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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Funeral

Always Go to the Funeral : NPR.

Growing up in the South and attending a small country church, I went to my fair share of receiving friends and attending funerals. They typically had the same format, with singing, preaching, a march (occasional drive) to the graveyard for a graveside service, and then that’s it. I’ve never experience any big fight at a funeral between families, though I have seen my share of people overcome by their grief. It;s sorta awkward, but you ignore it. Their hurting. In pain. It’s human. You stand silently in respect as they finish. You honor them.

And yet you understand that in some small way, you are fulfilling a duty. A duty to honor those who have lost someone, and to in some way honor the one who is gone. But it’s more. You honor your community by showing that in the greatest need of a few, the majority comes through. Death brings us all on the same playing field. No one is exempt. And as such, it makes going to the funeral that much more important. It solidifies what may have been unspoken all along: I know you, I care for you, and I’m sorry that you have went through this loss.

Going to the funeral is not so much about you fulfilling your duty as much as it is about you representing the community to the ones who need it most.

As Sullivan notes in the article,

“Always go to the funeral” means that I have to do the right thing when I really, really don’t feel like it. I have to remind myself of it when I could make some small gesture, but I don’t really have to and I definitely don’t want to. I’m talking about those things that represent only inconvenience to me, but the world to the other guy. You know, the painfully under-attended birthday party. The hospital visit during happy hour. The Shiva call for one of my ex’s uncles. In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.”

It’s a good word and makes sense of something which people feel, even if they’re not the ones exceptionally close to the family.

Go to the funeral. Show honor to the community. Support the family. Be involved in the body of humanity.

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Christian Gay's

LGBT group finds acceptance at evangelical college.

As I watched violent protest on my television tonight concerning the Trayvon Martin case against Mr. Zimmermann, I flip through some random internet browsing and came across this piece: Fuller Theological Seminary now allowing and accepting a LGBT group onto their campus.

As the article indicts Biola University for quashing a similar group, it praises Fuller for their openness. Yet, Fuller seems to have a contradiction on their hands, in prohibiting pre-marital sexual relations between its students and yet promoting same-sex clubs which encourage them to embrace all aspects of their sexuality, which one might also understand to contain physical intercourse. But perhaps not!?

What is obviously clear is that many more institutions which claim to be centered upon the gospel of Christ and the Scripture as the very Word of God will also condone actions and activities that are demarcated within the very corpus of Christian teaching as wrong. But perhaps not!?

Maybe Fuller desires a club where those who are professing Christians might also come alongside one another to take better stock of what it means to be gay, and I assume bi-sexual or transgender as well. It seems that we mustn’t forget the B and T, and only focus on the L and G, right? Perhaps the members of the club desire to be Christian’s who understand the struggle of same-sex attraction but resist that as sin in order to better serve Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Well, that sounds better but it also doesn’t sound any different from the umpteen number of guys and gals who are professing Christians and also peruse and meander through search engines for their next porno fix. Ah, the irony seems apparent and yet this is the rationale of the world today. And yet there seems another, deeper issue at stake.

Now to be skeptical or concerned about a group like this is to be intolerant and even worse, I think, inhumane, for as one lady puts it in the final sections of the article, and I paraphrase: the issue is no longer about what is acceptable, but about what is less inhumane. Well, if that’s the case then, we’ve come along way in this country in thinking that it is humane to abort baby fetuses and decry the nuclear family whereas we champion an attack against the “inhumanity” of questioning one’s sexual orientation or their desire. There’s a lot of ambiguity going on there, and in a country focused on human rights, there’s an awful lot of ignorance about even beginning to understand and define what is human. I think we have the cart before the horse here, folks!

Well, that’s my musing on the article. It would behoove you to read it when you can. It is filled with some delicious contradictions, though they are the sorrowful sort, for they are not ones which decry the intelligence of the author’s literary capability but they are actual logical fallacies which decry the extent of how low the human heart has fallen and the platform now in which those things are championed across the borders.

Admittedly, I still have an incredible amount of thinking to do in my understanding of this movement, and not just in regard to the decision reached by Fuller. So, I pass this along to you, my readers, and trust you will find it beneficial to your own thinking about the issues that are alive and well today.

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Mat Kearney

Mat Kearney – Ships In The Night – YouTube.

Heard this song today, and totally loved these lyrics. The song is about a fight that he has with his wife and how they’re working on learning to be a couple that get’s through their problems, but I love hoe he uses these lyrics to indicate the emotional and psychological backdrop from which they’re working. Notice how he relates their individuality to their early, grammar school years only to find that their plans and dreams of life and love would be shattered in the early teenage years, along with the family they grew up with and knew.

While the song speaks to the artists learning how to fight with his wife, I find a deeper meaning in these lyrics and wonder how many more people work through their life and relationships with the same framework. Here are the lyrics, and you can check out the music video below.

“Chasing your dreams since the violent 5th grade
Trying to believe in your silent own way
Cause we’ll be ok… I’m not going away
Like you watched at fourteen as it went down the drain”

“And pops stayed the same and your moms moved away
How many of our parents seem to make it anyway
We’re just fumbling through the grey
Trying find a heart that’s not walking away” – Mat Kearney

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Scary stories

What Happens When You Deprive Children of Scary Stories – Justin Taylor.

This is an excellent post. It seems today that there is a tendency to either let children take in all that culture has to offer or to minimize and cut off all access to the outside world. Yet I think this has been the struggle of parents throughout history, though living in 21st century, modernized America with its politically correct atmosphere does engender stranger attitudes.

Children are more apt to be sheltered from death and talk of religion and the supernatural, because they frankly might never have to face it. However, in life even into the early 1900’s, life was a precarious issue and walking out your door, as Bilbo once put it, was a very dangerous business.

But this link offers more than just a commentary on cultural issues, for it seems that scary stories are good for your soul. Just think of The Brother’s Grimm and what those stories have done for a veritable cultural renaissance (pretty sure almost all Disney fairy-tale’s take their cue from here). And what about Harry Potter for the last generation. Lord Voldemort, errr, he-who-must-not-be-named, was capturing the minds of children around the world as they were subconsciously dealing with learning to be a hero as they identified with the three protagonists and felt every bit of pain and struggle as they read and watched the story unfold.

So, are scary stories a way to build the imagination and moral formation of the next upcoming generation? Read the story and tell me what you think!?

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http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/june/bono-interview-with-focus-on-family-jim-daly.html?paging=off

Great post here!!!

What does HIV, the exclusivity of Jesus, Scripture, and punk rock all have in common: this interview with Bono.

Check it out. It’s amazing!

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Supreme Court strikes federal marriage provision – Yahoo! News.

Big news today coming down from our law makers!

Obviously opinions have been weighed and will continue to be given. The Conservatives mourn and wallow in shock and disbelief. The Liberals celebrate and gloat in revelry and fan fare. But then that itself is already half the problem. Do you see it!? People are labeled by opposing sides and then described by that sides presuppositions.

For my two cents: As a gen Y-er or Millennial I am sick and tired of the debate and am convinced that those of a Conservative mindset are fighting a losing battle, as a culture bent upon its own desires will eventually get what it wants. And they should be aware of that, especially those who are professing Christians, for in their own lives they, myself included, ignore the ideal and right way for our selfish impulses of sinful lust. As for the Liberal agenda: I’m glad that you’ve been given this opportunity for legal equality, but hope that in all you gloating and ranting that you have finally arrived, you also take time to consider the bigger issues of your personal health and cultural impact. You wanted to be married to a same-sex lover? Well, here you go. But, please also take the responsibility to educate your loved ones and the surrounding culture on the statistics of your eventual health problems, as you are statistically greater off in having more and greater complications. Also, please be prepared to educate, and be involved in, the education of your children, because the cultural mindset we have now is ill equipped to deal with counseling children that have same-sex parents. You need to take the time to serve on the education committees and be leaders in making the way in helping the culture at large understand your new place and the voice you have been given. Don’t sit back and let others do the work. You wanted the privilege. You got it. Now, honor your new responsibilities as well. And, please don’t bull-doze your agenda down our throats. Regardless of how you feel about being bull-dozed over the last 40 years by conservatively minded people, in your victory have grace and teach others. Set the example and act like the human beings you all want us to recognize and accept.

I hope that both sides will begin treating one another like human beings and not lobbying practice dummies. A more thoughtful approach is needed on ALL sides concerning ALL the issues. Unfortunately, I have no hope that we are now living, or have been living, in a culture where that is possible in the last 40 years or so. But I’m willing to be proven wrong.

Check out the article if you have some time, and blessings to you all.

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Family Culture

U.Va. Study Identifies Four Family Cultures in America | UVA Today.

I came across this link yesterday, courtesy of Justin Holcomb on Twitter. Justin has a PhD in Sociology, from Virginia I think, and is also a pastor for Mars Hill in Seattle.

The article is eye-opening, yet surprising. I was expecting a multitude of different family networks, as the “family” is, or appears to be, rapidly changing before our eyes. And I’m not talking about issues related to Homosexuality or Feminism or Conservative lobbying. I’m talking about issues based upon socio-economic factors, which have largely shaped our family values and makeup.

I think the most surprising thing for me was the family culture #2, and the stereotypical study was the Blue Collar family, although I think it is true of much of what they say.

Of course this is only sociological and their are many other issues to consider, which go down to the very individuals themselves. Nevertheless, this is a good and accurate representation of the different family models you can come to expect and interact with on a daily basis, whether you work in customer service, teach children, do financial consulting, etc….

Enjoy the link and leave a comment about your views and agreements or disagreements.

Blessings!!!

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