Recommended reading

Is it a lazy Saturday morning where you are? I try to keep mine that way — a time for coffee and reading, and a little writing. Here, let me give you something to read.

Sometimes I think my default mood is “irritated.” Seth Godin explains how irritation is a sign that we probably need to adjust our expectations. Read On being irritated

David Lacy tells a story of how the Christian faith is supposed to be lived and shown: in deep grace and mercy. Read Mt. Carmel Community Church

Every year Lignum Draco photographs sculptures placed on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. He began a five-part series on this year’s sculptures this week. The photographs and the sculptures themselves are always remarkable. Read Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2016 (1)



15 thoughts on “Recommended reading

  1. Some really nice reading there for my very lazy Saturday morning with coffee cup in hand, Jim.
    Funny thing that you link to the fine post with snaps from Bondi Beach, Australia. Just five minutes prior to clicking your link I read this post by the fine photographer Ess Vaun from down there: he’s been walking the same path, obviously :)

  2. hmunro says:

    Seth Godin’s pieces always have a thought-provoking perspective, but in this case I must respectfully disagree with the assertion that irritation is a choice: I had *no choice* yesterday when I was forced to skip my morning coffee and endure a crushing caffeine-withdrawal headache until noon. I don’t think I’ve ever been so eager to have my blood drawn for my annual cholesterol check! Ha ha. I also loved David Lacy’s story. What a beautifully compassionate way to set the world to rights. I do hope he’ll add a decimal point, though, for the sake of his bank account. And those photos by Lignum Draco? PRICELESS. Talk about a sculpture that truly reflects our age! Thanks for another great lineup, Jim.

    • Thank you for giving me a chance to expand on Seth Godin’s piece on irritation. I really, truly do spend a good amount of my waking hours irritated about one thing or another. What Godin’s piece helped me see is that while feelings of irritation that come may not themselves be a choice, remaining in a state of irritation is. Irritation is a muddled middle ground between acceptance and anger.

      I feel that if something is worth truly being angry about, it is worth doing something about. If it is not worth being angry about, then rather than live in irritation about it, choose instead to adapt yourself to it, to accept it. You don’t have to like it, but the path to peace requires acceptance.

      So what I’m trying to do now when I feel irritated is treat it like a signal that I have something to decide. Is this serious enough to be angry about, and thus do something about? Because if not, it’s better for me to just adapt and let go.

      • hmunro says:

        And thank YOU for expanding on Seth Godin’s piece as well, Jim. I always appreciate your thoughtful approach to emotions. And you are so right: If something is worth being truly angry about, it’s worth acting on. Otherwise, adapt and let go. What wise advice! I’ll try to apply it at work in the days ahead and see if I’m just a little bit more content by this time next week.

        • Thanks Heather! I’m a deeply emotional man. Managing my emotions takes a good amount of my energy every day. I need cognitive tools like these to help me.

        • hmunro says:

          The world needs more people like you, Jim — people who are not only in touch with their own emotions in a healthy way, but who also teach others to do the same.

  3. What is good about this Saturday morning? I was able to get out of bed, shower and dress. I am blessed to see another day! Anyway, Seth’s piece is interesting as are the comments above. If nothing else it may motivate some, as it did you apparently, to think about an action plan when irritation strikes. I have found for myself that adjusting ones expectations reduces irritation. No one individual can “fix” everything, but each one can make a conscious decision to slough off the irritation or do something about things that cause escalation to anger. I like your expansion on this.

    Thank you for promoting my little story. If only we could all grasp and practice both the receiving of grace and the giving of grace to others.

    • I’m finally learning as I near 50 years of age that I can’t fix everything. It’s nice to finally get here. Glad to promote your excellent story.

    • It demonstrates exactly the kind of mercy and grace that Christ asks us to display. I’m not sure why it’s so hard for so many Christians to do it.

  4. I’m more of a looker than a reader, so chosen to go to the sculptures first. I was lucky enough to see two years of the sculpture show in person, when I lived to the west of Sydney in the Blue Mountains. Thanks for the links. The comment conversations were very interesting, too Jim.

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