Saturday, April 29, 2006


We arrived into the town square and the town was hopping. There were people everywhere. I thought it was pretty cool because the downtown was completely blocked off for the festival and all ages were volunteering and greeting us. When we got out of our car we walked over to a "pick up" station to get a hayride up to the festival area. In the picture Jen and Jonas are waiting patiently.

Pic 2
Abby was ready for a day of "daddy hiking" at the festival.



The streets were lined with little booths- everything from Mayfield buttermilk, bbq, to quilts, and native flutes... I really wanted that giant rhinestone beltbuckle that said- My Granny Chews Tabacco...


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These were the Huntly sisters: Tori is 11 and plays fiddle, mandolin, and guitar; her sis Kati is 8 and plays guitar and mandolin. They are from Loretto TN and they TORE IT UP!!.

This is "Cornbread Alley"- folks had cooked up the most amazingly diverse concoctions of cornbread you'll ever see. I tried: chicken and dressing cornbread, apple cinnemon cornbread, brocolli cornbread, mountain cornbread, and more that I cannot remember. But it was cool to note that the UMC WAS REPRESENTIN'!!! Randolph UMC was in the house cookin' up some good stuff!!


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This is under the "Jam Tent". People would show up with their instruments and before you'd know it there was a circle of bluegrass music just spontaneously happening- Jonas and I LOVED IT!!

Jen and Jonas next to- Mabelle the Mayfield cow. South Pittsburg folks like there Mayfield Dairy Products.

The National Cornbread Festival is a must see for anyone who likes random.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Jen and I, in the spur of the moment, packed our bags and with the kids headed out the door and are now in a motel room just outside South Pittsburg, TN. Why are we here in the middle of not too much? That's easy- THE NATIONAL CORNBREAD FESTIVAL.

We had never heard of the Cornbread Festival but when we discovered it online we just had to check it out. So tomorrow we'll mill around the downtown square of S. Pitts, sample lots of food, hopefully catch some good bluegrass music (that's why i wanted to come) and enjoy being away with the family in a small town. I love small town traditions!!! I'll post pics when I get home. Spur of the moment small town road trips have been part of Jen and my relationship since we were in college. It's fun for us to go and visit small towns that have a cool town square, good mom and pop diners, or quirky characters to them. Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia have some wonderful small towns to visit.

Would you believe that the motel we are staying in was the only one for 20 miles east or west that we could find that was available? When I checked us in I said to the clerk, "I didn't think we'd find a place to stay, everything seemed to be booked up." She replied, "you've never been to the Cornbread Festival have you? It's a big deal."

Who would ever imagine?



One of the papers that I've had to write for my District Committee on Ordained Ministry are my thoughts on the Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task. Well, I just finished writing it and emailed it off. But I thought I'd share it here in case anyone is having trouble sleeping today. Nighty night....

In order to engage this portion of the Book of Discipline I treated it as though I were writing in a journal my thoughts toward something. So although I may critique some areas for the most part I wanted to allow God’s Spirit to speak to me through the reading and to engage my imagination.


As I read through this section I am taken by the connection that is made with the “historic Christian faith”. I am about to complete a course in Christian Patristics and throughout the course I have been absolutely energized by the early church and how it shaped things for us. But I have also been surprised at how much tradition we have lost as a church. I believe that as United Methodism continues in the 21st century we will more and more need to reclaim the historic “practices” and liturgy that defined us as a people.

I also appreciate the emphasis that our preaching and teaching are grounded in Scripture, informed by Christian tradition, enlivened in experience, and tested by reason. I am not sure that tradition plays a big part any longer, but I also think that reason tends to replace tradition in many respects. I am not saying that we should be anti-intellectual in the least bit but that our foundations, what we call the Wesleyan quadrilateral ought to become more balanced between reason, experience and tradition in order to inform scripture.


How amazing that Wesley saw the need to identify and connect the Methodists with the church universal. Of course I should not be too surprised- Anglicanism is a true give to the church universal- almost a “nomad of true tradition”. Although its beginnings are fairly shady and political, the ecclesiology that Wesley came out of is a wonderful collage of early church orthodoxy, catholic practices along with the protestant spirit. I think in many ways Methodism also captures that same quality.

I also find it a wonderful gift from Mr. Wesley that he invited the Methodist people to maintain a “catholic spirit”- "As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think." As to what one might consider the “root of Christianity”. Even here the Doctrinal History is interesting because obviously the answer is that we find it in scripture- but scripture must be filtered through tradition, reason and experience. The other root of Christian truth can be found in the historic creeds. But even there we are not to set them apart as absolute doctrinal or theological standards.

The openness and willingness to allow a diversity of ideas and thoughts on theology and doctrine is one of the things that has kept me in the United Methodist Church. For someone who likes to think outside the box and ask hard questions, United Methodism is a real gift. Sometimes I feel like we are trying to make our family smaller and make our doctrines much more rigid and narrow than Wesley intended. But I think from reading this that Wesley intended for the Methodist movement to be a community of “practicing our faith together” and struggling alongside one another in love with these issues. And maybe defining our doctrine too narrow and specific moves us away from Wesley’s intent.


Articles 1-4: As I’m reading through this first section it connects me with the early church and the early church fathers developing a creed that gives a foundation to the faith. The historic creeds such as the Nicene and Apostle’s creed provide that same language and foundation.

Articles 5-8: “The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation”. That is so true, but I wonder if we have individualized scripture in such a way and elevated it to such a level that we now run the risk of not allowing revelation through the Holy Spirit to empower us a community to interpret the scripture and hear fresh and new words from God.

Articles 9-15. In this section what I read is that there is no place where God will not be, and that the community of God is intended for everyone to be a part of. “The grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after justification.” From that statement I believe that we can see that our denomination has been one for everyone. There is no one that could be excluded from a church that believes this.

Articles 16-18: In this section on the sacraments it deals with baptism and communion. I would love to see the church put Eucharist and Baptism as THE CENTER of our worshiping life together as a community. I know there has been a move to put more of an emphasis lately on communion but I am not sure that people connect with the idea that for Methodists baptism and Eucharist area “means of grace”- an outward act that is part of the process of sanctification.

Articles 19-23: One thing that stood out for me in this section was Jesus’ death being a perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual. I also find it interesting that Article 23- Of the Rulers of the United States of America was not one of Wesley’s articles but an article that was later added as tensions arose between Britain and America. Here is a wonderful example of doctrine being flexible enough to change with the times and practically answer needs as they arise.


This was my favorite section to read. I like the way the Discipline interprets what the theological task actually is. Theology is the ground upon which we test our doctrine as a community. It is through theological reflection that doctrine can be discerned and examined in the light of the ever changing culture around us. Within our denomination it should be expected that a wide array of ideas and thoughts will wrestle with our doctrine.


After having read through the Doctrinal Standards from the Book of Discipline I appreciate our tradition as Methodists even more. I see that our doctrine though foundational is also at the same time flexible. It is meant to unify us but as a community we are called to continually reflect upon it and where we find ourselves in the world around us. My hope is that this vision of Wesley- to be of a “catholic spirit” will remain a hallmark of who we are as Methodists.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

He asked, "What's this you're discussing so intently as you walk along?"

They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, "Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn't heard what's happened during the last few days?"

He said, "What has happened?"

They said, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn't find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn't see Jesus."

Then he said to them, "So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can't you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don't you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?" Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: "Stay and have supper with us. It's nearly evening; the day is done." So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared.

Back and forth they talked. "Didn't we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?"

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


As I was driving home yesterday I was thinking about what I would say when I go before the Board of Ordained Ministry if they ask me what my stance is on homosexuality. I guess with the thought provoking comments I've received lately on my blog and the struggles to think through it I began to wonder how in the world I would answer that.

Do I share with them that although I see both sides of this issue, a larger part of me believes that its unfair to sum up someone because of who they are sleeping with/ who they aren't sleeping with/ who they'd like to sleep with/ or who they haven't slept with but might if things would ever change...? (this was meant to be tongue and cheek, but after re-reading it sounds really shallow if taken seriously. That was not my intent)

Do I share with them that I have a heart for those who have felt excluded for different reasons; that although I have grown up quite priveleged I also grew up in a very urban african-american neighborhood in Nashville and I know what it feels like to be a child who is "in the minority"; or finding yourself with a lot of older kids of a different race who are angry and sometimes hostile with you and you don't understand why, and really I'm not sure they knew why either? But feeling excluded and sometimes targeted and singled out hurts to the core.

Do I share with them that the other side of my growing up was knowing adults and kids my age in that same neighborhood who took me in to their homes, cooked the most incredible meals, played with me, and loved me and cared for me like I was their child? Having an entire neighborhood; a neighborhood that was utterly poor materially; surrounding the children, the way folks did in this community, was life shaping for me. I'd only hope that I could be a part of a church who is that for the "kid who ain't from this side of town".

Do I share with them my respect for our tradition and the entire catholic tradition of our faith? I'm not proud nor happy about all the choices we have made as a people but I love the history and traditions and Tradition of the church. And I love my heritage as a methodist.

Maybe some of this will come out in conversation with folks on the board... then again maybe not. But if I'm asked that loaded question- for some the $1billion question that could end up in "Deal or No Deal", I decided that I would probably say something like this:

BOARD MEMBER: So what is your position in the issue of homosexuality?

ME: I have to be honest with you. This is an issue that I have struggled with long and hard. For me this goes beyond doctrine and into relationships, some really deep and long friendships of mine. But, I have a strong regard for our tradition as methodists. As a United Methodist pastor I would adhere to the guidlines of the Book of Discipline concerning my stance on homosexuality, not because I necessarily believe that it is right. It doesn't really matter what I think, it's not all about me, it's about a community of dysfunctional family members called methodist who are trying to do this thing called "be the people of God". That's my family, and while I live "under mama and daddy's roof" I abide by their rules (that's what my mom taught me at least). - And that's what I would say if asked today. Don't quote me on that tomorrow though.

Somehow it was very freeing to get to the place where I could say, "It's not all about me and it doesn't have to be." I don't have to be right or wrong, just faithful to my calling and to our tradition. Maybe that sounds like I'm taking an easy way out for some and not standing alongside the marginalized or powerless within our denomination, and maybe some think it sounds almost heretical. We're living in different times and are going to have to address these issues in different ways folks. Arguments are outdated and do nothing for the Kingdom. Those arguments only serve the status quo. Methodists- it's time to open our hearts, minds and doors: WALK OUT the door, WALK in someone elses shoes and try and imagine thinking with THEIR mind, and maybe YOUR heart will be strangely warmed from the outside in.

Sorry for the rambling but that's exactly what a drive home for me is like.

Monday, April 24, 2006



J. L&H: John, you're right that we spend too much time fighting over homosexuality. The Left could do the church a huge favor by dropping the subject so that we can move forward with the work of the Kingdom of God.

J. W. : I agree. If the Left would only drop it, we could get on with other things. But we on the right cannot control the left. We can only control ourselves. And until we conservatives clean up our own house, we're powerless.

This is a given: The issue of homosexuality is complex. Of course it's not complex for some- the discipline forbids "practicing" homosexuals to be ordained and does not perfrom same sex marriage or unions- PERIOD. That's pretty easy.

But THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES GOING ON HERE. I have never found myself fitting nice and neatly in a doctrinal, theological or political camp so I always try to see all sides but I confess that I'm not objective. In fact I doubt if anyone is actually objective. You've grown up with learned behaviors, tendencies, and life experiences that have shaped your outlook on life, just as I have. So any sense of true objectivity really goes out the door. So although I have strong ideas, I value others; even when I think they fly south of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

But I do see some heavy issues going on here that makes this a complex issue.

ISSUE 1: The conversation between J. and J. really characterizes our desire to "control" and have "power". In this case, neither J. nor J., as "self proclaimed" conservative Christians are desiring power, but are participants in a particular group (who happen to be conservative, and heterosexual) who have enjoyed a strong and long reign within the American church.

I would argue that within our Methodist denomination much of our national leadership has been quite liberal (secular may be a better word here) in it's language and overall direction. I say this because in a lot of ways it seems that we as a Methodist church have taken our ques from what secular society has been promoting. Well over the last few years our secular society has swung right. So who's voice do we hear more from now in our denomination? With authority- definitely the right.

So my liberal brothers and sisters (who I tend to sympathize with in some areas) have felt the loss of conrol and loss of their role within the church- wanting to be everything to everybody (that's my opinion).

But my brothers and sisters on the right (who I can often find some common ground) are scared of losing power, of losing cotrol of their role in the church- gatekeeprs of doctrine.

But both have done harm. One has helped shape a denomination that has lost its identity and have no "practices" to sustain it. The other has created a language of exclusion and fear and hid it within words such as: Orthodox, Doctrinally Pure, Holiness, Scritptural Authority. All of these are wonderful words but have been marginalized by the religious right in much the same way that the left has used secular vocabulary to promote an AGENDA.

ISSUE 2: "Practicing" as a way of distinguishing a "moral" homosexual from an "immoral" homosexual is going to run its season at some point. I think it's a weak argument, myself. I could argue that a person who is a member of a congregation but only attends once on Christmas and once on Easter is not a "practicing" Christian.

But then I could also argue that in the more "orthodox" thought of John Wesley- a congregation who does not partake of the sacrament of eucharist, as often as can be done, and other means of grace such as fasting are running the risk of falling from grace.

All this to say that of the friends and people that I know or have known who are gay- I would have a hard time using language such as "practicing" in speaking of them. It is an embodiment- a part of who they are. There is more to who they are than who they do or don't have intercorse with. So when our language excludes by placing them into camps- practicing and nonpracticing we are basically putting "yellow stars" on a group.

ISSUE 3: For the most part the argument from the left has come from very politically charged groups such as reconciling ministries network or other very political groups. The language they use, the political rhetoric and agenda is definitely borrowed from secularism. Why is this bad? Well it robs the church from making this an ecclesial issue. We now have no language out of which to talk to one another.

We now have those who live with a need to control and use the language of fear pitted against those who have no ecclesial langugae but take their ques from the politics of the world.

SOLUTIONS: I have none, but I do have thoughts and ideas for steps in a different direction. We need an ecclesial language out of which to struggle together where POWER AND CONTROL is not at the center but Eucharist- all are welcomed to the table as brother and sister who desire a reconciling relationship with God.

If one looks in the book of Acts and the marginalization of the gentiles in the newly established Jewish/Christian movement then one will find a narrative of struggle- one group feeling marginalized and one group trying to maintain doctrine and control. I think the biblical narratives are a wonderful springboard for discussion and IDEAS. Getting away from the tired arguments using scripture to back your agenda is a MUST- it's a postmodern stalemate. Instead maybe we need to focus on the narratives of scripture, our catholic tradition, and the liturgies that have sustained us for the last 2000 years and then allow the Spirit to guide our church in a new direction and imagine a little more and see what fresh possibilities are there.


I came across this Cornell West audio a couple of weeks ago. It is recorded by two "at risk" urban teenagers who take a road trip to hear Dr. West speak at a youth conference.

In this segment- Cornell speaks about the difference in "The Hood" and "A Neighborhood". For him the difference lies in the extreme individualism of the hood where survival depends on an "every person for themself" attitude; versus the communal nature of the neighborhood where children were rooted in traditions and family. Although there may not have been much in material posessions there was a deep sense of connectedness.

I wonder if these two metaphors have something to say to the church of today. Are some churches living a "hood" mentality:
1. embodying individualism,
2. entertainment/"feed me" based (the attitude of "I want to come to church to sit and be fed"),
3. salvation is individualistic: faith based darwinianism's survival of the fittest (It's just me and Jesus)
4. Nominal and noncommitted to building an ecclesial community or "neigbhorhood" (Church is convienient to my schedule)

vs the
"neighborhood metaphor:
1. embodies community to shape the indivdual
2. participation based (we're all in this together, everyone participates in the life of the church)
3. salvation is communal (the process of salvation happens over a period of time and is shaped by participating in the life of the community and becoming more and more like the image of Christ)
4. highly committed to building a life together and embodying that life in one's day to day life.

those are my thoughts today.

in the recording I doctored it up and added the music for a good vibe.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I just finished up a new ambient track that hopefully we'll be using for the Worship Feast Prayer Stations DVD that's coming out soon. Here it is for download. It could make a good background track for alt/style worship gatherings.


Thursday, April 20, 2006


Over at gavoweb, gavin writes, "in what seems to be the largest 'coming out' action ever. 75 methodist ministers are coming out in a letter to the church leaders discerning through the sexuality debate within the umc."

This was the first that I heard concerning this and I'm sure with the Judicial Council meeting next week we'll be hearing more. My prayer is that we'll model the gospel and love of Jesus to all of our brothers and sisters despite our different ideas. Whenever difficult issues arise we always run the risk of allowing ourselves to put our differences above our unity.

I found a wonderful interview with Bishop (and one of my heroes) Will Willimon where he addresses homosexuality with an interviewer from Good News. The highlighted parts of Willimon's responses are my emphasis and the red remarks are my remarks.

GN: Should gay people be accepted into membership?

Willion: Sure, as long as they desire to be cleansed of their sin and free from the wrath to come. Any gay person who wants to join our church, after all the statements we’ve made about the sin of homosexual practice, must be one of the most gracious people in the world. We could use more gracious people in our church. (great statement!!)

When I joined the church I was extremely greedy and lustful. God has worked on me. I’m still greedy and lustful, but you wouldn’t believe how much better I am since I met Jesus. I’m a heterosexual, though not that active at the moment, but I assume that if Jesus can forgive and transform me, it’s not too much of a reach to think he can do that for an openly gay person.

Jesus never said it was hard to save gay people. He said it was hard to save rich people like Don Trump and Bill Gates and me. Still, with God, all things are possible! (and usually the rich remain rich, what does that say about God's grace?)

GN: What should we do about the ordination of homosexuals?

Willimon: Who told you that was a big issue? We’ve lost three million members in a couple of decades. None of that has anything to do with gay people! It has to do with the failures of heterosexual Christians!

We don’t have much problem in Alabama with lots of gays wanting to be ordained. We have a big problem with modestly talented, not too energetic or passionate heterosexual people wanting to be ordained. I wish Good News would do more good work in trying to get the very best, the most faithful pastoral leaders in our church and worry less about gays, ordained or not. But they haven’t asked me.

Our church appears ambivalent about abortion, about the evils of corporate America, about the invasion of Iraq, but we sure know a lot about gay people, so much more than the Bible. I can tell you exactly what our church believes about sex, but I can’t tell you exactly what Jesus believes about sex.

I think it’s strange. Still, I support whatever General Conference says on any subject and will do my best to carry out the will of our church on this or any other matter. I work for General Conference.

GN: What should we do about gay marriages?

Willimon: You’re just full of scripturally irrelevant questions, aren’t you George? We don’t do gay marriages in our church. Period. I’m more worried about all the marriages that we do and that fail, than I am about the gay marriages we don’t do.

(hat tip to Wayne for interview)


"Christ teaches us to love our enemies, do good to those who harm us, pray for those who persecute us. He calls us to accept suffering before we inflict injury. He calls us to pick up the cross and to lay down the sword.

We will most certainly fail in this call. I did. And I'll fail again. This does not change Christ's teaching that violence itself is the tomb, violence is the dead end. Peace won through the barrel of a gun might be a victory but it is not peace. Our captors had guns and they ruled over us. Our rescuers had bigger guns and ruled over the captors. We were freed, but the rule of the gun stayed. The stone across the tomb of violence has not been rolled away."

- James Looney, Christian Peacemaker Teams member

you can read his entire "EASTER REFLECTION" which was published in the Toronto Star about his 118-day captivity by Iraqi militants and rescue by British special forces troops.


Check out William Cavanaugh's theological critique of "Empire" as it relates to our culture today. It's a great piece. Check it out here. Bill is a prof. of theology at the University of St. Thomas.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Let's just set the record straight. When we last left the ongoing story of the HFUMC/HUMC Youth Capers:
1. HFUMC had paid a visit to HUMC and stolen our "Y Guy"
2. HFUMC TRASHED our youth room
3. Left a pair of stinky sandels in the place of our Y Guy
4. Harrased our secretary as she chased them down the hall trying to save our poor helpless "Y Guy".

What transpired on Good Friday was nothing less of the true meaning of this solemn occasion- it was a politically charged non violent confrontation of standing up to the powers.

We had heard rumors... of mistreatment to our yguy (turned out to not be true- he was healthy and in good spirits).

I had been told by this youth group's charismatic and misguided youth leader that they had brainwashed "Y" and he was currently converted to Islam.

It was at that point that I knew our group had to act fast before we lost "Y" forever. So we did it, we made it into the youth area without a sole seeing us and we found "Y".

But then we had to do something to "bring to light" the violence that there group had done to our youth room and so we did the opposite- WE DID AN ACT OF PRESERVATION- we shrink wrapped their youth area. It was a nonviolent protest to say- WE ARE STEWARDS OF GOD'S CREATION... WE ARE STEWARDS OF THE CHURCH BUILDINGS WE USE AND EVERYTHING IN IT. We were not being malicious in any way, but trying to be prophetic in it's true sense.

We want the cycle of violence to end. In the words of John Lennon, "All we are saying (HFUMC), is give peace a chance".

for more on this check out Emily's blog


Get this video and more at

"Who Killed Jesus?"- a bbc documentary that lasts about an hour.

Friday, April 14, 2006


The cross was an instrument of political
terrorism. In this view of the cross crucifixion
is understood as an act used by imperial Rome to
terrorize the populace against any kind of revolt or
resistance against the empire. Jesus was a victim of
the power, violence, and terrorism of the state.
From this perspective the violence of the cross is
not viewed so much as a symbol of redemption as it
is a symbol of violent political power that continues
to claim victims. Redemption comes through those
who resist the violence and terrorism of the state
and seek to liberate its victims, as did Jesus. (by Leo Hartsborn)

The cross reveals the ultimate nonviolent
example of Jesus. This view of the cross is
centered in the nonviolent response of Jesus as an
example to follow. The crucifixion is the culmination
of Jesus’ nonviolent teachings and lifestyle.
Jesus endured the cross rather than avoid it
through violent resistance. Jesus serves as an example
to follow that can transform how we deal with
violence. (by Leo Harsborn)

check out via crucis for more reflections...

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Get this video and more at
I decided to take a different direction today with my holy week meditations.
This video meditation takes about 10 minutes to watch. Read the story of Maundy Thur here.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Take the quiz and find out.

I scored a 75, which makes me: "somewhat evangelical"!!

hat tip to Jamie Smith


Sold out? Am I selling out?
I'm not the one selling out
He's not as strong as I thought

Liberating? Not enough...
Healing the sick? They are still oppressed...
Eats with taxcollectors? They are as evil as the Romans...

Following the voice
He called and I wandered
Across the desert into mysterious unknown

I thought I was heading toward freedom
I thought he was the One...
The One that would bring order to our people's madness
The sadness I feel, Oh God why isn't he Your One?

It seemed so right
But now we are here
Tensions are high
As if they expect us to rise up
But he is not ready
It's clear that Rome has won today
Just like yesterday
and the day before...

But I can't sit back any longer
Rome will not steal from me any longer
I will not worship ceasar, my Lord
I will not let them rape our sisters any longer
I will not allow them to take what is ours any longer

And if this false prophet is not for us
Then obviously he is not for You...
I love him, but he is too dangerous to everyone...
I know what I have to do... Lord please deliver us from this madness
I pray for your shalom soon


God Locked Me Up in Deep Darkness

"I'm the man who has seen trouble, trouble coming from the lash of GOD's anger. He took me by the hand and walked me into pitch-black darkness. He sets up blockades with quarried limestone. He's got me cornered. He ground my face into the gravel. He pounded me into the mud."
(from Lamentations)

Today the poor of Latin America and the Amerindians of Guatemala, are rising up, seeking to shake from their necks the yoke of oppression they have suffered since the time of the conquistadors. Many Christians are coming to realize that their faith in Christ obliges them to make a commitment to liberation, and so they organize, moved by their faith, which has committed them, in love, to their brothers and sisters. They struggle with determination to change the prevailing system of death, in the hope that one day there will be land, work, bread, housing, health, and education for all--that all may have life in abundance, as Jesus wished (John 10: 10).

...Many have already given their lives for this cause. Many have suffered torture or exile. All have struggled and are still struggling in the faith that life is stronger than death and in the hope that blood shed as Christ's blood may bring resurrection to a crucified people.

...At this moment in history,the people of Central America are experiencing the agony of Jesus in Gethsemane and on the cross. Jesus seemed to be a failure. Today his people cry out with him from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?" But the cries of an oppressed people reach God's ears and heart (Exodus 2: )

- excerpt from "The Ecumenical Program On Central America and the Carribean"

this is part of the via crucis grid blog series check it out here

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


You come to me with questions
but you aren't looking for truth

You come to me with your smug smirks...
your "I know better attitude"

You come to me hoping that you'll say the right thing and I'll say the wrong thing... a trap... like a rat... heading into a hopeless labratory

But I know you and I know your rhetoric
I play these games better than you
because I don't play by the same set of rules

What you'd really like is for me to go away
and for all my followers to be silent
so you can hang on to the false control Rome has given you...

I will not pledge allegiance to the United States of the Roman Empire
While my brothers and sisters are dying... are hungry... are cold
While you sit and watch and keep your mouths closed

I pledge allegiance to God the Father Almighty maker of heaven and earth...
Who has called me to stand alongside the voiceless
And invite them to a Kingdom Feast

But you want to play games of logic and rhetoric
And even if I don't play... I've already been marked...
There's a cross with my name waiting to be processed

So go ahead, ask me another question...
But don't expect to like the answer.

Monday, April 10, 2006


What is this PLACE?
Is it a place of prayer, the keeper of the Torah?
Or is it a bank... the house of profit... the home to consumption?

These tables must be overturned... this system must be destroyed...
All hell is going to break loose... IT'S TIME, I CAN'T LET THIS CONTINUE...

My brothers and sisters sit along the street hungry and lonely
While "they" are getting fat from this NEW TEMPLE OF THE EMPTY SHRINE

God wants to come back to the temple but there's no room for both God and your idols!!


Tables turned
Upsidedown Kingdom proclaimed
A crazy man has come into your presence
He's under Rome's radar
The elite are pissed
But the joke's on all of us...

Marketplace religion
Marketplace politics
Capitalism before it was Superpower...
Tables turned

Upsidedown Kingdom proclaimed
Radical... open... communal... shared...
This is the place where God seeks space
Look upon the outcast and you'll see Gods face
Entering the temple of the empty shrine
God has come back... and is taking up residence...

But now Rome has taken notice... along with the elites...
Breathing just got a little heavier. I need to pray and be alone for a while.


Festival madness...
Charged with excitement...

"Stand down! Stand down!" could be heard all around the city's walls as Rome's elite army of one kept the peace.

They came in through the south side entrance led by The One... he was riding a donkey... it just made the crowd even more ecstatic!!

The road was filled with palm brances- no red carpets here. People were paving a different kind of street... this was the "red carpet" of the poor, the downtrodden... the outcast and excluded... this red carpet was paved with palm branches and worn out clothing.

He looked upon the crowd in its festive merriment and looked upon the trail of palms they had paved for him. It looked like a red carpet...

blood stained palm leaves
crucifixion was coming
time was running out
Rome's breathing just got heavier
Sweat beads rolling
What comes next Father?
Ceasar knows I'm here...
I can't believe that I actually came to this place...

to die? please, let it be worth something....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I'm really sorry for not posting much lately. It has been one crazy couple of weeks and it's not letting up much. This week I'm in in the classroom for my Atonement Theory class. Besides lots of reading for that class I'm also doing a directed study on Patristics. Needless to say- I HAVE NO LIFE RIGHT NOW!!!

Let's see.... just to update you here are some things that I've been doing:

Random road trips to AL. and Chuck E. Cheese, while driving through tornadoes with my youth group....

watching Jonas play soccer.....

got an eye exam.... got glasses.....

working on a pretty cool video slide show for our Maundy Thur. service at church....

preparing for a contemplative retreat with my youth, gavin, and his youth group this weekend...

Well, that's about it. I hope all my blogging friends are doing well. Hopefully I'll get back into my routine soon, but for now- these classes are taking over.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


The Edge launches solo activist career

Move over One Campaign...
here comes The Deuce!
DUBLIN - Anti-poverty activists were stunned today when U2's lead guitarist, The Edge, announced that he will be flying solo in activist efforts from this point forward.

"Today, I am happy to announce the launch of Campaign Deuce, or The Deuce for short," said The Edge at a noontime press conference. "The Deuce will call for the United States to give an additional 2% of their budget to eradicating poverty and its root causes. I mean, nothing against the Bono and 'Brangelina,' but a mere 1% reeks of 1990s incrementalism."

The reference to "1% for poverty" is a not-so-subtle shot at the One Campaign, founded by bandmate Bono and several nonprofits, the goal of which is to increase the United States foreign aid budget by 1%. One of the prominent symbols of the One Campaign and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty is a white rubber bracelet worn by concerned anti-poverty activists.

However, one white band just doesn't cut it for The Edge. "Activists need two white bands to make a real statement. At The Deuce's website, you'll find a permanent two-for-one special. In your face, One Campaign!"

Asked to comment on The Edge's announcement, Bono tried to take the high ground, but couldn't resist a few jabs. "The Edge has to do what's best for The Edge," said Bono. "I just hope Yoko Ono didn't have anything to do with this."

Speculation continues that Will Farrell and Ben Stiller have plans to launch an even bigger anti-poverty campaign in the fall. "We've been beta testing some brands with a couple focus groups," said Stiller. "I won't tell you what it's going to be called, but don't be surprised if you hear about 'Campaign Ocho' sometime soon."

Farrell added a wink, then seven more.

- from