Happy Friday! Quickly, here are my 5 favorite finds for the week.
1) Divine appointments – There is something other-worldly by chance encounters, or visits with old friends, or even an oatmeal breakfast that seem larger than life. I’ve had all three this week and all struck a chord of the wonder and mystery of life…of how circumstances are orchestrated such that only God could be responsible. Why? Because of how deeply and lovingly they penetrate the heart.Visit with an old friend – no agenda; no pretense; just a heart rest.
A bowl of steel-cut oats made into a feast by another dear old friend.
Photo Credit: PXhere [A chance meeting turned into an opportunity and maybe a friendship.]
On the chance encounter: Have you ever spotted someone in the grocery story and something about their appearance or demeanor drew your attention. The image above is a stock photo, but here’s the story. Today while lost in thought over what to buy for Dave’s birthday supper, I noticed this woman in the coolest dress and matching jacket. The fabric was olive green camo. She pulled it off stunningly. I wanted to say something but didn’t.
We ended up in the parking lot at the same time (totally “accidental”; no stalking going on here). I determined if we stowed our carts at the same time I would compliment her fashion sense. We did, and I did. Then a several minute conversation launched easily. She made the suit out of men’s cotton tshirts. Then we talked about our careers, our children, our hopes to make a difference in the world, our faith and our culture. She is an amazing woman…
We exchanged phone numbers and I hope coffee together will follow. I’m currently in a study on justice and longing for an avenue to bring a voice to the voiceless in this city. This woman is a part of that kind of work every single day.
A divine appointment.
2) The Dark Side of Children’s YouTube Videos – Leaving a child unsupervised with a smart phone or tablet is risky. I’m now more convinced than ever after discovering writer artist James Bridle. He wrote an essay entitled Something Is Wrong on the Internet. If you have children, or care about children, please read it. It is a bit freaky. The video below also tells how he sees how the internet, with apps such as YouTube, using bots and AI devices, is drawing children into content we would never want them to experience.
Who makes these videos? Can you even trace their creators?
“The more time you start to spend with them, the crazier and crazier you start to feel you may be….deep strangeness and deep lack of understanding…Who is making them? Some of them really and clearly by people who shouldn’t be around children at all. ” “There are real people trapped within these systems…even if you’re human, you have to end up behaving like a machine just to survive.” Kids drugged looking at these videos. A few auto-clicks away from videos opening surprise eggs will be videos with sexual or violent content still with cartoon characters or superheroes involved. Creepy wrong stuff!!! “Kids’ worst nightmares”.
“Inequality of power [and understanding] always leads to violence.”
“We need to stop thinking of technology as a solution to all of our problems, but think of it as a guide to what those problems actually are, so we can start thinking about them properly and start to address them.” – James Bridle
The Internet as Monster – Rob Dreher
3) Senate Confirmation Hearing – The greatest distraction of my week has been the Senate Confirmation Hearings. 4 days of high drama and brilliant oratory. All toward the determination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh‘s worthiness to replace Justice Kennedy on the US Supreme Court Justice. It was a rollicking, hold-on-to-your-seat experience for those present and for the rest of us watching remotely. The last day when witnesses (i.e. non-Senators) gave their testimony of Kavanaugh’s fitness for the Supreme Court was especially gripping.Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Don’t miss the 4th day of hearings when witnesses gave their testimony (5 in favor and 5 opposing) of Judge Kavanaugh’s character and judicial preparedness for taking a chair on the Supreme Court. YouTube video linked here (1 hr 39 min into the video begins the witness panel).
The last of those witnesses was Akhil Reed Amar, Law professor at Yale University, a registered Democrat, staunch liberal who voted for Hillary Clinton. He actually gave testimony in support of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Here are his closing remarks:
“Responsible naysayers must become yaysayers of a sort; they must
specifically name better nominees realistically on the horizon.
If not Brett, who?
Distinguished Republicans: Kavanaugh is your team’s brightest judicial star. Rejoice!
Distinguished Democrats: Don’t be mad; be smart, and be careful what you wish for. Our party controls neither the White House nor the Senate. If you torpedo Kavanaugh, you’ll likely end up with someone worse —less brilliant, less constitutionally knowledgeable, less studious, less open-minded, less good for America.”
Senate Concludes Kavanaugh Hearing; Confirmation Likely – MPR News
Akhil Reed Amar Testimony Transcript
4) A Fostering Film – A funny and endearing and hopeful film on fostering children debuts this Fall. All I know about Instant Family is the trailer but it’s already on my calendar. Have a look:
5) Things That Have Almost Always Been – British novelist Matt Haig‘s book Notes on a Nervous Planet came to my attention via the following Twitter photo:Photo Credit: Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haig, iAuthor on Twitter
Haig writes and speaks about anxiety and depression. He knows these experiences personally. I have only read quotes from his books but they are now on my “to-read” list.
The page above from his book Notes on a Nervous Planet was a beautiful study into the things that endure. I’m surprised that Haig describes himself as an atheist. Comforted by the things that have almost always been would seem to lend itself to the great comfort of knowing the God who has always been. No matter his thinking on this, his writing reminds us of the wonder of life including the reasons to stay alive (the title of his earlier book).
By the way, this would be an idea for a great night out with a love or night in with a friend – to come up with our own list of the enduring stuff of life.
Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haig
Goodreads Quotes from Notes on a Nervous Planet
Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
Goodreads Quotes from Reasons to Stay Alive
YouTube Video – Matt Haig’s Top 5 Tips on Good Mental Health in a Social Media Age
That’s it for me. How about you? Please comment below about your week’s favorites…or thoughts on mine. Blessings.
Quote: “Leaders aren’t great because they have power; they are great because they empower others.” – Lolly Daskal, TED Talk
Why You Can’t Name the Virtues – Karen Swallow Prior
A Neuroscience Researcher Reveals 4 Rituals that Will Make You Happier – Eric Barker
The State of Your Attention Determines the State of Your Life – Srinivas Rao
TEDed – How the Sugar Affects the Brain
5 Ways to Pray for Trafficked People
Photo Credit: Charles Spurgeon, Prince of Preachers, Facebook