Now that all that curling’s over, it’s time to refill.

Seven up…

1) The Myth of Quality Time – QT can’t really be scheduled in small fixes. Presence counts for much more. Interesting piece from the NYT.

2) Billy Graham – Obviously, one of the big news events this week was the death of Billy Graham. As someone who was just that bit too young to have witnessed him first-hand, it’s been fascinating to hear so many people share the impact of his ministry. I was listening to a Radio 2 phone-in and was encouraged by caller after calling sharing stories of hearing him in person, as well as that then (in these cases) leading on to a lifetime of Christian faith and discipleship. There’s loads of obituaries out there, but I enjoyed hearing three present-day evangelists reflecting on how Graham’s ministry shapes them. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, then this page has a number of fascinating short clips. Of course, as well as positive plaudits, some have also taken the opportunity to criticise Graham’s views on different social issues, with one Guardian article making the claim he was ‘on the wrong side of history’. In response Stephen Kneale takes a look at the presuppositions behind that line of argument.

3) Interview with Black Panther’s Letitia Wright – Loved this honest clip on This Morning, where Wright shares how her identity being found in Jesus has impacted her acting. Brilliant example of a) sharing something of your faith in the context of a brief sentence or two, and b) showing how your Christian faith shapes how you see your job. Perhaps worth using as an example as we seek to equip others to do similarly?

4) OxfamA strikingly honest comment piece in the TLS from Mary Beard on the outrage expressed at those Oxfam aid workers who apparently paid for (perhaps under-age) sex in Haiti ends with this perceptive comment: “It is too easy to imagine that we are better than those who do the work we would be too scared to do.” John Stevens looks from a Christian perspective at how we might respond to such ‘cover-ups’.

5) A Movie So Good It Ruins You – Would You Watch It? – This is an interesting Christian reflection on the work of author David Foster Wallace (1962-2008) and his challenges about our ‘entertainment’ culture, seen particularly through the lens of his novel Infinite Jest. The plot centres around a fictional film of the same title that enchants everyone who watches it, to the extent they never want to do anything else. As it happens, after a trip to the cinema this week, I wondered if The Greatest Showman (Sing-along version, naturally) might actually be the actualisation of this concept. I think I was the only person there who hadn’t already seen it three times…

5) Contending for the Gospel: Time for a New Approach – If you’re at all interested in the Anglican church, or the health of the Church of England, then news of this intended merger between three evangelical organisations should be significant – and, if you’re anything like me, it’s personally encouraging too.

7) KFC Crisis – For something a bit different, this news clip went viral after the ‘KFC crisis’. As well as the priceless comment at the end, don’t miss the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene that seems to suggest it’s taking two men to put up a notice…

From the Archives:

Know Your Ocean (or Keller on Why It's Not as Simple as Saying We're Swimming in Post-Modern Waters)