(from Alcoholics Anonymous, "There Is A Solution")
This passage from the AA textbook also is perfect for the people I have encountered in the blogosphere. Rich, poor, faithful and faithless, gay and straight, every color of the rainbow - and yet we find fellowship out here in the digital kingdom. I am blessed by all the people I have found "out here."
Right about the time I went into my blogging funk/hiatus, I got a particular honor from two different people: both Hope and Poor Mad Peter nominated me for a Thinking Blogger Award. The TBA's are designed to point folks to blogs of note which might not get found on the regular search engines, which is a very democratic way of doing things. Thank you both, Hope and Peter!
(Now, once upon a time, I would have said something on the order of "They nominated me...but they've sobered up now, so it's all better," or some such self-deprecating nonsense. However, one thing that has come from sobriety is the act of just saying "thank you" and being grateful - and that is what I'll do.So my apologies to both Peter and Hope for my extreme sloth, and thank you. If you weren't already Thinking Blogger winners, I'd back-tag you both.
After all, there is a truism that if one person calls you an ass, pay them no mind. But if two persons call you an ass, you'd best get a saddle. So if two talented and clearly inspired writers made this same choice, who am I to argue?
Or, as the late Gamble Rogers' character Agamemnon Jones once said, If your work speaks for itself....don't interrupt.)
Here is how it works (sort of like a meme):
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that tickle your grey matter. (I loved Hope's line: I have grey matter? I thought it was all black and white! :) )
2. Link back to this original post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme;
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.
When looking at all the blogs I read and trying to decide to pick just five seems insane, not to mention playing favorites - since there are lots more than 5 blogs I read which are "thinkers." But pick I must, so here they are:
- Penni at martha, martha is the first one to come to mind. She is not only a friend, but a mother, a nurse, and a peson who embodies a thinking faith. If I ever would go back to the Catholic Church, it would be if I could find a church full of people like Penni. She's a sister-of-the-heart in this virtual world, and has won a number of Catholic Blogger awards.
- Rick L. at a new life emerging is a man who I would not only like to meet in person but would love to have as my pastor. He understands Jesus in ways I only wish I did. I never visit his blog without being inspired to pray more, read more Scripture, and live better. In many ways of the mind and heart, he and I are what Dan Fogelberg calls "twin sons of different mothers." When I need pointing back to an authentic, loving Jesus, I go here.
- Erin at Biscotti Brain. Erin's interests run all over the map, and she has been one of the folks who has both inspired me and kicked my butt. She's also been one of the accountability partners who draws me out when I start withdrawing from the world.
- Tom at PurpleScarf (by his own description) has been a soldier, a lawyer, and a computer professional. He's also a Jew by birth and was a Catholic by practice until he left the Archdiocese of Chicago on matters of conscience about their treatment of GLBT folks. He has a sharp wit, and an arid sense of humor. Probably one of the most stalwart defenders of civil rights that I know, and one of the best-reasoned proponents I've heard for GLBT rights and gay marriage. I'm proud to know Tom and his partner Michael. (Like how I slipped that one in there?....)
- [rhymes with kerouac] at Today At The Mission is a man who lives the Matthew 25 commandments about feeding the hungry openly and honestly. His posts give a raw and clear image into what it's like to share life with people in a homeless shelter. And if you have not read his Following Jesus Manifesto, click on that link right now and read it. And then pray that you can live that way, too.
A special plug for non-blogs goes to Tim B's Flickr site, KC In Focus. Click on that link, and check out "Your Favorites" and especially "Christmas at Atonement 2006." He is a marvelously talented photographer, and I turn a rather un-Christian shade of green with envy when I see his work. His images of Christmas at my former home congregation are some of the loveliest views of that congregation and that worship space I've ever seen.
And a note of thanks goes to recent new-friend Kyle W., who also paid me a supreme compliment in an email thread we've been having: Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to this. Every time I open your email I click on one of the links you gave me and end up going on a blog reading spree, clicking on links that people have. Wow - thanks, Kyle.
Now, to the new nominees, go and tag ye likewise! And to the rest of y'all, go check 'em all out!