Who are the Joneses?

Ever since I was in junior high, I’ve been the kind of person who cuts things out of magazines and plasters them to her wall. As an adult, I try to keep myself from doing this–it isn’t a very “mature” way to decorate, after all–but sometimes I can’t help myself. Often these days, it’s not magazine clippings but quotes, prayers, or scripture. I write them out on index cards and use the old fashioned method of scotch tape to fasten them to the wall right above our computer. I spend a lot of time at the computer, and when my mind wanders or my eyes glaze over, these are good reminders of what is important.

Recently, I came across this page in the Compassion magazine (click on the image to enlarge it).

It’s rather startling. The bottom half Continue reading

Surviving Disasters & Messing with Texas

I love when people read an article or hear a radio broadcast about community and think of Texas Schmexas. It warms my heart and reminds me that the “work” done in these parts is not done in vain.

Two items were brought to my attention in the last few days that might be of interest to you, if as I assume you are interested in community. (Why else are you spending your valuable minutes reading this blog post?)

Continue reading

Who are the Joneses?

Ever since I was in junior high, I’ve been the kind of person who cuts things out of magazines and plasters them to her wall. As an adult, I try to keep myself from doing this–it isn’t a very “mature” way to decorate, after all–but sometimes I can’t help myself. Often these days, it’s not magazine clippings but quotes, prayers, or scripture. I write them out on index cards and use the old fashioned method of scotch tape to fasten them to the wall right above our computer. I spend a lot of time at the computer, and when my mind wanders or my eyes glaze over, these are good reminders of what is important.

Recently, I came across this page in the Compassion magazine (click on the image to enlarge it).

It’s rather startling. The bottom half Continue reading

Sabbath Meditation: Conspiring Together

We recently shared a meal and conversation with some radical folks in our Nearest Big City. And when I say “radical,” trust me, I mean it. It’s good to have these conversations and be tugged out of your comfort zone every once in awhile.

Will O’Brien, who was passing through the area, was the featured guest of the evening. O’Brien serves as the coordinator of the Alternative Seminary in Philadelphia and is on the editorial board of Conspire, a “quarterly magazine of faith, art, justice, and community.”

That’s a roundabout way of explaining how I got a copy of Conspire into my hands.

Conspire is a pretty crazy little publication, and I recommend it if you’re feeling a little bit crazy yourself. Their tagline is “Plotting Goodness.” (You can view the recent issue on their website here by clicking on the magazine cover.)

Since J & I spent a lot of time in the car recently, trucking it across a few states, I pulled out the issue called “Economy of God: Your Money or Your Life” and  read some of it out loud, including Melanie Hopson’s article, “Mama Is Feeling Lucky.” Hopson wrote about attempting to live on one dollar a day for forty days as “a spiritual experiment.” In the middle of Hopson’s article, I came across a quote attributed to St. Basil the Great that made my chest tighten up.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I couldn’t breathe.

Even when I reread it this morning, it made me kind of slump forward in my chair and go numb, except for that tightness in my chest.

And then I thought, what better way to begin the week, right? So here’s a Sabbath meditation for today.

When someone steals another’s clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money you hoard belongs to the poor.

The bread in your cupboard. The unused coat and shoes in your closet. The money in your bank account.

And Basil the Great lived in the fourth century, folks.

Maybe we should do a little more conspiring together.