Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday Interestings...VBS week

This week we are busy with Vacation Bible School--we have an Everywhere Fun Fair going on, and there are almost 60 kids and another 20 leaders filling up our building with music, science, stories, crafts, laughter, decorations, serving, hospitality, and fun. So I don't have a ton of time to comment on these this week, but here are some things I've come across in the last 7 days that seem like they're worth sharing!

A guy woke up to a gaggle/herd/flock/TON of bald eagles hanging out on his lawn. Aside from the part where they weirdly encourage small children to approach wild animals (bad idea! leave them alone and enjoy from a distance!!), it's pretty awesome.

Apparently in addition to the recognizable Chicago city flag (sky blue and white with four red stars), there's also a "municipal device" that can be found all over town if you know where to look. Cool.

We all know that introverts have a hard time in our extrovert-rewarding world. We extroverts are busy talking our heads off and running the place, while the people who usually think before speaking (must be nice) end up frustrated. Given how many people think "introvert" = "shy" (which it does NOT), this article about brain structure and our hormonal "reward" system is super interesting.

Ever wondered why it's hard to lose weight? Why we can't seem to stop even when we're super full? Why certain things are tastier than others? Here you go:

On a related note, though, finally an ad agency is refusing to continue the unrealistic airbrushed-model images. I love that they're taking a stand and refusing to participate in that. Because you know what? The model is already thinner than the average person AND gorgeous--why airbrush half her arm away?

You may or may not know that the ubiquitous "Happy Birthday to You" is actually a copyrighted song--you can't use it in a money-making venture without a license. This is one of the reasons so many restaurants have their own cheesy versions of a birthday song, for instance. The song was originally written as "good morning to you," for use in a preschool/kindergarten setting, by two Presbyterian Sunday School teacher sisters. Over the years they morphed the song into many versions, using the same tune and different words, and published it several ways. Well, now there's a legal challenge to their family foundation's copyright. What do you think: should Happy Birthday be in the public domain?

some churchy stuff:

This. Yes. Even now as a thoroughly ensconced church-goer (obviously), it hurts my formerly non-churchy soul when I hear people talk about how non-christians must have some kind of black hole inside them. "As one panelist said, “I bristle at someone saying ‘I’ve got this thing you are missing.’ as if I’m lacking.”

On the same "listening to the nones" vein, there's also this interview which not only discusses some of the realities of "none" as a religious identity--which seems to be primarily about not wanting to be summed up by a single religious/spiritual check-box--but also gets into how churches are actually contributing to people leaving religious traditions.
"What tends to happen with Mainline Protestants is that they are deeply affirmed in early formation and then they “graduate” from church. And we let them have that model. Our church schools are parallel to other kinds of schooling. One young woman told me, “I learned everything I needed to know there, I get it. I don’t need this in order to be a good person or in order to make sense of everyday life.” I hear this when I interview parents as well: “Our children will learn good values. Check. They’ve learned this, we can move on.”

Someone sent me this article about young adult atheists a few weeks ago, when we had an adult-ed discussion about the difference between "belief" and "faith"...I'm just getting around to sharing now, because I think it's so relevant both to other links today and to ongoing conversation in churches. If faith is primarily about intellectual assertions (aka "beliefs"), it will never be important enough or rational enough. Even I, the pastor, don't care that much about something that's just in my mind. It needs to be about a different way of living in the world, or why bother?

I love Ira Glass. In fact, it's no secret that I love public radio. I love Ira and Peter and Jerome....I don't love Terry, but I know many who do. I love the way I get more than the headlines, and how the stories they tell in shows like This American Life or Worldview or Here and Now go beyond news to everyday life and real people. They make what could be an otherwise mundane existence interesting.
Having said that, I don't know if I agree with Ira Glass's assessment of Christian media portrayals, but I'm glad someone thinks about things. I do wish that there was more media coverage of what I would call "normal" Christians--not extremists, but moderate and progressive people of faith who are trying to make the world a better place without condemning everybody and everything.

Last but not least...

This made me laugh hysterically. So many more at the link.

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