Category Archives: Communities

A List to Live By

A fellow journeyer of life sent this to me and I loved it. Absolutely loved it. He was in a small town in Washington State named Troutlake. He said it was posted in a cafe in town. These are definitely some people I could get with!

In light of our recent economic crisis we’re all sharing in, it’s causing many of us to question life, our purpose and what really matters in life. Things like money, work, consumer goods, and fancy cars are being replaced with things like sharing, gardening, volunteering and community. Maybe crisis really is our friend afterall?

Nevertheless, I want to aspire to live by more of these. I need things like this to remind me of a direction and to keep me from just thinking about myself all the time. I think this is amazing and totally fitting in my world today.

My favorites are:

Learn from new and uncomfortable angles, Garden Together and Play Together.

The one I want to move most toward is “leave your house know your neighbors.”

Check out the list – what are your favorites? How is your life moving toward these?

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A Benediction to Remember

Any speech that begins with the following is worth the time you give it:

“God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, … where we met thee, lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee.”
Toward the middle of the speech, Dr. Joseph Lowery has this to say about our “choices on the side of love.” How can you disagree with that?  Republican or Democrat…It’s beautiful.
“And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.”
Here’s the full go at it…oh, the closing isn’t bad either – “When the Red Man can get ahead man…” So good…

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Life Together

I’m hard-pressed to find story better than that of “Team Hoyt.” It’s not a new video, but it’s worth watching again and again.

I complain. I wish for better. I ask for change. And I look for more.

Then…I watch.

I watch the story of Team Hoyt and it all goes away. All my wants and desires leave and I become present, in the moment…complete.

What I appreciate about this video is how it brings life back into perspective, when it so easily gets away from us.

The story is one of a journey of life together. Our culture breeds individualism. We’re continually being separated from nature and one another. Life is so much more rich lived out together, but so much around us aids us to self-protect. Self-protection may be at the very core to all that separates.

I have a great friend that said, “I want to become less dependent on institutions and become more dependent on people.” I thought that was beautiful.

And I couldn’t agree more.

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Food Democracy Now!

 

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This is an excerpt from Food Democracy Now!

Take a quick read below. Our local and national food supply has grown to be one of the paramount issues in my life. If you believe our food system needs to be changed, please go the Food Democracy Now’s website to learn more as well to sign this petition to make change. It seriously takes less than 30 seconds – please check it out!

Thanks for the support!

“As such, we are dedicated to advancing the dialogue on food, family farm, environmental and sustainability issues at the legislative and policy level. We understand the dynamic interplay between today’s industrialized agricultural system and its impacts on human health and well-being, health care costs, rural communities and the environment. We advocate for policies that encourage sustainable, humane, organic and natural food systems.

We seek to transform today’s system by advancing best practices in food production, animal husbandry, conservation of natural resources, renewable energy and soil preservation. Through these efforts we hope to stimulate local food systems, promote rural economic development, encourage a new generation of farmers and respond to the growing public demand for wholesome, fairly-produced food. We will also support candidates who advance this vision and who embrace common sense policies that respect our nation’s air, water, soil, livestock, food workers, consumers and family farmers.

We hope that you will join us in this national movement to implement real and significant change in our nation’s food, agricultural and environmental policies.”

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Bill Clinton Endorses Barack Obama…

And no…I don’t want to see any of your “I think Obama is a Muslim” posts…just view, laugh and tell me I’m funny.

 

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My life is being turned upside down…

I recently had lunch with Steve Kimes, pastor at Anawim Christian Community.  Anawim is Hebrew meaning “the poor people who are going to be blessed because they depend on God.”  They’re a community church of the homeless and mentally ill (not one of popular demographics for American Christians to hang out with).  To clarify – I don’t mean they give annual donations to the mentally ill…and I don’t mean they visit the homeless once a month…I mean they actually are a community made up of the homeless and mentally ill. They actually are homeless and mentally ill. What’s amazing is Steve Kimes looked for churches that would welcome these people – and he realized they’re…well, not really welcome.

Not welcome?  Not welcome at church?  Not really surprising I guess.  People without homes and unstable mental capabilities don’t really work in our “contemporary” church services.  Branding and service-flow has become so important – the truly needy don’t really fit in.

So Steve decided to create a church for and made up of the homeless and mentally ill.  The sad part he says…nobody else really comes.  I’m not sure what’s a bigger tragedy, the fact that nobody “normal” belongs to their community or the fact that the needy aren’t welcome anywhere else?

I went to lunch with Steve because my world’s being turned upside down.  His entire life looked different than mine.  I’ve been a “Christian” since I was 14…but my life really hasn’t looked that different than most everyone else’s.  Why is it that Jesus’ life look enormously different than the worlds…but modern (American) Christians lives really don’t?  Things aren’t adding up.  I’m too comfortable.  American Christianity is too easy – at least what I’ve known as Christianity.  A great test that I’ve recently asked myself is “If you turned the sound of your life off, would it look any different than everybody else’s?”  It’s the answer to this question that is causing my life to be turned upside down. 

Christ called us to be set apart from the world.  Not just on the inside…but on the outside too.  Every part of Christ’s life confounded everyone around Him.  His life looked extremely different than the worlds.  Why do we think our lives should be any different?   If my insides (spirit) has been transformed…how can it not effect my outside?

The Tension:  The inward must effect the outward.  You cannot have one without the other.

 

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