Thursday, April 26, 2007

Funny Stuff

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Some Fresh Ideas


I won't be updating often for a few weeks, I think.

We recently returned from a few days in Venice, Florida visiting grandparents, and my sister's family. That was fun and relaxing.

Later this week, we'll be traveling to San Francisco for the annual meeting of the Association of Professional Chaplains. That should be fun and interesting. Haven't been there since I can remember.

About a week after we return, I'll taking another trip out-of-state, but more on that later. I should have some good stories in a few weeks.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Don't Quit

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Audio of my most recent sermon can be downloaded here.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Don't Quit

I preached a sermon on Nehemiah 6 at Grenada Presbyterian Church on March 25. It was my 7th or 8th full length sermon. I've been waiting for GPC to put it up on their website, and I would link to it for you to download, but we're still waiting. When (and if ) they put it up, I'll link to it from here. I think it is worth listening to (otherwise I would not have inflicted it upon the congregation).

A few new things -- it was the first time for me to preach the same sermon at two different services in the same morning. The two were remarkable different. I was really surprised by that. The pastor of the church (who heard both live) said my cadence was different, too. Hmm...

Also, it was my first time to preach in a robe. I liked it as I thought I would. I like the symbol -- the robe represents someone who has studied hard, has been tested, and has been approved -- someone who can be trusted -- someone with authority (judge, professor, etc). Also, the plain-ness of the black academic (or Geneva) robe diminishes any attention on anything but the Word of God. It's not very comfortable, though.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

James Cone Revisited

Several years ago I read most of what James Cone has written in the space of a few weeks. You can find my short review of several of his books here. I have (at least) a few new readers, so I thought I would highlight a couple great paragraphs from his book Black Theology and Black Power. It has amazing relevance today, though written in 1969. He could be talking about America's foriegn policy, or race relations in Miami.

Reconciliation does not transcend color, thus making us all white. The problem of values is not that white people need to instill values in the ghetto; but white society itself needs values so that it will no longer need a ghetto. Black values did not create the ghetto; white values did. Therefore, God’s Word of reconciliation means that we can only be justified by becoming black. Reconciliation makes us all black. Through this radical change, we become identified totally with the suffering of the black masses. It is this fact that makes all white churches anti-Christian in their essence. To be Christian is to be one of those whom God has chosen. God has chosen black people!

It is to be expected that many white people will ask: “How can I, a white man, become black? My skin is white and there is nothing I can do.” Being black in America has very little to do with skin color. To be black means that your heart, your soul, your mind, and your body are where the dispossessed are. We all know that a racist structure will reject and threaten a black man in white skin as quickly as a black man in black skin. It accepts and rewards whites in black skins nearly as well as whites in white skins. Therefore, being reconciled to God does not mean that one’s skin is physically black. It essentially depends on the color of your heart, soul, and mind. Some may want to argue that persons with skins physically black will have a running start on others; but there seems to be enough evidence that though one’s skin is black, the heart may be lily white. The real questions are: Where is your identity? Where is your being? Does it lie with the oppressed blacks or with the white oppressors? Let us hope that there are enough to answer this question correctly so that America will not be compelled to acknowledge a common humanity only by seeing that blood is always one color.

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