November links

The sky is gray, the air is cold, and Saturday is here! I actually took a nap today and it was fantastic! How is your weekend going?

A colorful weekend roundup for you on this gray-sky November Saturday:

1) I want to go thrift store shopping with this girl:

2) Aren’t these Kyrgyz carpets beautiful? My coworker, who was in Bishkek for the presidential elections recently said this was one of the coolest stores she’d ever been in.

3) Here’s a book I’d like to read: “Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

4) And here’s something great from a book I’m currently readingย – Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. He’s one of my favorite authors – funny and profound. Reading him makes me think big thoughts and take myself less seriously:

One day Laura brought up an odd topic: racism in the history of the church…

I told her how frustrating it is to be a Christian in America, and how frustrated I am with not only the church’s failures to contribute to the solution. I wondered out loud, though, if there was a bigger issue, and I mistakenly made the callous comment that racism might be a minor problem compared to bigger trouble we have to deal with.

“Racism not an issue?!” she questioned very sternly.

“How can you say that?” She sat back restlessly in her chair. “Don, it is an enormous problem.”

I was doing a lot of backpedaling at first, but then I began to explain what I meant. “Yeah, I understand it is a terrible and painful problem, but in light of the whole pictures, racism is a signal of something greater. There is a larger problem here than tension between ethnic groups.”

“Unpack that statement,” Laura said.

“I’m talking about self-absorption. If you think about it, the human race is pretty self-absorbed. Racism might be the symptom of a greater disease. What I mean is, as a human I am flawed in that it is difficult for me to consider others before myself. It feels like I have to fight against this force, this current within me that, more often than not, wants to avoid serious issues and please myself, but things for myself, feed myself, entertain myself, and all of that. All I’m saying is that, if we, as a species, could fix our self-absorption, we could end a lot of pain in the world.

P.S. Did you know there’s going to be a Blue Like Jazz movie??

5) Also, did you know that, according to Business Solidarity (an organisation that works to protect small businessmen in Russia) one out of every six Russian entrepreneurs is in prison? Check out this BBC report on businesses trying to combat corruption in Russia, and look for a feature story on the danger of doing business in Russia (produced by yours truly!) on Reuters video in the next two weeks.

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One Response to November links

  1. Elizabeth, hello. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for your comments on my site. Yes, hours of relaxing with friends, family and food are so wonderful, aren’t they? So where do you get pumpkin pie supplies in Russia?

    I’m glad you have good memories of youth group and lessons there. We have great memories too, and you are in them! ๐Ÿ™‚ This Lord’s prayer exercise was interesting to me.

    I did not know that there was a Blue Like Jazz movie coming out. Interesting! I found that book thought-provoking and enjoyed it. Have you read the L’Engle book too?

    See you in MN soon.
    Jennifer
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

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