First of all, this Duck Dynasty thing is maddening on so many levels. For some good commentary, here is a thoughtful link: The Duck Thing: Is There Another Way?
More importantly, as I saw one person note on Facebook, why can't we get more upset about the many people dying in Syria and Sudan and QUIT TALKING ABOUT IDIOTIC, MEDIA-CREATED GARBAGE LIKE THIS?? The persecuted silently suffer, as they have for 2,000 years. Years ago at the Urbana Missions Conference, these words burned in me as I heard them, seemingly for the first time:
Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. (Hebrews 13:3)
Next... I'm continuing to read Long Walk to Freedom, the 1994 autobiography of Nelson Mandela, and also anticipating the release of the new movie of the same title coming out on Christmas Day. I'm well aware that Nelson Mandela was not perfect, but his life is still a remarkable inspiration to me. To be a reconciler and a peacemaker is very hard work, and more discouraging than encouraging. Examples like his are tremendously motivating. I smiled when I read this quote from one Mandela's mentors (Chief Luthuli) last night, pertaining to women joining the fight against apartheid in 1957: "When the women begin to take an active part in the struggle, no power on earth can stop us from achieving freedom in our lifetime." Currently, I am equally spurred on to continue through reading Christena Cleveland's blog. Her recent post titled "Christmas is Cross-Cultural" is especially good. #cscleve
Third, I can't deny I am super-encouraged by the partnership we are continuing to build as Free Methodists in So Cal with Azusa Pacific University. There are far too many projects to list individually, but from internships to admissions to diversity to field education, we are deeply involved with and connected to students, faculty and administration at APU. At right is the recent photo taken where we publicly celebrated the new covenant established between APU and the Free Methodist Church in Southern CA (FMCSC), contained in the Center for Transformational Leadership (CTL). Jon Wallace, the president of APU, is standing in the middle (directly to the left of me). He is a gifted, supportive and visionary leader. CTL is a big part of my work these days (OK, for the last two years), and you can always feel free to ask me about it. I am pumped. #fmcsc (and we're about to launch #fmcsc_ctl)
From the sublime to the mundane.... finish with a good laugh here. (Skip the ad before the cartoon). Yes, there are too many cat videos on the interweb, but THIS is a good one. #simonscat