I met a man recently in Berkeley who leads recovery groups and he gave me a 24 hour coin-the kind you get after your first 24 hours sober. He said that most people give a 24 hour coin made of aluminum or some other lightweight metal but he always gives a heavy coin made of something dense and substantial because, after all, those first 24 hours are a really, really big deal…
A bit from What We Talk About When We Talk About God
Gospel is the shocking, provocative, revolutionary, subversive, counterintuitive good news that in your moments of greatest
and falling short,
God meets you there-
right exactly there-
in that place, and announces,
I am on your side.
Gospel insists that God doesn’t wait for us to get ourselves polished, shined, proper, and without blemish. God comes to us and meets us and blesses us while we are still in the middle of the mess we created.
Gospel isn’t us getting it together so that we can have God’s favor; gospel is us finding God exactly in the moment of our greatest not-togetherness.
Gospel is grace, and grace is a gift. You don’t earn a gift; you simply receive it. You don’t make it happen; you wake up to what has already happened.
Gospel isn’t doing enough good to be worthy; it’s your eyes being opened to your unworthiness and to Jesus’s insistence that that was never the way it worked in the first place.
Being a good person, then, naturally flows not from trying to get on God’s good side but from your realization that God has been on your side the whole time.
Gospel calls you to a major change in thinking, a giant shift in understanding, a massive leap in how you see yourself, otherwise, you’re stuck in the same old points program, trying to earn what is already yours.
Chapter 5, Pg. 135-137
I was strolling through Edinburgh, Scotland recently and came across this art installation, which made little sense when I first saw it. Until I kept walking and stood directly in front of it…
I was in Phoenix this past weekend for a funeral, getting ready to lead the graveside service when this woman sat down next to me. Her name is Mary and she looked me in the eyes and she said ”I’m 94 and what you have to understand about me young man is that I’m still learning…I’m still learning!”
How great is that?
(Is it just me or does she look like she’s about to start rapping?)
So my friend Gabor tells me that his daughter Daniela recently won her school talent show.
Which is fantastic, of course. But then he sends me video he shot from the audience of her performance. Have you ever heard a freshmen in high school sing like this?
I was in San Fransisco recently and I walked in to this pirate shop.
Yes, a pirate shop.
Why is this awesome? Because of Dave Eggers. Have you read anything by Dave Eggers? I recommend beginning with his first book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. How can you not love a book with that title? It’s an amazing book, and he’s followed it with one great book after another, including my favorite What Is The What.
Which would all be great, but Dave Eggers, as far as I can tell, is not messing around. He started a writing program for helping kids become better writers and teachers to inspire their students to write called
but from what I understand to use this particular building for their work the building had to have some sort of business in the front.
Hence the pirate shop.
One more example of the countless innovative, inspiring, compelling, world changing things people are doing every single day all around us.