Friday, November 30, 2007

The Irresistible Revolution

A Recommended Read: The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne.

I picked this read up at SPU's bookstore a few weeks ago while visiting Lizzy, one of my graduated YD students. I found purchasing it--well--irresistible.

Shane spoke at the YS National Youth Worker's Conventions last fall, and I got to see this akward, earthly, passionate man share with us the simple way that he lives his life in order to bring glory to God and be Christ to people. This means he hangs out with homeless people, lives with few possessions, and is immersed in trying to minister to the "least of these."

Clay and I have taken to reading the book aloud on Thursday nights, and last night, in Chapter Three, something spoke so directly to me. (I've left the book at home, so it's missing the exact page reference and citation. I'll correct this as soon as I have my copy of the book.) Something on the order of, "We made a decision to stop complaining about the church as it was and started trying to become the church we'd all dreamed of."

The church I dream of is definitely active, moving in ministry, not just talking about it...and the church I dream of is honest and vulnerable, openly confessing the screw ups. I guess if I want to become that church, I have to do one of two things--actually take actions to serve others, and be confessional and humble about my weaknesses and screw ups.

What's the church you dream of? How can you live it out?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Is Being Honest Being Brave?

Last night, as Clay and I sat in my car and talked after youth group, I made an honest and surprising confession: "I don't like coming to youth group."

That's a pretty revolutionary statement, considering that I've spent most Wednesdays for the last three years volunteering with youth group...

We don't really know what that means yet--if I should step down, if I should wait it out or what. Right now I'm just going to take some time to think and pray about it.

What I do know is that I'm excited to be a change agent in our church and community, and having Wednesday nights to really pursue my heart's desires could be a better thing for me, the church, and the community. For instance, I'm interested in doing a public showing of Amazing Grace at our church and then having a dialogue about modern-day slavery afterwards...perhaps working towards some points of action with people in the church.

So right now--I don't know what this honest confession means. There's part of it that feels like it's violating something--maybe just violating this idea that I'm the 'youth' girl. But there's another part of me that thinks that being honest about it is being brave--brave enough to step into a ministry more uncertain, more undeveloped...

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not For Sale

27 million people are enslaved today worldwide. Did you know this?

A few weeks ago, Clay and I went to David Batstone speak at Seattle Pacific University. David is the author of a book called Not for Sale and the founder of a non-profit of the same name.

To say that I was moved by the presentation is a bit of an understatement. I was convicted to act. Clay teaches his teens that your Christian walk is the way you serve others. If this is true--it means that faith is more than belief and accepting Jesus as your savior--it's how you serve your brothers and sisters, particularly how you serve widows, orphans, and any oppressed peoples. And here--in the USA in 2007 are people living in bondage...racking up debts they can never pay off...enduring forced labor...enslaved...

I'm looking for ways to get involved in this, and I don't have a lot of clarity yet. I hope to start by reading David's book and other similar books produced by the International Justice Movement. I'm trying to figure out how I can best be a part of this abolitionist movement.

For now--I'd recommend you watch this video and visit the website and check out the book yourself. In a sermon series from last summer, Rob Bell said that "God always hears the cry of the oppressed." And he responds to if we're not being oppressed--whose side are we on??

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jesus Video #3

A few winters ago, a visiting pastor shared these videos during a Sunday morning sermon. They had the congregation, as Renee would say, "in stitches."

For whatever reason this morning, I remembered how this video delighted me so much--to hear modern-day Christians' words come out of Jesus' mouth.

Mine favorite quote from the clip definitely, "I'd repeat it, but I can't, because I'm Jesus."

Watch it, be inspired, and then tell me--what's your favorite not really Jesus saying?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rob Bell...I heart you...

Last night Clay and I went to Seattle to see Rob Bell on his The Gods Aren't Angry tour. I've been listening to Rob, reading his books, and watching his Nooma videos for the past year...and I just love this guy. His presence while communicating is stellar, and his content is fascinating. He asks real questions in an understandable way...and he teaches me so much about the context of our faith.

I was really challenged by him to let go of the things I'm trying to earn--mostly other people's favor... He reminded me that I've already been saved and there is nothing more to do but celebrate what God has done for me.

If you haven't read or listened to Rob, do it. Now. Click on the video below.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Happy Halloweeny: Photojournalistic Highlights

Saturday was my friends' annual Halloween costume party, and this was the first year since living in Washington that I've been able to go. Hurrah!

Because we love Wicked, Erin, Jenny and myself were the witches of the west, east, and north respectively...and Clay enjoyed playing, "The Boy Who Lived." The best part of the whole night was displaying our well-crafted and award-winning pirate ship pumpkin for all to enjoy. Arrrrgh. Happy day of candy and dressing up to all who enjoy these photos!

Bethany and I rock out to Monster Mash! Woo! It was a graveyard smash!

Me and The Boy Who Lived! It's pretty incredible to be in the presence of the one who has lived to tell about facing you-know-who!

Harry Potter is angry or angsty or something. Puberty is a difficult time, I suppose.

Erin, me, and Jenny as the witches of the west, north and east. Jenny had fantastic ruby slippers, and I managed to hide my Uggs well under th elayers of pink crinoline...

A close-up of my stunning eyelashes. Yes, they're real!

The award-winning pirate pumpkin...with a jolly roger and all...arrrrrrrrrgh.

Clay proves that he looks so much better in pink than I do!

Can't wait until next year when I introduce everyone to flapper Heather, who can do an amazing Charleston...