Saturday, July 30, 2005

i hate packing (and sundays)

14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days...

tomorrow we leave for the west virginia trip - we're being 'commissioned' in both services and leaving right after the second one - i can't stomach the phoniness of it all so i'm debating just showing up with the our kids right before we're supposed to leave. poor liam has had to beg me not to bail on this trip about 100 times in the past 3 weeks. i'm going for him, not the church. oh, and because the place we're getting to work with is filled with incredible, genuine people, and they need some big time encouragement.

i'm fine as long as i don't have to do 'fake' - fake just kills me.

14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days...
14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days...
14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days...
14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days... 14 days...

have a good week, and if you're the praying sort (which i know most of you are because i still have my hair left!) please pray that this week suprises me in good ways - chance meetings with god, places to use my gifts and plain and simple just being out of town. love you all!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

doug pagitt still doesn't get it

i wasn't at the round table, but i trust tony's explanation and cringe when i read things like this:

Next-Wave Ezine > church & culture: "Next-Wave: There are those who have said that Emergent leadership lacks diversity, both in gender and in race. How do you respond?

TJ: Whenever we talked about this at the summit, Doug Pagitt would say, 'Yeah, and what about those of us with hazel eyes? There aren't nearly enough of us in leadership!'"

this makes me so sad. doug still doesn't seem to understand that his white skin and penis have gotten him into doors of many more opportunities than those of us without those things.

hazel eyes - how offensive. i know he probably means to deflect an uncomfortable reality or ease the stress at the discussion - but to be so flippant when there are those of us who have literally NEVER gotten a place at ANY TABLE because of our missing genetailia or club membership.

please stop minimizing the true nature of the 'white boys club' mentality - it's degrading to those of us who have never wanted anything more than to have a voice.

bloggers unite for africa - great idea garth!

garth has recently left a comment on my blog - and it lead me to his - this is the best part of blogging - finding kindred souls 1/2 the world away!

emergingBlurb: "Our blog community while global is intimate enough that we notice each other as links or in comment sections the world over. Some we feel camaraderie with as we track each others’ journeys, others we know of as the global voices for Christian blogging. We watch and comment as an unprecedented need presents itself in Africa. While we wait on the G8 meeting, thousands continue to perish daily, 3.5 million face starvation in Niger, 400,000 Sudanese have been slaughtered and 2.5 million are homeless and on the run and also face an urgent need for food while Western Africa has suffered a locust plague that ruins potential crops.

Now here’s a way we can connect on a very significant level and engage with the needy in Africa. Personally, I am but another blogger but confident that in this new climate of experimenting with the ways we ‘do’ our faith, I am challenging our blog community to unite and connect globally and make a difference for Africa.Being part of a larger cause tends to be more appealing as there is synergy in unity rather than individuality which motivates involvement. So the proposition that we do something that is culturally appropriate to us that raises money. It is pretty basic but if its promoted across your blog and your readers run with it in their blogs, the multiplier could be quite significant."

finishing reading his great brainstorms here.

but what if it's not honored??

Putting Our Temperaments in the Service of God

Our temperaments - whether flamboyant, phlegmatic, introverted, or extroverted - are quite permanent fixtures of our personalities. Still, the way we "use" our temperaments on a daily basis can vary greatly. When we are attentive to the Spirit of God within us, we will gradually learn to put our temperaments in the service of a virtuous life. Then flamboyancy gives great zeal for the Kingdom, phlegmatism helps to keep an even keel in times of crisis, introversion deepens the contemplative side, and extroversion encourages creative ministry.

Let's live with our temperaments as with gifts that help us deepen our spiritual lives.

Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

on the highways and biways

it's been a day of incredible, outrageous events - it started with a leisurely drive through chicago and we happened upon this:

Helicopter crash on tollway

not an hour after it happened - praise god all four people survived - we literally drove in the lane opposite the crash - we were positive no one could have made it. we were alerted to the fact that something big was going down in front of us as we saw 4 other helicopters hovering stationary above the site from miles away.

then a car burst into flames on the side of the road near sandusky as we past, and we arrived home to threatening weather - and the freakiest lightning/wind storm we've ever endured - one of our trees snapped in half, and bounced onto my father's truck - he'll have a dent, but it could have been a lot worse. our screen door blew into the house when i ran to see what happened, and then the power went out for about an hour.

as you can tell, it's back on and we're all safe, sound and home - hurray! missed you all!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

NPR : A Hippo and Tortoise Tale

this will warm your heart!

NPR : A Hippo and Tortoise Tale: "Just before Christmas the unseasonably heavy rains near Malindi town washed a family of hippopotamuses down the Sabaki River and out to sea. The residents of the town tried in vain to urge the family back up the estuary. When the Tsunami hit Malindi, the sea turned angry, the sky clouded over and for a moment the hippos disappeared and were forgotten as all efforts went to rescuing the stranded fishermen.

The next day only one hippo could be seen. It was the baby and he was stranded on the reef. Hundreds of people came to watch the efforts to rescue the hippo. It took ropes, boats, nets and cars --though the hippo was tired he was still fast and slippery. It took a brave rugby tackle to finally capture him, and the cheering of the crowd could be heard over a kilometer away"
Lafarge Eco Systems agreed to provide a home for the baby hippo and I rushed to Malindi to collect him. Tangled in fishing ropes, angry and tired, the hippo did not seem to appreciate our rescue at all. As we left for Mombasa, the crowd unanimously agreed to name him 'Owen' in honor of the volunteer who tackled him to the ground.

Exhausted, confused and extremely frightened, Owen immediately ran to the safety of a giant tortoise when we released him in Haller Park. Mzee, our 130 year old tortoise, just happened to be nearby and he was very surprised by Owen's odd behavior cowering behind him as a baby hippo does to its mother. Mzee quickly came to terms with his new friend and even returned signs of affection. The unusual relationship between this baby hippo and the ancient tortoise amazed people the world over and has featured in most countries on television and in news papers.

Monday, July 18, 2005

a benediction

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort,
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger,
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears,
To shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness,
To believe that you can make a difference in this world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done.


thanks laura!

get outta dodge

this intolerable heat has sucked every ounce of the small bit of energy i had to pack and get out of town. i'm so far behind and we haven't had one rain storm in a week to break this nasty heat and nearly 100% humidity we've been battling. it's oppressive - i'm really sick of it. i hate packing on a good day - today it's just so overwhemling.

i've been so strong and so optomistic and pushed myself and every ounce of that energy and will power seems to have just disappeared... finally when i need it for myself...

i have to admit that there is fear and anxiety about being gone - that we'll have no idea what is going on here, and that it will be so easy to spin any progress towards the real truth back into the great hole that the apathy and busyness that has created this mess in the first place.

sigh. why can't it just be over or just a tiny bit easier?

if we do ever managed to get packed we'll be in minnesota for the next week. i have no idea if/when i'll get near a computer. please know i'll miss you all and you'll be in my prayers.

have a good week.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

i love her!

Moses' Top Ten - New York Times: "I am picking on Texas and its State Capitol only because of the specifics of this Supreme Court ruling. The fact is, any state government in the U.S. is going to look a little phony tacking up Mosaic Law on its lawn next to statues of whatever Puritans or Hawaiian-queen-kidnappers are responsible for any given state's eventual statehood. Maybe phony is not the right word. Maybe the right word is sad.

The other night I was flipping channels and stopped for a minute to watch Jim Jarmusch's documentary 'Year of the Horse,' about Neil Young and his band Crazy Horse. The band was on a tour bus somewhere in America, and Jarmusch and Young were discussing the difference between the Old Testament and the New. Young admits that he sometimes gets the two confused. Jarmusch replies that in the Old Testament, God is angry. Young wonders if this is because man 'turned out to be man.'

I'm guessing that my fellow citizens who want government employees drinking out of taxpayer-supported Ten Commandments coffee cups and using Ten Commandments ballpoints to take While You Were Out messages on Ten Commandments notepads hope and believe that daily reminders of biblical edicts will stave off the supposedly newfangled moral decay brought on by crummy TV shows and nontraditional marriage. But Neil Young had a point: man turned out to be man and has been ever since.

The Israelites Moses himself led out of Egypt apparently witnessed the rather unprecedented parting of a sea by their deity to save their lives. Yet about 10 minutes go by and the ungrateful sinners start melting their earrings to make a cow they can pray to. That's what I find so reassuring about the Ten Commandments: the fact that they were necessary in the first place."

write on liz!

Latina Liz on Life : A few thoughts on "Woundology": "At Wounded Healer our theology is a 'woundology' that seeks to help people acknowledge that if you have lived long enough on this earth, something along the journey has or will wound you. However, we want people to go through their process of discovering and naming those wounds, do the hard work of inner reflection and start the healing journey so they can turn around and be wounded healers for others. It is not about sharing your story so that you can get inordinate amounts of sympathy or be allowed to do anything you please because 'you've been through so much'. No. It's about getting out of the pit of despair. Wounds have a way of stunting your growth in more ways than one. In relationships with God, others and yourself. In the way you make decisions. In the way you lead. Wounds depending on how they are dealt with can take you to another level or bring you down to the gutter."

so where are the christian boycotts for things like this??

Business Travellers Against Human Trafficking » Child slavery case taken against Nestle SA: "Child slavery case taken against Nestle SA

Three people from Mali in Western Africa are suing Nestle SA, Archer Daniels Midland Co., and Cargill Inc., alleging that they used children trafficked into forced labour in their cocoa bean plantations in the Ivory Coast. The law suit was filed at the district court of Los Angeles, USA by Global Exchange, a non-profit international human rights organization, and International Labour Rights Fund, a Washington D.C.-based human rights group on behalf of the people who claimed that they were former child slaves. The plaintiffs claim that they were forced from their homes and made to work on the plantations 12 hours a day, with little food and beatings if they tried to escape.
“It is unconscionable that Nestle, ADM and Cargill have ignored repeated and well-documented warnings over the past several years that the farms they were using to grow cocoa employed child slave labourers,” said ILRF attorney Natacha Thys. “They could have put a stop to it years ago, but chose to look the other way. We had to go to court as a last resort.”
Nestle SA, ADM and Cargill have yet to comment on the law suit."

Friday, July 15, 2005


You Are an Espresso

At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic

At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung

You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping

Your caffeine addiction level: high

back atcha!

wouldn't it be amazing if this worked!??!

Cool Hunting: Imaginative Inmates: "Ambitious architect and urban planner Will Alsop has agreed to take on a new project that's likely to be as controversial as it is visionary. In Leicestershire, England, the esteemed architect will meet this autumn with long-term prisoners at Her Majesty's Prison Gartee to devise a new, more forward-thinking concept of incarceration. Alsop was enlisted by a company called Rideout: Creative Arts for Rehabilitation to conceptualize and design a 'creative prison' that privileges rehabilitation over punishment, with the inmates' viewpoints in mind.

The project is meant to promote education and the arts within the prison system, elements of rehabilitation that are generally relegated to last priority. All sides hope to spark public debate about what exactly a prison should be and how the treatment of prisoners affects the greater success of society. Alsop says, 'Creative cities, where you create cities where people feel engaged and involved, are actually economically and socially more successful. Why should prisons be any different? They are small towns in effect.'"

condemned or damned?

if i speak, i am condemned, if i stay silent i am damned!

victor hugo, les miserables

well it was a trying, long, exhausting night, but i know one worth the effort. we only got 1/2 way through the information one hoped to cover, and we have agreed to meet again. i do know that it has exposed much of our frustration and confusion over the duration of our tenure here.

i don't think they were prepared for the level of emotion we both felt. they both seemed very uncomforable at times, and well they should. but we were heard and we were given the opportunity to give our opinions on how to build true community here. i truly do think that is at least one of the elder's hearts on this. the other one is a bit old school.

i realized during the drive home (liam and i each came in our own cars, so we had to drive home alone) that they define spiritual growth as better facts, knowledge and the right answers - we define growth in the ability to live in the tension, look more like jesus (not paul - or at least this NA version of paul) and do the soul care we all so desperately need.

two roads diverged... after last night i was very glad of that indeed.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


You are dignified, spiritual, and wise.
Always unsatisfied, you constantly try to better yourself.
You are also a seeker of knowledge and often buried in books.

You tend to be philosophical, looking for the big picture in life.
You dream of inner peace for yourself, your friends, and the world.
A good friend, you always give of yourself first.

thanks anj!


well, tonight is the night we meet with the 2 elders to tell our side of the story. i have waited for this for almost 5 years, ah heck, actually almost my whole life.

we've been told to tell them everything - one said 'we'll pick through the sour grapes, just be honest'. he even said that if i had ideas on how to make things work better they wanted to know. i know i should be skeptical, that i should go in there ready to be misunderstood - but i just can't. i do know these two men's hearts, and i know that they, out of all of them know ours (at least that we don't have bad motives or selfish motives. i wish this had all happened last year, i wish that i would have been heard when i said 'the review process is broken' - but nobody did. we knew this was the only way to get their attention. we didn't do it to be petulant - we did it so that no one else would have to suffer through this kind of mismanagement that borders on spiritual abuse.

no one can work under the tyranny of opinion - especially when that is taken only from the ivory tower. i've always said 'you're asking the wrong questions' - maybe tonight they will hear me.

i do know one thing - if there were women on the elder board this would NEVER have happened. connie likened an all male board to a poker game - power and bluff - not every one i'll grant you, but far too many are like that. women bring relationship to the table - women can spot things that men either disregard as unimportant or they don't even see.

one of the men we meet with tonight sat on my couch last sunday, near tears, and said 'we never knew' - i said 'you didn't ask the right questions'. so here we are 32 days from being DONE - and we've got 14 of those totally out of town, one a week of vacation for a family reunion, and one a mission trip - one last hurrah with our kids.

they also told the sp to back off - he's been trying to finagle his way into more information. he's finally not in control of it all and he's beginning to panic. this is the first 'head elder' who's ever really stood up to him and he doesn't really know what he's in for. because of the way they forced the issue w/ liam's letter it looks like they lied - and god is using that to expose a lot of issues. most of all it is uncovering the myth of 'unity' they have been touting for years. people being silenced and shamed for disagreeing are now so fed up that they are coming forward.

it is my prayer that all of this can be brought into the light and that they will truly open up all of the closets, shake the sheets and get to the place where they can move forward on the ground where it is safe to stand.

the most amazing part of this is that we have had to say very little, and then only to those in leadership roles. the congregation is much brighter than those who chose this path ever gave them credit for and it is exposing their hearts.

so please, continue to pray for this process, that the T/truth (even our's if we have things to own) - is brought out into the L/light. we have nothing to hide and love these people deeply and long for them to experience true community, not this articial, plastic kind they have settled for for so long. thank you!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

blueberries, a reuben and a fan set on high

these are things i am grateful for today.

i took pink and buck blueberry picking at a friends house this a.m. i knew we needed to get out of the house and tried to think of something to do that didn't have an expense attached to it. it was fun to work together toward enough for a pie. we talked about migrant farm hands as we picked in the hot sun, reminding them of all of the frozen berries we consume in 'papa's purple pancakes' throughout the year - how much work it was just to gather enough for one small pie.

buck said "oh mom, i'm so glad you told me that. when i grow up i'm going to invent a machine that helps them so they're job is easier." i hated to tell him that his invention would probably put them out of a job - don't want to squash that young entraprenurial/seeking justice heart. who am i to say he couldn't find the balance, right?

came home and showered and headed to lunch with the children's ministry director at the church (can't call HER a pastor because she's a woman... SIGH...) and we had wonderful communion as she was able to share how hard this process has been for her - knowing it has been unjust for liam has given her the freedom to admit that it was damaging to her soul too.

so here i sit, in front of a lovely fan, pondering our 'exit interview' tomorrow night. i'm looking forward to being heard. for all this process has wounded i know being heard tomorrow will heal and reaffirm much for both of us. and maybe, just maybe they will put in process a venue for the remaining staff to be heard throughout the year in a way that values and validates each one of them. people will put up with much if they are heard, but when silencing happens discouragement and bitterness creep in too quickly.

so i am grateful today, even for the little things - especially the little things - for in those things we find our hope. blessings on your day!

a dream deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore—
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

—Langston Hughes

via teaching with fire

the way it is

there's is a thread you follow.
it goes among things that change.
but it doesn't change.
people wonder about what you are pursuing.
you have to explain about the thread.
but it's hard for others to see.
while you hold it you can't get lost.
tragedies happen; people get hurt, or die,
and you suffer and get old.
nothing you do can stop times unfolding.
you don't ever let go of the thread.

-William Stafford

via teaching with fire


Fire element
Your element is Fire. Like fire, you have a hot
temper and you can be warm and loving as well
and angry and wild. It all really comes down to
what you are feeling. You have a lot of close
friends who you are very protective over, and
with your temper probably some enemies too. You
are not Miss Popular in school since you are
your own person and don't want to be forced
into behaving this or that way. You are the
untamed wild horse, the kind that everyone
wants to catch. But you don't want to be tied
down for the moment and just keep going with
your little crushes. Your will is strong and if
you set your mind to do something, you will
most likely succeed. But beware, your friends
may not always accept your mood-swinging
behaviour. Even if you don't mean to be mean,
they can still feel hurt. You just need to
start thinking some things through before you
do them, and not always jump in with so much
courage. One day you may be hurt because of
that, but then again, your element isn't fire
if you start to analyse situations before you
act. After all, your nature is to shoot first
and ask the questions later.

What is your element?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

living in the tension

today is a hard one, very emotional and raw. this all comes in such waves, it's so hard to predict what it will look like from moment to moment. usually one of us is 'up' while the other is 'down' - today we're both pretty down. i'm exhausted, and liam has to pull it together to be public with this - i don't know how he's doing it.

every conversation mucks all of this up, every interaction is tinged with this - i just want a break. i could isolate myself away on a good day, so this is so tempting to just cut myself off and curl up in bed and pull the covers over my head. if it weren't for pink and buck i know that would be so. being strong for them is one of the hardest things i've done.

next tuesday we head to minneapolis for a family reunion, we're really looking forward to that week away to 'come apart' before we C-O-M-E A-P-A-R-T.

feeling the feelings and facing the fears without giving in to hiding behavior or addiction has been good, but so very hard. talking through the issues instead of pretending it will go away has been constructive and formative, but exhausting. i know god is doing things we can't even imagine in preperation for what's next, but oh how hard it is not to have a peek, not to get a glimpse. waiting for godot...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

what a difference a day makes

well, it's about to hit the fan, in more ways than one. the letter arrived in church members mail boxes yesterday morning. this is the 4th translation of the letter liam wrote. the first 3 were passionate, wonderful, heart-felt letters that told of the issues and let the youth know he wasn't walking away from them willingly. watching him type these out made me fall in love with my husband all over again.

after what i would call a threat by the sp that said 'you bring up the review and we'll be forced to defend ourselves' he finally wrote one that left it out, still told the truth (man that was hard to word) and made them happy. it will work for all of the adults in the church, but the kids are still going to feel like he just up and dumped them. i can't believe that they'd rather keep the adults from asking questions than their own children from being wounded... sigh.

well, the wonderful thing that is happening because of this 'don't rock the boat' clause in our package - far too many people know us (and love us) and know that we have nothing to hide, and aren't the 'hiding' type - so they are putting 2+2 together and wondering just who is benefiting from the silence...

liam and i have been told we can have an exit interview with as many of the elders we wish. we've chosen a friend from last year's board, and a very good friend (who is now 'head elder') to meet with. i was touched that they invited me - this will honestly be the first time in my WHOLE LIFE that an elder has wanted to hear my voice.

please pray for liam today - he's wounded, and feeling every ounce of the exhaustion this has stirred up - and he's so very raw. please pray that he speaks the truth in love and is able to have the words necessary as he teaches and does youth group tonight. i could weep at the thought of the pain he is in right now.

many good questions are being asked and we're being exhonerated in this process - it is hard, but good. god is honoring our responses and many, many are figuring out that they have lost a wonderful pastor in this ugly process. thank you for your continued prayer and please don't stop!!

Friday, July 08, 2005

all we like sheep...

450 Sheep Jump to Their Deaths in Turkey - NEWS - STRANGE - "ISTANBUL, Turkey - First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported.

In the end, 450 dead animals lay on top of one another in a billowy white pile, the Aksam newspaper said. Those who jumped later were saved as the pile got higher and the fall more cushioned, Aksam reported."

this made me cry

Steve Bell 2005/All Rights Reserved
tel: 00 44 (0)1273 500664

blog fodder

If, as you live your life, you find yourself mentally composing blog entries about it, post this exact same sentence in your weblog.

via hope

for someone way smarter than me

okay - i have an invention idea - maybe it comes from the a.d.d., but i think it's probably more wide spread than just my problem. will someone please invent a virtual bookmark?

some way that i can mark an article or blog post if the phone rings, or my kids interrupt my reading - so that i can find my place when i return.

this can't be difficult to do (for someone way smarter than me) - and i think there would be market for it. i just get so tired re-reading the parts i've already read to find out where i left off, only to be distracted again and have to come back to the same wondering 'where did i leave off?'

anyway - hope you make your millions - just give me a free bookmark PLEASE!!

cut it with a knife..

WorkingForChange-This Modern World: Supporting the troops

via jim

KtB - Church-Mart

interesting article - so similar to what we're going through here...

KtB - Church-Mart: "The reason to have such a large church is so it can meet the needs of most of the congregation. The idea is that Americans like their churches like they like their Wal-Marts -- they want one place where things are easy to find and accessible, a place that can satisfy every faith need they could possibly have. So, the church's theology is simple: Believe in Jesus and you'll go to heaven; don't believe and you'll in end up in hell. In between, let God help you live a successful life on every level: family, business, community. Like Wal-Mart, the church has a culture of simplicity and convenience. And it works."

now this is the kingdom!

By The Associated Press | June 30, 2005

EVERETT, Wash. --When a would-be bride called off her wedding 12 days before the big event, she threw a party anyway -- and invited the homeless."


Thursday, July 07, 2005

how do you spell relief?

i awoke this morning with a great sense of relief. like a big sigh after carrying a heavy load that was finally set down. for those of you who might have missed it, liam has resigned his pastorate, (you can read a bit about it here) and we're really not sure what 'next' looks like, but we are assured it won't look like 'last'.

your prayers for peace (for me at least, i can't vouch for liam as we haven't spoken much) are being answered - please don't stop! :)

and i have begun the 'countdown' - 39 days until freedom! yippee!

we will be using this 'sabbath' time to take stock and rethink so much - we truly don't want to go from the frying pan into another fire - all of this is truly a gift that might have ugly wrapping paper, but none the less, truly a gift of time to find the ground upon which is safe to stand.

'the path' was such a gift to me last november, so liam and i will be working through it together in late summer after all this is over. maybe i'll be able to publically 'own' my own path by then?

all in all this will be good for our souls.

have a wonderful day and thank you for your prayers and support - they mean the world to us!


BBC NEWS | UK | More than 30 die in London blasts


As We Forgive Our Debtors

Now, for all its failings and its perversions over the last 2,000 years—and as much as every exponent of this faith has attempted to dodge this idea—it is unarguably the central tenet of Christianity: that everybody is equal in God's eyes. So you cannot, as a Christian, walk away from Africa. America will be judged by God if, in its plenty, it crosses the road from 23 million people suffering from HIV, the leprosy of the day.

What's up on trial here is Christianity itself. You cannot walk away from this and call yourself a Christian and sit in power. Distance does not decide who is your brother and who is not. The church is going to have to become the conscience of the free market if it's to have any meaning in this world—and stop being its apologist.

dig it?

The jubilean provision for the forgiveness of debts is central to Jesus’ teaching, even to his theological vision. The Lord’s Prayer, which sums up Jesus’ thinking about prayer, contains the following request: “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Several versions translate this passage incorrectly as: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In reality, the Greek opheilema means a money debt, a sum owed, in the material sense of the word. Jesus is not vaguely recommending that we forgive those who have created problems for us. No, he is instructing us to forgive sins, which includes completely canceling the debts of those who owe us money, that is, to practice the Jubilee.

The material connotation of the word “debts” in the Lord’s Prayer was so obvious that Jesus thought it fitting to add a commentary to the prayer, to explain that the words concerning the debts also applied to “trespasses” in general: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins [the term he uses here is paraptoma, or transgression], your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matt. 6:14–15).

Thus, the Lord’s Prayer is truly jubilean. In this context, Jesus’ listeners understood it to mean: “The time has come for God’s people to cancel all the debts that bind the poor because their debts to God have also been canceled.” Jesus was setting up a rigorous equation between practicing the Jubilee and the grace of God. Although he was not otherwise a legalist and unhesitatingly forgave even prostitutes and people of ill repute, Jesus was very strict on this one point: only he who grants forgiveness can be forgiven. God’s forgiveness toward you is in vain if you do not practice forgiveness toward others.

read the rest here.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

you go tony!

BBC NEWS | Business | Blair will not 'flinch' on Africa: "Tony Blair has pledged to push other G8 leaders 'the whole way' on securing a deal for increased aid for Africa.

The prime minister said he thought 'substantial progress' could be made at the summit and that the US and UK were in broad agreement over the aid issue."

this drizzle of ashes


Well, as I was saying, the world is eaten up by boredom. To perceive this needs a little preliminary thought: you can't see it all at once. It is like dust. You go about and never notice, you breathe it in, you eat and drink it. It is sifted so fine, it doesn't even grit on your teeth. But stand still for an instant and there it is, coating your face and hands. To shake off this drizzle of ashes you must be forever on the go. And so people are always "on the go." Perhaps the answer would be that the world has long been familiar with boredom, that such is the true condition of man. No doubt the seed was scattered all over life, and here and there found fertile soil to take root; but I wonder if man has ever before experienced this contagion, this leprosy of boredom: an aborted despair, a shameful form of despair in some way like the fermentation of a Christianity in decay.

Georges Bernanos

via daily dig

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

ipod help please!

could someone talk me through getting mp3's downloaded off of a church site onto my ipod please?? they are on my desktop and i can't seem to get them sent to or copied from there to itunes... any help would be appreciated! thanks!

bored and avoiding doing the books...

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C. /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

16 more to go...

thanks steve!

DAVID CRUMM: Getting to the root of religion

this is the kind of place i want 'next' to be...

DAVID CRUMM: Getting to the root of religion: "On Sunday morning, I walked into the battleship-gray church, set up in the gutted interior of the mall's former anchor store. People settled into rows of plastic chairs facing a central stage, most of us curiously staring at the huge pile of topsoil in the middle of what other churches call the altar.

After 20 minutes of rock-style hymns, Bell walked up to the dirt pile in a work shirt. He lifted a handful of soil and retold the Bible story of God taking dirt and breathing life into the first humans. For half an hour, Bell talked about the wondrous nature of breathing, borrowing from Jewish, Christian and Hindu teachings.

He described breath as a form of prayer and urged people to relax and 'breathe out' all of their anger and stress from the past week. He knelt and prayed, 'God, we are fragile clods of dirt, and we need you to breathe into us hope and truth and love and courage.'"

quotes i want to save

from wes

"Hurry means that we gather impressions but have no experiences, that we collect acquaintances but make no friends, that we attend meetings but experience no encounter. We must recover eternity if we are to find time, and eternity is what Jesus came to restore. For without it, there can be no charity."

The Preacher's Calling to be a Servant, D. T. Niles

* * * * * * *

Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it--because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you.

Romans 14:1, The Message

I go with this in mind, from ...........

* * * * * * *

Story is the most natural way of enlarging and deepening our sense of reality, and then enlisting us as participants in it. Stories open doors to areas or aspects of life that we didn't know were there, or had quit noticing out of over-familiarity, or supposed were out-of-bounds to us. They then welcome us in. Stories are verbal acts of hospitality.

Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places, pg. 13

* * * * * * *

and this is just google's random quote of the day:

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. - John Cage

oh how timely...

mike highlighted this today and i can't believe how very timely it is for this 'DEAR brother (and sister)'...

Waving or Drowning?: School's Out: "School's Out

Our pal A.W. is in another mood...

There are Christians who grow up and have no relish for anything spiritually advanced. They're preoccupied with their first lessons. The average church is a school with only one grade and that is the first one. These Christians never expect to get beyond that and they don't want to hear a man very long who wants to take them beyond that. If their pastor insists they do their homework and get ready for the next grade, they begin to pray that the Lord will call 'our dear brother' somewhere else. The more they hate him the more they bear down on the words 'our dear brother.' All he's trying to do is prepare them for another grade, but that church is dedicated to the first grade, and the first grade is where it's going to remain.

Paul said some of them went up into the second grade and gave it up, and said, 'it's too hard here,' and they went back to the first.

'How long have you been in the first grade, Junior?'

'Twelve years.'...

Paul said, 'Forgetting what is behind...I press on toward the goal' (Philippians 3:13b-14a). There was a man not satisfied with the first grade.

A.W. Tozer - Success and the Christian"

Monday, July 04, 2005

independence day

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
oh the irony of all of this coming together today is just killing me.

today the church will accept liam's letter of resignation. i have tried to blog on this 1/2 a dozen times, but it all sounds shrill, angry and vengeful. i want to be none of those things, but i also will not be silent. finding the balance of speaking the truth in love leaves me stretching and grasping for words right now.

needless to say it never had to go this way, they never understood our hearts and we're both weary and worn out. liam leaves today for a 5 day trip to the city w/ the jr. highers he's taking on a mission trip, and of course we'll still fulfill the other one at the end of this month - because we serve the KINGDOM, not this 'k'ing.

i have fallen even deeper in love with my husband through this process - he is such a man of honor, deep character and passion. watching him live in the tension of these emotions and decisions has been such an example to me. it's not been easy, but it is being used for good in our lives.

we knew we had outgrown the theology and the practice of this body, but we wanted to leave with a good transition so that what has been built doesn't have to disintegrate until the 'new guy' gets here. we truly knew this was our last year here and had been discussing schooling or 'next' since last november. it just didn't have to go this way, and it would be so easy to expose them, hold up the mirror to this process and leave them shattered, but we know that doesn't look like jesus, and no matter what, that is what our hearts desire.

we have no idea what is next. where do we fit in this kingdom now? we hardly even know anymore. sound counsel is needed, but the difficulty comes in the fact that those who have been established are part of the problem. our hearts hurt and our heads spin and the tears fall. dear god what is next?

as usual, we covet your prayers. specifically for the following:
  • rest - sleep is hard to come by when life is in this crisis mode. bad decisions are made when exhaustion sets in.
  • healing and refreshment on the trip for liam - being out of the office for a week will allow him to have a bubble surrounding him - that he could just totally enjoy being with the teens and having light-hearted ministry.
  • ready responses - i don't do 'fake' even if i try with all my heart. the truth here is so ugly that i must tread very cautiously (our severance depends on leaving quietly, and we have no intention of creating a disturbance...). but i know the well intentioned will still need 'answers'. right now i have none to give. we would gladly air all of 'our stuff' publicly, there has been no sin and the areas they classify as weaknesses we truly classify as strengths - we have full confidence that an airing (that they have threatened) will show them to be much more culpable than we are. but we also know that it's god's job to reveal the truth, not our's.
  • pray for pink and buck, they are slowly coming to the realization of what all of this really means.
  • that no matter what happens the severance remains intact.
  • that god makes it clear (liam asks for soon!) what 'next' will be.
  • that our family grows closer, enjoys this 'sabbatical' and has a blast together.
thank you!

from the brilliant pen of maggi dawn

maggi dawn: "Make poverty history?

I thoroughly approve of public protest. So I was glad to see St Bob's efforts over the weekend to mobilise people all over the place to make a point.

I found myself worrying, however, that the tempo was rising towards a view that eight men in a room could change the world. However valuable it is to make the protest loud and clear, so that they know what we want, the reality is that global poverty will only be shifted if you and I (and all the outrageously rich rock stars in the world) take seriously the fact that global poverty will cost us - in our pockets, in our lifestyles, in our wish to consume all we want without counting. Eight men in a room can't change anything unless you and I are willing to simplify, cut down, drive less, fly less, eat drink and be merry in more moderate terms, consider how many electronic gadgets and fancy clothes we buy, and who from... and all the rest.

Eight men in a room can't change the world, unless the millions of people who campaigned at the weekend will back up the call for change with their individual action within our own luxury (in world terms) lifestyles. The eight men in a room are only our elected leaders, not our saviours, and we would make a huge mistake if we allowed ourselves to begin believing that it is THEIR responsibility, and not yours and mine. Much more comfortable, of course, to pretend that THEY should do something, not ME. But it won't change anything if we think that way.

I shan't make myself popular by saying so, of course. But it's true all the same."

Sunday, July 03, 2005

my book report

i was tagged quite a long time ago by susie, and it slipped my mind until i read mike's post and thought, 'oh yeah, i was supposed to do that wasn't i?' so here is my book report:

1. total number of books i own:

hundreds (i love to give away books - i buy them used and pass them on - i figure the price 1/2's every time someone else reads it!)

2. the last book i bought:

a tree full of angels, macrina wiederkeihr (recommended by amy loves books)

3. the last book i read:

the hawk and the dove trilogy, by penelope wilcock (recommended by elizabeth), and now by me. it is a story in a story - a mother passing down the heritage of the family to her daughters. a heritage of benedictine monks and a window into a world of truth, beauty, repentance and redemption. wonderful!

4. five books that mean alot to me:

the first ones that cracked the door were a trilogy by henry fosdick, he was the pastor of riverside church in ny and he was very friendly to the AA movement. i'm counting his 3 little OOP books as one - the meaning of prayer, the meaning of faith, and the meaning of service (also in one collection called the three meanings)- these books started a wedge into the rigid theology of my former years.

the next would have to be a pair (see, i can't do anything easy...) the jesus i never knew and what's so amazing about grace - phillip yancy. finally someone begins to write critically about what 'the church' has been feeding us for years. it chips away, piece by piece all of the pre-conceived, easy, fill-in-the-blank answers i had kept myself safe with for so long.

when when the heart waits by sue monk kidd. this was on yac's recommend list and i picked it up at nywc before he died. i had read little non-fiction written by women and i was intrigued. as i read her butterfly metaphor i was given a gift i had never had before - wings. a process of awakening and growth, and living in the tension that took the process from my brain, to my soul.

during the last books i was also working through a gentle path through the 12 steps by patrick carnes. this book gave me my life back. it took me years to finish it, but each exercise was transforming and redeemed a lot of the broken-ness of my past.

and finally the book that i just can't seem to put down, i'm constantly referring to again and again; as it has been the keystone to giving me a 180* perspective change - let your life speak, parker palmer. if you've read my blog for long you know how he has integrated each and every one of the above movements of my life in to a harmony that makes sense of it all. don't tell anyone, but if palmer started a cult i think i'd join it...

5. two major books i read when i was a kid:

madeline l'engle - sorry, don't make me pick. her time quartet and the austin series were some of my best friends as a tween. meg and vicky were everything i longed to be. it was through their eyes and the windows into their families that i began to realize how very broken my own was. they weren't judgemental and didn't leave me feeling awkward or alone.

the chronicles of narnia & the lord of the rings - again - can't pick... these men (and l'engle) taught me that people of god didn't have to be rigid, joyless automatons - imagination, story and vast new worlds were mine to explore - truth was told in such deep ways - i knew i would never be the same. they taught me more about god and truth than any bible study or sunday school class.

oh, and i need to tag: (sorry if you've been tagged and i forgot, or if i missed you because i thought you were already tagged!!)


Saturday, July 02, 2005

girl in a cafe

i just watched this last night and it was lovely, wonderful, quirky and put a personal face on the G8 that i really needed.

"Love can't change what's wrong it the world, but it's a start"

i highly recommend seeing it as soon as you have access to it!