My Christmas Wish

There’s a lot that we can say about the Christmas season, and this year is shaping up to be no exception. We’re no strangers to the blessings and trials of the holidays, and by now, we’ve all certainly heard the popular yearly reminder as to who is really the reason for our season.

Needing a Respite

I covet those silent wintery moments that come unbidden, bringing about that beautiful, quiet hopefulness that is prevalent yet often unspoken. In that still, quiet, dark winter night, where your breath hangs in the air and you can almost hear the snow touching the ground; that is the place where I feel the powerful reassurance of the Holy Spirit move right through me, where peacefulness wins, and hope rides in victoriously on a white horse.

A Reminder of the unexpected

Once again I’ve been reminded to take another look at some things that we maybe have forgotten in our busyness. There is a reminder here that we can catch in the Christmas season: our God is the God of Deliberate Action, and His deliberate action rarely takes the form we expect. How often do we stop to recognize the subtle acts of our Savior? Like this song suggests, the coming of Christ was a deliberate action that took a very specific form.

He is a God of process, presence and relationship that was delivered in a very small, small package, with ten fingers and ten toes.

Cutting through Chaos

We’ll hear much over the next several days about everything that can possibly be related to Christmas, from Santa, to sales, from Season’s Greetings to “Jesus is the Reason” and we are tempted to find the whole thing overwhelming. But, like the song says, God came quiet, soft, and slow, and in the midst of everything that we are told to believe is a part of Christmas, God offers us an invitation to share His quiet, His soft, and His slow in our own lives. He is after all, the Prince of Peace, and his Peace–the one that surpasses all understanding–can also surpass supermarket lines, traffic jams, parties, plans, and busyness. It overcomes the unwelcome circumstances that impose their presence on an already frantic season.

His peace is portable, and inexhaustible.

May we all find that Holy Peace we can carry with us through our Christmas season, and beyond.

  • What has been your experience of the Christmas season so far this year?
  • What do you love the most about celebrating the birth of Christ?
  • What does it mean that Jesus is the Prince of Peace?
  • What little or big thing can you do to invite Jesus’ Peace into your season?

There is a reminder here that we can catch in the Christmas season: our God is the God of Deliberate Action, and His deliberate action rarely takes the form we expect.

original image by Gareth Harper

Enter the Slave Garden

photo by Tulay Palaz
photo by Tulay Palaz

Living Hope Community Church meets at Ironwood Elementary School, and to enter, you must pass through a small gated courtyard before you reach the doors to the worship space.
Every Sunday we are able to come to our church space, pass through the gates, enter through the door, and participate in the worship service. There are no requirements, no check points, no guards at the door who require you to prove your worthiness to enter. You are not restricted by your age, your gender, your education, your finances or your past. You aren’t stopped because of who your parents are or were. You don’t have to present papers, or pay to enter. You are welcomed in freely.
But what if that weren’t the case? What if you showed up and there were chains on the gate? What if, suddenly, you were made to enter though a side door, and wait for the chance that you might (or might not) be allowed to enter? What if someone or something owned you, and you weren’t free to worship how or where or when you wanted, because the one who owned you had forbidden it?

Continue reading “Enter the Slave Garden”

Proof comes to Fuller Seminary

This week, the Fuller Company will present our third-ever full-length production, Proof, written by David Auburn, for our winter offering to the Fuller community.   Proof centers around 25 year-old Catherine, who has spent the last several years caring for her father, Robert; a brilliant and famous mathematician who has become mentally unstable.  The play opens on the eve of her birthday, and we begin to discover what caring for her father has cost her—and it is certainly more than her social life.  Catherine is subjected to intrusions that she would not choose for herself, including the persistent presence of her father’s protégé Hal—who is looking for evidence of Robert’s brilliant mind in the pages of the 103 notebooks that he filled over the course of his illness.  Add to this the steam-rolling arrival of Catherine’s estranged sister, Claire, and we are quickly thrust into a world that many Fuller students might find uncomfortably familiar.

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Unscripted Ephesians: an introduction

Last quarter I took a class on Ephesians, and through a quarter-long series of events (including a pretty serious illness) I had to resort to taking an Incomplete in the class, in order to finish the final assignment at a later date. Then, as it turned out, my officially approved request for an Incomplete was held up on a technical matter—and it wasn’t until I was nearly half-way through the quarter when I learned that I could still make up the last assignment, and finish the course for a grade. But, by then I was well underway with my new class work and my thesis project; there wasn’t room on my plate for an extra research paper. In comes my friend and advisor to the rescue: she suggested that I pitch an alternative assignment to my professor, which I did—and he was intrigued enough by the idea that he has given me the go-ahead! So, without any more ado, I announce the forth-coming short series Unscripted Ephesians; where I will take a look at the Biblical book of Ephesians, Faith Unscripted style. This may be a little different than some of my other posts, but I invite you to join in the dialogue just the same!

The Paradox of Things Planned

Being a “creative person” requires a basket full of skills and abilities; things like time-management, the ability to multitask, and faith.  I say faith because at some point in the process, when you are neck-deep in your project, there will come a point where you will be certain that it cannot be finished, that the project will not come to fruition, and in some way you will fail.

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Who says you’re in?

As many of you know, I am the president of the theatre group at Fuller Theological Seminary, The Fuller Company.  When we plan shows, we open auditions to the greater Los Angeles acting community as well as the Fuller student body, for various reasons.  Not too long ago, we held auditions for our latest production, and as it turns out, all three roles in the show went to actresses from outside of Fuller.  Now the question came up,

Continue reading “Who says you’re in?”

Cryptic Announcement of the Day

photo by Suse Sternkopf. used with permission

It’s coming!

I am happy to announce that I am in the development stages of my thesis project for my degree program at Fuller Theological seminary. This page will be a cornerstone of that thesis project.

So, what is it you ask?

entering into conversation

I do not usually do two back to back posts on the same topic, but a friend of mine also posted on the film Another Earth on his blog, The Burner, here: http://theburnerblog.com/arts/sundance-movie-review-another-earth/

He pretty much panned the film, and I disagreed with him enough to basically write an entire post in response.  I posted it in the comments section there, and have re-posted it for you here.

Another opinion on Another Earth.

With respect, I have to offer a different opinion about the Sundance film, Another Earth.  And, to be fair, be warned that in order to do this, I may have to reveal more about the plot than one may wish to know before viewing the film.

Another Earth is indeed a mildly sci-fi film, built on the premise that a duplicate Earth has been discovered.  But this is not what the movie is about; it is merely the platform for a deeper question to be explored:  what is forgiveness, who do we need it from, and how do we get it?  Continue reading “entering into conversation”