Holy Land 2015 | Context and Set-Up

I’ll be blogging about my Holy Land pilgrimage this and next week. Just a quick note from the airport to say thank you much for following my blog. Two quick photos and a few notes to kick things off:
1. I am not Holy Land expert! I’ll do my best to be honest, complete, and even-handed as I learn and experience on this journey. The politics of the past and present in this place sacred to so many is

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Help: I Think I'm Going Vegetarian for Lent!

That, my friends, is a Jucy Lucy. A cheeseburger with bubbling hot cheese magma waiting to burst forth as bubbling hot cheese lava coating the surface of your tongue, lips, and cheek as you bite into the delicious 100% all-American ground beef. And did I mention the fried onions on top? Or dipping french fries … Read more Help: I Think I'm Going Vegetarian for Lent!

When Men Are Boys.

2013.01.17 When Men Are Boys
I didn’t mean to become an adult who plays video games but it happened. I think video games all have tremendous capacity to be art even if the vast majority of them are a commercial product first, art second (video games are, after all, a $67 billion industry).
I’ve played the first Dead Island and there’s plenty of fun scares in the all-out zombie mayhem. It’s also impossible to miss the digital “bikini babes” everywhere. Sure, 99% of them are grotesque walking corpses who want to give my character a masticated makeover but

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Never Say, "I Was Just Going to Say…"

2013.01.30 Don't Say I Was Just Going to Say
You’ve experienced this a hundred times. Two people start to speak at the same time. They both stop. She says, “You go.” He says, “Well, I was just going to say…”
That’s apology language when apology isn’t necessary.
The other person gave you a gift. In a moment when both of you put your excitement for the conversation on the table, she gave you a turn. She’s not waiting to talk. She’s not angry that

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When (Not) to Press for an Excuse.

2013.01.27 When Not to Press for an Excuse

I’m in a position through my vocation to throw a lot of opportunity at people and see what happens. Some of them leap at it, some need a little more coaxing, and others always have an excuse.

I recently asked several people to step up for a service opportunity. A small handful said “yes” immediately. I got a few excuses, too, nothing out of the ordinary. Then there was this young man who simply told me this:

I can’t, sorry.

In a strange way, I sort of respected him more for

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Community Breathes In, Breathes Out.

2013.01.017 Communities Breathe In, Breathe Out
Communities, like any civilization or organization, are born, live, and fade. To focus on how communities live, one must consider how they breathe.
As persons enter a community, they are drawn in with long, life-giving breath. The lungs of gathering fill and persons interact intensely, vibrantly, like tiny little oxygen molecules do their tiny dance. And just when it seems like the lungs of gathering can’t hold a single more person, yet another is breathed in, and another, and another.
Communities also breathe out. Persons leave gatherings for many reasons. Time, distance, disagreement, misunderstanding, shift in passion, unplanned or uncontrollable disruption. When a community breathes out it doesn’t mean it’s dead. When a community is at its peak capacity and starts the slow leak or even the blustering gale scattering its members, it can feel like death because it isn’t “what it used to be.”
But that’s how community works.
We are breathed in, we are breathed out. When we

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