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Federal Way’s World Vision president ready for new role at White House – Seattle Times
Interesting article re faith-based organizations receiving federal funds, and whether or not they should be allowed to hire based on religious beliefs. I love that Stearns, President of World Vision, doesn’t make it JUST about Christians, but brings in other religions, and even Planned Parenthood. He brings it back to an issue of an organization’s mission and internal values:

“We pursue our humanitarian work as a community of people sharing deeply held faith values that express themselves in our concern for and work with the poor. We are no different than other mission-driven organizations that choose to hire people who affirm and embrace their organizational identity and values. Examples include Planned Parenthood and The Nature Conservancy.”

I mean really, can you imagine Planned Parenthood hiring a pro-lifer?

I also love his implication that Christians don’t need to force themselves on the world, but if we just love and serve others the way Jesus calls us to, our integrity will speak for itself:

“World Vision has been receiving federal funds for our work serving the poor for more than 25 years — not because we are Christian, but because of the quality of our programs.”

In the waiting – meditations for Christian Single Women – Practical Theology for Women

Before you dismiss this as inapplicable because you are not single, I would ask you to reconsider. Wendy differentiates between sinful desires, and God-given desires that remain unfulfilled. I found a lot in this essay I could chew on for awhile, if I simply substituted “marriage” with “soaring writing career” or “organized home life” or something else I desire but can’t seem to see fulfilled at the moment.

“God is in charge, He knows what He’s doing in your life, and you can trust that He has not lost control of your circumstances. Not only does God know what He’s doing, His plan for your life reflects both His all-surpassing wisdom and His fathomless love for you. His plan is good and right, and you can TRUST Him with the details of your life.”

The Inauguration Show – This American Life

A refreshing interview in Act II (at about 20:05) with Pastor Joel Hunter, who gave the benediction at the Democratic National Convention. Like Don Miller, who gave the invocation, he was lambasted by conservatives for being “duped” by the Obama campaign. Joel and Ira discussed the the polarizing nature of some organizations, both religious and non-religious, and how damaging combative attitudes can be.

During the interview, Ira Glass asks, “It seems the premise is that it’s damaging for you to even talk to anybody on the other side. What do you think about that?”

Hunter responded, “I think that it’s very harmful to our country, it’s very harmful to our faith that we say we believe in because that kind of very narrow, very negative, very combative approach – first of all does not give a very good image to the One we represent, that was not Jesus’ style. Secondly, if you’re ever to make progress as a country, or even as a faith, the very ones you WANT to talk to are the ones who don’t agree with you.”

Routine = Spontaneity – Studio Elise
Elise is a soul mate, a sister from another mother, my twin – whatever description one would use to describe someone who is EXACTLY LIKE YOU. Take, for instance:

“Artists like myself need freedom to follow impulses. I don’t do well on a rigid schedule. Neither, not surprisingly, do my kids. Instead, I follow a basic morning routine and end the day with a basic evening routine. Every few days I spend a little extra energy (if I have any) in a certain part of the house. Right now I’m focused on my bedroom. I pick up and clean a bit extra in there as I have opportunity. I don’t waste time making long lists of every little thing I have to do each day. My lists now are doable- things like: grocery shopping; make return at the Rack; Greek for dinner. That’s it. I have freedom to view each day as a blank canvas and know that when I return from my adventures, my house will not be a sorry place I don’t want to come home to, but a relaxing, rejuvenating retreat where I refuel for the day ahead.”

And incidentally, I’ve been wiping down the bathroom every morning since I read this post, so thanks for that!

Worship While Overwhelmed – Work and Worship
“I get overwhelmed when I have housework debt and relational debt. I feel like I just can’t catch up and it stops being manageable. I start feeling like I am losing! My joy decreases and I pull myself up by my own bootstraps and get to work. Self- sufficient, Godless behavior kicks in. The challenge is a mission. I get tough and dutiful and feel proud at the finished work. My independent crown is shining bright while I strut my productivity streak in my heart. However, God is not invited into this picture. ”

Lessons from the life of Joseph – Practical Theology for Women
“I have always loved the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. So often, the circumstances of my life have made little sense to me. Sometimes, circumstances just don’t go my way. But other times, people sin against me. Mean, cruel, hurtful sin. And sometimes, the people who sin against me should be the ones who are most for me–my brothers and sisters in Christ. When I can’t reconcile it on my own or see how the pieces could possibly fit together for good, I turn to God’s revelation of Himself through the story of Joseph and I get perspective.”

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