Archive for December, 2007

Agree With Your Adversary Quickly: Getting Along with Those Different From Us

I recently got Myspace message from a young man (does that sound condescending when he’s 21 and I’m only 28? With marriage and a child later, I certainly don’t think so) who saw my Myspace profile and decided that I was apostate. Sigh. It happens. But this guy (despite his frequent use of exclamation points) didn’t seem as angry as some people who have “confronted” me, so I decided to write him a lengthy reply. I’ve withheld his name (’cause posting that here would be tacky) but here is our conversation. [Regular readers please note: I am in many respects ‘speaking his language’–I don’t normally talk like this!]

Hi brother,

Thank you for taking the time to send me such a lengthy email. You are obviously concerned for me, and I appreciate that. I’m sorry that my life (or at least, the version of it represented on Myspace) seems to be vexing you so. Let’s see if we can take your message point by point. You are in italics.  Continue reading ‘Agree With Your Adversary Quickly: Getting Along with Those Different From Us’

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God’s Love on Earth: The Hope of Authentic, Outpoured Community

Our house church community had a wonderful weekend with four guys (including him) from a sister church in the Pacific Northwest. They connected many dots for us spiritually, exploding the false gnostic dividing lines between spirit and matter, sacred and secular, this good earth and the heavenly realm that longs to be ever-more poured into it as the beneficent reign of God expands in our hearts, churches, streets and cosmos.

Continue reading ‘God’s Love on Earth: The Hope of Authentic, Outpoured Community’

No Thanks

In my inbox this morning:

“———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Janel <jsuthers100@myshephersflock.ning.com>
Date: Dec 6, 2007 2:34 AM
Subject: Come join me on myshepherdsflock.com…

Come join me on myshepherdsflock.com.

myshepherdsflock.com
This is a “Conservative” version of myspace for followers of Jesus Christ to encourage each other, keep in touch and a LOT more. You wont be exposed to offensive content, it’s safe for all ages! PLEASE INVITE EVERY CHRISTIAN YOU KNOW TO JOIN & LOG IN OFTEN!!! GAMES, SHOP, CHAT, BLOG,

Click here to join:
http://myshepherdsflock.ning.com/profiles?xgk=6f113efbb5

Thanks,
Janel”

Sigh.

On The Use of Influence

My friend Troy Bronsink was voted Atlanta’s 6th least-influential person by Atlanta’s Creative Loafing! Read the article; it’s tragi-funny.

What is influence? How do we use it?

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On The Use of Power

Power…what is it? How do we use it? Should we use it? These are some of the questions I ponder as I read chapter 12 in The Leadership Experience. This book has been quite helpful to me in surveying the Leadership field and finding my idiosyncratic place in it. Chapter 12 is all about power and the use of power in political application—potentially one of the most incendiary chapters from a Christian perspective, particularly from the “Servant Leadership” paradigm we’ve been referencing in my 601 Leadership class. Insofar as I ever lead anything or anyone into our out of anything, I have thus far thought of myself as operating primarily from a Symbolic Frame (where everything has larger/spiritual meaning) and secondarily from a Human Resources frame (where people and relationships are of tantamount importance); however, upon reading the depictions of politicking in this chapter I somewhat ambivalently acknowledge that I do indeed employ a good deal of “politics” in my day-to-day life, whether lobbying for something with my wife, my house church community, spiritual networks or business clients.

Continue reading ‘On The Use of Power’

Thoughts on “The Homeless”

I have three friends and neighbors here in Raleigh who happen to be without homes–Ricky, Ray, and Vernon. They’ve formed a kind of intentional(/necessary) community in a secluded spot of nearby woods where state agencies and local law enforcement won’t harass them. When I can we go out for lunch, or talk about the weather (a pretty vital topic for them), or I give them back issues of magazines I’ve written for.

Recently, I’ve joined a homelessness coalition on Facebook. It’s pretty popular, with over 500 members. Many of them, though, seem to be calculatingly indifferent to the problems faced by many of our nation’s homeless. They say “Trying to help these people is all well and good, but alot of them are @$$holes and just plain crazy.” Here’s what I said on a public forum today in response:

Yep, the mentally unstable homeless population exploded once Reagan closed down state-sponsored mental asylums in the 1980s…the proud tradition continues! The point is, we’re all connected–our bright shiny members of society and the ones we’d just rather forget about. It’s easy to love the lovable and those who ‘know their place,’ but what happens when we want to serve and we’re *treated* like servants? This is the real test of our spiritual/political will. Let’s dive in and get uncomfortable…

“Homeless Christ” Copyright © 2005 Deb Hoeffner, http://www.debhoeffner.com. Used with permission.


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  • Friend of Emergent Village

    My Writings: Varied and Sundry Pieces Online

    Illumination and Darkness: An Anne Rice Feature from Burnside Writer's Collective
    Shadows & Light: An Anne Rice Interview in MP3 format from Relevant Magazine
    God's Ultimate Passion: A Trinity of Frank Viola interview on Next Wave: Part I, Part II, Part III
    Review: Furious Pursuit by Tim King, from The Ooze
    Church Planting Chat from Next-Wave
    Review: Untold Story of the New Testament Church by Frank Viola, from Next-Wave

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