On Sleeping Early and Laundry in the Middle of the Night

“The ordinary activities I find most compatible with contemplation are walking, baking bread, and doing laundry." - Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries A delicious rain fell off and on all day yesterday and and again, last night starting a little before the children's bedtime. The kind of rain that gives everything a grayish, warm glow, and begs for blankets, books, and sleep. The twins, even little Oz went down so easily - another rare gift when they almost tuck themselves in and only jabb … [Read more...]

Selma

50 years ago is a very short time.Fifty years ago there loomed a war over the mind's of Americans. In the south, preachers screamed vehemently and twisted the word of God to suggest that slavery and racism were God's truth.  Men and women found themselves beaten, raped, and tolerating all manners of abuse. Children walked down the street, and were gunned down just for being black.50 years ago is a very short time.Fifty years later, I think there is a war and an attack on the minds of … [Read more...]

The Not So Irresistible Revolution

In 2005 I read Shane Claiborne’s Irresistible Revolution and fell in love with the idea of intentional community. Five intentional communities later, I know now that living in community is tough stuff. In fact, Shane says it himself: “The simple way is not the easy way. No one ever promised us that community or Christian discipleship would be easy… This love is not sentimental but heart wrenching, the most difficult and the most beautiful thing in the world.”I must have skimmed over that part … [Read more...]

An Emergent Episcopalian Shares Some Thoughts about the Church

Many of us in the emergent conversation have left institutional Christianity. We do not trust institutions and are suspicious of hierarchies. Our personal histories and experiences of Christianity are filled with the frustration caused by the disconnect between the truth claims of our religious Christian institutions and their actual lived existence. We have seen how much energy and money is spent in the maintenance of our institutions, instead of the mission of Jesus. Some of us have been … [Read more...]

An Interstellar God

Yes, I am unashamedly referencing the movie, but that's because I can't get it out of my head. I have always been a fan of space. I love sci-fi. I love planets and stars, supernovas and galaxies. I love the images, the imaginations, the hope of people who long to see what is beyond the rock we call home. Interstellar is an amazing display of what those things could be like and I found it breathtaking.Even though people are arguing over whether the movie is good or not, and are analyzing the … [Read more...]

The Busy (c) 2003 Randy S. Woodley

The busy, dizzy bustle in this lonely, lonely world. Traffic moving forward. People moving back. More lights—the world’s a brighter place but look… Progressing dimness here in my soul. Hide the dimness—up the lights. Yell, at this world—yell at myself. Float my deepest feelings on national air waves Alone, I stay in the shallows.The busy, dizzy bustle in this growing, lonely world. Turn up the music—drown out the sound. Get louder the voices speaking from my soul. Sincere regrets br … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: why NOT “church”?

I'm reconsidering a positive use of the word "church." I have my criticisms, but I seem to be one of a very small number of people who are so allergic to it, at least in the worlds that I live in. Recently, a few of us started a new Emergent cohort here in Raleigh, NC, which has sparked this question. But, this post is more rhetorical in nature, in order to get to a better understanding of what the word "church" might actually mean.So, this goes out to those of you who do use the word church … [Read more...]

Poetry: American Sons by Randy Woodley

Today, I'm posting about the American enterprise of war but really more about how precious is each person's life and the cost of war to our humanity. "American Sons" is the poem. I apologize to all women because our daughters are now being sent to the front lines but when I wrote this poem, it was not the case. I beg your indulgence.American Sons by Randy Woodley © 2000 At what cost O God has this country been born? That of a fifteen year old Cherokee boy, Bird Clan-His Father’s only so … [Read more...]

Poetry : Randy Woodley, The Haunting (A Tribute to Richard Twiss)

Over the next several months I will be posting some of my poetry every Wednesday. Why? I feel like too many words are going out all around us with too little credence given them. It is difficult to hear through too many words, which often excuses us from doing. Sometimes a song or a poem can change the way we hear things or even change a life. For now, I'll keep my songs hidden and just share poetry. My poetry covers a wide variety of topics, all I feel are relevant to Emergence and the churches … [Read more...]

#SKEPTIMERGENT: the atheist’s dilemma

I would guess that most people who have grown up and stayed in churches do not know what it's like for many to leave. Please, if you are a person who has been in the church for your entire life, please take some time to read the stories of people who have left. And read about how cults function. Try to put yourself in the place of someone who simply can't go along. Someone who has a lot of doubts, questions, problems. Someone who is no longer able to let some things go. Most of us get depressed w … [Read more...]