Friday, February 19, 2016

Free Shipping Fridays: the Comic Section

Dear Readers,

Check your doorstep, because rolled and tossed neatly on your doormat is not any old newspaper. It is a paper composed entirely of the funnies. Commentary on the internet and technology (and thus also global politics, social issues, deep thoughts, etc.) is in there, but in pleasing illustrated form. Because somedays you just want to shuffle around the house in your bunny slippers and read the comics.

The ridiculous, angry guy from the internet:
http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-06-07

The rise of technology:
http://www.usnews.com/cmsmedia/a9/120bde9adfd5f51967a486fe702b63/42747EC_130607_ramsey.jpg

Ever-helpful smartphones:
http://www.gocomics.com/baldo/2016/02/16

The reason we all love Facebook:
http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=877

From the mouths of babes:
http://www.gocomics.com/boondocks/2014/08/25

Classic Calvin & Hobbes:
http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1995/08/17

And getting to the heart of it all:
http://theawkwardyeti.com/comic/philosopher-heart/




Tuesday, February 16, 2016

To the Other Side of the Story

Dear Grey Area, Middle of the Road, Flip Side of the Coin, Other Hand, etc.

I'm tired. I am plumb worn out. By social media, by conversations with people, by the news, by trying to explain complex situations to my kids. Maybe it's working with budding lawyers, or being a budding theologian (ha!) myself, but I wish there were easy answers to some things. It's starting to feel like while truth is truth (and facts are facts), there's no one way to apply truth. So it comes down to interpretation, life experience, and opinions. "Opinions are like...

Coin purses? Everyone has one, and it feels like I can see a little sense in them all?

No. That's a terrible analogy.

The point is, whether it's in pop culture (YES, Beyonce' should maybe put on some pants, but NO, I don't think her Halftime outfit was nearly as bad as a lot of the swimsuits I see on folks who might judge her, and why do ballerinas get a pass?); politics (NO, I don't want Hilary to be president, but YES, I'm a Democrat and would support certain women in the White House; I'm also pro life from "womb to tomb," so there's that); sports (NO, Cam Newton shouldn't have been rude, but YES, cut the poor kid some slack and appreciate all that he has done, and of course I think race plays into people freaking out); religion (YES, I'm a Christian, but NO, I'm not afraid to have friends of other belief systems, science included); or even food (NO, I don't think it's good to eat everything fried, buttered, and bacon-ed, but YES, I see the cultural value and tastiness in Southern food); I often find both sides of the argument compelling, or at least interesting. And that is exhausting.

Even when I think I've found a topic that I just can't see the other side of, it seems I start reading my Twitter feed, talking to classmates, or listening to the radio, and suddenly I start to understand. For example:

DONALD TRUMP IS A TERRIBLE HUMAN BEING AND IF HE WINS THE ELECTION, I WILL CRY
buuuutttttt... I get why people are fed up with politicians and like what they perceive as a "straight shooter" kind of persona.

or, how about:

JUST VACCINATE YOUR DAMN KIDS ALREADY BECAUSE THE RESEARCH IS CRAP AND DISEASES ARE COMING BACK BECAUSE OF THIS NONSENSE
yeeettttttt... I can't imagine the grief of being told that a vaccine caused your child to have autism and I can imagine the passion to stop something that seems to be so dangerous.

I really want to escape from you, Mr. Uncertainty. I'd really like to have an unassailable opinion, Madame Context. But I guess as long as my Facebook feed, my church, my neighborhood, and even my family remain diverse, that's not to be. So I'll stake my claim on Christ, and him crucified, dead, buried, raised, and returning. Even when everything else seems muddy and confusing, and even though my understanding is pitiful, limited, and tainted by sin, God is certain. He is unassailable. He is the answer in any context. He is perfectly true, infinitely diverse, and gloriously, graciously with us. I guess that's enough to keep this confused person going.

With Love and Contradictions,
A Walking Exception to the Rule

Friday, February 12, 2016

Free Shipping Fridays: Fluff and Stuff

Dear Readers,

Some days you just need a laugh, or an "awwwww" or even a large amount of sugar. Hopefully these links will supply you with the first two, while you go in search of the latter. Check your mailbox, friends, there's some virtual cotton candy stuffed inside...

Baby animals, including more than just puppies and kittens:
http://justcuteanimals.com/page/2?fp_type=news

Funny, clean memes:
http://cleanmemes.com

Faith in Humanity Restored (Common Grace, y'all):
http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/heartwarming-tales-that-restore-our-faith-in-humanity/