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Here’s what’s caught my eye online lately…

On deciding which lives matter: Friday’s on Faith and Politics: Lives Matter
The fact that I was lucky enough to be born here in the United States does not make my life more valuable than someone born elsewhere. Nothing about the United States makes protecting innocent life at home worth shedding innocent blood abroad. When we deny this fact, we are denying the very essence of personhood that the Imageo Dei, the image of God, imparts to each and every one of us.

Rachel Held Evans on the story of Esther has been an awesome series. I especially liked part three: Esther, Actually: Vashti, the Other Queen
I suspect that this is why the Jews dress up in costume, feast, celebrate, and laugh in response to a story about their near destruction as a people.
They laugh because they are in on the secret: that they serve a God who uses indentured eunuchs to change the course of history, orphan girls to reverse the decisions of kings, and rebellious pagan queens to put it all in motion.

Also check out parts one, two, and four.

Beautiful, beautiful words on starting where you are: Remembering Rain and July
You must live with words the way you live the moment of storm, allow every sound to find you, to remember your face, let happen to you a music that glistens with the mad rush of meaning, hope, and attention.  You understand this is what you must carry, the text of these moments, these turnings, when the world awakens as an egress to the holy. 

On chocolate and ethics: The Inconvenient Truth About your Halloween Chocolate and Forced Child Labor and practical ideas on what to do about it
A report from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture about cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast estimated there were 284,000 children working on cocoa farms in hazardous conditions.  Some of them have been taken from their families, or sold as servants.  U.S. chocolate manufacturers have claimed they are not responsible for the conditions on cocoa plantations since they don’t own them. 

On recent events that matter to your ministry: Word War, Religious “Nones”, a Leap of Faith, and a Nobel Prize
The section on the “nones” really caught my eye:
If churches and ministries want to reach these “nones,” it will be through practices rather than beliefs. Nearly all “nones”—88 percent—say they are not looking for a religion to fit their beliefs. They see religious institutions as too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules, and too involved in politics. For many, the church has become the primary barrier to a relationship with God—this is a failure, a massive one, on the part of the church to reflect the glory of God. 

On Jesus & Women: Jesus was Otherwise Engaged
Jesus is why mystic Julian of Norwich in 1393 wrote the first book in English written by a woman, “The Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love,” which is so profound that it is studied to this day.
Jesus is why women have traveled continents, spent decades learning a strange language so they could translate the Gospel, planting churches, caring for the sick, educating the illiterate and marching for the oppressed.
Is it possible that our world has still not caught up to Jesus?

What’ve you found interesting online recently? What’s happening on your blog?