Tag: community

The Belief Books: An Interview with Josh Naaman

A snarky take on why conversation matters

This week, we’ll sit down with Josh Naaman, the author, host and sole creator of the podcast The Belief Books. Beliefs inform our actions and Josh believes that analyzing these beliefs helps progress humanity leading us to interact with each other and the Earth in more positive ways. With this project, Josh seeks to talk about and explore beliefs through conversations with people from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.

Josh is a believer in the power of conversation and its ability to transform perspectives and communities. We live in an age where the notion of dialogue has been replaced with a debate. It’s no longer about learning from one another; it’s about winning an argument. This is a troubling path for sure, but there’s always hope to change our ways. Join us for this conversation about how to engage in meaningful conversations with people who don’t believe what you believe. A continued descent into political polarization and fracture isn’t the way to healing. It’s not even constructive. It’s time to try something new. The ultimate hope is that we can always learn something from someone else and conversations are key.

Check out The Belief Books podcast here. It’s well worth your time and you can thank me later!

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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Grace is Brave

A snarky talk about grace

This week, we sit down with author, Chris Kratzer. Chris was a pastor for 22 years before he had enough of the hypocrisy and bigotry in the church. He completely walked away from ministry and almost everything Christian, yet he couldn’t shake his love of Jesus. His message of grace may be in line with orthodox Christianity but not so much with evangelicalism. Captured by the pure Gospel of God’s love and compassion, Chris now focuses on communicating the message of wholeness, equality, affirmation, and the beauty of Jesus, particularly as it relates to life, culture, and church. This interview is a wild, snarky, and fun ride that’s fueled by grace and Chris’ unique outlook on life and spirituality. He is an inspiration to all of us who love Jesus but don’t really know what to do with the church anymore. Let us join in on Chris’ assertion that grace is brave. May we all seek to be brave.

You can check out his work here: http://chriskratzer.com. You’ll thank me later.

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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When Christians Don’t Think

A snarky take on the imaginary line between faith and science

It’s no surprise that many Conservative Evangelical Christians get labeled as anti-science and anti-thought. They’ve practically given themselves this label as a badge of honor. They reject science as an affront to their own religious beliefs and faith. They’ve learned to not think. Does it have to be that way?

Today we’ll talk about two alarming trends within conservative Christianity: anti-vaccination and anti-climate change. Yes, I know it’s easy to dismiss these both as an anti-intellect problem (and you wouldn’t be wrong), but it’s more insidious than that. It’s frankly rooted in bad theology.

God never called us to be purposefully ignorant, and this self-made line between religion and science was never meant to be there. If we’re made in the image of God, then we should live to be fully human and that includes using our intellect in how we engage the world with both faith and facts.

Join us as we talk about the damages of fearing vaccines and denying climate change. Spoiler alert: God cares about the environment, and Jesus wants you to care for your kids by vaccinating them. Christians, these issues aren’t about faith. They’re about responsibility. Stop using fear and escapism to inform your cheap version of Christianity. Neither of these are God ordained. So think Christians, think!

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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How to Talk to People

A snarky take on Christian communication

In the wake of all of this religious division and Christian insanity – or Christinsanity (stop trying to make fetch happen!), I had a listener ask for advice on how to talk with people that didn’t believe the same way they did. Let’s talk about how to talk with people who don’t believe like you. If we can see the common humanity in the ‘other’ we can walk out our faith in a meaningful way. Being hateful and angry is so 2016. So how do you evangelize the right-leaning conservative Christian? Join us to find out how to talk to people.

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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Fun With Judgement

A snarky take on judgement and the church

Snarky Faith 10/4/16

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A rundown of how and why the church ends up being so darn judgy. Can there be fun with judgement? Probably not, but we’ll do our best to snark it up this topic that has plagued Christianity for years. Why are Christians so judgmental? How did we get here and is there way out of this mess? Come with us as we look for a different way. Join us to hear what Church could look like as we skewer through life, culture and spirituality.

Tune in to find out more…

How We Invest Our Lives Matters


Snarky Faith 2/9/16

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A rundown the ways which we choose to cheaply invest our lives. Faith should inform how we live. How we invest our lives should be deeply imbedded in helping the world around us. And this always requires much of us. Join us as we talk about how true investment is required to help solve the problems of the world today. Are we right on or way off? Tune in to find out.

Authenticity vs Oversharing

Authenticityphoto by: Patrick Lanigan

I’ve been having lots of conversations with people about what defines a community. With that conversation, the word ‘authenticity’ keeps coming up. It’s one of those buzz words that we all like to talk about but rarely do well. So what is authenticity? Let’s get a working definition as a frame of reference.

When we talk about authenticity, we need to add words like openness, realness, and vulnerability. I once heard someone describe it as having an ‘unprotected presence.’ That’s a good place to start. In a world where we’ve become so protected, guarded and hyperaware of our social media identities, it’s hard to find places to be real and let our defenses down. It’s almost like we’ve become programmed with these psychological defense mechanisms to exist in a protected way that, over time, we begin to lose more and more of our humanity. We become less of ourselves.

When was the last time you let your defenses down and allowed your imperfections step out into the daylight?

The truth of the matter is that most of the time, we won’t let this happen. We’re scared and for good reason. We live in a hypercritical culture that celebrates the image of perfection even though we know it’s rarely a true picture. We buy into an ideal that doesn’t really exist. To further complicate the situation, I believe that one of the truest desires of us as humans is to be known by one another. So here we are, stuck in a place; frozen between desire and fear.

Before laying out a roadmap towards being open and real, let’s first define what it isn’t. Commonly you may encounter some people that will tell you everything… I mean everything. This is oversharing. Oversharing isn’t authenticity.

I once knew someone who had, for lack of a better term, a massive case of verbal diarrhea. Every idea that came to their mind was offered in abundance to everyone within shouting distance. There was no unspoken thought – it was all out in the open. That’s a classic case of oversharing. When there is nothing withheld, nothing is sacred. Not everything needs to be said. Oversharing can be a defense mechanism. If you unleash every detail and thought out onto the world, it makes it hard to find the real bits. I call this the “needle in the haystack” syndrome. Hide the needle (the true parts of yourself) and everyone will only look at the hay. When cultivating authenticity in our lives, we have to remember that it’s all about context and degrees. Understanding the situation, the context, helps us to know when it’s appropriate and safe to be fully open. Taking that, and processing it through different degrees or spheres of relationship also helps us to know when and how much to disclose to others. A stranger on the bus has a different degree of influence than a close friend. It’s all about appropriateness.

Below is a good example of oversharing. Here, George Brett becomes a true TMI Hall of Famer.

 

Contains NSFW Language 

You gotta hand it to Mr. Brett for keeping it real. But openness like this is more about a lack of self-awareness than being genuine, personal and authentic.

Authenticity comes more from a posture than a single event. Brené Brown says, “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” So how do we begin to walk it out? Here’s a few ideas for a starting point.

1. Be open

Let the world know you, be open with your thoughts, beliefs and opinions. Listening is also a big component of learning to be yourself. As you learn to open up, you also need to be available to see others in a similar way. To be authentic is to also looking beyond yourself. How do you value the people around you? How can your presence be a gift to those in your life? Part of being authentic is also helping others to do the same. We all have our own unique journeys in life. Embrace yours and be open and graceful to the path of others.

2. Be brave

Do people know the real you? If not, they’re probably missing out. Learn to embrace your own vulnerability – your past, including your mistakes and failures. This can be a tough task, but great things in life are rarely accomplished through taking the easy road. E.E. Cummings put it well when he said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Being yourself can be a huge act of bravery. The world needs less homogeny and more authenticity.

3. Be patient

Authenticity develops through practice. Work on being mindful as you approach each day. It’s about living into those moment-to-moment choices where you have to continue to decide to be yourself. Remember, you’re in this for the long haul so just remember that authenticity takes time. Give yourself a break and learn to laugh as life comes at you.

So what are your thoughts? How are you being authentic?