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!

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Sundays That Inspire!

*taps the mic* Is this thing on?

Hello my dear friends!

I know…it’s been a while since I have ventured into the blogosphere, and I’m so sorry for my extended absence! Life and lack of creativity and discipline have unfortunately kept me away. If you are still following and interested in my random musings, THANK YOU for being here! You are the best! As always, I hope to do better and post more frequently.

So I thought I would start back with “Sundays That Inspire” and share with you a few things that challenged, encouraged, inspired, and just made me smile this week. So here we go!

Apparently a little over a week ago, a Tumblr hashtag was going around called #WomenAgainstFeminism in which women were taking selfies and posting why they believe we don’t need feminism, or perhaps more specifically modern feminism. I’ll move past the obvious, that these women would indeed not have the platform to voice these concerns without feminism, and just say, I do understand there are reasonable concerns with the “how” of the feminist movement (how we communicate our views, how we achieve our goals, etc) and that a variety of perspectives are welcome and needed within it. However, it seems to me, trying to throw away the term instead of joining in the larger conversation does a disservice to the women who have fought so hard through the years for the freedoms we do have and are still fighting for. I read a couple very thoughtful and compelling responses to this hashtag that I loved.

The first is from one of my favorite authors/bloggers, Rachel Held Evans called “We Need Feminism”

Because legalistic gender roles, and the objectification and marginalization of women, harm both women and men. Feminism isn’t about hating men. Feminism is about restoring the dignity of women for the betterment of society.

Because feminism is the radical notion that women are human – equal in value and dignity to men – and that vision has yet to be fully realized.

The second one comes from the Sojourners site by Catherine Woodiwiss called “I Need Feminism Because”

In a perfect world, women can choose to be whomever they want. But there is not yet a country on earth in which that is actually true. That is why we need feminism.

That there’s disagreement over how we talk about women’s empowerment in the U.S. isn’t surprising — feminism is a collection of unique people with unique visions of a good life, trying to figure out how to preserve past and present good, correct past and present wrongs, and forge a new way ahead together.

But it is tragically, perennially clear why speaking up against male-controlled narratives in church or school or novels or movies or business or government, against generations of excused behavior for men and oppression for women, against ongoing systemic injustice is still so crucially necessary.

From reading what these “anti-modern-feminists” have written, I don’t believe any of them would take umbrage with that. It’s a pity, then, they are rejecting the term feminism — their challenges would be great additions to the dialogue. More education and conversation about what feminism is, and how we do it, and where it can go, is clearly needed. Without it, I’m not at all sure how much farther forward we’ll be able to go.

Moving on to the topic of men who are AWESOME, I came across this video in a series Rookie (a magazine for teenage girls) has put together called “Ask A Grown Man” in which it is obvious Stephen Colbert should be raising ALL THE CHILDREN. In this short, 10 min video, Stephen answers questions about boys and relationships posed by young girls, and he does it BEAUTIFULLY. All the respect, sir. This vid is well worth a look.

Ask a Grown Man: Stephen Colbert from Rookie on Vimeo.

As I mentioned earlier, I am HUGE fan of Rachel Held Evans. There are pretty much zero times that her thoughts on faith, women’s issues, and just generally trying to figure out how to follow the way of Jesus don’t resonate with me. I highly recommend checking out her blog here. Recently, Rachel has started blogging from the Lectionary each week, and I found this quote from the reading a couple weeks ago particularly beautiful and hopeful.

This Kingdom knows no geographic boundaries, no political parties, no single language or culture. It advances not through power and might, but through acts of love and joy and peace, missions of mercy and kindness and humility. This Kingdom has arrived, not with a trumpet’s sound but with a baby’s cries, not with the vanquishing of enemies but with the forgiving of them, not on the back of a war horse but on the back of a donkey, not with triumph and a conquest but with a death and a resurrection.

And yet there is more to this Kingdom that is still to come, Jesus said, and so we await a day when every tear will be wiped from every eye, when swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears shaped into pruning hooks, when justice will cascade like a river down a mountain and righteousness like a never-ending stream, when people from every tribe and tongue and nation will live together in peace, when there will be no more death.

And finally, this video from the Huffington Post made me smile SO. BIG. Like perhaps some of you, I enjoy doing yoga, but inevitably, whenever I get into Downward Facing Dog or Child Pose, my sweet, curious little sheltie Dakota wants to come over and sniff or lick or just make himself comfortable on my mat. If you can relate, or just enjoy adorable pet videos, I give you “Pets Interrupting Yoga.”

As always, thoughts and comments are most welcome! And I would love to know what inspired you this week! Have a lovely Sunday, friends!