What do we mean when we say “the way of the world?” I suspect that each of us, if we were to examine what we mean by this word, would come up with a different kind of definition. My anecdotal observation is that both I and my fellow Christians seem to have one thing in common when it comes to how we interpret this word, namely that the idea of “the world” seems shrouded in some sense of other. In simpler terms, I’ve found that if a person does not believe one should listen to rock music then it is from the world that such music comes. If a person believes that when o
In a society where LGBT individuals are ignored, victimized, and criticized by both secular and Christian communities, LGBT Christians face just as much or even more disapproval. Wait. Gay AND Christian? Many respond, “That’s a myth,” or, “That’s ethically AND morally AND biblically impossible!” But they’re not unicorns; gay Christians exist; I attended a conference full of them.
I was 16. It was a bright afternoon and I was riding with my parents home from Bend Oregon to Madras Oregon. The radio was on the local Christian station. Off to the right, Smith Rock towered over the high desert. I’ve always liked the area around Smith Rock. It’s called Terrebonne, and there is little wonder that it means good land. Despite the brown hills around, in this small stretch of highway 97 green grass encircles dark juniper trees. The place reminded me of a song called “The Color Green:” a Celtic sounding reel that expressed the how the very land sings God’s song of life.
Christmases of my childhood were magical and full of meaning. At the beginning of Advent each year we dug special books out of the attic, and my mom read them aloud to my brother and me over and over again. From My Bible Friends’ Bethlehem story—“clip-clop-clip-clop went little donkey’s hooves”—to tales of lonely, misunderstood trolls wishing for someone to love rather than fear them. Each day we opened a window or door of our Advent calendar village.
I have been reading Jonathan Weisner's beautiful book, The Beak of the Finch, listening to sandhill cranes' rusty calls as they fly overhead, and watching starling murmurations. Questions flutter and peck at my mind. What would it be like to live so authentically, so true to my inherent identity, as a bird lives its own instinctual and evolving life?