Wednesday, July 23, 2008

circle of hope

The church’s task is neither to destroy nor to maintain ethnic identities
but to replace them with a new identity in Christ
that is more foundational than earthly identities.
- Manny Ortiz

O, God! May we live into that Reality!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

the foundry

a new coffee shop just opened up last week near our house. it is run by the 'methadome', a huuuuuuge methodist church in alamo heights. the interesting thing about it, though, is that it is run entirely by volunteers and the money is used in the local community. i dont know what it's being used for, but i think they are on the right track. it's exciting. david is thinking about volunteering there sometimes, and while i was in there today, they had me come behind the counter and make my own macchiato because they couldn't remember how to make one. it made me wish there were more weeks left in the summer so i could come and help out more.

they even bring in tacos from our favorite place, taco taco, fresh everyday. can it be any better suited for us at this point?

i was thinking, though, about how they can be even more practical to the community. coffeehouses are awesome, but what about the people who are not used to frequenting coffee shops? what about those who need something a little more sustainable? i heard that they are hoping to be seen in the community as a place for conversation and help, but i can't help but think that there might be something even more practical and peaceable that could be done. like growing fresh vegetables or having a sliding scale pay system...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

economics of abundance

To be convinced of the sanctity of the world, and to be mindful of a human vocation to responsible membership in such a world, must always have been a burden. But it is a burden that falls with greatest weight on us humans of the industrial age who have been and are, by any measure, the humans most guilty of desecrating the world and of destroying creation. And we ought to be a little terrified to realize that, for the most part and at least for the time being, we are helplessly guilty. It seems as though industrial humanity has brought about phase two of original sin. We all are now complicit in the murder of creation. We certainly do know how to apply better measures to our conduct and our work. We know how to do far better than we are doing. But we don’t know how to extricate ourselves from our complicity very surely or very soon.

How could we live without degrading our souls, slaughtering our forests, polluting our streams, poisoning the air and the rain? How could we live without the ozone hole and the hypoxic zones? How could we live without endangering species, including our own? How could we live without the war economy and the holocaust of the fossil fuels?

To the offer of more abundant life, we have chosen to respond with the economics of extinction.

If we take the Gospels seriously, we are left, in our dire predicament, facing an utterly humbling question: How must we live and work so as not to be estranged for God’s presence in His wok and in all His creatures? The answer, we may say, is given in Jesus’s teaching about love. But that answer raises another question that plunges us into the abyss of our ignorance, which is both human and peculiarly modern: How are we to make of that love in economic practice?

That question calls for many answers, and we don’t know most of them. It is a question that those humans who want to answer will be living and working for a long time—if they are allowed a long time. Meanwhile, may Heaven guard us from those who think they already have the answers.

-Wendell Berry


My friend, Jason, asked the other day if I was “turning old early” because I have this problem lately where I simply cannot fall asleep. Monday I stayed up until 4:30 one night and tonight I am now pre-blogging at 4:30 (writing things that I will copy and paste when I go somewhere with the Internets, probably when I break down and go to Starbuck’s to get us morning coffee etc.). I thought I’d write the blog entry where I talk about some of the those timid steps I’m taking toward living in the Way with Jesus.

I have been trying several different ways of pulling out of the system that is not Love.

I am everyday choosing and refusing to believe that exploitation is necessary. I don’t accept “We’re all going to die of some kind of cancer anyway, so might as well enjoy life”, or “It doesn’t matter what you do, you’re going to have to contribute to the broken system.” Even the popular Christian ideas of “just passing through” will not cut it for me anymore. Jesus is explicit in teaching global citizenship, responsible stewardship, peaceableness and enemy love.

I have been trying not to wear makeup and have been taking care of my skin by 100% natural means, keeping it clean, figuring out foods that trigger acne, exercising, drinking more water and using coconut oil(thanks, Kate & Meghan!). I’ve been having great results that are not only healthier for my body but at this point, a way of decreasing my dependence on products that try to “fix” my “problems”.

David and I have gone through our apartment, the first time of many, placing stickers on the things we will get rid of. We plan to try and sell as much as possible and give the money away. So far, we’ve given some of our things away to friends who have need or who would take stuff we were pretty sure other people wouldn’t want like half used lotions and pomade. ☺ We are going to slowly pare things down so that we have what we need: a sweet simplicity of utility and art.

David and I have been dreaming big together lately, dreaming of our future family and the life we want to be living. The community garden we helped start in Spokane was the beginning of a love affair with the Earth and part of the reason we thought about moving to Texas was the promise of a longer growing season (virtually year-round). Then we moved into a hip apartment in an historic district. We grow aloe vera inside, which is only semi-useful. We definitely can’t eat it, or at least, we wouldn’t want to.

But we’ve been dreaming big dreams lately, dreams that conjure up a new community, an entirely different way of living where everything is shared more freely and Life is truly abundant. We had a taste of that life in Spokane and we are itching for more.

Friday, July 18, 2008

the Way

Summertime. My first real summer in years. One of the more visible perks of teaching. It has given me time to turn inward, read things I've been wanting to for a long time, having many conversations with David about important things... So far this summer, I've read three important books in my reading repertoire:

1. The Shack
2. Jesus for President
3. The Great Divorce

All three books have given me perspective on my faith that I have never quite seen so clearly before. It's like I literally have New Eyes. In the past, I have always leaned more toward alternative ways of living (thanks Mom & Dad), but I don't really think I understood why that might be better. Perhaps it was a longing for uniqueness and creativity,something learned from my Seventh-Day Adventist grandmother that kept me seeking unconventional ways of doing things, eating and caring for my body and Creation.

But the ideas and Realities these three books opened me up to changed me. Rather, Jesus changed me. I've been a Christian since that fateful night after Lakeside Bible Camp in 5th grade (I prayed for Christ to come to me alone in my room because I didn't want my camp counselor to have the satisfaction of claiming she "lead" me to Christ! Ridiculous.), but I hadn't been able to reconcile many of the things I felt drawn to and the Christian "Agenda" I inherited and then developed.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I am falling in Love and embracing the changes that come with seeking to live in the third Way of Jesus. This blog is because I lay awake at night and think think think so I thought I might try blogging about those thoughts.

I put some links to websites that might have something to say about Jesus, as well as the blogs of some of my friends who not only actually have blogs, but may share this affinity to dreaming big and living small. My hope is that folks might read my thoughts and begin to look again at what the Way meant and what it means now. Let's talk.