this went thru my mind


Archaeology: Book of Nehemiah Found Among the Scrolls

“Scroll scholars find first fragment of Nehemiah [in the Dead Sea Scroll.]”

Biblical imagery: Desert Moments [4:43 min. Ray Vander Laan video clip]

“… a high percentage of the Biblical images that teach us about who we are, who God is, what life is, come out of the desert.”

Conflict: 5 Reasons We Argue When We Agree by Ron Edmonson

“Have you ever argued with someone only to discover you agreed?”

Do Not Track: Twitter Supports “Do Not Track”

“Do Not Track (DNT) is a privacy preference that users can set in their web browsers. [It is a] … a simple way for users to inform integrated web services … that they do not want certain information about their webpage visits collected across websites when they have not interacted with that service’s content on the page.”

Facebook: * As Facebook Grows, Millions Say, ‘No, Thanks’ ; * Why I Won’t Be Quitting Facebook

* “Facebook still has plenty of room to grow … As it is, about 80 percent of its users are outside U.S. and Canada.”

* “More than just a daily habit, Facebook has become the place where I get important, often surprising glimpses into the lives of the … people with whom I’ve chosen to connect.”

GestationAlexander Tsiaras: Conception to Birth – Visualized [9:38 min. TED talk video]

“Image-maker Alexander Tsiaras shares for TEDTalks a powerful medical visualization, showing human development from conception to birth and beyond.”

Parenting: Would You Take Your Son to a Brothel?

“Would you have allowed your ten-year-old son to accompany you on that mission?”

Poverty: Sight-Seeing: Creating a Community of Love and Mutuality by Siu Fung Wu

“My experience in our community has convinced me that sharing lives with the poor and marginalised will help us come to a better understanding of the Scripture and God’s heart.”

Racism: Undoing Houston’s Racism: A Pastor’s Apology by Marty Troyer

“… if we in the church are going to lead the way in undoing racism, we need to understand this social evil.
So what does racism look like today in Houston?”

The Obama administration: The White House: Faith and the White House: Things I Bet You Didn’t Know by Mark Love

“The office for Faith Based Initiatives was formed during George W. Bush’s administration. It was an attempt to bring churches, synagogues, mosques, and other explicitly religious organizations into the mix in addressing pressing social needs. The Obama administration has not only continued the office, but greatly expanded its reach in virtually every corner of the federal government.”

at war

What is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives? (James 4:1 CEB)

Far too often as Christians we live in the middle of a war zone. That’s bad enough, but what makes it an especially bitter pill to swallow is the fact we cannot deny, namely that we have no one to blame for the war but ourselves.

For many, this is the hardest part about being a Christian. The hardest part. Trust a God that can’t be completely understood? Lots of folks do that. Withstand mockery or abuse from folks who are antagonistic against Christian faith? Many do that. Resist a temptation that seems almost irresistible? I see it done all the time. All of this by the grace of God.

But to stay with a church over the long haul that is filled with systemic disputes and conflict? Well, let’s just say the casualty rate is horrific and the “collateral damage” is through the roof. It’s a tremendous challenge to survive in such a setting. Few can or will.

The ceaseless temptation in such an environment is to point the finger at others and then use the war and the gore as an excuse to walk away from it all. But James refuses to let us do so. He takes hold of our pointing finger and turns it right around at us and says, “Its your dispute. It’s your cravings. It’s your own selfishness that fuels the conflict. Deal with it.”

Where does all the conflict and disputes among you come from? It’s your own cravings, I tell you, that are the cause of the war (James 4:1 DSV)

Heavenly Father, by the grace of your Son, help me ever to deal with it; to deal with what I can. Me. Amen.