30 November 2007

The Start of December

Who knew that a semester would fly by so quickly! It seems like it was last week that I was awkwardly meeting new friends and figuring out what seminary was all about. Now, I find myself a week away from the end of class wondering where the semester went.

I know where it went. It went by in the form of hospital visits and games of candy land, late night meals at Chili's and Waffle House, hours working at the library and hours avoiding studying there. It was spent memorizing Hebrew vocab and writing about the differences in the versions of Noah and the flood. It was spent talking about feelings and how we were adjusting and what surprised us most about school.

But more importantly, we lived together, prayed together, sang together, loved together, doubted together, and (this is by far the most fun one) ate together...a lot, actually.

I'm ready for a new semester. I'm ready to start over with a clean slate now that I know what is going on. But I hope I don't loose the enthusiasm, the curiousity, and the passion that have defined this semester.

17 November 2007

derek webb to rescue.

Derek Webb was at Eddie's Attic in Decatur last night. He was great.

And he sang one of my favorites about where our allegiances lie.

Perspective is good.

here are the lyrics:

A King and a Kingdom

who's your brother, who's your sister
you just walked passed him
i think you missed her
as we're all migrating to the place where our father lives
'cause we married in to a family of immigrants

my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
my first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
it's to a king & a kingdom

there are two great lies that i’ve heard:
“the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die”
and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class republican
and if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like Him

my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
my first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
it's to a king & a kingdom

but nothing unifies like a common enemy
and we’ve got one, sure as hell
but he may be living in your house
he may be raising up your kids
he may be sleeping with your wife
oh no, he may not look like you think

14 November 2007


Never has rain smelled sweeter or been such a sweet relief.


11 November 2007

The Half-Way Christian

I really don't like half-way Christians.

You know the people I'm talking about. They claim to believe in Christ, then push people away from Him.

Or they say they care about God's creation: "I recycle!" the say. But recycling only happens when it is convenient. You want to shout that Christianity isn't convenient--you don't get to choose it just when it happens to fit.

Better yet, they are the people who watch the church clock. "What do you mean we have to sing all six verses?," they wonder aloud. "We are supposed to be out of here at noon! We have to beat the baptists to lunch..."

Or those who mourn for the homeless population's reality, but when begged for a dollar, refuse to give it. "They'll just buy drugs or alcohol," the half-way Christian argues.

What about the people who sing of God's love for everyone, but really can't stand that black kid who came to church today wearing a baseball hat and low riding pants?

Or the ones whose words of love begin to go sour as attempts for inclusion merely bring an exclusion of another sort?

Or they squabble about the details--about who God loves more or who sins less or who got it first or who hasn't ever gotten it.

They try. They fail. They say they're Christian. They aren't.

And the worst part is: I'm one of them.

05 November 2007

Seven Things

Two weekends ago, I found myself back at Elon for my first homecoming since graduation. I decided that on Sunday, I would go to church and give them a quick update as to my life at seminary since they were supporting it so graciously. I wanted to make it short and sweet, so here are the top seven things they don't tell you before you go to seminary.

(7) Now, this one might be particular to a Methodist school. But apparently, John Wesley carries as much authority as Jesus Christ himself.

(6) Hebrew is, without a doubt, as hard as it sounds and looks.

(5) The UCC is sooooooooo better than any other denomination.

(4) Candy Land is a million times more fun when you play it with a 4 year old in his hospital bed.

(3) If you look hard enough, you can find Christ in anyone's eyes.

(2) I knew this before I came to seminary, but it seems even more true now. At the end of the day, after the discussions and readings and questions, remember two things. Believe the Story. Love the People.

(1) My life will never be the same.

So thanks to everyone who has believed my story and loved me, even from a distance.


03 November 2007

A Month Later.....an update.

Wow, so, who would've ever known that a month would pass so quickly! Here are some highlights from the past 3 weeks or so.

The Choir from Metro State Women's Prison
This choir blew my mind. They sang a little of everything--from gospel standards to wonderful songs written by women in the choir. My favorite was one written by the prisoner which grew to a fantastic chorus of "He'ssssssssssssssssssss a fixxxxx---er." Looking back on it, it wasn't their form or fantastic singing that made their visit so memorable. It was the meaning behind them. Exclaiming that "he's a fixer" had a new meaning when sung by women who had much harder lives than I have ever known. When their chaplain stood up and spoke, I was sold. "I want to talk to you today about murder and theft," she started. "You might thinking I'm talking about the women behind me. But I'm talking about Moses. I'm talking about David..." And so began a revolutionary sermon.

For the Bible Tells Me So
This film is amazing. Period. It follows five families as they deal with homosexuality and Christianity. What I really appreciated about this film was its accessibility and its reality. It presents the issues in a way that isn't mocking, but it simple enough to understand. It also faces the reality that things don't always work out the way we'd like, and that redemption is possible even when we think we've failed the most. Find it in your city, and see it.

Chaplaincy at a Children's Hospital.
I met a little boy who in the span of 2 hours broke through to me, and for the first time, I felt like a chaplain. Amen.

Reformation Day-
Growing up, we never really celebrated Martin Luther and the reformation. But, as it turns out, we have a lot to be thankful for on that front. So, happy belated Reformation Day!

Homecoming at Elon
I went to my first homecoming at Elon two weekend's ago. It was good to be back and see old friends. Even more importantly, it provided a closure that just didn't happen at graduation. Before I went back I felt like I was half Elon student, half Emory student. After visiting Elon again, I'm able to put that experience to rest, and can now more fully move on to Seminary. My Emory friends were at a Halloween party that weekend. When I saw the pictures from the party I noticed two things (1) I was missing and (2) because I realized that, I realized I had a family here too.

All Saints Day
This feast day is a little more high church than what I grew up in. Its the annual day to remember the saints who have gone before us and the ones who are still in our midst. Bishop in Residence Woodie White delivered a powerful sermon. Afterward, we wept together for those we miss and thanked God for their influence on our life. It was a service of remembering. We remembered those who had gone before, but we also re-membered them by inviting them back into our midst.