this week’s roundup (feb. 19)

The “other side” of The Blind Side. On Twitter and Facebook, I’ve mentioned my friend Marcus Zumwalt before – he (and his family) really lives out that Christian call to radical hospitality. Check out his latest post about the film and how in those exceptional, heart-warming stories, we sometimes forget about the difficult reality of dreams that don’t come to fruition.

Matthew Paul Turner has an interesting article about an interview he once had with Amy Grant, in which he was forced by CCM to get her to apologize for her divorce. Fascinating look at a certain subset of Christian culture, and a subtle condemnation of the CCM industry in general.

I tend to be a sucker for cover songs as well as music by the Talking Heads, so this week’s installment at Covered in Folk is especially entertained to me. Recommend tracks Bell X1’s take on Heaven, Robin Danar (ft. Jim Bianco) doing Life During Wartime, and Bruce Lash’s Psycho Killer. (And as much I loved the idea of 6 different versions of This Must be the Place, I realized I’m too invested in the original to give the covers a fair listen).

Julie Clawson has some great thoughts on Lent – short version – it’s not about denial, it about opening yourself up to God’s transforming power. I think she’s right on the money. Jonny Baker also points to some useful helps for Ash Wednesday (and into Lent) as well. I’m still in the process of exploring the 40 Days of Yes by CMS which he recommends, and the Ash Wednesday prayer by Christine Sine, is very powerful (and more than a little convicting). Baker also put up another “worship trick” this week and I’m totally drawn in by the idea – using filtered glasses to show differing theological insights (you’ll have to read the post the understand), but if really creative worship is your thing check it out.

Jay Voorhees picks up on a small controversy in the British Methodist Church by some comments by David Gamble, seemingly taken out of context to suggest he is proposing folding the British Methodist Church into the Church of England. As Jay points out, Gamble’s real point – how we need to put the mission before the institution – is an important one, of which we need to continually remind ourselves.

Another food hack via Lifehacker – grow your own onions.