So much to read online these days! And honestly, very little here is politics (phew!!):
The New Cru: Yes, that's right. Campus Crusade for Christ is dropping its name. Contrary to those who say they're only dropping the "Christ" part, they're actually dropping it all. They'll now be called "Cru." Personally? Ick. As the article says: "We believe wholeheartedly that God has given us this new name... "(Really? A name that doesn't mean anything, isn't a word, and replaced the most beautiful name in the universe?) " Ultimately, it's not about our name, but how we live out our mission everyday." (If that's really true, then you could have just kept the old one. All this effort indicates that the name is very important to you indeed.)
Wrongful Convictions: Many states are working to exonerate inmates who've been wrongfully imprisoned. Hundreds have been found innocent, and even the states (i.e., the ones who prosecuted them and then imprisoned them) are making an effort.
Planned Parenthood Fights Back: A half-dozen states have stood up against Planned Parenthood, and the abortion mill is retaliating with threats of the states' losing Medicaid funding. Y'know, that federal money is the biggest manipulative tool in the universe!
Pesticides and Lower I.Q.: New studies indicate that organophosphates used on food crops may be damaging children's brains.
And here's a slew of great reads from World Magazine:
"Taking the Wheels" by Mindy Belz -- this article is both sad, bold, and ridiculous. I mean, wouldn't you feel silly, giving your taxi driver a cup of your own breast milk, so he could drive you around town?
"Is Early Marriage Doomed" by Amy Henry -- I'm still ruminating on my feelings about this article. I'm not in this mom's shoes, but I don't know that I could be as enthusiastic about my daughter marrying at 17 years old. How many years will she need to be on birth control, until they feel they are ready for babies? Has this family checked into the negative aspects of the modern "pill"? Why, exactly, can't they wait? And her non-list of requirements, which smacks very much of being a list indeed, is odd. It seems she has a very narrowly-defined young man, in mind for her daughter. Dangerous.
"Suffering Is a Privilege" by Andree Seu -- Excellent! I've thought, and expressed, some of these ideas before, but it's always encouraging to hear them again. Of her friend, she says, "He is experiencing so much suffering on so many fronts that I was drained after the hour conversation." She notes this hard truth: "If this is the way God treats a godly man—one of his noblest specimens—then I am shaken. It means that God may reserve His greatest tests for His greatest saints." (Yes, dear friend. You know who you are. This means He loves you very, very much.)
"Smashed Violins" by Joel Belz -- What a compelling story Joel dredges up for us! And he introduces a puzzling question: wherein is the beauty? In the creator, or in his instrument? I'll tell you a little story about a pianist I knew. He's dead now, but he was a master. Ira Halvorsen was my piano professor in college. He was a genius. He had a rare, natural affinity for the underlying theory -- the grammar -- of music. He composed. His musical memory was massive. And he could sit down at any piano, even the tinniest, ugliest one, with non-functioning keys, and make elegant, gorgeous music. The beauty was in his touch, his mastery of the instrument. His gift was in taking what was there (both in himself and in that box of wood and strings) and making the most of it -- the most.
That's one thing I dislike about much modern music. A human who is untrained and unskilled in music, with the assistance of technology, expensive instruments, auto-tuning, and an ignorant audience with insipid taste, becomes famous as a musician. He is no musician. He is no master. He is a tinkerer with many crutches, acting like he can run.
So I agree with Joel. A true maestro can make fools of his audience with a poor replica, because most of them, in their arrogance, cannot identify the real thing. Who can appreciate the glory of the Stradivarius? The maestro can. The audience is left to nibble the crumbs left, after he has feasted on its wonder, joined to his skill.