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”

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The battle lines have been drawn

the-somme-5-1315328.jpg
photo by Matt Cockbain

Do you feel that you are a woman of strength? Are you powerful? Strong? Equipped? Do you feel prepared to face the battles that may come your way? Are you angry? Hurt? Burdened? At war?

Do you know what “Victory in Christ” is?  I wonder if any of us truly do, because it seems clear that very few of us are living victoriously. The saving work of Jesus and his Gospel is an ongoing event in your life.  It predates the moment when you accepted Christ and submitted to him—because he was working toward this goal before you knew it—and continues every day after.  Salvation in Christ is MORE than simply acknowledging him as God and your Savior.  The work that Jesus does in the life of every believer is a continual process that includes saving, healing, equipping, instructing, and sanctification. Continue reading “The battle lines have been drawn”

What happened to Hospitality?

Perhaps this has always been the case, and I just missed it by years of attending the same church, but I can’t help to feel that the church has all but abandoned the concept of hospitality. In the last couple of years, as I moved to a new city, completed grad-school, and relocated (again), I have had the opportunity to visit many churches.  The most overwhelmingly common characteristic of the seven churches I’ve attended in the last three years? A cold, unwelcome, or insincere feeling.

Continue reading “What happened to Hospitality?”

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”

What the H*ll Do I Know? (Confession 5)

I have a friend going through a bit of a faith-crisis at the moment, and it really is one of those things that can make you feel completely impotent.  Not only is nearly impossible to know what to say or do, it is pretty much certain that anything you say or do will probably only make matters worse. So you’re just there for them. Let them vent if they want to, or ramble, or whatever non/verbal processing they might tend toward. And maybe, if the situation calls for it, you share what you actually know.

But what do you actually know?

And what do I actually know? So, where do I get off telling anyone else what their faith should be?

But, do I just leave it there? Let a friend languish? I have a hard time swallowing that pill.  I think we should have a hard time with it.  And I think how we handle it is key–and I think the place where we really go wrong is where we start offering up loads of junk that we don’t personally know, in favor of churchy things we think sound right. Continue reading “What the H*ll Do I Know? (Confession 5)”

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”

For your consideration

An interesting video I stumbled across this morning.  Perhaps even an interesting lead-in for the discussion we’ll be having today in my Theology and Culture class about Body.

http://www.youtbe.com/v/zl6hNj1uOkY&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b