Friday, October 29, 2010

Bumper Sticker of the Week

I saw this in the Trader Joe's parking lot this week.  It seems to sum up the general malaise and apathy that flavor not just the electorate but our culture in general.  Funny and a bit tragically sad when you think of the opinions about the next governor of our broken state.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blogging Towards Sunday October 31

Free from what and for what?

The texts I'm choosing from the Lectionary list this week lift up several theological and philosophical themes: relationship, community, making-meaning in and of our lives, looking for a ethical/moral compass, conversion to a new way of life and thinking and freedom.  It's this last theme that most strikes me.  In our American-Idolized culture of everyone can be famous.  In the face of massive daily choices, updates and tweets that define who we are.  In the realization of the complexity of the global system in which we swim like a fish bowl, it's ironic to say that we're free when freedom is the thing that seems to most elude us.  We all want freedom yet we seem to pursue it on our own, by our own power and without any strings.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thrill the World | Oakland

I caught the Thrill the World effort at Studio One in the Temescal today where the Bay Area Flash Mob gathered and trained any and everyone to dance the Thriller dance to Michael Jackson's song in the effort to establish a new world record.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blogging Towards Sunday, October 24

What makes a good life?  Socrates says that the unexamined one isn't worth living.  Jesus says that unless you're willing to give yours away you won't have one.  Some say that it's about dying with the most toys or living the most fully carpe diem on a daily basis.  The word GOOD is the hard part.  Does it mean pleasure?; hedonism?; alturism?; generosity?; personal growth?; satisfaction?; meaningfulness?; belonging to a community?

Public Art:
New Mural "Hidden Jewels" in the Dimond

A new mural is up in the Dimond District of Oakland, on the side of the Farmer Joe's building.  Built by local artists who also teach at Sequoia School it is an example of how public art can beautify our city - not just physically but also through connections and socially.

Tim Chapman has posted some videos and photos online at the Dimond News Site [LINK HERE].

You can also read the Mural Blog hosted by the artists: Debbie Koppman and Amanda Lockwood [HERE].

Monday, October 18, 2010

Religious Faith in Modern America
Suicides, Bill O'Reilly and Blandness

I've been overwhelmed with ideas, experiences and relational encounters in the past 2 weeks of travel, reconnecting with old friends and my brother's wedding.  In the midst of that there was the death of a relative, a cousin who went into and out of an unexplained coma, and the seemingly universal experience of divine power and unity as the Chilean miners were delivered from the darkness of their mine prison.  The election season is ramping up. I hear more and more people evoke faith for votes, self-preservation, out of fear, or in hope, than I have for a long time.  I also hear more and more people reject the faith of other people, from both the left and the right of the spectrum, asserting that their way of believing is the most orthodox or more correct.  Two videos that I discovered via Facebook posts this past week highlight the diversity in which we express our faith and also the divisiveness that faith, or religion, seems to be contributing to in our national culture.  The first is a youtube video made by Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire in response to the recent flood of suicides of despairing youth.  The second is of an episode of the View airing last week with Bill O'Reilly as guest during which the hosts of the show walk off the set.

Bumper Sticker of the Week

Blogging Backwards Towards
Sunday, October 17th

This parable about the persistent widow and the stubborn judge is like an onion: filled with layers.  Does it paint a picture of what God is like, as in someone who has to be talked into action?  Or is it portraying how we should relate to God: bargaining, begging, not giving up in our requests?  Or is it about something else?  Personally I think we often get lost in the parables.  They're images, metaphors, word-onions (if you will) that we're invited to wrestle with, unwrap and struggle through.  It's not just a question of figuring out what represents what.  I think we get the parable when it gets us.  It's in the struggle with the parable that we receive the good news it contains.  Maybe it's corny, but it's a bit like the onion metaphor: you struggle and tear as you work or cut through it.  It's when you're eating it, or cooking it that you realize the power, savor and flavor of the onion.

Friday, October 01, 2010