Monday, January 29, 2007

Lifting the Mask

Entering Community

When people enter community, especially from a place of loneliness in a big city or from a place of aggression and rejection, they find the warmth and the love exhilarating. This permits them to start lifting their masks and barriers and to become vulnerable. They may enter into a time of communion and great joy.

But then too, as they lift their masks and become vulnerable, they discover that community can be a terrible place, because it is a place of relationship; it is the revelation of our wounded emotions and of how painful it can be to live with others, especially with some people. It is so much easier to live with books and objects, television, or dogs and cats! It is so much easier to live alone and just do things for others, when one feels like it.

Source: Jean Vanier, Community and Growth

via: Inward/Outward

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It's Alive!

The lesson that I taught back in November is finally in a place where I can link to it permanently, so here it is:

A Hidden Wholeness - Heidi Turner, November , 2006

Sunday, January 21, 2007

More Scot McKnight

Scot has written a balanced treatment of the Emergent Church in Christianity Today, and it would be a great primer for those wondering what all the fuss is about:

Five Streams of the Emerging Church

Again, you can find his blog here: Jesus Creed

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Six degrees of separation...

Okay, follow me here - I will try to explain this strange path that has just made my world smaller.

Scot McKnight, the web's most prolific blogger (Jesus Creed) is one of my favorite reads. Every week he places wonderful links to all of the fun and interesting sites he and his wife Kris find all over the web. So, today, taking a small break from supper prep I read this post:

Weekly Meanderings

I click on #7 -

7. The Radical Pastor can paint, too. No wonder he’s been slow on posting.

and notice in the sidebar my pastor & his wife's name - of course this is strange, because this blog is in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I read it and see that Peter & Mary Ellen have just visited Radical Pastor and are very good friends. What a small, small world!

From New Brunswick, to Chicago, to Michigan and back to New Brunswick - what an incredible kingdom we are part of, eh?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Curt Cloninger

One of my favorite actors I have had the opportunity to see live is Curt Cloninger. He moves me and engages my emotions like few others ever have.

I received his newsletter today and wanted to highlight some of it here.

Fifteen different babies. Every one of them Jesus. Almost every night in December I performed my Christmas show, and held a different, unpredictable baby Jesus. The variety was delightful. Some of the babies were black, some were white, some were Hispanic. Some were tiny. Some were huge. (One was eight months old. I felt like we should be shaking hands). Some cried. Some cooed. Some were silent. But every night, every one of those babies reminded me (and the audience) that this was how God showed up on the planet ... small and unpredictable, a mystery appearing in the slip stream of history. God showed up to recapture the hearts of women and men, some who saw more than a baby, and some who didn't have a clue.

I liked the December reminder, because, so often I live in quiet despair, convinced God is not "showing up" for me in the painful places of my life. Or, I think I can easily manipulate God, keeping Him in some manger, or Blackberry, just like all my other manageable appointments. Just like some of those people in the early story, often I don't have a clue.

This year I want to recognize God as He shows up in the slip stream of my history. I want Him to recapture my heart. I want to let Him out of my Blackberry. I want to be awed by the mystery of His coming ... to me. I don't want to wait until next Christmas for that to happen ... because there's no telling what the babies will be like then!

If you are interesting in getting to know, or book Curt you can find his website here:

Curt Cloninger

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Robinhood Fund

Cool, new to me, website that puts it's money where it's mouth is. I found this via the king of blogging, Jeremy Wright in a post about some other very good friends here in St. Stephen.

Jeff & Carol have big dreams - and this community wants to support them in those dreams. They, and other friends from our church are going to build an orphanage in Mozambique. You can help them, really.

If you would could you please click through here, read about their dream and vote for them? The Robinhood Fund forwards their gifts via votes - so the more votes, the higher the possibility that they can fulfill their dream. Would you also consider blogging about it? Some viral-blogging could really put them over the top.

The community they are going to in Mozambique is so stripped of any resources and the children really need this.

Thanks so much for your help!

UPDATE: four days left to vote - and Jeff & Carole are at #4 in the standings - please, if you could - go and vote, vote, vote!!!

UPDATE #2: THEY WON! Very, very cool! The Robinhood Fund flew Jeff to Toronto to hand him the $10,000 check! Thanks so much for voting!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Make Affluence History!

Make Affluence History
- geez magazine has designed this 'sponsor a child' program for rich kids.

From the website:

It's not their fault

It's just not fair. Average children in North
America will grow up taking more than their
share of the earth's wealth.

These are caring kids who never intended
to be far richer than most of humanity.
It just happened.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

Our new wealth-reduction program can help.
In this first-of-its-kind sponsorship program,
we're inviting poorer families to sponsor a
child that's well off.

Benefits for the child:

-hope for a less-cluttered, more grounded life
-new friends from other income brackets
-join the movement to Make Affluence History
-discover a cheaper way to happiness (and maybe heaven!)

It's brilliant - I love it. I'm signing Ali & Jake up today.

Thanks to Bart for the head's up!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The better we will want to live them

I have begun reading my dear friend Connie's book "Dawsonwood Diaries" and she begins her first reflection with this Nouwen quote that I just had to put here so I don't forget it:

We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them."

Thank you Connie - I needed that reminder today!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

We must not give up

oh my!

thank you for the link david!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Resolution 2007 - Write a better story

Don Miller wrote this on his web site:

"In the new year, I’ve resolved to write a better story.
By better story, I don’t mean the kind you write on paper,
I mean the kind you write by walking and talking and breathing."

Walking, talking & breathing - that I can do.

Thanks Gary!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My Mistakes Will Make Me Strong!

Emotional Armor - oh how I LOVE these t-shirts!

Thanks for the link Jen!