this went thru my mind


Church attendance & sports: Pastors, Stop Complaining About Sunday Morning Sports by Keith Anderson

“… frankly, its a not a bad thing for the Church to stand on its own, apart from cultural props. I don’t want the Church to be dependent on the world to say that Church is important. I want us to say that this is important because of Jesus, the persuasiveness of the Gospel, for its own sake, on its own terms, not because my local Recreation Department says so.”

Clutter, giving, possessions, minimalism & stuff: * It’s Time to Say Goodbye to All That Stuff by Jane E. Brody [required reading]; * 7 Creative Ways to Give Back This Christmas by Marcus Goodyear

* “Make three piles (or bins) of stuff: Keep, Donate, Discard. (Avoid my mistake of making a fourth pile called Undecided that you simply wind up moving to another part of the house.) Get rid of the Discard and Donate piles as soon as possible. Keep only those things that have a realistic ‘home’ in your home.”

* ” Begin to give out of your excess … take your food donation to a person—not a bin … count your clothes … cash in your loose change … give opportunities … sell something you own for charity … throw a gift card giver house party.”

Reading: One of My Goals Next Year is to Read the Apocrypha–Here’s Why [I plan to do this myself in 2013; care to join me?]

“David deSilva offers three reasons ‘Christians of all denominations’ should read the Apocrypha. (1) The books of the Apocrypha provide important windows into the world of Second Temple Judaism, catching us up, as it were, on a wide range of developments between the return from exile and the rebuilding of the Temple in 515 BCE and the birth of Jesus and the movement formed in his name. … (2) Second, many of the books of the Apocrypha contain valuable resources available to, and used by, Jesus and his earliest disciples and apostles. … (3) Third, the Apocrypha are rich in devotional insight, ethical admonition, and spiritually formative guidance–to such an extent that the majority of the world’s Christians include them among their sacred Scriptures.”

United States history: * Mine Wars: Forgotten History [part 1] by Peter Mead [required reading]; * American Empire: A Very Brief History of Our Imperialism by Bobby Valentine

* “We tend to forget our history quickly … Did you know that veterans of World War One were not given the benefits they were promised upon enlistment? Did you know that the government ignored them, denied them medical care or pensions? Did you know that many, many thousands of them built a tent city outside of Washington, DC because they had nowhere else to live? And did you know that the US government sent in troops with cavalry and machine guns and even planes with bombs to drive them out? That was only eighty years ago. Or did you know that a Methodist minister with a military commission slaughtered men, women, and children in Eastern Colorado and, although many tried to bring him to justice, the courts and government officials refused to punish him? There are lots of periods of history we would rather forget but they are real and they helped make the world in which we live. And many of these events — such as the murder of hundreds of veterans outside DC, happened less than one hundred years ago. And close to that same time, people in West Virginia rose up against outsiders who had poisoned their land, starved their children to death (literally), and shot down their fathers who dared to complain. These were the Mine Wars and they will be the subject of this next set of blogs.”

* “Perhaps the most powerful myth is that America – the United States – is a peace loving country and has only reluctantly either gone to war or used its military might with great hesitation and never has imposed its will on sovereign states in an imperialistic fashion.  This is a gross misrepresentation of our history but one that is unbelievably believed even by folks who should know better. We learn what might be called the Great Wars version of American military power presented in most public high schools. … But this is only the tip of the iceberg above the water.”

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