Sunday, January 27, 2008

what if shopping has replaced community?

I wondered something as I went to the mall with my family for the first time in a few years. We all went together this Saturday and walked around-- and we ended up without making a single purchase fortunately.

Since then, I've wondered if we believe, somewhere inside, that something outside, something we can purchase is going to fill up that empty spot. Something shinny and new will make us shinny and new. As if the activity of shopping makes us more not less "human".

As social creatures we are hoping for connection. Not just hoping--we must have it. We were made for it. The sales adverts reach out to us, they offer something alluring. They offer prestige, better associations, sex appeal, and other things. They make promises.

On Saturday, each store had ceiling to floor banners, window graphic, manikins, decor, monitors, or music to seduce, or combination thereof. Business is business after all. It's a pseudo-social activity if you think about it. You can be alone and feel like you've been with others. Why should we bother sitting down and connecting with people when we can just shop? We can bargain hunt and we can pretend we aren't trying to numb something.

Or we can be face-to-face for a while and start being real.

Community starts with admitting what idols really are, and where they turn up. Culture is bent to push the NEED to consume (acquire goods), but the this is a false assumption. The true need is to connect in loving and honest ways, and been known and truly loved.

Monday, January 21, 2008


The strengths of community are also its weaknesses. Since the journey is our lives and the destination is the evermore how do we harmonize consistently with what is essential for the journey?

As much as I want to and as much as my heart is there I sense the drifting of the church body to become like me academic, closed off, theoretical, and become weary of or discouraged about the shortcomings of their brothers and sisters (other human beings) ... which is so terribly ironic, and really sort of sad.

I don't believe their is a formula here, a quick fix, a button in the mind to simply tweak. It seems a reorientation about community that lasts beyond a few rounds of Bible studies, and a sermon series, has to transform our hearts so we see each other differently.

Is this possible?
If so, How has it happened before?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

moving beyond experience

After experience, what's left?

If times get dry, if he seems not to answer, we are left with the feeling that feelings are just feelings. So we have to know that knowings are what has been part of the balance. And the balance will ground us. The experience will enrich us and the moorings will sustain it.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

rob bell's video

I saw a quick video of Rob Bell's new book "everything is spiritual" and it was great. he explained how the physical and the spiritual cannot be separated. What is "non spiritual" is actually then misnomer. Hebrew language has no word for spiritual. People by nature are fused with spirituality. In modernity we tend to fracture ourselves into different "lives" sections, arenas, natures... very unnaturally it seems.

I don't know much about Rob Bell. I know he's polarizing. He shakes things up. Some scream he's a heretic. Some think he's just what we need. Some think he's too much of one certain thing. I'd like to meet he, chat for a while, and see for myself, his brief video was though 100% true. We are Gods. We are spiritual in physical shells.