And they're off! ~
After suffering a devastating loss in the 400M, Brazilian runner Terezinha Guilhermina and her guide Guilherme Soares de Santana win the Women's 100m at the Paralympics. Great photos there including this one:
So much to love about this. The guide had fallen in the 400 which cost them the victory, and you can see the joy here! Also love that this year, guides are also receiving medals.
Gym-Pact -- RunKeeper
I have joked about there needing to be a system that penalizes you financially for not keeping your fitness goals, and here it is, from the good people at RunKeeper!
Earn real money for making your workouts — paid for by those who missed theirs! With cash on the line, you'll find it easier than ever to get to the gym and see real results.
Somebody try it and let me know how it goes. Although, so far I have been able to keep myself motivated because of...
The Benefits of Middle Age Fitness -- New York Times
What [researchers] found was that those adults who had been the least fit at the time of their middle-age checkup also were the most likely to have developed any of eight serious or chronic conditions early in the aging process. These include heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and colon or lung cancer.
The adults who’d been the most fit in their 40s and 50s often developed many of the same conditions, but notably their maladies appeared significantly later in life than for the less fit. Typically, the most aerobically fit people lived with chronic illnesses in the final five years of their lives, instead of the final 10, 15 or even 20 years.
There's some insightful discussion in the comments about whether the study says what it claims to say. An example:
What if those middle-fit people had been fit their whole lives and it was their youthful fitness that gave them the real benefit?
I'm going to keep being fit, just in case the article is right, and because nobody has invented a time machine yet. And also because I feel much, much better in every measurable way.
The Invisible Bicycle Helmet -- Vimeo
Got this video about these two inventors from Brene Brown, who said, "I love these women's daring!" Yes indeed. [vimeo 43038579 w=500 h=281]
The Pleasure Of... -- Vimeo
Already shared this early in the week but it bears repeating. It will make you feel good. What pleasures would you add?
[vimeo 48236494 w=500 h=281]
On Christian Platitudes -- Captain Sacrament
During the FB discussion about "God has a plan" (which helped inform this) a friend shared this blog post. I appreciate this critique from someone within the church:
It may not be immediately obvious, but when people offer these phases, these stock answers, it sends a clear and demoralizing message: "I don't take your struggles seriously, and I'm not prepared to muster the theological depth to share them with you."
This might be a harsh assessment, but this is a great problem, and worthy of such consideration. If you use these Christian platitudes, these unholy clichés in your care for your brothers and sisters, I urge you to carefully consider dropping them. If you find your friends using them on you, forgive them, then challenge them. Muster some courage and tell them you find those words to be theologically empty and pastorally cold. It's the only way we're going to grow and learn to struggle together.
I think there can be another, more benign message in these platitudes: I love you so much, and am so hurt that you are hurting, that I will seek to reduce the hurt any way I can. It's just that platitudes aren't effective in reducing the hurt and in fact can make things worse.
A Chronological New Testament -- Marcus Borg
Not really new stuff here, but it's good to be reminded (and help people who didn't go to seminary to understand) that the New Testament we have is organized by genre rather than chronologically. And Paul's letters were written earliest, before the gospels.
Seeing and reading the New Testament in chronological sequence matters for historical reasons. It illuminates Christian origins. Much becomes apparent:
- Beginning with seven of Paul's letters illustrates that there were vibrant Christian communities spread throughout the Roman Empire before there were written Gospels. His letters provide a "window" into the life of very early Christian communities.
- Placing the Gospels after Paul makes it clear that as written documents they are not the source of early Christianity but its product. The Gospel -- the good news -- of and about Jesus existed before the Gospels. They are the products of early Christian communities several decades after Jesus' historical life and tell us how those communities saw his significance in their historical context.
More at the link.
Prayer for the Nation -- Jena Nardella
The benediction from night 1 of the Democratic National Convention. This has been shared widely but it's here in case you missed it. Excerpt:
Give us, oh Lord, humility to listen to our sisters and brothers across the political spectrum, because your kingdom is not divided into Red States and Blue States. Equip us with moral imagination to have real discourse. Knit us, oh God, as one country even as we wrestle over the complexity of how we ought to live and govern. Give us gratitude for our right to dissent and disagree. For we know that we are bound up in one another and have been given the tremendous opportunity to extend humanity and grace when others voice their deeply held convictions even when they differ from our own.
And my last link is especially for you church folk...
A Growing Church is a Dying Church -- Street Pastor
So much to love here.
Whenever a congregation goes looking for a new pastor, the first question on their minds when the committee interviews a new candidate is: Will this pastor grow our church?
I’m going to go ahead and answer that question right now: No, she will not.
No amount of pastoral eloquence, organization, insightfulness, amicability, or charisma will take your congregation back to back to its glory days.
Read the whole thing.