The Hope of Summer

I love summer more than I usually let on.  I used to complain about the heat and the bees, but each summer that passes I realize it’s actually a time for renewal. This time of year for Rich and I has become a combination of busyness and rest. Friends and family, vacation and trips, and this year is no different!

But in the past few years, summer has also coincided with pinnacle moments in our family-building journey. 

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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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Justice Conference Reflections: What is Justice?

For almost my entire life, I’ve felt compassion for and longing to help the oppressed but have been paralyzed in regards how to follow through. In fact, during the 11 years I’ve been a Christian, I’ve only been involved with ministry for the past three. Having a desire to do more, to follow Jesus more fully, I decided to attend the Justice Conference. I hoped it would help me discover how I can make justice a part of my every day life. 

Since Rich and I have returned from the conference in Philadelphia, my head is spinning with the question, “what now?” This blog is just the very beginning of answering that question.  The amount of information that was planted in my brain a few weeks ago was overwhelming, and I need to slowly dissect everything to discover its relevant value for myself at this point in my life.  So I am going to break up my commentary over four blogs.  This blog will focus on what is justice and why it’s important. My second blog will be about presenters like Shane Claiborne, Eugene Cho and Brenda Salter McNeil, and their calls for practical engagement.  My third blog will focus on the issue of gender inequality, particularly the oppression of women around the globe. Lastly, I’m going to highlight some changes Rich and I are looking at making in our life to better reflect our values, ethics, and faith, while working towards “doing justice” and following Jesus in our everyday life.

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Jesus Christ, Eddie Vedder and Jeff Winger walk into a bar…

What do Pearl Jam, NBC’s “Community” and Jesus Christ have in common, besides the fact that I am obsessed with them? They each have loyal followings, and people willing to go to the ends of the earth (sort of…) to be part of their movements.  

Pearl Jam fans travel around the world to hear their favorite band with the hope that maybe, just maybe, they will play a rare song. 

Community fans bog down Twitter every Thursday night -Friday night for half a season- with quotes like #sixseasonsandamovie, and pleas for their family and friends to tune in.  Many also travel to Comic-Con every year with the hope that “Troy” and “Abed” will do their secret handshake.  

For 2,000 years, Christians have traveled thousands of miles to share the good news of the Gospel to anyone willing (or not willing) to listen. Now we have hundreds of millions of Christians spanning every continent.

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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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