Five Friday Favorites

As I am up to my eyeballs in holiday tunes for future posts, not to mention college coursework, (As in a creative type without scientific background, cramming for an Oceanography final – oy vey), I thought I’d take a short break today from the Playlist Series and share some of my favorite reads from around the blogisphere this week.

 Beth Moore:  To New Writers, With Love: 

(Note: I am a regular reader of Beth’s blog, and have done more of her Bible studies than probably any other Bible teacher.  However, I have rarely, if ever, read a post from her discussing specifically just the craft of writing.  This post is so wonderful, and makes me wish she’d write a book about writing!)

“Write on, sister or brother. Don’t wait for a publisher or a book deal. A true writer has to write even with no one to read. Scribble down rogue phrases and incomplete sentences as they come whether or not they seem strung together. Write on the backs of sales receipts or the palm of your other hand. Just write! That book is in there somewhere.   If it seems slow, wait for it. (Habakkuk 2:3)

And when it comes, may God speak.”

Rachel Held Evans: “Biblical Womanhood” and the Illusion of Clarity: A Response to Kathy Keller

(Note: I by no means wish to misquote anyone or any part of this article by including a short excerpt below.  However, it is quite long, so I merely wish to give you a sound byte of it’s contents to whet your appetites.  It is well worth your time to read.  Rachel’s words are fair, insightful, intelligent and compassionate.  I am currently reading her book and am absolutely loving every word! I will no doubt have glowing words to say about it in a future post.)

To begin, I want to make it clear that I respect Mrs. Keller immensely. I know her hard work and service over at Redeemer Presbyterian Church far exceeds her job description and that many, many people have been blessed by her wisdom, experience, insight into Scripture, and grace…”   

  “The purpose of my project was to unpack and explore the phrase “biblical womanhood”—mostly because, as a woman, the Bible’s instructions and stories regarding womanhood have always intrigued me, but also because the phrase “biblical womanhood” is often invoked in the conservative evangelical culture to explain why women should be discouraged from working outside the home and forbidden from assuming leadership positions in the church…”

.”..But when we turn the Bible into an adjective and stick it in front of another loaded word (like manhood, womanhood, politics, economics, values, marriage, and even equality), we tend to ignore or downplay the parts of the Bible that don’t fit our presuppositions. In an attempt to simplify, we force the Bible’s cacophony of voices into a single tone, to turn a complicated, beautiful, and diverse holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. And more often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says…”

“…It will not do to tell a woman that she is forbidden from preaching the gospel from a pulpit, and when she asks why, to simply tell her it’s because of “biblical womanhood.”  If the overwhelming response by women to this book has taught me anything it’s that Christian women are not going to take that phrase for granted any more. We are ready to unpack it, to scrutinize it, to debate it, to discuss it—not out of a hatred of Scripture, but out of a love for it!…”

“…Some may be disappointed that I did not conclude the book with a list of rules and acceptable roles. But that’s the thing about love. It can’t be systematized or rendered into a list of bullet points. It has to be lived. That is the challenge, and the call, for all who follow Jesus…”

Annie Downs: Speak Louder Than the Nutella

(Note: I met Annie at the Allume Conference, and can I just say, she is such a kindred spirit!  Her speaking session made me cry tears of joy as I wrote furiously fast notes so as not to lose a drop of her wiser-than-her-years gleaned wisdom.  She made the comment that “When that Nutella post comes out, I’m going to hide under my bed.” To that I say, “Oh, please don’t Annie!  You write and speak truth, and we less brave souls are so much the better and love you for it!” And can I just say, a few years ago in my singleness, I’m sure I would have done this with Trader Joe’s cookie butter…just sayin’…)

“I’m not hungry,” I say into the emptiness of my kitchen, “I’m just alone. And sad. And I’m about to eat this Nutella because something in my brain says that it will satisfy this hurt…”

“God, You’re gonna have to be louder than this Nutella.”

“…And it is true. I need Him more than anything. I am so quick to heal all my hurts in other ways when I should just go to Him, every time. I’m tired of being single? I think Nutella will make it better. I don’t know what it is you turn to – a person? A drink? A food? A television show? – but we all look for an escape hatch when this world hurts too much. I looked my escape hatch right in the door today and decided against it.

I don’t feel better. My phone is still the quietest piece of technology in this whole house and I’m annoyed about it.

But for today, my vice loses, my God wins, and somehow, my heart will survive it all.”


Katie @ The Cardigan Way: Shopping for Good- Holiday Edition: Gifts For Her

(Note: Katie’s blog is one of my new favorites and must-reads.  Though she has written a plethora of posts with delightful prose, this particular post is a delightful because she has assembled quite a fantastic Christmas shopping idea list…with a purpose.  Every one of the items recommended benefits a different charity.) 

These are some of my favorite items featured.

Head on over to The Cardigan Way to see all of the lovely gift ideas & represented charities, and do some early Christmas shopping that will benefit more than the receiver. (Oh, and be sure and check out her 31 days of Lovely Lines series – her quotes from various books are fantastic!)


Sarah Bessey: In Which I Have A (powerful) free download for you: In Which I Am Practicing

(Note: Sarah wrote a beautiful piece of prose, In Which I Am Practicing that generated delightful creative responses!  Various readers  expressed her words in the post in various media forms–one gal even performed it as spoken art/worship at church!  Sarah offers the download of that performance in this post, as well as a lovely printable quote created by a design company. (Click on the post title link above to hear the audio performance and check out the free printable).

“…I’m done with the concert proficiency at Being Right, I’m ready to be Beloved instead.   Look at me, clumsy, and learning to practice goodness and truth, like scales all over again, it’s like I’m born again. I want to practice gentleness and beauty, over and over again, until my fingers find the keys without thought. I am performing the bare basics, once more and then one more time and then again, boldness, discipline, silence, prayer, community, again and again…

I want to practice faithfulness, and practice kindness, I want to fill my ears with the repetitions of wide-eyes and open hands, and innocent fun, holy laughter. I want to practice, with intention, joy…”

What words and images on the web spoke to you this week?



2 comments on “Five Friday Favorites

  1. Sarah – what nice things to say…but I especially loved reading your other favorites of the week! I read Annie’s this week, too – and can relate in other ways, for sure. And…whenever you finish Rachel’s book, I hope you either post a review or let me pick your brain! Haven’t read it yet, but really curious! 🙂 Take care this week, friend! I hope your find lots of time for peace and rest in the craziness of your classes!

  2. Thanks for your kind words as well Katie! I will definitely let you know about Rachel’s book…apparently there was some controversy surrounding it when it was first released, but I really don’t know why – so far, it’s absolutely fantastic! I feel like my fave links posts are so short – but I just don’t have the time with my crazy schedule to feature more than that! 🙂 Hope you are enjoying your weekend, friend!

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