this went thru my mind

 

Aleppo: * Travelogue of the Aleppo Codex; * Brief History of Aleppo: A Great World City Now in the Grip of War; * A High Holy Whodunit

* “The Aleppo Codex has a history that is almost as dramatic as the Biblical events that it recounts. One of the most important ancient Biblical manuscripts, the Aleppo codex was … written … around 930 A.D. It became the version of the Hebrew Bible that was ultimately considered the most authoritative text in Judaism. … By the second half of the 15th century, the codex had somehow made it to Aleppo, Syria—the community that gave the codex its name. …  It remained in Aleppo for about 600 years. … In 1957, more than ten years after it was nearly destroyed in a riot, remnants of the king of ancient Biblical manuscripts were smuggled out of Syria by way of Turkey and brought to Jerusalem, where they remain today.”

* “In the city’s outskirts, sits the Church of St. Simeon, a 5th century Byzantine ruin built around the supposed site where Simeon, an ascetic Christian saint, perched himself atop a pillar for 37 years, choosing, as the 18th century British historian Edward Gibbon put it, ‘the celestial life.’”

“In Aleppo, Syria, where the codex was safeguarded for six centuries, it was believed to possess magical properties.”

Change: Change? Who? Me? by Karen Vestal

“We all want to change others, but is it even possible to think about changing ourselves?  Are we set and immovable, especially in those toughest areas?”

Church: * Is Your Church a Bad Hospital? by Tim Spivey [required reading]; * Do You Really Want to Be Part of a Second Chance Church? by Steve Ridgell; * Is Your Church Sound? by Chris Altrock

* “While no church wants to lose people, it’s a reality if you are healthy—not just unhealthy. If you don’t lose certain kinds of people, you will still lose people—just the healthy members of your church. You’ll be left with a bad hospital–lots of patients and no doctors. God will not bless such a hospital, for when the scarcity mindset trumps biblical instruction to correct, rebuke, etc., God’s Word is taking a backseat to feelings and fear.”

* “…  there are some conditions on accepting those sinners needing second chances.”

* “We can have correct creeds. We may perform worship wonderfully. Our rituals may be the best of any religion. Yet even with these we can be unsound. Even with these we can be unwell. The wealth of the church is one of the largest threats to the health of the church.”

Complaining & gratitude: Building Habits of ‘Simple’ Gratitude in a Consumer Culture by Patrick Mitchel

“So why is it that I moan so much? Why is it that I tend to focus on what I don’t have, or on what’s wrong (or might go wrong) rather than what’s right? Why am I so thankless?”

Culture & politics: Poll: Most Americans Would Vote Atheist for President

“The latest survey, from June, found that 54 percent of those asked said they would vote a ‘well-qualified’ atheist into the Oval Office—the highest percentage since Gallup began asking the question in 1958, when only 18 percent said they would back a nonbeliever.”

Disability: Nearly 1 in 5 People Have a Disability in the U.S., Census Bureau Reports

“About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — had a disability in 2010, according to a broad definition of disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe, according to a comprehensive report on this population released … by the U.S. Census Bureau.”

Gun control: I Carried a Gun, and It Was Heavy by Michael A. Black

“I spent over 30 years as a police officer in the Chicago area, and I was required to carry a weapon both on and off duty. … I’ve faced people with guns many times and arrested violent, armed offenders for such crimes as robbery and homicide. … The suddenness and confusion of that moment [the last shooting incident in which I was involved] points out the folly of the politician’s belief that an armed civilian could have easily taken out James Holmes.”

Humility: A Pencil in the Hand of God by Joshua Graves

“What is God’s greatest gift to you? … The poor people. … How are they a gift? … I have an opportunity to be with Jesus 24 hours a day.”

Olympics: * Religion At 2012 Olympics: From Ancient Greece To London; * Legally Blind Archer Sets World Record At London 2012 Games

* “The combination of Greek sport and worship led the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, to ban the Olympics in 393 A.D.”

* “His vision [Im Dong-hyun of South Korea] is now rated at … 20/100 in his right eye, and 20/200 in his left eye. … Olympic archers shoot at their target from a distance of nearly 230 feet — or, 70 meters, to be exact. The target has two center rings, which are 4.8 and 2.4 inches in diameter.”

Politics of every kind: Strip Clubs in Tampa Are Ready to Cash In on G.O.P. Convention

“Angelina Spencer, the executive director of the Association of Club Executives, which serves as a trade association for strip clubs, said an informal survey of convention business in New York and Denver had determined that Republicans dropped more money at clubs, by far. ‘Hands down, it was Republicans,’ she said. ‘The average was $150 for Republicans and $50 for Democrats.’ …

“As further evidence of the clubs’ nonpartisan appeal, Don Kleinhans, the owner of the 2001 Odyssey, said when the Promise Keepers, a male evangelical group, came to town years ago, business was rollicking. ‘We had phenomenal numbers all weekend, and they walked in wearing badges and name tags and weren’t shy at all,’ he said.”

Social networking: Guest Post: The Illusionary Nature of Online Friendships via Facebook & Other Social Media by Stephanie Bennett

“We may become adept at managing our hyper-organized lives, but none of it helps to nourish healthy, long-lasting relationships.  This may be particularly so when it comes to finding fellowship on Facebook and other computer networks that allow for social exchange.”

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