"Caught My Eye" Begins Tomorrow.

Caught My Eye
Tomorrow sees the start of “Caught My Eye.” Right now, the intention is for the feature to be three things:

  • A weekly feature at The Life Mosaic.
  • Five items I experienced over the week and want to share.
  • A space to offer your thoughts and share your own items.

This may fluctuate in the future but for now, anticipate the above recipe.
Social media has been an excellent way to share new ideas, innovative designs, moving art and writing, and fun stuff that’s just plain awesome. Friends are great about posting links to interesting articles and blog posts or the latest funny video of the week and these can become a nice addition to one’s facebook | twitter | rss feed. For me, I often find myself bookmarking the things passed along to me which catch my attention the most, make me think or feel the most. I’ve decided to make The Life Mosaic a new way to bookmark these items as well as pass them along to readers who might be interested, too.
Each week, likely on Thursdays, I’ll put up a post with (at least) five items which caught my eye. They may be

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Sorry, God, That's Not Our Policy.

2013.02.07 Sorry God That's Not Our Policy
This morning I read a news story explaining that the pastor from the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in Newton, CT had to issue an apology to the LCMS president for participating in a prayer vigil two days after the murder of innocent adults and children because leaders of other faith traditions also participated.
Here’s a highlight from Pastor Rob’s apology letter (read the entire letter for context here):

To those who believe that I have endorsed false teaching, I assure you that was not my intent, and I give you my unreserved apologies. If any of you know church members or friends or family who are now confused because of my participation, believing that the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod fully endorses the doctrine of anyone else who was on that stage, please correct this confusion lovingly, and I will personally be happy to help in any way that I can. Feel free to pass on my apologies for having given that impression.

Here’s an excerpt from LCMS President Harrison’s open letter response (read the entire letter for context here):

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A Closer Look #4 Looking Back on the First Month of The Life Mosaic.

A Closer Look
My first month writing for this new blog has been wonderful. You’ve got to love it when you learn something from what works, what doesn’t, and can still walk away feeling good about it. Here are some of my observations as I take a closer look at the first month of creating The Life Mosaic. Consider this a “journal” entry (or as Lisa Simpson would write, “Dear Log…”).
1. I’ve loved dusting off my writing chops.
Really, I don’t do all that much writing these days that isn’t for work or academic purposes. To write with passion on a project that’s all my own, something I want to share with other people without expectations on them or me, that’s been something absent for too long. Now that I gave it space for a month, it’s a lovely feeling having it back. It’s an old friend who’s familiar and fresh at the same time. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself or cringe about what I put out there. When I succeed, the writing goes better. The writing is fun.
2. Embracing the mosaic means openness and boundaries.
Many blogs are laser-focused and really, that’s the way to go. For my purposes, though, I’ve simply got too many ideas in too many areas of life buzzing around my head. I’d have to set up nearly a dozen blogs if I wanted to

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Dr. James Dobson's Theology Is Heartbreaking.

2013.01.15 James Dobson Is Wrong
Dr. James Dobson addressed the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on his weekly radio program last month. You can listen to the entire 25:55 episode to hear the founder of Focus on the Family in full context. Below is a the piece of what he said that has left people like me in disbelief:

Our country really does seem in complete disarray. I’m not talking politically, I’m not talking about the result of the November sixth election; I am saying that something has gone wrong in America and that we have turned our back on God.

I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me and we have killed 54 million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition. Believe me, that is going to have consequences, too.

And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the scripture and on God almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on.

I am constructing my theology. I don’t have it all formed yet. And really, forming never stops! And yet, something about this does not sit well with me. When I read this and listen to it, I believe Dr. Dobson is intentionally implying God has judged the US because there is legalized abortion and legislation and conversation surrounding marriage equality and the tragedy at Sandy Hook is a direct consequence of God’s judgment as we “turned our back on God” for these reasons.
I have three thoughts on this:
1. I think Dr. Dobson’s timing is unfortunate at best.

Dr. Dobson made these comments on Monday, December 17, 2012. That’s three days after the slayings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Only one day after the first memorial service for two of the victims, two boys aged six. One day after persons of faith experienced what their own pastor had to offer on the situation and one day to process what one of their most trusted faith mentors offered in prayerful thought. One day after people were back at back at work, back at school, back to regular ol’ “weekdays.” That’s not a lot of time.
The following phrase gets used

Read moreDr. James Dobson's Theology Is Heartbreaking.

Four Videos on Being a Salad.

2013.01.06 Four Videos on Being a Salad

I came across a handful of videos about what it means to live in and live as a mosaic within “salad” terminology and thought I’d share them with you.

This professor, Dr. Magala, clearly defines and contrasts the melting pot and the salad. He points out the risks of the salad, that a group or groups can be made the scapegoat or discriminated against if they “stand out” too much. The video’s intended audience is student learners in entrepreneurial work but I think it gets the point across quickly and succinctly. Plus, the bit of humor at the end is classic.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ctb5s1sRwQ?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

On the other hand, there’s Rick Santorum’s

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Melting Pot, No. Mosaic, Yes.

2013.01.02 Melting Pot No, Mosaic Yes

The term “Melting Pot” does not agree with me, or is it the other way around? The United States has long been called the melting pot of the world as immigrants from many walks of life descend upon the nation from all four corners of the globe. The idea is that as these persons of various cultures meet up in the US, identities are fused together into a new identity, a US identity, which emerges hot and ready to be molded from this melting pot. Unfortunately, that concept ends up marginalizing many real persons and holds up exclusivity as an ideal.

Essentially, calling the US a melting pot is to tell immigrants to abandon their cultural heritage for the dominant culture and, in the US of A, that means white culture. The lesser parts melt away and the best endures and that is what is to be poured out amongst the people and cast in their lives. Whether those who coined the term or those who continue to use it today understand these implications is

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I am a mosaic.

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There is excitement in being sure and unsure at the same time. To enjoy ritual and tradition while dipping a toe into waters creative and fresh. And to be in seeming contradiction on purpose, with intention, that is most exciting at all. That’s what it is to see one as living the life mosaic.

Around a year ago I read some material for a course on young adults and the church. Sociologists studying trends in and outside the church sought to answer to a big question: “What is young people’s relationship with the church?” Some churches congregations see many young adults but overall, many young adults simply don’t “do church.” That’s a subject for another time. Today I want to focus on some language these writers used to describe young adults.

  1. In You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church… and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman of the Barna Group, he describes how his firm defines what is often referred to as Millennials or Gen Y as “Mosaics” because “it reflects their eclectic relationships, thinking styles, and learning formats,” and so on. Kinnaman further explains mosaics, amongst other details, also

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