Paul, Apollos, and Peter: A Note about Favoritism

So Paul runs into an interesting problem in Corinth (1 Corinthians 3). We are a tribal people and the church there has started forming tribes around their favorite speaker. Some prefer Apollos, some prefer Peter, some prefer Paul. It gets so bad that the church starts to splinter.

Sometimes a speaker will fuel the fire of division, insisting that is or her approach is the best approach, the real way to get into Christ. Other times, the division will appear on its own and nobody stops it, so it only gets worse.

Paul does not let this division occur. He commends his fellow speakers. He reminds the church that they are all after the same thing: the edification of the church and the worship of Jesus Christ.

Granted, it is only natural to have people you connect with more than others. God chose Israel as the nation He would show His power through. Jesus chose three disciples to do ministry with, and of those twelve He chose three (Peter, James, and John) to deliver special revelation to. I’m sure you have your core group of friends as well.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having people you are specially close with, either in a occupational or personal setting. However, the breakdown occurs when that bond closes doors to others.

Jesus was quick to welcome in followers the disciples pushed away. Paul was intentional about turning all glory away from himself and back to God.

In the end, we are all family.

Cheesy as it is, the song is right, “make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.”

God Speaks in a Whisper

United Pursuit tells us God is whispering to our hearts

To let go

to be alive

He is always whispering

Are we listening to Him,

or just we just making noise to drown Him out

are we letting Him in

or are we pushing Him out

with vain-glorious activity

Elijah tells us God is not in the fire or the earthquake

or the tornado

but in the whisper

One day the heavens and the Earth shall praise Him

The Universe itself will shout His praise

but for now He whispers

Do you hear Him now?

Reflections on the Embody Project

A few months back, I had the opportunity to participate in the Embody Project. What an amazing opportunity. Here are my reflections on the event:

Present and Grateful

Me and my body have been all over the place. I’ve been the fat kid, the skinny kid, and now I’m me.

I love being me. It’s a weird and wonderful thing.

To sit in-between the Bebe Theater and the adjacent Methodist church was the perfect way to prepare for the shoot.

I loved the chance to sit down with Erica and Trey and talk before we began, because this really is a conversation, a conversation that I have had with my body for years, that I had with them in that moment, and that I am having with you now. The conversation never ends.

Then it was time to disrobe. It felt so natural, even with the cameras. I love to act (hence the theater setting), so being on stage in front of the cameras felt completely comfortable to me.

Then came my favorite part, the moment we began to play. Sitting in the chair, standing up and singing Sondheim, improvising a monologue in the style of immersion theater, getting down on the floor to match Erica’s angle: this is the stuff of dreams. And, finally, when all the talking and moving were done, it felt so right to sit across from one another and take the moment in.

There is beauty in the stillness. There is beauty in the motion. There is beauty in the moment, in the skin we are in, in the blood pumping through our veins, through the God-given Spirit in our souls. It’s all a gift.

To hug and reflect as I stood, reclothed, back between the church and the theater was the perfect way to end.

And now it’s your turn, to let your own journey begin. Take it and let it lead you to wonderful places.

Your body is blessed. Amen.

For more information, check out this site: http://embodyproject.com/about/

God bless!

Interruption

You walk in while I’m in the midst of yoga

“Sorry to interrupt”

but you have nothing to be sorry for

that’s what love is:

an interruption of the self

and expansion of the mind,

my world shaken like a mixed drink

Interrupt me again and always

my ways, my days

interrupt them

because I love you dearly

Democracy

Democracy is scary

a thousand voices screaming out into the void

every time we trust the masses

we soon skulk back in fear

what if they’re wrong?

but when the pendulum swings the opposite direction

there is no worse fate:

closed hearts, closed minds

an iron fist clutching the intrepid heart of a teenage nation.

Lady Liberty, hold your torch high

shine the way for all to see

the glorious future that waits for

us who dare to let you lead.

To the Utmost

It is the nature of God to reveal Himself

It is the nature of man to try to conceal Him

His fingerprint is everywhere,

in the rocks, trees, and air

Man covers the universe in concrete and steel,

he erects walls

while God builds bridges

Jesus Christ being the ultimate bridge

between holy God and His fallen children.

Man covers over the cross with outstretched hands,

claiming “I am god”

Yet the true God remains always before us,

waiting, inviting us in,

wanting us to experience Him

to the utmost.

 

Without Reservations

So, there I was in the yellow room,

with all my fellow actors and actresses

and we are getting changed.

Men, women all in the same room

switching out of clothes and into new ones

No filter no reservations

just the gig.

I reminded me again how distorted

our concept of the human body is,

outside the safety of that changing room.

 

Where there is openness and upholding

of mutual respect and freedom,

when everyone is on the same page,

then we can coexist freely together.

When we hold back,

become a spectator,

shame our bodies and those of others,

then odd things start to happen.

The heart sours,

becomes cold and twisted.

Rather than opening like a tea blossom

steeped a nice hot cup of water,

it shrivels like an apple

deprived of moisture.

 

I ponder on these things I venture onstage,

and wish for a day when we are able to offer ourselves

without reservation, emotionally physically mentally and spiritually

to one another again.