Sunday Superlatives 5/11/14


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free
Somewhere in Colorado, circa 1983

Somewhere in Colorado, circa 1983

IRL…

Best Mom in the Whole World: 
Robin Held, who made every day of my childhood an educational adventure, who taught me to ask questions, laugh easily, and love words, and whose tender heart always exemplified the compassion of Christ. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! You’re the best! 

Online…

Best Story: 
Richard Beck with “In Prison with Ann Voskamp” 

“Why hadn't I read One Thousand Gifts? Jana loved it and said I would like it. It's been a hugely influential book with many at my church. But I judged a book by its cover. I had stereotyped the book, concluding that it was primarily for and speaking into the experiences of women.  And yet, here I was standing in a maximum security prison talking to a male inmate about how profoundly he'd been impacted by the writing of Ann Voskamp.”

Best Perspective: 
Andrea Levendusky with “Parenting in Neverland” 

“The truth? 90% of the time, I am completely unaware that I’m doing this alone. I’m convinced it’s because parenting is beauty and magic, wonder and independence, slamming doors and weepy conversations. Single parenting is not hard because I’m single. It’s hard because it’s parenting. The same way it’s hard for my sister who has eight kids and a loving, doting, present husband. When we talk, our conversations are not comparing my single parenting to her married parenting. When we talk, we are talking about how to get five year olds to eat the food you put in front of them. Parenting is not measured in the amount of hands and bodies, but in the depth of heart and presence.”
 

Best Response: 
Kristen Howerton with “White Privilege Doesn’t Mean What You Think it Means” 

“Being told to check your privilege has nothing to do with apologizing for being white. It has to do with being insensitive to the life experiences of others. ‘Check your empathy skills’ might be a better phrase, but nonetheless, it’s not an attempt to shame someone’s race, but rather to point out that someone is refusing to acknowledge privilege differentials.”

[Related: Listen to Christena Cleveland at 30 Seconds or Less with “Privilege Says...”]

Best Report: 
Kathryn Joyce with “By Grace Alone”

“For years, Protestants have assumed they were immune to the abuses perpetrated by celibate Catholic priests. But Tchividjian believes that Protestant churches, groups, and schools have been worse than Catholics in their response. Mission fields, he says, are “magnets” for would-be molesters; ministries and schools do not understand the dynamics of abuse; and “good ol’ boy” networks routinely cover up victims’ stories to protect their reputations. He fears it is only a matter of time before it all blows up in their faces and threatens the survival of powerful Protestant institutions.” 

Best Quote: 
Peter Enns found this gem from Oswald Chambers 

“Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God’s view. There is only one true liberty— the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.”

Best Sentence: 
Nicholas Kristof with “Bring Back Our Girls”

“The greatest threat to militancy in the long run comes not from drones but from girls with schoolbooks.”
 

Funniest:
Jenny Lawson with “Pinterest Moms: I don’t get it, but I support it” 

“In the last few years there’s been a lot of criticism about “Pinterest moms.” I think the term refers to those parents who do everything so over-the-top that they create mind-boggling Pinterest pages that seem like they should be titled “Dressing For The First Day of Preschool For Under $800” or “101 Things I Had the Governess Do” or “How I was able to retain my white, minimalistic decor by burning all of my children’s things and then finally giving them away.” And I’m not judging.  (Unless you really did give your child away because they didn’t match the decor. I would judge that.)” 

Sweetest: 
Chairs for Charlie 

Truest: 
Kate Wallace at The Junia Project with “Jesus and a Woman’s Place”

“Jesus told a woman to spread the Good News of His resurrection, but we won’t let a woman preach it from the pulpit. Jesus engaged in cross-gender discipleship, but we teach that this is somehow dangerous or overly tempting. Jesus depended on the financial provision of women for the welfare of his ministry, but we teach that men are to be the sole providers in Christian communities. Jesus used female examples in his teaching and spoke about women in his stories, but we teach that Christianity is supposed to have a “masculine feel”.
 

Most Prophetic: 
Nadia Bolz-Weber with “Stop Saying the Church is Dying” 

“…People of God, maybe now is the time for us to take a hard look at the ways in which the church has tended to judge our success on a set of values that perhaps we had no business buying into in the first place.” 
 

Most Powerful: 
Ellen Painter Dollar with “Resemblances”

“That Sunday morning, I understood that Leah’s inheritance is not merely a faulty gene and fragile skeleton, but also the truest kind of compassion—the kind that arises when you recognize your own pain in another, and vice versa.”
 

Most Fascinating: 
Why Do We Abandon Reading Certain Books?

Most Gracious (and Wise and Thoughtful, as always): 
 Brian McLaren responds to Tim Challies' declaration that he is a “false teacher”  

“So if my only option were to be a Christian in the way you are, I simply could not be a Christian. My conscience wouldn’t allow it. My understanding of the Bible wouldn’t allow it. My devotion to Christ wouldn’t allow it. If you want to define me as a false teacher, not a true Christian, etc., etc., you are certainly free to do that, and I don’t hold it against you. I honor you for speaking your mind, and for doing so with far more decency and kindness than some of your colleagues. You are a good man with a good heart, trying to do the right thing.”
 

So, what caught your eye online this week? What’s happening on your blog? 

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