Category Archives: Christ

My Liberty

My liberty doesn’t exist because of an army, or a press, or politicians. My liberty comes from God.

And that’s in essence what the Constitution Declaration of Independence says. Our rights aren’t endowed upon us because we have the right skin color, are the right gender, or even have the correct religion. God has given every human being the right to make decisions, good or bad, that don’t infringe on the rights of other human beings.

Liberty leads us back to God. Because through Liberty, through freedom, we are free to serve God in radical ways.

But Liberty is not the result of violence. Violence is an infringement of liberty. True Liberty is standing in the face of violence, unintimidated, and laying down your life for those that you love. That radical courage says to the world, “this is not how things were supposed to be.”

That’s what I think about on independence day.

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Man is the world groaning for our Lord

A man keeps a preteen boy in his home for 4 years, seperated from his parents….

A freak ice storm paralyses oklahoma…

The Iraq war wages on without an end in sight…

A parcel of land to be devoted to housing for the homeless is shot down by people with an irrational fear of those that don’t look like them….

 What are we to do?

 As much as we can, as often as we can.

When you see a homeless man on the street, talk to him. Don’t look at him (or her) as a project, someone to convert. Don’t talk about Jesus like he’s going to make this person not homeless anymore. Just be Jesus. Love the man, just as much as you love the friends that are around you. Shake his hand, ask his name, help him any way you can.

Make a conscious effort when you pass a hispanic family, not to think “illegal” but think “human being”.

When you watch the news and see troops dying…. love the people that killed them just as much as the troop wearing your flag on his arm.

 Love scandalously. Love despite what the law of the land says. Love despite what your peers might think. Just love unconditionally.

That Was The Worst Christmas Ever

Sufjan Stevens has taken over my Christmas music selection. Check out this  tune.

This Christmas, for me, has not been the worst Christmas ever. I’ve been blessed to spend time with my family and my fiancee, as well as some friends. I have too many things to be thankful for and there are too many who have too little for me to be complacent with the status quo. May we all remember the children whose homes have been torn apart by war and genocide, by corrupt dictators and governments, by famine and flood. May we be more radically like Christ in our service to others until next Christmas and may we remind ourselves how easily we can become slaves to consumerism in our culture.

Lord, I pray that this Christmas, we remember Christ’s birth and think of it often as we serve the poor and the rich, the hungry and healthy. May we serve more like Jesus.

Steve Gill: Quick to judge, quick to speak.

I used to listen to Glenn Beck in the morning on my way to work. I don’t always agree with what he says, but he’s funny and real and he’s not partisan. 1510 here in Nashville decided to pre-empt him recently in favor of Steve Gill “The Talk of Tennessee”.

Besides the fact that he makes derogatory comments about illegal aliens and he espouses his belief in capitalism, yet is a protectionist at heart, he’s just not a good talk show host. And he’s deceitful.

This morning he has been talking about how he is going to talk about a Lipscomb Prof who says that we should deny the Lordship of Christ in order to make peace with Muslims. I knew immediately that this professor was probably Lee Camp and that he probably didn’t say what Steve Gill said he did. I was right.

Steve, I doubt you’ll read this, but if you do, maybe you should learn a little more about what it means to be a Christian. Its not about blowing up terrorists, getting rid of brown people that are here, or making sure that Walmart and Target say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. Its about loving your enemies in radical ways. Its not about making sure they recognize that your god is better than theirs, its about making sure they see Jesus in your every step.

Update: Lee Camp’s response today in the Tennessean

What I Am Thankful for….

I don’t know if these things are really ranked; I’m thankful for all of them pretty much equally.

  • No more squirrel living in the wall of my apartment. The rodent that was plauging me nightly by gnawing on what is most likely important infrastructure in my apartment has now been evicted, so to speak, through the magic of expanding foam insulation. Chew through that stuff sucker!
  • A job that I enjoy in great conditions. Encore has treated me well thus far. My boss Regina does a great job and I’m excited about the direction the company is taking. Plus, the interpersonal relationships there are great.
  • My housing situation. I love not having roomates (and no, Carrie will not be considered a roomate. Roomates, by definition, are not married.) and I love my apartment, despite its lack of efficient heating and cooling, its dilapadated infrastructure, the bathroom that is barely big enough for one person…. I love it. Its perfect.
  • My family. I got off the phone with my Dad yesterday on my way back to Memphis and I couldn’t help thinking how lucky I am. I have two parents who love me unconditionally and who want the best for me and will give great advice, but allow me to make my own mistakes and have my own opinions. I have brothers who are goofy and help keep my ego in check. And now, my soon to be newest family member will be my next section.
  • Carrie Melton. Wow, I can’t be thankful enough for Carrie. She is funny and smart, and she loves me even though I can be an ass sometimes. She keeps me on the straight path, and she can make me smile, even when I’m having a terrible day. Oh yeah, and she’s a hottie. 😉
  • Finally, I’m thankful for Christ. I’m thankful that he has grace for folks like me who are realizing now that we barely have anything figured out and have had it wrong for a long time. I’m thankful that he offered us a third way, a way of non violence, a way of peace, a way of love. The Way of God.

If Jesus Showed Up in America

If Jesus were to show up in America today, where would he be?

Maybe in some projects in inner city Memphis?

Or in a trailer park in the Appalacians?

Or possibly in the back of a truck full of Mexican immigrants?

What would he have to say about our political system, the war in Iraq,
health care, or democracy in general?

Would he stand outside of Bellevue Baptist Church and claim that he
will tear down these buildings and rebuild them again?

Would he head out to Brentwood with a gang of disciples in a van, have
a breakdown on Franklin Road, and walk to Chick Fil A hoping to find
someone to give him some money for a fan belt? (This happened to me
the other day, though it wasn’t Jesus, and there’s some more story
involved)

Would he stand toe to toe with Jim Wallis and Ralph Reed and say
“You’ve both got it wrong… my kingdom isn’t about taking control of
the Government?”

Would he walk past me on the street and would I cross to the other side?

I don’t know. I sure hope not.

Dan McGuinness, the Homeless, and an Irresistable Revolution

I guess this post is a grouping of ideas, moreso than an actual collective thought.

On Friday, I bought the book “The Irresistable Revolution” by Shane Claiborne at the suggestion of Mike Cope. I read about 100 pages on Friday and another 100 pages yesterday, and I honestly think its going to screw up my life. In a good way… but things may change. I just don’t know that I can honestly persue my own goals in life anymore.

On Sunday night, Carrie and my small group had our get together, and a few of us went to Dan McGuinness (a pub) afterwards for 2.50 pints. I had two Woodchuck Ciders and they were delicious. We spun a cell phone and whoever it pointed to when it stopped had to tell a story about their life. It was a great night, but something that happened just as we were arriving has kept my thoughts occupied since then. A homeless man was leaning against the sidewalk rail as we walked up. I’ve made it a habit to make sure I at least make eye contact with the homeless as I walk by so they’ll know I’m friendly and that I care about them, even if I can’t help them much. And when I talk to a homeless person, I always shake hands with them or pat them on the shoulder. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, its just after hearing how Jesus touched the leper, when he could have easily healed him without touching, I realized how important touch is, and how, by shaking a hand or even giving a hug, I am being Jesus to these people who may have had very little human contact in quite a while.

Anyway, that night I met John. A homeless man of about 50 with one crutch and a hand that was missing a finger. I leaned against the railing next to him and we began to talk. He explained to me that he lost his finger to bone cancer recently. He then was back out on the streets (there was a bad divorce where he lost everything) and he was robbed and beaten by people. This beating left his knee broken in 7 pieces and his head with 5 staples in it. When he went to the hospital, they asked him to fill out some paper work. He doesn’t have an address, but he was supposed to be on TennCare. For some reason, he was no longer registered as a Tenn Care participant, so his knee that was badly in need of surgery, was drained of fluid, put in a cast, and John was back on the streets.

I don’t know what we need to do to fix this problem. John probably holds some blame for the situation he’s in right now, but he still deserves to be treated like a human being. We need to do more for the homeless in this city. I realize many of them are mentally handicapped/ addicted to drugs but they are still human beings. Look into their eyes. You will see the humanity inside of them. Sure, its behind layers and layers of heartache, alcohol, abuse, callousness, and haze; but there IS humanity there.

Recently here in Nashville, a homeless woman was sleeping on the pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland River. Two men, not homeless, hopped a fence, ran up to her and shoved her in the river. Her body hasnn’t been found yet. What is wrong with people? Where did we go wrong? Where did we forget that Christ had no home?

I want to do something. I want to take a week and leave everything I have at home, all my money, identification, credit cards, toiletries; and I wanna go live in Downtown Nashville. On the streets. In solidarity with those that aren’t doing it by choice. I wanna do this and I want to write about it. I don’t know what God will show me when I do this, but I know I’ll learn a lot and come back a changed person. If anyone has any ideas about how best to do this, I would appreciate hearing them.

Pray for my friend John. He needs it now. He even told me that it wasn’t God’s fault that he is where he is. He said that “God’s holding up his end of the deal…” He realizes that bad things that happen aren’t from God, and he’s still trusting as he tries to get ahold of his life.