If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don't want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. Every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize, that isn't important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards, that's not important. Tell him not to mention where I went to school.

I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day, that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say, on that day, that I did try, in my life, to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that's all I want to say
- from The Drum Major Instinct
Delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA, on 4 February 1968
Martin Luther King, Jr.

This morning, I visited the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I visited his church. I visited his memorial.

The displays and exhibits were stirring. The art and tributes were also poignant. It was awesome to see groups of school children (integrated groups of children) touring the historic site. However, nothing stirred more than Dr. King himself. His sermons and speeches were playing in various spots. His words were inscribed throughout the sites.

He still speaks.

I spent some time looking at the reflecting pool that surrounds his memorial. At the top of the pool, fountains gently push water into the lower tiers of the pool. One pool flowed into another, until the flow pooled around the memorial at the bottom. The whole time I sat there watching, the water continued to flow and to flow... and it continues still.

But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
-Amos 5:24

Ruminations on King and Gyros

I'm in Atlanta, GA, writing this on my crackberry. I found a little gyro joint downtown (I know: not exactly Southern delicacy).

I pride myself in a couple of things when traveling:

1. Not looking like an annoying tourist

2. My ability to traverse an urban jungle without a car.

So with these principles in mind I tested Atlanta's mass transit. I visited Centennial Olympic Park, the World Congress Center, CNN Headquarters, etc. But, the highlight of the day was a visit to the MLK Center for Social Change.

Dr. King's passion and resolme are only eclipsed by his accomplishments. It was a moving visit to a great man's home, church, and memorial. I'll write moe on it later.

Atlanta's transit was better than expected. The gyro wasn't bad either.

Any travel tips for me? Wha( is your worst and best travel experience?

Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel

Happy Ash Wednesday...I guess?

What are we supposed to feel about a church season that focuses around the darkness and passion approaching the cross?

Do any of you observe anything for Ash Wed and the darkness of winter or is this just more churchy language and ritual? I'm curious because while my denomination makes a big deal about the church seasons, I'm always worried we don't see things within the bigger picture.

I'm tired of winter and ready for something good to happen. That's what Lent always reminds me of...the fact that it's still freezing, we've had snow now for five straight months, and I HOPE there is something new, fresh, and springy just around the corner.

That's just me. What about you?


Madmen and Babies!

A vile, wretched and dastardly villain who dresses all in black complete with a moustache that twitches with evil has kidnapped your child and placed him or her on one train track. On a different train track the mustached madman has has tied twenty total strangers to the rails. When you come upon the scene there is a speeding locomotive barreling toward the two tracks, and you don’t have enough time to get to either your child or the twenty strangers. But, you do have enough time to get to the switch that changes the path of the locomotive. essentially you are forced to choose between your child or the twenty strangers. How do you choose?

Join us for a conversation about ethics and choice!


Catching Up With the Present

It seems to me that I live most of my life catching up with the present.

This morning my son woke me up way too early. Yet, even through my groggy, sleepy eyes, I had a disturbing question: who was this amazing, wonderful little boy? Where did he come from? How was this possible?

He didn't want much. He just wanted to sit on my lap and wait for me to wake up.

As terrible as it sounds, I spend most of my days as if I do not have a wonderful and a beautiful life.

It seems like yesterday I was so young, that days seemed to last forever. I could dip my feet into the waters of time and remaindry. Now, as my small son bounces his feet up and down on my lap, not making a sound, I know the days are moving faster than my perception.
Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel


The Fear of the Meta-Narrative

Is there a generational divide over the subject of transparency with regards to personal info?

I recently discussed with someone slightly older who was put off by the concept of putting too much personal, experiential moments out for the world to explore and share. He argued that these existential, defining moments happen to everyone...but they don't need to be broadcast to the world as though they are entirely unique.

I thought I heard him saying that the general narrative of humanity defines or explains the individual, special revelation as experienced by the individual. I understand his point, but I think there might be a cultural shift that denies this point of view in favor of the move toward the individual experience defining the general. There is not one story for a generation, but thousands of individual experiences that form an overall view INSTEAD OF one story for a generation that is exemplified by thousands of similar individual accounts.



In Other News...

Check it out!

The Traverse City Record Eagle did a great write up on unTapped in their faith feature section. The link above will take you to it. Also, featured in the article is a similar group over in Traverse City that we may need to crash sometime. It is called Pub Theology and they meet at Right Brain Brewery.

Take a look at the article and let us know what you think.


Thursday Recap


We had a great time at Short’s last night. Several of us got together and discussed the reality of hopelessness and suicide in our world and community. We were able to discusses causes, and share our own stories of experiences in our families and relationships.

Big thanks go to Andrew who was on baby duty.

One of the things that came up is the fact that we have so much stuff in our lives – wealth, possessions, etc, but we struggle with depression more than third world countries. Maybe we assume all the stuff we accumulate is going to make us happy, but turns out to be very disappointing.

What do you think? Is there a connection between materialism and depression?

If you’re in the Bellaire area, join us at 7pm next Thursday, Shorts Brewing Company, in downtown Bellaire!


We're All Going to Die! Just Not Yet.

Recently, our village has been hit by a string of suicides.

I love life. I lead a happy, fulfilling, wonderful existence that is full of joy and pleasure. It is hard for me to comprehend the notion of purposefully offing myself. However, there was a time when I tried to do this very thing. You can read about it here.

I read somewhere that the American mortality rate is 100%. In other words, we're all eventually going to die. We should learn to get beyond our fear of that. On the other hand, we should not be too eager to embrace it.

For some however, death is all too welcome. Can life really get to be that bad, or is there something else going on?

Have you ever known anyone who has attempted suicide? Has your family been affected by suicide?

What do yo think causes someone to try it: hopelessness, fear, psychological problems?


In order to live man must believe in that for which he lives.
- Huston Smith
unTapped is a conversation about faith and spirituality. There are many people frustrated by being forced to think of faith in the same old patterns, and would prefer to explore spirituality in different ways.

Anything goes here. No matter where you are or who you are, we want to hear from you. Feel free to join in the conversation!

You can also join us in person, every Thursday night at Short's Brewing Company in Downtown Bellaire, MI.