Monday, January 21, 2008

Celebrate diversity

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

"A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."

"Nonviolent action, the Negro saw, was the way to supplement, not replace, the progress of change. It was the way to divest himself of passivity without arraying himself in vindictive force."

"Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love."

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

"The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility."

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence."

"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important."

"Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority."

"The bombs in Vietnam explode at home; they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America."

"We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart"

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."

"The nation doesn’t have sense enough to share its wealth and its power with the very people who made it so."

"Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of racial justice. Now is the time to get rid of segregation and discrimination."

"If you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they're mistreating you."

"What is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy."

"When there is massive unemployment in the black community, it is called a social problem. But when there is massive unemployment in the white community, it is called a Depression."

"Antisemitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently antisemitic, and ever will be so."


Saturday, January 19, 2008


And here it is...the third and final video from Hales and my trip to the lovely new england.

If I were a dog, my name would be norma

So I have been thinking a lot about dogs lately, mostly because Alyssa:
moved out opf the mission :( and into a place of her own, and in that wonderful place of her own, she has a wonderfully hyper puppy, Oliver:
Oliver and I are friends even though he gets ridiculous and tries to eat me even when I am watching the ever so important show Man vs. Wild.
So today I had kind of a long day. I have to work at the mission and at LOFT all weekend, but its okay because I get MLK day off and an extra day next week. Anyway...I was had two trainings today and at the first one they fed us lunch because it was from 10-2. We had pizza and I'm not supposed to eat pizza. In fact I don't even like pizza that much. BUT when you eat at the mission, pizza is like a delightful feast that one cannot pass up. In fact when I do eat pizza I am usually satisfied with just one piece. But not today. Today I couldn't help but have two. As I was driving to my next training across town, I was thinking about how someone once told me that dogs eat everything they can fit in them as a survival thing because they don't know when they next time they will eat will be. And it occurred to me that I tend to stuff myself a lot more when I am eating real food outside of the mission lately, not because I don't know when the next time I will eat will be, but because I do not know when they next time I will eat something good will be. So in conclusion, I have come to the point of comparing myself to a dog. So just call me Norma.

Monday, January 14, 2008

So this priest, Levite, and Sarmaitan all walk into a bar...

This past Sunday I went to church at Greenwood Community. Tom, the pastor, is going through the parables of Jesus…which I have heard too many times, it seems to be a theme of churches I visit. So I sat back to hear the same things I have heard many times before when he said something that struck a chord with me, so to speak.

The parable is in Luke 10, at the end I think starting with verse 31. It is the one about the guy on the road to Jericho who is beaten up and the priest and the Levite pass him but the Samaritan man stops and helps him and pays an inn keeper to watch over him until he is better. Anyway…Tom’s message was about helping people and not living life with blinders on. Look around and see need and help, stop being so sheltered by thinking everything around you is fine..look around, everything is not fine. Well he made these three points at the end.

Care – See
About – (I honestly forget what word goes here..)
For - Respond

…WHICH MEANS… care about people and do something about it. Actually see the need, don't ignore it any longer. But what he really said that is still sticking with me is you can care about something/someone and not do anything in the same way you can care for someone and not about them or their situation. Which I feel like I can get in the habit of doing. I am in a ministry opportunity/situation all the time. And sure I help people at the mission everyday and I care for their needs by helping them, but sometimes when I’m tired or I don’t really feel like it..I don’t care about them. I think that is the extra step that God calls us to take when we “do things in the name of Christ”. We can throw money around when there is need, but the extra step is getting to know the person who you are throwing money at.

Sometimes life lessons are hard but good. I think this was something that was hard to hear but good to be convicted of.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New England as we know it.

2 out of the 3 videos Haley and I recorded on our new england road trip.....I'll post the third later. For now - enjoy these. (ps they're not that exciting, but at least Haley and I think that we are really funny, and really, thats all that matters)


"I start wondering what it must be like to live in the shadow of a mountain. All of Houston lives in the shadow of downtown. Downtown is how we orient ourselves. It stands as our compass, a mountain of glass and mirrors. It strikes me as I think about it, how beautiful we find massive structures, either man-made or organic. I wonder if we find them amazing because they make us feel small and insignificant, because they humble us. And I remember feeling that way back in Colorado, that I was not the center of the cosmos, that there were greater things, larger things, massive structures, forged in the muscle of earth and time, pressing up into the heavens as if to say the story is not about you, but for you, as if to remind us we are not gods."
Through Painted Deserts

I read this as I was flying over the rockies, and it struck me probably more than if I wasn't flying over massive structures that constantly humble me. Get this - you and I are not the center of the cosmos. Sometimes I forget. I forget why I am here, I am here to serve, trust, and glorify God. Be in His constant splendor. He made us to praise Him. I know thats hard for a self centered race, such as humans, to grasp. We think...well then God must be selfish, and yes, He even says so, He is a jealous God. But He has reason to be.

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately and a lot of wrestling with this whole "what is life really about" "what would really make me happy" it always comes back with questions towards God. Not because I am a Christian, but because how else do you explain everything? Life, beauty, nature, else would you explain that? How would something so beautiful just happen on its own? It wouldn't. Sometimes having perspective of not having things, helps you realize how wonderful and simple life can be. Not even material things, but things like love, and friendship and family. I talk to people everyday who have nothing but life and the love the God has given them to give to others. And they survive, most of them are even happy.

Why do we make things so complicated? Over analyzing and dwelling on things we cannot change. I have made a resolution for let go and love. I hold on to things and dwell and wonder and I miss things that are happening around me. I miss things that are happening to others, I miss life. I am happy I made the decision to move to colorado, to try something new on my own and trust that God is here with me, no matter what mistakes I make, no matter what wrong turns I make. It is comforting to know that I am not actually alone in this big city. I am not alone, I never have been I never will be.

You may not be able to change your situation, but you can sure as hell change your attitude.
It's all in your perspective.