Sunday, December 21, 2008


so bejustice is going to lie dormant for awhile as i focus on another blog for a bit:

i plan on covering many of the same topics there, but also dabbling in youth ministry & a few other odds & ends.

i would like to maybe do more stuff with this sometime in dedicated venue, but for right now i only have so much time & wasn't really doing much of anything because i couldn't do everything. so i'm trying a bit of refocusing. we'll see how it works. please join me over at

Saturday, November 29, 2008

World AIDS Day (repost from Facebook)

Hey everyone...
I haven't been able to spend as much time this year researching and blogging in advance of World AIDS Day on December 1st, but I thought I'd take a couple minutes to post a few resources here. Please take some time in the next couple days to read, think, and pray for the millions of families and individuals around the world who suffer from or are affected by AIDS. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me...

Every December 1st is World AIDS Day, a solemn day of awareness and response to the devastation of the AIDS pandemic world wide. There are a variety of opportunities to participate, including many online educational resources.

Consider changing your Facebook profile picture (and other profile avatars) to a World AIDS Day ribbon for the next few days (or at least December 1st). You could also include it as part of your email signature. You can download one here:

As part of my responsibilities at The Chapel last year, I had the opportunity to put together a website that can act as a prayer path as you think about AIDS. Even though I've moved on, they've updated it and are promoting it (Yeah Chapel!) again this year. Take half an hour or an hour on the 1st and walk through it:

Last year I tried to blog once a day every day for the month prior to World AIDS Day on my blog, While I didn't succeed, I did blog about 2/3 of the days & put up lots of good resources and some questions to help us think through things. I started on October 31st (here: and then just click on the 2007, November archive on the right hand side of the screen to read any of the posts that you would like.

A few general sites:
-the main UN AIDS site. great resources & lots of educational material.
-the main UK site for World AIDS Day. while being UK specific in some things, it has a lot of relevant international information as well.
-the main World AIDS Day site worldwide. Great resources & thoughts.

If you want to really learn a lot, watch this documentary the Frontline (on PBS) made in 2006. It's the most thorough overview of AIDS that I know of. It's 4 hours long, but is broken up into easily watchable pieces at their site. It's definitely worth the time it takes to watch:

There is SO MUCH info available about AIDS online if you take a look. I hope you'll join me in the next few days in thinking, learning & praying for this humanitarian crisis.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

we live in an age of Jesus Junk...

one of my hero's in middle school ministry is a guy named Marko. he's got an ongoing series on his blog (which he updates at an unbelievable pace) called "Jesus Junk", where he posts for all his fine viewers (such as myself) some item that would be laughable if it weren't for the fact that it were real.

anyway...was over at today and saw a link in their newsfeed to this article by about WWJB (what would Jesus buy) that reminded me of marko's posts. by the way, on a side note, can we let the WWJD puns die already? honestly.

back on topic, though, the article got me thinking about the many ways in which we've lost sight of God's economy. i am well aware that money won't solve the many problems in the world today (poverty, health, slavery, torture, war, etc), but it seems to me that rather than providing or buying Christian kitschy crap (as if our consumeristic mentality needs anymore inspiration), we'd do well to come up with creative ways to throw our finances into ways that would tangibly help the majority of the world that isn't swimming in their resources Scrooge McDuck style.

now there are some really good places out there doing this in a variety of ways (a few of which are highlighted on my sidebar to the right). but i'm interested if anyone else know of any that they think are particularly novel or worthwhile in their pursuit of this? just throw your two cents into a comment...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

PEPFAR renewed

President Bush signed an extension of PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) yesterday, tripling the amount committed to AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis over the next three years. When Bush spoke about this in his State of the Union address during his first term in office, it was a historic moment for the fight against AIDS, being the largest ever monetary commitment by a US President to this cause. By expanding the amount committed and lowering the stipulations applied, Bush is, despite his many flaws in foreign policy, showing the possibility of what a truly compassionate, redemptive, and hopeful foreign policy could look like.

-Read the AP article here.
-Michael Gerson's op-ed piece on the topic in yesterday's Washington Post

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Envision the Future: A Declaration for the Common Good

Envision...Part III of ???

Last week I had the opportunity to help out with Envision '08, a gathering diverse Christ followers (racially, geographically, educationally, theologically) for 3 days of dreaming about how to live out the call God has placed on our lives to be his justice-bearers in the world. Here's the document that was settled upon on our final day...

Envision the Future: A Declaration on the Common Good

I still have more thoughts from the time to process, but I'm the midst of a service trip in North Carolina, so it'll have to wait. I might have some time tomorrow...

Thursday, June 12, 2008


you might want to watch this a couple times...

Flobots - No Handlebars

might makes right?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

some other good quotes...

Part II of ?? of my thoughts & responses to Envision '08

"our response to temptation should be looking towards God's wooing of us rather than disciplining a resistance of our will alone" - Lisa Sharon Harper

"all temptations are temptations are a temptation to do something good. The greatest temptations are not the temptation toward "the bad" but the temptation toward the almost god" - Shane Claiborne

Shane talking about intentional community ... "everybody wants a revolution, but nobody wants to do the dishes..."

"We are the Good News. We shouldn't be chasing people down the street to force the into the good news. They should be chasing us down the street because we live in such a way that we are the good news." - Brenda Salter-McNeil


i have a few other bigger ideas i want to blog about in response, but haven't had the time yet...but check back again & i will as soon as possible.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Envision 08

so for 4 days i'm at Princeton University hanging out with 400 some odd folks from an incredibly diverse Christian background that care deeply about social justice and our engagement in the public square. i'm getting to sit in on incredible teaching and conversations like john perkins, ron sider, brian mclaren, shane claiborne, brenda salter-mcneil, jim wallis, vincent bacote, richard cizik, randall balmer and many, many others. (i'm fairly sure you could make an incredible panel of folks who are just here and aren't even speaking).

part of the whole idea of Envision is to bring people together from the whole scope of faith (fundamental conservative evangelicals all the way to universalist unitarians...i've already met both). there's such a diversity of politics, gender, race, denomination, and approaches to envisioning what rich justice looks like in our world.

so...i have some really good friends here (and making new ones) that i'm getting to process all of this with, BUT i really wanted to get all of your thoughts as well. so i hope that you'll check in whenever you can over the next few days and participate and respond. i'm going to try and post ideas & quotes that i hear & leave it open for discussion...

that being's some of my favorite quotes so far...feel free to respond to any or all...

the church should be about the earthing of heaven... (you can google that & find all sorts of interesting articles) - Richard Cizik quoting others

when we partner for God's purposes, we win no matter who we partner with...whether muslim, or homosexual, or a different vein of Christianity, or differing morality, etc. - Richard Cizik

"Jesus didn't go around pimpin' it out that he was the son of God..." - Shane Claiborne

"just as important as "making poverty history" is making poverty personal" - Shane Claiborne

"we (Christians) don't have to agree on everything but we should be known for disagreeing well and respectfully" - Shane Claiborne

teaching Intelligent Design according to a scientific understanding actually diminishes the faith... "I prefer to live in an enchanted universe where mystery reigns rather than denigrate God to the realm of science" - Randall Balmer

"I would suggest that those who care so much about the concept of Intelligent Design should care more about the creation of that Intelligent Designer." - Randall Balmer

Sunday, March 9, 2008

evangelical justice

more most of the last few decades, mainstream evangelicalism has not been a public friend of justice. we've been for justice in the lives of the unborn, but haven't said or done nearly enough in most of the rest of the ares of life. this isn't to say there haven't been evangelicals who cared about these issues. they were just the rare minority. thankfully, it seems as if that is slowly changing...

Take a look at this article if you have the chance.

Friday, February 22, 2008

some good thoughts from a wise man

Wendell Berry writes all about justice, though he doesn't always refer to it as such. but caring for the earth, refusing to bow to corporate interest and consumerism, love of people...these are all acts of justice. so here's a manifesto regarding such things:

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.

Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Water for the Weary

this past weekend i had the opportunity to attend the Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Jubilee is run by the CCO, an incredible organization that ministers to college students that i have the joy of serving as Associate Staff. Jubilee does better than most conferences at giving students practical, vocational training at how to integrate their faith with their jobs. i love their holistic view of life, work, and spirituality. there were a number of highlights from the weekend for me, which hopefully i'll be able to reflect on over the next several days on here.

one piece of the main sessions each meeting was some time set aside to highlight 4 very solid organizations. this included Compassion International, who most people have heard of, International Justice Mission, for whom I have an immense amount of respect, an indigenous orphanage ministry who's name i can't remember and Blood:Water Mission, the AIDS organization founded by Jars of Clay.

Blood:Water Mission's primary mode of working in the AIDS crisis is to provide clean water, which directly impacts the spread not only of AIDS but of a variety of diseases. they have a goal of providing 1000 wells in communities all over Africa. the story of the woman who's running it, who's younger than i am, was very encouraging to hear. i have a small understanding of the need for accessible water from my time in Mozambique. when i was there i had a pretty incredible experience retrieving water one day...i wrote about it for Relevant Magazine...take a look.

one of the things she mentioned was that for just $1, you can provide clean water for an African for a year. $1. wow. our host for the weekend brought that right to home when he mentioned that he'd drank three years worth of clean water with his Starbuck's latte that morning. surely we have much to do, much to give, much to change in ourselves to pursue a just world where everyone can have drinkable water.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

i'm back...

after a two month hiatus, i'm back to blogging on justice. between the holidays in december and a fairly extensive speaking schedule in January, my time for writing was somewhat cramped. however, i keep stumbling across articles, web sites, conversations, and people who speak, need, and seek justice. and i can't help but desire to share them, so here we go again...

first off, here's an interesting, honest take on intentional community that was published in January in the LA Times. cheers to the Times for covering the topic.

i can relate to much of what was written. reading the frustrations and difficulties, along with small glimpses of a great goodness of intentional community, i felt a deep affinity. the past year of living in my house with Malone undergrads has been much the same. at times i've questioned why i thought this was a good idea. at times i've been stoked to see solid growth and partake in worthwhile conversations. i think it has been worth it, but it's not been without its sacrifices.

if you're unaware, we're currently facing some difficulties with the city regarding zoning issues and what it means to live as a single family unit. i'm taken aback by city officials who seem to miss that intentional communities add to the great community, not detract from it. i'm reminded of the need to live out what we're talking about not just among ourselves, but in our neighborhood. if we were serving our neighbors whole-heartedly, i'm pretty sure this wouldn't be an issue. but we're still sorting out what it means to serve. i watched the movie Michael Clayton last night, and at one point one of the main characters is asked how she finds balance between work and personal life. she laughs it off, saying that if you love what you do, that is balance. i'm constantly struck by this conundrum...trying to figure out how to balance life and ministry when really they're one and the same.

well, there's a nice rambling post to get us started again. more to come...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

not forgotten

dear bejustice friends...
i have not forgotten about my (small) place in the blogosphere. i just have not had the time recently to post. hopefully again soon.