Thanksgiving Showers

Skittering around the edge of the crowd, Penny did not approach me directly. Her dirty pink cap followed her eyes downward, arms folded tightly across her chest, she walked quickly, perhaps hoping I would notice and spare her the bravery of talking. And I did.

“Are you here for a shower today, Penny?”

Her head nodded quickly and I’d barely confirmed her on the list before she darted off to a distant bench, awaiting her turn.

Penny (not her real name) and a couple dozen others show up on Mondays at the shower truck in front of St. Mike’s church in Isla Vista, and for the last month, so have I.

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Church & Frenemies

Mars Hill Reflection 4

WEEK 4

Maybe you are too – but I’m getting a little tired of Mark Driscoll. It has been a great prompt for conversation and writing about the church in context, culture, and gender, but unless the final two episodes bring something new to the table, this will be my last related post, and I promise to barely talk about him.

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Church & Culture

Mars Hill Reflection 2

I’ve found myself in an ongoing podcast series called The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, centered on pastor Mark Driscoll and the Seattle based, now defunct megachurch called Mars Hill.  This is the second post, but I recommend reading the first before you go on.

Should followers of Jesus be influenced by culture? What about the church as a whole?

What even is culture? There are a dozen definitions but as a lifelong church kid, the one I’m reflecting on today is one that was never spoken, but always implied: “Anything outside the church.” We were warned against culture and the insidious influence it could have on our morality and beliefs. We were to protect ourselves from cultural influences and stick to the Bible. We didn’t need to understand the intermediate 2000 years of church history or the world around us because we were (as non-denominational independents), uninfluenced by it.

Oh, and one more thing we didn’t speak about: the notion that we ourselves were a culture.

More on that from Mars Hill:

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Church & Context

Mars Hill Refection 1

I’ve been captivated by an ongoing podcast series called The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, centered on pastor Mark Driscoll and the Seattle based, now defunct megachurch called Mars Hill.  The creator and host, Mike Cosper said that there would be 12 episodes in total; I’m writing this after the 6th.

I found myself in this story in unexpected ways – not as much in the wild ride that is Mark Driscoll – but more in the surrounding context that allow churches like Mars Hill to thrive and quietly ignore warning signs. If you haven’t heard the podcast, skip these posts because I won’t make much effort to summarize. Rather than simply “review” the podcast I decided to incorporate some of my personal church journey as well – and ask a few questions along the way.

What was your experience listening to this podcast series?

What parts of your story connected to this one?

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As You Go

You’re leaving this week, and I’m a little short of breath.

In a twist of timing, all three of you precious ones are home and then leaving within a week’s span. You have all left before, and we said goodbye. Then hello came again. And here we go once more with cars full of bed sheets and laundry baskets stuffed with Cup of Noodles. New adventures await, and the timing is right.

But before you go, take a deep breath.

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What I Gained By Not Being a Musical Visionary

As told by my embarrassing cassette closet

Today I hooked up a 1980’s Sony Walkman cassette tape player to my speakers. The Walkman warbles along at variable speeds when my thumb clicks the sticky “play” button. And while I certainly wouldn’t argue for the quality of cassette listening, it’s reconnecting me to something nearly thirty-five years old: my tape collection. 

These tapes have travelled with me through the years, pushed into tiny, dusty, cassette-sized cubbies in a closet that hasn’t been opened for a long time. Someday I’ll create Spotify playlists out of them, and finally demagnetize these plastic wheeled spools. 

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