Monday, December 17, 2007

i can't remember where i ran across this...


i originally ran across this on my good friend Matthias' blog. he's a kindred spirit.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

justice in real life

sorry about the delay in posts. i've been away with the guys from my house without my laptop the last several days.

i live in a house with 7 other guys. they're all undergrads at Malone College and i bought this house and invited them to move in with me for a year to think about what it means to live intentionally together. there's three main thrusts to the house in my mind: community, leadership, and justice.

one of the things that i've found as i've pursued this is that intentional living requires an awful lot of intentionality. this might seem somewhat obvious, but when you move in with a bunch of guys and you all agreed to intentional community as the precept behind why you joined forces, it's a bit of a surprise to find that it doesn't happen naturally. you have to work for it.

one of the things that we didn't really talk about beforehand with everyone was that justice was going to be a theme. however, justice has been a theme of my life in the past year and, as one giving leadership to the house, it sort of goes with the territory. my apologies to anyone who didn't want to learn about justice.

so we've spent time in Bible studies talking about AIDS and poverty and the environment. not your average Bible study topics, maybe.

they all finished they're exams on thursday and so we got away for a few days to a house up on Lake Erie and holed up and played video games and ate junk food and generally were lazy. it was great. but on Friday night i pulled us all together to talk for take a gander at where we were, where we'd come, and where we wanted to go.

i won't go into all the details, because this isn't the time or place, but it was an intensely good conversation. challenging, thoughtful, provocative, encouraging. all of these things. we spent a lot of time talking about ways that we had failed each other and the house. and thinking about how we could lift each other up more effectively.

and in some ways, this was the most effective "justice" conversation we've had all semester. because justice in theory isn't really justice at all. to sit around and talk about justice is fine, but it's not full. it's interesting that micah 6:8, the ultimate justice verse in the Bible, says "act justly," right? and so in this conversation we had, we enacted justice toward each other. we righted wrongs and we established (or began to establish) paths that will lead us in walking in righteousness with each other. only time will tell the fullness of this just living we began a conversation about. but it at least is a trailhead to the path.

what are the ways that you pursue justice in your life in untraditional paths?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

celebrity defeating apathy

for the last few days the media has been immensely concerned with the influence of celebrities, particularly as it relates to the political process. will Oprah really get more votes for Obama? should Oprah get more votes for Obama?

in the midst of that melee comes this interview by USA Today with George Clooney, who's interested in politics from a different angle. Clooney isn't campaigning for a specific candidate, but is instead focusing his celebrity on a cause. the interview, found here, has some interesting thoughts and quotes, including...

"People can march and pat each other on the back, and concerts will happen, and the simple truth is there's still the exact same issues going on."

"It certainly reminds you to be ridiculously happy with your life. Once you see people suffering in the way these people are suffering, you feel very guilty about not suffering at all."

if you haven't been watching the news recently, several other celebrities have been brining a lot of attention to justice related issues including...
-Brad Pitt in New Orleans with an innovative and caring project
-Don Cheadle, also championing Darfur, recently authored a book
-Al Gore, who recently picked up his Nobel Peace Prize and had some worthwhile things to say
-Natalie Portman, who just released a mix CD with the proceeds going to FINCA, a charity that supports developing world entrepreneurs

Sunday, December 9, 2007

the stuff on stuff...

here's an article from CNews about this site...didn't realize it was only a week old. that means that if you regularly read my blog, you've been on the cutting edge recently!

click here for the article

the orginal post:


it's a tough thing. especially around Christmas when it's hard not to think about what you want to get for people and what you hope that they'll get for you.

materialism may not seem, at first glance, to be a justice issue. i'm convinced, however, that it's intricately tied to justice issues because things & stuff (the scientific components of materialism) don't just appear from nothing. they appear as the result of an intricate process that involves tons of people we don't know and through the use (and misuse) of the planet that we live on.

this video brilliantly (and, at times, humorously) illustrates that. i'm greatly interested in your some ways, parts of this seem overstated & to have an agenda, but at the very least, it's provocative enough that it ought to cause each of us to do a bit of a double take. i know there's some questions this raised that i haven't really thought about before.

and this was all sparked by a very short blog by seth godin that asked the question "how long has it been since you went an entire day without buying anything at all?" maybe you'll answer that question while you comment on the video as well.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Senator Patrick Leahy had this to say the other day, in response to questions about the cut in funds for the Millennium Challenge Corporation's budget, an American run, Africa-based relief organization:

“Do we cut maternal health?” he asked. “AIDS? Malaria? Do we cut refugees? The only thing that’s got a blank check is the war in Iraq.”

It's good to know that we can drop billions into a war we created but can't deem it worthwhile for a world issue.