freedom school poetry

July 26, 2008

Sometimes I feel happy like the yellow summer sun
All jolly and cheerful just ready to have fun
At other times when I’m hurting I imagine I look red
Because of what people have done or even said
I usually feel green; I’m not jealous, but I’m smart
Of all the things about me, I know you can agree with this part
So when I look at all these colors, all so different as can be
When they all come together they help me to be me!

Lyndsay Hughley, Colorful Me

I have dreams of being a rapper not a drug dealer.  Some nights I cry because people die.  I live on 28th and Park where people die in the dark.  I never dreamed of someone on Fox 4 saying our population is getting lower and lower and lower.  But my dreams are joining the Kingdom City and spreading the word of our Beautiful King.  Some people are not doing the same thing but I will keep pursuing my dreams.

Evan Lewis-Thompson, Dreams

freedom school

July 25, 2008

It’s one thing to celebrate accomplishment.  It’s another (glorious) thing to celebrate hard-won accomplishment.  Tonite — attending “Freedom School Graduation” at CFBC — I watched and celebrated with about a hundred students (elementary-high school) basking in such glorious accomplishment.

I don’t know many stories from the lives of these specific students (though I teach Sunday school to a few of them once a month so have a couple stashed away!), but statistics from the urban core where they live are enough to prompt my imagination and (then) my appreciation for what this summer school program means to them. Tonite’s graduation included performances in song & dance … recitation of original poetry & drama.  It was good.  It was messy.  It was genuinely funny.  Utterly endearing.

Watching the grand finale from the back of a full house, I saw 100+ beautiful, shining students singing and swaying to the tune of hope.  I cried.

Gets me every time: the story of redemption — success — smack in the midst of life’s ugliness.  And I am compelled to live deeper or more … or somehow more truly.  Here’s to beating the odds … (and so, shaping my world).

The truth of Christianity is not like the universal truths of reason.  The cradle of Christian faith is a story rather than a system.  Though the Bible includes many literary genres, what holds it together is a narrative unity: the story of what God is doing in the world through Israel, through Jesus Christ, through the church.

Kevin Vanhoozer, “Pilgrim’s Digress:Christian Thinking on and about the Post/Modern Way” from Christianity and the Postmodern Turn

The reformer is always right about what is wrong.  He is generally wrong about what is right.

Chesterton (with thanks to Rustin)

an oldie but a goodie

July 21, 2008

language matters

July 20, 2008

As Beijing gears up for the Olympics in just a couple of weeks, I’m sure there are matters much more significant than the translation of Chinese menus into English.  Still, I loved this NPR story on Beijing’s attempts toward improvement.  (Hearing some of these translation faux-pas’ reminded me of my travel in China a couple of years ago.  I LOVED stopping to read museum signs and posted public articles because I often found the translations laughable.  (Can you imagine sitting down at the neighborhood cafe to decide between pee soup, saliva  (i.e. mouthwatering) chicken, or succulant, mouthwatering crap (–not carp or crab)?

And you thought your Spanish teacher was too picky!  (I’ve got a feeling Chinese English students aren’t getting away with sloppy work; in spite of translation-trouble here and there, they no-doubt put to shame our meager [American] attempts at language-acquisition.)

Even so, you can bet I’ll be keeping one eye glued to the street corner (signs) as athletes & journalists keep us in touch with this summer’s games!

A lot of (planned & unplanned) busy-ness has kept my summer hopping along (and my blogsite a little lonelier than usual these days).  Even so, I’ve managed to keep up with one of my favorite summer past-times: movies in the theatre.  (For some reason, it’s a seasonal indulgence for me.) 

My pride won’t allow for a full confessional here (as I realized only after the fact that I’d chosen the strangest show to view “solo” in a nearby KC theatre recently).  Since I’m not making public a list of movies I’ve seen already … I figured the least I could do is go on-record saying: I can’t wait to watch Batman’s latest.  I’m also intrigued by the little I’ve heard about This Side of HeavenBoth are on my hitlist.