Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Floodgates Are Now Open...

Before I submitted my first post, I let my journalist friend read it. His response: "You gone get in trouble!"

Well...I'm used to it because, since my birth in 1968 (arguably the most tumultuous year in this nation's history), I've been looking at and in the midst of trouble. Not my own trouble...but trouble nonetheless. Racial. Socioeconomic. Sociopolitical. Religious/ecclesiological. Cultural. You name it, it happened in '68. The problem here is that trouble is getting way more real and occurring way more often in 2016. In some ways, I'm looking at a "chickens-coming-home-to-roost" situation. But I digress...

I've always been a renegade...a rebel of sorts, at times revolutionary in my thought. My "rebellious" nature is not one where I engage in unwise, unrestrained, or unholy dissent. My "rebellion" was one where I tried to see what, why, when, where, and how things are...and who is behind it all...then address and respond to it either through speech, written expression, proclamation of Gods' Word, exercise of talent or giftedness, social connection, interpersonal dialogue, or some other form of action. My principal sphere of operation was and is any circle within churches of Christ...wherever the Lord provided me an opportunity. Sometimes that meant going against the grain of well-established groups, authoritative figures, and institutions. Then and now, you would find me regularly situated in the midst of polar opposites: liberal and conservative, senior saints and youth/young adults, older preachers and younger preachers, progressive and legalistic, African-American and Caucasian, etc. I feel strongly and ardently that my viewpoint is unique and endemic to my own experiential existence.

I'm not a sit-on-the-sidelines type of person...never have been, never will be. And, despite some individuals who try to relegate me to the bench, the Lord usually opens a way for me to get in the game in ways they would never expect.

I'm no fire-starter. Fires have been burning for years, decades, centuries, millennia...  All I choose and desire to do is share with you what I see as a result of the fires - how high the fire is, why I believe it burns, who is getting burned/has been burnt/might or will get burned - and discuss how to address them - seeing the fire with a different mindset, facing the fires, figuring out possible ways they can be extinguished, suggesting preventive measures to keep fires from starting or burning higher than they are.

I'm praying about this endeavor. I'm praying that what I share will inform, proclaim, educate, minister, convict, celebrate, challenge, cause reflection, and incite change. I'm praying that God will direct my conscious thought to produce written words that will not get lost in translation. I'm praying that, through it all, God will get His just glory...and His kingdom, the society that surrounds us, the communities in which we live, the congregations in which we worship and serve, and the people in them will be better off. Sounds ambitious. To tweak the popular catchphrase, it's better for me to "go big, THEN go home."

So I'm going there. I'm not going to reveal in this post in which ways I am. I'd rather just encourage you to simply take it one post at a time.

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