Laudable Linkage

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Here’s my latest list of good reads found online recently:

Should Christians Abandon Christmas? HT to Challies. “When churches ‘ignore’ Christmas, how much preaching and teaching are they likely to receive on the incarnation?” “The abuse of something shouldn’t be allowed to destroy its proper use.”

On the Death of John Allen Chau. Good points all, especially the first one: “We don’t need to rush to judgment.”

3 Internet Accusations Against Missionaries, HT to Challies.

Singleness Is Not a Problem to Be Solved, HT to True Woman.

Gospel Hope for a Weary Mom, HT to True Woman.

Pastors: Preach, Don’t Rant, HT to Challies. Good advice for writers and teachers, too.

The 50% Lie, HT to Challies. Turns out it has never been true that 50% of marriages end in divorce, by any way of measuring. “Imagine the difference to our collective consciousness about marriage and divorce if we began to say ‘Most marriages last a lifetime’ [8 out of 10] rather than ‘Half of marriages end in divorce.'”

Why J. I. Packer Reads Mystery Novels (Or, In Defense of Light Reading), HT to Challies. “Light reading is not for killing time (that’s ungodly), but for refitting the mind to tackle life’s heavy tasks (that’s the Protestant work ethic, and it’s true).”

And finally, a smile found on Pinterest:

Happy Saturday!

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Laudable Linkage

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Here are noteworthy reads discovered this last week:

Hope for Parents of Prodigals.

Is Behavior More Important Than Doctrine? HT to Challies.

God Is With Us Every Present Moment. A book I’m reading talks about “reframing” memories. This is a good example.

The Space Between Courtship and Dating. I think this is right on the mark.

How to Repair the National Marriage, HT to Lisa.

Love Other Mothers as Thyself. “When we impose one-size-fits-all labels upon parenting, we fail in our call to love one another, and we also disregard God’s sovereign work in motherhood.”

Contentment in Motherhood, HT to Story Warren. Though the context of the post is motherhood, the encouragement to contentment and basis for contentment in Scripture are good for anyone.

Daring to Be Wholehearted. “The appeal of Cool is obvious in a world where things go wrong and we are sometimes powerless. But like an impulsively purchased pet python that seemed so harmless as a baby, have we forgotten how Cool can consume?”

Growing Old Graciously, HT to Challies.

When Flesh and Heart Fail: Why Believers Should Consider Advanced Directives.

Salvation Bracelets in Africa? No, Thanks, HT to Challies. “In order to share the gospel effectively, we must be willing to let go of our assumptions and to sensitively ask lots of questions in order to examine the culture deeply. We have to forget what feels comfortable and natural in our own culture and embrace what works in the culture we’re serving in.”

This is sweet, HT to Story Warren. A family took in an abandoned calf they found after a hurricane, and their dog “adopted” it:

Laudable Linkage

I’m back with my periodic round-up of note-worthy reads discovered online in the last couple of weeks:

Called Out to Gather. Good discussion of the Biblical teaching about the church.

Spiritual Drafting and the Dangers of Christian Complacency. “We all benefit from observing other Christians and seeing how they live the Christian life. This is God’s grace to us, giving us men and women who are worthy of imitation, putting people in our lives who are stronger than we are spiritually. But having such strong believers in our lives is meant to drive us to imitate them, not to simply take advantage of their efforts. Their example is meant to spur us on to greater earnestness in our spiritual lives, greater discipline in our pursuit of holiness.”

When NOT Helping Hurts. A missionary wrestles with the dilemma of when help is actually needed and when it fosters dependency.

Three Things You Should Not Say to a Newlywed.

Lessons From Little People: Life at Child Speed. Some go forward at full-tilt, some like to stop and explore and ponder.

Evolution and a Universe as Young as Humanity.

Hermeneutical Fidelity – Key Bible Passages in the Same Sex Marriage Debate. Answers to revisionist interpretations concerning homosexuality.

Why N. D. Wilson Writes Scary Stories for Children. I’ve not read one of his books, but his philosophy here reminds me of C. S. Lewis’s quote that to withhold “the knowledge that he is born into a world of death, violence, wounds, adventure, heroism and cowardice, good and evil…would be to give children a false impression and feed them on escapism in the bad sense. There is something ludicrous in the idea of so educating a generation which is born to the Ogpu and the atomic bomb. Since it is so likely they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.”

And I thought this was cute, especially how much the dog’s tail was wagging all the way through!

Happy Saturday!

Book Review: Gentle Savage Still Seeking the End of the Spear: The Autobiography of a Killer and the Oral History of the Waorani

Gentle SavageMenkaye was one of several Waorani (then known as Auca) men responsible for spearing to death Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming, and Ed McCully, five missionaries who had come to try to reach them with the gospel, in what was known as Operation Auca. Gentle Savage Still Seeking the End of the Spear: The Autobiography of a Killer and the Oral History of the Waorani by Menkaye Aenkaedi with Kemo and Dyowe is Menkaye’s effort to tell his story in his own words – at least, as close to his own words as possible. He cannot write, so he shared his story verbally with someone who spoke his language as well as Spanish, and then it was translated from Spanish to English.

Menkaye begins with what could be called “the Moipa years.” Moipa was a highly skilled Waorani hunter who, out of fear of reprisals for the people he had killed, began killing almost everyone who crossed him or who might someday: men, women, children (who might grow up to take revenge), grandparents, anyone. The people lived in constant fear of him, and many attempts on his life did not succeed. When he finally did die, killing at the slightest provocation, for any real, perceived, or potential threat or wrong had become a way of life. That included any outsiders. Their encounters with non-Waorani had not gone well, and what could they want anyway except to encroach on their territory or to steal from them or hurt them? Better to kill them off before they struck first, they reasoned.

The missionaries had known that the Waorani, or Aucas, as they knew them, were violent, but they had learned some Waorani words from Dayuma, a woman who had escaped the tribe some years before, had flown Nate Saint’s plane over them a number of times, shouting out Auca/Waorani phrases, had dropped gifts to them and received some in return, so they thought the people were receptive to meeting them. They set up camp in their territory, and a man and two women  from the tribe came to visit them, the man even going up for a ride. Everything seemed to be going well. But then a group of Waorani came at them and speared them and tore the fabric off the plane.

Years later, when Elisabeth Elliot had come to know them and asked them why they had speared the men, they replied, “For no purpose.” In Olive Fleming Liefeld’s book, Unfolding Destinies, when she went back to visit and asked the same question, they told her they had not understood the photos the men had shown them. They thought the photos of Dayuma meant that she had died, supposedly at the men’s hands. Later still, Steve Saint related in End of the Spear that when he went back to live and work with the Waorani for a time, he was told there was a disagreement between them about one’s man’s wanting to marry one of the women. Some who were involved got angry, and to divert their turning on each other, someone turned their attention to the missionaries, starting a raid. Menkaye relates that all of these are true. One of the men involved in the argument they were having about marriage began to say that the photos meant that the men were cannibals, and they should spear them before the men killed and ate them.

This event that shook the world is given relatively few pages in Menkaye’s book. With all the people they had killed, these men were just a blip on their radar, another threat averted. But some time later, Dayuma came back to the tribe and told them they had made God angry and they needed to stop killing. Amazingly, they were willing to lay down their spears and hear more. Rachel Saint (Nate’s sister) and Elisabeth and Valerie Elliot (Jim’s wife and young daughter) were invited to come and teach them. Though I had read in Through Gates of Splendor and other books that over time several of the Waorani had come to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, it was touching and beautiful to hear this experience described in more detail by Menkaye and to hear him, Kemo, and Dyowe tell of the joy and freedom in their hearts. Dyowe told Rachel:

I want you to know…that I was one of the men…who killed your brother Nathanael when he was on the beach with the others. I know that God wants to forgive me. But I want to tell you too to forgive me for the things that I have done. I didn’t understand anything back then, and I didn’t know who they were. But I will say that I truly know God has forgiven me today. I want to give myself to Him. It was not only your brother who died. Many, many people died besides him at the point of my spear. But today is the last of my own spear for me. I have found a new spear to pierce the hearts of many people (p. 231).

Almost immediately they became concerned for other branches of the tribe that had broken off to live in new areas, and they tried to reach them with the gospel. Some were martyred in the attempt, and most of these other branches are still not believers, thus the second part of Menkaye’s rather bulky title about still seeking the end of the spear. In fact, one of the end notes relates that while the book was in progress, another raid had taken place against oil company employees.

The next part of Menkaye’s book tells of changes that have taken place in the Waoranis, and the last few chapters, some of the most valuable for anyone seeking to work with tribal people, are his vision for his people. He and other Waorani are not opposed to progress and to changes. They see them as inevitable. Menkaye’s own son attended aviation school in Michigan in the US. They don’t want their young people to lose their Waorani skills and heritage completely, though, and they want any future work within the tribe to be handled differently than it has been. In the past, people were sent in who pretty much took over instead of coming under the tribal leadership – even Rachel and Dayuma. Rachel wanted to set Dayuma in charge, but either Dayuma wasn’t quite cut out for it or the authority went to her head or she backslid or something – Menkaye details a number of problems with her leadership. To be generous, this was something Rachel and Dayuma had not been trained for, and mistakes were made. Menkaye and the others are not bitter and they appreciated everything done for them, especially helping them to understand the gospel, but they did want to point out some of the issues and correct them.

The ones who should be choosing the leaders are the Waorani themselves, based upon what we ourselves see in those candidates, young or old, who have demonstrated maturity from a Biblical perspective, and have carefully studied the Bible in order to know the principles in depth that will be taught and lived out. Never should it be a random choice based on a superficial view of any person., especially someone from the Outside (p. 323).

Reading this makes me appreciate even more the emphasis among missionaries our churches have supported in leading rather than driving the people and in training up leaders from within the people group they are ministering to rather than continuing to bring in leadership from the outside.

I’m sure another difficulty in working with tribal people is how to navigate changes. One doesn’t want to unduly influence their culture, but one doesn’t want to hold them back, either. That is all I can figure was going on when the people began to ask Rachel for clothes and boots, and she said they had done fine without them before and didn’t need them now, according to Menkaye. But they had always lived and worked in the jungle before, where it was shady, and Rachel had them out in the open under the hot sun clearing space for an airstrip and didn’t seem to understand they wanted protection from the sun beating on their backs. I think either she was trying not to change them in that way, or she was trying to squelch their looking for handouts, but evidently this is one area where she and Elisabeth disagreed: Elisabeth thought they should have clothes and arranged for them. (They kept wearing clothes but had mixed emotions about shoes. They found that boots protected them from “thorns, ants, and vipers,” but the weight of them felt odd to them, and “when we were climbing the steep mountain ridges, they made us slip in the mud and slide downward” [p. 227].)

I’ve mentioned before in other missionary book reviews (particularly here) that some people think of these primitive tribal communities as simple people frolicking in the sun who shouldn’t be disturbed by missionaries and businesses. Dr. Jim Yost says in the forward, “The tendency to idealize or romanticize ‘primitive’ culture falls to crushing blows here as the reality of life in the upper Amazon rainforest plays out in gruesome details often too explicit or vivid for the cushioned Western mind.” (p. v). How many of us would have wanted our culture to remain as it was hundreds of years ago just to preserve it? Progress has its problems but also its opportunities.

Menkaye and other Waorani are willing to embrace these opportunities while still maintaining the Waorani culture and autonomy. He has great ideas for them to integrate with the “World of the City,” to help his people explore endeavors in which they can make their own money, and to help their young people have the best opportunities for a changing future.

I do not intend to offend the churches of The Outside World who perceive their role as one of coming in to show us how to do things, but in reality, we can learn equally from each other. Is that not true? Do we not have many things to teach each other and to learn from each other? (p. 329).

If you bring us a new idea, we will welcome that, too. But we will always weigh and balance the influences and outcomes of every new component, and determine together what projects are useful and valuable, and which ones may be harmful in some way (p. 338).

The Waorani are storytellers, but their way of sharing stories is different from ours. There is much more detail than I would personally care to know about some issues, much less than I wanted to know about others, and the stories are laid out differently than we would be used to. There is an appendix of Waorani myths and legends at the end: some seem odd, some are gruesome. But then, they would probably think the same way about our fairly tales and Mother Goose rhymes.

I think this book is incredibly valuable to anyone interested in the heritage of the ministries of the Saints, Elliots, and others who initiated “Operation Auca,” and to anyone with an interest in missions, particularly in ministry to tribal peoples. I hope Menkaye lives a long time to carry out his vision and that others take it up as well.

(This review will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)

Laudable Linkage

Here is a round-up of interesting reads from the last couple of weeks:

I am afraid of this indisputable pro-choice argument. You can tell by his tone and answers that he is not. Some thought it sarcastic, but I felt he was just trying to be ironic.

They’ll Be Dead by Morning (What Difference Will It Make?)

A good series on rethinking short-term missions:

Don’t Be the Team that Refuses to Shower (can you imagine?!)
The Limo From Beverly Hills in Your Neighborhood.
How to Make Sure They Love You on the Other Side.
Don’t Be So Predictable.

7 Mistakes We Make in Women’s Bible Study.

What You Really Need in Marriage, HT to Challies.

Why Do Teenagers Rebel? Thoughts From a 19-Year-Old Who Didn’t.

Pray For Your Missionaries. HT to Kim.

Unhappy Meals.

The Gap. For writers, your first efforts are not usually your best, but they’re necessary to get to your best.

The BBC believe most people have only read 6 of these 100 classics. I gt 25, but may have read more – some I couldn’t remember if I had read the books or just seen the films. For what it’s worth, I made my own list of Books to Read Before You Die and 98 Books That Have Enriched My Life. I’d probably have 100+ now if I updated it.

And this made me smile:

DST

Happy Saturday!

31 Days of Missionary Stories: How to minister to a culture that values treachery?

peace childI first encountered Peace Child by Don Richardson several years ago in the Reader’s Digest Book Section. I cut it out and kept it, and some years later in college I also saw a film based on the book. I bought a new copy of the book after learning that these events took place in Indonesia, “next door” to where a missionary worked whom we knew and supported.This missionary knew Don and some of the people he ministered to.

In the early 1950s, many tribes in the jungles of Indonesia were totally unevangelized and virtually untouched by the modern world. Though “primitive,” they were not at all unintelligent: they had developed many skills for living in the jungle and had many legends and elaborate rituals ripe with meaning that had developed over the years. The Sawi, whom Don Richardson came to work with, were headhunters and cannibals, as were many of the other tribes. The Lord opened the doors for these people to accept the missionaries through their thinking at first that white people (whom they called Tuan) weren’t quite human, though they knew they were different from the spirits, through rumor that the Tuan could “shoot fire” (with guns), and through gifts the missionaries brought of such things as axes, which could fell a tree in four strokes, whereas the hand-made stone axes required about 40 strokes.

Three communities or villages settled around the new Tuan. Don spent hours listening to them, learning their language and their customs, and trying to tell them of God’s truth about creation, the entrance of sin, the promise of Deliverer, and the life of Christ. But the Sawi weren’t used to listening to tales about other cultures and grew bored…until Don’s narrative got to Judas. They listened intently to the story of Judas’s close relationship with Christ and his betrayal. They whistled with admiration. In their culture treachery and deception were virtues, the admirable stuff of legends. They valued not just cold murder, but the “fattening with friendship” of an unsuspecting victim, then delighted in telling about the look of astonishment on his face when he realized they were about to kill and eat him. They thought Judas was the hero of the story. Don was astonished and chilled and tried to explain that the betrayal was evil, that Jesus was the Son of God. But he couldn’t get through. Don and his wife Carol knew that God had some way to reach this culture and “set [themselves] to hope for some revelation.”

The next day fighting broke out between the different villages. That day and in the days to come, Don urged peace. Sawi villages usually kept some distance from each other, and Don realized that by having three villages come together to settle near him, the villagers were constantly being provoked to battle. Finally he felt that he should leave and settle somewhere else so that the Sawi would not end up destroying themselves. The Sawi protested they did not want Don to leave. Discussions began and leaders from both factions came to Don to assure him they would make peace.

The next day, the Sawi groups solemnly gathered. Don witnessed, to his amazement, a man from each of the warring groups bring one of his own children, with the mothers weeping, and exchange the children. Those in one group who would accept the child as a basis for peace were called to come and lay hands upon him, and the process was repeated in the other group. Then each child was taken to his new adoptive home. In a culture of violence and treachery, “at some point the Sawi had found a way to prove sincerity and establish peace…If a man would actually give his own son to his enemies, that man could be trusted.”

Don was horrified that his call for peace had caused this to happen, but soon began to see the parallels between the Sawi “peace child” and God’s sacrifice of His own Son. He began to tell them that Jesus was God’s own Peace Child to all men. Judas lost his status as hero because harming a peace child was one of the worst things someone could do. They began to see the inadequacy of their “best,” because peace in their culture only held as long as the peace child lived. When he died, old animosities could revive. But because Jesus rose again and was eternal, the peace He gave could never die.

It took many months for understanding and conviction to sink in, and even then they were afraid of angering the demons by departing from tradition. But when God enabled Don and Carol to revive a Sawi tribesman who was near death, the Sawi took this “as proof that the tuan’s God was powerful” and many began to believe.

Eventually more than half of the Sawi became believers, their language was reduced to writing, they were taught to read, the New Testament was translated, and some of the Sawi became teachers to their own people. Praise the Lord!!

As I have written before, some will criticize any attempt of other cultures to contact or influence primitive tribes. But, really, just as in the case of the Waodani (previously known as Aucas), if no one had stepped in, the Sawi would most likely have eventually ceased to exist, because each treacherous act of one group against another would set off a series of revenge battles with many more being killed. The Richardsons were careful not to try to impose a Western church upon the Sawi culture but to bring the gospel into theirs.

I would warn that the first several pages of the book describes a pretty ghastly deception and murder of one man to show by example what the Sawi culture was like. It is not gratuitous but it is graphic. I think this book would be perfectly suited for reading as a family or a class as well as for personal reading, but parents and teachers might want to preview that chapter to determine its appropriateness for the age level and personalities of their children. But I think anyone who reads it will get a glimpse into a missionary’s journey through adjustment to a different culture, perplexity in determining how best to share the gospel, the darkness of a culture without the Lord, and the amazing way God opens hearts and understanding to His truth. Stories like this are a part of the glorious fulfillment of the day John prophesied in Revelation 7:9-10: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”

A few years ago I searched for and found a copy of the film I had seen back in college, Peace Child, on DVD. I enjoyed watching it again. I am amazed at how much of the story they packed into a 30-minute film. I can’t express what it does to my heart to see former cannibals at the end of the film singing gospel songs. Then last year I came across this neat video of Don and his sons going back to visit the Sawi 50 years after that first visit.

(You can see a list of other posts in the 31 Days of Missionary Stories here.)

31 Days of Missionary Stories: Darlene Deibler Rose, Missionary POW

Evidence Not SeenEvidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II tells the story of a few eventful years in the life of Darlene Deibler Rose, who became a POW during WWII while she ministered in New Guinea. She and her new husband, Russell Deibler, left to minister in the field of New Guinea in 1938. They were pioneer missionaries in a quite rugged area.

On one of Russell’s survey visits, the chieftain he was talking with said he believed Russell and the others with him were spirits because they were all men. “Who gave birth to you?” he asked. Russell explained that he did have a wife, but his “chieftain” said she could not come because the trail was so dangerous that many men had died. The chieftain replied, “Your wife would have made it. Wherever we go, the women follow and carry the loads.” He said if she were so weak she could not make it, he would send men to help her. Meanwhile, others of the tribe decided to test whether some of the men were spirits or human by shooting arrows at them to see whether the arrows passed through or killed them, and, unfortunately, some of the tribe members were killed when the government officials who were along shot them in self-defense. On reading this in a letter from Russell, Darlene prayed, “Lord, if those people are ever to believe and understand about you, women are going to have to go there.” Immediately she felt an assurance that she was supposed to go. She dashed out to find their mission leader, who said he had a letter from Russell giving his consent for her to go.

At her first meeting with the people, they shoved her sleeve up to see if her arms were white “all the way up” and wanted to pinch her flesh to see if it was real. The chieftain did not believe she was a woman until she took off her hat and took the pins out of her heir, letting her hair fall over her shoulders. From the first moment she felt that these were her people, and she approached them and the living conditions with grace, courage, and humor.

By May of 1940, they heard that Nazis had invaded Holland; it fell within five days. Soon word came from government officials that their post must be evacuated, though they begged to stay.

They moved to another area, and within five months learned that their post was to be reopened. But then Russell was appointed assistant field chairman by a unanimous vote of the other missionaries. Russell and Darlene were both grief-stricken, but felt it was the Lord’s will, and reminding themselves that they had been willing to go anywhere, remained in Macassar.

Meanwhile, they heard news of war increasing until finally Pearl Harbor was attacked. They sought the Lord’s counsel as they continued to work and hear news reports of the Japanese taking islands near to them. One day a Dutch policeman came and told the missionaries that they had a ship on the coast and wanted to evacuate all foreigners as well as Dutch women and children. Their field chairman, Dr. Jaffray, encouraged them all to take time to pray about whether the Lord would have them stay or go so that they would have His assurance, whatever happened, that they were right where He wanted them to be. None felt led to leave. Three days later they learned that the ship had been torpedoed and sunk with no survivors.

By March 8, 1942, their island had been taken by the Japanese. They let them stay together for a while, until one day they suddenly came to take the men. Russell’s last words to Darlene were, “Remember one thing, dear: God said that he would never leave us nor forsake us.” She never saw him again.

The women were eventually taken to a prison camp, where the bulk of the book takes place. There is not space here to tell of many of the experiences, but God proved Himself faithful many times over, protecting, assuring of His Presence, answering prayer.

The camp commander, Mr. Yamaji, was notoriously cruel. Yet God gave Darlene some measure of favor in his eyes. When news came that Russell had died, Mr. Yamaji called Darlene to his office to try to encourage her somewhat. God gave her grace to tell him she did not hate him, that she was there because God loved her…and God loved him, and perhaps He allowed her to be there to tell him. She shared with him the plan of salvation, and Mr. Yamaji broke into tears and left the room. Yet from then on she felt he trusted her, and years later she heard a report of him that seemed to indicate he had trusted the Lord.

Some time later, Darlene was arrested by the secret police and taken to another prison for “questioning.” The conditions were horrible, to say the least, and Darlene also suffered from dysentery, cerebral malaria, and beriberi. She asked the Lord to heal her of dysentery — and He healed her of all three ailments. One day she saw out of her window someone secretly passing along some bananas to one of the other women. She was in solitary confinement and knew she would never receive one, but she began to crave bananas: though she had been healed, she was still starving. Then, Mr. Yamaji came to the prison to see how she was doing and to tell the secret police that she was not a spy, and after he left he had ninety-two bananas delivered to her! Days later, when she ate the last banana, she was returned to the prison camp.

The book goes on to tell of the end of the war, an opportunity to visit Russell’s grave and speak to some of the men who knew him, the process of getting back to America, rediscovering such “luxuries” as showers, fear upon arriving back in America and not knowing what to do or how to contact her family, the Lord’s provision for that as well. She recuperated at home for a long while, and eventually remarried and went back to New Guinea as a missionary.

Darlene’s story is a marvelous one of the grace of God and her courage, faith, and endurance in the midst of the most trying of circumstances.

(You can see other posts in the 31 Days of Missionary Stories here.)

(This will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)

Laudable Linkage

Here are some good online reads from the last couple of weeks:

The Value of Quiet Husbands. Good leadership isn’t always public and showy.

5 Questions Wives Should Not Ask Their Husbands.

Rising Above Familiarity With the Sublime, Part 1 and Part 2. Though written to preachers, it contains good advice for anyone who is in the Word of God regularly and is so familiar with parts of it that we can tend to lose sight of its wonder. Bonus, it’s written by our beloved former pastor.

True Womanhood Is Not About You and Me. “True womanhood is not wrapped in a sparkly white box tied up in the red, satin ribbon of our good behavior or correct conduct. True womanhood is a reflection of the very heart of God; the very character that we can rely on day-in and day-out.”

Author Adam Blumer (Fatal Illusions, linked to my review) has been writing a series In Defense of Clean Speech, arguing against the increasing practice of some Christian fiction authors to use vulgar or crude language or cursing in their work for “realism.” Part 4: What Is Unclean Speech? and Part 5: Flawed Arguments are especially good (you’ll find links to the other parts there.)

Another review of A Year of Biblical Womanhood, this one by Mary Kassian, one of the coiners of the word “complementarian,” who feels the author misrepresented the position and the movement.

2012 Photomicrography Competition, HT to Challies. There is a whole amazing world beyond our eyesight.

Years ago while in college I saw the movie  and years later read and reread the book Peace Child about the Richardson family who went to minister to the Sawi tribe of Papua, New Guinea. The Sawi were headhunters who valued deception and thought Judas was the hero of the gospel. Finally one of their rites of a peace child gave an opening to present what the gospel truly meant. This video shows Richardson and his sons going back 50 years after their first visit. Amazing what God can do in people’s hearts!