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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Saturday Round-Up, 6/7/14

I love when people do great round-up posts. Rachel Held Evans curates good content for her Sunday Superlatives. Darryl Dash, a pastor I've just recently met in Toronto, has a post every Saturday, which I like, called Saturday Links. (A lot of his content is geared toward pastors, but he also seems to find interesting time management stuff, too.) Another online writing friend, Bronwyn Lea, posts a "Pick of the Clicks" each week, and it's always worth checking out. I can't promise that I will do round-up posts regularly around here. (This is not the time to be promising anything - not when summer is upon us, and the book is about to release.) But I've been realizing, as I've been writing so much content on the topic of desire, that I'm finding lots of good food for thought. It seems only natural to share it with you.


4 Principles of Prayer from Saint Augustine by Tim Keller

1. "You must account yourself desolate in this world." 2. "Pray for a happy life." 3. Learn to pray as the Lord's Prayer teaches us to pray. 4. Pray for the removal of your tribulations - and yet submit to God's will.

Looking for Another Country: Nostalgia and Desire in C.S. Lewis and T.S. Eliot

"Like Lewis, it is the sense of longing for a lost Eden and the joy that whispers of fulfillment that drives Eliot to his greatest accomplishments."

"When I Want Something So Bad that God Hasn't Given (yet)" by Lina Abujamra

1. Do I want it more than Him? 2. Am I using Him to Get it? 3. Am I willing to live without it? 4. How long am I willing to wait for it?

The Art of Focus by David Brooks

"Like everyone else, I'm losing the attention war . . . The lesson from childhood, then, is that if you want to win the war for attention, don’t try to say “no” to the trivial distractions you find on the information smorgasbord; try to say “yes” to the subject that arouses a terrifying longing, and let the terrifying longing crowd out everything else."

"Emotion isn't the Caboose to Faith" Interview with Tim Keller

"This book [Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions] seeks to reach the heart, though I give much philosophical argument. I don't think people would actually sit down and listen to The Reason for God unless they already might wish that Christianity does make sense. A lot of people aren't going to give the time it takes to think it through if they don't care if Christianity is true. But if you expose people to Jesus' claims and offers, that makes people say, 'That would be great—living water.' It has to make emotional and even cultural sense to people before they sit down and decide if it makes rational sense."

A Life Beyond Do What You Love by Gordon Marino

"The faith that my likes and dislikes or our sense of meaning alone should decide what I do is part and parcel with the gospel of self-fulfillment. Philosophy has always been right to instruct that we can be as mistaken about our views on happiness as anything else. The same holds for the related notion of self-fulfillment. Suppose that true self-fulfillment comes in the form of developing into “a mature human being.” This is of course not to claim that we ought to avoid work that we love doing just because we love doing it. That would be absurd. For some, a happy harmony exists or develops in which they find pleasure in using their talents in a responsible, other-oriented way."

Here is our God - Why A Book?

Kathleen Nielson and Don Carson have written a book, Here is Our God, a compilation of the talks from TGC’s conference for women in Orlando this year.

"It reveals the commitment of TGC’s pastor-leaders to value and encourage the women of the church in studying and teaching the Scriptures. . . How crucial for the church to be raising up strong women of the Word—women who know it, love it, declare it, and live it.”

Women, Work and Faith: Five Common Themes by Bethany Jenkins

"I wear many hats." "I'm not sure how my work matters." "I'm not done yet." "I see brokenness everywhere." "But God."


In defense of the aesthetic

"The most powerful anti-aesthetic force to be overcome in the church today is the utilitarian mindset that demands some practical application or tangible outcome of art works in order to justify their pursuit. The leading Christian aestheticians of our time, H. R. Rookmaaker, Leland Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, and Nicholas Wolterstorff, have all critiqued this attitude. Again, we take our cue from God himself, whose works include myriad instances of beautiful things that have no practical use beyond the enjoyment and aesthetic satisfaction they bring."

-James S. Spiegel, Aesthetics and Worship, 1998

How we must read Scripture

"Your best servant is he who does not attend so much to hearing what he himself wants as to willing what he has heard from you." Augustine


Deuteronomy 10:12-22

"And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?"