Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

The Call

November 5, 2008

There are many calls in life.  Lots of this blog has been about my call into ministry.  Tonight I feel a different call.  I feel a call to be an American.  This is a call I am familiar with, but this time it looks different.  It looks a lot different.  It is not a call to dominate or subdue.  It is not a call to rule or look down our collective noses at the less fortunate.  It is a call to something greater.  It is a call to unite as a nation.  And while I must admit I am a bit apprehensive about the hope encapsulated in this call, I am hopeful non-the-less. And my hope is that we might be able to taste a little bit more of God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven as we choose to love our neighbor despite their differences and reach out to those who need a helping hand.  Socialism?  Nahhh…just good old fashioned loving our neighbors with equality and mutuality as our bottom line.  Yes we can.

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One Day More!

November 3, 2008

Thanks to Chad who blogs at roeminations.

Hello

November 1, 2008

It’s been a while hasn’t it.  For some reason I have not been up for blogging lately.  I started back to work after a week and a half of being out after the toe surgery.  It was a dreadful day.  In the time I was off I truly felt a peace with the world.  I was reading and writing.  I was interacting with people about reading and writing.  I wrote my first sermon.  I prepared to lead my very first worship service.  It was wonderful.  I thought to myself, “This is what it means to be me.”  And then I couldn’t be me anymore.  I had to go back to my 8-5, task oriented, non-creative job. And my soul was in shock and rebellion from this.  That and my toe hurt after being up on it most of the day. 

Friday was a bit better.  And then the weekend was awesome.  I got to preach for the first time.  I am planning on blogging about that more specifically later, but suffice to say it was an awesome experience.

And then I went to my 8-5, task oriented, non-creative job.  But I was a bit more content because God confirmed some things for me when I preached.  But again, more on that later.

There have been other things going on in life lately.  For one I have been very tired.  This is probably partially due to the surgery but I think it is mostly due to the weather.  The short days are really messing with me.  I am also the lead person for Operation Christmas Child at my church his year.  Fun stuff.  I love OCC.  And this week and next I am facilitating my Sunday morning Bible study.  I like all the stuff but it leaves me feeling lonely.  I feel as though I have community but then I feel as though I don’t.  Things like Facebook and Twitter are nice, but I feel as though they provide only the illusion of community instead of the reality.  I feel linked up to many, but connected to so few.  That said, I have two friends now that I can have over and still stay in my PJs.  How cool is that?  I love it.

It is sad to me that  have gotten more calls from political telemarketers than anyone else.  Truth be known, more than everyone else combined.  I took a nap after work today to avoid throwing myself a pity party, but it is hard.  Then one of my PJ friendscameover and that was nice because I didn’t have to entertain.  I just got to be me with someone else in the room.  It was really nice.  And she made me cheesy rice and brought me chocolate.

I also got information on two schools in Jerusalem that I am going to look into in hopes of going there this summer.  Another friend of mine threw out the dea of a kibbutz so I am going to look into that as well.

I found out I will get to go to my Aunt and Uncle’s for Thanksgiving which is good.  My mom’s b-day is the day before so it will be good to see her for sure.

I am finally getting organized at work.  After a year of trying to figure everything out without having a lot to go on, I am finally organizing it all.  It’ quite amazing really.  I have a new boss now and he is pretty awesome and has made work much less stressful.  I am thankful for that.  I only hope that his ledership is a gift from God to help me stay in this place as long as I am supposed to.  But I am really wondering how long that is going to be.  Maybe it’s much shorter than I think.  Who knows.

Been thinking a lot lately about LGBT “issues” to include ordination of LGBT people.  I am reading a book called “A Time to Embrace” by William Stacy Johnson.  I also want to read Jack Rogers’ “Jesus, The Bible, And Homosexuality” and maybe “The Children are Free” by Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler (I think).  It seems to me that since i am seeking ordination in PC(USA) I should seek to understand both sides of the issues which for me means learning much more about those who support ordination of LGBT people since my faith journey was predominantly fundamental until about a year and a half ago.

I have had a few folks send me messages on Facebook to ask me what I am up to lately.  When I reply “working on my M-div” I seem to be getting silence.  It irks me that fundies think if they don’t agree with something ignoring it will be helpful.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it.  Or maybe they are rallying the troops to attack from all sides.  Maybe the are all praying for me in hopes that I will repent of my wickedness and turn from my wicked ways.  If they are, I both appreciate it and am annoyed by it.  *shrug*

In other news, I voted via absentee ballot the other day.  Decided to do that due to the toe surgery.  I am now officially an Obama Mama as Carol put it.  : )

Well, I guess that’s all for now.  Lots of ramblings, but hey…it’s something.

A Book Review: Red Letter Christians by Tony Campolo

October 11, 2008

I learned about this book while reading my latest issue of Relevant magazine.  I decided to buy a copy because I have become more politically and socially aware in the last year of my life.  The subtitle of this book is “A Citizens Guide to Faith & Politics” and I can definitely say I think Tony Campolo did a great job in holding true to that.  While he is up front about his political leanings and adamant about certain issues, he seems to do a pretty good job of helping his reader understand both sides of the issue.  I must admit that the quote from President Clinton on the top front of the cover kinda threw me for a loop.  But it forced me to own up to my judgemental attitude towards a man who, despite his moral failings, has probably done more positive things than he is often given credit for. 

Tony addresses a wide variety of issues in this 224 page book and it could be aptly viewed as a primer for present day politics in America.  After a short intro citing increased reticence in a majority of Christians to label themselves as “Evangelicals” along with a straying from the recorded words of Jesus himself as the reasoning for the creation of the term “Red Letter Christians,” Tony spends time on Global Issues.  Covering issues such as the environment, the war, and the AIDS pandemic, he highlights the important part America plays in the globalized community that is now our reality.  It is interesting to me that he chooses to put these chapters first in his book.  Based on his writing, I think it is safe to say he did that intentionally to help his readers widen their perspective on what is important.  Next Tony tackles the Hot-button Issues that for some are the single most important issues of any election: gay rights, abortion, and increasingly, immigration before covering Economic Issues and Government Issues.  Here he covered issues such as minimum wage, wasteful government, and political lobbyists.

As a passionate person, I tend to get riled up when these issues are discussed.  That said, I didn’t read this book to illicit feelings.  I read this book to be a little bit more informed about the issues at hand.  Tony did not let me down on that.  I appreciated his even handed approach to the issues especially since he did not come across as dispassionate or disinterested.  I recommend this book to anyone who has a growing desire to understand more about the political arena in America today from a faith based stand point.

Objective

September 26, 2008

I am usually pretty good at remaining objective and then making a decision on the facts.  It’s part of my personality type so I’m not puffing myself up here.  And I am definitely not saying that I am always objective.  That said, it was hard for me to remain objective as this debate went on this evening. 

Reasons:

  1. Sen. McCain’s incessant emphasis of his extensive world travel (we get it already)
  2. Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama talking over each other.
  3. Sen. McCain’s incessant harping on Sen. Obama’s naivete
  4. Sen. McCain’s incessant use of the phrase “Sen. Obama (still) doesn’t understand
  5. Sen. McCain’s incessant character attacks of Sen. Obama
  6. Sen. McCain’s poor grammar (i.e., “…committee that oversights NATO…”)
  7. Sen. McCain’s obvious assumption that all military veterans think he is the best thing since sliced bread
  8. Sen. McCain’s shameless plugs for veteran’s benefits.
  9. The moderators use of the term “your rule as president.”  So far as  know, the president serves.  Ruling is what monarchs do.  Slip of the tongue?  Maybe.  I find it a significant slip of the tongue. 
  10. Sen. McCain’s shameless use of emotional rhetoric.  We don’t want to just feel good.  We don’t want a band aid and a pat on the head.  We want long term solutions to legitimate problems.  Sen. Obama’s response of “I have a bracelet too” did seem a bit cheesy, however, I think his point was, there are emotions on both sides of the issue.  There are veterans who actually oppose the war in Iraq.

Note to Senator McCain: We get it.  You don’t agree with Sen. Obama.  I have a humble request.  Can you just state that and then tell us why instead of bashing someone who is a colleague?  Your snarky comments are not appreciated and despite popular belief, it doesn’t make me think you’re cool and that I should vote for you.  Citing your extensive experience leads me to believe that maybe you are part of the problem and therefore not part of the solution.  Maybe your experience is what helped get us here.  Maybe a little humility would help you serve the country better whether in your role as a Senator or should you be voted in as the President.

Note to Senator Obama: Please don’t play into Sen. McCain’s snarky comments.

Photo by: Hong Kong dear Edward