In case y’all need the reminder, Links I Like is a round-up of the interesting, thought-provoking, and/or goofy things I find online.
Two years ago yesterday, a group that almost no one had ever heard of before released an undercover video. The video produced by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) showed a national-level executive of Planned Parenthood admitting that the abortion provider sells intact fetal body parts.
Over the next few weeks CMP released other videos. The pro-life movement was electrified. Many defenders of life thought to themselves, This changes everything.
Only, it didn’t.
I love this. I’m thankful that I know of a number of churches who are trying to live out these values.
The First Church of Facebook can only temporarily spackle the holes in our hearts and lives, never fix or heal them. We need Jesus for that, and Christ’s Plan A for our sanctification and the world’s redemption is the local church. Not the cyber church. Not the podcast church. Not the blogosphere church. Not even the Facebook church. Here are three reasons why.
The Bible is one book made up of 66 books. Each book has a major theme that emphasizes an aspect of God’s character or a way he is working to carry out his perfect plan. What follows is an attempt to capture these themes. These themes are certainly reductionistic and required me to make a few tough choices, but I hope you’ll be helped by considering them.
I have three kids: that means three different opportunities for random diseases and injuries and weirdness to pop up. When there are spots on my 3-year-old’s arms, when my 1-year-old’s hair smells like it’s burning, or when my five-month-old is eating twice the amount his formula says he should, I always turn to Google. I plug in my keywords and get 345,289,293 results, and after reading four or five answers, I wonder why I ever bothered. What does Buzzfeed know about spots on my kid’s arms? How do I know who wrote this journal on a baby’s intake? And this chat room about burnt-smelling hair is terrifying. How can I believe anything I read!?! Even if I read something that is true, I’m skeptical because I found it on the internet! It’s far better to talk to my pediatrician or my mom. In the same way that we should go to right and authoritative sources about our kids’ health, we should do the same in our spiritual lives.
To feel overwhelmed by the pressures of work. To feel overwhelmed by what’s happening in your family or in your relationships. To have so many people, so many responsibilities, so many troubles, so much stuff pressing in around you that you feel trapped, intertwined with all these arms and legs of circumstance. Feeling overwhelmed like that can leave you breathless, struggling for the oxygen of life.
More often than not when I feel like that, there is going to be some tiny little thing that sends me over the edge. I’m trying to juggle everything else that’s happening around me, and then one of my kids will do something, or say something, or spill something, and I’ll fly off the handle. It’s not because what they’ve done is particularly heinous in some way; it’s because it was the final straw that sent all the other plates spinning in life crashing down, and that kid just happened to be the easy target that gets the brunt of all the frustration.
A favorite from the archives:
Some of you got chills as you read that headline, I know. You hate the idea of writing in books. You want to keep them pristine. You try never to crack the spine, I bet. (I say this as someone who used to try to avoid this, so I’m not making fun.) I get it. I really do. But you know what? You might not like it, it’s true:
You really should mark up your books.
Why? Because reading is not a passive activity. Your mind should be fully engaged, even when you’re reading silly fluff. (This is especially important for all us writer types.)