This morning I visited Mark after work for breakfast. And we were talking about wedding plans (no, we’re not engaged yet) and I said ‘oh damn, I suppose I’m going to have to go on a diet before the wedding.’ And he said ‘oh great, you’re going to be cranky for six months’ and I laughed and asked in all seriousness if he felt he wanted me to lose weight for the wedding. He said NO. He said I was beautiful just the way I was. And we started talking about guys and girls and how they sometimes try to change for each other, and how guys in particular can be incredibly hurtful with the things they say about a girl’s appearance. And he said ‘I would never want to tell you who you should be.’ To which I responded: It’s just the way I look, it’s not who I am.
Mark was dumbfounded. He doesn’t think he’d ever heard a woman, ever, on TV, or film or in real life say that. It’s just the way I look, it’s not who I am. He was amazed. He told me I had to post it on tumblr. ‘Everyone should know this,’ he said. ‘It’s so important.’ And he’s right.
So ladies and gentlemen, beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, I have a truth for you.
IT IS JUST THE WAY YOU LOOK, IT IS NOT WHO YOU ARE
I stay in the silence Waiting Other voices around me Slowly dims The noises of the street Disappears I ask I want to hear You No answer comes My heart grows impatient Come on Lord, just reveal what You want to say to me And my conscience strikes Sorry God For putting myself above Your ways But the truth is All I want is You Nothing will shake me From this spot on my knees I won’t move Until I hear something from You Hours it may be Time disappears In the wake of Your beauty I find myself speechless At the things You’ve done for me The best I can do Is to wait at Your feet My dream Is to see Your face To see You sitting on Your glorious throne Is my privilege To love You Is my desire And so I wait I stay in the silence The silence The silence
And something drifts A close whisper "Here I am, come."
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
“The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t want Him most of the time. He treasures us and anticipates our departure from this earth to be with Him- and we wonder, indifferently, how much we have to do for Him to get by.”—Francis Chan (via rcooley) (via appreciatehope) (via ashleya827)
Psychology student David Yang had just got off a train at the station when he came across the young Asian man dying in the railway station car park.
At the time he thought the injuries were not too serious as he joined another woman and boy who were trying to staunch the man’s bleeding, and keep him calm.
“I just thought he was intoxicated until I saw the puddle of blood,” Mr Yang said.
“He was talking. He was murmuring words, but we couldn’t understand it.
But he said he was horrified by the commuters who just stood and watched the grisly scene.
“Hundreds of people must have walked past while I was there, including school kids and business people.
“But what I hated the most was that at least 15 people just stood and stared,” Mr Yang said.
I stay in Clayton. This happened not too far off from where my house is. But I’m quite shocked that this violent crime happened when there were still lots of people around and so few people came to help.
This is really an example of what social psychology calls the Bystander Effect.
And I’m just here wondering, what can be done to break that bystander effect?
The amount of help provided is affected by how men and women see their role in society. Men generally like to display chivalrous behaviour to women - rescuing the damsel in distress - and this becomes especially salient to men when they are encouraged to think romantic thoughts. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re in the street with a better opportunity to show off their chivalrous behaviour to others…
Naturally women already understand this principle, whether consciously or not. That’s why when they ask a man to do them a big favour, it is usually prefaced by: “How much do you love me?”
Psychological research tells us that this disappointment is particularly pronounced when people buy things like mp3 players or watches, compared with experiences like vacations or concert tickets (see: experiences beat possessions).
The researchers explore six reasons why objects are less satisfying than their experiential counterparts:
1. Objects are easy to compare unfavourably 2. A “maximising” strategy leaves us less satisfied 3. Material purchases more likely to be re-evaluated 4. The new option effect 5. The reduced price effect 6. A cheaper rival
This seems problematic. The research suggests, then, that if we design objects in the context of a larger experience then we’ll lower the risk of disappointment. What is the difference between “object” and “experience” though? That distinction seems very much at the discretion of an individual, not the designer.
Are you feeling hurt? Do you feel stressed up? Confused? Broken? In pain? In trouble? Angry? Weary? These are a few tracks that I listen to when I’m feeling down and out. Hope it encourages you, or at least give you some sense of peace as you listen.
These tracks display a little quirkiness. Could be in the lyrics or music melody.
1. Om du möter varg - Detektivbyrån 2. Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches - Emilie Autumn 3. Oh Spectrum, Blue Imelda - Final Fantasy 4. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 5. Kriss Kross - Guillemots 6. Elefant’s Foot - Maceo Parker 7. The Mariner’s Revenge Song - The Decemberists 8. A Perfect Sonnet - Bright Eyes