Justice for the Vulnerable

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I’ve been struck by two things recently that seem to contradict each other.

The first is that I’ve heard a lot of people say “The economy is so hot right now!” 

Granted I don’t really know what they mean. But I believe them. Partly because they seem like the kinds of guys who would know. And partly because I see lots of buildings going up everywhere. So I guess, the economy is so hot right now. 

But the other thing I notice is that there seem to be more people holding signs asking for money than there were even a year ago.

Moms holding a baby in one hand and a cardboard sign asking for help in the other, standing next to the drive-thru at Chick-fil-a. That feels new. It feels wrong. And it feels like the opposite of the economy being so hot right now. 

And more than anything, it makes me feel powerless.

I want to help. I do help. I’m sure you do too.

And at the same time, I’ve heard the same story, so many times, always with more details than I can keep track of, of job offers in other cities and cars that need gas, that I’ve become a little hardened to just how hard it is to be poor and vulnerable in this city. 

People are in trouble. They are taken advantage of, stepped on, overlooked, and cast aside.

And I want to help, but I don’t know how.

Or more precisely, I don’t know how to help and still have my life stay exactly as it is. 

So if that’s something that you struggle with too, keep reading.

Continue reading “Justice for the Vulnerable”

Listening For Truth

The way we listen determines what, if anything, we learn.  

That truth nugget is fleshed out beautifully by this story.

“When I was young my father said to me: “Knowledge is Power….Francis Bacon”

I understood it as “Knowledge is power, France is Bacon”.

For more than a decade I wondered over the meaning of the second part and what was the surreal linkage between the two? If I said the quote to someone, “Knowledge is power, France is Bacon” they nodded knowingly. Or someone might say, “Knowledge is power” and I’d finish the quote “France is Bacon” and they wouldn’t look at me like I’d said something very odd but thoughtfully agree.

I did ask a teacher what did “Knowledge is power, France is bacon” mean and got a full 10 minute explanation of the Knowledge is power bit but nothing on “France is bacon”. When I prompted further explanation by saying “France is Bacon?” in a questioning tone I just got a “yes”. at 12 I didn’t have the confidence to press it further. I just accepted it as something I’d never understand. It wasn’t until years later I saw it written down that the penny dropped.” (- Lard_Baron of Reddit)

I really admire that kid. Mostly, for sharing that story. But also, for keeping at it.

He was pretty sure that something wasn’t right, so he kept trying to find out what it was. Now, if he had just come out and asked somebody, he would have saved himself some trouble. But then we wouldn’t have that story. And I’m glad we do. 

It reminds me of this teaching from Jesus.

Continue reading “Listening For Truth”

Disagreements and the 3 Kinds of Truth

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Do you remember this dress?

What colors do you see here? Some people see white and gold. Others see blue and black. That’s crazy to me.

 

How about this sound?

What did you hear? I hear Yanny.

Some of our disagreements just come down to the way we see things, or hear things.  And there are things like the dress and the audio clip, that just don’t really matter, and it’s funny, and we can just appreciate how different we are. 

But there are some things we disagree about with people that we can’t just dismiss as a difference of opinion. They matter far more than what color a dress is.

But at the same time, the way that we have been talking about these important matters just isn’t working. 

So how are we supposed to disagree when it’s about morality, or science or religion?

Continue reading “Disagreements and the 3 Kinds of Truth”

Podcast Episode 21 (Truth 2)

Here is Megan and Dave’s 21th episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 16 and a half minute long podcast episode, we talk about Truth and EvidenceWe also chat about:

  • Jury Duty
  • How the Bible is like testimony
  • Alligators
  • Why people don’t like good news
  • Dave gives a retraction about something he said last week

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Podcast Episode 20 (Truth 1)

Here is Megan and Dave’s 20th episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 21 minute long podcast episode, we talk about Truth and How and Why We Believe What We doWe also chat about:

  • Our Questionable Leadership
  • Caveman Brains
  • Car Magnets
  • The comforting lies of Disney World

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Truth and Being Social

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I remember the first time I disobeyed a posted sign. I felt like such a rebel.

I felt like this guy right here.

Signs are really powerful for us. But the signs I want to talk about today aren’t the flat signs with words and warnings printed on them.

I want to talk about the kinds of signs we look for, and listen for, that let us know if someone else is a part of our tribe, or not.

Like the way people dress.

Look at this picture. You instantly know if you can, or want to, hang out with these guys, right? You don’t need to think about it. You just know.

There are all kinds of signs that are indicators, that create an in-group and an out-group. There are all kinds of signs that say, “You’re either with us, or you’re against us. And they’re not always physical signs.

The way we dress, or talk, what we talk about, who we listen to, who we hate…all of these things are signs that say what group we belong to. All of these things are signs that tell us who we are.

Signs and the belonging they signify are powerful, so powerful that they short-circuit our ability to reason and they short circuit our faith.  Signs pre-determine what we believe to be true.

Continue reading “Truth and Being Social”

Podcast Episode 19

Here is Megan and Dave’s 19th episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 17 minute long podcast episode, we talk about the Holy Spirit and our new topic Truth. We also chat about:

  • Lies told to children
  • Cynicism
  • How Dave is unable to be wholesome for long
  • Unforgivable actions

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

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Some families have some weird rules about what is forgivable and what is unforgivable. 

  • Like whether the toilet paper goes over or under on the roll.
Correct Answer: Over
  • Or whether the toothpaste tube should be squeezed in the middle (like it is by the barbarian I live and work with) or flattened up from the end, like a polite person should do. 
  • I once overheard a woman scream at her child from across a park, “You put that down! We are a Pepsi family!”

Knowing what’s forgivable and what’s not is how we stay in a family, or a group of friends, or a community. And usually, no one comes right out and says what’s unforgivable.

Usually we find that out that key piece of information right after we did whatever it happens to be.

But Jesus comes right out and tells us what the only thing is that we can’t do.

Continue reading “Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit”

Podcast Episode 18

Here is Megan and Dave’s 18th episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 26 minute long podcast episode, we talk about the Holy Spirit. We also chat about:

  • Ghosts!
  • Why ghosts always seem to be Victorian
  • Why people believe in ghosts
  • Seriously, we talked too much about ghosts…
  • & How we have experienced the Holy Spirit in our lives

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Podcast Episode 17

Here is Megan and Dave’s 17th episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 21 minute long podcast episode, we talk about forgiving over and over again. We also chat about:

  • Anti-social sheep
  • Statistics
  • The time we thought our dog ran away, but she was asleep while deaf
  • How to reach out to people who left a community
  • Eating dinners with sinners

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!