Quotes about the culture of America, the church here, and being a witness here.

My Homeless Game Plan

homeless“Do you have some spare change?” said a grime-encrusted man before me. He held a sign which read, “Anything helps, God bless.”

The quarters and dimes in my pocket weighed heavily. If I said “no,” it would be a lie. But if I said “yes,” he’d expect me to give it to him. Why do homeless people have to ask such a manipulative question? Well, I suppose the change isn’t really spare. It’s not for him.

“No, sorry,” I replied, quickening my pace.

By the time I reached my car door, my conscience sagged in my gut like a cheap burrito. Jesus wanted me to stop and love that man. I just passed by Jesus in disguise. “I was homeless, and you did not give me spare change.”

But he would have just spent in on drugs, anyways.

Inner Struggle

I’m sure this has never happened to you. Never. Not once. Ever.
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By |2014-04-08T14:21:43-07:00April 2nd, 2014|America|2 Comments

First World War of Fiction

city_bones_4I recently finished the City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare (book one of the Mortal Instruments series). The cover, mostly flaunting some dude’s bare chest, nearly scared me away. Thank goodness Jeff Bezos invented the Kindle so that I could read this novel without flaunting nipples in public. Here are my thoughts in response. I base this post on the first book in the series, so I’m going to sound like an idiot if the themes and tone change later on.

No major plot spoilers, for those concerned.

Something like a plot

The plot goes something like this. A teenage girl named Clary discovers that all kinds of mythical creatures (like hipster vampires and werewolves, duh) populate our world. But normal people can’t see them. Oh yeah, and there’s these cops called shadowhunters who kill anyone who steps out of line. But the shadowhunters spend most of their time dismembering demons, creatures from other dimensions who suck the life out of our world. Clary quickly ends up involved with some goth teenage shadowhunters with rippling muscles.

I’ll start by saying that Cassandra Clare writes great (more…)

By |2014-03-19T11:39:52-07:00March 19th, 2014|America|2 Comments

Slave Heroes

Slave-HuntAmerican slavery draws images to our minds of blacks whipped under the sweltering sun, heated abolitionist debates, train cars filled with fugitives traveling under a full moon, and the bloody the civil war. Honest Abe tips his top hat at us and says, “Thank God that institution of pure evil has ended.” We remember it as one of America’s greatest evils.

And yet, there’s a chapter of the story we often miss. I’ve found that chapter in a book entitled Slave Religion: the Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South, by Albert J. Raboteau. All the following quotes are from that book.

You see, the plantation was a breeding ground for heroes of the faith and a flavor of Christianity more pure, passionate, and lovely than anything else that existed in America at the time. Slavery is the story of oppression, but it’s also the story of those who overcame that oppression by the blood. Here’s an example, Praying Jacob:

Praying Jacob was a slave in the state of Maryland. His master was very cruel to his slaves. Jacob’s rule was to pray three times a day, at just such an hour of the day; no matter what his work was or where he might be, he would stop and go and pray. His master has been to him and pointed his gun at him, and told him if he did not cease praying he would blow out his brains. Jacob would finish his prayer and then tell his master to shoot in welcome—your loss will be my gain—I have two masters, one on earth and one in heaven—master Jesus in heaven, and master Saunders on earth. I have a soul and a body; the body belongs to you, master Saunders, and the soul to Jesus. Jesus says men ought always to pray, but you will not pray, neither do you want to have me pray…. Sometimes Mr. S. would be in the field about half drunk, raging like a madman, whipping the other slaves; and when Jacob’s hour would come for prayer, he would … kneel down and pray, but Sanders could not strike the man of God.

In a sense, Praying Jacob was freer than his master. Sometimes, we think that we can only be free if our circumstances allow it. When things go bad at work, we complain and fret and take on a victim mentality: “Poor me! My boss screwed me over!” This book reminded me of God’s power to keep us from living in that victimization.

Controlled by their masters, (more…)

By |2014-03-07T11:33:17-08:00February 19th, 2014|America|Comments Off on Slave Heroes
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