Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bricks in exile


After Nehemiah 3:1-32 and Ephesians 2:12-14

I do not know why
I laid bricks in exile,
subject to whims of others:
priests, rulers, captains,
soldiers overseeing
the piling of brick
upon brick, stone
upon stone, an existence
enclosed in crowded walls.
Returning, hearing a call
to rebuild the wall,
my skills employed
to serve and protect, not
to empower and glorify.


Photograph by Rajesh Misra via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Good Reads


Ancient clay from beneath the London Bridge station has been made into artworks – and is on display at Southwark Cathedral. Speaking of digging in London, the Museum of London has a story about how rubbish reveals Roman Londinium. And the Book of Hours of Richard III, the king found under a parking lot, is on display at Leicester.

If you want to see what contemporary Berliners know about Hitler’s famous bunker, Real Clear History has the answer. And the BBC has another piece of 20th century German history – why the Zimmerman Telegram turned out to be so important.

A Middle Eastern immigrant has a message for America and Donald Trump, and an indirect message for the previous Administration. David Rupert has the story.

Congregational singing matters, says Bob Smietana at Facts & Trends, and the problem can be fixed. There’s a hot new method for growing churches, except it’s neither hot nor new. And Jared Wilson at For the Church asks if you’re a confirmation bias Christian – a question directed at both the Christian Right and the Christian Left.

And if you ever considered going on a dinosaur fossil hunt, Tyler Larson just might be the guide for you – in the real Jurassic Park, the badlands of North Dakota.

Poetry

The Wedge – Alex Miller Jr. at Curator Magazine.

Life is a Circle – Ana Lisa de Jong.

Father – Aliyah Lauren Jacobs at Altarwork.

California’s Wild Coast: Poet Robinson Jeffers – Jesse Rossa at The New Antiquarian.

Life and Culture

When Being on the Watchtower Isn't Enough – Lori Harris (Hat tip: Sandra Heska King).

Trump and the American Divide – Victor Davis Hanson at City Journal.

Hitler’s Bunker Confounds Modern Germany – Scott Shuger and Donald Berger at Real Clear History.


British stuff

Roman rubbish reveals lost Londinium – Owen Humphries at the Museum of London.

Richard III’s Book of Hours – Leicester Cathedral.

Why was the Zimmerman Telegram so important? – Gordon Corera at BBC (Hat Tip: J of India).

Faith


The Hot ‘New” Church Growth Method – Owen Strachan at The Gospel Coalition.

Are You a Confirmation Bias Christian? – Jared Wilson at For the Church.

Aging Gracefully – Tim Challies at Informing the Reforming.

On “Silence” and More – Dr. Steven Garber at The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation, and Culture.

Writing


Media Changes and the Writer – Dan Balow at The Steve Laube Agency.

Art and Photography

What I Learned from William Christenberry – Rebecca Gayle Howell at Oxford American.

Winter in northeast Iowa – James Schaap via Facebook.

Santa’s Barn – Tim Good at National Geographic / Your Shot.


Valley of the Last Dinosaurs – Mel Films



Painting: Alberto reading, oil on canvas by Giovanni Giacometti (1915).

Friday, January 20, 2017

Late afternoon sun


From the vantage point
of a car on a concrete ribbon
the landscape is ordinary:
harvested fields graying
in late afternoon, inevitable
roadside weeds labeled
“prairie rehabilitation,”
clusters of trees enveloping
farmhouses, ordinary
in that it’s seen
from almost every car
on every highway

until
the late afternoon sun
slants its light, showering
the ordinary with shimmering
gold, and the landscape
trembles as it’s transformed,
transforms as it’s redeemed
before the fall of darkness.


Photograph by Lynn Greyling via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.