I like the angle this session took, allowing three different people to speak on "touchy" subjects for about 18 minutes or so, and then group chit chat, and finally some Q&A.
However, I'm not a big fan of group chit-chat person. Mainly because I feel the pressure to:
- Lead the conversation, because people expect me to.
- Have something intelligent to say, because people expect me to.
- Enjoy it, because people expect me to.
I did enjoy it, and I didn't mind sharing an attempt at an intelligent thought, and occasionally I steered the conversation.
But it's funny how in such times I want to be a natural introvert and don't know if I can.
Inspirations from the opening poet, Fred Lynch...
- I've heard Fred do this before - share the Gospel of John in a hip-hop rap style. It is cool, but I find myself listening less to the content and more to the slang. A good insight there - sometimes even something intended to be pure can steal the spotlight away from your pure intention.
- This is a gal who went through some humbling times (living with parents, broke, etc), to then later find a groove with God and become a writer. Her book about hearing God's whispers speaks on this matter, including the frustration of when you can't hear from God.
- It says in 1 Kings 19 that God was found in a whisper, but not in a wind, fire, or earthquake. Margaret asked if God wasn't in those things, then who/what was - which is a short-sighted question. God is omnipresent and in everything, but there is a difference between God's presence and God's presents. He gave Isaiah a gift in that moment - a present of His specific presence via the form of a whisper.
- Someone asked a question I thought was powerful - essentially, "If God hadn't answered your prayers and you didn't become a success (and still lived with your parents), what would have become of your faith then?" We should all ask such questions of ourselves if God doesn't do what we want.
Inspirations from Andrew Marin...
- It's intriguing to see how quickly a speaker's energy or lack of energy can change a room's personality. Andrew hit the ground running and was a perfect fit in the middle.
- What a powerful ministry this guy has, building a bridge into the homosexual community without losing his anchor in Jesus. I need to understand how to practically do this better than I am.
- There is a difference between my pastoral answer about homosexuality and the grace we are to offer anyone struggling with an issue, versus the approach I take as a parent - meaning, I'm quite protective of who and what I expose my boys to. Someday those two concepts will merge, but right now they are further apart on this matter than perhaps they should be.
Inspirations from Soon-Chan Rah...
- After this informative presentation on racial matters, I found myself better understanding the history of America's collective sin (i.e. we build a propserous country because we had free labor via negro slaves and free land via what we stole from Native Americans).
- However, I didn't find myself energized by this discussion... I hope I'm allowed to say that. Some days I find it frustrating that I'm accused of representing a stereotype of "white American Christians" simply because I'm white, an American, and am a Christian. That doesn't mean I fit all the accusations, but sometimes in a chat on racial tension I'm summed up quite quickly. And so while this gentleman did a good job of calling a spade a spade, I didn't know that I'd been using the spade like he said I did.