Agnes and the Big Void

  It occurred to me a few years ago that as our faith deepens, so can our capacity for melancholy–it seems the two can be quite attached. I remember reading that Mother Theresa had struggled more with her faith in the last few years of her life than ever before.  At the time, the idea occurred to me that the longer we press into God, the more we discover Him, the more we discover how much we don’t know and can’t understand about him.  And, truth be told, we simply don’t like that.  The more we invest in God, the more we learn about him, the closer we want to be to having a handle on who and what He is.  We really do want him to be small enough to understand, to comprehend, and perhaps even, to control. It’s unsettling when we discover that that doesn’t happen.  We just get more and more capable of understanding how infinitely big God is, and more and more aware of how incapable we are of understanding him.   Our concept of Big gets even bigger. And sometimes that realization is depressing.  Perhaps we need to accept that a hallmark of a maturing faith, is that the sunshine and lollypops of the Santa-God who grants three wishes dissappears.  Replaced by a mysterious and wild God whom we can neither predict nor control.
And all the while, God can hold onto us, even when he seems so alien to us, we don’t even know where to hold on to him.

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.

Continue reading “Proof comes to Fuller Seminary”

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?

Sundance Pick: Another Earth

When writers Brit Marling and Mike Cahill began working on ideas for a screenplay, they started with a simple question, what would it be like to meet yourself?  They But while the idea was intriguing, it wasn’t enough to build a film.  They pushed further:  What is the one thing that you would want from that encounter with your other self?  They answer they came up with is perhaps the hardest thing:  Forgiveness.

Although categorized as science fiction, Another Earth refrains from excessive special effects or plot lines that test one’s tolerance of the fantastic.  Instead, it is the simple story of a young girl who has to face the consequences of a devastatingly simple mistake.  Continue reading “Sundance Pick: Another Earth”

Surprises at a "certain age"

Have you reached the “certain age” where you still consider yourself young and hip, but things cross your mind or come out of your mouth that you never expected — at least not while you were still young and hip?  I’ve begun to collect some as they occur to my friends and me.  Here’s what we have so far:

  • while walking down the sidewalk you happen to notice a man, and think to yourself, “He’s attractive”.  Then you notice his bald-spot.  Then you realize that noticing his bald spot has had no effect on your initial assessment.  You still find him attractive. Continue reading “Surprises at a "certain age"”

Who are you attracting?

There’s a New Age guru following me on twitter.

When I discovered this, I actually laughed out loud. Not that his beliefs are funny to me; but simply, I didn’t see that one coming.  Somehow this person found me and decided that there was some kind of value or benefit even, in clicking the follow button on my profile. There’s a myriad of reasons he could have done this, many of which have nothing to do with who I am, or what I’ve been saying on the internet–so I’m not going to be so arrogant as to think that I am going to be the key to some profound things in his life via my excellent tweets. Continue reading “Who are you attracting?”

Some thoughts

Sitting in our morning lecture, and I have a whole train of thoughts competing with, and in response to, what Todd Johnson has to share this morning.
I got to thinking about what kind of theatre I might want to do and I returned again to the idea of shows with questions, ideas and topics that stir people up into conversation and even to action.  Seeing theatre as a potential catalyst for the community, for the church. And then I heard the naysayer in my head.  “Bleeding heart” Continue reading “Some thoughts”

Questions from NYC ala Brehm Center

You may remember a few months ago I posted some questions for your consideration.  This week, as we went around the group to introduce ourselves to one another, I couldn’t help but really stand on that leg for a moment.  I want to know what the questions are, specifically for people who are in my position, or positions similar to mine.  What are we dealing with?  Struggling with? What have we learned the hard way, and what were we graced to know without having to pay a costly price to learn? Continue reading “Questions from NYC ala Brehm Center”