A friend and colleague who is a bi-vocational pastor and real estate agent was talking to men about the cost of discipleship and God's call in our lives to go deeper. She told me it felt like swimming on a good hair day. Sometimes you simply look good, and the last thing you want to do is get in a pool and go all the way in. Your friends, spouse, or kids call to you, so you say. 'Okay, Ill get in, but don't splash me and don't get me wet. I like my hair today and it's not getting wet' As the sun gets hooter and your desire to go under the water is checked against your desire to keep your hair dry and looking good, you're left with a question: Will I go in all the way? Will I let my hair get wet? Will I ruin the version of me that I like right now for a deeper engagement?
A commitment to social justice ministry and restorative action will reveal that we are not the ones who can fix problems. We are simply the ones who share the journey, offering what we have and allowing God to transform us in the process
In the midst the marches and rallies, my concern is that we are settling for flash mob activism as a tool for social change. Beyond that, if most of us were honest, we don't know people [at least not intimately] that are being affected by
- DACA and the immigration reform
- The cradle to prison pipeline
- Generational poverty
- Unjust police tactics
This book [and the times we have together around it along with opportunities that come with participating] is a way for us to move from knowing about the injustices in our city as issues towards seeing and knowing and then even moving towards advocating for the people affected by these issues.
When we come to realize that our success rate is not what defines God's love for us because we rest in Jesus perfect track record, we are free to learn and fail and embrace being changed as we dive into the messiness of setting roots in our neighborhood.
In our anonymous and dehumanized world, the simple practice of friendship is radically countercultural...When we befriend those on the margins of society by practicing hospitality and welcome, we create communities where righteousness and justice can be lived out
Learning to slow down and not feel like the need to be in and at everything, has helped us see our neighborhood as home and a place to invest in, to participate at and belong to. The temptation to be somewhere else, doing something more important or more exciting subsides as we learn to see the beauty and blessings going on right around us.
"fame is a moment but faithfulness is a lifetime. Building a life of faithfulness in my community will have incredible ripple effects into eternity if we can learn to see glory in the mundane moments of life."
It is these beautiful actions then, that open the door to conversation with those around us about the WHY. Why live this way? Why do these things? It is as this good news takes root in our hearts, that we then learn to take it to others through deeds and then in words.
Still here still reading...
Are you a character in the story of your neighborhood? We must move beyond being observers and reporters in our places to become characters and contributors, as we do so, we come to appreciate the characters around us
Communities have gathering places like this, whether a co-op, a coffee shop or a library like my friend Tim recently discovered and described. These places provide us with opportunities to move beyond simply being in the neighborhood toward participating with and getting to know the people that make up our blocks and buildings.
The draw away from place is largely rooted in consumption and illusion…We somehow believe in a kind of urban utopia, a hop, affordable, cluttered , safe neighborly place ago live, requiring no sacrifice of us. Johnathan Wilson-Hargrove says, ‘Intimacy without commitment is what society has traditionally called ‘infidelity’
There is no incarnational strategies, only practitioners. We can talk about incarnational and longevity all we want, but if we are avoiding the pain, joy, questions, and doubt of those around us, we fall short of faithfulness
I don't usually read introductions [I'm just being honest] but thought I would give Briggs' a go to see where he was taking the book and wanted to share his straightforward intentions as a means to spur your interest
What do you think? How do these goals sound to you? What fears and hesitations come to mind right away? Consider taking some of those thoughts into a conversation with someone this weekend.