Ryce Reconciled

The American sat in his pew, looking on as the choir and orchestra rehearsed for Sunday morning’s service. A young man in the orchestra, Ryce, a violinist and first in his section, did his best to mask the pain inside. No one would have known but for the back story.

Earlier that week, Ryce had a fight with his father. It wasn’t just any fight a university student would find himself in. This one involved the police. Negative agreement from his friends, ostensibly bannered as “support” encircled Ryce and his entourage when he arrived at the church earlier that afternoon.

Ryce’s father was a soloist in the choir. As if things didn’t seem complicated enough, the father, son, choir, and entire church were Chinese. So, there the American sat, a Chinese Bible on his lap, with a passage having been marked with the help of a friend in the pew beside him.  · · · →

Above Their Own Values?

I do not identify with what we’ve been hearing from some Republican leaders about Mexican immigrants. “I don’t want my kids doing ‘those’ kinds of jobs,” they say. By saying “those” kinds of jobs, what do they mean? Are they referring to productive jobs, like agriculture? Are they referring to the backbone of an economy, such as manual labor or manufacturing jobs? Are they suggesting that the elements of a healthy economy are somehow “beneath” them?

Speak for yourself, but I want my kids doing healthy levels of manual labor in their younger years. King David developed his character watching sheep as a young boy and he had his son, the wise Solomon, spend time in the same fields before becoming King. Joseph spent several years in service and even prison—unjustly. He didn’t become the effective ruler of Egypt “in spite” of his hardship, but “because” of it.

With this foolish mentality being touted among leaders of a party who ostensibly believe in the principals of liberty—that life is a pursuit, not a guarantee—should there be any surprise that the American economy is having difficulty?  · · · →

God-Blessed, God-Darned Authority

Are we referring to Jesus or a person with less sin than the rest of us? Do we mean that “God appointed” the person to.. whatever position the person holds? Was this person appointed by the Senate? Did the denomination regional superintendent rotate him in for two months? I didn’t know that the Senate was God.. maybe God is a denominational regional superintendent. He must be, because everyone appointed that way is “appointed by God.”

When we treat a pastor or a president as if he has some halo of invisible glory that illumines his brow, we may get upset upon discovering that he doesn’t walk on water. He falls from grace and scandal faces public scorn.. we actually think God is judging him? ..right.

It’s one thing to say, “I’m in charge, like it or leave it. Confront me if you disagree, but live with my answer.” It’s a whole other story to fanfare every other sentence with, “Our Godly Authority..  · · · →

Disconnecter Reloaded

I call them “disconnecters.”

They disconnect.. anything.. friends, family, consequences of life, personal choices, a daily schedule, promises to others, the golden rule. A disconnecter just can’t quite connect the dots between themselves and the world around them.

He’s the classmate who backs into your car and the next day spots you ten bucks and considers you in his debt. He will hang that ten dollars over your head no matter how many times you pay him back. And about his take on backing into your car.. it wasn’t that he has a problem noticing things around him.. it was somehow your fault!

He’s the guy who tells every woman he loves “only her”—but can’t even anticipate that women might not like the fact that he says it to all of them.

On the surface, he might be the cool person that everyone wants to befriend.. until you get to know him.  · · · →