Friday, October 26, 2007

The Political Experiment

A few years ago, I went to a workshop by Tono Campolo at the National Youth Worker's Convention. One of the recommendations he made during that workshop was to expose yourself to a diverse variety of news media, so that you were filtering through a more balanced perspective.

I've always liked this idea, but I've never pursued it...until now.

Presidential elections always peak my interest around this topic of "what's good and right" in our voting, because as American citizens and participants in democracy, we hold a vote to elect the most influential person in the entire world. We ought to take that rather seriously, because it not only impacts American lives, it impacts the lives of men, women and children around the entire world.

Last week, I bought and read a book living know living without creating a lot of waste and being carbon neutral and things like this...because I've been thinking about how the things I buy and what I throw away affects other people.

And now...I'm going to pursue a politically balanced reading list--so that I can understand more about how my votes, my activism, and my non-activism is honoring Christ and impacting people that are being oppressed.

For starters, I have trial subscriptions to 4 magazines in 4 categories:
Sojourners Magazine, representing the religious left
World Magazine, representing the religious right
The National Review, representing the political right
The Nation, representing the political left

I plan to update you on my learnings via the blog...and...if you have any recommendations for better resources in these categories, please share. If you want to join in the dialogue about these particular periodicals, please do.

I'm excited to embark on researching and bettering my understand of present in order to better understand how to apply our learnings from Scripture into this world. I'm excited to see where this journey will take me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Huge Step of Faith

She turned down a good job in order to pursue her passions. What does God think of that?

Last night, I talked with a friend who turned down a 9-5 job with great benefits because it's not going to allow her to pursue her passions for student ministry. She's going to turn down the "guaranteed" paycheck and choose the more difficult path. For the next six months, she'll work 20 hours a week at a menial job and raise money so she can move into full-time student ministry. What a challenge!

I was struck by her faith--to look "security" in the eye and choose to value something else. This does not follow the cultural trend, where corporations' guarantees seem more reliable than following the still small voice of God. Even Christians I know would certainly choose a "secure" paycheck and position over a job that seems more uncertain but where they can radically live out their passions everyday. How incredible is it that it's easier to place our trust in Starbucks or Costco or Charles Schwab than in Lord God Almighty?

According to most Americans, my friend should grab the secure paycheck without looking back. Instead, she has chosen the road less traveled. She's chosen it because she loves the Lord so much and because she cares for people so much that she wants her day-to-day life to be filled with teaching young people about Him.

As I spoke with her, I thought, "What a woman of faith! What a bold step!" and I was humbled. And then I remembered...I remembered that four years ago, I stood where she was and took the step she did and chose passion over security. How quickly I've forgotten that God called my name and asked me to move to Washington to minister to teenagers. How quickly she reminded me that faith is terrifying and bold and sometimes counter-cultural.

God is watching you...He is watching me...He is watching how we prioritize our lives. What does he think of it?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Too Funny!

This morning Dad sent me an email to let me know that Danielle Peck, rising Country star from my hometown of Coshocton, is singing the national anthem tonight in Cleveland.

What he did not tell me, that I found out later from my boss, is that Danielle also used to date Josh Beckett, the starting pitcher for the Red Sox! No way!

So, the Indians apparently didn't know that Danielle and Josh had dated, but the end result of having the starting pitcher for the Red Sox having to hold his hand over his heart while his ex-girlfriends sings our beloved National Anthem in what could be an ALCS Championship Game for the Indians is...well...dang funny.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I'm a little concerned that I might have placed a jinx on the Cleveland Indians already...

I'm referring to this post where I claim, "If the Indians could lose the World Series and the Browns could lose the Super Bowl, it would be a very well-rounded year, I think." I was referring to Ohio's string of Championship losses this year... OSU Football, OSU Basketball, Cleveland Cavaliers, Columbus Destroyers, and now...

But there's no bone in my body that wants this to be true, so I'm retracting my formerly stated coy and sarcastic comment. Because seriously, I think this streak needs to break, and I think the Indians are the team to do it. Two nights in a row they have shut down Ortiz and Ramirez from doing what they're capable of doing. They can do it. This is the team...not easily shaken, young and exuberant...and they have Kenny Lofton, who makes it all seem right and good.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Go Tribe!

So it's official! The Indians are back in the Playoffs and ready to kick some booty. Woo woo!

Last week, Clay and I were able to soak in a final regular season game when the Indians took on the Mariners at Safeco field in Seattle. Fortunately, even though there were only like 2500 people at the game, we were not the only Indians fans. Someone had to be there to remind Kenny Lofton of how sweet a pennant victory for Cleveland in '97 and '95 tasted!

Actually I was pretty embarrassed that I didn't even know that Kenny Lofton was back in Cleveland until he came up to bat. Clay was shouting, "That's Kenny Lofton! That's Kenny Lofton!" and I was like, "No way! He's too old! We used to watch him play ten years ago!" And then his face appeared on the jumbotron, and we said, "Oh! It IS Kenny Lofton." (This is on par with the same obliviousness I experienced last November while sharing an elevator ride with first-round-draft-pick-to-be James Laurinaitis at the Charlotte Westin while he was on his way to the Bronco Nagorski Awards Ceremony.)

So far, it hasn't been too difficult to keep Clay rooting for the Indians, since he actually was a fan of the Indians back in the day. In fact, on one of our first dates, we had an extended conversation about Cleveland's last glory days with Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Sandy Alomar Jr., Manny Ramirez and Albert Belle. It's also made easier by the fact that the Texas Rangers rarely give him anything to root for.

So from the West Coast, we give a big shout out to the Indians. We are with you, friends. Do well, make Ohio proud, and please break this 2nd place streak that the Buckeyes and Cavs have set the precedent for this year.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Tale of God's Goodness

Here's the scenario:

1. Boy and girl meet at concert in Texas.
2. Boy and girl exchange numbers and fly back to home states (Arizona and Washington).
3. Boy and girl talk and develop relationship. Start dating long-distance.
4. Youth pastor at girl's church leaves.
5. Boy and girl fly back and forth across country for weekend visits several times.
6. Boy says he'd like to move to Washington to "take the next step."
7. Boy and girl pray and make plans for boy to move. Think about pertinent details like job, place to live, etc.
8. Five months after youth pastor at girl's church left, spot is still open.
9. Boy and girl start praying about this job. Think (maybe) this is the right fit.
10. Boy talks to church.
11. Church offers boy an interview.
12. Interview goes really well.
13. Boy and girl wait to hear what's up.
14. Boy continues making plans to move, regardless of whether or not job pans out.
15. Church offers job to boy. Job conveniently located at church girl has been attending and volunteering with for three years. Church blesses boy and girl with generous offer.
16. Boy and girl praise God that he knit together details of move, job, youth pastor search, relationship into one tidy action.
17. Boy moves. New life begins.