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The Tension of a Witness

I am biased.

As objective as my Libra brain wants to be, and attempts to be on many occasions (often to the point of playing Devil’s Advocate just for the sake of it), I have strong opinions on certain things.

When those opinions are challenged, it can feel very… well, uncomfortable.

This recently happened when I had a visceral reaction to the use of the word “witness.” Not the “witness” from Harrison Ford filmography, or Law and Order procedurals, but 
“witness” from a Christian.

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Removing Our Masks

The following is a message I recently gave at my staff worship service (I know it sounds weird… but not so much when you work for a Christian denomination. But just for the record, these opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect my employer). Rich said I should turn it into a blog, so here you go! 

Easter is my favorite holiday. Not because of all the chocolate, although that is a plus.  Not because of the anticipation of spring, although that’s another plus… but because it’s a reminder to me about why I am here, why I was created by God, and my purpose here on earth.

To me it’s all very personal. Part of the path I feel God has put me on has to do with using my voice and telling my story so I can be a witness to God’s faithfulness. 

I’m learning it’s pretty simple. To be a witness requires we take off our masks, be ourselves, and share with others how God has moved in our lives, and then hopefully others will feel moved to do the same. Through this, we can learn to know God more.

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Why I am attending the Justice Conference...

I can’t stop mentioning to people that I’m going to the Justice Conference this week! I’ve wanted to go ever since I heard about last year’s conference, which was in Portland, OR, a skip and a step away from my brother and his family.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it all the way out there, but after downloading videos of the presentations given by Frances Chan, Rick McKinley, and Shane Claiborne (three of my favorite Christian authors), I was so moved I knew I couldn’t go another year without hearing what others had to say about living out biblical justice.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been interested in social justice. Around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 5th grade I wrote a story called “What Brotherhood Means to Me.”  Where I would wind up politically as an adult was foreshadowed in this line I wrote: “Brotherhood means that slaves and foreign people become free and/or equal.”  From a very early age, my parents instilled in us a belief that all people are due equal respect and courtesy no matter where they come from or what they look like.

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Don't give up on your dreams

Last night, I had yet another “I met Eddie Vedder” dream. It was weird, like reality within a dream. I kept trying to prove how I wasn’t dreaming, and I actually had met Eddie Vedder. In the dream, I shook his hand, said thank you for the music, told him how Pearl Jam helped me meet my husband, and how, to me, “Given to Fly,” was a spiritual song. 

When I woke up this morning, with the dream pretty much forgotten, I skimmed a few blog posts. They started getting me thinking about why I want to write and what I’m working towards with my life. (Stick with me here, I’m going to try and connect this all…)

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It's OK to Not be OK

A very close and dear friend told me while I was in the midst of a breakdown last summer, “It’s ok to not be ok.”  Since then I have told her more than once how much those words have impacted me. I also had the humble privilege of relaying her advice back to her when she was having a rough time.

Often, Christians feel they have to have all their crap together, and if they don’t then they have to put on this perfect face that everything in life is peachy keen (do people even use that term anymore).  People who feel this way are fooling themselves. Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean you’re never going to struggle in your life, or that people should expect you to be perfect. What it does mean is that you now are actively engaged in this relationship with a God who loves you, and He is there for you anytime you turn to him, time and time again, when things are up and especially when things are down.

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I'm good

I have gray hairs, a big nose, a small chin, crooked teeth, cellulite on my weak thighs, uneven skin tone, and thick ankles... and it's OK. This is how God made me. I'm so thankful that God knew me even before I was formed in my mother's womb...

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Random Return

So it's been almost 6 months.  I don't have much to say right this moment - it's a little too early in the morning - but I really want to come back and post on a much more frequent basis. Anyway, my point: I've been reading Shane Clairborne's "Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical" and it's really convicting me and confusing me.

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Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth...

As Richard and I attempt to sell may of our possessions to dig ourselves out of the materialistic hole we've made, I haven't really been looking at the spiritual aspect of our behavior. Matthew 6:19-23 reads "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

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