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Youtube videos I used at church camp (if you weren’t there, I swear they made more sense at the time)

Last week, I keynoted youth camp at Community of the Great Commission in the Sierras.

Several youth wanted links to the videos I used at camp.

Providing the links here does not mean I endorse every single word or image–sometimes the video was just used for effect. And I certainly don’t endorse the music of R Kelly–the link below is the exception that proves the rule. (more…)

A reflection from election day 2011.

I forgot I had written this piece when I was in a slightly more fatalistic place about my church. I’m posting it mostly because it’s worth letting people know I’m neurotic about honoring church/state separation, that I love voting, that I do still worry about my church, that being bivocational is really hard even though I think it’s a good way to be, and to acknowledge that today I’m much more zen about ministry than I was then.

A Holy Week Reflection

This is the week in the Christian calendar when we remember Jesus starting his week on “Palm Sunday” riding into Jerusalem as a form of political protest against the Roman empire’s own procession on the other side of the city who were reminding Israelites that even though they were celebrating Passover, a holy reminder that God had liberated them, that they should not get any grand ideas. However, the same crowd that celebrated Jesus as a conquering hero on Palm Sunday encouraged Rome to kill him on Friday. And of course they did. We do the same thing. We rally around a leader who says, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” We rally around a leader who says, “I am but a humble servant; it will take all of us to effect transformation and liberation.” And when s/he tries to let us lead, we call for his or her head. (more…)

Shaima Alawadi’s murder: Where is the outrage?

My heart is really aching, and I have to confess that it’s aching with sadness and also a low-grade anger. I was furious along with many others that on the other side of the country a young black man was killed because of what he was wearing (and even if the allegations are true that he hit his murderer and provoked him, I’m furious about the Stand Your Ground law in Florida and other states that can allow a fist fight to turn into a murder instead of simply a call to the police). I’m furious that one of the most gentle men I know, my co-pastor, gets harassed by police even though I would stake my life on him not doing anything to provoke it, simply because he’s a Black man who wears a hoodie. (And almost all of the African American members of my church, faithful and good people, have stories of unprovoked police harassment or other forms of harassment due solely to the color of their skin.) (more…)

5 things I’d like to share with men about women (including you, because I can tell you’re a very progressive man)

I got called out. Gently. But I got called out by a colleague of mine whom I respect immensely.

He called me out because the other day I posted an article called 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women. Now the piece is pretty harsh, and it paints in broad generalizations, and I think the author knows that. But my colleague pointed out that generally, I work very hard to talk about issues in ways most people will be receptive, whereas even the title of this article shuts down the possibility of conversation with most men, who will either say “But I don’t hate women” or “Society doesn’t have the power to train me without me knowing.” (more…)