Tag Archives: all things

Other People’s Thoughts

I thought I’d try a new angle with posting this week. Rather than my typical approach of serving up my thinking on a particular topic, this post highlights a few of the blog posts and other readings that I’ve been considering over the last couple weeks. My hope in this post is to share a bit of what is stirring my imagination and reflection at the moment, and then to invite you to add your voices…or posted responses as it were. I’ve included links on freedom of religion and sexual orientation, African-American experiences of Christian colleges, and a “Slow Church”/”All-Things Church” conversation on approaches to community engagement. So, here’s the first (and so far only) edition of “Other People’s Thoughts.”
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A Monday Morning Prayer

God, 
 
I’m waking up today in the relative quiet of our rented home.
The sky is blue with a few clouds slowly drifting by.
The windows are open. I’ve heard seven distinct bird calls –
   there’s a crow and a jay
   but I can’t name most them by their chirps,
   yet, you know them.
There is a cricket, too –
   no, wait; it’s not a cricket, it’s some other small insect
   declaring its presence
   above the background noise of a squirrel chattering
   as if something has just caught its attention for the first time.
An occasional car or two meanders past our house,
otherwise the hustle and bustle of the world around me this morning
comes from the stirring of your creation. 
I pray that I might have eyes to see and ears to hear
the goodness of your creation today.
 
Yet, I must admit,
that prayer seems daunting, almost impossible.
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Your Daughter’s Hand…

I remember making that nerve-racking phone call.

Me: “Mr. H., I have a question to ask you.”
Mr. H. “Hold on. I think Mrs. H. better be on the other phone for this one.” Mrs. H. picks up the other phone.
Me with trembling voice: “Okay. Mr. & Mrs. H., I would like to ask your permission to ask your daughter for her hand in marriage?” 
Mrs. H. “You only want her hand? What about the rest of her? Don’t you want all of her?” 

Yep. That was my (now) mother-in-law’s quick-witted response to my nervous fumbling over how to ask them for their blessing on our plans to get engaged and married. “Don’t you want all of her?”

How do you respond to that?! I am sure I stammered out some sort of response – though even now, I’m not sure that it was even halfway intelligible – and they graciously helped me finish the conversation and gave us their blessing.

My mother-in-law’s question “Don’t you want all of her?” has stuck with me. And though the context is somewhat different, I have found myself reflecting on it quite a bit lately.

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Income Inequality and a Mission of Green Spaces

Tim DeChant over at Per Square Mile offers a provocative post on how the presence (and absence) of trees in urban settings reveals the wealth of the neighborhood. He contends that wealthier communities tend to have more green space than do the poorer communities. In a follow up post, he offers several images from space to support this idea in which he compares wealthier and poorer communities in the same city with each other. The absence of flourishing trees in the poorer communities is quite apparent.

What I am left wondering then is a handful of questions around urban mission: Continue reading

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