From The Magpie’s Nest

From The Magpie’s Nest


Shiny and Interesting God Things from the Internet

The First Blog Post

When I was a little kid, my dad used to take my brother and me to the massive Kanawha County Public Library in Charleston, West Virginia each Saturday. He’d let us loose in the Children’s Room of this big stone building, while he went to read in the cavernous and absolutely silent Reading Room for grownups. Today, he’d likely be written up for child neglect, but those were different times.

The library was the one place where there were no limits on what I could have. I’d start by selecting the next several volumes in whatever chapter book series I was working my way through and then move on to the non-fiction section. Pets, Native American longhouses, volcanoes, children’s cookbooks – all were fair game for my imagination. By the time my dad came back for us, I’d have accumulated a huge stack of books to take home.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I can get lost in Internet browsing. I might start with a perfectly simple search for Advent activities for children and end up hours later with fabulous information on beautiful Chrismon decorations, devotions for families at home, and mission programs to serve the hungry in our town.

My Internet searches remind me a lot of the folklore surrounding Corvids, the family of birds which contains crows, ravens, and magpies. It is said that these birds are attracted to bright and shiny objects which they then bring back to their nests. If that’s the case, count me in the magpie flock!

St. Andrew’s new website will be a place where you can come whenever you like to find important answers to your questions: “When does worship begin?” or “What classes do we have at St. Andrew for adults?”.

However, I’d also like for this blog to be a place where I can show you some of the shiny, interesting, lovely, helpful, and inspiring things from my online nest which speak to me of what God is doing in our world these days.

Some of these posts may be organized around a topic, but they may just as likely be a collection of links with nothing in common, other than my interest in them.

For starters, then, here are a few interesting links about conversations:

  1. ball pitOne of my all-time favorite video clips is called “Take a Seat, Make a Friend” and is about strangers starting up conversations in a ball pit on a street corner. Wouldn’t these conversations be fun ones to have at our next church dinner?
  2. alienIf an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?” If you are tired of one-word answers from your kids about their school days, try some of these questions to get the conversational ball rolling. This would also be a great way to kick-start conversations at home about what kindness looks like in the world.
  3. cokeFree Coke If You Talk with Us about Jesus.” Read about this Presbyterian church that set up a table at its neighborhood block party offering free soda to anyone who sat down to talk about faith. What deep yearnings people have, if we’re only willing to listen!
  4. politicsThe vast majority of people you know believe they are doing the best they can.” We live in a very polarized time. Some days it seems that every conversation is merely an opportunity for an argument. Celeste Headlee, a radio host, offers this practical guide to laying down your verbal arms and learning more about those with whom you come in contact.
  5. If you’d like to see a great TED Talk by Celeste Headlee, try “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation.