At some point, if we have not hit it already, we are going to darn tired of the word "context."  But until we come up with another word worthy of the usage, we have to live with it.  I have just started my Doctor of Ministry program at the Pacific School of Religion and part of the beginning of each class is the prerequisite time to "share your contexts."  Sounds like a bad idea for a game show, "Bob . . . I’ll take painful family memories" for $500."  In any case it is interesting to reflect upon one’s own context and then to also hear about those experiences/perspectives that color and influence others.
Trying to practice self-awareness, here are some of mine.  Please keep in mind that these may change depending on the mood of my children, baseball season and/or the state of my current sermon.

I am a LOVER of . . .

  • my wife of 16 years;
  • my three kids;
  • my filipino, chinese, immigrant roots and family;
  • historical and contextual interpretation of the Bible;
  • a balanced and thoughtful view of politics somewhere between anarchy and fascism;
  • liberals or conservatives who don’t believe the other is Satan incarnate;
  • motorcycle riding;
  • pop songs with meaning;
  • the Oakland A’s Baseball family;
  • churches that connect with people;
  • justice movements that are grounded in righteous indignation;
  • the communal nature of neighborhood coffee shops;
  • public schools;
  • those who just want to make the world a friggin’ better place;
  • san francisco;
  • the ennegram, myers-briggs and spiritual direction;
  • the spiritual nature of blogging and social networking;
  • irreverent religious humor;
  • and long walks on the beach in the rain . . . w/jesus 😉

I am a TOLERATOR of . . .

  • religious institutions;
  • the police (again I am somewhere between anarchy and fascism);
  • radio disney
  • those who just don’t know any better;
  • modernity
  • any other blogging service than typepad;

I am trying really hard to be an UNDERSTANDER of . . .

  • continuing racist/sexist/classist behavior even after one knows better;
  • liberals who claim openness but are really only open to those who agree with them;
  • conservatives who oppress and exclude "with love;"
  • bad 80’s christian rock;
  • american culture that elected "W" TWICE;
  • entitlement;
  • apathy;
  • fundamentalism of any kind;
  • inerrant/literal interpretation of Scripture;
  • low effort
  • bad chinese food in san francisco;
  • those who believe there is only one way to do and be church;
  • pepople woh cn’ta tpye in tshi dya adn aeg of slepllcjeck
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