golden nuggets from Sirach (3)


Every few days now I’m posting five passages that have jumped out at me as I make my way through Sirach (aka: Ecclesiasticus). Here’s the next installment. Enjoy.

Don’t praise people for their beautiful looks, and don’t despise people for their appearance. (Sirach 11.2)

Don’t find fault before you investigate … Don’t answer before you listen … (Sirach 11.7a,8a)

… don’t be busy with many things; if you multiply pursuits, you won’t be held guiltless. (Sirach 11.10)

There is nothing good for those who continue to do evil or for those who don’t freely offer charity. (Sirach 12.3)

Rich people inflict injury, but then act as if they’re the ones who have been wronged; the poor suffer injury, but they’re the ones who must apologize. (Sirach 13.3)

violence, study, faith & links


V-for-violenceMonday through Saturday each week here on my blog I now post links to articles I’ve found to be interesting or helpful in some way. They make up the this went thru my mind posts.

These articles deal with a myriad of subjects and what you’ll find posted each day is quite random. However, starting this Sat., Jan. 19, all of the links I’ll post on Saturdays (through the course of 2013 at any rate) under this went thru my mind will deal with some aspect of physical violence, instruments of violence, or responses to violence. These links will be to some of the articles, posts, and resources I’ve come across as I make 2013 a year of special study for myself on this subject. I’m sharing them with you here in an an attempt to help keep us all a bit more aware of some of the information, conversations, happenings, and ponderings related to this violent world of ours.

What sort of violence?“, you ask. Specifically, all matters pertaining to physical violence in any form. Since the easiest way for you to get a sense of what we’ll be talking about is to simply list some of the terms I’ll likely use for tags on these posts, here’s just such a list:

abortion, abuse, aggression, arson, assassination, assault, beatings, bombings, bullying, brutality, capital punishment, child abuse, collateral damage, conscientious objector, contact sports, death, domestic violence, drones, drone strikes, elder maltreatment, ethnic cleansing, euthanasia, execution, genocide, guns, gun control, homicide, infanticide, just war, lynching, manslaughter, military, military service, murder, national defense, non-violence, pacifism, pacifist, rape, self-defense, sexual violence, shootings, suicide, terrorism, torture, violence, violent crime, war, war crimes

Why am I posting such?” I’m aware of four reasons at the moment.

  1. To gather into one place some of my findings as I research this subject.
  2. To help clarify my own understanding of faith and violence.
  3. To share my findings with others who are interested in the same.
  4. To attempt to break through a bit of (what I perceive to be) callousness, closed-mindedness, disinterest, indifference, lack of concern, and/or misinformation in the hearts and minds of many Americans today to giving serious consideration to this subject.

Naturally then, if you are aware of articles, posts, or resources you’ve found helpful or interesting that you’d like to share with me, please do so. And, of course, I covet your prayers this year as I delve into this topic.

A final note. My posting of links on violence on Saturdays does not mean you won’t find this subject occasionally dealt with on other days of the week here. Quite the opposite. I will occasionally write articles or share article and book excerpts with you here on other days. It simply means you won’t typically see collections of links to other resources on violence here on days other than Saturday. To make it easy for you to spot at a glance which posts on any given day of the week deal with violence, all of them will be marked with a pic of a “flaming V,” like the one you see in this post.

this went thru my mind


Christian perception & persecution: * The Difference Between Persecution and Being Corrected by Robert Cargill; * Christians and Persecution, Then and Now by James McGrath [required reading]

* “Just because you didn’t get what you want doesn’t mean that you are ‘persecuted.’ It means you can’t have everything.”

* “American Christians have no idea what they are talking about when they cry persecution. And as someone married to a Romanian, and thus who experienced something which, if still not like Nero’s time, was far more truly persecution than what most Americans have ever experienced, I do not find it merely inaccurate. I find it offensive. It is cheapening the term and thereby minimizing the plight of those who really do face persecution.”

Confrontation, courage & fear: Courage is Not the Absence of Fear by Michael Hyatt

“Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the willingness to act in spite of my fear.”

Facebook: Facebook’s Privacy Settings

“With the latest privacy update, however, Facebook has made it easier to find some of the most important privacy settings. When you’re logged into Facebook, you’ll notice a new lock icon with three horizontal lines in the top toolbar.”

Noise, silence, silent retreats & stress: The Buzz on Silent Retreats

“If you feel bombarded by emails, phone calls, text messages and the daily stress that comes with them, there could be a solution for you. Some people have found relief in perfect silence.”

Prayer: Why Some Prayers are Answered and Some Aren’t?

“If every petitionary prayer were answered on the time specified by the petitioner, God might even be thought of as an instrument or tool for earthly benefits.”

the Christ house: Luke 14


MoSt Church‘s congregational Bible reading project for 2013, The Christ House, fixes our attention on Christ Jesus as we encounter him in the New Testament. The plan is slow and steady, simple and focused: read one chapter a day and memorize one “Christ verse” on which to meditate from each book of the NT.

Today’s reading is Luke 14 and the Christ verse for Luke’s Gospel is Luke 2.11: “Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.”