Here comes summer!
Carolyn Arends: “Death unaddressed is the bogeyman in the basement; it keeps us looking over our shoulders and holds us back from entering joyously into the days we are given. But death dragged out from the shadows and held up to the light of the gospel not only loses its sting, it becomes an essential reminder to wisely use the life we have.”
Michelle van Loon: “Each one of us could have used a mentor — an older, wiser woman to journey through midlife with us. Those who have had wise moms or generous older friends willing to share their experience have been handed the gift of a compass to help them navigate the upheaval of midlife. However, I learned (via an admittedly informal poll of the midlife women I know) that many of us involved in intentional mentoring relationships with younger women have never had a mentor in our own lives. If there were ever a time we needed spiritual direction, it’s during midlife.”
Karen Spears Zacharias: “That’s not to say my criticisms aren’t valid. It’s just to say I’ve mishandled all this. I should have been on my knees praying for these shepherds. It’s not easy to be a pastor, you know. My girlfriend shared how she’s learned to put in a “filter” so that when a pastor stands before her and says, “Every woman either is married or wants to be married”, she can note that such a word isn’t a word from God — it’s opinion. And not a very learned one. She doesn’t storm out the church, swearing to never return. She simply prays for her pastor. She prays for wisdom for herself. She prays for the people she serves alongside. She loves her church family. And that’s what they’ve become to her — a family. It’s hard being part of a family.” [By the way, those are tulips in that picture.]
One of our 1st semester seniors reflects. So true.
Susan Donaldson James seeks to clarify the evangelical debate on hell.
Meanderings in the News
1. Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, under fire: “(CNN) — Greg Mortenson, the high-profile advocate of girls’ education in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been forced to defend his best-selling book “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations … One School at a Time,” against charges that key stories in it are false. Mortenson shot to international fame with the book, which describes his getting lost in an effort to climb K2, the world’s second-highest peak, being rescued by Pakistani villagers in the village of Korphe and vowing to return there to build a school for local girls. He also claims to have been captured by the Taliban and held for several days before being released. Another best selling-author, however — Jon Krakauer of “Into Thin Air” fame — told a CBS “60 Minutes” investigation that aired Sunday that the story is not true. “It’s a beautiful story, and it’s a lie,” Krakauer tells the program.”
2. Lisa Foderaro: “It is as much a college sport as football or beer pong. Whether poking soggy carrots or theorizing about the provenance of mystery meat, undergraduates have always loved to complain about their campus cafeterias. But in New York City, where health inspectors have begun requiring restaurants and some food services to post letter grades for cleanliness, students have a new reason to gripe: bad report cards.”
3. Victor Davis Hanson: “There are two, and only two, democratic states in the region: Israel and Iraq. The Obama administration has serially pressured the former and cannot refer to the latter without expressing regret or apology for the conditions that led to the present constitutional government. The message seems to be that pro-American democracies are either taken for granted or actively distrusted.”
4. Roni Caryn Rabin: “Older people suffering from mild memory and cognition problems may be less likely to progress to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease if they receive treatment for medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, a new study has found.”
5. Thomas Sowell on bullying: “There is a lot of talk from many people about bullying in school. The problem is that it is all talk. There is no sign that anybody is going to do anything that is likely to reduce bullying. When politicians want to do nothing and yet look like they are doing something, they appoint a blue-ribbon committee or go to the U.N. or assign some cabinet member to look into the problem and report back to the president — hoping that the issue will be forgotten by the time he reports back. When educators are going to do nothing, they express great concern and make pious public pronouncements. They may even hold conferences, write op-ed pieces, or declare a “no tolerance” policy. But they are still not going to do anything that is likely to stop bullying. In some rough schools, they can’t even stop the bullying of teachers by the hooligans in their classes, much less stop the bullying of students. Not all of this is the educators’ fault. The courts have created a legal climate where any swift and decisive action against bullies can lead to lawsuits. The net results are indecision, half-hearted gestures, and pious public pronouncements by school officials, none of which is going to stop bullies.”
6. Benedict Carey: ” Psychologists have long known that people’s instincts about how well they’ve learned a subject are often way off. The feel of a study session can be a poor reflection of its nutritional value: Concepts that seem perfectly clear become fuzzy at exam time, and those that are hard to grasp somehow click into place when it counts. In recent years, researchers have begun to clarify why this is so, and in some cases how to correct for it. The findings are especially relevant nowadays, experts say.”
8. The world’s number one curmudgeon in true form: “A hereditary monarch, observed Thomas Paine, is as absurd a proposition as a hereditary doctor or mathematician. But try pointing this out when everybody is seemingly moist with excitement about the cake plans and gown schemes of the constitutional absurdity’s designated mother-to-be. You don’t seem to be uttering common sense. You sound like a Scrooge. I suppose this must be the monarchical “magic” of which we hear so much: By some mystic alchemy, the breeding imperatives for a dynasty become the stuff of romance, even “fairy tale.” The usually contemptuous words fairy tale were certainly coldly accurate about the romance quotient of the last two major royal couplings, which brought the vapid disco-princesses Diana and Sarah (I decline to call her “Fergie”) within range of demolishing the entire mystique. And, even if the current match looks a lot more wholesome and genuine, its principal function is still to restore a patina of glamour that has been all but irretrievably lost.”
9. The “changes” in Cuba: “The theme of the Sixth Party Congress in Cuba seemed clear enough: President Raul Castro opened the summit Saturday saying that a new generation of Cuban politicians was needed to secure the socialist revolution. Even former Cuban leader Fidel Castro seemed to embrace the message. “The new generation is called to rectify and change without hesitation all that must be rectified and changed,” he wrote in the state newspaper Granma. But by the time the Congress wrapped up Tuesday, new leaders were named to the Communist Party, and none of the top three positions went to anyone younger than 78, leaving the old guard in power and frustrating those Cubans eager for a political shakeup.”
10. Paul Vitello: “Afrika Owes received all the benefits a church could offer to a poor young girl in a place like Harlem: Head Start, Sunday school, gospel choir, after-school recreation, mentoring, weekend retreats and the admiration of a community of adults who came to regard her as a brilliant success-in-the-making. So when 50 members of that community, the Abyssinian Baptist Church, showed up in a criminal courtroom on Tuesday to bail out Ms. Owes, a onetime scholarship student at a prestigious prep school who was swept up in a crackdown on street gangs and is now facing serious drug and weapons charges, it was partly out of religious duty, partly to collect on an investment, they said.”
Meanderings in Sports
Sad, sad story about Lenny Dykstra.