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A Very British Romance #TVReview #BriFri
1 hour ago
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The life story of Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) — wife of Martin Luther King Jr. and founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center) — as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to the Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds. As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women's, workers’ and gay rights, and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom, and human dignity. Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful all of her life.I left at the end of the evening with this thought about nonviolence:
Violence is holistic; it's how we think as
well as how we act. It's a way of life.
"We must do more than honor a man of this magnitude with just a holiday; we must honor him with action."
"She was called Isabelle, and when she was a small girl her hair changed colour in the time it takes a bird to call to its mate."
Meet Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin — two women born centuries apart, yet bound by a fateful family legacy. When Ella and her husband move to a small town in France, Ella hopes to brush up on her French, qualify to practice as a midwife, and start a family of her own. Village life turns out to be less idyllic than she expected, however, and a peculiar dream of the color blue propels her on a quest to uncover her family’s French ancestry. As the novel unfolds — alternating between Ella’s story and that of Isabelle du Moulin four hundred years earlier — a common thread emerges that unexpectedly links the two women.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark ~ by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley, 2016, children's biography, 9/10
In 1907, explorers discovered a vast treasure trove of ancient scrolls, silk paintings, and artifacts dating from the 5th to 11th centuries A.D. in a long-sealed cave in a remote region of China. Among them, written in Chinese, were scrolls that recounted a history of Jesus' life and teachings in beautiful Taoist concepts and imagery that were unknown in the West. These writings told a story of Christianity that was by turns unique and disturbing, hopeful and uplifting. The best way to describe them is collectively, with a term they themselves use: The Jesus Sutras.That long description is from the dust jacket, and I also like this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh on the front cover:
The origins of Christianity seem rooted in Western civilization, but amazingly, an ancient, largely unknown branch of Christian belief evolved in the East. Eminent theologian and Chinese scholar Martin Palmer provides the first popular history and translation of the sect's long-lost scriptures — all of them more than a thousand years old and comparable in significance to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Gathered, deciphered, and interpreted by a team of expert linguists and scholars, these sacred texts present an inspiring use of Jesus' teachings and life within Eastern practices and meditations — and provide an extraordinary window into an intriguing, profoundly gentler, more spiritual Christianity than existed in Europe or Asia at the time, or, indeed, even today.
Palmer has devoted more than a decade to seeking the extant writings and other evidence of this lost religion. His determined search eventually led him to rediscover one of the earliest Christian monasteries. At the site was an 8th century pagoda still intact. Within it Palmer and his team found more evidence, including statues, underground passageways, and artifacts, that helped them uncover and re-create the era and rituals of the Taoist Christians.
The Taoist Christians, who wrote the Jesus Sutras recognized equality of the sexes, preached against slavery, and practiced nonviolence toward all forms of life. In particular, this tradition offered its followers a more hopeful vision of life on earth and after death than the dominant Eastern religions, teaching that Jesus had broken the wheel of karma and its consequent punishing, endless reincarnations.
Vividly re-creating the turbulence of a distant age that is remarkably evocative of our own times, Palmer reveals an extraordinary evolution of spiritual thought that spans centuries. A thrilling modern quest that is also an ancient religious odyssey, The Jesus Sutras shares a revolutionary discovery with profound historical implications — imparting timeless messages and lessons for men and women of all backgrounds and faiths.
"The Jesus Sutras tells a valuable history of the beautiful teachings of a faith built on living practices of brotherhood and peace. The Sutras show us the interbeing nature of Jesus, Buddha, Tao, people, cultures, transformation, salvation, and unity through deep and mindful living."Claire @ The Captive Reader and Linda @ Silly Little Mischief that encourages us to share the names of books we checked out of the library, but Claire hasn't posted a Mr. Linky this week.
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Modern humanity has accepted a truncated, impoverished definition of life. Focusing solely on material realities, we have forgotten that joy, purpose, and meaning come from a life that is both immersed in the temporal and alive to the transcendent. We have, in other words, ceased to live in God. Moltmann shows us what that life of joy and purpose looks like. Describing how we came to live in a world devoid of the ultimate, he charts a way back to an intimate connection with the biblical God. He counsels that we adopt a "theology of life," an orientation that sees God at work in both the mundane and the extraordinary and that pushes us to work for a world that fully reflects the life of its Creator. Moltmann offers a telling critique of the shallow values of consumerist society and provides a compelling rationale for why spiritual sensibilities and encounter with God must lie at the heart of any life that seeks to be authentically human.I'm slowly getting back into the study of theology. So far I've only managed to read the Preface (3 pages) and the Introduction (20 pages) of this book, but it's a start. This book contributes to the theology of life that Moltmann began with
The Spirit of Life: A Universal Affirmation, 1992
The Source of Life: The Holy Spirit and the Theology of Life, 1997
"Compassion for myself pulls me away from fretting about things that are out of my control. Compassion for others pulls me toward actions that might make a difference while working with like-minded people."Holding Up Your Corner: Talking about Race in Your Community (2017). It overlaps with our study of compassion, so today I'll suggest that we in my study group take a look at what Johnson is encouraging us to do. The actions he suggests will make a difference, like Joy's actions while working with like-minded people. First, we need to listen.
"People who are hurting need to be affirmed in their hurt; people who are angry need to be affirmed in their anger" (pp. 54, 60).Sunday Salon — at separate computers in different time zones — to talk about our lives and our reading.
|After the carnage at Sandy Hook in December 2012|
1. Paul Krugman, The Opposite of Carnage, 1 hour agoEventually, I learned that Trump had said yesterday in his speech, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now." Twitter had fun with his use of the word, and Dictionary.com reported that the word spiked in lookups. In case you're interested, here's their definition of the word:
2. a church for starving artists, Carnage and Me, 13 hours ago
Carnage = the slaughter of a great number of people, as in battle; butchery; massacre.Merriam-Webster.com also saw a spike in lookups.
"Carnage ('great and usually bloody slaughter or injury, as in battle') spiked in lookups on January 20th, 2017, following President Donald Trump’s use of the word in his inauguration speech.Okay, did I miss it? Who was slaughtered yesterday? Merriam-Webster explained why the word was trending.
"Trump’s use of the word was a decidedly figurative one, as he appeared to not be referring to actual bloodshed, but rather to what he feels is a social and economic desolation."Ah! So an American carnage is decidedly different from, say, carnage in Syria or even in Sandy Hook. The Guardian reported:
"The new 45th president of the United States coined the sinister phrase 'American carnage' to vividly conjure an image of inner cities he said were afflicted by crime, a political elite that had forgotten ordinary people, and a landscape of rusted factories like tombstones."After the headline "President vows to end 'American carnage'," BBC News said:
"The Trump administration has only listed six issues on the [White House] website: energy, foreign policy, jobs and growth, military, law enforcement and trade deals. Critics pointed out the revamped site made no mention of civil rights, LGBT rights, healthcare or climate change."Let me end with this from Carnage and Me:
"Why do our leaders – especially those with zero military experience – so brazenly threaten war? DJT on December 22, 2016 on Twitter said that 'The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.' None of us has yet witnessed the carnage that a 21st Century nuclear war could bring."
"Eventually I want to get it choreographed and danced to locally. I did have a variation of it performed in Kampala, Uganda. It is about a metaphorical family getting through a day where it swings from a feeling of hopelessness to a sense of hope and back and forth. It eventually celebrates all of us who have overcome that feeling of hopelessness and moved forward."a prayer for this day that I, too, can pray. She prays for these and more:
This book equips pastors to respond with confidence when crises occur, lower their own inhibitions about addressing this topic, and reclaim their authority as prophetic witnesses and leaders in order to transform their communities. Preachers want to be preaching prophetically on racially rooted injustice in their communities, but the problems seem irreversible, intractable, and overwhelming. They do not know what to do or how to begin. And so, even during times of crisis, pastors and other church leaders typically do less than they know they could and should. This book provides practical, foundational guidance, showing pastors how to address injustice. The phrase "holding up your corner" comes from Mark 2: 1–5 in which four people take action in order to help another person. When we feel empowered to speak out about the injustice or inequity in our community, we are holding up our corner. When we step up to meet a particular problem of injustice or inequity and proactively do something about it.
Hochschild embarks on a journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country, a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets. She goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, she finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, and the elusive American dream. Political choices make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild helps us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America and answers the crucial question: Why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?
We white people should choose "conver-sation starters that have nothing to do with identifying a person by where they're from, what they do for work, or any other sorting and ranking criteria." For example (from p. 215): "So what was the most interesting thing that happened in your day today?"
"You could say that Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life has been one disagreement after another. Disagreement with creaky old ideas. With unfairness. With Inequality. Ruth has disagreed, disapproved, and differed. She has objected. She has resisted. She has dissented. Disagreeable? NO. Determined? YES."
"Though the digital clock on the bedside table in his hotel room read 5:17, Jack Griffin, suddenly wide awake, knew he wouldn't be able to get back to sleep."I got this novel from the Crown Center library. It's a duplicate copy, so Donna and I culled it to be donated. I'll read it first. A summary:
For Griffin, all paths, all memories, converge at Cape Cod. The Cape is where he took his childhood summer vacations, where he and his wife, Joy, honeymooned, where they decided he’d leave his LA screenwriting job to become a college professor, and where they celebrated the marriage of their daughter Laura’s best friend. But when their beloved Laura’s wedding takes place a year later, Griffin is caught between chauffeuring his mother’s and father’s ashes in two urns and contending with Joy and her large, unruly family. Both he and she have also brought dates along. How in the world could this have happened? It's about marriage, family, and all the other ties that bind.
This book provides the long-needed grounding for both liberation and process theologies and a view of both God and the church that emphasizes community based on freedom rather than authority. People arrive at their own truth in their free and loving inclination towards one another, so Moltmann is inviting us to a "social" understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity.We used this book in Walt Lowe's class at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in the spring of 1986. I have notes in the margins and underlined passages through about half the book, which means I never finished reading the whole thing. Obviously, I don't remember specifics from a class I took 31 years ago, but I learned enough about Moltmann's thinking that I later chose him as the theologian to emulate in my preaching class. Here are some of the things I underlined:
"The world of growing interdependencies can no longer be understood in terms of 'my private world'." (p. 19).Just thinking myself back into Moltmann's way of thinking.
"In this chapter we are trying to develop a doctrine of theopathy" (p. 25). Theopathy = religious emotion excited by the contemplation of God.
"The living God is the loving God" (p. 38).
"Awareness means knowing-with, feeling-with and suffering-with. It is only through pain that living things arrive at awareness of one another and of themselves" (p. 39).
"Misery is the lot of anyone who sins against God. This misery is already inhyerent in the sin itself. That is why the sinner is not really a wrongdoer who has to be punished in addition. He is someone pitiable, and we must have compassion on him" (p. 50).
"True freedom is not 'the torment of choice,' with its doubts and threats; it is simple, undivided joy in the good" (p. 55).
"The triune God reveals himself as love in the fellowship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. His freedom therefore lies in the friendship which he offers men and women, and through which he makes them his friends. His freedom is his vulnerable love, his openness..." (p. 56).
"If God is love he is at once the lover, the beloved and the love itself" (p. 57).
"His [Jesus's] kingdom is the kingdom of 'compassion'" (p. 70).
"God is silent. This is the experience of hell and judgment" (p. 77).
"Finally, it is important to notice that it is only here on the cross that, for the first and only time in his life, the Son addresses God, not as Father but as God (Hebrew Eloheni, Aramaic Eloi)" (p. 80).
1. If I go to the kitchen and sit at my empty bowl, she knows to feed me.Most people are able to learn things like that. I have trained Bonnie, however, to do an additional task.
2. If I jump up on the table beside the place Bonnie keeps my treats, she knows I want treats.
3. If I run to the door, it means I'm anxiously awaiting our nightly ritual of taking a walk down the hall so I can explore what's going on. I hear sounds from behind those closed doors, sounds like televisions, and I smell smells coming under the doors of what people have eaten.
4. If I sit on the zippered part of my carrier, she knows I want to go visit Donna. (I used to have to get inside it before she understood.)See that photo up above? Yes, I'm sitting there, but Bonnie was wasting time taking a picture of me. I watch her to be sure she doesn't get distracted by something like her laptop, but she isn't perfect. Sometimes she says we can't go because it's the middle of the night. Sometimes she claims Donna isn't at home, but I say we can't know that until we go check it out. So c'mon c'mon c'mon, let's go now!
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"Exercises generally fall into four main categories: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Though we describe them separately, some activities fit into several categories. For example, many endurance activities also help build strength, and strength exercises can help improve balance" (p. 12).The categories (p. 13):
"How on earth did you do it? ... What was all that noise about? ... Did I hear shooting? ... Who was playing the violin? ... How did you move all that furniture? ... Where did that parrot come from? ... Did I hear a fire engine? ... Who were you talking to? ... Am I imagining things, Sandy?" And Sandy tells him, "The answers are all in the book, Grandad!"Now the surprise I found online. Amazon has a "poor copy" for £490.00 in the UK, and AbeBooks has a copy for US$ 796.86 shipped from the UK (maybe the same book?) and two in "very good" condition for US$ 334.71 and US$ 15.38. My copy, found in a free bin at a used book store several years ago, is in poor shape. Some pages have been torn (but none ripped out), and the book was discarded from a library in Louisiana. My cover is in good shape compared to the image above that I found online, with only bumped corners. The pages could be taped back together, and all the words and pictures are there. Neither of my libraries has a copy. What would you pay to own this book?
Bonnie Reynolds ― inside the front coverShe also annotated sections of the ballad and wrote a list of words in the back that her teacher must have been trying to teach them:
Central High School
Bonnie Reynolds ― inside the back cover
Bonnie Reynolds ― one page in from the back
medifor ― [metaphor]Oops on her spelling! Since she's the one who taught me lots of big words, like "masticate" (to chew), I'd have fun teasing her if she hadn't died in 1979. She also goofed when noting the meaning of a word. "Apostrophe is addressing lifeless things or abstract things as though they were persons." Nope, that would be personification. Oh, well, it's fun to think my Auntie was once a girl in school.
Presonification ― [personification]
1-3-17 Wendy corrected me (in the comments below):
The definition for apostrophe is correct. It is a kind of personification in which the speaker addresses a concept or object. An example: "With how sad steps, o Moon, thou climbs't the sky."
I looked it up and found that Dictionary.com defines "apostrophe" as a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea, as “O Death, where is thy sting?” Ha! I knew "apostrophe" sometimes meant a digression, but I didn't realize it was in the form of an address and I didn't connect it with personification. So thanks to nearly-one-hundred-year-old notes from that teacher's class, Wendy's comment, and this explanation from an online dictionary, I've learned something! Thanks, Wendy.
I rescued this book from a free bin outside a used bookstore many years ago, because it was one I'd used in high school myself. Several names I remember are inscribed inside this 718-page anthology, so whoever used it was possibly in my class. She also slipped a newspaper clipping of a boy in uniform (ROTC?) between the pages. Since we didn't buy the books we used at our school, I can only surmise that, having stamped it repeatedly with the name of her club and having written all over it and checked each footnote she read, she was required by the school to pay for the damaged book ― and she kept it.I recognize many of the stories, poems, articles, nonfiction, drama, and a complete novel (Silas Marner by George Eliot) included in this heavy tome (yes, I know that adjective is redundant). Some of them stand out for me, and I may read them before donating the book to a book sale.
He drew a circle that shut me out ―
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!