Confession of Greed

You may have noticed the abundance of red and green, carols, news stories mentioning Jesus and Santa, all that sort of stuff. Every year we are inundated with Christmas. Our culture gives in to two extreme ideals in December. One option is to succumb to the rampant commercialization of Christmas, which makes you greedy and a heretic. The other option is to become holier-than-thou, seeing Christmas as just about giving to those in need and not getting. When taken to the extreme, you end up making people feel guilty for wanting to give expensive gifts to kids, instead of say, serving at a homeless shelter or giving money to charity.

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Reflections on Greed

A new series of devotions of sort, but I will call them "Reflections." I will be taking an inspirational lyric (usually Avett Brothers or Pearl Jam) and a scripture, then reflecting on their common theme and how it relates to every day life. 

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The Church and our LGBT Brothers and Sisters (Part 1)

I'm beginning a series on the Church and our LGBT brothers and sisters. It's a three-parter. The first post will focus on the current atmosphere in the United States when it comes to equality, as well as my personal experiences that helped lead to my position on equality.​ The second post will focus on Matthew Vines' Reformation Project, a new organization working towards ending homophobia in the Church. The final post will be my thoughts on why the Church needs to rethink how it addresses the LGBT community, particularly LGBT Christians. 

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I don't care if this seems naive...

It’s amazing the inspiration you get when casually walking down the hall at work. On Wednesday this past week I was making the same trek I do about 10 times a day, and for some reason I just happened to notice two co-workers over on the side of the room talking. There was something about the way they were speaking to one another; they weren’t particularly joyful or exuberant, but they were holding themselves in comfortable confidence, which made me think of how much I enjoyed working with them. 

Then my brain did what it always does, and began connecting dots that normally don’t seem like they should connect.  I thought about how there’s no one that I work with that I dislike.  Sure, there are people I’m closer with than others, and people who I have more in common with or feel more comfortable talking to… but in the end I work with a group of really good people. When I say “good,” I mean they have good hearts and good intentions...

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Justice Conference Reflections: Practical Engagement

One of the reasons Rich and I attended the Justice Conference was to find a way to pursue God more fully through obtaining tools to help us practically engage justice in our everyday life. We were blessed to hear many talented and prolific speakers at the conference, who provided new ideas and challenged our assumptions. I am going to highlight some ideas, and follow up with one more post about how we plan on utilizing these tools from here on out.

Eugene Cho, Pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, WA, was one of the speakers I was most excited to hear. I have followed his blog and Twitter feed for months. Eugene has a knack for expressing spiritual truths in ways that make me see things in a new light, as well as touching on topics that others aren’t often willing to address. He is also a relentless advocate for the equality of women both in the church and around the world, and knowing that brings me great joy. 

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Justice Conference Reflections: Women and Equality

Because today is International Women’s Day, I felt it would be appropriate to write about the issue of global oppression of women. At the Justice Conference this past month, I sat in on workshops and sessions that discussed everything from sex trafficking to women leadership in church to the one-child policy in China. The thing that became apparent throughout the weekend was that gender inequality and oppression, although manifesting itself differently depending on the country you live in, is a universal tragedy. 

I heard the same statistic several times: approximately 60-100 million girls are missing from this earth.

Let that sink in.

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