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Feeling the world’s brokenness…

Do you ever feel the brokenness of the world?

Do you ever hurt with the rest of humanity?

Or groan with creation as it waits for redemption?

Sometimes, in our individualist, self-centered society, we forgot the bigger picture. We forget that we are part of creation. That we are members of humanity.

We forget that we were meant to be, as Rob Bell says, “connected with each other in one giant global embrace.”

Knit together in love.

Just like we all will be in Christ’s coming kingdom.

But then we hear about the execution of a probably (and definitely by Christ’s standards) innocent man.

Or we read about yet another suicide  resulting from bullying.

And suddenly, we feel the pain of others so deeply that we hurt. We cry. Even when we don’t know them. Have never met them. Might not even know their names.

Creation groans.

And we groan with it.

Sometimes God lets us experience the brokenness of the world, even when it does not directly involve us.

Sometimes God gives us glimpses of the pain of others.

Don’t run from it. Don’t avoid it.

Embrace it.

Weep with those who weep.

Remember that we are all in this together.

And eagerly wait for redemption.

Do you ever hurt with the world? I’m feeling it tonight for Troy Anthony Davis and Jamey Rodemeyer. Redemption, God. Please? 

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Sarah Moon and the Writer’s Block Redemption

Trapped by writer's block! AHH!

I wish they made ex-lax for your brain because I have writer’s block.

Yup. I’ve been trying to write something for days and…nothing. I’ve got nothing.

So, I’m going to write about my failure to write, and what I’m doing about it. We’ll see within the next few days whether or not my efforts pay off. If you see another blog post by me, that means they’ve worked and maybe they’ll work for you too!

I’m reading Rob Bell: Say what you want about Rob Bell, but the man is good at making you think. He’s vague and says things that are a little “out there” sometimes. And he leaves lots of blank space. And I don’t mean

This

Kind

Of

Blank

Space.

I mean, he asks questions and leaves you to ponder them. So I’m reading his writing and hoping I’ll be inspired to fill in some of the blanks.

 

I’m having adventures!: I have this bad habit – I like to live like a hermit. I like to lock myself in my room with my books and my internet. It’s peaceful and relaxing, and because I’m an extreme introvert, it’s where I feel most comfortable.

But it’s good to get out of my hobbit hole now and then. It’s good to have fun and go out and explore the world…or, explore small town Ohio at least!

I guarantee this game will be the subject of a blog post someday.

So, today, I went on a tour of an old prison (the one they filmed “The Shawshank Redemption” in). I went thrift store shopping, bought a random old board game (“The Game of Happiness”- you have to collect the keys to happiness -love, money, friendship, faith, knowledge, and health-, and use them to build a ladder to the rainbow of happiness. I couldn’t make this up, people). I went to a drive-in movie for the first time.

I didn’t have to travel to Mirkwood and slay goblins or anything. I just had to leave my house and try some new things. ‘Cause how can I expect to write about life if I’m not out there living it?

 

I’m writing anyway…damn it!: Over the past few days, I’ve started about 20 drafts. Some of them had titles but no body. Others had about two words. Some looked a bit like this:

“GAH! MUST…write things!!! Jaklsdfjaowie!”

But I wrote! I did it. And I’m going to keep writing if it kills me. Eventually something coherent is going to come out, right?

Oh, hey, look at that!

Insert "Shawshank Redemption" pose here


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Conquering with kindness- guest post!

Abe and I, sporting our fashionable hats.

After reading yesterday’s blog post about spiritual gifts, my anonymous male friend decided to reveal his secret identity and add his own thoughts to the discussion.

Abe Kobylanski has his own blog at Images and Words. He writes about everything from bachelorhood, to sports, to that one Rob Bell book that he never read (but is still outraged by). I think you’ll enjoy his witty writing style, and I hope you’ll be encouraged by what he has to say!

 

 

Ahh, spiritual gifts.

There are some pretty awesome spiritual gifts out there. My favorite is discernment, because there’s nothing like going into a temple and turning over some tables, and telling some money changers to get out of my Father’s house. In other words, it sounds like it would be fun to get to tell other people they’re wrong. Then there’s leadership, because, honestly, who doesn’t want to be in charge, and know they’re going to succeed? What about prophecy? Everyone wants to be able to give other people advice. Everyone wants to be infallible. Everyone wants to be Pope Elvis.

If you have one or more of these spiritual gifts, then ding, ding, ding! You’re a winner! Time to go conquer the world for Jesus. On you go, Christian soldier.

But what if your spiritual gifts happen to be kindness and helping? What if those are yours, and you’re a guy?

I admit, I struggle at times having these as my spiritual gifts. The church seems to use a lot of language about conquering things. “We are more than conquerors,” “Fight for Jesus,” that sort of thing. Now, if that’s your thing, I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong. And people of both genders can find strength in this.

But as a man, who is encouraged to conquer things, I sometimes feel a little weak knowing this is what people expect of me and that it’s just not something I am made to do.

And by weak, I mean I feel like a wuss.

I feel like I’m not up to doing the things God made me to do as a “man.”

I don’t have any desire to go kill a boar with my bare hands and eat raw pork flesh straight. Does that make me unmanly? I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier. Does that emasculate me?

I can’t threaten people to get them to see my side of the argument, I want to help people by showing them there is a better way of doing things. As much as I want to kick ass, that’s not me, and it’s not what I do.

But sometimes I really wish that was me. I wish I could kick ass, I really do. Being kind isn’t cool. You can’t really do anything with that. You can’t conquer the world with kindness. You can’t lead by being kind.

Then again, Jesus really didn’t do much ass kicking (unless you count when he had to get his donkey moving). For an Almighty God descending upon the world to stomp out evil with a sandaled foot, he kind of downplayed it.

Jesus helped people. He worked with the poor and lepers, people who needed help. When the Jews were all like “Jesus, a little help with the Romans, buddy?” He said, “let the little children come to me.” When they said “Jesus, get your sandals a-stompin’!” He said, “This temple will be destroyed, and it will be rebuilt in three days.”

Jesus led with kindness. He conquered the world with kindness. Jesus was a man. Moreover, He was God. We would all do well to be so kind.

So, while at times, the fact that my spiritual gifts are kindness and helping bothers me and makes me feel weak, Jesus’ example reminds me that kindness is not the same as weakness. Kindness is strength.

Kindness is self-confidence. Kindness is the security that I am blessed by the creator enough that I have more than I need to succeed. I am so blessed that I can give to others out of my excess. And I can be an example for Christ to a fallen world. I can do this by giving happily and expecting nothing in return. I can do this by respecting others’ opinions when I disagree. And I can do this by accepting those considered the least among society.

Kindness is a virtue. And it is very manly (or womanly).


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Love may Win, but Environment Loses (via Images and Words)

My boyfriend decided to judge Rob Bell before reading his book. Check out his blog for yet another review of Love Wins (from a perspective that you probably haven’t heard yet). I may be biased, but I think it’s pretty dang funny.

Love may Win, but Environment Loses Garbage, utter garbage. And I say garbage with utter contempt, because as a proud recycling citizen of the U.S., I find contempt in garbage. And I find nothing but garbage in Rob Bell's book, Love Wins. The book has gained quite the controversy in conservative Christian circles, and I can see why. Mr. Bell takes Bible verses out of context and completely goes against Christian doctrine well worn as your favorite pair of work boots. Work boots tha … Read More

via Images and Words