“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.” —William Faulkner


Getting fed up with all the name calling – No one will like this post but me

I was raised in conservative thought up through college, when I identified as a libertarian until the last few years when I went to seminary and through spiritual reflection started thinking more liberally on a lot of issues.

My position is, we are all in danger of fundamentalism, and there’s a fundie on most sides of all issues, both the liberal edge and conservative edge. I swing very easily from the extremes because i’m an Enneagram 1. 🙂

I won’t win any fans with this, because I don’t fall neatly into any thought category. But when I watched and listened to the marriage equality stuff in the last few years, especially in my state of Minnesota, I saw both extremes. Religious conservatives had such a backlash if one of their daughters or sons couldn’t tow the party line and stand for traditional marriage, and then you had the liberals (probably including me) labeling anyone who didn’t just jump on the marriage equality bandwagon automatically (no questions asked) a bigot or a homophobe.

And now, it’s… #blacklivesmatter

I can’t get there. And because I’m being told by church bishops now that if you can’t automatically say #blacklivesmatter – no matter if you support or align with the tactics being used by the movement – that you’re racist, I can’t get there. Maybe we’re all a little racist, and maybe that’s a complete cop-out. I’m completely sick of the labeling that is dividing us. It did nothing for the country to browbeat and tell people they were homophobes to have a gay marriage agenda shoved down everyone’s faces (even though I fully support marriage equality… and i believe now was the right time for this), just like i believe it is not going to heal or bring an end to racism to marginalize those who have questions about the BLM movement – especially those who would be inclined to support it. The disruption of the Bernie Sanders speech a week ago in Seattle really pushed me over the edge.

Where are the prophetic voices that call BS on both sides? I’m well aware of all the arguments as to why I’m wrong about this. And I change my mind a lot and will probably join some parade about black lives mattering… as I’m planning a Civil Rights Tour trip for my youth group next summer. I’m just interested in conversations that start with humility and the power that goes along with respect instead of branding people into hateful categories just to bully your way into the media and shut down true dialogue.

Tell me why I’m wrong about this, please.

Going into my 2nd day of Hospice

HandsThis week I started a part time job as a caregiver working with seniors.

I could not have created a more perfect PT job for myself because this matches with so many of my skills and interests outside of youth ministry.

Yesterday was a LONG six hours of sitting by a lady’s bedside. She’s in her late 90s and broke her hip and the family has decided not to treat the break. So she’s being kept safe and as comfy as possible in her assisted living residence. I was there just to make sure she wouldn’t try to get up, and to alert the nurses if she seemed in pain.

Mostly she slept. There were a few tense moments of disturbance when she was more awake and really wanted to get out of bed. I’d rub her arm or hold her hand (she really held it back!) and when I sang “Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus” I saw her chin/lips move along a little bit. She hummed something to herself when I was done, very faintly.

Her speech is all but gone and it’s hard to tell when she’s awake because she doesn’t open her eyes much any more. I couldn’t ask about her favorite recipes or her best gardening techniques. In the quiet, God was here.

I pray for a peaceful day again today with her.