I would love to rant about Donald Trump. The whole GOP is like a fiery car crash right now—everything stops so we can gawk at the latest collision. We feel horrible for those involved, and a little terrified about how it all affects us.
Increasingly, people ask me, “How do you do what you do?” They want to know how to become a writer, speaker, or consultant. I wouldn’t be a speaker or a consultant if I didn’t write a book, so I’ll start with how to write a book.
If you're new to the podcast world (it's grown so much lately!), then by all means, check out God Complex Radio. Not because I co-host it, but because we have some of the best religious thinkers and writers on the show. We've been doing it for years.
This summer, I worked with the good people of UNCO to start a publishing company. We published our first book, Faithful Resistance, by Rick Ufford-Chase. In it, Rick brings together a chorus of voices. In this midst of the shattering violence of this week, I want to introduce you to one of those voices, in particular. Annanda Barclay writes about why Black Lives Matter.
In Ohio, an angry Donald Trump responds after he tweeted an anti-Semitic image of Hillary Clinton from a white supremacist group. He blasts the media for their criticism of the image: “They’re racial profiling, they’re profiling. Not us.” How is this even possible? Two black men are killed by police. Brutally and violently. And a billionaire white man, with every privilege in the world, says he’s the victim.
In this time of our church history, when going to a service is no longer a societal expectation and people don’t necessarily make business connections in the pews, preaching has become more important. We’re working against the general inertia that keeps people in their sheets and reading the newspaper on Sunday morning.
As I work today, my mind travels to the United Methodist clergy who came out as LGBTQ before the General Conference, to challenge the denomination’s policy which bans the ordination of “practicing homosexuals.” While the number is stunning, I keep thinking of each individual person who has risked their livelihood and calling, for this historic moment.
Someone took offense at my writing recently, and he (I’m assuming) responded on Twitter with an avatar with the profile of John Calvin. I had written something about loving LGBTQ friends and how I had changed my mind about marriage equality.
We are witnessing the Tea Party’s bitter seepage. They’ve been redrawing voting districts and running people for office, taking over state and local governments. We’ve watched, aghast as the Koch cronies took seats in Washington.
It’s important to understand the dysfunctions at church as systems. We know this. Most of us learn this in seminary. But then we get caught up in things, and it all feels so personal. So it’s good to remind ourselves of the reasons why systemic thinking makes sense.
Each year, I fast for Lent. The process is always transformative. After doing something for forty days, it becomes easier to maintain the discipline after Easter. The habit becomes a part of me, and my cravings shift. And so, over the years, I stopped consuming fried things, sugary drinks, and meat. I’ve learned to appreciate my wheat whole instead of bleached.