saturday morning coffee

saturday morning coffee

Settle in with a cup of coffee and enjoy a few of my favorites from around the web (and elsewhere) as you start your weekend.

“Ashamed” by Rachel Held Evans

“I am ashamed of the way I judge those I deem judgmental, the way I stumble through my day without prayer, the way I  issue praises to heaven in one breath and curse my brothers in the next, the way I talk a big game about loving others and then brush past the woman crying in the airport, the way cynicism seeps into my bones, the way I zone out in front of my wireless glowing mirror in a pathetic effort to avoid confronting it all.  Who’s the fairest?I am ashamed, and I am sorry.

But I am not ashamed of the gospel.

This is a lovely and eloquent piece on the church as a broken manifestation of Christ’s love and the ways she nevertheless remains his beautiful bride. I share so many of these frustrations and it’s a good reminder that the bad is not Jesus not is it cause to give up.

“In which art is like manna” by Sarah Bessey

“Inspiration comes for the day’s work, for the moment’s discipline, and you either use it or you don’t.

There is no hoarding, there is no saving the best for later. There is only right now, this moment of creation, and so I’ve learned to use it up.

Art doesn’t lend itself to perfectionists and misers. I’ve found that my creativity responds to generosity.

I believe the freedom to create – or to “spend it all” as Annie Dillard says – is in direct connection to our trust in God’s provision. Do we believe, even in our art, that he is the giver of all good gifts, the provider, the El Shaddai, my God of more-than-enough?  Or are we in charge of hoarding it for ourselves and our carefully crafted outcomes and desires?”

A must read for any artist, and writers in particular. This internal tension is why I’ve started and stopped blogging several times; I’ve been afraid I would run out of things to say. But as Sarah so beautifully says here, the more I write the more words I’m given.

 “I am the 47%” by Suzannah Paul

 “Despite all that, we’re still the 47%, those people (like teachers at Christian schools, disabled veterans, and your grandma, for goodness sake) who are basically The Worst for earning wages below the threshold of respectability.Folks like me. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

Suzannah’s piece was a much-needed eye-opener for me- someone raised in a staunchly middle class family surrounded by the conservative Republican culture that often vilifies government support.

 “I was still me after releasing my prideful hold on the breadwinner label. I was still me with strawberry stains on my apron, an empty bank account, and not one drop of pride left in my pride tank. In fact, I was more me than I had ever allowed myself to be before. Because I wasn’t relying on anyone—or anything—to tell me I was enough.”

This post is a wonderful encouragement for those (like me) dealing with unemployment, with great insight into questions of identity and where we find it.

“Sacrilege” by Hugh Halter

“In the book of Philippians, Paul encourages us to be like Jesus, who—though being all-powerful—intentionally chose not to force the issue with us or force dogma down our throats. Instead he chose to live among us, love us, show us and teach us about how to live life in his new kingdom.”

Hugh tackles a lot of common (and mistaken) Christian ideology in his book on reexamining our perceptions of Jesus and religion. The entire book is an inspiring challenge to return to the gospel, becoming less religious and looking more like Christ.

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