THE INTERNET MONK SATURDAY BRUNCH
”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”
This is a random thoughts edition of our Saturday Brunch. I will simply be passing on some of the curious things that have been running around my mind, especially during this past week.
Feel free to comment or add thoughts of your own.
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One of the reasons I cannot ever fully shed my “evangelical” identity became clear to me this week. I was a team leader for a group of young people who had traveled to Providence, RI for a short-term missions/service trip. There we served the people at Providence Rescue Mission as well as some of the children in one of the poorer parts of the city.
Nobody I’m aware of helps people have such dramatic conversion experiences as we heard about this week better than evangelical Christians. One man I spoke with had been homeless for 30 years, from age 12 to 42, had been an IV heroin user, and had watched his own brother as well as countless other people die from overdoses and street violence and troubles. He had a conversion experience through the ministry of another organization, and that transformation was genuine enough that he was able to survive the disappointment of realizing the hypocrisy and unethical practices of that group through which he was saved. Now he is working with the rescue mission to help others and share the love and life-transforming power of Jesus. His story was compelling and inspiring.
You all know that I respect and appreciate historic and traditional expressions of the Christian faith, but nobody gets the power of conversion like the evangelicals. And few are doing the hidden work that they are doing in places like this to help people overcome evil with good.
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I loved watching the fireworks this year. But I couldn’t help but think of many veterans who dreaded the experience of hearing those explosions and reliving memories no one should have.
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This week, I was also reminded how good it was to hang around with young people. One of the reasons older folks become codgers and curmudgeons, complaining about how they’ve lost faith in the younger generations, is because they only view them from a safe distance, where they don’t have to be personally affected by the noise and unpolished, raw energy of youth.
They forget that many of the things they complain about reflect the same immaturity, lack of experience, and experimentation that they themselves took part in in their own younger years.
Older does not always = wiser. The wise will befriend the young, be willing to learn from them and find ways to share their lives together. The future depends upon it.
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The older I get, the more I long to live by the ocean. Nothing else gives me perspective, clears my head, and refreshes me like time walking the beach to the rhythm of the waves and looking out on that vast, living watery world, smelling the salt air, hearing the gulls cry, and feeling the sand between my toes.
Plus, there are lobster rolls at the restaurants.