Welcome to my weekly Life Changers, a post where I share my favorite reads around the internet, and hyperbolically call them my “Life Changers”. Hyperboles are my friends. They help me pretend my ordinary life is glamorous. I will not be shamed into using reasonable, honest phrases with integrity.
Oooookay, then. Without further ado, I present to you this week’s LCs. Sitting at the top of the list, my favorite piece of reflection this week:
Let your goal be to humanize as many transactions as possible, not to make perfect decisions.
The sad news of this week is that Brittany Maynard, the 29 year old with terminal illness, and who has publicly advocated for “Death with Dignity” laws, has died. I wrote about her story here, (well, less on the story but more on why Christians can’t seem to make space for minority opinions) and I really appreciated Caleb Wilde’s thoughts on this issue in two separate posts.
As advancements in medical technology continue and as support grows for “Death with Dignity” laws, this is a discussion that you’ll probably have around the water cooler at work, at home with your family and friends and online of your social media forums. And when we talk about people like Brittany Maynard, it’s important to remember the different terms and definitions. And it’s also important that we realize the slippery slope and God arguments aren’t the most helpful in public forums.
And this is the reason it’s so divisive: we’ve given such little thought to end-of-life decisions that when we talk about “death with dignity” our reactions are almost entirely emotional. We react entirely out of anger, or compassion and we have little to say in the vein of reason. We talk about “slippery slope” or we use the “God argument” or we harken back to how we put down our dog when the dog couldn’t walk anymore (which really isn’t helpful to compare people to animals).
7 Signs that Jesus Reveals Himself Most Clearly to the Oppressed – by Christina Cleveland
In each of these signs, Jesus disrupted the inequitable power structure of his day. Rather than revealing himself most clearly to the powerful and privileged, he revealed himself to the marginalized and oppressed. In doing so, he required the powerful to be humbly dependent upon the powerless if they really wanted access to who Jesus was and what he was doing.
Some encouragement for my friends in their 20’s:
When Your 20s Feel Like Darkness that Could Ruin Your Entire Life – by Ed Cyzewski
You can be a total screw up and still be really great.
I might pinterest this or frame it and put it on my wall.
An Interview with Jarrod McKenna – this is so inspiring.
We talk about it in terms of double-victory nonviolence. And it comes from a Martin Luther King quote, where [he] talks about that we will not only win our freedom, but we will win you over in the process, and our victory will be a double victory. And every action, our prayer, and all the workshopping and preparation we do, is so that people not only seek to win freedom for these children and their families, but seek to win over the police and the staff that we’re engaging in the process.
Expecting Less, Discovering More – by Scot McKnight
Ordinary small churches are the norm and the reality of church life, of kingdom-now life.
Pastoring in the reality-called-church means first and foremost pastoring those to whom we are called. It does not mean changing them; it does not mean crushing them with our vision or frustrating them with expectations that they cannot themselves accomplish. It means knowing they God’s and that we are called to foster what God is doing in them. It means patience and forgiveness and grace and joy and love and disappointment and divisions and sad days accompanied by good days.
Why Protestants need some saints of their own – by Jonathan Merritt
Conduct even a cursory review of the saints and you’ll stumble over scores of misfits and outcasts. They were not considered balanced or stable or completely sane by all in their respective communities. Instead, this throng of oddballs was bold and countercultural and unashamed. Saints embody what it means to follow Jesus when we are tempted to play it safe or go with the flow or opt for acceptability over conviction and commitment and passion.
What changed your life this week? Please share your favorite reads or your own post in the comment section.