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The Song Of Blessing by Sarah Groves

The Song Of Blessing is succinct, but says everything needed.
From Sarah Groves’ album of hymns Abide With Me.


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Finding Joy In The Giver, Rather Than The Gift (via Emily Cobb at Gospel Coalition Australia)

Christians who have been watching the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo will have found much that is helpful in culture that seems to generate clutter.
There will have been some moments, statements and actions that will have struck disciples of Jesus as more than oddly idiosyncratic, but rather somewhat disquieting.
At Gospel Coalition Australia, Emily Cobb explains the world-view underpinnings of KonMari and why, though the outcomes may seem to harmonise with some Christian values, the philosophy it espouses stops short of the values that Christians live by.
From the post:

As I tuned in to the peaceful show of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, I was taken aback with Kondo’s need to introduce herself to the house, and her instruction to thank the clothes that don’t bring joy. What is she doing? On one level, it seems like a lovely thing—one tidying up disciple labeled it as simply ‘being grateful’. Yet thanking inanimate objects such as a brick and mortar home, or a cotton blouse should cause us to pause and consider what is going on. While the show hasn’t explicitly stated any religious ties (aside from the Christian tidying-up disciples who say grace and thank God), this practice of thanking objects can be tied to the traditional Japanese religion of Shinto. In Shintoism, there is a belief that inanimate objects can actually possess a spirit or kami—a godlike essence or energy that needs to be respected. This reverence for the energy in objects is doing exactly what Romans 1:25 proclaims: worshipping the creation rather the Creator. Similarly, in materialism we place our hope and delight in an item, glorifying and idolising our purchase. While the spiritual significance may not be as abundantly clear as in Shintoism, the spiritual reality is almost identical. As Christians, we need to be grateful to the Giver, not the given. Worshipping and thanking God who provided the home or the clothes, rather than the objects themselves.

Read the whole post at Gospel Coalition Australia.


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Cuddle Clones – Hand Made Replicas Of Your Pets

Cuddle Clones started making plush replicas of pets and animals.
The range of products has increased in a number of ways.
I’m just not sure about the slippers or ear-rings. The gold-club covers seem reasonable, though.


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Maths And Pizza

I swiped borrowed these images from twitter which demonstrate that if you like the topped portion of pizza, one eighteen inch pie provides more edible area than two twelve inch pies; however, if you like crust, then the two pie order should be your go to option.

What a dilemma.

Also, who had any idea that maths has practical applications in real life?


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Watching ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ On Netflix

We’re watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix.

I imagine Marie Kondo’s KonMari tidying philosophy could be really helpful for people who have compulsive collecting/hoarding tendencies.

The idea of keeping that which ‘sparks joy’ is interesting. It brings some echoes of the idea of learning to be content. It is a thought provoking concept.


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Following Jesus, The Pioneer Pilgrim (via Jonathan Gibson)

A reflection on the longing for the better world which Christians experience, and how Jesus has walked through the darkness of this life to bring us to eternity with himself.
From Jonathan Gibson:

One of the ways in which the Psalms connect to Jesus Christ is in the sphere of typological experience. The psalmist or the person described in the psalm (like the blessed man in Psalm 1, God’s anointed king in Psalm 2, or the righteous sufferer in Psalm 3) is a type of Christ in their experience. That is, the fullest and most perfect expression of their desires, disappointments, and sufferings is found in the life experience of Jesus Christ. In this regard, the psalms are not just about Jesus; they were also experienced by Jesus.
As the true, faithful Israelite, Jesus perfectly experienced the desires expressed in this psalm, especially the vivid, intense pulsebeat for heaven and for God. Jesus was the Son of Man, born of Mary, but throughout his life he never forgot that he was a son of heaven. During his earthly ministry, he wandered from place to place like his patriarch fathers before him. In fact, he didn’t even have a tent to dwell in. “Foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20). Why? Because for the joy set before him, he endured the cross and then sat down at his Father’s right hand in his presence (Heb. 12:2). This world was not his home, he was just a-passing through.
The life of our Lord is one of those parts of the Bible—like those of the patriarchs in Canaan and those of the pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem—where the affectional pulsebeat for heaven, for God, is pumping strong. Jesus was the pioneer pilgrim, the one who in his earthly life embodied the perfect longing for heaven, the perfect longing for God. And because he perfectly lived out this longing, God looked with favor on him as our Anointed King. When Christ died, the temple curtain was torn in two: God removed the angelic barrier that had stood between him and humanity since the day Adam was expelled from the garden-temple of Eden.

Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let his little child come in.

And when God does let us “come in” to his heaven after our earthly pilgrimage, we will find that C. S. Lewis and Augustine were right: we were made for another world, we were made for God. The deep longings we experience now will be met then, fully and finally, not simply in heaven itself, but in God himself.

Read the whole post here.


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Jesus Is Alive – Sunday Songs

Jesus Is Alive is the final song from CityAlight’s recently released five track EP Yet Not I that I’m posting here.
It’s sort of mid-tempo, with musical hooks that you feel comfortable with pretty quickly.
A song of those who are being gathered celebrating their gathering together.

1.
There is now a hope that lasts beyond our days
For the one that once was buried lives again
Now the tomb is bare and empty and the stone is rolled away
Praise the Risen one who overcame the grave
2.
All you broken hearted, all you worn and weak
Come find living water, everlasting streams
To the wandering spirit, lost and searching wanting something more
Find the risen king who overcomes the world
Refrain.
Let there be dancing in the darkness
And let our song break through the night
Lift your voice and sing that Christ is King
For Jesus is Alive
3.
No more condemnation, no more doubt and fear
For our sin and shame they have no power here
In his resurrection, perfect love has set the captives free
Praise the risen king who stands in victory
Refrain.
Bridge.
Hallelujah, death is undone
Hallelujah, Jesus has won
Hallelujah, we overcome
Oh in Jesus, Oh in Jesus
Refrain.

Words and Music: Michael Farren, Tiarne Tranter, Jaywan Maxwell, Jesse Reeves, Niki Shepherd & James Tealy
© CityAlight Music