Tag: general

…100 days later

It's been a long time since I've blogged here.  Other than a few misc. links and pictures, this blog has been slow & silent.  It hasn't been because I haven't had things to say or things to "propose" as I see best describing my typical posts, it's more that I've entered into a private season recently.  I am not sure if anyone else feels this way about the various web-driven ways we expose our lives (facebook, myspace, blogs, twitter, flickr, etc.), but my existence can become so reliant on these less-than-personal and distanced forms of communication as the sole means of revealing myself to others.  In the name of transparency, I can be deceived into believing that I can be known through my blog or my facebook or that I can have deep and meaningful conversations via Instant Messaging.  If this remains true in my life for an extended season, my existence becomes "public".  In other words, my efforts online become for someone else (usually someone who is imagined and not real) and who I am become shaped by what I want others to think I am from my online presence.  Not very authentic eh?

So for the past few months, I have been struggling with this sense of things being too "public", but without an answer or new direction to head.  In a way I needed to re-discover the role(s) that blogging/facebook/flickr/___ play in my life.  And I finally am sensing some clarity on this front.

So with that said – I am going to try to ease back into the rhythm of posting to this blog. And truth be told – what gets posted here will be for myself, for me to flesh out some truths, for me to wrestle with what it means to follow of Jesus with a symbolic posture.  I reclaim this website as "my space" and while I welcome and need others to participate – I want the posts to better reflect the depth of journey that I am experiencing as a man, husband, dad, friend, follower-of-Jesus, apostolic leader, artist, dreamer, and trouble-maker.  If something in that resonates with you – you're welcome around here as often as you'd like. If not, there are tons of blogs and webpspaces you'll probably enjoy more.

Check these out

Jimmy Eat World – Chase this Light:

jewpreorder.jpg Jimmy Eat World's new album "Chase this Light" is available for pre-order in itunes this week – it release on Oct. 16th. I had the chance to hear some of the tracks off the album and I am really excited for it's release.  The album is full of tracks that both remind of previous albums as well as peek into some new dimensions for the band.  A couple of the tracks have a dance vibe – which sound really good mixed in with the typical JEW tracks we've come to expect. If you live in the PHX area, go see these guys at Edgefest for me since I will be out of town and bumming :(.

Pre-order "Chase this Light" on itunes 



folionow.jpgMy good friend David Mulhern recently launched FolioNow – an tool to help users build effortless websites.  FolioNow looks great and is super-simple to pick up and allows you to publish websites quick and easily.  It's especially great for artists who are looking for a online portfolio tool that will allow them to publish their work for the world to see and to do it in a way that's easy for anyone to do and that looks as good as their art.  Hop over to FolioNow and check it out. You can even sign up to try it out risk-free.

Check out my MethodLab Media FolioNow to see it in action 

Ahhh… Shark Week starts today




Lately, I have found myself watching the discovery channel almost exclusively.  Between Deadliest Catch, Dirty Jobs, Man Vs. Wild, Survivorman, and the Mythbusters (which as geeky as it is, is terrible entertaining to me) I can't seem to get enough.  But this week's discovery channel programming has me really excited.  It's shark week.  The 20th anniversary edition.  This means 24hrs a day for the next 7 days, I know without a doubt I can turn on Discovery and see something worth watching.  Why is it that sharks are so interesting and so terrifying all at the same time?  Maybe next week I have a better answer for you:)


Fire @ The Simple Way

Shane Claiborne (author of The Irresistible Revolution") and members of the Simple Way Community had their community center destroyed in a large fire yesterday morning.  Here's some of the text from their website:

This morning, a 7-alarm fire consumed an abandoned warehouse in our Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia. The Simple Way Community Center at 3200 Potter Street was destroyed as well as at least eight of our neighbors’ homes. Over 100 people were evacuated from their homes, and 400 families are currently without power. Despite this tragedy, we are incredibly thankful to share that all of our community members and every one of our neighbors is safely out of harm’s way.

This fire will forever change the fabric of our community. Eight families are currently homeless, and in many cases have lost their vehicles as well as their homes. One of our neighbors, the Mahaias Family, lost their three cars as well as the equipment one family member uses for her massage therapy business. Teenager Brian Mahaias is devastated not because he has lost his belongings, but because he fears that this fire will force him to move away from this neighborhood that is his family as well as his home.

The Simple Way has lost a community center that was home to our Yes! And… afterschool program, community arts center, and Cottage Printworks t-shirt micro-business as well as to two of our community members. Community members Shane Claiborne and Jesce Walz have lost all of their belongings, Yes!And…’s after school studio and library were ruined, and community member Justin Donner’s Cottage Printworks equipment and t-shirts were destroyed.

Funds have already been established to support the families who have lost their homes, the Yes! And… afterschool program, and the Simple Way community.These funds have been established through a partner organization, EAPE. Tax-deductible donations can be made at https://www.tonycampolo.org/online_donation.php. Please make sure to put “TSW-Kensington Families Fund” or “TSW-Rebuilding Fund” in the memo section.

The Simple Way community plays a significant role in Philadelphia in exposing the city to the counter-cultural ways of the Kingdom of God. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as we all contemplate what it must be like to lose everything in a few moments.

“The Gift” by Lewis Hyde

For the past few weeks I have been slowly pouring over a book that has been on my list for a while, "The Gift" by Lewis Hyde.  The copy I have, a gift itself from Kester, is a hardcover UK reprint of this work exploring the concept of "gift economy" (compared to the "market economy" that pervades all of modern and especially American" life).  I am a few chapters in and while I am far from being able to offer any sort of review, I want to blog bits and pieces of Hyde's words that strike me as thought-provoking, dead-on, challenging, or otherwise intriguing.  So here it goes:

"Most artists are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master.  That is to say, most artists to art by art itself.  The future artist finds himself or herself moved by a work of art, and, through that experience, comes to labor in the service of art until he can profess his own gifts.  Those of us who do not become artists nonetheless attend to art is a similar spirit.  We come to painting, to poetry, to the stage, hoping to revive the soul."  – p.48

Taco Day Dos

A week from tomorrow (Saturday the 12th) is Taco Day Dos – 12 hours of tacos.  If you love (or even like) tacos, hanging with friends and strangers alike, and a good party -you've got to check this annual event out.  There's a fundraiser involved as well.  Find out more at the "offical" taco day website.



Blogging rant

blog-hat.jpgI like blogs.  There are times when I even love blogs.  There are even more times when I hate them.  Recently I find myself frustrated with some blog practices of blogs I follow.  So here I rant…

If you blog, please don't…

censor or moderate your comments (unless it's spam of course) – this destroys the integrity of the conversation messy as it may be

don't send out an email to everyone letting them know you've just blogged (if we care, we'll find it)

try to be someone you're not or try to post for statistics (be yourself and write about what you are thinking/feeling, not what you think others expect you to write about)

That's all – complaining over.

oops…thought of one more (this one's directed to commenters):

Please don't comment anonymously – if you're that concerned about offending someone with your comment, don't post it.  


What would Jesus really do?

storyrolandmartincnn.jpgThis past Easter weekend, I ran across this interesting article on CNN.com by author, talk-show host, and CNN contributor, Roland Martin, entitled, "What Would Jesus Really Do?".  In the article, Martin calls out those "who pimp God", those of the Christian faith that talk a big game, but walk a little one.  He challenges the hate, the political agenda, and the over-obsession with abortion and homosexuality as the focus of many Christians. If you understand the Christian faith to be one that demands action, and not just holy talk, then you have to give this article a read.

Here's a couple of gems from the article:

When did it come to the point that being a Christian meant caring about only two issues,­ abortion and homosexuality? Ask the nonreligious what being a Christian today means, and based on what we see and read, it's a good bet they will say that followers of Jesus Christ are preoccupied with those two points.


I'm looking for the day when Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Joyce Meyer, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, James Kennedy, Rod Parsley, " Patriot Pastors" and Rick Warren will sit at the same table as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Cynthia Hale, Eddie L. Long, James Meek, Fred Price, Emmanuel Cleaver and Floyd Flake to establish a call to arms on racism, AIDS, police brutality, a national health care policy, our sorry education system.

Here's a link to the complete article – What would Jesus really do? via CNN.com 


Following Jesus in Death & Resurrection (Part 2)

deathresurrectionsm.jpgYesterday, I began a series of posts about what it might look like to follow Jesus into death and resurrection.  I mentioned that I think we go through symbolic deaths and resurrections all the time and when we go through these troubling times, we must remember both that death must precede resurrection, and that the hope of resurrection should carry us through the darkness we experience. 

I read something interesting a few days ago about the words Jesus spoke on the cross just before his death, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani" (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?). William Barclay, a Jewish Historian and Bible Commentator, proposes that Jesus' humanity was at it's most evident in this moment. When Jesus yelled these words, it was the human side of him feeling as if and questioning if he had been forgotten by God. In his pain, utter exhaustion, and on the brink of death he did what most of us do when we experience difficult times – we wonder if God has forgotten us.

I have to admit that this understanding of Jesus' words stretches me and stretches my understanding of Jesus. As a youth pastor I would teach Jesus as 100% man AND 100% God. After making a joke about being bad at math, I would admit that I had no idea what this actually looks like. But maybe, what it looks like is an internal wrestling, conflict even, between God and man inside Jesus. And if it is, maybe Barclay is on to something. Maybe Jesus was so deep in pain that we see his humanity speak louder than his divinity. After all, wasn't it these moments where his humanity was most necessary to his purpose. For God to die a substitutionary death for mankind, wouldn't it have had to be a human death? In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed from his humanity as he sweat blood, asked to be spared the cross, and wondered if there was another way to redeem creation. I, along with Barclay, wonder if Jesus was at a similar moment during those last minutes on the cross.

Either way, as we follow Jesus into death and resurrection this Easter, we must acknowledge that the path of following Jesus involves suffering. If we are to follow Jesus, we must follow the Jesus of suffering and death along with the Jesus of laughter, of joy, and of hope. Often we find ourselves asking God similar questions when in the midst of intense pain and anguish, "God, where are you?" and "God, why are you so far away?" It is in the moments of extreme pain and suffering that we follow Jesus to the honest place of loneliness as we feel from from God.

I wonder if we followed Jesus expecting that human existence will bring us tough times, maybe we could be more aware of where we are in the death/resurrection process while in it. And if we must follow Jesus also to death and resurrection, not just through joyous and exciting times, what does it look like to follow Jesus into these dark places of our own lives? What does it look like to follow Jesus into these symbolic deaths that life takes us through from time to time? I will explore that question in the next post.

See also: Following Jesus in Death & Resurrection (Part 1)


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