Words are like rocks. We can build with them, or we can break things with them.
As I’ve said before, stories matter. And the stories shaping our perspectives on obedience and submission matter, too. These stories impact the way we communicate, and the baggage others carry with these words matters, too.
Reading news and social media the last few months, submission and obedience are trigger words for me — regardless of the position supported. Whether it is government or religion, I flinch. They are power words.
Too often, the act of obedience and submission dominates the conversation, while ignoring critical questions like obedience to whom and for what end. Continue reading
Earlier this week I posted on the importance of stories for shaping the way we live. As an exercise in conscious storytelling, I’m sharing stories influencing my views on immigration, refugees and discipleship.
Essentially this post explores three questions:
- How do I understand myself as an American?
- How do I see refugees?
- What are the expectations of a disciple of Jesus?
As we explore together, my point is not converting you to my perspective, but the process of open and conscious storytelling. These stories frame the way I approach the world, and rather than having you agree or think I’m neat-o, I hope the stories encourage you to consider your own life, reactions, and core values.
Agreement is not required, but respect is. Continue reading
When I challenged my home congregation to read Luke in the month of February, little did I know that challenge would leave me reading the whole book in the first three days of the month. I saturated myself in Jesus’ words the last couple of days.
I needed it.
The last couple of weeks, for me, feel like waking to some nightmarish alternate reality. Each day brings news reports that violate my core values.
I’m an INFP on the Myers-Briggs. The salient point about my personality: I delight in seeing the world through other people’s perspectives, and I hate conflict. Right up to the point where my core values are tripped, and then I am a rampaging tiger with roaring feelings and little logic.
I can handle disagreement and questions. I do not react well to shame, control or folks who bully or ridicule others, especially those who are marginalized or are weaker than them. I lose my mind. Poof. Out comes the tiger from normally placid me. Continue reading
I marched on Saturday. By myself. That’s a pretty big deal for this crowd-phobic introvert. Continue reading
Overwhelmed by the news? Depressed by the irate rants on Twitter? Irked by the sensationalist posts on Facebook?
I am tired. And it’s still early on Inauguration Day.
Today, while some are celebrating a victory for “God-ordained” President Trump, others remain terrified about retaining basic human rights. Continue reading
As I wrote the highlights of my reading from 2016, every part of me wanted to defend my reading choices, explain what I learned. Particularly choices I thought may be controversial. As the word count for the draft scaled 1,500 words after book four of twelve, something had to give.
Nobody wants to read that. Not even me. Probably not even J, who likes to read everything I write (God bless him for his enthusiastic support! How I love that man and the way he loves me!).
The words my friend Lo gave me from Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese” came rushing into my brain. I don’t have to be perfect. I can be quirky and strange, as I actually am. I don’t need to hang my head as though the books filling my sails with air and faith and hope last year needed to be explained. I am allowed to celebrate the books God used to mold me.
So I chopped and simplified the post, largely leaving the books unqualified and unexplained — minus two with disclaimers from the authors themselves. Perhaps it’s mysterious, perhaps not quite persuasive enough. Perhaps it leaves more questions than answers.
What matters most about that post is not the actual book list, but the vital lesson I learned about me as a writer. Continue reading