Sunday, April 27, 2008

the rest of the concert

Freedom Night St. Louis

here is the beginning of the cathedral's set on saturday night. more will be up soon. enjoy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

a christian living christianly is a human living humanly

i am still in process of wrapping my pea brain around what it means to be a christian living christianly or a human living humanly. i begrudgingly admit that it is not possible to be all things at all times. although i would love to be a farmer, an urban developer, a cattle wrangler, a chef, perhaps even a professional bocce player. alas, i can't be all of those things. despite the fact that doing all of them, and doing all them well seem to be what it means to be a christian living christianly. (or a human living humanly)
yesterday was our first pick up for the food co-op that we joined. in our bag of goodies was a beautifully wrapped package of chevre (for the uninitiated, chevre is the fancy french name for goat's cheese). so, later on that evening my wife was looking up all the local farms where our food came from. it turns out that our chevre came from a place called heartland creamery, and lo and behold, all the profits from their dairy farm and creamery goes to support a ministry they run which supports troubled families. people, how awesome is that! i couldn't believe it. so we kept digging. farm after farm were run by people who held biblical principles as their basis for humane farming. no pesticides, no hormones, no tiny mesh cages for chickens to be imprisoned in...on and on. the reason why these farmers farmed the way they did is that they believed that scripture called them to farm in a way that protected and utilized the natural process of things. these people are examples of what it means to be christians living christianly. it is all too easy to think that what it means to be a christian is to believe a few fanciful things, live morally, vote republican...these kinds of things. but the fact is that a christian living christianly, or a human living humanly, understands that to believe in jesus is to see how every aspect of our life has ethical obligation embedded within it. and ethics is not simply a matter of public behavior, but a wholistic understanding of what it means to be in god's world. that is why the myopic focus of the american church on a few particular behaviors is so destructive, because it fails to see that the call to be christlike affects everything from how we farm, and treat our animals, to foreign policy and economics.
the other cool thing about these farms is that they are here in missouri. i envision a day when i am able to take my kids, or kids from the inner city, out to these farms and teach them that about what it means to be a farmer farming christianly.
here the csa that we are a part of: fair shares
here is heartland creamery, check out their ministry.
here are some other local farms: pilgrims' acres, troutdale farm, greenwood farms and hale farms

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

beauty and justice

so, this saturday our ijm chapter (that's pretty unofficial as far as i know - we are just four people that care about justice) at covenant are putting on a benefit concert. pretty excited about it. i am supposed to say something between acts and one of the things that strikes me is the contrast between a bunch of hip twenty thirty somethings swilling drinky drinks and listening to good tunes and young girls enslaved in brothels. two more disparate things i do not think could exist in the world. but there you go. through the one we hope to effect the other.
surprisingly i don't think the spheres of justice and beauty are all that far apart. rather they are two faces of one coin. or two petals of one flower. in beauty we know what god loves, what he celebrates and what he has made us to enjoy. by exposing ourselves to beauty we begin to get a picture of what the end of justice is. in experiencing beauty we know what it is to long for disordered things to become ordered. in beauty we see the end product of justice. things made right. things made beautiful.
certainly there are those who have articulated these things more profoundly than i, but i cannot help to be conscious of the fact that we are with one hand firmly planted in the mud and muck of a fallen world and with the other reaching upward toward a future hope of things made right.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

the month of may will be the greatest!

so, yeah. it's true. my daughter's third birthday. two concerts: the swell season and radiohead w/ grizzly bear. end of the semester. trip to phoenix, boise and seattle. lookin' forward to it all.
pretty excited about the radiohead show. was not really familiar with grizzly bear, but they seem pretty cool, here is a clip of their recent appearance on conan thanks to pitchfork:

Saturday, April 19, 2008


so, it's angela's fault. now i myface. or is it spacebook? facespace? i don't know. it's fun though. another time waster. now its twitter i need to do? sheesh people. i can't keep track. how do people get anything done. online social networking is the new handshake i guess.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

my soviet inheritance

i spent a year in russia back in 2000-2001. i remember one of my students used the phrase, "our soviet inheritance" to describe the way in which the collective consciousness of russians had been shaped by the seventy years of communist rule. i was struck by that phrase. it was profound. and i have often used that phrase as a template for thinking about my own personal history...
yesterday i sat in one of the pews at old orchard. i was waiting for moment when i would be called up before that company of men to come under their care. for nearly three hours my stomach growled and i felt uneasy, alternating between great fear and sadness. i wanted to cry. i went outside to smoke. i went to the bathroom three times. i drank a lot of water. i was nervous. it was just two presbytery meetings ago that my father, under threat of excommunication, demitted himself, that is excused himself from the oversight of this same group of men that i was asking to oversee me. i was actually scheduled to come under care that same day that my father left. as nervous as i was yesterday, i cannot imagine how i would have felt back in october. perhaps that was a grace of god that he spared me that experience.
it was an odd moment, and fraught with a potent irony that i felt in my very bones. there is an inheritance that we wrestle with, the inheritance of our parent's failures, the inheritance of silence, of abuse, and yes, an inheritance of grace.