Monday, December 22, 2008

time for a change...

i told you i've been thinking about making a switch from guerillahost to shadowing god

so here's the official announcement:

my new blog address is

it still has all my former posts (albeit with a few bugs that i'll have to work out, etc) but ultimately i feel like it better reflects what's truly important to me (and i think wordpress is ultimately a better app than blogger anyway).

thanks for four years of frequent visits, comments, and prayers!


Friday, December 19, 2008

How I want to Be [an excerpt from "Letter to Diognetus" (4th Century)]

Christians live in their own countries, but only as aliens.

They have a share in everything as citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign land is their fatherland, and yet for them every fatherland is a foreign land.

They marry, like everyone else, and they beget children, but they do not cast out their offspring. They share their board with each other, but not their marriage bed. It is true that they are “in the flesh,” but they do not live “according to the flesh.”

They busy themselves on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They obey the established laws, but in their own lives they go far beyond what the laws require.

They love all men, and by all men are persecuted.

They are unknown, and still they are condemned; they are put to death, and yet they are brought to life.

They are poor, and yet they make many rich; they are completely destitute, and yet they enjoy complete abundance.

They are dishonored, and in their very dishonor are glorified; they are defamed, and are vindicated.

They are reviled, and yet they bless; and when they are affronted, they still pay due respect.

When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; undergoing punishment, they rejoice because they are brought to life.

They are treated by the Jews as foreigners and enemies, and are hunted down by the Greeks; and all the time those who hate them find it impossible to justify their enmity.

To put it simple: What the soul is in the body, that Christians are in the world.

The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world.

The soul dwells in the body, but does not belong to the body, and the Christians dwell in the world, but do not belong to the world.

The soul, which is invisible, is kept under guard in the visible body; in the same way, Christians are recognized when they are in the world, but their religion remains unseen.

The flesh hates the soul and treats it as an enemy, even though it suffers no wrong at their hands, because they rage themselves against its pleasures.

The soul loves the flesh that hates it, and its members; in the same way, Christians love those who hate them.

The soul is shut up in the body, and yet itself holds the body together.

The soul, which is immortal, is housed in a mortal dwelling; while Christians are settled among corruptible things, to wait for the incorruptibility that will be theirs in heaven.

The soul, when faring badly as to food and drink, grows better; so too Christians, when punished day by day, increase more and more.

It is no less a post than this that God has ordered them, and they must not try to evade it.

detroit makes list of 5 Modern Abandoned Cities

Some modern abandoned cit­ies are actually parts of functioning cities. Perhaps the best example of an abandoned district is found within Detroit. The Motor City ­gets its name from its former role as the world’s seat of the automotive industry. Henry Ford’s refinement of the assembly line led to cheaper, mass-produced cars and trucks in the 1920s, and the city expanded quickly. By the 1950s, Detroit, with its two million residents, was America’s third-largest city [source: University of Michigan].

With employment rates and income high in the area, opulent buildings began to dot downtown Detroit’s skyline. Ornately detailed architecture adorned the city’s theaters and office buildings. It was a bustling city, and its buildings reflected the power and the wealth the automobile industry accumulated.

By the 1970s and '80s, however, the American auto industry entered a decline. Detroit, inextricably attached to car manufacturing, reflected this downturn. In 1979, Detroit’s Big Three carmakers (Chevrolet, Ford and General Motors) produced 90 percent of all of the vehicles sold in the U.S.; by 2005, that figure was down to 40 percent [source: The Guardian]. Since Detroit was something of a boomtown -- based on cars, not gold -- it couldn’t help but suffer when car manufacturers faced competition from overseas automakers.

But it wasn’t only competition from foreign car manufacturers that led to the demise of downtown Detroit. Suburbanization played a role as well; as people began moving out of the city, their money went with them. The same holds true for the carmakers. Automotive factories became bigger as the car boom went on. With land in the city at a premium, car companies built newer, bigger facilities in the suburbs. Whole sections of Detroit were left abandoned, while in other cases, slumping buildings sat empty alongside struggling buildings that remained open.

Detroit began to crumble. Building owners simply left their investments to decay once they found they couldn’t lease or sell them. Others tried to revitalize or redevelop buildings into new businesses; for example, some stage theaters found new lives as movie theaters. Ultimately, a lack of customers caused many buildings to simply be abandoned. For years, office buildings, hotels, churches, theaters, homes, factories and stores were boarded up and left to rot. Vandals broke windows, spray painted messages and picked mementos from the architecture. Within these buildings, sunlight streams through cracks. Old furniture is overturned in unused hotel rooms. Desks still stand in empty offices. Even the city’s old train depot -- a massive, 18-story transportation hub -- has been abandoned, its intricate shell a reminder of its past importance.

Revitalization efforts are reforming these districts of Detroit. Many of the abandoned areas are being leveled, with new buildings or parking lots built over their former foundations. And an unusual tradition has had an effect on the urban blight. In the 1970s, vandals adopted the custom of burning empty (and sometimes occupied) buildings downtown on Halloween Eve, a custom that came to be known as Devil’s Night. The ritual continued into the 1990s, but peaked in 1984, when more than 800 fires were set from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1

wow...that's a pretty meager defense by obama

learning to cry, struggling to see

found this in an article by jim perkinson (detroit resident + theologian) concerning God and His compassion for the disenfranchised...

Our incarnate God spoke loud and long as a prophet (Luke 7:16-17, Matt. 21; 11; Rev. 3:14), immersed in the harsh everyday world of tenant farmers and tax collectors and wage laborers and HIV-leprosy sufferers and guerrilla fighters and poverty hustlers and dolled up, street-walkers.

He learned his message from bombastic, uppity women who would not keep quiet in the courtroom (Luke 18:18), would not take “no” for an answer when he was “underground” and trying to hide from the authorities up near the city of Tyre (Mark 7:24-30), would not refrain from wiping him with their hair at hoity-toity dinner parties (Luke 7:36-50), or contaminating him with uncleanness by touching him in the marketplace (Mark 5:24-34), would not even consult their husbands when deciding to “have” him, as a baby, by somebody else! (Matt. 1:18-24; Luke 1:26-38).

This God continued to speak even when he was no longer invited to read the bible in nice, respectable “churches” (John 7:11; Luke 4:16-30; John 11:54), pray for the nice sick daughters of the wealthy or their nice dying servants (Mark 5:21-24, 35-43; Luke 7:1-10), or give nice opinions on local events (Luke 13:1-5), because so much of what he had to say did not sound so nice to well-washed and perfumed ears (Matt. 23:1-39; Luke 11:37-54).

He spoke even when accompanied by crowds who smelled (John 11:39), who were presumed to be thieves (Luke 19:1-10; John 12:4-6; Mark 11:17), who organized parades on pretenses (Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:39), and misunderstood everything except that their own exploiters and oppressors were getting a public comeuppance in this guy’s words (Mark 12:37).

He spoke even when the CIA lurked (Mark 7:1), when the FBI jerked his chain (Mark 3:6; Matt. 12:14), when the spin-meisters sought to catch him in damming sound-bites (Mark 12:13; Luke 11:53-54), when the police threatened arrest after a day-long takeover of the national shrine (Mark 11:18; Luke 19:47-48).

He only ceased speaking when the kangaroo court demanded that he speak (Mark 14:60-61).

Then, in the final moment, far from a quiet, complacent passing on, in full control of pain and pathos like some god-in-human-drag, “slumming,” for a brief season, among such poor wayward creatures, this God yelled, yowled, cursed, swore, cried out, groaned, moaned, made it plain this blood-letting was a divine abomination, and even, like job, finally dared put God “himself” at issue, if such doings as this were “the father’s will” (Mark 15:33-39).

(Maybe - even more than substitution - this incarnation was about solidarity.)

theology of the city

i'm doing a little work this week on the theology of cities...salvation for cities...urban renewal...second hope for a soured city...etc.

it's fascinating stuff, but really difficult to find anything worth reading on it.

so, i'm doing a lot of prophetic reading, a lot of study in ezra/nehemiah, and a lot of comparisons between genesis 1-4 and revelation 21-22.

and it's been very cool (though, it's a little early to share any real conclusions yet).

my big feeling, though, which has been haunting me over the last few months is this:

the church is broken
just as the world is broken
and we're refusing to acknowledge that our mission to redeem the world alongside god
is more important than anything

than anything at all whatsoever

what so ever

and i'm feeling really buggered up by our lack of concern to heal the world
and our lack of impatience with the church-as-it-stands
and our lack of passion, verve, commitment, intelligence, and frustration
focused on seeing things transform for the better

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama’s choice of evangelical leader sparks outrage

(CNN) — Prominent liberal groups and gay rights proponents criticized President-elect Barack Obama Wednesday for choosing evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the presidential inauguration next month.

Warren, one of the most powerful religious leaders in the nation, has championed issues such as calling for the reduction of global poverty, human rights abuses, and the AIDS epidemic.

But the founder of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, has also adhered to socially conservative stances — including his opposition to gay marriage and abortion rights that puts him at odds with many in the Democratic Party, especially the party's most liberal wing.

"[It's] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now," Andrew Sullivan wrote on the Atlantic Web site Wednesday.

People for the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert told CNN she is "deeply disappointed" with the choice of Warren, and said the powerful platform at the inauguration should instead have been given to someone who is "consistent mainstream American values.

"There is no substantive difference between Rick Warren and James Dobson," Kolbert said. "The only difference is tone. His tone is moderate, but his ideas are radical."

Dobson, a social conservative leader, is founder and chairman of Focus on the Family.

Linda Douglass, a spokeswoman for Obama, defended the choice of Warren, saying, "This is going to be the most inclusive, open, accessible inauguration in American history."

"The president-elect certainly disagrees with him on [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender] issues. But it has always been his goal to find common ground with people with whom you may disagree on some issues."

Douglass also noted Obama and Warren agree on several issues including advocating on behalf of the poor and the disadvantaged, and people who suffer from HIV/AIDS.