Saturday, September 27, 2008

make history: join poverty

My local cohort Jack recently posted an excellent point of view on the “making poverty history” trend (found here).

His basic gist: Jesus never commissioned us to rid the world of poverty. Instead, he encouraged us to join poverty.

I assume this is because not having readily available resources can be an excellent witness to those who do not know jesus. Not relying on our own means will demonstrate faith as well as loyalties.

My question is: what does joining poverty look like to those of us: in wealthy Western societies? With families with children? In the social club/church culture?

Are we to quit our jobs, sell our houses, and raise our babies in the dirt on the street corner?

Just questions.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

pruning boy: the final chapter

This has been a long time coming in the life of agent b: the finale of my employment with Son & Dad Tree Service, Inc. It’s like the end of a TV sitcom. Except not as hyped but equally as shallow.

Basically, it ended like this – last month during a routine tree spray season (ie: pruning boy: orkin man edition) I saw how the future of my jedi padawan gig was growing rapidly with an indefinite amount of work in sight. Since The Son has a knack for having me waste an entire 4 hour morning doing only 2 and a half hours of work, and since at that moment I was being held captive aboard the tree spray rig for 8 straight hours and missing all kinds of experience with the jedi master...I told him to begin finding my replacement.

Normally I am a huge advocate of giving an official “two weeks notice”. But working for Son & Dad wasn’t a normal job. And The Son found a replacement for me who I’m sure he’ll love – a Baptist ministry major college student. I mean hey, this kid knows the secret handshakes and so forth. They’ll get along great.

I was slowly weeded out of the “worker” position, which is exactly what I wanted. And I’m glad The Son found a suitable replacement for me as I didn’t want to leave him high and dry. The new blood and I did some mowing jobs a few days ago together for The Son who was out of town. That was my official last day, in my eyes.

Welcome to the migrant worker seat, new blood.

So, I tip my bottle of Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout to The Son, a halfway decent employer...who never offered a raise after a year and a half. And changed the subject when I mentioned a raise on my year anniversary with him.

And to The Dad, the 90 year old company founder who inspired me to write the book “Mowing With Dementia” after job upon job of following you with a mower to fix all of your landscaping mishaps...and watching you mow the same strip of grass five times with no end in sight.

And to the CEO of the universe: who, via a dream, showed me to take this job. It humbled me beyond belief, which I'm sure I needed during this vast desert period of my life. My adventures with Son & Dad were both priceless life-lessons and a wealth of comedy rolled into one.

Goodbye brown uniform shirt. Goodbye Three-Stooges antics. I’ll never forget you.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

the pastor b files

I made a brief cameo within traditional pastoral duties recently during a hospital visit.

My next door neighbor Frieda Sanford’s sister & brother-in-law were in a bad wreck a few nights ago. They live out in the country. Upon returning from Friday night bingo, some drunk driver gal rammed into the back of a trailer and swerved into their lane. They hit her head-on at 65 mph.

The drunk driver died instantly. Frieda’s sister Susie walked away with a bunch of bruises. Her husband Uncle Jerry is in the hospital with 4 or 5 broken ribs.

They both humbly give thanks to the CEO for their lives and figure there’s some reason they are still on this earth. I pray that the CEO will show them what that is.

There is still a lot of pain for both of them: much physical pain for Uncle Jerry and much emotional pain for Susie because of that woman’s death.

Your communications on their behalf are appreciated.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

jesus doesn't give a sh** who you vote for

Every four years here in the US it’s the same ole nonsense: the political game. Everybody rallies up behind their team and hopes for a win.

The religion of politics rears its head and reminds those of us in undercover operations that faith in jesus usually takes a back seat to faith in a candidate, political ideal, or nation.

Unfortunately, from my christian friends I often receive these poorly written FWD emails on how one of the two major candidates is the anti-christ or something.

And their email digresses into this pathetic plea to vote a certain way. Like maybe if we believers don’t all go out as a mob and vote one way or another, then god will punish us by letting our country (thus, the entire universe) go to hell.

In a handbasket.

Come on. Give god some kind of credit. I’m sure he’s not that stupid or powerless. Like he’d give a bunch of voters the responsibility to alter the fate of mankind.

This is not an endorsement of any candidate nor is it a pro or anti vote message. If you feel called to vote one way or so, then do it. But with the mission jesus had on this earth, I am convinced he would not have spent much (if any) time on politics.

Maybe we should do likewise.

So quit circulating the FWD’d christian magazine editor endorsements and rumor-like “did you hear” emails while you enjoy your wealth and freedom to buy your slave labored goods from the mega marts.

Stay true to the walk, not the political race.