While I may have been lax lately about posting here, I have been reading blogs like usual. Here are some of the interesting/thought provoking things I’ve found recently…

An Amazing Story: My Immigration Story

On Ethnocentric Definitions of Success: Why Our Definition of Success is Problematic
To Driscoll—and thousands like him—the “success” of any church or ministry is measured by the number of people saved and the number of celebrity preachers who preach there. I would go one step further and say that not only do most U.S. churches see growth and celebrity as proof of success, but that many of these same people assume that our standard of success must, necessarily, be the measure of success used by the rest of the world. In his hubris, Driscoll reveals the American church’s self-centered belief that our model of church should be the model for the church universal. 

On Remembering Community: Not By My Bootstraps
Privately, I judge.  Not always, but sometimes.  Turning off of the expressway, I see the man by the exit ramp, jangling cup in hand. I quickly assess him for injury, handicaps, a sign declaring that he is blind or deaf or a Vietnam vet.  Is he worthyof my quarters or dimes?  I thought I saw a “HELP WANTED” sign outside the nearby McDonald’s.  When was the last time he applied for a job?

On Love In Unexpected Arrivals: Where Love Fits In
But there was love… much, much love. The kind that comes raining down like invisible pearls and echoes of the whispered prayers of friends and strangers. The kind that has me choking back tears at not just the disgrace of a world where foster care is needed, but the beauty in it, too. 

On Good Reasons to Read Literature: Ten Reasons Why Great Literature Makes US Missional People
Now, when I say “great literature,” I do not mean plot-driven, escapist novels where Amish people fall in love or that cool poem on the greeting card. I also don’t mean some of the nihilistic or despairing literature for which the twentieth century is famous. Great literature is carefully written, uses language in novel ways, and displays a studied appreciation of technique, following yet transcending the rules of its craft.
Contact with the arts is vital for us to become fully missional people. Here’s ten reasons why this is true of great literature:

On The “Other” Worship Wars: The Truth About “Effeminate” Worship
Think about that. In its current form, this denunciation of “feminized Christianity” predates not only 1960s feminism but radio, movies, penicillin, and the Model T. They’re not offering a radical new cultural critique. They’re reanimating a musty old religious antique. It’s an outdated cultural meme masquerading as a timeless theological truth. We’re not just beating a dead horse; several generations of horses have come and gone while we’re still beating the spot where we think the first horse’s body decomposed a century ago. 

On The Sad Humor of the Divisions We Make: The ‘Best’ Religious Joke
Comedian Emo Philips tells of walking across a bridge and seeing a man standing on the edge, ready to jump off. He ran over and said, “Stop!  Don’t do it!”
“Why shouldn’t I?” he said.

On McDonalds and English Students in China: Students’ Responses to a Quiz on McDonald’s, Presented as Evidence that I Might Not Be Cutting It As an American Culture Teacher…
Americans is just convient, simple, quickly, but Chinese people are comfortable, beautiful, and complex.