1. National media should have ignored the Gainesville church: The media was irresponsible and too anxious to feature a kooky and radical little Christian church when it jumped on the Koran-burning plan and made it an international crisis. Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post agrees that media are fanning the flames. When nearly every religious body in the country, including the National Association of Evangelicals, condemns the plan by the 50-member church, and politicians ranging from Hilary Clinton to Sarah Palin call for the pastor to cease and desist—this is not a national media story. The church is not representative of any major faith or political group. It’s the irresistible urge of media to embarrass Christians and to sensationalize that has inflamed passions around the world and endangered Americans the world over. It may be too late, but it would be a great statement by media outlets to fold up their satellite trucks and head them north on I-75, looking for a group of Christians that is representative of mainstream faith, rather than this miniscule fringe of malcontents.
2. Tony Blair memoir a hit despite British anti-war losers: I’m a big Tony Blair fan; it’s great to hear from him again. I’m very interested in his deepening Christian faith and his conversion to Catholicism. In a recent interview Blair said: “I think if you ask someone of faith, it’s the single most dominant purpose. It’s what gets you up in the morning. It’s what keeps you motivated.”
Mr. Blair has a number of planned events in the United States next week, Mr. Bogaards said. These include a conversation with Katie Couric at the 92nd Street Y; an appearance on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”; and an appearance at the National Constitutional Center in Philadelphia, where he is to receive the 2010 Liberty Medal from former President Bill Clinton.
3. Do your realities usually not live up to expectations? Nashville pastor Pete Wilson thinks that’s common. He points to this passage in C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity:
“Most people, if they have really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise. The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love, or first think of some foreign country, or first take up some subject that excites us, are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning, can really satisfy. I am not now speaking of what would be ordinarily called unsuccessful marriages, or holidays, or learned careers. I am speaking of the best possible ones. There was something we have grasped at, in that first moment of longing, which just fades away in the reality. I think everyone knows what I mean. The wife may be a good wife, and the hotels and scenery may have been excellent, and chemistry may be a very interesting job: but something has evaded us.”
4. “Enoughness” is a radical practice: The NY Times op-ed this week by David Brooks on an age of restraint brought to mind the 1992 book by Vicki Robin, Monique Tilford and Mark Zaifman titled, Your Money or Your Life (h/t: The Story of Stuff blog).
As co-author, Vicki Robin, explains: “In an era of excess, ‘enoughness’ is a radical practice. So many of us are in personal overwhelm (spending and doing and striving too much) and humanity is in overshoot (using more of the earth’s resources each year than the earth can provide). Both conditions link right back to our relationship with money.”
5. Economic recovery is uneven: Some sectors are gaining and others are struggling.
The economic recovery is advancing unevenly across the U.S., as regions reliant on such industries as manufacturing and farming show progress while those more dependent on housing continue to struggle. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that its survey of economic conditions in the central bank’s 12 districts, which covers mid-July through August, found “widespread signs of a deceleration compared to preceding periods.” But the picture is uneven: The Fed report, called the “beige book,” noted that factories, farms and mines were all seeing “continued gains in demand and sales,” while housing sales—and the related construction industry—slowed…