Guns, Gas Cans, and Goats

One of my favorite ways to experience a culture is through shopping.  You learn much about what a culture values when you observe it engaging in commerce.  You also learn about the communication differences in how that culture buys and sells.  Most mainstream Americans are quite used to going to a brand name store and paying the listed price for the item(s) they desire.  Other cultures (and some American co-cultures) handle the shopping experience differently by engaging in bargaining or swapping.

Believe it or not, you do not have to leave the United States to experience a unique shopping experience.  While visiting relatives in central Indiana at the end of the summer, I went to Lynch’s Croy Creek Trader Fair.  This fair has been in operation every other weekend for an amazing 44 years.  The fair sits on at least 40 acres in the middle of the Indiana woods.  Thousands of people arrive at dawn to shop from the backs of pickup trucks, blankets and booths.  For $3, you can buy or sell.  (Children under 10 are admitted for free).

croy creek shoppers

People can find ANYTHING at this fair.  Seriously.  Continue reading

A to Z with C.S. Lewis: N is for Niceness

smileIf you ever watch a movie in which a non-Christian actor plays a Christian character, you will often notice that he will convey his character’s faith by means of a friendly, if oafish-looking grin.  Though it is possible that unbelieving actors do this to parody believers, I would suggest that the real reason is rooted in a characteristically American misunderstanding of the nature of that glorious new life that Christ promises his followers.

There exists in our country a widespread belief that Christians are—or at least should be—“nice” people who spend most of their day smiling.  Though it is, in most cases, a good thing to smile, to be thankful, and to takes things lightly, niceness is hardly the central virtue of the Christian faith.  Christ’s goal is to transform us into saints, not improve our personality. Continue reading

911: The Names

Doni M. Wilson:

For the victims of 911 and Benghazi.

Originally posted on Reflection and Choice:

I wrote this a year ago to honor those who lost their lives in both 911 tragedies.

All night I thought about the families who lost so much on September 11, 2001, the day of the most devastating domestic terrorist attack in American history.  Over 3,000 Americans lost their lives.

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All week I have been debating whether or not my son, Christopher, who was born in 2001, should watch the documentaries reliving those tragic events.  We watch, but it is still hard to comprehend.  It is still hard to believe.  Christopher says he does not remember a time when we did not think about terrorists.  It is the new normal.  We know when something feels like terrorism.  We do not believe there is such a thing as “spontaneous attacks” anymore.  Those are just words that are made up.

All morning I thought about how I could come up with the…

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