Saturday, July 18, 2009

Justice and the Outward Turn

Most of the moving boxes have been unpacked, and I am settling into my new role as Director of the Peace and Justice Center at St. Norbert College. A friend saw my new title and asked, "Peace AND justice? Aren't those kind of antithetical? I can see one or the other, but how can you have both?" 
If justice consists of getting even, he would be right. Cycles of retribution do not bring peace; they prolong war. But if justice means establishing what is good and right, then it flows with peace in a single stream. 
By grace, we are expected to stand in it. Regardless of our job descriptions, we share a calling to champion human dignity and be a voice for the voiceless. That is part of the outward turn that we talk about in LifeSpace. It is the spiritual discipline of loving others well, the transformation in which the Spirit lifts our gaze beyond the contemplation of our own selves, toward an ever-increasing love of God and others. 
"Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

Monday, December 22, 2008

LifeSpace Sermon Links

Here are some links to recent sermons in which I have been privileged to share messages connected to LifeSpace:

Frisco Bible Church (August 31, 2008)
Audio and Slides

Tulsa Bible Church (October 26, 2008) 
Videos of morning and evening services

I am one of those people who does not enjoy watching or listening to himself, so I have not sat through these links myself. If you do listen, please let us know what you think!


Monday, January 07, 2008

Grief and Grace in Kenya

Last week we watched with grief and grave concern as violence rocked the nation of Kenya. When the incumbent president was declared to be the winner of December elections, protesters took out their frustration on members of his tribe—the Kikuyu—and anyone else thought to be in league with him. As one of my Kenyan co-workers put it, “the tribal dragon raised its head.”

In scenes that brought to mind still fresh images from the Rwandan genocide, crowds marched with sticks and machetes and peaceful streets became gauntlets of fear. Shopping stalls, petrol stations, and trucks were ablaze on the streets of Nairobi. In Eldoret, attackers burned a church where families had sought shelter, killing at least fifty people inside. Things have quieted this week, but throughout the country as many as half a million people remain displaced from their homes.

“Never have we imagined that this could happen in Kenya.” Kenyans themselves have been shocked by the country’s rapid slide to the brink of genocide.

May they now be surprised by grace.

I received the following report from another Kenyan co-worker:
Yesterday my husband and I attended a prayer meeting at All Saints Cathedral that had been convened by the National Alliance of Churches. This was a united prayer to bring repentance to the Lord. The Church is suffering a credibility gap as it has been much divided. The lines dividing the people are the same ones dividing the Church. Thus this prayer meeting was for Church leaders to evaluate themselves and repent before the Lord and their fellow leaders. It was a very moving service; there were tears all over. The Media was politely asked to leave so that the leaders could lay themselves bear before the Lord and each other. A Kikuyu Bishop stood up to represent his tribe and invited a Luo Bishop and repented for the sins his tribe had committed against the Luos. This went on for sometime as Church leaders from different tribes repeated this.

Major political leaders were present at the service as well, remaining silent except to participate in the prayers of repentance.

Caravans of relief supplies have already begun rolling down Kenyan highways. More are being readied. Life-giving words of reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace-building will quickly follow.

By the grace of God, may they step back from the brink.


Friday, December 21, 2007

On the Radio Again

We have been enjoying the opportunity to talk about LifeSpace on the radio. All the hosts have been well-prepared and truly delightful, but our favorite interview to date was with Kerby Anderson on "Point of View." Kerby is an old friend of ours and a former co-worker of Bob's, but this interview was especially fun because we joined him in the studio.

It always helps to see someone's face when you are in a conversation! Here is a link to that show, which aired on December 19: Enjoy!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Fashion Trend

Everyone at the Asian American Baptist Church retreat left with a new favorite shirt!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

On the Radio

What better to make available on "Our Voice" than our voices? Here are links to a radio interview that we did last week with Debbie Chavez of KGMI, a talk radio station in Seattle.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Book Signing

Yesterday we covered the metroplex from one end to the other, visiting Mardel stores in Fort Worth, Arlington, and Mesquite. Thanks to the good folks at Mardel for making that happen!