surely we can change

November 3, 2008

Because tonite I need to believe it …

evening prayer

November 3, 2008

Lord, You have always given bread for the coming day;
and though I am poor, today I believe.

Lord, You have always given strength for the coming day;
and though I am weak, today I believe.

Lord, You have always given peace for the coming day;
and though of anxious heart, today I believe.

Lord, You have always kept me safe in trials;
and now, tried as I am, today I believe.

Lord, You have always marked the road for the coming day;
and though it may be hidden, today I believe.

Lord, You have always lightened this darkness of mine;
and though the night is here, today I believe.

Lord, You have always spoken when time was ripe;
and though you be silent now, today I believe.

Northumbria Community, Expressions of Faith

Legalize Neighborhoods Again! (Anybody else ready to start a campaign?!)

work and hope

September 28, 2008

My friend, Nathan, preached one of his best (sermons) yet this past Sunday.

calling for the common good

September 26, 2008

I appreciated this discussion on NPR a few days ago …

Neal Conan with Jim Wallis & Russ Roberts

So anyway, the top six critiques aimed at Christians are as follows: they’re judgmental, hypocritical, sheltered, antihomosexual, too political, & proselytizers.

Whether or not the research/polls reflect actual experiences Christians have had with non-Christians (or vice versa), these findings constitute the need for some important conversation.  Reality or mere perception, the fact of the matter is that something underneath all of this is shaping the perspective of our culture as it views the Christian (sub-culture?).  Some form of Christian externalization (i.e., Christian-expression) is giving way to objectification (fixed beliefs/systems/structures), such that ALL of us (Christian or no) smile and nod (frown?!) knowingly at the one-dimensional “Christian” taking stage.  (It must be said: that Christian isn’t exactly lauded amongst either saints or sinners.)  Something seems to have gone awry …

I think one of the most important questions raised during last night’s lecture was addressed to Christians in the room: how do you (intentionally or unintentionally) reinforce such common (mis)perceptions?  (Implicit here: how do you wish to be known?  How are you working for/against that?)

Also thought-provoking: what are the unique challenges & opportunities associated with these reigning perceptions (about “the Christian”)?

As I pondered these questions, I settled on three different “ways of being” I think Christians ought to further explore.  They involve our approach to: our language (how might we encourage & host the most important questions about our faith?), our proximity (how might we be more present — or more meaningful in our presence — in spaces not yet transformed by God’s redemption?), and our fear (how might we release concerns about our own [spiritual, physical, emotional] safety & well-being in order to follow Christ in faith and obedience?)

Our approach to all of the above feels tenuous to me.  Pitfalls, I suppose, exist at every turn.  (Beyond that, isn’t such arbitrary analysis [such as I’ve undertaken here] wrong-headed from the start?  Who ever thinks she’s become that [judgmental, hypocritical, sheltered, antihomosexual, critical, oober-evangelistic] Christian?!  Better to simply get on with the business of being who God’s called you to be, no matter the perceptions?  After all, it may be only your pride pushing you to be a Christian of the other kind.)

I dunno.  (Much.)

But I do know I tried (just a little more) to be (just a little less) “Christian” when tonite over dinner I found myself in discussion about homosexuality & politically incorrect humor.  Waving back the cigarette smoke, I sat and wondered at the grace that made Jesus the unlikely (unChristian) hero of the one & only Christian story.  May that Jesus be born in me.

tonight’s unchristian lecture

September 23, 2008

Tonite, I attended a lecture at Church of the Resurrection on unChristian, a book written by David Kinnamon & Gabe Lyons helping to explain why people – as a rule of thumb – dislike or distrust Christians.  It was quite interesting.  The top six critiquescccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc
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[After Jt roused herself from sleep in the key of c, she determined it might be best for the blog post to find completion on another day.]