Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On Thanksgiving and Privilege

So, let's be honest, Thanksgiving is a holiday for the privileged.

We (and yes, I'm certainly speaking as a member of the privileged class) take a day to thank God for our blessing and that we're not one of those others. OK, maybe we don't actually say that last part, but come on, we're all thinking it. From our privileged position of relative plenty, it's easy to say things like "Be grateful for what you have" and as Christians, "Thank God for the blessings that He's given us," but I can't help but wonder if we would be so thankful if things were reversed and we were stripped of our privilege.

Would we still be so gracious in our giving of thanks? Would we still be so certain that the way in which God had chosen to distribute His blessing to the world was "fair" and "just"?

I'm guessing no, but I've been wrong before. A lot. The interesting thing though, is that I might get to see the answer to this question in my lifetime, as demographic realities in the West begin to dismantle and rebuild our societies. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On Purpose Driven Pancakes

I know, it's been a little heavy over here lately, so I thought I'd lighten things up a bit. :)

I'm over at A Deeper Family today writing about pancakes.

On Saturday mornings, we have an established routine. Mom sleeps in (as best she can in a townhouse with paper thin walls and, well, two wild animals running around 10 feet below her) and the boys and I make breakfast.Specifically, we make pancakes. 
Real pancakes. 
Not those weak-sauce “just add water” pancakes. I’m talking about the real deal here. We make ‘em from scratch, double sift the dry ingredients, refrigerate the batter – we know all the good tricks. Ethan and I take our pancake-making (well, him more so the pancake-eating) very seriously, so much so that I’m constantly experimenting with my pancake recipe, searching for the perfect pancake. Lately I’ve been experimenting with how I combine the ingredients. I even have seasonal variants. Last week, I made my fall pancakes, and I’ve been brainstorming a Christmas recipe lately as well. (Stop judging me.)

Click through to A Deeper Family to read the rest.

Monday, November 12, 2012

On Remembrance: The Greatest Honor

I'm guest posting today over at A Deeper Story, and talking Veteran's Day. For those of you who've read much of this blog, you know that this is a topic that I am somewhat...shall we say...conflicted on. So, in order to give people a better idea where I'm coming from, I decided to tell a part of my story.  Here's a bit of it:

Our guard shift was just ending as they brought the casualties back. The common area of an old bombed out building had been transformed into a triage station. It reeked of blood and bile and shit and sounded like what I used to imagine when I’d hear a fire and brimstone preacher really bringing his best stuff. The screams and sobs, the calls for God and long-dead loved ones, and the pleas for medicine to dull the pain all seemed to weave themselves together into a deafening chorus whose only song was that of the most exquisite agony.
What I remember most, though, are his eyes.
He was dead, and the medics knew it. There were others they could save, and they had dutifully moved on to help where they could. In the confusion, no one had closed his eyes or covered him up, and from where I was standing frozen in stunned silence, he seemed to be looking right through me. His eyes were somehow a more piercing blue in death than they had been in life, somehow more engaging than they’d been in the tent the night before, when we’d joked about being woefully unprepared for how downright cold it was in the desert. The absurd serenity on his face stood in stark contrast to the chaotic scene unfolding around him. I am haunted by those eyes.
He was 24. His wife was 21. Their baby boy was 6 months old.

Head over to A Deeper Story to read the rest.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fridays on Faith and Politics: Your Kingdom Come.

Yes, I realize that it's not Friday, but it is the day before the election so let’s just say “Better late than never” and call it good.

This is the 6th and final (oh thank sweet baby Jesus!) installment in this series on faith and politics.  If you care to, you can read the other installments here:  Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

There's only one appropriate way that I can think to end a series like this one, and that is with a prayer.

Photo Credit
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

  No man or woman. No party or philosophy. No country or creed. May none other be held in the place of honor in our hearts.  May the allegiance we pledge be first and foremost to Your name. May the tribute we pay be to Your Kingdom and to the love, grace and peace that are its foundations.

Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

  Not just ever after but now, at this time, in this place, may your Kingdom be established in our hearts and in our communities. May we be a people who walk humbly, who act justly, but who love mercy.  May we, your Church, preach the gospel of food to the hungry, the gospel of clothing to the naked, the gospel of healing to the sick, the gospel of comfort to the brokenhearted and the gospel of peace to a world at war with itself. 

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors

Forgive us for our greed and indulgence.  Forgive us for our pride and arrogance.  Forgive us for placing our desire to be right above our desire to be loving. Forgive us for placing our desire to be safe above our obligation to love our enemies.  Forgive us for placing our wants above others’ needs.

Forgive us for being impatient and unkind in our politics, for that is not love.
Forgive us for having haughty, boastful attitudes in our politics, for that is not love.
Forgive us for keeping detailed records of wrongs, for that is not love.
Forgive us for delighting in the evil of our enemies’ demise, for that is not love.

Show mercy on us and forgive our debts despite our white-knuckled clenched fists that refuse to let go of the debts of others.  May that mercy spread like a weed, choking out our sense of entitlement and our notions of what we are owed. May jubilee burst forth in our lives and our communities.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

Shore up our hearts that we might not be seduced by the siren’s song of power and influence.  Save us from our privilege and from the sense of apathy toward our fellow human beings that it so often engenders.


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