 great tips for keeping your sanity and bringing about needed changes if you find yourself in a church that is less than orthodox.

via DarwinCatholic

A mom of 12 gets honest about obesity, weight loss and gluttony

How did I miss Barbara Curtis' series of posts about her 90+ pound weight loss? I'm just now catching up and find them to be a wonderful breath of fresh air. Here's an excerpt from one of her posts in which she talks about the difficulty of being a mom of a busy household and having a slower metabolism than other people:

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.

Children are dangerous

Randy Bohlender writes in a thought-provoking blog post, "Satan does not rage against children because they're vulnerable. He rages against them because they are dangerous."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Amazing images of the microscopic

Wow! It's amazing to see the level of intricate detail that exists even in the most minuscule objects.

A funny cat video with a funnier comment

I loved this video of a cat playing with a box, but Jamie's comment about it in this post had me laughing out loud. She writes:

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!”

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cool performance art

...using Google street view.

This is just wrong

I understand eating vegetarian, but getting a tofu "turkey" to carve crosses some sort of line. Check out this vegan "roast."

A list of weekly blog memes

This is a great list of blog memes (many of them Christianity-related). Scroll down to see the full list. I'd heard of Works for Me Wednesday and Menu Plan Monday, but not some of the others. So many neat memes out there!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Neat idea: a wheelchair for dolls

In some sort of target market analysis error my family received a copy of American Girl magazine. I flipped through it and was pleasantly surprised to see that you can order a wheelchair for your American Girl doll. Neat idea -- one that I'm sure will be especially appreciated by families who have a child or children with disabilities.

Soy foods make men less fertile?

Interesting study.

7 things you can't do as a moral relativist

Very thought-provoking! I ran into a lot of these when I was an atheist.

via Mary's Aggies

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Amazon editors' top 10 recipe books of 2008


A touching story of kindness and generosity

What a great story:

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

The cycle of democracy

A thought-provoking quote emailed to me by a reader:

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!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Infertility and abortion

Wow! A powerful post from Aimee Milburn:

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.

From career-obsessed newspaperman to stay-at-home dad

This is a beautiful, touching story. An excerpt:

[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 were made for eternity

Some interesting thoughts on our discomfort with time:

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.