In the chaos of faith, rebellion and obedience

Archive for February, 2009


Posted by justicetabernacle on February 28, 2009

the prophet isaiah never ceases to amaze me-

i was preparing something for our house dinner on thursday and came across isaiah 45–  it’s too long to post but you can click the link-

i love the notion that God goes ahead of us and prepares the way for us-  He clears out all that can potentially hinder us from doing His work and arriving at His promises.  that should give us all a confidence and motivation to stay true to our calling and trust in His provision.  if we are obedient, He is faithful.

He is also confident in His authority- which we must all learn to understand and respect. for He is not a tyrant, but a just one who has all authority. and if that is recognized and embraced, He will pour out His favor and blessing. He will be true to those who seek and worship Him.

though still profound and obscure, sometimes this stuff just makes a whole lot of sense- and you get a sobering, clear view and understanding of the universe.



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It’s Official

Posted by justicetabernacle on February 27, 2009

i received my visa today (the last person on the trip) and plane tickets, so i guess it’s official that i will be leaving for ethiopia in a week.

there is still a ton to do before next friday morning (including a trip down to knoxville, tn)  but it will all get done.

this weekend will be a nice mix of tasks, errands and responsibility along with some parties and social time.

in the meantime, i will sit here and enjoy my new ethiopian cd (bought it for the fundraiser)


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Break the Silence

Posted by justicetabernacle on February 26, 2009

lol, that title just reminded me of my time in the east german town of rostock… they used to have depeche mode parties all of the time.  i always thought it was a bit bizzare, but i guess they loved their 80’s… you know, the good ole days under the communist regime.

so, it’s the home stretch for the ethiopia trip.  i can’t believe we are just over a week away.  preparing for that, along with a few other things, has caused me to be quite busy and thus silent on the blog.  but i’m hoping to be able to post a bit more this week leading up to the trip.

this week i also had a couple of great meetings.  first of all, i met with a pastor from southeast dc who is starting a ministry in anacostia.  we talked about how we at ncc could help and partner with them and their work there.  lots of interesting insight.  i really respect the guy, because he is trying to do organic, neighborhood driven ministry in a really tough area of the city.  not only is he fighting against all the typical forces that go along with minstry, but he is also fighting against long standing traditional denominationalism within the black church.  i learned a lot from our talk.

then just yesterday, i was able to chat with two of the proteges from mosaic church in l.a.  they are in town for a week to see our program and learn about ncc.  i got to spend an hour with them yesterday talking about our social justice efforts here, along with discipleship.  we shared a lot-

so now it’s off to my weekly house dinner-  we do it on thursdays to talk business but also encourage one another through our community time.


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New Monasticism

Posted by justicetabernacle on February 19, 2009

i may have posted this before on the xanga blog, but i’m going to post it here again as i just received it via email.
thursdays are family dinner nite at our community house.  we are now going to start incorporating a devotional time around it as well.  this will help us stay focused on scripture and grow in our spirits as we pursue to make a difference in our community.

tonite we will use the 12 principles of new monastic communities to guide our conversation.  it is our hope that we would be able to continue to strive to reach these goals together.  they are challenging, but i believe they are a great set of guidelines by which true christian community should abide.

in addition to our efforts, i have been blessed to hear some of the other amazing initiatives that are beginning to form in people’s hearts and minds in the neighborhood.  it is going to be a powerful spring and summer.

Thing to ponder:  12 principles of New Monastic Communities:

1) Relocation to the abandoned places of Empire.

2) Sharing economic resources with fellow community members and the needy among us.

3) Hospitality to the stranger

4) Lament for racial divisions within the church and our communities
combined with the active pursuit of a just reconciliation.

5) Humble submission to Christ’s body, the church.

6) Intentional formation in the way of Christ and the rule of the
community along the lines of the old novitiate.

7) Nurturing common life among members of intentional community.

8) Support for celibate singles alongside monogamous married couples and their children.

9) Geographical proximity to community members who share a common rule of life.

10) Care for the plot of God’s earth given to us along with support of our local economies.

11) Peacemaking in the midst of violence and conflict resolution within communities along the lines of Matthew 18.

12) Commitment to a disciplined contemplative life.

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Posted by justicetabernacle on February 18, 2009

off to the clinic to get shot up with all kinds of stuff.
i’m not a big fan of chemical medicine and these sorts of things and have read and read a million opinions on the stuff…
but when all is said and done, i’ve decided to get all the shots for my travel to ethiopia this time.

i am still not sold on the debate over them- but i had to make a decision.
now it’s time to get a sore arm.


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Shakedown 1979

Posted by justicetabernacle on February 17, 2009

so i suppose thirty arrives for most-
it is really amazing how fast time flies in the second half of your twenties.
i’m looking forward to new adventures in this new decade of life though.

i feel blessed to be able to be in a job, where i can follow after my passions- and that it brings me to places like ethiopia and germany and all based out of dc.


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Posted by justicetabernacle on February 13, 2009

back to back days visiting the embassy of ethiopia…
one of the tasks for international travel is visa acquisition.  getting them for a team of 39 makes it even more fun.

however, the folks at the ethiopian embassy were awesome.  they got them done way ahead of schedule and made my life pretty easy.
got a chance to have coffee with one of the officers in the economic division while they were finishing up the work.  he talked about how it was important for the embassy to make the process easy for people who actually want to go and visit their country.  we also shared some other travel stories and talked about the european union and the african union.

ethiopia is an amazing country- and addis is really striving to become a major international city.  i can’t wait to share stories from this upcoming trip.

btw… the only visa that was not completed was mine.  my passport was expiring too close to the trip… so guess who had to expedite apply for a new one today… sigh…
i’m at least happy that i will no longer be responsible for holding on to 38 passports.


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Posted by justicetabernacle on February 11, 2009

yes, that is the german word for busy…

i hate neglecting the blog when life picks up- but planning a trip for 40 people to travel to ethiopia causes a few logistical items to pile on.
we’re getting there-
i had some really exciting developments with the trip… aside from a great full team meeting on sunday, i have had the opportunity over the last two days to spend with aman, who is one of the family members at beza.  he is one of the people that has really helped get the community center idea off the ground at entoto.

after spending a good hour and a half with him yesterday, i told one of the guys from our media team: ‘ this is how it’s supposed to be.  i am so happy to be able to lead a team to a place where we have a solid relati0nship established.’

aman said something during our time yesterday that hit it perfectly.  he said, ‘we really see you guys coming over as brothers and sisters coming alongside to help out something that we are already doing…’  something to that effect.  that kind of mentality is the one that i have been trying to instill in our team.  we are not know-it-all westerners.  we’re not coming to help people in their ministry.  we are merely coming alongside beza, to help and assist the great work they are already doing.
i think that kind of humble mentality will go a long way once we get there.

i am really getting excited about ethiopia…


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Posted by justicetabernacle on February 7, 2009

i had the privilege to share with the alpha leaders this morning at ebenezers.

every semester here at ncc we run the alpha course, and our goal is to have one meeting at all of our locations. if you don’t know anything about alpha, i highly recommend that you check it out. it is a really great introduction to the christian faith. here at ncc we utilize it as the start of the journey through our discipleship map.

i had the opportunity to actually attend an alpha for students conference in london at holy trinity brompton, where it all started. though i have never been super involved with it here, it is something dear to my heart.

so this morning i tried to encourage the leaders, reminding them of the importance of their work and service. for many, alpha is the beginning of a journey at ncc, and even more so a journey in faith. i wanted these leaders to understand their importance in the Kingdom.

in addition to that, i shared a short devotional out of jude vs.20-22

But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.

the four points that i thought would be inspiring for leaders were:
-to be strong in your faith. the point of alpha is for people to bring their questions. this can be a little overwhelming to continually face people’s doubt and skepticism. preparing yourself for that is important.

-to pray, but not only that, have the discernment of the Holy Spirit. nothing can be more motivating to someone who is seeking God, than a confirming prayer from a discerning leader. the Holy Spirit will often prompt you with a bit of information that is helpful in this process.

-model the love of God in your life. skeptics will sit back and observe how those, who are claiming truth in the love of God, treat one another. it is vital that the leaders in alpha are truly loving one another in genuine community.

-finally, show mercy unto those who are wavering in their faith. we have to be quick to show grace, mercy and patience to those who are seeking God and asking questions about life.

we ended the morning by covering our leaders in prayer and letting them pray for one another.  most importantly however, is that they are praying for those that they are serving.  i can’t wait to hear all of the amazing stories to come out of alpha this year.


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Posted by justicetabernacle on February 6, 2009

so yesterday, some of my roommates and friends were looking online for all of their favorite 80’s toys from their childhood-
there were some definite classics.
it’s really amazing, some of the things we used to play with. thank goodness for youtube, which has also effectively preserved all of our favorite old commercials and infomercials.

anyway- this morning to accompany the tedious task of trying to dig out of my outlook inbox- i have pandora radio rocking, set to the motley crue channel… yes they were my original favorite.
so far i’ve heard: too fast for love, the road to nowhere, through the never, hysteria, and now nightrain is playing… all classics- all full of memories and emotions.

all i have to say is that he les paul produces a most beautiful sound…


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