From the monthly archives: May 2016

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'May 2016'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Into the Wind: Identity and Community in ‘Songs My Brothers Taught Me’


 


In less time than it takes to drive to Colorado Springs in heavy traffic, you could be in the equivalent of a third-world country if you just traveled northeast instead. That place is Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, which is comprised of two of the poorest counties in the United States. With an unemployment rate of over 80 percent, a suicide rate twice the national average (the teen suicide rate is four times the national average), and the second lowest life expectancy in the western hemisphere (only Haiti is lower), Pine Ridge is without question a challenging place to live. One might easily wonder why residents don’t move away in search of a better life.

Filmmaker Chloé Zhao set out to explore the reasoning of those who choose to stay in her independent film Songs My Brothers Taught Me. While the story is fictitious, it is also true to life, depicting the stark reality of the challenges the people on the Reservation face but also the beauty and complexity of the people and the place where they live.

I have always had a heart for Pine Ridge — even more so after a man on the Reservation gave me the Lakota name Wíŋyaŋ Wašté (“Good Woman”). On a bleak December day, a friend and I delivered some needed supplies to an older woman, whose son was the only one home. After we conversed for awhile, he looked at me and said, “You are a good woman,” and gave me the name. Unfortunately, a few years later, that same man succumbed to his alcohol addiction and passed away, so I have bittersweet feelings about my Lakota name.

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Summertime and the Reading’s Easy: Reading Lists from ATN Contributors


 


Summer. Its last two letters are the first two letters of the word “reading,” so, naturally, they go together. If you’re looking for some new titles to read in the hammock, at the beach or around the campfire this summer, the contributors at All Things New have got ya covered. That’s a book pun, FYI.

Stephanie Carney

Little Women, Little Men and Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott
I'm reading through every Louisa May Alcott book this year. I consider her to be America's Jane Austen and have chosen her as my “mentor author” for the year.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, Mandy by Julie Edwards, the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard, Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
These books are on my family’s read-aloud list for the summer. It's one of my favorite activities to do with my kids. We're focusing more on classics and “old” books.

The Carolina Heirlooms series by Lisa Wingate
The Prayer Box is one of my favorite reads, but I haven't read the other six entries in this series. I love “beach reads” even if I cannot be on a beach, and the Carolina coast ranks at the top of my favorites.

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling by Andy Crouch
Well, I have to have at least one non-fiction book. *sheepish grin* However, I am very much looking forward to this read.

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A Table in the Wilderness: A Guide to Getting Away with God


 


On Sunday, May 1, Pastor Mitch Majeski and the rest of the Summitview pastors informed the congregation that he would be taking at least a three month sabbatical. I am excited for this time that he will be taking and think that a broader discussion on the role of extended times away with God has largely been lost amid the fast-paced living in our culture.

Why should Christians take extended breaks and spend it intentionally seeking God? Are there biblical or pragmatic reasons why these should be a part of each Christian’s normal routine?

Whether your daily devotional times with God are nil, five minutes or 60 minutes, a longer and more intentional time with God helps clear the mind, soul and schedule of pressing concerns. We all tend to live in the “tyranny of the urgent” (to borrow the title from Charles Hummel’s booklet). What is most pressing today can become the only thing ever on our radar. Often, our day’s pressing concerns can deviate us from the work that we’ve been given by God to do. Extended times with God refocus us on his priorities, not the urgent task list calling our name. If Jesus regularly spent time away with his Father to hear his voice and commune with him, how much more for us, who aren’t sinless nor have had eternal fellowship with the Father!

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California, Here We Come: Rockers Go West for LT in L.A.


 


Eleven college students. A two-day road trip. A summer in Los Angeles. These are mythic elements, essential for true adventures in Americana. We pay $15 on a Saturday night to take in such tales.

But this myth is being retold in a different light. This myth is submitting itself to the grand narrative of redemptive history. This myth is taking on a gospel-centered narrative arc.

At 5 a.m. this morning, 11 Rockers — Jessica Brock, Ross Bryant, Emily Carr, Julie Carr, Sebastien Dekleva, Joy Everhart, Bree Hottinger, Alayna Milhaly, Stephen Molden, Jason Richard and Benji Wang — drove west for Los Angeles. They will spend 10 weeks in the City of Angels participating in Leadership Training (LT), a summer-long discipleship program for campus ministries in Great Commission Churches (GCC).

The Rock has rich history of LTs (the program used to be called Infusion) — New Orleans, El Paso, Lincoln. This summer, these 11 disciples of Jesus are joining college students from a handful of other GCC churches to live and work near downtown L.A. The LT’s focus will be on developing ministry and leadership skills while serving the local church and taking time to foster an Acts 2 culture. (A handful of Rockers will also participate in a Fort Collins-based LT.)

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Everyday Gifts: On Naming the Gloriously Mundane Moments


 


There is a life-giving beauty when we give a name to someone or to something.

This is, perhaps, most easily seen in the naming of a child. A child’s name is rarely chosen lightly and is imbued with meaning. It isn’t just a name. It is an expression of hope, a dream of who this little one might grow to be and how they will bring their own unique loveliness, passion or purpose to the world. Naming bestows a sense of belonging, a promise of family, of safety.

But we don’t bestow that name until the child is in our arms. We may whisper it quiet during the months of waiting, we may share it with others, but it isn’t truly given until that child has come into our arms, our world. And we weep if the child is lost before that time comes, weep at that name being only a whisper in the heart of God.

John Piper wrote this about the power of naming:

 

To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.

 

In naming my children, I recognized the meaning and value God gave them. I expressed my belief in the place and function he has for them in my heart and, ultimately, in his world. And in naming them I blessed God for the gift that they were in that moment and in the gift they would grow to be. The moment we officially named them in the hospital and the moment we dedicated them before God, sharing the meaning behind their names and our hopes for them, were glorious moments.

But all moments are not so glorious.

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