Monthly Archives: October 2009

A Labor Of Love


My husband and I participated in this last year and it was great.  Unfortunately we were not able to participate this year but plan on joining in again next year.  It is truly a labor of love.

A group of volunteers gave four Haltom City homes a makeover. In just 24 hours, some 1,600 volunteers completed home renovations for the much-deserving families.

The home makeovers come courtesy of the NorthWood Church in Keller. This is the third year that NorthWood has provided home makeovers for families in Haltom City.

The families being helped were all selected based on their need. “There’s something about the time frame and the urgency of it that makes it that much more,” said volunteer Andy Wallace.

Those involved with the project say the renovation isn’t only for the homes, but the soul as well. “God said, ‘Go out and help the needy and the poor’, so what better way to come out and serve the Lord than to help these folks out?” Wallace asked.

The makeovers include painting, replacing flooring, landscaping, decorating, new furniture and decorative items, appliance replacement or repair and other things you would expect.  This year mini-makeovers were added for the houses on the streets where the home makeovers were taking place.  The mini-makeovers included yard work, exterior painting and other small jobs.

The teams start working on Friday afternoon and work through the night and into Saturday.  The big reveal happens about 5PM that Saturday.

Be sure and click on the picture above to see CBS coverage.

Rush Limbaugh: Mindreader


Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh got all worked up Friday by this fake quote attributed to the Columbia University thesis of President Barack Obama.

 “… the Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy.”

Conservative author Michael Ledeen had posted the phony quote on his blog last Wednesday. Ledeen reports that he found it on another site and didn’t notice that it was tagged as satire.

The Rush Limbaugh Show did not properly fact check the quote and rushed to the airwaves with it so Limbaugh could use it as a launching pad to berate President Barack Obama.

Do you think Limbaugh apologized to his listeners and to Obama when he realized it was a fake quote? No. He said what he did was okay because that’s how Obama thinks anyway.

It seems that Limbaugh can now read minds. That power is going to make his job a lot easier.

Climate Change – Asking The Right Questions

This post is for Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

In 1988 “Beds Are Burning”, Midnight Oil’s infectious rocker, brought the issue of reparations for indigenous peoples to the global spotlight, and now Time For Climate Justice has gathered musicians and movie stars to transform the song into an anthem that demands action for the upcoming climate conference in Copenhagen.

In December of this year, the United Nations will meet to decide on the replacement of the Kyoto protocol, a defining agreement that will determine the future of our planet in the face of the climate crisis. People around the world are dying today as a result of climate change and without our collective action, this will continue. The people who are suffering the most from climate change happen to be those who have done the least to cause it and have the least resources to do anything about it.  In other words, climate change is above all a justice issue.

For example Ally Ouedraogo has been farming his land on the edge of the Sahel in Burkino Faso for two decades, but in recent years climate change has made it much more difficult for him to grow his crops. As the dry seasons in the region have got dryer, the quality of the soil has deteriorated dramatically. It’s a familiar story everywhere for farmers and their communities in the developing world as climate change begins to take a heavy toll.

Scientists predict that at the current rate of carbon emissions tens of millions more people will go hungry in the next couple of decades as agricultural yields diminish across the globe.  And if nothing is done to stem a rise of 2°C in global average temperatures by 2050 they say 250 million more people will be forced to leave their homes, 30 million more people will go hungry as agricultural yields go into recession across the globe, and one to three billion people will suffer acute water shortages.

I hear many Christians asking “should we care about climate change and the environment?”  But I think those are the wrong questions to be asking ourselves.  Instead I think we should be asking “as Christians, should we care about people who are forced to leave their homes, who will go hungry and suffer water shortages due to climate changes that they did not cause and cannot do anything about?”

In other words we should be asking ourselves… “should we care about justice?”

Go here to find steps you can take to limit greenhouse gas emissions

Go here and here to find out how to take political action.

Go here to donate to help those who are suffering the most from climate change.

We Never Recover Until We Forgive

Catching up on all the great stuff in my google reader this week and just had to share this great video I found over at Missio Dei where Jonathan Brink wrote a great post about True Justice.  The video is about forgiveness with Mary Karen Read’s last words in her journal entry before her death at the Virginia tech shooting.  I have to warn you – it will probably make you cry.

A Modern Telling Of The Beatitudes


Rob Bell recently tweeted a modern telling of The Beatitudes and my friend Jonathan Blundell (@jdblundell) gathered them up and posted them on his blog “Stranger In A Strange Land“. Here they are:

Blessed are those who don’t have it all together.

Blessed are those who have run out of strength, ideas, will power, resolve, or energy.

Blessed are those who ache because of how severely out of whack the world is.

Blessed are those stumble, trip, and fall in the same place again and again.

Blessed are those who on a regular basis have a dark day in which despair seems to be a step behind them wherever they go.

Blessed are you, for God is with you, God is on your side, God meets you in that place.

The gospel is the counter-intuitive, joyous, exuberant news that Jesus has brought the unending, limitless, stunning love of God to even us.

via @realrobbell

More Flawed Opposition To A Public Healthcare Option

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it has become common for people who are against a public healthcare option to use everything they don’t like about the government as their defense.  Just yesterday I heard a radio personality on some Christian radio station say that because he didn’t like the way the speed limit was being set and enforced on a local toll road he was against a public healthcare option.  In other words, if the government has done anything that doesn’t seem right or smart it is scary to think about your healthcare being managed by the government.  This kind of logic is flawed in more than one way.

First and foremost, this kind of defense is fear based.  The people who are using it are in one of two camps – either they want you to be afraid or they are afraid (some may actually be in both camps).  Fear is never a good foundation for making rational decisions.  Fear keeps a lot of good people from doing the right thing everyday.

The logic is also flawed because it compares apples to oranges.  Our government is already involved in several levels of healthcare and seems to manage it fairly well.  That isn’t to say that there are no improvements to be made, but all in all it works.  My mother-in-law lived with us for seven years and I saw first hand how great medicare worked.  My dad was a war veteran and his VA health benefits were wonderful.  My mother-in-law and dad would have been much worse off without these government run programs.

Another reason the defense doesn’t hold water is because other countries make government run healthcare work just fine, and if they can do it, I say, “so can we.”  The opponents of the public option would like you to believe that people in other countries don’t like their healthcare, but time and time again this is proven to not be true.  Because of the wonderful way we can connect with people around the world through online social networking these days, I have friends in Canada and the UK. These friends love their government run healthcare programs, see them as a birthright, depend on them.  The systems work so well that the typically don’t give them a second thought and even take them for granted. We heard what British citizens thought of the NHS, their government run healthcare program, when the twitter hashtag #welovetheNHS trended on Twitter for several days as Brits of all ages and backgrounds tweeted their defense of the NHS.  And shortly after that Matte Black (@Shoq on twitter) and a friend took their video camera on vacation to interview Canadians about their health care system. Watch the video above for yourself.  (My favorite part of the video is the “deer in the headlights” look they get on their face when asked about a copay.)

It’s true – the government is far from perfect, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need the government or that the government can’t do anything good…and it certainly isn’t a good defense for opposing a public healthcare option.

Live Generously


Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously. 

                                                                                              Matthew 10:5 (The Message)

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

I wrote a little poetry inspired by “How Not To Speak Of God” by Pete Rollins.  I hope the poem peaks your interest enough to make you get the book and read it.







We have our divine explanations,

To explain our personal revelations,

Which reveal our very spiritual foundations,

That can get us out of all kinds of situations.


We simply love our theological musings,

That provide us with the perfect solutions,

In order that we may tie everything up nice and neat,

With our final resolutions.


We adore our idolatrous clarifications,

And really enjoy pondering our philosophical representations,

While we bow down before our conceptual creations,

And worship what we conjure up in our holy imaginations.


We don’t really want to think about all the inconsistencies,

And most certainly not about the baffling mysteries,

Of all his mind blowing conflicting identities,

Because we like to believe we understand all the intracies.


We reduce him to a reflection of human rationality,

Never owning up to our finitude or inability,

Refusing to face the obvious inaccessibility,

Because we don’t want to admit the utter impossibility.


We feel better if we believe our doubts and uncertainty,

Are just a stop on the way to spiritual maturity,

We like to babble on and on assuredly,

About comprehending atonement and heavenly eternity.


Our religion has become a science that places God within a realm of reason,

As if we could predict his coming and going the way we do a season,

We know and our knowledge just keeps increasing,

After all, being right is just so damn pleasing.


Now I’m not saying we should abandon our exploration,

Remaining silent doesn’t equal ending the conversation,

Transformative silence is a sacred and subversive vocation,

I mean, think about it – if it’s about God, should it be a 3 point presentation???

Does Your Religion Objectify Humanity?

I can’t be a part of a religion that will objectify humanity as a target – as somebody who is just there to be reached. – Samir Selmanovic

Samir Selmanovic, author of “It’s Really All About God” offers a new way to embrace each other’s religious traditions while maintaining our own. Watch this compelling video by Samir:

Check out the book here.