RAMBLER OF THE WEEK
You, our Internet Monk readers, are our Ramblers of the Week.
Here on the verge of a new year, we prepare to ramble into 2017, and I’d like to hear what you think might be in store for you, or more broadly, what might be in store for life as you know it where you live, work, and play. Some of you may have big plans, while other are just hoping to hang on through another year of wilderness. Whatever it may be, we’d like to hear about it. So here’s a little “Open Mic” for the start of 2017 where you can let us in on your world and what’s happening.
- What are you looking forward to in 2017?
- What are you anxious about or dreading?
- Any major changes in store?
- Any big decisions to be made?
- Any new commitments for personal growth you’d like to share so that we can cheer you on?
- Anything you’d like your IM community to lift up in prayer?
We’re about to ramble into a new year.
And we’re with you and behind you all the way.
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SOME 2016 “BEST” LISTS
- The North Water, by Ian McGuire
- The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
- The Vegetarian, by Han Kang
- War and Turpentine, by Stefan Hertmans
- At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails, by Sarah Bakewell
- Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jane Mayer
- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond
- In the Darkroom, by Susan Faludi
- The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, by Hisham Matar
- Lemonade, Beyonce
- Blackstar, David Bowie
- Coloring Book, Chance the Rapper
- Teens of Denial, Car Seat Headrest
- Blonde, Frank Ocean
- A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead
- Blue & Lonesome, Rolling Stones
- The Life of Pablo, Kanye West
- You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen
- Jeffery, Young Thug
- “Little Sister” (Zach Clark)
- “Moonlight” (Barry Jenkins)
- “Sully” (Clint Eastwood)
- “Viktoria” (Maya Vitkova)
- “Love & Friendship” (Whit Stillman)
- “Men Go to Battle” (Zachary Treitz)
- “Wiener-Dog” (Todd Solondz)
- “Kate Plays Christine” (Robert Greene)
- “Happy Hour” (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
- “Knight of Cups” (Terrence Malick)
Also, check out Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2016
And here’s a list of Christianity Today’s top 20 articles of 2016
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QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
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NPR’s Planet Money has a fascinating story about the feud between the two companies that manufacture handbells.
That’s right, there are two companies, Shulmerich and Malmark. And the difference between them is a tang. That small difference has led to conflicts and lawsuits.
I think normally when you read about lawsuits between companies, you think that they’re the result of some business calculation, some strategic decision. And maybe that was true at the beginning, but pretty soon emotions got involved. Once you get in a fight like this, once you spend a lot of money on lawyers, it’s hard to give up. The long wars can be the hardest to end, especially if things get personal.
Who would have thought that such a peaceful, serene instrument could cause such anxiety and bad will?
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Franklin Graham will speak at inauguration
RNS reports that Graham will not be making remarks, but will be allowed to read Scripture as one of one of six clergy chosen to offer the invocation, benediction and several readings at the swearing-in ceremony.
What does Graham think about Trump’s election win?
“I think maybe God has allowed Donald Trump to win this election to protect this nation for the next few years by giving maybe an opportunity to have some good judges,” he said.
It’s not the first time Graham expressed his belief God had played a role in the results of the November election. He had tweeted earlier this month suggesting it was God, not Russia, that had interfered with the outcome.
In an interview Thursday, he said he doesn’t know if Russia hacked the election, and he doesn’t presume to know how God works. But he knows God answers prayer.
And, Graham said, “All I know is Donald Trump was supposed to lose the election,” according to projections of the results.
“For these states to go the way they did, in my opinion, I think it was the hand of God,” he said. “It wasn’t hacking. It wasn’t Wiki-leaky or whatever. It was God, in my opinion, and I believe his hand was at work, and I think he’s given Christians an opportunity.”
As if that weren’t bad enough, another person invited to be among the clergy is Paula White, the twice-divorced TV preacher who has been investigated by the U.S. Senate for questionable fundraising practices.
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MY FIFTEEN FAVORITE PHOTOS OF 2016
Thanks to all of you who viewed and commented upon my pictures from 2016 the other day. Your input was helpful in my final determination of my 15 favorites. Here they are:
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SONG FOR THE NEW YEAR
Here’s a good song to kick off the new year. It’s one of my favorite songs of 2016, from one of my favorite singer-songwriters and albums of 2016: Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “The Things We Are Made Of.”
Here is “The Blue Distance.” Happy New Year.