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Posts tagged "New Years Resolutions"


The Exact Middle Ground Between Lying to Yourself and Lying to Other People

Apologies in advance for harping on resolutions–low hanging fruit and all that–but I figure we only have another couple days until we hit the sell-by date. Plus, Oliver’s rant was too rich to pass up, esp given the passage from Law and Gospel that follows it (not to mention this post from a few years ago):

“We tend to lower the bar of God’s righteous Law, in the hopes that fulfilling one or a small set of them will be enough to gain the Almighty’s ear. Of course, it’s impossible to keep all of the Bible’s various moral teachings before us at any one time. Selectivity is a foregone conclusion, and the criteria for such selection will always be pride-driven, at least in part. But it is also a defense mechanism, dividing up righteousness into manageable, seemingly do-able parts. Like the Rich Young Ruler who walks away from Jesus in great sadness, we’d certainly like to parse and snip our way into an achievable spirituality—one that doesn’t drive us to the grave every day of our lives.”

Heading Back to Church: The Prodigal Son and His New Year's Resolution

Heading Back to Church: The Prodigal Son and His New Year’s Resolution

Like you, I adore and admire the New Years’ resolutions that fill my social media newsfeed every January. Please, tell me more about the Whole30 diet you are doing. Yes, I want to see your feet photos from the treadmill. Smart friends, what books you will be reading while I watch the latest incarnation of the Housewives franchise?

I kid, of course. Resolutions do have their place. There’s something hopeful about them, even when done with tongue in cheek. Something unavoidable. And Lord knows we can use all the cheerleaders we can get, virtual or no.

Just please, keep our churches out…

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2015: And Now, We Sing

2015: And Now, We Sing

A few weeks ago, my husband turned to me from our calendar. “Want to hear how we did this year?” he asked half-jokingly, citing the list we had made at the beginning of the year: goals, wishes, resolutions. I’ve talked here about my movement away from lists, but God help me if I can get away from them altogether, their bullet-point succinctness taunting me away from the narrative-driven unpredictability of grace and tempting me back to performancism.

I told him to read me the list.

This was at the beginning of December. The goals were laudable (eat better, read more)…

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From The New Yorker

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Another Week Ends: Failed God Movies, Vintner Jesus, Modernized Evangelicals, Church-Nerd Humor and (More) Futile Resolutions

Another Week Ends: Failed God Movies, Vintner Jesus, Modernized Evangelicals, Church-Nerd Humor and (More) Futile Resolutions

1. The Net’s been a little sparse this week due, I assume, to people traveling and days off work and such, so here’s a brief week-ender with a few good links. First off, at The Atlantic, Emma Green wonders why 2014’s most religious movies were some of its worst, citing Noah (which was pretty good in our books); Exodus, which seems pretty over-the-top/plain bad; as well as Left Behind, God’s Not Dead, and Heaven Is for Real, all of which we’d probably have theological (not to mention critical) reservations about. Anyway, she diagnoses a few interesting problems of the God-movie genre in our day:

Despite their varying…

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New Year, Old Me

New Year, Old Me

Maybe its just me, but after the final Candlelight Christmas service is finished, the last relative has gone home, and all of the gifts have been unwrapped, there I find myself staring the New Year right in her shiny, best-intentioned face. I’m the Ebenezer Scrooge of New Years. I loathe the pressure to make a resolution. Phrases like “goals for the year” or “Paleo Diet” make me feel short of breath.

Its not that I don’t get on the New Year’s bandwagon with everyone else. As I write, we have three healthy cookbooks on their way to my house. I plan on reorganizing my 7-month-old daughter’s nursery…

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Another Week Ends: Reciprocal Favors, Atheism's Biggest Challenge, The New Yorker Profiles Francis I, Declining WASPs, Social Media Christmas Cards, Ascendant Meritocracies, and Simon Pegg

Another Week Ends: Reciprocal Favors, Atheism’s Biggest Challenge, The New Yorker Profiles Francis I, Declining WASPs, Social Media Christmas Cards, Ascendant Meritocracies, and Simon Pegg

1. New Year’s Resolutions: we’ve said about all we’re going to say concerning a yearly ritual of personal bootstrapping, but some great articles this year from Tullian Tchividjian (on the spiritual side of things), from Woody Guthrie’s Sermon-on-the-Mount-standard life guide (pictured below), and finally, a wonderful Quartz article about how to make resolutions you can keep. After long study, they basically reverse-engineered the historically Christian approach to behavior change, from one perspective:

Losing weight, drinking less alcohol, and spending more time with family tend to top New Year’s resolution lists—but they are also among the most commonly broken resolutions. Although about 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% of us manage to achieve these goals…

I have…

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Resolved to Fail: Honesty and Personal Transformation

Resolved to Fail: Honesty and Personal Transformation

Well, time for our annual skepticism of New Year’s resolutions to take off a little (despite a promise to stop – our wills are bound here!), with this timely reflection on habit-change coming from our friend Jim McNeely:

It’s New Year’s!

It’s a new year, and I’m always excited about that. This year is especially a time for me to set new directions, new career paths, new relationships, and new patterns and disciplines. However, I’ve learned about myself that the cliche can be true, that these things last only so long. You have to be careful to plan things that are doable and simple,…

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Repping it Out: Secular Puritans and Eschatological Fitness

Repping it Out: Secular Puritans and Eschatological Fitness

Usually this time of year, gym signups soar to an all-year high and hundreds of latent members suddenly become two-hours-a-day gymgoers. The one in my town had to post guidelines for when people should come because it’s so busy; when asked why the gym had taken on so many members, the man casually intimated that the few still attending in February would have all the space in the world.

We’re trying not to poke too much fun at gym memberships or New Year’s resolutions this year, which certainly play into the January workout phenomenon. Almost everyone in contemporary America is image-conscious…

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Creed, Cult and Conduct: The Three C's of Religion (and Resolutions)

Creed, Cult and Conduct: The Three C’s of Religion (and Resolutions)

As we enter anew the (albeit short) season of new beginnings, CrossFit classes will inevitably fill and un-fill; I will buy another weekly planner to fill up until February, and then I will lose it under my car seat. It’s fun to joke about this time–and everyone does. It’s also about the only time that we humans are on to something that, for the most part, we are completely unwilling to fess up to: the reality that if we are infallibly anything, we are infallibly religious. It is, as Robert Farrar Capon says, “everybody’s favorite subject, bar none.” And here,…

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Resolving to Love Calvin and Hobbes (21 Years Later)

Resolving to Love Calvin and Hobbes (21 Years Later)

It’s hard to believe that New Year’s Eve marks the 21st anniversary of the end of Calvin and Hobbes. While two decades may sound like a long time, the strip has hardly dated at all. Instead, it is slowly but surely being recognized as the work of art that it is/was, and not just by us. The amount of expression and joy and humanity that Bill Watterson was able to wring out of those four panels over ten short years (1985-1995) is simply astounding. Mark my words: Calvin and Hobbes will go down as one of the abiding cultural achievements…

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Calvin and Hobbes Ring in the New Year