FIRST WEEKEND OF SPRING EDITION
It’s Spring! Well, sort of. Here’s what our friend Randy Thompson had hanging around his place in New Hampshire as spring began this year. Follow the link to check out more beautiful pictures from the woods and mountains. Thankfully, the big nor’easter that they were anticipating didn’t materialize, but it’s safe to say that they’ll be enjoying a robust ski business in New England for some time to come.
Here in central Indiana, we’re expecting 4-8 inches of snow today. And this will be our second punch in a week. That was exactly how spring greeted us when it arrived the other day. Here’s a shot from my backyard in late afternoon on the first day of spring.
At more than 800 sites around the United States and the world, students will be marching today for stronger gun laws. Here’s a map of the U.S. sites:
Here is the movement’s mission statement:
Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.
March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now.
On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority. The collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement will be heard.
School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing. The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.
Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last. We live in fear.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Change is coming. And it starts now, inspired by and led by the kids who are our hope for the future. Their young voices will be heard.
Stand with us on March 24. Refuse to allow one more needless death.
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES!
Reddit has an entire “Shower Thoughts” subreddit dedicated to “the miniature epiphanies you have that highlight the oddities within the familiar.” Here are a few recent ones:
If the Earth was flat, why haven’t the cats pushed everything off by now?
Teenagers drink alcohol to feel like older adults. Adults drink alcohol to feel like teenagers again.
A candle is a pet fire.
It’s water under the bridge because you are over it.
Cavemen, from birth to death, never had to know what it felt like to hold a pee in for an uncomfortable amount of time.
At age 30, you’ve spent a month having birthdays
Good Morning is a greeting but Good Night is a farewell even if you see a person for the first time at night.
Soy sauce is just normal sauce introducing itself in Spanish.
To stop a piece of paper from folding you put it in a folder.
It would be nice if before going to bed, life asked us if we want to save progress.
“I feel as if we have neglected our duty as stewards of creation and should have done more for this species.” So said Rev. Charles Odira, a Roman Catholic conservationist priest from Kenya, speaking about the death of 45-year-old rhino named Sudan who was euthanized March 19 after suffering an infection and serious complications due to his advanced age.
Two northern white rhinos now remain: Najin, Sudan’s daughter, and Fatu, his granddaughter. Both of them live at the same conservancy where Sudan lived and died. In 1960 there were about 2,000 northern white rhinos, but since then, war, loss of habitat, and poaching of rhino horns decimated the population.
Conservationists hope to save the northern white rhino from extinction by extracting Najin and Fatu’s eggs; fertilizing them in vitro with banked sperm; and then implanting the embryos in surrogate southern white rhino females.
Two big developments in the evangelical megachurch world this week regarding the growing movement to include church communities in the #METOO movement against sexual harassment and abuse.
First, Andy Savage, teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN, who has been in the news since it came to light that he abused a student in his youth ministry earlier in his career, resigned. He stepped down after a leave of absence and lengthy investigation by Scott Fredricks, a Fort Worth lawyer whose specialties include assisting churches with child-abuse investigations.
Perhaps Savage and the church are starting to get it. In a letter to the church, the pastor said, “Your passionate opinions on this important matter have truly helped me to gain perspective that I simply could not have achieved on my own. I have come to understand Jules’ vantage point better, and to appreciate the courage it took for her to speak up.” And the church leadership admitted “that it was defensive rather than empathetic in its initial reaction to Ms. Jules Woodson’s communication concerning the abuse she experienced.”
While Jules cried out for justice, I carelessly turned the topic to my own story of moral change, as if getting my own life in order should help to make up for what she went through and continues to go through.
Meanwhile, in what could be an even more far-reaching bombshell in evangelicalism, the Chicago Tribune reports on an investigation regarding inappropriate behavior by Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church. Christianity Today has also reported on the story.
What makes the accusations against Hybels most troubling is that a number of them involve or have been alleged by some of his closest friends and colleagues at Willow, including Nancy Beach, Leanne Mellado, Vonda Dyer, and John and Nancy Ortberg.
For his part, Hybels adamantly denies any wrongdoing whatsoever: “This has been a calculated and continual attack on our elders and on me for four long years. It’s time that gets identified. I want to speak to all the people around the country that have been misled … for the past four years and tell them in my voice, in as strong a voice as you’ll allow me to tell it, that the charges against me are false. There still to this day is not evidence of misconduct on my part.”
A FEW PERSPECTIVES I SAW THIS WEEK…
QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
Wonderful songwriting and performance by Amanda Shires and her husband, Jason Isbell.