Sundays That Inspire!

Hello lovely readers! I hope you all are having a relaxing weekend enjoying the final, lazy days of summer. Welcome to this week’s Sundays That Inspire in which I link you up to some things that encouraged, challenged, inspired, and just made me smile this week.

I know this week the events in Ferguson have been on a lot of people’s minds and hearts, and I encourage everyone to continue to pray for peace and grace, for justice and reconciliation for everyone involved. It has certainly made me think not only about what this means for us as a community of people living in this country together, but also been a cause for self-reflection and how I see and perceive people. Here are few posts I found thoughtful and challenging regarding Ferguson this week.

Ferguson & Me, or Why Should I Care? by Esther Emery

A perfect love casts out all fear. Or so I have heard, from a man with long dreads on a subway train. I am only human as far as I can see humanity in others. And I am ready to be made free. I am ready to live forward into a Kingdom dream, of city streets where Black people walk free.

And a great follow-up from Esther, Choosing Joy, Again, reflecting on finding beauty and rest in a messy, ugly world.

There is such ugliness in the world. Such terror. So much wrong. And around each wrong there are hearts moving, hearts opening, hearts responding.

In Which I Have A Few Things To Tell You About Ferguson by Sarah Bessey

Black lives matter. I cannot even believe I have to write that sentence but there it is. Black lives matter. These young men matter, their lives are sacred. It doesn’t matter if Mike Brown was on his way to college or on his way to the unemployment line – his life had value and purpose. He was loved. His life mattered. Every single black life matters.

On Race, The Benefit of the Doubt, and Complicity by Rachel Held Evans

I’ve been told all of my life that we live in a post-racial culture, that my generation is essentially free of racial prejudice. And from my small, predominantly white town in East Tennessee, that’s an easy enough lie to believe. It’s a lie I want to believe…But wanting to live in a just world is not the same as living in a just world.

And also from Rachel this week over at Sojourners, Not As Helpless As We Think: 3 Ways To Stand In Solidarity With Ferguson

I’ve heard from many of my white friends and readers who say they aren’t sure how to respond to the anger and grief they are watching on TV or hearing from their black friends. They want to be part of the solution but don’t know where start. They may even feel a little defensive when they hear people talking about white privilege or inaction on the part of white Christian leaders. I’m in the process of learning too, but as I’ve listened to people of color whose opinions I trust, I’ve heard them issue several calls to action we can all heed…

If you need a reminder that there are good people out there in the world doing good. Love this story about a pastor in St. Paul who is using a food truck to minister to those who are struggling in her community. “This lunch is free because Jesus is free.”

Over at A Deeper Story, a lovely reflection on our common humanity: We All Face The Sun Together by Tamara Lunardo

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. –Romans 1:20…We’re all here for the same reason: It’s the beauty.

This one made me smile. Words of wisdom. 8 Movie Characters Who Prove Older Really Does Mean Wiser

We have all been overwhelmed with videos on our Facebook and Twitter feeds of friends, family and celebrities who are taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Here are a couple of my favorites this week. First, you need to go here and watch Patrick Stewart take the challenge with more dignity and class than you or I or anyone ON THE PLANET will ever have. The end.

This one, however, is my absolute favorite because it is BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH! Yes, my inner Cumberbunny was fangirling HARD when I saw that he had accepted the challenge, and the video is filled with all the wit, charm, and humor we love about him. It is glorious. Watch and enjoy. Also, you can click here if you would like to make your own donation toward ALS research.

Finally, I wanted to pay my own tribute to the late Robin Williams. Like everyone else, I was shocked and grieved at his passing. My heart and prayers go out to his family as they continue to cope with his loss, as they do also for anyone dealing with depression and mental illness. I can only hope this will lead to more open and compassionate conversations and help for those in similar situations. Mr. Williams was a rare and uniquely gifted performer, and we are blessed that he shared that talent with the rest of us. Dead Poet’s Society will always be my favorite of Robin Williams’ movies, and I have included a scene that exemplifies so much of what we loved about him.

The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What a verse it was. Thank you. O, captain, my captain.

Anything you found this week that was interesting? Funny? Inspiring? Would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below! Have a great week, everyone!