Funny Friday: When Sleep is Boss (photos)

Funny Friday: When Sleep is Boss (photos)

Have you ever fallen asleep in an odd place?

Standing up?

In the bath tub?

At the movies?

Sometimes, I get sort of a “sleep attack”. I don’t think it’s narcolepsy, but I’ll feel my brain start going into delta waves or something–like a sheet is being pulled down over me. It’s almost like passing out slowly.

If a cat is deprived of sleep first it goes insane and then it dies.

Cat naps are essential.

As fellow-mammals, I’m not sure that we are so different.

Sometimes sleep is the boss of us.

That’s why these 3 images were my favorites from a slew I came across. Which one do you like best?

sleepcat1Was this a wet cat trying to dry out?sleepcat2

Not sure about the lumbar support situation here, but I see a supple feline in complete relaxation.

 

sleepcat3

Waiting for hotdogs? (This could end poorly)

The “Praying for Enemies” Misconception

waterhouseRemember the Sermon on the Mount?

It’s the 4 chapters ( Click to read Matthew Chapters 4-7 ) where Jesus lays out this upside down, counter-intuitive foundation for the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. He shows how God’s ways don’t look like our ways. It’s a recapitulation of the law of Moses that was warped by God’s people over time and needed to be righted.

Disciples of Christ try to get this passage into their DNA and live it out. While many claim to be Christians few really follow or even grasp the framework Jesus lays out for the Kingdom. Maybe it’s too challenging.

In Matthew 5 Jesus covers the very unpopular idea of not hating our enemies.

• We like to side with people we agree with.

• We like to make sure people know where we stand and what we oppose.

• We love our own

(Much like today, the prevailing thought at the time was that your kin, tribe, or people group are your neighbors and you should love them. Everyone else? They could be treated like enemies. Jesus stresses that our enemies are our neighbors too and later he uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to make his point about what love and following God really looks like.)

But, back to hating our enemies…

(quote blocks cover Mathew 5:43-48)

 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbori and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

 

Loving our enemies means blessing them. Blessing our enemies means we enrich their lives.

But, what about the prayer part?

There’s a common misunderstanding that this verse implies that we should pray for blessing for our enemies, or pray that good things happen to our enemies, or perhaps the most common…we should pray that they will change.

(That’s one I’ve done quite a bit!)

Jesus’ point is different.

He’s not suggesting that we pray for circumstances to change or for our enemy to change, but that’s just what we do, isn’t it?

No. The point is that our enemies and the persecution works to change us into children of God, when we do as Jesus would do.

What praying “for them” means is that we are praying for them to be our teachers. We are praying for us. The trying experience shows us the potential to take on the nature of God. A nature that is so radically different than ours.

God’s ways are the ways of love.

• What does that mean?

It becomes more obvious as Jesus continues the thought and tells us something about God and his character. 

How good is God? Thoroughly. Or we could say “perfectly good”.

In fact, he is so unsparingly generous in his goodness that…

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Huh? That seems odd. He does good to bad people. . .

We think of justice as righting wrongs usually by giving someone a form of evil or payback for their evil, and rewarding good with more good. We like liking those who like us and we like punishing or casting out those we don’t like.

For instance, in two minutes on Facebook and you’ll see demarcation lines drawn. Outsiders and insiders. Good and bad. Idiots and smart.

We assume that praying for them (to change) is the godly option …

(because we are actually tempted to do something really nasty and let them have it…but, gosh, we are holding our selves back, you know, because of trying to be godly and such).

The godly thing to do is to think and act through the framework of love as our heavenly Father would.

This has nothing to do with feeling warm fuzzies or giving out hugs. It’s about fundamental fairness, as God defines it.

It’s about a shift is perspective.

Jesus tackles that next:

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

 

So what should we do instead? Jesus says…

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Don’t trip over the perfection part.

The point of the statement is to show how God is thoroughly good and also quite different in his ways than you and me. Be like God.

Being like the good Father from heaven is the true aim. This portion of Matthew 5 isn’t truly centered on what to do about our enemies. Weird, right?

It’s about transforming our thinking and our ways into Kingdom ways.

(That’s what all of the Sermon on the Mount to geared toward.)

The more good and loving we are, (even to those who are unlike us, or who hate and mistreat us), the more we are like children of God and children of his kingdom (dominion).

The contention Jesus makes is that God doesn’t play favorites.

Most people don’t like this part and don’t truly go along with it. We do gymnastics to find some useable loopholes or other verses to avoid the this part, because we define ourself by who our favorites are.

Why doesn’t God play favorites?

Because he really loves us. It is the very nature of God, as defined and modeled by Jesus.

Evil is redeemed through generosity, forgiveness, and love.

Sounds crazy, of course, but we see this happen all the time.

• Remember the story of Officer Jeremy Henwood who bought a child a happy meal just a few minutes before he was violently gunned down in a random attack (and his good deed was caught on video)?

 

• Or the woman from Rwanda who’s only son was violently murdered. She not only visited the young man who killed him and visited him in prison, but later adopted him and became his mother when he had no place to go.

This stories make us want to be better people through just hearing the story!

• Think of Jesus dying for his enemies.

• Think about how true forgiveness makes things new.

Because we let the person off?

No.

It’s because we have transformed.

We stopped letting the offense trap and define us.

The next time you think about “praying for your enemies” remember:

• You are praying for you.

• You are praying for your mindset to change about what is happening.

• You are practicing being a child of God.

 

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April Fool’s Favorites 2013

Every year some pranks are pulled on April Fool’s Day.

My kids were big into putting a rubber band on the kitchen sink sprayer. They would high five every time I forgot about it. (I let them have their fun and kept it rigged for most of the day, as they were at home on holiday.)

Redbox did a funny and enjoyable one too.

lunch meat
(click for full prank…it’s worth it for the cheese alone!)

I have been so occupied with my obligations of work, family, and grad school that I didn’t get to poke around and see what other pranks were had on a bigger scale.

What did I miss?

Offer some links to your favorites of this year (or any year) and let me know what I missed!

Blogs I Like

(Must be a dog blog. hum. Could this just be a kitty laughing, or must it be a freak out?)

In a previous post, I promised I would review some blogs and give a report on my favorites.

First, bear in mind that I read probably 20-30 blogs regularly, and others occasionally. For this reason, I won’t cover all of the ones I like, today. Now, don’t feel offended if yours, or one you dig, didn’t make it in. Instead, submit links of up to 3 of your favorite blogs in the comments, and we’ll visit them. I’ll consider them in a future “Blogs I Like” blog in January.

Also, I won’t cover blogs from super well-known people (think: kickin’ Alexa Rating), especially if I’ve already mentioned them in past posts.

Here are some new blogs I’ve started reading quite recently because of reader recommendations, or other connections:

Students of Jesus: Taking the Yoke of Discipleship Ray Hollenbach’s blog has a rich meditative vibe. Good content and thoughtful.

Teh=The Warwick Fuller is a bookish, 25% hipster, and an active dad and husband, who pens some worthwhile stuff. He’s fairly random with his topics, but I’m a fan. I also have a personal preference for his “Nana Stories” which are offbeat and charming.

Between the Sheets: A Novelist’s Adventures Heather Webb’s blog post are often delicious. Although I wish she posted more often, when she does she will often include amazing recipes.

Telling Stories Courtney Walsh is a scrappy author and scrapbooker whose site is awash in great visuals (photos, art, etc.), plus stories, and stuff on food, parenting, domestic diva/homemaking themes, rural life, and such. Likable!

Mom to 5: Full Time Mom, Part Time Sanity Sherri Jason has a great sense of humor, and she needs to, she’s be pregnant for years (if you add it all up). This reproductive quality is sort of a family tradition. Her sister Ginny also has 5 kids, and does guest posts on some Fridays, called Funny Farm Fridays. The antics of busy family life abound here, and many a busy parent can relate, or just be contented to know they don’t and won’t have enough children for a basketball team.

Awake My Soul Laura Crosby’s blog is insightful, honest, and nicely written. It’s a fairly recent venture (Feb 2011), but her welcome page made me realize that we’ve had the same sorts of thoughts about bloggers and blogging. So far, so good, Laura!

5 Personal Favorites:
Blogs and Bloggers for whom I make time to read…who are also not in the category of  “widely famed”…yet.

These authors post with predictability (most of the time) and have high quality content. Two musts for me to be a loyalist. (Yes, the list ought to be much longer, but I’m setting myself a limit…5….because I’m told this is healthy behavior.)

Ed Cyzewski Blog – In a Mirror Dimly is one of those blogs that is just consistently top notch. Ed posts frequently, and his installments can deepen your thinking, encourage you, and offer great insights. He focuses on spiritual things, practical theology, and writing. He’ll also write on other things he likes, gardening/canning, the outdoors, and rabbits.

Caleb Wilde‘s blog Confessions of a Funeral Director: Working At the Crossroads of This World and the Next might sound, well…dark and morbid, at first blush. Death is after all macabre. What is surprising and winsome about this blog is that Caleb offers hope, as a matter of course. His unique insights on living and yes, dying, are worth the read.

Christopher Cocca: Chris is funny, quirky, and interesting–all stuff I like. He’s sort of a hippie, too, in a nice way. This makes me feel young and “with it”. I’m hooked. Another great thing about Chris is that he’s generous, and regularly shares the love by promoting other writers.

Thom Turner Writer, editor (for GENERATE magazine), poet, and soulful guy, Thom has a blog called Everyday Liturgy. It’s a perfect read for a short and potent spiritual shot in your day. Lately he’s also been blogging about Food and Christian ethics. A weird mix, you say? Maybe, but it gets you thinking. And think you should. (sorry..got a wee bit yoda on ya’ll) I’m looking forward to Thom’s prayer book project as well.

Brett McCracken This hipster-esque writer is under-rated. Though he’s written for some big outfits The Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostCNN.com, The Princeton Theological Review, Mediascape, Books & Culture, and Christianity Today, to name a few, plus a very enjoyable book…

…I get the sense that he’s not receiving the props or reader traffic he truly deserves at his Still Searching blog. It’s like a “best kept secret” type of thing. Well, not on my watch, peoples. Not. On. My. Watch. Brett writes about culture, film, art, books, and stuff you’d expect to overhear at a college coffeehouse, if erudite students were hanging out…ya know, chillaxin’ and sh–tuff (Whoops, no one says chillaxin‘. It’s long “over,” dudes.) So. Right. Brett is pensive and interesting.

Who did I miss?

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