Welp, 30 years later, I jumped on the John Piper bandwagon and now I can add him to the list of Johns that my dad and I wholeheartedly adore. (Johns also included: Wayne, the Apostle and Cash). I'm partway through Dad's 1986 edition of "Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist" and I'm all about it.
Does this make me an adult? I DON'T EVEN CARE.
John's been talking about pleasure and how our Puritan ancestors really gave it a bad reputation, when in reality, God created us to ENJOY. And the fullness of enjoyment is found in praise. He quotes C.S.Lewis:
I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment: it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete until it is expressed.
So here are five things I have been enjoying lately. I'm praising them because I'm greedy for joy and inappropriately loyal to my own tastes:
1. (This one goes without saying, but comes with a bonus picture): DESIRING GOD by John Piper
2. MEET ME AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD by Over the Rhine
Does everyone already know about these guys? Whatever, I won't pretend to be a music critic. All I know is that when I listen to them, it feels like someone is brushing my hair and ladeling me a mug of hot apple cider. And I don't hate that. Not one bit. Since The Civil Wars can't stop...well...civil warring and since The Weepies won't stop birthing children, these guys are my new folksy co-ed jam.
3. SPACESHIP COUPE by Bekah Jordan
OH MA GAHHH. I have such a blog crush on this girl. She's brilliant and funny in that offhand way that just astounds me. ASTOUNDS ME, BEKAH. Her blog started with a diagnosis of leukemia and a promise -via Rilke- to "Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final." and oh, she does this so gracefully and deliciously. Beauty and terror. Here is one of my favorite sentences:
Last Sunday night in my living room, surrounded by beautiful friends, we poked our fingers (and thumbs?) into books like pies to see what kind of plums followed them out.
And here is where I ached at the honesty and pledged my allegiance.
Some days I feel like laughing the hell out of this thing, and believe you me: I am collecting cancer jokes for the comedy that I am writing/living (stay tuned). Some days I'm ready to just beat this thing, real quick-- brb just gotta beat cancer. Some days I look at my arms and legs and stomach veins in the mirror and wonder at its being trapped inside my body. Some days I can't seem to get out of bed, or my house, or read another damn page of some damn book because I'm tired of confinement, and I'm not even on real lock-down yet. And some days I feel content with the beauty of the world. All I can do is begin exactly where I am. I need to experience my life, as preciously as I can- but fully in the way that it comes to me.
Follow Bekah's story at http://spaceshipcoupe.blogspot.com/ I'm currently trying to convince her to guest post (right after I finish introducing myself and confessing my crush) so if you like what you read, let us know!
...and now, since the 8th grader in me feels like I just introduced you to my hotter, more interesting friend...come back and pay attention to meeee.
4. THIS AMAZING SPEECH by Neil Gaiman
If you've ever (like me) wondered how different our world might be if we took children's books to high schools or prisons or Congress, to scrape off the gunk of maturity and remind people of simple truths, you should read this speech. It is so, so good. I love this part:
[As you read], you're also finding out something vitally important for making your way in the world. And it's this:
The world doesn't have to be like this. Things can be different...
...Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.
5. THIS PICTURE OF THIS DOG.
I'm not exaggerating when I say I look at it every night and giggle uncontrollably. I'd venture to say that this picture has brought me more joy than numbers 1-4 combined. Take that as you will.
BONUS #6: A SHAMELESS PLUG
I've been really amazed and delighted at how quickly our little Facebook community has sprung up. Would you consider LIKING my page by following this link or by simply using the box in the upper right hand corner of the blog? If you already follow, would you consider inviting 5 (or 7! or 92!) friends that you think may enjoy our mix of depth and derp? You can invite them from within the actual Facebook page.
I promise to return next week with something on the side of depth. Keep it classy out there, guys.