1. I've enjoyed the blog "Stuff Christians Like". A few random ones that really ring true from my childhood are Songs with Bottomless Lyrics, Bootleg Cookies, Friends are Friends Forever, and Cross Stitch Bible Verses.
Hey, friends ARE friends forever if the Lord's the lord of them! That meant a lot to me when I was thirteen, and when I think of my old junior-high friends, it still does. :)
2. Have you read J.R.R. Tolkien's much-repeated quote on the Blessed Sacrament? (Incidentally, "waybread" was an English word for the Eucharist well before Tolkien applied it in his trilogy to the lembas of the Elves.)
3. I don't know if this woman was ever identified, or if she lived. I hope so. But check the "religious necklace" she was wearing-- brown scapular. I wear one too, in case you ever hear of a redhead washed up on the beach. :) Mine says something like "Behold the sign of salvation- put on the Lord Jesus Christ."
4. Paleo-Future is a really interesting blog about past predictions of what our times would be like. Here's a 109-year-old article of predictions from Ladies' Home Journal that's surprisingly accurate.
5. From the Anchoress, a post about Cardinal Kung, a man who suffered much in China from religious persecution. What got to me was this quote from the Cardinal:
So we must not be surprised when persecution comes because it is a normal event for the Church to suffer persecution. Once, when Pope Pius XII received a group of seminarians in audience, he asked them how many special signs distinguished the true Church of God. They answered immediately without further thinking, “It is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” The Pope said, “There is still a fifth sign.” The seminarians did not know how to answer. The Pope said, “Persecution.” So, if the Church enjoyed peace all the time without any persecution, it would be very abnormal. It would be a reason for us to worry and examine ourselves lest anything was going wrong. Perhaps we were not living as faithful disciples of Christ? As persecution must be expected, it comes as a special sign of the Church and we should not try to make compromises or concessions of any kind in order to bring the persecution to an end quickly. We ourselves cannot take the initiative to create or arouse persecution. But if it comes to us one day, not only should we accept it readily from the hand of God but we should even rejoice and be glad. As the Acts of the Apostles records, .”… after they were beaten, the apostles left the Council, full of joy that God had considered them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.” (Acts 1:41)
In our case the "persecution" would usually be no worse than a bit of embarassment or at most some ostracism, but we shouldn't get in the habit of fleeing even little things like that. Wishy-washy behavior in small things might do more damage than expected, and it's a way of training for greater betrayals.
6. I used the word "usually" above, because a few Christians even in the West have to suffer a bit more for their faith. A blogger in England pointed out some of the problems (which exist here in America as well.)
Alas that I cannot be Queen of England. :)
7. I've thought for years now that it's kind of crazy and very boring that everyone wears blue jeans all the time. Turns out I'm not alone!