Tis the Season for Christians to be even more awkward

Am I the only one who rolls their eyes when these posts scroll by in their feeds?

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Obviously there are plenty of people who find these cute, funny or meaningful judging by the frequency with which they show up, but they just come off as dorky to me.

I love Jesus, I love Christmas and I love memes. Maybe there’s a way to combine those things in a way that isn’t cheesy?

I’ll think on that ūüėČ

The Real Surprise

I wish I could say that the decision that came out of Ferguson yesterday surprises me, but it doesn’t.

I feel sadness, disappointment, anger and frustration; after all of the delays and “preparations” made before the announcement, no surprise.

What is surprising, even shocking me, are the hateful posts and comments I’m seeing from Christians, and the unapologetic disrespect between friends.

I’m used to seeing opinions opposed to my own on my Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. I have a variety of friends from different backgrounds, living in all kinds of circumstances, and holding a wide range of beliefs.

I’m also used to anonymous trolls on social media. They start fights with strangers on group feeds or subtweet mean things at popular accounts, occasionally even managing to get in on nobody accounts like mine and spout off. They’re annoying, rude, and for the most part, overlooked.

But in the last 24 hours I’ve seen some Christian friends saying things that do not call for peace, justice, prayer, safety; instead justifying violence against the protesters and drawing the lines even deeper.

I've seen fights started within comments of posts between people who are, or now were, friends. Name calling, family insulting, intelligence questioning statements made; none of it necessary to make a point.

I'm not sure what my point is here. Many others have talked about Ferguson, and done so far better than I ever could. I guess I just hoped for more compassion, a stronger sense of justice from my faith community.

Why Maybe Gay People Should Stop Coming Out

I really appreciate that a Christian pastor is willing to step out of the crowd and talk about this from a perspective of love.

john pavlovitz

PersonBehindDoor
Closets aren’t for people.

Last night, I attended a nonprofit event in Greensboro and had the chance to hear a message from Wade Davis, a former NFL player and an eloquent advocate for LGBT rights.

Davis’ powerful testimony included a statement which spoke loudly to my heart as a pastor and Christian. His words were, (and I am paraphrasing to the best of my recollection):

Closets aren’t for people. They’re for old coats and shoes and dust. I was never in the closet, I just couldn’t be honest with who I really was to the world around me. As a gay man, I’m not coming out of the closet. I’m inviting you in.

To me this was more than just a matter of semantics, or simply a clever bit of wordsmithing.

This was revelatory truth.

As much as I’ve tried to be an ally to the LGBT community, and to facilitate real conversation between it and the faith community…

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A little history

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the ability we have to be flexible with our schedule, and with our methods. ¬†Today we decided that getting out sounded good so we headed out to a nearby state park for some Texas history.     Sometimes it’s fun to just take advantage of a beautiful […]

It’s not as hard as you think

With Christmas not far off, and shopping season in full swing, it’s time for me to start browsing some of my favorite places. I have a pretty large extended family, and everyone buys for everyone (they all insist that drawing names is “no fun”) so I try to start reasonably early as well as keep costs under control.

So for the last few years I’ve worked with a human trafficking organization, reaching out to women trapped in sexual slavery. What does that have to do with Christmas shopping? Well, if I’m working to abolish slavery in one industry, shouldn’t I be against slavery in all industries?

Last year was the first year I attempted to buy all Fair Trade Christmas gifts. I even ordered FT chocolate for the stockings, and I have to say, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It was also less expensive than I expected.

That being said, I thought I’d share a few places that I’ve shopped, and perhaps give you some ideas if you’re interested in checking out your Fair Trade shopping options.

http://www.divinechocolate.com ¬†Absolutely amazing chocolate. They have lots of varieties; dark, milk, white, with fruit, with nuts, with coffee! You can get it in bar form, smaller individually wrapped bites, coins; they also have baking supplies and gift baskets. Prices on this site are listed in British pounds, but if you’re in the United States you can go to http://www.divinechocolateusa.com

http://www.tenthousandvillages.com ¬†They have TONS of great stuff, and besides the website, they have storefronts. Not everywhere, but if you check the store locator, you may be able to find one near you. You can find holiday decorations, jewelry, candles, scarves, stationary, tableware or a hammock, handmade in countries all over the world. It’s a great place to get a lot of shopping done because they have such a wide variety of products.

http://www.intlprincess.org/ ¬†International Princess Project is definitely one that I love. They provide opportunities for women coming out of human trafficking to learn a new trade and earn a higher than fair wage, medical care and housing. These pajamas are handmade and all of the proceeds go back into the company to help more women, and they’re absolutely adorable! Colorful, comfortable and unique, they’re a great gift option.

http://www.krochetkids.org ¬†This organization is getting bigger and more recognizable, so you may already know them, which is awesome! They make awesome crocheted hats for men, women and kids, but also scarves, shirts and some really great bags. I have an iPad cover from KK that I love too! One of the unique things about a KK product is that every one of them is HAND SIGNED on the tag by the person who made it. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty special.

OK, so this is just a few of my favorites for some Christmas shopping. There are lots more options out there, you just have to look! Amazon, Overstock and Etsy all have Fair Trade products available, you just have to put it in the search box and go! I get all of my hair/skin/makeup products online and they’re all reasonably priced.

I realize that not everything is available or easy to find. Some industries just haven’t gotten there in terms of ethical production (electronics for example) but we just need to make it clear that it’s important to us.