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Showing posts from January, 2019

Differently than this

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(You can read more about the story here and here).

Over the weekend, an explosive controversy unfolded rapidly on social media responding to an incident Friday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.  Groups of people gathered in the same place with different agendas, all operating on stereotypes, assumptions and prejudices.  And in the hours that followed, in the social media firestorm that was unleashed WE operated on stereotypes, assumptions and prejudices.  Here are some of the snap judgments that may have been in play:  MAGA wearing, white males = perpetrators. 
Native American elder = wise. 
Black people = victims.  
It's Simple. 
Except the kids were shouting school spirit chants, trying to figure out their way through an overwhelming situation.  The Elder inserted himself in, trying to change the dynamic he thought was occurring, adding to the confusion and fear.  And the Black people were the ones yelling racial slurs and demeaning things at other groups - for two hours.  

Cue …

What's Your Identity?

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Luke 3:15;17, 21-22
There are things that happen to us in our lives that come to define us. They are the things that most make us who we are. Some of them happen before we are even born – where we are born, the color of our skin, our gender, our DNA that comes with its own timeline and traits, handed down from our ancestors or parents, that predisposes us to disease, temper or genius, a biological tendency toward addiction, or a mind for math.  
Then there are things that happen to us when we are young – particular experiences, like the loss of a parent, a childhood spent moving around from place to place, an exceptionally encouraging teacher, an acutely abusive coach, an accident or illness, or a relentlessly reoccurring message about what it will take to be accepted by our family or community.  
Then, there are the things we experience or choose, the opportunities open or doors closed to us, the advantages or struggles that set the stage for our lives, the terrible mistakes or the soar…

No longer settling for stories

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Matthew 2:1-12
In our house, on Christmas Eve we leave cookies and a note for Santa, and Santa has always written back.  The notes vary, but have always carried similar, strong themes.  But much to Andy’s and my surprise, it’s largely gone unnoticed, until this year, when age, maturity, and a reluctantly rethought story have shined a different light on the notes’ consistent contents over the years.  This year, Santa’s response read, “Dear Maisy, Thank you for the cookies.  First, Sorry is in order. A reindeer deer pooped by the tree. I had Khaleesi clean it. What a nice dog. So sweet, and talking about sweet, what a dad!  One of a kind!  I love that guy.  He really helped me with some Mrs. Claus issues! Wise. So glad to call him a friend. All the best!  Santa”
Nobody likes to have their stories taken away.  We hang onto our stories for all sorts of reasons.  Even if they don’t make sense or don’t correspond to our experience of the world, we often keep telling the same stories. They coul…