Sunday Superlatives 6/30/13

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free
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Happy anniversary to my amazing parents, Peter and Robin, who celebrate 40 years of adventures today! From riding mules to the bottom of the Grand Canyon together, to giving two girls the happiest childhood imaginable, to touching the lives of thousands of students through the years, they make quite a team. I am grateful beyond words to have them as an example. Here’s to many more memories for Team Peter and Robin! 

Around the blogosphere…

Post of the Week: 
Jamie the Very Worst Missionary with “Taking Back Eden” 

“Jesus stands on the side of the broken, the outcast, the scandalous. He sees us at the very core of creation, naked and unashamed, meant to walk in a garden now locked to humanity. He sees us, hungry for knowledge and starved for love, eating from the first tree in front of our faces, plucking the fruits of deceit and selfish ambition, snacking on lust, stuffing ourselves with greed, sucking away at vanity. And still He comes to us without condemnation - without shame.”

Best Story: 
Victorian Elizabeth Barnes with “Proving once and for all that YOU NEVER KNOW what’s on the other end of a Craigslist ad” 

“Is there any description that could possibly be more appealing to me than something that looks like a KINGDOM? No.  No there is not.”

Best Point: 
Micah J. Murray with “I Am Not a Sex-Fueled Robot” 

“No. Men and women are not wired by God at all. We are flesh and blood and breath and electricity all bound up together in skin. We are whole human beings fully alive. Wires are for robots.”

Best Photoblog:
Buzzfeed with “The 2013 Running of the Interns” 

Best Reflection: 
Andrea Palpant Dilley (at Micha Boyett’s Place) with “Be Thou My Vision

“I imagine a series of concentric circles where everyone else sits at the epicenter and I roam the outer rim, struggling with an ongoing desire for entrance to the inside. When I fight my way in to the next stage of concentric circles, I find it wanting, and when I find it wanting, I’m forced back into a lesson that I’ll learn and relearn over a lifetime: my sense of identity and self worth have to derive not from some illusory inner circle but from the more enduring inner sanctum of faith.”

Best Writing:
John Blase with “Softer Gaze”

“Look. Do you see them? You have to look into the pages.”

Most Relatable: 
Brian Zahnd with 
A Premodern Sacramental Eclectic” 

“We need the whole body of Christ to properly form the body of Christ. This much I’m sure of: Orthodox mystery, Catholic beauty, Anglican liturgy, Protestant audacity, Evangelical energy, Charismatic reality — I need it all!”

Most Beautiful: 
Leigh Cramer with “Sisterhood and the Beauty of Sharing Your Story

“There was a release in the telling and afterward they prayed over me. Tina gave thanks for the minor chords in my life and Hilary asked for the release of blessing and each one gave me some new insight about how God might use me and how the strands of my life are weaving into something beautiful. This was my experience of Uganda and Burundi. I cannot tell you the stories apart from these friends.”

Most Thoughtful:  
Andy Hinds at The New York Times with “Why I want to choose the ‘disadvantaged’ local school (and why I might not)

“I’m still bullish on the elementary school down the street though. Instead of thinking in terms of ‘sacrifices,’ I’m imagining an experience in which we’ll all be connected to our neighborhood and its families through the school, which should be a hub of the community instead of a forgotten outpost that happens to be located at its center.”

Most Challenging
Christina Bradic at World Vision’s “Strong Women, Strong World” blog with “Do we need feminism?” 

“A reality-based, male-respecting, judicious feminism could greatly help women both in the United States and throughout the world. I call it “freedom feminism.”

Most Likely to Have a Second Career in Cartooning:  
Rachel Marie Stone with “How Not to Help Someone Who is Hurting (With Illustrations)

“It’s amazing how little Jesus preached at people who were hurting, reserving his harshest and most preachy and advice-giving words for those who were pretty sure they had this whole God thing entirely figured out. And it’s equally amazing how he chose simply to be with–and EAT WITH–people who were struggling with all kinds of problems, and, yes, to use that unpopular word, sins.”

Posts I Wrote Elsewhere…

At Q Ideas: 
Modesty: I don’t think it means what you think it means” 

“What I’ve only just begun to realize is that these two extremes represent different sides of the same coin. While popular culture tends to disempower women by telling them they must dress to get men to look at them, the modesty culture tends to disempower women by telling them they must dress to keep men from looking at them. In both cases, the impetus is placed on the woman to accommodate her clothing or her body to the (varied and culturally relative) expectations of men. In both cases, it becomes the woman’s job to manage the sexual desires of men, and thus it is seen as her fault if a man ignores her on the one hand or objectifies her on the other. Often, these two cultures combine to send out a pulse of confusing messages: “Look cute … but not too cute! Be modest … but not frumpy! Make yourself attractive … but not too attractive!” Women are left feeling ashamed of their bodies as they try desperately to contort around a bunch of vague, ever-changing ideals. It’s exhausting, really, dressing for other people.” 

At the CNN Belief Blog:
Not All Religious Convictions Are Written in Stone

“A person of conviction is not one who is unyielding to change, but one whose beliefs evolve based on new information, new movements of the Spirit, new biblical insights and, yes, new friends.”

On the Blog…

Most Popular Post: 
Growing up in SGM (by Hännah Ettinger)

“If you've believed the lie that your worst day is better than you, the sinner, deserve, if you've identified yourself with the name of Sinner for so long it's inseparable from your self-confidence, let me dare you to believe that you are worth more than that. The New Testament overwhelmingly refers to those who love and follow Jesus as "believers" or "brethren" or "saints." Not sinners. Saints.”

Most Popular Comment: 
In response to “Eye on the Sparrow: What I’ve learned from my irrationally personal relationship with a pair of birds,” Joanna wrote: 

“There is a very good reason Jesus picked the sparrow. You see, in the bird watching world, sparrows are called LBJ's or little brown jobs. They are the most insignificant of birds, no fancy feathers, they sing no special song or do any kind of crazy dance to impress their mates. They are common and ordinary and no one ever really pays attention to the sparrow. So who was Jesus speaking to in those passages? The poor and insignificant. They had no money, no fancy robes or home to invite powerful people to for dinner. So when Jesus spoke those words, they knew exactly what he was saying and it must have been so wonderful to know that God cared for them just as much as he cared for the fancy people too!”


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


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