504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Saturday, November 26, 2016

On the Magic of Rome

I was privileged to go to Rome with Judi for a tour of churches, art museums, and generally to walk and take public transportation around this magical city.

It is an ancient city, with many layers. I got to reconnect with friends from New Orleans, and eat gelato and see things I had only heard about.

I came away with two impressions. First, we are chronological narcissists. We think we are the first generation to experience the things we are seeing in the world. Political unrest, economic hardship, social injustice, disrespect for God, and especially for the gift of grace in Jesus. But we are not. I saw three millenia of the same cycles, memorials in art, sculpture, buildings, and stories.

Second, we humans have tried forever to try to bring understanding of the vastness of God's grace through our social infrastructures--art, sculpture, governments, media, and stories.

I wrote a poem on the way home.

Mother Rome
The vanity of pursuit
Finding beauty but seldom meaning
Art, love, lust, power, oppression
Seeking to elevate man
Seeking to enlighten
Seeking renaissance
But God demonstrates his love
No longer on a cross
But in hearts of friends who are brothers
And in His Kingdom which has no end.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

On Politics, Presidents, and Being a Disciple

I am processing the results of the election, and I am truly at a loss for words. The outcome was so unexpected for me. Like many persons who follow Christ, my dilemma in the voting booth was to choose between two candidates who each have many troubling issues or writing in a candidate whom I knew couldn’t win. I will not share what I did.

I know that the statements made by our president elect are unacceptable. Period. End of discussion. No part of my walk with Jesus allows statements that are bigoted and hateful towards any person or group of people who are created in His image. We live in a fallen world, and I do not agree with choices that some persons have made any more than others would embrace some of my choices. And yes, I have had to repent for many of my choices.  I believe that the Bible is my guide for determining the rightness or wrong-ness of choices and that it is my job–all of our jobs to rightly interpret it.

So I have struggled for words. In my processing, I have discovered two voices that have helped me. I listened to Ernie Johnson calling Atlanta Braves baseball games in the early 90's and he has since moved on to a national microphone for several networks. His commentary helped me to frame my thoughts and maybe a way forward. Find it here.


I also found help in Ed Stetzer’s take on the response that might be appropriate for those of us who are trying to passionately become more like Jesus. His blog post, “What do White Evangelicals Owe People of Color” helped me to balance my emotions following the election.  Find his post here:


Like many of you, the emotional carnage of this election is not just theoretical for me. I have friends, family, and church members who fit into the categories of marginalized persons who have been verbally maligned by our new president. I have friends, family, and church members who have felt marginalized by the policies of the existing president. It is time to find some common ground.  I hope to be a voice for the transformation that can come when we listen to each other–really listen–and make the personal  adjustments of repentance, forgiveness, humility, acceptance that will create dialog and not dissension.