Monthly Archives: January 2007

The Police Reunion – Dreams Do Come True

Police

 

Link to The Police reunite for Grammys – CNN.com

Just announced, one of the greatest bands of all time will reunite to OPEN this years Grammys on Feb 11!!!!

If I recall correctly, the last time they reunited was at Stings wedding reception. In true Police fashion, the trio almost instantly felt that old tension that both loosely kept them together and eventually broke them up. (Actually come to think of it, they played together when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame as well – Stewart broke his snare head during ‘King of Pain’)

If you’ve read my blog recently, you’ll note that the last real “concert’ the Police gave was at Live Aid. At the end of their set, they waved to the fans, took a bow and handed their instruments to a little known rock band from Ireland called “u2.” This symbolic passing of the torch was incredible.

I can’t wait to see them play together one more time.

Their have been rumors circulating that the band is secretly planning a reunion tour to mark the 30th anniversary of the release of “Roxanne,” but they have refused to comment and the label is keeping it quiet. So, will this be the way they “mark” the anniversary or will we be treated to a whole tour?! I doubt it, to be honest, only due to the fact that every time they get together they fight.

 

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To Forgive and Remember

Pope John Paul II meets Mehmet Ali Agca in prison in January, 1983

Pope John Paul II holding the had of his assassin.

 

The above image is one that has struck me for years. Shortly after Mehmet Ali Agca attempt to kill the Pope, the aging head of the Roman Catholic chuch went to offer forgiveness and prayer.

As you can see in the image, there’s a look of shock on Agca’s face. How could this man, who I tried to kill forgive and pray for me?

As long as I can remember, I was taught that it was wrong to forgive those who wronged you then you MUST forget the sin or violation in order to properly move on. The only problem with that theory is that without properly remembering.

The most profound experience in proper “remembering” in my recent memory came last March when my colleage and I visited the National Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. If you haven’t experienced this, I believe it is one of the most important spaces for proper remembering. From the beginning, you are taken up four levels in a stark metal elevator. You are given a “passport” type paper that has a story of an actual Jewish person who perished in the concentration camps or slums. The experience then begins on the top floor and literally devalolves as you work your way down to the main floor, with each floor diving deeper and deeper into genocide.  As hard as it was to face the reality of the holocaust, it was also deeply important to properly remember how the human race could arrive at such depravity, so that by some means we don’t sit idle at pretend that such atrocities don’t happen again. The sad reality is that once again, we find ourselves into this same type of Hell on earth in places like Darfur.

So, all this to say that the in order for me to properly forgive, I must remember the offense in its proper context so that the forgiveness may be complete. I guess the harder reality within this idea is that it is far harder to show mercy, kindness and forgiveness to those who refuse to admit their offense. Miroslav Volf says that in this problem, forgiveness gets “stuck.” This is a lesson I needed to learn. As I look back in time, I have secretly held within me some bitterness for different things that have transpired in my life, so within this new idea of forgiveness have had to offer my hand in love and forgiveness – regardless if that hand is shaken, or the gift recieved.

In the jewish tradition, forgiveness can only be granted after the person who has offended offers his/her repentance. Jesus flips this idea on its head. He tells us that we need to offer forgiveness before the one who has wronged the other repents. It is through God and the Word become flesh that this capacity resides within us.

“15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

– Matthew 6:15

 

May we all have the courage to show love, mercy and forgiveness in the midst of offense, sin and anger. May I find the strength to openly forgive as I have been forgiven, by God.

 

 

Mid-Michigan Cohort Gathering

Emergent Village

Mid-Michigan Emergent Village Cohort

February 21st 2007 (hang on, we may be moving that to the 20th!)
Gone Wired Coffeehouse
2120 East Michigan
Lansing, MI 48912
6:30pm
Also coming in Feb: “Theology at the Pub” more details to come!

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Cheney: Talk of blunders in Iraq is ‘hogwash’ – CNN.com

story.cheney.cnn.jpg

 

Link to Cheney: Talk of blunders in Iraq is ‘hogwash’ – CNN.com

Vice President Cheney calling talk of blunders as ‘hogwash.’ He quickly added that it was ‘poppycock’ and threw in a ‘tomfoolery.’

At least hip to all this new youth jive talkin’.

NPR : President Bush Faces State of the Union Challenges

Link to NPR : President Bush Faces State of the Union Challenges

Tonight, President will deliver his annual “state of the union” address. One big difference is that the majority of the ‘faces looking back at him’ (as NPR writes) will be that of Democrats, and will likely react negatively, some might say as the pulse of the country.

So, what will the President say to try to win back support? Apparently, he will talk about new measures in health care for the country. A nice political move I’d say as this is one of the top issues the newly controlled house of congree and house of representatives is pushing for. I doubt very much that tax-breaks for health insurance will placate them. That is a nice idea, but too little too late. What the US needs is a broad form of health care that is available to all people, regardless of class or working ability/status.

I know of an elderly couple in Michigan that save $3000 each year. At the end of the year, they drive to Texas and stay for a weekend. One day, they drive across the boarder to Mexico and spend $2000 on meds. Why? Because they can’t afford their medicare copays. I know of bus loads of elderly that take charters across the Canada boarder once a month to do the same. Why? Because it’s cheaper. Because in Canada they have a comprehensive health plan for everyone. Is there a downside? Yep, there are pleanty of them. However, the big plus is that no one has to worried that they can’t afford to get well.

Then there’s that whole war thing. I don’t know if you heard the big bomb drop in Washington today or not, but one of President Bush’s Republican supporters stood before the Congress to openly speak against the Presidents plan to ramp up the military presence in Iraq! Better yet, this man is a retired Naval intelligence officer. This guy knows what it takes to win a war and he says that this path isn’t it. So, it’ll be interesting to see how or if the President reacts to this.

I just got off the phone with my eldest sister who told me about a young man in their church who got killed yesterday in Iraq. It just stinks. While I am not for this war, I am totally supportive of the troops. I hate thinking about our young men and women in uniform placing their lives on the line with no real prospect of exiting this war any time soon.

So, what is it going to take to get Bush to finally listen to the American people? What is it going to take for us to give him our “state of the union?”

Are we not still a government “of the people, by the people?”

*UPDATED:: Ok, we’ll a lot of Bush’s state of the union was good retoric. Am I the only one who noticed that he changed his environmental stance from reducing carbon emissions by 75% last year to 20% this year? The other thing that I thought was interesting that this is the 6th time in a row that he has specifically mentioned Darfur in his speech, and yet not much has really been accomplished there. I did appreciate his environmental points, his recognition of the health crisis, and even his retoric on the war in that we all seek for an end (what he would call victory) to this madness. Jim Webb did a great job summarizing the DNP reaction to the speech last night. I didn’t see the GOP’s reaction, maybe I missed it? On my tv, it went right from Jim Webb to Hilary Clinton. That was strange. It was an interesting thing to follow the Vice Presidents face during the speech as he would give the “skunk eye” to the Dems. It made me laugh. Almost like he was trying to will them to his point of view through telepathy.

The biggest highlight for me was the very beginning when President Bush honored the first female Speaker of the House. What a great time we live in, sort of. I Tivo’d the speech and will watch it again, and again…but honestly, it was just cool to see the President flanked by the an older VP next to a women who wouldn’t stand up for everything Bush announced.

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Five Streams of the Emerging Church -Scot McKnight

 

Link to Five Streams of the Emerging Church | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

As Tony pointed out, read Scot McKinght’s AWESOME article about “emerging” christians, and “emerging” churches. Well done Scot!

Emergent website

 

I Fought My Selfish Gene

 chadphone2.jpg

Yesterday, before “church” I went to the local Sprint store. Mel’s phone had died and needed to be repaired or upgraded. When I took it in, the guy looked at it and basically said that the phone wasn’t worth fixing.

So, I decided to buy a Blackberry phone for church ministry stuff. I played around with it all night, but felt like it was too much money, and too consumeristic for me to justify. It was awesome, but at the same time, I can accomplish what I want with a much less expensive phone and plan.

Today I drove back to the local Sprint store and gave it back. In stead, I opted for the much cheaper and justice-driven Red Razor phone. The guy tried to sell me the sprint version of it, but I simply said “well, I want it because I know it helps the AIDS crisis in a small way.” He stopped selling, but gave me that ‘you are nuts to give up a cool blackberry for that’ look.

Miroslav Volf spoke about the “selfish gene” in us and how it dominates weaker cells and makes them behave like it. He talked about how God gives us the ability to die to our “self” and to live as givers rather than mere consumers. While a sleek Razor still feeds the consumer in me, I know I got it for others more than me.

So, as my new banner speaks to please go out and buy one – or any of the other Red products – to do your part to help end the AIDS crisis in Africa.

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