Tag Archive: Rachel Held Evans


In the last day of so, i have seen the phrase and hashtag, “Christian Cleavage” showing up all over the internet and so, being a curious guy, went to take a look at what my extended family is up to this time.

Turns out it all started [was re-ignited?] when an apparently prominent Christian blogger, Jarrid Wilson, wrote a blog post titled, ‘The Problem with Christian Cleavage’ that apparently caused so much controversy and mayhem that he quickly took it down, tweaked it a little and replaced it with the new version titled The Importance of Modesty and Self-Control.’

This is not a new topic in the church. ‘Girls coming to church with their boobs hanging out’ has been debated probably from the time Adam sent Eve out to the nearest fig tree for ‘a quick shop’.

This is something i have had a fairly strong opinion on for a fairly long time, but knowing how minefieldy [it’s a word!] a topic this is, have tended to wait until it blows over – the people on both sides of this heated conversation can get quite animated and pointy.

modesty

IN THE LEFT CORNER

Jayson D Bradley’s Christian Cleavage probably isn’t the problem’ which was reposted on Relevant Magazine was the first article i found, subtitled ‘Our talks about modesty break down when we assume the worst of everyone.’ Typically this has been largely the stance of women on the matter, feeling the need [often merited] to have to stand up for themselves. And there is so much truth in this.

Jayson ends his article with three points which he briefly extrapolates:

Some of Church’s teaching on the topic can be drawn out to send the wrong message when we tell both men and women that:

1. Men can’t be responsible for their behaviour.

2. There’s something shameful about women’s bodies.

3. Sexuality is the most important issue in the world.

Taken to a broader perspective than simply what women wear to church, this conversation spills over into the even more significant one that was all over social media last year when the #YesAllWomen tag and movement gained a lot of attention and focus. Concepts like Rape Culture and slut shaming and the need for a deeper understanding in areas where women have often ended up feeling like the perpetrators rather than the victims when crimes have been committed against them. [Questions like “What was she wearing?” and statements such as, “She had been drinking too much” making it seem as if the woman was somehow responsible for being raped]

Rachel Held Evans deals with this side of what has been dubbed ‘Modesty Culture’ really well in her post, ‘Modesty: I don’t think it means what you think it means’ summing up the church issue side of it well when she writes,

We know what it’s like to be told over and over and over again by red-faced preachers that our legs, our breasts, our curves, our bodies have the bewitching power to “make our brothers stumble.” So it is our responsibility to cover them up, to dress modestly to “please our brothers” by keeping them on the path of righteousness.

She even puts a very different spin on it, reminding us once again how the church likes to elevate certain issues or sins above others and harp on certain things while leaving others [often more mentioned things] largely untouched:

In fact, nearly all of the Bible’s instructions regarding modest clothing refer not to sexuality, but rather materialism (Isaiah 3:16-23, 1 Timothy 2:9-12, 1 Peter 3:3). Writers in both the Old Testament and New Testament express grave concern when the people of God flaunt their wealth by buying expensive clothes and jewelry while many of their neighbors suffered in poverty. (Ironically, I’ve heard dozens of sermons about keeping my legs and my cleavage out of sight, but not one about ensuring my jewelry was not acquired through unjust or exploitive trade practices—which would be much more in keeping with biblical teachings on modesty.)

There is so much truth in what these and other people are saying and quite possibly the loudest Truth on this topic that does need to be spoken and understood and taken seriously. BUT the essence of it leads to the conclusion, stated or not, that guys are ‘the bad guy’ and that it is ALL about guys sorting themselves out and letting women wear whatever the flip they want to.

IN THE RIGHT CORNER

The other side of the argument, i saw demonstrated in this piece by Jennifer Leclaire, titled ‘Why do so many ‘Born-again’ ‘Spirit-filled’ Women show off Cleavage in Church?’ This side of the argument is typically held up by men as it focuses on women needing to be the ones dressing modestly and not ‘causing their Christian brother’s to stumble.’

Crosswalk.com had another article similarly titled, ‘Why Do So Many Women Show Off Cleavage in Church?’ and while this one is written by a guy [could not find his name] it is framed as being a piece brought up by his wife.

Jennifer frames her opinion on the topic in the traditional way of looking at the effect that women’s choices have on the poor, struggling men around them:

Paul instructed Timothy that women should “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation” (1 Tim. 2:9), and he told the church at Corinth that “our unpresentable parts have greater modesty” (1 Cor. 12:23). Regardless of how hot it is outside or how busy we are, there’s no justification for Spirit-filled women to come to church wearing clothes that cause some men to pay more attention to the things of the flesh than the things of the Spirit.

The second article quotes a previous piece by Sharon Hodde Miller in which she comes up with three possible ways of looking at the issue in a way which doesn’t shame women, but still invites them to be aware of and acting on the issue to some measure:

How do we discuss modesty in a manner that celebrates the female body without objectifying women, and still exhorts women to purity? The first solution is to dispense with body-shaming language. Shame is great at behavior modification, even when the shaming is not overt. But shame-based language is not the rhetoric of Jesus. It is the rhetoric of his Enemy.

Second, we must affirm the value of the female body. The value or meaning of a woman’s body is not the reason for modesty. Women’s bodies are not inherently distracting or tempting. On the contrary, women’s bodies glorify God. Dare I say that a woman’s breasts, hips, bottom, and lips all proclaim the glory of the Lord! Each womanly part honors Him. He created the female body, and it is good.

Finally, language about modesty should focus not on hiding the female body but on understanding the body’s created role. Immodesty is not the improper exposure of the body per se, but the improper orientation of the body. Men and women are urged to pursue a modesty by which our glory is minimized and God’s is maximized. The body, the spirit and the mind all have a created role that is inherently God-centered. When we make ourselves central instead of God, we display the height of immodesty.

i do believe there is some truth in what these and other people are saying. BUT the essence of it leads to the conclusion, stated or not, that women are ‘the bad guy’ and that it is ALL about women sorting themselves out and doing everything they can to ensure that men don’t stumble.

THE BIG BUT

i have stood in the sidelines of this online debate for months, maybe even years. Because i know that taking either one of these sides and holding to it strongly is likely to get you shamed with a ‘How dare you make this all about us?’ from the women if you’re supporting ‘Modesty Culture’ and an equally scathing, ‘What a lousy Christian you are!’ if you fly the ‘Women, wear whatever you want,and men stop being such sexual deviants!’ flag.

But i haven’t been happy.

i haven’t felt that either side has gotten it particularly right.

Because for the most part, it feels like opinions from either side are delivered to a large extent in a manner which comes across very much like, “I’m right and you’re a dick if you think the opposite!”

The extremes are quite extreme on this, and i haven’t read too much that falls closer to some kind of third way, or a call upon both men and women to step up to the plate.

To be honest, i have heard a lot of ‘Me!’

And therein, i believe lies the problem. Or a huge part of it.

Let me state that i do inherently believe the problem is with the guy. i should be able to control myself. It should not be up to the women to have to dress safely so that i don’t stumble. The problem is typically not the women’s. It is the guy who has the struggle.

But having acknowledged that, perhaps as the woman who understands and gets that the issue and problem belongs to the guy, there is a way of responding in Love that sounds a little bit different from, ‘Well you should really just sort yourself out then.’

Perhaps, as someone who recognises a problem in someone else, there is something i can do, as an act of love, to make it easier for them. And this is the point that i have failed to see expressed much if at all.

In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul deals with the very real at the time issue of eating food that had been offered to idols. What is interesting to note is how the chapter begins:

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.

His opinion on the topic is absolute. Food offered to idols is not an issue. It’s not a sin. It is absolutely okay. But then on top of that, he makes provision for someone who may struggle in the area, introducing it with this key line:

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

The eating of the food is not the issue, but if you are are in the presence of someone who is weaker and doesn’t get that that is the case, then choosing to stay away from the meat is the most loving thing you can do.

If i am an alcoholic, then the problem is mine. It’s not your problem, it’s not your issue and you should not be blamed for me being an alcoholic. The fact that you choose to drink should not be in any way responsible for me drinking or not. But, if you know that i struggle with alcohol, then surely a loving act, when you invite me round for a meal, would be to not serve alcohol. Not because you have the problem, but because i have the problem, and you are aware of it, and want to love me well by choosing to not even create the smallest bit of temptation.

This feels like the same thing.

To conclude that the problem is with the guy, so i will wear whatever i want, does not feel to me like a loving response.

To get so heated about this topic, whichever side of it you stand on, and be calling the other side names of any type, instead of having some open and honest conversation and really trying to listen to and hear what the other person is saying, feeling, experiencing, also does not feel to me like a very loving response.

And after all, that is the undebatable command – you will be known by the love you have for each other.

serve

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this has been quite an eventful week.

WORLD VISION AND SAME SEX MARRIAGE

World Vision made a dramatic did-they-really-not-expect-the-reaction-it-got decision involving allowing employees to be in same-sex marriages.

the Evangelical response was strong with notable Christian speakers such as John Piper and Franklin Graham speaking out against the decision and many Christians apparently withdrawing support for World Vision and specifically for the children they support via World Vision.

a day or two later World Vision does a wibbly-wobbly and reverses their decision with president Rich Stearns answering some questions about the matter which included the fact that some of their staff had resigned because of stress:

We had a few in the past few days resigned partially because of stress. You can imagine some of the folks in our call center that our answering our 800 line. They’re receiving an earful of anger. I think we had a few people who couldn’t handle the stress and the anxiety created by the incoming calls.

the decision being reversed also had a dramatic impact on the organisation:

Within an hour of the reversal, the call volume dropped. The angry calls stopped and dropped to a much lower level. Some of the sponsors called back to reinstate their sponsorships.

The Twitterer was on fire with every well-known Christian writer/speaker/blogger having something to say including Rachel Held Evans:

I have never in my life been more angry at the Church or more embarrassed to be a Christian. It feels like a betrayal from every side.

ABORTION

meanwhile, on the other side of town, i posted a story from my friend, Irma, as part of the Taboo Topics section of my blog, on the topic of abortion, where there were special circumstances with both of the babies she lost and where she and her husband had wrestled with the decisions and ultimately she admitted that she still didn’t know if they did the right thing.

i am very much pro life and anti abortion, but when you read a story like Irma’s you realise how not black-and-white those issues can be when there are lives at risk and beyond the issue itself i was very interested to see how people, especially christians, would respond and for the most part there was a lot of love, grace and compassion on offer, but then also responses like this:

I don’t think that there is Any excuse for abortion. We have to suffer for our children and truly lay down our lives for them. those born normal and not. not just abort when the child doesn’t look normal or deformed. thats playing GOD. people died during child birth to give birth to babies that died , were sick and weren’t normal. no amount of justification will remove the fact that you took away a life. I don’t think God favors abortion, under any circumstance. He is a God of forgiveness, yes, but this is coming across as someone who just took things into their own hands and doesn’t have the faith that they speak so much about.

LET’S LET GOD BE GOD [as if we could stop Him!]

A couple of things to take note of:

# In Matthew 22 Jesus is asked what the most important thing is and His response is to love God with everything [heart, soul, strength, mind] and to love our neighbour as ourselves. [Later on He adds enemy to people we need to love and reminds us that His definition of ‘neighbour’ is everyone else in the world and particularly the person in need]

# In John 13 we read: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

# In James 1 we read two important things to take note of here: 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Tight reign of tongue and look after orphans and widows.

# In Matthew 25’s parable of the sheep and the goats, those who are sent to eternal punishment were not sent away because of their bad theology or because they failed to judge those who had messed up – they did not hit the mark because they ignored the hungry, naked, sick, thirsty, imprisoned etc.

There should be no doubt that our primary focus needs to be love. God is going to be doing the judging and each of us will stand in front of Him one day giving account of our lives and actions and maybe more importantly the times we failed to show love, compassion and grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Jesus has a lot of encounters with terribly sinful people and the ‘Go and sin no more’ of his encounter with the woman caught in sin is a reminder that He never takes their sin lightly or dismisses it. But we don’t see Him making the ‘horrible sinners’ feel bad and in fact He is accused of hanging around with the drunkards and prostitutes which means that they probably enjoyed being around Him and not because He made them feel bad i imagine. In fact the major time we see Jesus making people feel bad, it is the Pharisees and the Sadducees who held so strongly on to ‘the law’ and used it to place heavy burdens on those seeking God.

THE POINT

God is the judge – let Him judge.

We are called to hold people accountable yes, but let the phrase “Speak the Truth in Love” always be our guide and mentor.

And whatever we do, wherever we get it wrong, or are not sure, we HAVE to always get LOVE right. That is the highest call on us and we cannot get that one wrong. Love, compassion, grace, mercy, forgiveness, friendship, community… but always LOVE.

God will be God. [He’s pretty good at it!]

love

2014 brett pool duncs

so today we fly back to americaland and i leave a changed man.

but maybe not in the way you would expect… i don’t feel like i have grown so much as i have regressed, but in a good way though. as in ‘returned to former state’ – or returning at least.

in some Christian senses i guess we have been living the dream – 19 months at the Simple Way [you know, the mecca of christian intentional community… will write something about that sometime], attending Wild Goose Festivals, CCDA conferences and involved in two non-profits… you know, changing the world. or something.

i was having lunch with my new mate Bill yesterday and i heard him say the words… he was talking about living an actively following Jesus life and really taking this stuff seriously and he threw in the line, “But of course you know all this, you’re living it”, which is great to hear of course, but my heart thudded a little bit when i heard it, because i feel i still have so far to go.

AMERICALAND: land of the free… king confused.

oh Africa, who looks jealously across the ocean at Americaland

land of hope, land of plenty

land of money and opportunity and adventure 

land of blockbuster movies and high speed internet and space tourism programs

and really bad mayonnaise. no seriously, i’m talking that stuff needs a new name cos that is NOT mayonnaise.

what the raiSIN-infested-custard were you thinking?

and i will be speaking in generalisations here so please don’t see it through a one-size-fits-all lens, and remember that Americaland is a huge country and our experience of it is largely Philadelphia and Oakland, and the church tribes we have encountered there and online…

but we have noticed that as advanced as Americaland is in many areas [and it is, or maybe developed is a better word because being more developed does not mean more advanced – i remember a glorious time when telephones were not able to be carried around with us and people at restaurants actually looked at and spoke to each other] there are some where it seems completely backward or in need of catchup. mayonnaise is one such area [throw all of yours out and start again] and another is banking systems [so much of backward in many areas of that] and public toilet doors [mind the gap!] and so on.

and your church. while there are incredible church congregations doing incredible things and while we have met some truly amazing and brilliant people and also been super privileged to find a congregation we enjoy being a part of in Re:Generation, your church as a whole [or in large pockets within the whole] feels very confused and in need of a bit of a shake up [and not because it’s not new or post-post-modern or ‘with it’ enough].

the church of Americaland has for a long time seen itself as the Saviour of the rest of the world in many ways – must. save. Africa. [wait, where is Africa? oh, there it is… must.save.Africa] but you seem to largely [remember the generalisations, if this is not you, let it go and move on] be taking your lead from the world and not from Scripture or the Holy Spirit [or the glorious combination of them both].

tolerance has become the big deal where the definition of tolerance has become ‘whatever you want to do or be is fine, anyone who tells you you cannot do or be what you are doing or being is intolerant and judgemental and Jesus who loved and embraced and welcomed all people is sad with those people for not just accepting everyone, however they choose to be. ‘

the church was always meant to be modeling the love of Jesus and the worship of God the Father and the power, love and discipline of the Holy Spirit to the world in a ‘Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Me’ kind of way which feels like it has been largely been replaced by a ‘this feels good’ or ‘this will keep people happy’ mentality which is just not evidenced all that much in the Bible.

there is also a strong sense of 1 Corinthians 1 dejavu going on…

12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Except that we have replaced Paul and Apollos and Cephas with John Piper and Mark Driscoll and Rachel Held Evans and Shane Claiborne… being influenced by people is great [follow my example as i follow the example of Christ – 1 Corinthians 11] but when you start following people, that is when it gets dangerous and the cross of Christ starts to be emptied of its power.

church of Americaland – the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing… once our message starts to make sense and be completely acceptable to all those around us, we need to be checking if it is still the same message of God.

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

and so, church of Americaland, there is so much good in you and so many passionate and committed people doing some incredible and amazingly creative things, but as a whole, you do seem quite confused and really in need of plugging back into your source and being led by Him. also it wouldn’t hurt for you to take some time in Africa [and beyond] just simply looking and listening and learning… you might be surprised at the work God has been doing there and what they might have to offer you.

REFUSE THIS THING

so for me, this trip has been so good, and two things stand out:

[1] connecting with people who are passionate about following Jesus – i have been leaning towards staying in Americaland for longer because i love the Re:Gen community we are part of and the opportunities to preach and work with young and older people there. God is doing some good stuff there and it has been great to be a part of it and i definitely feel like i have a lot to offer and hopefully learn from them… but it was one night in Hillbrow [my first, back in South Africa] that changed everything for me and reminded me how African my blood is. and i’m not so sure it was Hillbrow. it was spending time with Nigel Branken and his family, who in the messiest of ways, are trying to re-imagine their faith in Jesus and live where they feel He has called them, as well as meeting some other great people in that community that night. it was reconnecting with my buddy Rob and his wife Nicky who are in the midst of planting a church with some friends. it was breakfast with Bruce and Bex and hearing how they are wanting to have an impact in the community where they are. it was listening to my old youth mate Fezile and how he is wanting to create a program to clean up the township where he lives. and it was lunch with Bill, listening to how he is wrestling with really wanting to follow Jesus completely and how that feels like it looks so different from the regular Sunday church meeting he has been attending and how that affects finances and hospitality and work ethics and beyond. and it was sitting with a bunch of people over a meal discussing how we could give away the pot of money we had all contributed to, to meet the needs of other people we know. and more. conversations, people, ideas, passion for kingdom things and transformation of the world as we know it – seeing the kingdom come on earth and not waiting for the big escape from this messed up world

[2] getting hijacked with worship music – we had an amazing gift from an old youth friend Kerstin and her husband Carl in being gifted the use of their car which has been an incredible present to tbV and me while we have been here. but it took us a while to realise there was more than one cd in the car and until we did, there was this worship compilation that i would just play over and over and two songs in particular stood out for me, the one being by a guy called Ben Howard titled ‘I will be blessed’ [anyone who knows me well knows that that is a unlikely title for a song that would be liked by me] – just a completely haunting song that just overwhelmed me in some ways and the lyrics don’t do it justice at all without hearing it so head off to Uncl Google, but here is the chorus:

Oh hey heaven is the place we know
Heaven is the arms that hold us
Long before we go
Oh hey, heaven is the place we know
Heaven is the arms that hold us
Long before we go

but just the gift of worship and having it around me every time i have been in the car has been so great for me and an even bigger gift than the car itself. it feels like my very soul [the whoness of who i am] has been bathed in this river of just holiness and love and grace and brought me so much closer to God and helped me focus on Him. a reminder of Who and what this is all about.

i have a plane to go and get ready for although i feel like there is a whole lot more to say, but the focus of this post is that for me this trip has helped me to become a little more unsettled than i’ve been – hence the regression [which is usually seen as a negative thing but can also be describing something that returns to a former state] – one of the biggest dangers of life as a follower of Jesus is that we settle – with the way things are, with the routine of life, with the squeezing down of our passion and belief that God and His church can actually make a difference in the world and actually just kind of semi-give up and start to resemble everyone else, in a kind of boring and bland and grey kind of way…

that is NOT what we have been called to – we have been called to live and thrive and be agents of transformation in a world that is desperately in need of God… i am so glad this trip has rekindled some of the fire in me and so expectant [and nervous] about what lies ahead… we have been in Americaland for a reason – it has been both great and hard and amazing and difficult and frustrating and exhilarating and angrifying and more… but it has been good…

and i’m not sure what is next or how it looks or anything like that [we are committed to church and non-profit work til August] but i want to continue to fan into flame the things that God is starting to work in my life.

if you’re a praying person, i can definitely use a lot of that. we both can.

my nickname is FISH which stands for Faithful In Serving Him – i am definitely not worthy at all of carrying that as a description of who i am, but as a path i try to follow and live out and aim towards, that is something i hold strongly to.

i love Jesus. i love His church. and i believe that when the church starts being the church, every one of us, then the world will be completely turned upside down.

which, ironically, is right side up.

plag

so plagiarism has been on the menu of late, in christian circles anyways…

first up it was Mark Driscoll and various questions relating to work he copied or used from other sources… starting with a radio interview and then exploding into all sorts of articles and even some friendly tweets from ‘I kissed Rob Bell farewell’ tweetster, John Piper.

then David Rudd wrote this piece ‘In Defence of Plagiarism’ which referenced a recent occurrence of Rachel Held Evans work being plagiarised [the person later apologised] and Rachel jumped into the comments section of that to make it quite clear that she was not okay with people ‘stealing her work.’

various other celebrities and non celebrities jumped into the fray in different ways and forms and probably the best comment i have read in the whole conversation slash waging war was the one that said ‘the problem here is not plagiarism, it’s idolatry’ which resonates so closely with me – to me ‘christian celebrity’ is an oxymoron, or should be – any time we put anyone else on a pedestal that is not Jesus, we are bound for trouble soon. so maybe the problem here is not plagiarism, it’s celebrity? [runs and hides]

at the risk of being accused of plagiarising David Rudd, i should say that this will likely sound a lot like his, simply because i think to some extent i think the same thing, but i would love to air my two cents largely because i am just so bored and frustrated and ridiculoused out by all this online conversation and hopefully you have been able to miss the whole thing and so excuse my little rant.

i know this is not a popular opinion rant. especially among those who benefit off being the people able to call “Plagiarism.”

[and let me disclaim with the fact that i do feel that using someone else’s words and pretending they are your own is bad and silly and wrong and illegal for sure]

HOWEVER, my stance on this whole thing as far as i am concerned, is and always has been – if you want to use any of my stuff, go for it.

If it is Godly and worth using then i want as many people as possible to be reading what i write.

If it is all me and not worthwhile then i want as few people as possible to be reading it.

Problem solved.

And i have heard all the arguments and questions of ‘Oh yes, would you like someone to come and steal your car?’ and posturing and logic and so on, or it feels like i’ve heard them all – feel free to prove me wrong – but for me i have to ask what the heart of the writing is about?

If it is for the kingdom, then let go of the pride and the glory and the fame and the need for your name to be on the bottom of it and just celebrate that the kingdom is being preached.

And if it’s about making you look good, then at least be honest about it. Own the pride. Own the good feelings and identity and worthfulness you get from saving the world or transforming lives or whatever it is you are building up or breaking down. But just be honest.

My favourite book is a book called ‘No Compromise’ – the life story of a guy called Keith Green who i completely believe would be with me on this stuff – he used to infuriate ‘good, christian, musicians’ and worship leaders by giving his music away because, i don’t know, he believed [like i strongly, strongly do] that worship should be free. silly man.

i have written a book, which i do hope to somehow get published someday [called ‘I kissed hating [the church] goodbye’] and in the intro i pretty much disclaimed the likelihood of unintentional plagiarism in its covers simply because when i hear a good idea i often grab it and use it in a preach… and then after a while i have used it to often it suddenly starts to feel like it’s mine and i have no idea where it came from. can you imagine Jesus overhearing Paul referencing one of His parables and whispering down from heaven, ‘Hey Paul, don’t forget to mention you got that from Me?’ Nah, didn’t think so.

i love the notion of what Derek Webb has been able to do with Noisetrade in terms of music, where bands offer their music for free or a donation or even just a shout out – and so everyone has easy access to some great and often new music and there is the opportunity to pay-what-you-can or even to enjoy it for free but be telling others about it.

so, in summary:

taking someone’s stuff and pretending it is your own is bad [because i am such a not big fan of lying and that’s what that is, really]

writing stuff or creating art or music or poetry – be open-handed with it and let it get out there – why should just the rich and money-laden and privileged be able to get hold of your stuff

stop putting people on pedestals and christians, stop following the example and pattern of the world – we were called away from that. we can do so much better.

best worship song of the year? don’t get me started…

Changing lanes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

hi there

my name is brett “Fish” anderson and this is my blog…

the FISH stands for Faithful In Serving Him and it is all about the purpose of my life being about trying to love Jesus and love people more and well and better. and to hopefully help them do likewise.

this is apparently my 1095th blog post so i’ve been doing this for a while. i don’t tend to use a lot of CAPS which infuriates some people but i generally like to keep them for highlighting important things like God and people. the beginnings of sentences don’t often feel worthy enough for me to employ CAPS. apparently the word CAPS does, at least in this post.

i also apparently have 279 subscribers to my blog. but to be honest i don’t really know a whole lot of you. and that bothers me a little bit. i don’t follow a lot of other blogs usually because of time but three that i find myself at quite often and which i generally like are those belonging to Don Miller, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary [and bronze olympic hugger if she is to be believed] and Rachel Held Evans… i don’t always agree with everything all of them say [which is good, and hopefully you won’t either, when it comes to me too] but more often than not i find them encouraging or challenging me to be a better me and to love Jesus and people and embrace life more and those are all good things.

but they all have interactions in their comments section. and that’s one thing this blog lacks and i’m not quite sure how to get that right [maybe you need 10000 followers to get 10 comments so i may have a fair bit to go] except by having it implied that i am anti-animal [which i’m not particularly] cos back in the day that used to get people going off.

[1] the one thing i was thinking was that a lot of my posts tend to be sermons or lessons, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but i don’t know if that would make me inclined to comment and get involved…

[2] the second thing is that i was doing NABLOPOMO which is the challenge WordPress has to post a blog a day for a month, which i normally do anyways [or close to] but find that when i’m trying to do one for the sake of doing one then i tend to end up writing blog posts that feel like they’ve been written for the sake of it and that just absolutely SUCKS. so i’m going to stop that.

here is what i am going to try to do going forwards [and you can hold me to it, or maybe remind me from time to time]:

[A] i am going to try and only post what i want to post… and that will probably still be a whole bunch of different stuff, but i am going to try and be more intentional on this front

[A + 1] i am going to try and post some more life blogs, so not messages, just life as i experience it or things i am thinking or experiences i am experiencing

[A + 2] i am going to try and come up with a less ridiculous numbering system for bullet points than this one which felt clever in my head, but really isn’t.

all to say that i don’t know if you will notice a whole lot, but i am wanting in my brain at least to be intentional about changing lanes and maybe there will be more cause for interaction in the months and years to come.

in the meantime if you are a subscriber who actually reads my blog from time to time [and not one who has set their settings to automatic ‘like’ which does tend to make me feel good until i realise you’re liking every single post which no sane person possibly could and so go back to being sad or really really nervous about the kind of person that might be] then i would love it if you would jump in to the comments section below and at least say hi and if you’re up for it introduce yourself and say a few words and if there was any particular post you liked or any specific type of post that you enjoy more please let me know… and every now and then when you read a post and you have an extra minute, add a thought or a comment or start some controversy about me hating animals…

and then if all 279 of you went from there directly to this link and voted on my most incredible Coke Zero sweater which i createdthen there is little doubt in my mind i would make it into the top 100 and it would actually get made and that would be fun. at least for me. so please do that.

but anyways, thankx to all of you who do come in and read from time to time and i hope that some of the things i write or post or video make at least some small difference to your life… here’s to the next 1095 posts…

 

 

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