Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It occurred to me recently how thankful I am for my job. Well, first, I am thankful for a job, any job. That alone is a blessing and I know I am fortunate. I know several people who aren't able to say the same and it's a tough thing. But I am thankful for my job. I am thankful for the people I work with and around and for the people who come in daily. Is it my dream job. Not really. But it's a great place for me right now and a great step along the way.

And it's a good thing I have a job because a couple weeks back I had some stuff stolen. And by some stuff I mean my bag. Being a bike commuter makes my bag a very important thing. I keep everything I need in my bag. Some people have things spread out between home, office, car. Nope. I am not peddling somewhere to get something I could have just had on me all along. So that makes said stealing of bag a little more than frustrating. Top words I would use to describe bag loss...frustrating, unbelievable, ridiculous, unfortunate-especially in timing (seeing as how my new computer was in it. Two weeks earlier they wouldn't have gotten a nice new computer with my bag). It's interesting though. I was on the phone with a friend right after it happened and I was laughing about it and saying that an injustice had happened to me. But the words didn't really seem to ring true. Because yes, my stuff was stolen, and yes I would say having something stolen from you is a form of injustice, but I can't say that without realizing how blessed I am in the first place to even have had those things. It's ridiculous really. There are so many people in the world that experience true injustice daily be it under oppresive military regimes or enslaved by people looking to profit off them, that the loss of a few luxuries hardly seems to be an injustice at all. Granted there is a lot I could do with the money I will now need to spend on some of those things that I actually needed (like a bag that keeps the rain out), but at least I have a job I can work at and earn that money at. And that is something to be thankful for.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What have I been doing that keeps me from blogging?

I often just blog about the things I come across.  What I am reading about, what I am doing, what I am thinking about, or a combination of all three.  In the past few weeks I have come across quite a bit that I would deem worthy of a post, but I have been a little busy and maybe more accurately-not all that disciplined to do what it takes to develop said posts.  But what have I been up to...

Following these guys, who are doing decent.  As well as these guys, who haven't really helped themselves in any way that will make a difference.  But all that really isn't that important.

I have been reading this book a bit and have enjoyed the little I have read thus far.

I helped this girl move across the country.   And subsequently I get to spend lots of quality time with her which I really enjoy.  

Just started working through 1 Timothy with Josh and Graf (they are too cool to have a website for me to link them to).

Officially becoming a member here.  They had a few baptisms on Sunday, one of which was a friend and coworker of mine.  Just a very cool thing, for so many different reasons, to be a part of.  

Lots of work here.  (Come to the film screening of Crossing next Monday, 5/4, if you are in Seattle).

So I guess that's a little bit of what has been happening.  Hopefully a little more in depth posting action to come.  



Thursday, April 16, 2009

A little potpourri of human rights issues...

Oh. Hello. It's been awhile. I suppose life just kinda happens sometimes and the blog gets neglected. Here's an article that made my mind reel and emotions flare a bit. It's a long one.

The dark side of Dubai

Friday, April 3, 2009


Call + Response. 4.3.09 7:00 pm $5 Quest Church. Advocacy Fair at Q afterward. Human Trafficking is one of the biggest human rights issues facing our generation and you can do something about it, come find out more.

Holy Week. Events nearly every evening at Quest Church. 4.6-4.10, 4.12.09. Attempt to grasp the glory of it all.

Register or get more information at Quest's website.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

It's St. Patrick's Day. This evokes several different thoughts, emotions, and memories in me, none too strong, but the one that I wish to note here is what I was doing last St. Patrick's Day. Last year I decided to dedicate a whole class to teaching about the western holiday that is St. Patrick's Day. Now when I say a whole class I mean the whole class for every class I taught, thus a total of 11 St. Patty's Day lectures. Slightly painful the 11th time? Yes. As painful as coming up with a new lesson plan? Definitely not that painful. So yeah. It was great though. I am not sure if more than 5 of my 600 students understood what was happening, but, hey, that's ok. And it was really the first time I had really learned in depth the reason why we celebrate this Saint Patrick anyway. Saint Patrick was the real deal when it came to reconciling. A native of Wales he was kidnapped and enslaved for six years, but after escaping and then becoming a follower of Christ he chose to return to Ireland, to the people who had enslaved him, and bring Christ's message of love and reconciliation. Brilliant. I guess that's why they made him a saint. The guy lived a while ago (in the 300s) so some of the other details are disputed, but that act is enough for me. That's a transformative Gospel. And I will drink to that (ok, I won't drink to that because I am at work. Green lattes, maybe?).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

All aspects of the Gospel

I went to a membership class at my Church today. It was good. It's kind of weird to think I am in a place in life where I am stepping into membership at a church, but that is a whole other post, which probably won't get written-I am getting older, meh. Anyway. I love my church. It by no means is perfect, but it knows that and it works hard to respond to conviction and live the Gospel out. And that's what it is all about. Living out the Gospel. And I think they get that right. I was reminded as I was listening to Eugene talk about Quest's vision how important it is to take in all parts of the Gospel. Quest breaks it down into four areas: soul, community, social justice, and global presence.

In thinking about my faith journey it is interesting to look back and see how I have come to think more fully in each of these four areas. Being raised in an evangelical protestant Church that was down with Wesley I got a whole lot of the "soul" aspect of the Gospel from ages 0-18. Lots of salvation. A little fire insurance. Not all a bad thing, but incomplete to say the least.

I got to SPU and I started got a good dose of the Gospel in terms of community. I loved it. It was new and fresh and true. It was an expanded, fuller view of something I was already quite sold on. But it was incomplete.

I continued to have this desire to learn more about this Gospel and what it was all about and when I learned that Christ didn't just come to save our souls and have us exist in nice little communities that care for each other, but to also fight injustice to stand up for the oppressed to go out and serve those who have less than us. This Gospel, it is good news for everyone. We are called to be a good gift to all. We are called to take what we have been blessed with and to bless others. To look out and care for others. To work to bring a little equity to the table. To stand up and say the disparity of wealth in our world today is ridiculous. To step out of the collective system that exploits the exploitable and to take a step against it. To do this locally, to do this globally. It's part of the gospel. Christ spends a whole lot of time talking about it. So all that said...

I was reminded today how all of that stuff is the Gospel. It's all part of the Good News that Christ brought when he came as God incarnate. And all four need to be recognized equally so.

But being from an evangelical background and feeling like I have had more of that then the other stuff, I feel like there is a lot more to learn and catch up on. Here is a quote by Douglas Meeks and David Lowes Watson that I read today that deals with all this a bit...

"Only a fraction of our sins are personal. By far the greater part are sins of neglect, sins of default, our social sin, our systemic sin, our economic sin. For these sins Christ died, and continues to die. For these sins Christ atoned, and continues to atone....As long as evangelism presents a gospel centered on the need for personal salvation, individuals will acquire a faith that focuses on maximum benefits with minimal obligations, and we will change the costly work of Christ's atonement into the pragmatic transaction of a salvific contract....The sanctifying grace of God in Jesus Christ is meant not for the sinner but also for a society best by structural sin."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Valued Perspective

I am a big Dietrich Bonhoeffer fan. I love his book Life Together. Letters and Papers is one I have discussed a lot with friends and have every intent of reading myself sometime soon. Here is a quote from Letters and Papers that was featured over on the God's Politics Blog today.

There remains an experience of incomparable value … to see the great events of world history from below; from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled — in short, from the perspective of those who suffer … to look with new eyes on matters great and small.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
Letters and Papers from Prison