Our Life Together

July 3, 2014

Jim Hopkins

July 3, 2014

I have a habit of tossing articles that I read and find beneficial into a basket underneath my desk. Every once in awhile I plow through those articles, tossing some of them (I wonder why I saved this one?), keeping some of them (I’d like to remember why I saved this one.) and putting some of them into my coming sermons file with a note in regard to the connection I see between the article and the text (leaving it to you to decide if the supposed connection has merit).
Last week I was engaged in sorting through the articles. Before I recycle some of the ones I am culling out, allow me to share some excerpts I found interesting.

  • “Marilyn McEntyre was at first wary when congregants were asked in a worship service to ‘write your spiritual autobiography in six words.’ Then these words came to her ‘Eat the manna. More will come’.”
    (Christian Century)
  • In response to an increase in background noise – “People are only getting louder. According to the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, the volume of an animated conversation between Americans increased by 10 decibels during the 90’s…Social and ambient noise causes hearing loss, often misdiagnosed as an effect of aging. Preventing it would require that cities become 10 decibels quieter…Deafness isn’t the only medical danger of noise exposure. The stress causes some 45,000 fatal heart attacks a year in the developing world, according to researcher Dieter Schwala of the Stockholm Environmental Institute.”
  • “In 1995, Lawrence Calhoun, professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, helped coin the term ‘post-traumatic growth’ … Like its more well-known sibling, post-traumatic stress disorder, PTG doesn’t develop in everyone who experiences a life-changing shock, Calhoun says. ‘One consistent finding for people who do experience post-traumatic growth is a set of circumstances that rock your world. It causes you to confront questions you hadn’t confronted before, or see that understandings you had of the world no longer apply’.”
    (AARP, The Magazine)
  • The Way It Is
    There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
    things that change. But it doesn’t change.
    People wonder about what you are pursuing.
    You have to explain about the thread.
    But it is hard for others to see.
    While you hold it you can’t get lost.
    Tragedies happen; people get hurt
    or die; and you suffer and get old.
    Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
    You don’t ever let go of the thread.
    William Stafford

I offer no further explanation or attempt at synthesizing or summarizing. I simply hope that you found, as I did, some benefit in reading these.
Jim H.