Monday, April 6, 2009

Good News From Mary April 6, 2009

Easter and My Struggle with the Brutality of God's Plan

Something about the story made me cringe every time I heard it, and since I grew up a Baptist, I heard it a lot: To satisfy His need for justice and His demand for holiness, God sentenced His own Son to death in the brutal agony of a crucifixion as punishment for the failures and excesses of humanity.

Don't get me wrong. I want as much mercy as I can get. If someone else wants to take a punishment I deserve and I get off scot free, I'm fine with that. But what does this narrative force us to conclude about the nature of God? to read the rest of this story.

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Cooking up a new career in the food industry

It’s all about food lately.

Culinary shows like “Top Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen” are all the rage. Tainted peanuts have us worried about what we eat and how to make it better. Books such as “The Omnivore's Dilemma” and “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics” are bestsellers. And even first lady Michelle Obama is getting in on the act, planting a vegetable garden at the White House.

Not surprisingly, more and more laid-off workers, those switching careers and young people just starting out are contemplating jobs in the food industry.

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Cutesy nicknames strengthen a couple’s bonds

Lovey-dovey language — even your own — can be so corny it makes you want to puke. But researchers have found that it might actually serve a purpose: Pet names and code phrases pave the way to a playful, resilient, and satisfying relationship. One study on couples' "insider language" published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships reported that the more goofy names, made-up terms, and covert requests for nooky a couple used, the higher their relationship satisfaction tended to be.

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When It Came to Dirt, Dad Knew Best: Feed It, Then Brace for Bounty

MY father loved his lordly third of an acre in our suburban development, and sported grass stains on his khakis from April through October. When he died 10 years ago, we grown siblings sent him to glory with a couple of gardener’s talismans tucked into his coffin.

There was a little vial of the green paint he used to camouflage every frugal garden cheat — be it a piece of rebar staking a lily or a bit of plywood hammered in as edging. And there was his garden radio, the innards of a transistor set held together with rubber bands. Tony Bennett soothed him as he faced down the chickweed.

In hindsight, we should have added one more thing: a scoop of soil from Dad’s vegetable garden. You could taste the spicy, sublime earth in his lettuce, a revelation in those days when watery iceberg reigned at the A & P.

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Scientists find why scratching relieves an itch

Scratch an itch and you get ... aaaaaah. Now scientists have watched spinal nerves transmit that relief signal to the brain in monkeys, a possible step toward finding new treatments for persistent itching in people.

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