Thursday, June 24, 2004

I'm no philosopher, but...

"Say to yourself in the morning: I shall meet people who are interfering, ungracious, insolent, full of guile and antisocial; they have become like that because they have no understanding of good and evil. But I who have contemplated the essential beauty of good and the essential ugliness of evil, who know that the nature of the wrong-doer is of one kin with mine-- not indeed of the same blood or seed but sharing the same kind, the same portion of the divine-- I cannot be harmed by any one of them, and no one can involve me in shame. I cannot feel anger against him who is of my kin, nor hate him. We were born to labor together, like the feet, the hands, the eyes, and the rows of upper and lower teeth. To work against one another is therefore contrary to nature, and to be angry against a man or turn one's back on him is to work against him." Marcus Aurelius

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Wendell Berry

Here's more thought-provoking material from Wendell Berry. Definitely worth reading. I like his take on the relationship between economics and the Gospels, as well as his views on what constitutes "progress." I always come away from his writings (or in this case, an interview with him) with something significant to mull over. There's an interesting parallel between his statements on this last topic and The Faithful Skeptic's discussion of declining church attendance (Do Numbers Matter?).

Thanks to The Faithful Skeptic.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Please, take just a moment to pray...

... for these young people and their leaders who will very soon be doing a mission project. This coming weekend they will be traveling to an impoverished Native American (US) reservation where they will be doing important work for the folks there. If you could, please take just a second to pray for them and leave a comment to let them know you did? You needn't post your prayer, just an acknowledgement that you've been here-- I plan to print a copy of the list and send it to them (nice to get mail from home and kind thoughts when you are a teenager away from home, huh?). Remember, you can post anonymously if you aren't comfortable leaving your name. :) I just thought it might be nice to let them see that others know about them and have prayed for them. And if you have a moment, pass this on to a friend who might stop by.

Their names are: Meg, Pennie, Andy, Andrea, Kyle, Andrew, Ali, Paige, James, Devin, Trisha, Jon, Jessica, Jessie, Angela and Magy

God bless them and guide them as they do God's work. May they be strengthened by the experience!

Underground love cells...

Anyone else afraid to pick up the papers these days? I don't want to know how many people were killed today. No more beheadings. No more kidnappings. No more carbombs. Please, not today.

What can we do about violence in other countries? I think Christ would say "start small." Have you ever heard the oft-cited example of butterflies in inherently unstable systems? What if each of us took it upon ourselves to deliberately make someone's life easier, less anguished, more enjoyable today? What if we demonstrated love of neighbor toward just 2 or 3 people? And what if those people did the same for 2-3 other people? And so on, and so on...

Maybe terrorist networks are onto something. Let's start a shadowy network of loosely affiliated, underground cells... we'll quietly and stealthily plot to spread the love of Jesus Christ across the world. We don't want to dominate the planet (or anything else for that matter)-- we want to give it all away! We are called to be servants, to wash the feet of others... whether those others are Muslims, Christians or atheists. (Maybe this stealth approach is what Christ had in mind when he said we should pray quietly in private.)

Show someone, with your actions, that Christians have a different solution to violence and anger today.