On New Year’s Eve I wrote “The Top 10 things I’m thankful for in 2012” on my Facebook page. Number four was “Clarity of call and message.” A friend asked in a comment below the post: “How in your own life has this played out? I'm at a crossroads here and It's difficult for me to discern this right now … Feel like I'm just drifting.”
Many of the people sitting in pews across America understand what my friend is going through. “Drifting,” that’s how he put it. In fact, I think it’s a question many people are wrestling with in their daily lives. There are so many issues out there. There are so many hills to die on. There is such deep division in our politics and in the church. Wading through the sound bites gets tiring. How can one make sense of it all? It’s tempting to just give up and disengage like the many Christians did in the mid-20th century.
But we cannot.
Nothing quite welcomes the spring-time like a Girl Scout cookie milkshake. In Washington D.C. Batman is making his rounds to childrens hospitals, and the Supreme Court is debating where to order take out from. Yesterday, Will Ferrell announced a sequal to Anchorman on Conan, and Earl Scruggs is remembered for popularizing the finger-picked banjo. Musical instruments are made out of jelly, Chicago travelers enjoy beer on the train, Law and Order's Christopher Meloni is the "Kony Hunter," and more... Click to read today's Links of Awesomeness...
The Seattle Space Needle is transformed into an Angry Birds slingshot, horror characters imagined in their old age, mashups of classic art with pop culture figures, Facebook's new headquarters and QR code roof, a 45 foot paper airplane, a bald eagle, a fox and two cats hang out on a porch in Alaska, and Hall & Oates are covered in a moving vehicle. See these and more links on today's Links of Awesomeness...
Experience the Hunger Games... a history of dystopian literature, tips for surviving the environmental apocalypse, a spoof Coca-Cola ad, soundtrack music from Arcade Fire, fans of the games depicted in charts, American voices respond to the film, and a longer, slightly more accurate book title.
A few links on some creative outdoor sculptures, the etymology of the name Spider-Man, Disney's Bible theme-park that was never made, a new form of mashups, President Obama and Entourage, and cover of Adele played on the Chinese zither.
Take a few minutes to catch up with some of the newest and funniest videos circling around the internet (and the Sojourners office). Improv Everywhere's prank at a TED talk, Darth Vader on a unicycle with bagpipes, pigs chase a dog around a living room, Willy Wonka, Rube Goldberg, and dueling banjos... Click to see today's Links of Awesomeness, video edition.
Education in urban ecology, children recreate a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, one goofy trip to the grocery store, art in the snow, Batman takes Toronto. Discover this and more in today's afternoon links round-up...
Sam Phillips is achingly honest.
Whether she's singing about relationships — with loved ones, the world or God — politics, art, the church, Aimee Semple McPherson or Christmastime, you can count on Sam to bring her singularly pure voice and the truth. She is true blue (and one of her favorite guitars is as red and shiny as RudolfOn her new album, Solid State: Songs from the Long Play, Sam has two songs that have quickly become new favorite Christmas tunes for me. One is explicitly about Christmas, and the other is not, but both speak eloquently (and truthfully) about the mystery and melancholy that the season brings to many of us.
In "It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas," Sam talks about missing someone special during the holidays. The lyrics are sad, her voice is sweet, and the juxtaposition of the two strikes a deep chord in my heart. True. Difficult. Beautiful.