The Pittsburgh Project

It is an early morning… as we grab lunch and prepare to serve throughout the week, low-income and elderly in the city of Pittsburgh. I’ll see how many updates I can do this week (all from my phone). Check out the Pittsburgh Project at http://www.pittsburghproject.com

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Being Different (Numbers 14:20-24)

20 The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

It is real interesting that Caleb is described as being different.  Yet he wasn’t merely just different in any old way, but he was faithful.  I make the small distinction, so that we don’t think being different in itself will be our salvation.  It was his faithfulness, and the fact that he followed God “wholeheartedly” that made him distinct and favorable before God.  Often times religiousity will take you one way, and following God wholeheartedly will take you another.   In what ways might we be allowing main stream Christianity to dictate our direction and lives?  Could it be that in our going along with american christian culture and thought, that we in actuality miss what God has called us to?  How do we follow Christ wholeheartedly in our time?  Which way is Christ leading? Freestyle with me…

The Latest Victim of Racial Profiling… Well Respected Professor of Harvard University, Henry Louis Gates

Yes it is true one of the premier and most well known black intellectuals in our country was arrested while trying to get into his own home… Had to share the story here… I am looking forward to hearing him speak this upcoming February at Messiah College.

Unfortunately, Cambridge has gained a terrible reputation in race relations in the last few years, and even a Nationally known intellectual like Dr. Gates can not escape the stereotypes that run rampant in our country.  Of course, I expect people to justify even this incident, cuz there always is a reason isn’t there… Freestyle with me.

Transparency

Sometimes when I look around, it seems like everyone else has it all together, and that I am the only one who struggles and has weaknesses.  But then I have a true and real conversation with a close friend, and am quickly reminded that we all struggle, we all have imperfections, we all sin, we all are broken.

Unfortunately, the church seems to a breeding ground for people who walk around with a facade, as though everyone is perfect.  Churches are not a place to be transparent and honest, rather  it seems that we teach people to put up walls, hiding the reality of their humanity and sinfulness.

Yet we are reminded of Paul’s self-pronouncement as “chief of all sinners”. Freestyle with me on this, how have you been able to share authentically and transparentally with others for mutual accountability and encouragement?

Senate asks Obama to pardon late boxing legend Jack Johnson

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Senate urged President Barack Obama to pardon the late black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, who was sent to prison nearly a century ago because of his romantic ties with a white woman.

Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion in 1908 — 100 years before Obama was elected America’s first black president. The boxer was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes. The law has since been heavily amended, but has not been repealed.  The resolution was sponsored by Obama’s 2008 opponent, John McCain. Similar resolutions offered in 2004 and last year failed to pass both chambers of Congress.

He said that there would be “tremendous historic significance” in the nation’s first black president pardoning the nation’s first black heavyweight champ. King added that he hoped Congress will take up the resolution next month.  Neither McCain nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment. But in unveiling the resolution in April, McCain said, “We need to erase this act of racism which sent an American citizen to prison on a trumped-up charge.” It (the resolution) says a pardon would “expunge a racially motivated abuse of the prosecutorial authority of the federal government from the annals of criminal justice in the United States.”

Freestyle with me, is this actually a good thing? Jack Johnson is dead and gone after spending years in prison.  It seems that this sweep under the rug would actually erase the countries conscience and memory of what Jack Johnson went through.  Is this the best way to fix his reputation?  I am curious what you think…

Freestyle TV

Just wanted to make sure people were not sleep’n on Freestyle TV.  There are a few videos available to be watched.  Also from time to time you can catch live footage provided through the technology of Qik.com and my cell phone.  Enjoy the videos and let me know what ya think!