learnings: February 2016

Today I join Emily P. Freeman of Chatting at the Sky to share things I learned in February.

WhatWeLearnedinFebruary

  1. Chief Justice Antonin Scalia was a remarkable person — I regret learning this only upon his death. The following quote from him is just one example among many I’ve heard this month pointing to his remarkableness:
    “God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed. Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society. We are fools for Christ’s sake. We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world. If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”
    *
  2. Apple’s stance on the FBI’s demands about a “backdoor” to the locked San Bernadino phone pleasantly surprised me. This article from World magazine helped complicate the issue for me, and I think understanding the complications is always helpful in forming good opinions.
    *
  3. Speaking of San Bernadino and understanding complicated issues, I was privileged this month to be on the launch team for and read a pre-release copy of Nabeel Qureshi’s newest book, Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward. (You may remember Nabeel for his first book, NYTimes Bestseller, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, which I reviewed here.)
    answering jihad
    While I found it less emotionally compelling than Qureshi’s first book — this is an informative book, not a narrative about a personal journey — Answering Jihad  accomplishes what it sets out to do: answer eighteen of the most common questions Qureshi, a former Muslim, is asked about jihad, and proposing a tentative response. Qureshi sets out to examine the issue with “truth and compassion” and that is what he does. If, like me, you find yourself confused about how to navigate these issues, and want to do it well, without undue panic, this is an excellent resource. Look for my longer review of the book when it releases next week. (Meanwhile, you can visit AnsweringJihad.com to learn about the book and about the bonus content you’ll receive if you pre-order your copy.)
    *
  4. Entering one’s second trimester of pregnancy does not mean that NVP (nausea and vomiting of pregnancy) magically disappears. In fact, the first day of one’s second trimester may prove to be one of the worst.
    *
  5. This article: “Earth May Be a 1-in-700-Quintillion Kind of Place.” Seven-hundred-quintillion planets. Only one Earth. Let’s look at those numbers: of the estimated 700,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in this universe, and just one of them has perfect conditions for life. The article suggests that “from a purely statistical standpoint, Earth perhaps shouldn’t exist.”
    And certainly, if you’re looking at pure chance, it shouldn’t. Allow me to push past the article’s conclusions: to me it’s clear that, statistically, Earth couldn’t exist by accident; it appears that Earth must have been intentionally designed from among 700-quintillion others to be our home. 
    Lift up your eyes on high and see:
    who created these?

    He who brings out their host by number,
    calling them all by name,
    by the greatness of his might,
    And because he is strong in power
    not one is missing.
    Isaiah 40:26
    And by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, we are kept here, much beloved, a shouldn’t-exist people on a shouldn’t-exist world. Praise Him.
    *
  6. Maternity clothes-shopping turns all my old clothes-shopping paradigms on their head: no longer is “This shirt makes me look pregnant” a reason to leave it on the rack.
    *
  7. The Triumph of John and Betty Stam is a book worth reading. When my husband — then boyfriend — told me about it, I was skeptical: “They went to China as missionaries, and were killed when they were 29, but their baby was saved. It’s really encouraging.” Really? Encouraging? But, y’all, it is. And I’m glad I finally read it.
    *
  8. Announcing that one is expecting a baby is fun. (And it was fun that nobody reacted to the hint I dropped in my last month’s learnings post.) Leaving hints behind, here’s the truth: we’re expecting Baby Crouch in August. (Gender yet-to-be-determined, if you’re wondering.) And we are so thankful and excited.
    team crouch

    It’s mind-boggling: a tiny little person to fill up that tiny little onesie!

    ©2016 by Stacy Crouch

2 thoughts on “learnings: February 2016

  1. Congrats on your baby!!!! 🙂

    That book looks interesting! I recently came across it on one of the sites I work with and almost signed up, but decided to hold off for now. I probably should read it!

    I know nothing about Scalia and feel clueless. Everyone has had something to say about it since his death and I’m in the corner with NOTHING to say. I have some research to do!!!

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