In the calm

So many of us are caught up in exhibiting things for others to see, not showing off property and possessions, but our blessings. All these things that we so proudly show have to go. But there is something greater that can never go– the life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

– Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest

 

Inside track

Historical look at Manhattan: http://nyti.ms/1D3DoOY

Knausgaard doesn’t reveal the identity of the American writer he had lunch with. But I will: It was me. I may be the first reviewer of Knausgaard’s autobiographical works who has appeared in one of them. Therefore, I’m in a perfect position to judge how he uses the stuff of his life to fashion his stories. Ever since Knausgaard turned me into a minor character, I have an inside track on what he’s doing.

There is nothing factually incorrect about Knausgaard’s account. But, on reading it, I saw what he was doing. Knausgaard wanted to draw a distinction between Scandinavians and Americans when it comes to small talk. In fact, the reason we couldn’t talk to each other had less to do with cultural differences than with the fact that we are both nervous people with self-esteem problems who were uncomfortable in each other’s presence. That didn’t fit into Knausgaard’s argument at that point in the article, however; and so, like any professional writer, he used the part of the story that served his need.

–  Jeffrey Eugenides ‘Karl Ove ­Knausgaard’s ‘My Struggle: Book 4’‘ The New York Times

Beyond superficial

Fashion is one of the oldest tools for communication, it expresses so much. On the other hand, trends can be bought and they’re mostly all about surface. You can be a trendy guy, but at the same time be very conservative. Of course, fashion can also be superficial.

– Frank Lottermann in ‘Cities & Stories’ by Freunde von Freunden for Mango

There is access to the dinner itself. There is access to the parties that surround the dinner. There is access to the celebrities and power players who show up at the dinner. But access is the god that failed, with terrible consequences that no one in Washington journalism can reckon with. Instead, they party the pain away. And that is one thing tonight is “about.”

– Jay Rosen ‘On the deep grammar of the White House Correspondents Association Dinner‘ PressThink

Whereas the typical American cruiser’s ambitions peak at stress-testing the all-you-can-eat buffet, Chinese travelers see cruises as an opportunity for self-improvement. “Chinese guests want to explore,” said Cherry Wang, country director for Princess Cruises in China. “They want to raise their level of life.” That may mean seeing new places, learning new skills, or improving their economic situation.

– Christopher Beam ‘The People’s Republic of Cruiseland‘ Bloomberg Businessweek

Slaves to righteousness

A worker who lacks this serious controlling emphasis of concentration on God is apt to become overly burdened by his work. He is a slave to his own limits, having no freedom of his body, mind, or spirit. Consequently, he becomes burned out and defeated. There is no freedom and no delight in life at all. His nerves, mind, and heart are so overwhelmed that God’s blessing cannot rest on him.

But the opposite case is equally true– once our concentration is on God, all the limits of our life are free and under the control and mastery of God alone. There is no longer any responsibility on you for the work. The only responsibility you have is to stay in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your cooperation with Him.

Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest

So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

– Galatians 4:7-9

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

– Romans 6: 17-19

Pulitzer 2015 picks (3)

But if 200-year-old Ichabod Crane can adapt to a world in which white men aren’t the only people whose lives matter, presumably TV can too.

– Mary McManara ‘Broadcasting the big strides in TV diversity‘ LA Times

The second season of the dark and dastardly inner-Beltway drama “House of Cards” dropped at 12:01 a.m. on Valentine’s Day. If Netflix knows as much about its subscribers as we think they do, this pretty much proves what we’ve long suspected: Binge-watching has become the new sex.

Actually it makes some narrative sense. Despite its byzantine plots of power and politics, “House of Cards” is, essentially, a love story.

– Mary McManara ‘Review: ‘House of Cards’ plays new hand with brutal, clear resolve‘ LA Times