You Matter

Originally posted on Brothergary's Weblog:

So many things to say/do, so little time it seems to say/do them, a lot of those things I hope are relevant to someone, but I know that they may/will not be relevant to all, and that is okay, because I know that my life has not touched everyone, but I also know that it has touched way more people than I could ever imagine. I also know that I am not alone in this type of thinking and I want you to know for certain that it is true, that your life matters; that your story matters; that you matter.

These words could be for anyone or even an institution, but today they are for you, because you matter.

So when you think you don’t matter, know for certain that you do, because you matter to me.

Who I am does matter; you matter…   

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You Matter

So many things to say/do, so little time it seems to say/do them, a lot of those things I hope are relevant to someone, but I know that they may/will not be relevant to all, and that is okay, because I know that my life has not touched everyone, but I also know that it has touched way more people than I could ever imagine. I also know that I am not alone in this type of thinking and I want you to know for certain that it is true, that your life matters; that your story matters; that you matter.

These words could be for anyone or even an institution, but today they are for you, because you matter.

So when you think you don’t matter, know for certain that you do, because you matter to me.

Who I am does matter; you matter…   

Pondering… Numbers and Community

It has long been a concern of mine that people have been reduced to numbers and statistics. It has come more to light recently in the debate over the proposed Indianapolis (2014) city budget. I personally admit to not liking numbers, because at times they can be overwhelming to me in the light of some health issues that I struggle with. But since this is not about me, let me get on to what I believe the point is.
The point is that we can make the/our numbers say whatever we want them to say as we nuance them to fit what we are trying to accomplish.
It is disturbing to me that this is often done at the expense of the very people those numbers represent. We have seen one whole new people group being created; *the free and reduced lunch students group and we use our numbers to represent that group, these kids need our help we say and again we nuance our numbers to meet our agendas, saying it is all for them. I am left to wonder how we are truly serving that people group.
One wonders how any work can get done at all in a political arena that functions under these conditions, instead of serving people we are serving groups/numbers, and most everyone seems to have their favorite. We have depersonalized a process which was never meant to be depersonalized. We have made it about different groups/numbers and not about the overall community, and in this process we have destroyed any real sense of community; a community which is both God ordained and constituted in the founding documents of our republic. We all are a people created for community, but that very community is being destroyed through a political process of number manipulation; people have been conditioned to believe that they are all different and that they cannot exist outside of their own people group (and some have been lumped into several different groups so that any sense of identity has been lost). Their only hope is that someone will be there to fight for them, let us fight for you they have been told and in the end they relinquish the power to fight for themselves. This ultimately leads to a cycle of perpetual hopelessness, destroying communities and neighborhoods. It is at point that the tables are truly turned over on them, they are told that if you would only come together as a community or neighborhood we will come to your aid. But they have no knowledge, ability, power or resources to do so, and so we abandon them on this island of despair that we have created for them. Numbers never lie they have been told and you just don’t have the numbers. But we are more than numbers they pleadingly say and their cry falls on deaf ears, until the time comes again when their number might be needed.

*any people group and comments on that group can be included here

Martin Luther King Jr. – I Have a Dream for Community

gary:

As we approach the celebration of King’s birth to honor both his memory and legacy.

Originally posted on Brothergary's Weblog:

Martin Luther King Jr. I have a Dream Speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs) has long stood in my mind as a source of inspiration; it was a great speech, a rallying call for a people, for all people to come together in community, in a community that God intended for us all, where we could all live together and work together for the good of the whole. I believe that in the generations since while his message has made a difference, a generation of people (all people) was changed forever, and future generations of all people are reaping its rewards. But King’s dream I feel for many was for another day and time; that its vision has been fulfilled, believing that; all that it would accomplish, had/has been accomplished. Those who believe such, I believe have no clue as to what King was saying, his dream was not just for a…

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King’s Legacy Iconic or Eikonic

gary:

Nearing the celebration of King’s birth in honor of his memory and his legacy.

Originally posted on Brothergary's Weblog:

Pondering:

What would be the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. if he had not (in my opinion) been turned into an icon, a brand. A large majority of people, I believe and it brings me great sorrow to say associate King with a brand or as a celebrity.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a son; husband; father; friend to many; a Baptist minister; a renowned civil rights leader; a Noble Peace prize winner, a peacemaker of broad scope and influence. He was many other things to many other people as well, but the one I hear talked about the least is that he was a child of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ, created in the image of God the Father Almighty, that he might bear witness with that image and likeness to a world that desperately needed to hear God’s message of peace that was for all those…

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A Reflection on New Birth and Advent

 “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? Romans 8:22-25 –  ESV 

I wonder if new birth isn’t just a process of striving and struggling in life until we are ultimately fully redeemed, and so we wait for it patiently in the community where God has placed us. We live and breathe and strive and struggle and laugh and cry together in steadfast faithfulness, while all the time God works in all that we do to bring forth new life that we never realized was possible, but yet it ultimately happens.

During Advent we are called to wait patiently for the coming Christ, but of which advent do we speak; his birth as an infant into a world that had been waiting somewhat impatiently for him; his second coming in glory to which we also wait at times impatiently or do we day by day wait for him into come to the world. I believe that all three are important and significant, but the one that proves out our faithfulness, is in believing that he does come daily into all of our lives and that he does and is making all things new on a daily basis until the day that full consummation takes place.

Just when and where will Christ reveal himself to us next, we were never intended to know, instead we are called to wait/ to live in steadfast awareness of his presence today.

Just some thoughts that I am pondering…

Bonhoeffer and Community: more than an Idea

“Humanly speaking, we could understand and interpret the Sermon on the Mount in a thousand different ways. Jesus knows only one possibility: simple surrender and obedience, not interpreting it or applying it, but doing and obeying it. That is the only way to hear his word. He does not mean that it is to be discussed as an ideal; he really means us to get on with it.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Community must move from being just an idea to be coming a real place(s). But in order for it to make that move, do we have to begin with some idea about what it is? I think so, but maybe not… 

I took out “the Sermon on the Mount” from the above Bonhoeffer quote and replaced it with “community” to help me to try and process this. 

   “Humanly speaking, we could understand and interpret community in a thousand different ways. Jesus knows only one possibility: simple surrender and obedience, not interpreting it or applying it, but doing and obeying it. That is the only way to hear his word. He does not mean that it is to be discussed as an ideal; he really means us to get on with it.”

Hear O Israel(Church): The Lord our God, the Lord he is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. … And you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:29-31) 

I believe that we were/are created to live in community, it is at its very core part of who we are. Love God, love your neighbor everything flows from those two commands and so does community. 

Peace

 

  

Community as a Way to Save the World

The recent government shutdown and all the turmoil it has caused whether perceived or real has got me to thinking, for those who know me that is sometimes a source for concern. I am one who tends to think out loud, trying to process through certain scenarios, my wife is most often the target of these thoughts that I throw into the air, I sometimes catch a glimpse of her as she receives these thoughts and I notice great concern in her eyes and I remind her that I am just thinking out loud.

A lot of the talk around these debates or lack thereof seems to me to center around groups of people who are represented by the legislators in Washington DC. They say they are just staying true to the ideas of the people that elected them, their constituency back home (their community).

 If that is indeed the case, I have some grave concerns about the direction our country is headed in. We as a country who has as a founding principle of being/becoming a strong community; these “United States”, has lost its focus, it is and has in my opinion been trending for some time now in the direction of more individualized communities that have become the primary focus and concern of our elected legislators (whoever has the strongest community supporting them is the one who gets elected), and if my community elects me then I need to stand up for them; after all they elected me .  I agree with all of that in principal, the problem comes however when we lose sight of the big picture community; as in what is good for the entire community, not just my group, but my town, my city, my state, and my  nation and ultimately the global community.

Our view of community has become much to narrow; we have become communities of exclusion, which in reality is not community at all, because they betray the very notion of what true community is.

I am one who believes that the restoration of true community is the only way to save our world; all of our world, but first we have go back to the basics of teaching the meaning of what true community really is: it is many coming together as one, using their combined gifts to improve the quality of life for all.  We must teach this first and foremost at the local level; in our families and in our schools and if we teach it there first and we can get it to stick, it is something that can be translated into a generation of people who truly care about each other as a community, and a generation whose primary goal will be improve the quality of life of all who live in community (and that would be all of us); and in turn they will become a community that has as its goal, the saving of our world.  

It is time, that we all take the time to learn along with our children the importance and value of becoming a true community. For it is their future that is at stake, if we say that we love and care for our children, then we truly have no other choice.

Just me thinking out loud or pondering true community …      

  

Learning Community – Definition (Always a Work in Progress)

Learning Community:

A place where our children, along with family and other community members learn the intrinsic value of sharing life together, not only, but first in a local place, after which it has the capability of expanding to more universal applications.

CommunityMany coming together as one, for the good of all.  

Com together/with;

munserving/gifts;

ity – state or quality

Community – A place where every decision you make will either enhance or diminish life; that being said, it is also a place where all outcomes whether good or bad are used to improve the quality of life in the community as a whole.

E Pluribus Unum –  “Out of many, one.”

Why do we do what we do, why do we learn what we learn?  We do it all for the sake of improving the quality of life in our community. 

Still pondering …