This week we are going to be talking about a couple of different things. First, we are going to talk about times where politicians, civic leaders, pastors and others use the phrase “our thoughts and prayers are with you.” We’ll be going through how that can sound extremely hollow sometimes and why.
Secondly, we are going to talk about what are called “petitionary prayers” and why they are an important aspect of prayer life.
As always, if you would like to join the conversation, don’t hesitate to ask questions, offer critiques, or seek clarification in the comment section below!
Recently a friend invited me to speak to Intervarsity students at UCSB on how the Holy Spirit leads us to action. More specifically, she asked if I would talk about racial reconciliation. Unsure of what I was getting myself into, I agreed, believing this would be a good opportunity to flesh out some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for a while. Little did I know how much this process of writing a talk would spur my passions and convictions about reconciliation and peacemaking. Below is an adapted version of my talk about racial reconciliation and multi-ethnic community. In many ways I feel like this barely scratches the surface. But I also believe that this is a good place to start and I am hopeful for whatever comes next.
The New Year brings all sorts of things to mind. New ideas, new projects, new passions. I am excited to announce that I have teamed up with a friend of mine to start a theology vlog! It is entitled “Thursday’s Theology” and it combines two of my favorite things, video games and theology. If you […]
Ok. Take a deep breath. (Perhaps this is more a reminder for myself than for you, the reader, but I encourage you to do so nonetheless). It has now been a week since Donald Trump was elected to become the next president of the United States and as the flood of immediate reactions has simmered down, I find that I am finally in a place to express a few thoughts that have been stewing in my mind over the past week – not just in response to the election, but even more importantly in response to people’s reactions.
Now, before I begin, let me just say that politics has never been my favorite topic. I always disliked how worked up I would get or how divisive it felt having to choose sides on issues when the options at hand rarely accounted for nuance and personal experience. And yet, somehow, I let myself get sucked in this time. I think I justified it at first by reminding myself that I needed to be informed and wanted to engage in social issues and that I had a responsibility to take my vote seriously, etc. And yes, those are all good things, but now that the election is over, I realized that despite my best efforts, I was unable to make it through this election season unscathed by the drama, the overgeneralized opinions and the continued polarization that has increased division in this country. Read More »
I grew up privileged. There, I said it. Even though I have a mixed background from both my mom and dad’s side of the family, I grew up with a fair complexion. I passed as white my entire life. It has not been until recently that I have realized how deep that privilege is engrained into my identity. What I mean is that the color of my skin has never been the cause for the cops to pull me over. The color of my eyes and type of hair I have never caused a store owner to watch me suspiciously while I shop. I have never been told to go back to where I came from and I have never been told that I am less American than others. My privilege has allowed me to avoid much of the hatred slung at people of color, women, immigrants, etc. In her last post, my wife spoke of the need to continue the conversation about race. This is my effort to wrestle with my own privilege and bring awareness to the way people of color are treated in the United States. Read More »
I must be honest. I have been hesitant to write this post for many reasons. First of all, I am neither black nor white. So I was wary of entering into a conversation where my perspective and understanding of people’s experiences is rather limited. However, I came to realize that while the #blacklivesmatter movement has been the focal point of racial tension in the U.S. to day, the responsibility of learning how to better navigate race relations is on all of us. We (society as a whole) cannot reduce to simply a black issue or a police issue. It is a societal issue. And we must each take individual responsibility for how we shape the society and culture around us.
In the past month or so, I have had the amazing opportunity to attend a couple of different lectures. One was on Violence in the Old Testament (a topic which I have often had trouble with) and the other on Using Privilege & Power for Justice. Both of these events triggered a side of me that I haven’t seen much of in the four years since I graduated from college. This surprised me for a couple of reasons. Not only is it hard for me to believe that it really has been four years since I graduated, but I was surprised by how fired up these lectures got me. I mean, really fired up. Sure, those who know me know that I love nerding out on a variety of topics (especially religion/theology in conjunction with social justice), but I feel like these two events triggered something else that I am still trying to process. Perhaps the best way to describe what I am feeling a is deep desire to dialogue.