Thursday, October 25, 2007

Words Of Mark Scandrette

Check out this Mark Scandrette quote, from An Emergent Manifesto.

"Many of us are rediscovering the social ethics and tangible compassion of Jesus. This is a healthy development, particularly for those of us groomed in traditions in which the social dimensions of Jesus's life were separated from his role as Savior. We are developing a more global awareness of needs and opportunities for compassion, justice, and resource sharing. At our best, inspired by the Spirit and motivated by love, we seek justice, reconciliation, healing, and restoration for those who are sick, hungry, thirsty, naked, lonely, or imprisoned. At our worst, we are satisfied by our more progressive political views and token checks written out to the "right" organizations. As my colleague Nate Millheim often says, "Sometimes we think we are caring for the needs of the poor because we now read about issues of justice."

For some who awaken to the call for healing, the weight of privilege and the weight of probable responsibility for systemic global injustice can be overwhelming. Because of this there is a temptation to believe that everything is wrong - what we buy, how we eat, where we live, the vehicles we drive. An acute sense of free-floating guilt haunts and paralyzes the person. In this state we can become the worst kind of activists or moralists, motivated by shame instead of love and imagination. Our efforts at compassionate action need to go beyond mere sentimentality and more integrative means of participating in the healing of our world. The mandate to "seek first the kingdom" propels us to take and engaged and experimental approach to what it means to be faithful in our time. The Spirit of God that hovered over all creation is still present in our world, inviting us to collaborate with our Maker in the fulfillment of God's reign on earth."

I think I swing between motivation by love and motivation by guilt.

How about you?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Haves and Have Nots

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men. ”
- Herman Melville (1819-1891)
novelist, poet

Here is what I am struggling with today...I helped someone out last week. It was no big deal, really, it wasn't...but to her it was a HUGE deal. She continues to thank me. I feel uncomfortable. I finally said to her, "listen, sometimes I struggle and someone helps me out. It just so happens that I am able to help you out right now. You'd do the same for me."

By 'institutionalizing' social organizations, have we created more of a wall between the "haves and have nots?" Aren't we all "have nots" in some ways? If we are all simply God's children, then why are we not all living together, sharing what we have and making sure that no one goes without?

What do you think?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jesus the Boundary Crosser

What does it mean to come?
Do I make it harder than it is?
Do I keep myself from coming?

Drink the truth.
Dependent on the giver not the receiver.

Wash away the muck.
Cleanse inside and out.
Fresh, new, clean.

Weary, heat of the day.
Unrest, something is not right.
She knew immediately that he was a Jew.
God crosses the boundaries to redeem.

Adam, the aloneness is not good.
Humanity should not be alone.
Jesus alone at the well.
The Samaritan woman alone at the well.

Spirit is everywhere. Truth is hands.
What is broken in the community?
The community misses the reality.
He comes "I, the one speaking to you, I am he."

Individuals alone.
Faces, but no connections.
Someone to relate.
Someone to communion with.

At the well with this stranger.
The stranger knows the brokenness.
He knows the deeper need.
Relentless pursuit.

Spirit and truth.
Mystery and integrity.
Heart and Hands.
Being and doing.

She leaves her water jug.
She leaves the brokenness.
She leaves the wounds.
The living water bubbles up.

Into the heart of the community.
From outcast to witness.
Disgrace to respect.
Given a place of value.

Heaven touches earth.
Living water.
Healing community.
Moving, being, doing, flowing, restoring, redeeming.

Monday, October 15, 2007

50 Minutes with Michael Frost

If you have the time, this is worth the listen. Michael Frost shares what it means to be the missional church.

Death comes

A good friend of mine is burying her dad today. I don't get it. I don't like it. I wish things like cancer and aids and calamities of life didn't exist. But they do. How do you make sense of it? On my grandparents' gravestone I find the words, "He is my sheild and my buckler. Psalm 91.4" At times, hiding in his wing is all I know to do. And I have had the privilege of experiencing that protection. I have sat under the wing. I have found Jesus to be the only thing that got me through.

There are needs. There are always needs. God, teach us to live in the shadow of your wing. You are good.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

CORE Gathering

We had a great time today at CORE. For those of you who may not have heard about it, it was an opportunity for us to get together, hear some vision from Paul (thanks for sharing) and then a time for various teams to get together.

Paul shared that we are enjoying what God is doing and looking for ways to partner with him, while living with the realization that things can't be fit into a nice, neat box. God is bigger than any box. If we can learn to discern and follow, we will be in for an unbelievable adventure.

One of the teams that met was a follow up to the Pot Party we had last weekend.

Ten of us began to talk about how God might be leading us beyond ourselves. Most of us were there because we have this sense that there is more - God offers more - we're called to be more.. None of it is very defined; however, it is very exciting. My hope and prayer is that each one of us will see where God is leading us for this season.

For anyone on the exploration journey, I have two suggestions:
1. Write a eulogy for yourself. What is is that you hope is said of you once you're gone?

2. Make a list of all the natural connections you have in your world and begin to pray for each person. Who do you run into on a regular basis - at work, school, in your neighborhood, etc?... God just may be orchestrating an adventure right this minute.

I'd love your feedback. How is it that God is speaking to you? Are you hearing him clearly? Or does it seem to come in muffled snipits? Let's share our journey with each other.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Should I attend the pot party conversation?

You may be wondering if you should attend the pot party portion of the Core Gathering (this Saturday 9-11am). If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may want to come be a part:

Do you sense there’s got to be something more to life?

Have tasted what God is all about and are hungry for more?

Are you open to God’s direction in your life?

Do you have an overwhelming, overflowing feeling of wanting to do good to those around you?

Are you willing to consider options to minister to others?

Do you see that the world is not right; you don’t like that, and you want to be a part (even if it’s small) of making the world a better place?

Do you have a belief that small things done with great love will change the world?

Did this past weekend's gathering impact you more than you expected and you have a new sense that God wants you to partner with him?

You are invited. We'll explore together.

Monday, October 8, 2007

So true...

“ True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself. ”

- Henry Miller (1891-1980)
author, writer

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Entering Sacred Space

This website is a great tool to help us focus on God: