Nov 03 2011
The Totally NOT Safe for the Family Christian Radio Podcast: Inside the Mind of Men

(Click HERE to listen to the podcast.  Or, HERE is a link to our iTunes page!)

Your sex is not a social construct.  It's written on every strand of DNA, in each of the 50 trillion cells in your body.
 
And, except on a few remaining college campuses, this is so obvious it doesn't bear saying, but we'll say it:  We're different, we men and women. 
 
And viva la difference.
 
Shaunti Feldhahn, to her credit, takes this approach.  She's a Harvard grad, and a former Wall Street analyst who's also worked on Capitol Hill.  And analyze, she does, using thoroughgoing research techniques. Her books are worth reading, but only if you're, say, a male, or a female, or you interact with other humans.  (If that doesn't apply to you, skip the books.)
 
In this podcast, we talk about how men think, and, as shocking as that might be to women, how God didn't do this on accident.  Also, Shaunti tackles other tough issues, like how to handle the "modesty issue" in modern churches.

Nov 02 2011
Here's to Nothing

Nothing is counter-cultural.

We figured this out not long after moving to trendy Palm Beach County, Florida, where we rented a little condo in a development that forms a ring around a pond.  Thing was, everyone could pretty much see everyone else, all the time.  Everyone's sliding-glass back doors face everyone else's.  We started getting comments from neighbors.

One evening, standing by the pond, a tipsy Finnish guy (he and his wife were drinking while moving out, tired of the inhospitable hood) told me -- I swear I'm not making this up:  "When I look at your family, I think about God."

I'd never talked to him before.

"I watch you outside, and your wife, and your boy, and when you walk with your girl, and I see how your wife makes people feel -- very welcome," he said.  "It makes me think about God.  I know that's strange."

Once, a single man, a Jewish guy named Steve, stopped by with his dog as Carolyn and I sat on our little back patio.  Carolyn had talked with him some.  Me, not so much.  I have a long history of being shy...and selfish.  I'm getting better.

"You guys ought to be in a museum!"

Uh...what?

"Seriously.  You got the mom, the dad, the kids, hanging out.  When it gets dark, I can see you inside, eating dinner around the table and stuff.  You ought to be in a museum somewhere!  I love it!"

In our society's terms, what we do is a lot of "nothing".  For one, we don't send our kids to school.  (Forgive us, culture, for we have sinned.)  Carolyn's a brilliant teacher, and home-schooling fits nicely into the rhythm of our home.  I've heard the objections.  One of the more awkward, I think, is this:  "What about being 'salt and light'?  What about sending your kids into the dark places to redeem them?  What about the schools?"

Yes.  What about them?  And -- while we're at it -- what about our neighborhoods?  What about not just getting mail there, but actually living where you live?  Kids leave schools and change classes.  People change churches and never see each other again.  But where you live?  Now, there's a bit more there there.

A famous study of Chicago neighborhoods in the 50s and 60s concluded there is one thing, more than any other, that made for the "glue" of a neighborhood:  Women.  At home.  (Again, forgive me, etc.)

Turns out, when you have time to do what, culturally-speaking, is "nothing" (like walking the baby around, chatting with neighbors, letting the kids play together) neighbors get to know each other.  It doesn't happen when everyone's at breakneck speed and, when home, exhausted.

Nothing is quite something -- a very attractive something.  People long for it;  even admire it.  (One lawyer friend told me over coffee, "I hear what you're saying, about not working like crazy to buy stuff, and I want to live like that.  But -- forgive me -- you're the only one I know who actually does that.")

In this culture, "nothing" sticks out like crazy, like a...light...on a hill, or...something.  It wasn't just those two guys.  Our neighborhood knew we were odd.  The dad's home a lot, walking around with his daughter, catching lizards?  The mom is home a lot, too, talking outdoors with us about the ducks?  They waste time together.  They waste time with us.  Something's odd, here...

So:  Nothing made a man think about God.  In the U.S., right now, maybe that's not hard to explain.  We did nothing, and nothing is shockingly out of place.  Nothing means not everything, not running around infernally, not getting our kids this-lesson-and-that, not trying to sustain a lifestyle we "want" -- but not deep down.

Maybe Jesus's offer of "rest" is not an "after your dead, rest in peace"-type rest.  Maybe it's a lifestyle, now, that invites other people out of the maelstrom.

Here's to nothing.  I don't want to sound cocky about it, but I can do nothing pretty well.

Oct 13 2011
The Totally Not Safe for the Family Christian Radio Podcast: Jesus Loves P*rn Stars

I did the asterisk thing up there because I think it will keep the site from getting blocked.  I'm not sure.  I can't ever figure that stuff out.

Craig Gross, pastor, travels the country talking about the destructiveness of the pornorgraphy industry.   Craig Gross, pastor, is also friends with a symbol of the industry itself, Ron Jeremy.  Go figure.

In this podcast, we ask him how, exactly, that works, and how, too, he and his group of fellow Jesus-worshippers can be welcomed at a gay pornography convention.  And we find out why it's so hard for people to leave an industry that exacts such a heavy, deadly toll.

Find out more about Craig here. And xxxchurch here.  It's a stunningly helpful site.

And here's the link to today's podcast right here.