Daily Archives: August 14, 2014

[Ann Voskamp] How to Really Send the Kids Back to School & Out into the World

[i] From Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience. A beautiful reflection on sending her son off to college, partly written as a letter to her son, partly a reflection on parenting. You may need the kleenex for this! – the elves[/i]

[…] Remember how we read a million library books together? I’ll never regret every page we chose over screens.

We ate three meals a day together at a table (and don’t think that doesn’t change the shape of a soul and the world). And we never pushed back our chairs until we’d had our dessert of Scripture. Life is about one thing: Coming to His table and inviting as many as you can to come with you and feast on the only Living Food. We gave you this.

And for better or worse, your Dad and I taught you how to work hard. Make it for the world’s better, son. […]

And never forget that happiness is when His Word and your walk are in harmony. Never stop keeping company with Christ”“ and all the sinners, tax-collectors and cast-offs. Be an evangelist and use your words with your hands because your part of a Body and never stop loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, and loving others as yourself. Make that your creed.

It’s true, son: Be different and know everything you do matters. It’s what the Christ followers know: One man with God can change a culture. God didn’t put people in your path mostly for your convenience; He put you there for theirs. Loving the poor will make you rich, I promise.

The only life worth living is the one lost.

And no matter how loud and crazy and broken the world is, child? Let joy live loud in your soul.

Believe that you are His beloved ”“ it’s only when you trust that He loves you that you really begin to live. Really, count a thousand blessings more ”“ why wouldn’t you want joy? Sing to no one and everyone on the front porch in the rain and laugh so much they question your sanity. Pet the dog long.

Because really, none of us knows how long we have. Remember that a pail with a pinhole loses as much as the pail pushed right over. A whole life can be lost in minutes wasted”¦ in the small moments missed. None of this here is forever grace. That’s why it’s amazing grace.

Do it often: grab a lifeline by stepping offline. You’ll see your true self when you look for your reflection in the eyes of souls not the glare of screens.

This is what you always need to know: You have nothing to prove to anyone ”“ if you’re in Him, you are already approved.

Read the full entry here.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Children, Marriage & Family, Teens / Youth

Today in 1935

Social Security Act is signed into law, assuring retirement income for all working Americans. Payroll taxes…are set at 1% (Courtesy of Barry Ritholtz)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Social Security, Taxes, The U.S. Government

(New Yorker) Rebecca Mead–The Scourge of "Relatability"

…to demand that a work be “relatable” expresses a different expectation: that the work itself be somehow accommodating to, or reflective of, the experience of the reader or viewer. The reader or viewer remains passive in the face of the book or movie or play: she expects the work to be done for her. If the concept of identification suggested that an individual experiences a work as a mirror in which he might recognize himself, the notion of relatability implies that the work in question serves like a selfie: a flattering confirmation of an individual’s solipsism.

To appreciate “King Lear”””or even “The Catcher in the Rye” or “The Fault in Our Stars”””only to the extent that the work functions as one’s mirror would make for a hopelessly reductive experience. But to reject any work because we feel that it does not reflect us in a shape that we can easily recognize””because it does not exempt us from the active exercise of imagination or the effortful summoning of empathy””is our own failure. It’s a failure that has been dispiritingly sanctioned by the rise of “relatable.” In creating a new word and embracing its self-involved implications, we have circumscribed our own critical capacities. That’s what sucks, not Shakespeare.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Theology

A Prayer attributed to Thomas Aquinas to Begin the Day

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy thought can drag downwards; an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

[CBN] ISIS Swallowing Iraq: 'They're Beheading Children'

ERBIL, Kurdistan — Islamic terrorists in Iraq are beheading children and burying people alive, and it won’t stop there…

Read it all and watch the video where there is a report from Dr Sarah Ahmed of Canon Andrew White’s FRRME

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Iraq, Middle East

More middle-aged U.S. women having babies outside marriage: CDC

Hmmmm. Having children is now categorized as women successfully “meeting their fertility goals.” Doesn’t matter how you do it, it’s all about choice and personal satisfaction. SAD. -the elves

More single U.S. women over the age of 35 are having children, even as the overall birth rates for unmarried women in the United States have dropped, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. There were 1.6 million births to unmarried women in 2013, the lowest since 2005, when there were 1.5 million, the data showed.

Running counter to the trend were middle-aged and older women having children outside of marriage. The birth rate for unmarried women between the ages of 40 to 44 increased 29 percent from 2007 to 2012 and 7 percent during that time for those aged 35 to 39, the CDC said.

“Many women are postponing births until their 30s, and the stigma of having a child outside of marriage has faded,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University who has studied the issue but was not involved with the CDC report.

Women who choose to give birth at an older age now have greater medical options for increasing fertility, said Sally Curtin, a CDC statistician and an author of the study. “There’s more out there for women to meet their fertility goals,” she said.

Here’s the full article

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Women