Friday, July 17, 2009

One Good Thing To Digest For My Birthday

(UPDATE: Follow her posts via this link)

Since this happens the day of my birth, feel free to support this lady in lieu of gifts and so forth. (Feel free to click on the blogathon pic on the sidebar as well):

Why am I reading this?

I am Twyla, I live in Saskatoon, SK, Canada, and I just graduated from my B.F.A Honors in Fine Art and moved into the work force and away from home. My internet handle is newsong, and I am an avid online journaller. Blogging has infiltrated my daily life, and I write not only about my experiences, but about my thoughts on many intellectual and personal topics. For two years I blogged for a charity called Not For Sale, an active group spreading awareness about modern day slavery and supporting groups that aid in the mission to abolish it. This year I am tackling a new kind of slavery - a mental illness affecting many people, and one that I myself was victim to for many years. This post is asking you to support me in Blogathon 2009 and my cause by sponsoring the charity I have chosen, and spreading the word about this event. Read on!

What on earth is a blogathon?

Blogathon 2009 is made up of an organized group of bloggers who, starting at 6am PDT on Saturday, July 25th, 2009, (which is 7am Saskatchewan, SK, Canada time, where I am based) will be writing a blog post every half hour for 24 hours - a total of 48 posts each. Many bloggers including myself choose to theme their posts, do a little bit of prep ahead of time for big projects, or offer incentives for different sums of money donated. Each blogger chooses a charity where donations can be made online, and in my case offline as well. There are over 200 bloggers currently registered with all sorts of charities. Our motto? Stay up late. Make a difference....

What charity are you supporting?

The charity I have chosen to sponsor for this year is called Looking Glass and is based in Burnaby, B.C., Canada. Like my previous charities, it's about a type of slavery. But for me this year is about something much more personal. Some of you who know me well may be aware that this year I realized I had and was subsequently diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder. I am on a fast road to recovery after a lot of prayer and support from friends and I have begun learning how to deal with the many aspects of the disease and the habits it created in me.

Binge Eating Disorder is a mental and physical illness characterized by compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control and powerless to stop. Often it is caused by the initial impulse to seek solace in food when it is the most available pleasure. People with binge eating disorder struggle with feelings of guilt, disgust, and depression. They worry about what the compulsive eating will do to their bodies and beat themselves up for their lack of self-control. They desperately want to stop binge eating, but they feel like they can’t. According to the National Institutes of Health, 2 percent of all U.S. adults suffer from compulsive overeating—making binge eating disorder more common than bulimia or anorexia. {get introduced...}
[via Deperate for changing, starving for truth]

Saturday, July 04, 2009

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
-C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Critical Patriotism

As I write this, it is already 04 July 2009. It’s Independence Day, the anniversary of the day (04 July 1776) when American colonists declared their independence from the U.K. It’s the birthday of this republic, the United States of America, although our current form of government did not set until 1790. Throughout this land on Sunday, churches will be filled with pastors giving sermons on freedom or on “God and country,” etc. Most of them will be pretty bad. Some of them will be positively idolatrous–reducing the God of all creation to a tribal deity that somehow cares more for this nation than others–a truly blasphemous idea.

Some preachers will do better....

A Christian patriotism must be an “eyes wide open” critical patriotism that is always calling for repentence and reform. Because Christians can never forget that no nation, no government, is anywhere close to the standards of the Rule of God. Our first loyalty is to that other “kingdom” (forgive the patriarchal language, the political meaning comes through better) which is not from this world–but which will overthrow the Powers and Authorities of this world. We are loyal first to the “God Revolution,” and second to the global church (the scattered People of God) and third to the whole world, in and out of the church, as God’s beloved creation. Only after that, as a lesser loyalty, can we be lovers of our own nation and government.

Nationalists and jingoists, therefore, will always find Christians to be suspect. We will not appear patriotic enough for them. Too bad. {full post}
[via Levellers]
The American view has tended neither toward the death of God nor His reconfiguration as the foundation of some American civil religion. Writers often discuss the American civil religion, but generally describe it as some variant of Biblical religion with an active God.

From the beginning, Americans have not grappled in the same way with the contradiction between intense personal longings and impersonal science or theology. Consider our Declaration of Independence. The theoretical core of the Declaration—on self-evident truths, unalienable rights, and instituting government—speaks of “Nature’s God,” a Deist creator, the source of the impersonal laws of nature. Christian members of the Continental Congress insisted that two other references to God be added to the eminently modern Jefferson and Franklin’s draft, and so the rousing conclusion, ending with “sacred Honor,” speaks of a Creator-God as the “Supreme Judge” of us all and as the source of “divine Providence.” Thanks to this legislative compromise, the Declaration offers up a “Nature’s God” Who also knows and cares about each of us. Through most of our history, such compromises between modern and Christian Americans have considerably reduced the distance between Christian and modern views of the person’s natural and theological environment. {full post}
[via The New Atlantis]

Independence Day: Celebrating Courage to Challenge the Situation
[via The Situationist]

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Geometry of Love, If You Imagine...

And so there I was, awkwardly trying to convey why I find this reassuring, why I find "We can't know" so much more pregnant with hope than "We don't know," when I suddenly realized that I hadn't yet named the reason or the source for that hopefulness, and that trying to do so might sound like nothing more than one more hollow, funeral-week platitude.

Flatland is a fine little parable as far as it goes, an invaluable illustration of geometry and physics and of finite creatures' inability to grasp the infinities that surround them, but it has little to say about love. And while there is much that we do not and cannot know, if you want to know what I think or guess or believe or hope, it is this: The universe is governed by love.

"Love?" the tesseract says. "That's nonsense. There's no such thing as love, only ..." {full post}
[via slacktivist]

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Lots To See

[via Indexed]