It’s Wednesday, so that means excerpts from some of my favorite blog posts from the past week(ish):

Perhaps we need to let go of this idea we have about words—that they are clearly definable and, when put together in certain ways, carry a singular, solid meaning. Maybe stories should be approached more like paintings: colors, images, and shapes that are open to the viewer’s own story, experiences, and mood. Rather than writing as one making a statement—”This is what this means”—we should try framing our stories in a question: “What does this mean to you?

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God’s solidarity with us is so important to God that God entered into human history to experience this arbitrariness. The experience of Jesus was moments of closeness to God (baptism, transfiguration) and moments of the absence of God (Garden of Gethsemene, Golgotha).

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So I’m turning this rock over in my hands and trying to see the beauty in it. And if beauty cannot be found in it, I’m trying to see hope in it. And if hope cannot be found in it, I am trying to see His goodness in it. And the truth is that His goodness can be seen in every common and broken thing on earth.

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Find your should and make it go away.

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Because the truth is that this world is full of wonderful, godly people who struggle, whether it be financially or physically or mentally. Crappy things happen to the very best folks out there, people living much harder lives than my own. Could I still believe God was good if we never “got out of this phase”?

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It makes Christianity more gritty, dirty and authentic like it mostly shows itself to be in the Bible.  Not this pretty Evangelical facade of “being saved” into some four star hotel.  It makes life now real.  It grounds everything for me.  It grounds me.  It grounds beauty and music and all the beautiful things about life on earth.

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“Viv,” I said, “collecting other people’s chewed gum is one of the grossest things ever.”

Vivian started re-chewing her gum. “That’s what being a mom is like,” she said.

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(War of the Worlds) is one I spent a lot of time researching and analyzing, both in grad school as well as during my time as Radio Curator at the Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media) in New York. I think there are a number of valuable social media lessons we can learn from this broadcast and how it was received by the public.

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When we look down at this scene what would we see Jesus doing amidst the chaos and heartbreak? Can you see him standing at a shelter handing out food and blankets? Easily. In your mind’s eye is he healing the sick and comforting the frightened? Of course. Can you picture him opening the church doors and welcoming in people who need shelter? Without a doubt.

But can you even in your darkest imaginings think of him standing off to one side sermonizing about how it is these people or their parents who have sinned and brought this calamity to pass?

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What’s your favorite post from the last week?