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My wife reads good stuff, too

My wife wanted me to read this chapter because it made her think of me because it’s about a preacher who decides to be a counselor.

One significant quote that most preachers can relate to:

“How many religious leaders go into ministry with the idea that they’re going to be really great administrators?” -Rick Rittmaster

He had gone through depression and burnout as a preacher.

After getting his Masters in Counseling, he became a chaplain the US Army. He says, “There’s great sadness in the world, and being a chaplain, my role, my journey, is no to deny it or to resist it, but to accept it and to mourn with those who mourn.”

I like that statement.

 

Taken from Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of your Life by Jane Pauley

 

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Ferguson Tweeters

One of the reason I have been sharing info about Ferguson is that I started following some residents on twitter soon after the shooting and have learned about things that MSM haven’t covered, such as police raiding a church that was set up as a safe place for protesters to relax. That one incident would have been at the forefront of Christian blogs and media if it were any other situation. In another place there would have been an uproar. But white Christian America could only see the two nights of looting/violence and nothing else. And first hand accounts of how the police handled the protest from people who were not looting, rioting, or tossing molotav cocktails give a different perspective than CNN. Some were even standing up to the looters.

I know it can be confusing when I share these things. Some don’t understand that I just want their voice to be heard, without agreeing with everything said. I am trying to encourage empathy. But I can’t help how you take it. I realize some don’t want to hear a different side of the story. Hope it is interesting and enlightening for someone.

These people are why my heart has been touched by the situation.

@antoniofrench
@Nettaaaaaaaa
@deray

Here are some thoughts (tweets) from Netta

My age, the fact that I am a woman with a vision and a voice that people choose to listen to… That bothers some. But I will defend that.

Never had an immediate problem w/the police til my friend was shot & killed this summer. Slandered by police, his death swept under the rug.

On days when I’m disgusted by the police or by the trolls who defend the trolls, when the news portrays protesters as animals …I think of how Mike Brown’s parents must feel. How it feels to have your child be killed and placed on trial by America to defend his killer

I am black. And I am not a savage. Or an animal. Or violent. I am nothing the mainstream media depicts us to be. I am me.

I want the right to express every human emotion just like every other person of any kind of race without judgement. We all deserve that.

I want the guys from the hood to feel comfortable raising their young princes the same way the middle class man is w/his young dignitaries.

I want the right to live freely and not have someone police my emotions or thoughts or feelings or how I choose to express myself.

Hard making yourself realize the place you grew up loving is the same place here tragedy on a mass level potentially is going to take place.

I grew up loving Saint Louis. Taking proud of my city. We grew up here. And now ppl who look like me are being shot & killed like prey.

We have to discuss safe spaces where the police can not come with their guns or intimidation tactics but the news Sho

I don’t want to see or find out about someone I’ve grown close to in 81 days dying in the streets for protesting, after a no indictment.ws it vice versa.

I want to try to conserve all human life. I want to be able to offer solutions to our immediate problems. That’s realistic.

It takes a LOT of restraint to be next to the man who ordered protesters to be tear gassed. Shot with rubber bullets. That is me.

Hard to hear the man who ordered for us to be shot with rubber bullets to now say trust him.

How do we protect even sacred spaces like churches from police invasion. That is a real life issue. In middle America.

I wish I could wake up tomorrow and the world see value in black life across the board. No matter how uncomfortable some of us make you feel

Coffee and Older Adults

I like being around older people. I enjoyed that aspect of being a minister. I enjoyed the brief time I spent doing home health care. I considered focusing on older people for my counseling career, but really want to spend more time with the young, so I may not take the Gerontology course.

While at work, I noticed this and took a picture. it made me sad for the reasons I will share:

IMG-20140806-01006

It’s a smaller size which makes me think of the loneliness of the elderly. Widows and Widowers. Grieving a spouse, missing kids and grandkids. Single-serving instant coffee is kinda depressing.

It’s a “lightweight, EZ open jar” which speaks to the frailty and failing bodies of us when we age.

Our older adults need us. Call, write, hug one today. They are too often lonely and alone.

I remember reading statistics about how few visits nursing homes get. It’s ridiculous.

Ferguson Links

Lighter stuff for those who get emotional/agitated reading on race and violence (whichever side you are on)

How Twitter and Facebook are different for sharing/following the Ferguson situation

How younger and older blacks feel differently about Civil Rights and Civil Disobedience

Coverage of the Coverage from a faith perspective

The following articles are by Christians talking about race, poverty, violence etc. in America (proceed at your own risk, send all complaints to original authors)

Silence by white Christian America

WARNING! Black American Christians may have a different POV than you are used to. Kristena Cleveland: “The Cross and the Molotav Cocktail” (ALSO: graphic images of lynching/hanging)

Don’t Ignore It by Eugene Cho

and lastly, if you only read one argument that may make you angry, this one is calm and rational and provides good suggestions for action: “Speaking of Michael Brown

 

 

Communion Reflection

A neat thought came to me during worship a couple of weeks ago. I can’t remember the hymn but I started imagining carrying my sins and struggles up a gravel road toward the cross. Whether it was a person, a word, an item that represents a temptation, I carried the heavy load and tossed it at the foot of the cross.

But a few minutes later I had a better idea, a better image, it was of me carrying me toward the cross.

I am the problem. Think about how much you weigh. Even the strongest and smallest of us would get tired of carrying that weight very far or long. And we do.

So I tried to imagine carrying 180 lbs uphill toward a dying, naked man. And arriving, I would fling my heavy body on the rocks beneath my Lord. Let him take it, do whatever with it. Toss my heavy butt on the ground. Give it up. to Him.

That’s what I need.