FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Weekly Reading: Pastor Santa, Christmas Focus, Shipwrecked Malagasy Slaves, and a Year Long Haul Trucking

With the feast of epiphany today, this week's readings are Christmas heavy to close out the season.

How Do We Know The Christmas Story Is Really True?
A great anecdote (from Donald Miller's Storyline blog) on the power and potency of indirect evidence.  The article has a great quote from C.S. Lewis on the subject: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.”

So Santa was actually Pastor Nicholas, of a church in Myrna (modern day Kale, Turkey).  Every parent (Christian or not) addresses Santa Claus in their own way but all in all, a good post on refocusing the scope of your thoughts around Christmas time.

BreakPoint This Week: Advent and Christmas Habits
On the subject of refocusing, this post poses a good question: What do your Christmas traditions communicate to the world about your stance and focus regarding the birth of Jesus?  Some good food for thought.

Lèse humanité What happened when slaves and free men were shipwrecked together
A fairly incredible story that could be a movie.  In the late 18th century, a French merchant who picked up some illicit slaves from Madagascar ends up shipwrecked on what is know today as Tromelin Island--a third of a square mile patch of sand some 500 nm east of Madagascar.  What followed was a 15 year journey before the last slave was rescued.

Island where shipwrecked souls spent 15 years
Middle East Time Bomb: The Real Aim of ISIS Is to Replace the Saud Family as the New Emirs of Arabia
A lot of good middle east and Saudi history that you probably had no clue about.

Wow.  An eye-opening look into the long-haul trucking industry and one young man's yearlong sojourn there in an attempt to pay off his college debt.

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