Episode 17 Shane Claiborne on the hunger for community

Episode 17 Shane Claiborne on the hunger for community

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xo

~Lisa

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Evangelical Seminary is proud to host Shane’s talk. Click the image and learn more about a school that teaches and promotes incarnational servant leadership at a core level.

Shane’s Bio:

Shane Claiborne graduated from Eastern University and did graduate work at Princeton Seminary. In 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Eastern. His adventures have taken him from the streets of Calcutta where he worked with Mother Teresa to the wealthy suburbs of Chicago where he served at the influential mega-church Willow Creek. As a peacemaker, his journeys have taken him to some of the most troubled regions of the world – from Rwanda to the West Bank – and he’s been on peace delegations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Shane is a founder and board member of The Simple Way, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. He is married to Katie Jo, a North Carolina girl who also fell in love with the city (and with Shane). They were wed in St. Edwards church, the formerly abandoned cathedral into which homeless families relocated in 1995, launching the beginning of the Simple Way community and a new phase of faith-based justice making.

Shane writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus. Shane’s books include Jesus for PresidentRed Letter RevolutionCommon PrayerFollow Me to FreedomJesus, Bombs and Ice CreamBecoming the Answer to Our Prayers – and his classic The Irresistible Revolution. He has been featured in a number of films including “Another World Is Possible” and “Ordinary Radicals.” His books are translated into more than a dozen languages. Shane speaks over 100 times a year, nationally and internationally.

His work has appeared in Esquire, SPIN, Christianity Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and he has been on everything from Fox News and Al Jazeera to CNN and NPR. He’s given academic lectures at Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Liberty, Duke, and Notre Dame. Shane speaks regularly at denominational gatherings, festivals, and conferences around the globe. Follow him online at:

Facebook: ShaneClaiborne
Twitter: @ShaneClaiborne

 


Shownotes (with links) from my conversation with Shane Claiborne

MIN 4:00

About 15 years ago Shane Claiborne and a few friends founded The Simple Way in the poorest section of Philadelphia where drug and sex trafficking became the main “industries” when the factories closed. Ever since then, he and his friends have been living in a communally within the neighborhood and serving the residents there in many ways.

I ask Shane, How have they sustained their communal lifestyle for so long?

Shane shares some things that have helped:

1. We are not attached what it should look like in expression or form as much as we have chosen to love each other and Jesus well and allow community to flow out of that.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“If you are in love with your vision for community you will actually destroy it.”

2. Allowing it to change over the years, from a house with 12 people sleeping all over the place in one house with one bathroom to a village of 10 or 20 houses all in the same neighborhood.

3. Helpful wisdom from the outside from others who’ve been doing communal living for a long time (The Benedictine order, for instance: 1,600 years)

6:10

What is “new monasticism” anyway? Shane explains.

6:30

“Folks are really hungry for community.”

7:20

“In Western culture we’ve lost the art of community.”

In other parts of the world this is how people have survived.

7:40

Economically impoverished communities can be community-rich (places) because they need each other.

7:50

“It’s no coincidence that in some of the richest places in the world we have the highest rates of loneliness..and depression, and suicide.”

8:00

“We are made to love and be loved.”

8:20

Even the mega-churches put in a lot of effort into making small groups work well (because that’s how you find community).

8:40

New Monasticism (as lived out in the U.S. or other wealthy Western countries) connects us with an ancient practice that continues on (and is “life as normal”) in many places in the world.

9:20

What communal living in Christian communities looks like in different contexts…

“Sometimes it’s about renouncing materialism and the Kardashians.”

10:00

What happens when people pilgrimage to The Simple Way to learn what it’s about.

Click for resources from The Simple Way

10:30

On the romantic notions of The Simple Way…

Mother Teresa said, “Calcuttas are everywhere if we only have eyes to see. Find your Calcutta.”

11:00

There is a wisdom in learning from other communities. Shane and others set up a network called the community of communities on the web which lists other communities like his. Example: Reba Place Chicago.

11:35

MissionYear.org

This way can get rid of the romanticism and allow people to experience communal living first-hand.

Monthly open houses at A Simple Way are on ramps (to learn about community).

12:20

It’s about not just believing the doctrinal statements but about living differently and finding out what that looks like.

13:15

We are called to not be conformed to this world. God wants us to use our gifts and talents.

“Non conformity doesn’t mean uniformity.”

13;30

On the 2007 fire that destroyed his home and many other homes–leaving about 100 families with nowhere to sleep and live. Shane was left in need within the community he helped.

The very surprising statement the Red Cross relief worker told him.

14:00

There are 700 abandon factories and 20,00 abandon houses nearby.

15:30

Their community has built a park, a greenhouse, green spaces for gardens. See photos at TheSimpleWay.org

16:20

How the neighborhood pulled together after the devastating fire of 2007.

16:40

Shane:
As Jesus said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t stock up your treasure that moths… and fires… can burn up and destroy.”

17:10

Ministry is mutual and if we don’t have needs we can’t be blessed. (Lisa)

18:30

One of Shane’s favorite quotes:

“If you’ve just come to help me, you’re wasting your time. But, if you’ve come because your survival and mine are bound up together, then let’s hold hands and we’ll work together.”

18:40

This quote comes in and corrects the posture by which we’ve often come on a mission to help people and thinking with a wrong perspective.

19:20

His friend says, “We are born on third base, but we think we’ve hit a triple.”

21:30

We don’t need has much as we think we do.

21:40

On Shane’s take of the story of “the rich young ruler”:
He wants to inherit the kingdom (entitlement thinking).

(QUICK LINK: Read the short Bible story HERE.)

22:10

“For folks that are independent and self-sustaining it’s hard for us to know that we need God and other people.”

22:30

Independence is not a gospel value. We need interdependence. It’s good to need other people and to need God.”

23:30

Besides people wondering what happened to his dreadlocks, people ask Shane this question the most.

24:20

Sometimes we have to challenge our location. (The places) where we (live) end up or are built around (that which) counters (opposes) gospel values. Like “suburban sprawl” which was created to get away from the urban problems (we should work to fix) and keep us from doing good for others who need it most.

It’s about living a life, not where we do great things, but where we do small things with great love (Mother Teresa). It’s not how much we do, but how much love we put into every act (of serving God).

25:00

We must ask:

What are my skills and passions and how might they connect to this world’s pain and injustice?

Whether it’s being a doctor, lawyer, plumber, or whatever, simply do your part.

26:00

What REALLY happens to the “dreds”.


 

Thank you, Shane! Blessings to you and your work. May we find our place to do good too.


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QOTD: What is the “Calcutta” near you and what gift might you bring to it ?

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Episode 15 Shane Tucker and the listening art of “soul friendship”

Today: A conversation with Shane Tucker!

Shane is a Soul Friend (Spiritual Director) with a focus on artists and creatives, be they “yuccies”, “slashies”, painters, musicians, or any one in need of deeper and more sustaining, soul-level communing.


 

How we find spark:
Together, we make the Spark My Muse podcast happen.
I prepare something and you digest it.

 I invite you to just listen, read the show notes and click on links, and give what you can.
That’s all. :)

 

• If it’s worth nothing…um what? Are you serious? This just got more awkward..Aw…snap! I sincerely apologize. Let me know what I can improve and please come back and listen again soon!

• If it’s worth one dollar, five dollars, twenty-five dollars, six hundred dollars, a billion-zillion dollars… you get the idea…

simply, tap into the river of gratitude in your heart and contribute what you can– HERE or use that Paypal button, over yonder.

 

(Of course, since money isn’t everything, you can say “thanks” and help with something that is not monetary, just let me know here. You make fruit pies, right?)

• Use the social share buttons, spread the word, leave a great a review at iTunes…these are all ways to help too.  Thanks in advance for your generosity!

Every little bit helps a lot.
Thank you, listeners for making the show heard in 96 countries and a,l 50 of the United States!

With Love,
~Lisa


SHOWNOTES with links and highlights.

Wine Segment:
MINUTE 1:30 On meade and Irish wine

Snapshot of the segment:

• Meade is fermented honey and herbs added.

• Irish wine is (usually) white wine, with some honey and herbs.
• It is still often used during the wine toast in Irish wedding ceremonies.

 

Sparking your muse!

Shane-@-Ross-2012-MA conversation with Shane Tucker:

His website

His Twitter

Shane is…
• An ordained Anglican Preist

• A trained Anam Cara (soul friend in the Irish Tradition).

• He lived with his wife and family in Ireland for 11 years!


Conversation (podcast) notes:

MINUTE 3:00

How Shane and his wife and family happened to live in Ireland for 11 years.

4:15
How God begins to grow dreams in us

Working at the Willow Creek Church

People have long said that still seems true. When foreigners come that end up being more Irish than the Irish themselves.

7:20

One of the most potent lessons learned from the Irish was the necessity to put people first. They take time to connect with each other and share life.

9:00 A sense of call to minister to artist and creatives.

9:40 On why he feels a passion to serve the creative community: “I believe the creative of today is the prophet of old”. It is a prophetic call.

10:10

“Creatives are called to paint a picture of the future that God is calling us all into. His Kingdom coming.”

10:50

“When a creative (person) using their gift…it taps into something deep inside of us and reverberates…and it feels like echoes of home.”

12:00

Jesus invites us to “walk with me and work with me.”

12:20

answering: What is Spiritual Direction (or soul friendship) actually?

13:00

A soul friend is “the best friend you’ve always wanted.”

and the Saint Bridgette quote…

13:50

A good picture is in the New Testament of the friends walking to Emmaus and then Jesus come in their midst. Unpacking life.

14:00

“The Soul Friend is someone who helps us see how God has been at work in our lives…so we can (as St. Ignatius says) “to recklessly abandon ourselves to his loving care.”

15:20

The problem with the phrase “Spiritual Director” on two counts so I use “soul friend”.

18:00

How he was trained in soul care and soul friendship

21:00

On becoming an Anglican Priest…

25:00

What he find to be the deepest needs of the creative community he works with?

Affirmation and Presence

30:00

Living in a Creative Age (moving from head to heart)

31:30

There’s an affective moving in society leading with Beauty first and then Truth that leads to freedom.

32:00

Alan Crieder

Behave Belong Believe (in which order should be in what era)

33:20

“What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.”

35:00

The error of focusing too much on trying to convince people just intellectually.

36:00

Ignatian Spirituality

Celtic Spirituality

Soul Friendship
by Rev Ray Simpson (Church of England)

The Celtic Way of Prayer
by Ester De Waal

Holy Companions

42:30

on the hospitality and generosity of Irish spirituality.

The story of an Inn with 7 doors for the 7 roads.


Thank you so much for listening to the show!


 

To get alerts of the topics and the new and interesting folks coming to the podcast in future episode click HERE.

Here’s a tasting of who’s coming in the next few months:

Mako Fujimura

Nicole Unice

Shane Claiborne

and, yes, more!

 

Laughter: The Mini BRAIN SCAN

It’s another installment in the HUMOR SERIES.

If you’re new here or late to the series, get started on these previous articles:

1 Intro: Laughing from birth

2. Step 1: Tickle Rats

3. What makes something funny may surprise you

4. Jokers ARE wild: Subversive Humor
Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 7.32.26 AM

 

How humor works like a mini BRAIN SCAN

(Secular) Biologist Robert Lynch, who also performs as a comedian, sees humor as an adaptive, learned trait; and one that helps us connect with others who share our values.

His theory about humor?
“You laugh because you believe it is true,” says Lynch, and his experiments seem back up his theory, at least partially.

A joke, in other words, is like a little brain scan: When we laugh, we reveal what’s inside us. -Robert Lynch

In an experiment Lynch conducted, a variety of people were video-recorded while watching an edgy comic who joked about gender inequality. The volunteers were then given a psychological test that measured their unconscious gender attitudes. Those with mid-20th century gender views of women being responsible for home and children and men bread-winning laughed harder at that joke than those with more progressive views.

 

In another experiment, people Lynch terms “self-deceivers” found much less humor in an entire joke reel, in general.

 

I’m guessing that because Lynch used this “self-deceivers” language to identify reluctant laughers, he probably laughs at just about everything. Naturally, if scientists are self-deceiving they are doing something wrong. Something unreasonable?

I’m betting that to Lynch “self-deceivers” are “other people”. Otherwise, he would term them “discerning” or “wise” or “judicious” or “pensive” or “still thinking about it” or maybe just “unsure”.

So, I wonder if he’s just a bit off the mark.

Could the phenomenon of less laughs be a combination of a few things he hasn’t accounted for?

• Could less laughter be a result of natural personality or temperament traits?

• Fewer habits of deep introspection?

• Previous experiences that predispose infrequent laughers to think quietly instead of giggle aloud?

• Or a mismatch in values? (What sorts of jokes were told? We don’t know because he doesn’t say.)

The subjectivity of laughter producing humor seems to be at play a bit more than his experiments can account for. And that’s no joke.Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 2.51.54 PM

I do agree with Lynch on this point:
We can conceal our true opinions, but in the moment of unguarded laughter, we reveal our true preferences.

Lynch says that the trait of a sense of humor is desirable and its presence or lack thereof helps us select a mate: A sense of humor is always listed in the top five traits people look for when mate-hunting.

Plus, humor helps us bond with those in our group, or determine who’s outside our group. This does seem clear.


 

And lest we forget, (the non self-deceived?) Lynch likes to work the crowd at open mic comedy nights. Does this scientist have a formula?

Yes. Sort of. Basically.

Here’s how he does it:

He finds common ground and builds on it. First he works at locating something held in common. Then, he points out a shared opinion or value, and underscores something that rings true to listeners.

It might start with some simple commonality like the geographical location of the place, a sports team preference, or the clientele in attendance.

He’s also snarky. If you like that style you might be amused.

“It’s great to be in New York City again. The coral reef created by sinking subway cars off Manhattan has a 58% higher rate of stabbings than a natural reef.” (or something like that. blah blah blah…you can watch the video on his theory here.)

If I’m writing a joke, often what I do is I look at things that I think are true, that people tend not to admit to, or maybe reluctant to admit to, including myself. -Lynch


Of course, I don’t hold the similar belief that the reason for laughter happened ad hoc and by chance, as Robert Lynch contends. That idea seems more like a punchline to me.

“Why did the cave man laugh? I’ll tell you in ten million years…”

(yes that was mine)

Sure, we adapt using humor, and we always well, but I doubt the source of humor was landed on by sheer mistake or mutation + time. HA-but that’s a good one. You almost had me, Lynch!


 

What may be the case is something that isn’t so stupefyingly accidental or self-deceiving. Something reasonable.

Namely, that One beyond our comprehension designed and equipped us purposefully with a sense of humor and in a way that we can better socially bond in positive ways…because we inherently need each other.

In a future post, I will go a bit further and pose a kind of theory for the purpose of humor and the reason for laughter based on some work from different researchers and my own educational background.

 

The takeaway:
If you want to know what someone is really like and what they really think, pay attention to what and whom they laugh at. Laughter is a kind of brain scan.

And examine what makes you laugh.

Dig deeper and find out more about yourself and what needs improving.

 

I hope you’ve liked this series.

Tell me which has been your favorite post so far.

Come back for “funny friday” and the rest of the series!

xo

-Lisa

For the latest info on my humor related projects sign up here.

The “Praying for Enemies” Misconception

waterhouseRemember the Sermon on the Mount?

It’s the 4 chapters ( Click to read Matthew Chapters 4-7 ) where Jesus lays out this upside down, counter-intuitive foundation for the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. He shows how God’s ways don’t look like our ways. It’s a recapitulation of the law of Moses that was warped by God’s people over time and needed to be righted.

Disciples of Christ try to get this passage into their DNA and live it out. While many claim to be Christians few really follow or even grasp the framework Jesus lays out for the Kingdom. Maybe it’s too challenging.

In Matthew 5 Jesus covers the very unpopular idea of not hating our enemies.

• We like to side with people we agree with.

• We like to make sure people know where we stand and what we oppose.

• We love our own

(Much like today, the prevailing thought at the time was that your kin, tribe, or people group are your neighbors and you should love them. Everyone else? They could be treated like enemies. Jesus stresses that our enemies are our neighbors too and later he uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to make his point about what love and following God really looks like.)

But, back to hating our enemies…

(quote blocks cover Mathew 5:43-48)

 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbori and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

 

Loving our enemies means blessing them. Blessing our enemies means we enrich their lives.

But, what about the prayer part?

There’s a common misunderstanding that this verse implies that we should pray for blessing for our enemies, or pray that good things happen to our enemies, or perhaps the most common…we should pray that they will change.

(That’s one I’ve done quite a bit!)

Jesus’ point is different.

He’s not suggesting that we pray for circumstances to change or for our enemy to change, but that’s just what we do, isn’t it?

No. The point is that our enemies and the persecution works to change us into children of God, when we do as Jesus would do.

What praying “for them” means is that we are praying for them to be our teachers. We are praying for us. The trying experience shows us the potential to take on the nature of God. A nature that is so radically different than ours.

God’s ways are the ways of love.

• What does that mean?

It becomes more obvious as Jesus continues the thought and tells us something about God and his character. 

How good is God? Thoroughly. Or we could say “perfectly good”.

In fact, he is so unsparingly generous in his goodness that…

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Huh? That seems odd. He does good to bad people. . .

We think of justice as righting wrongs usually by giving someone a form of evil or payback for their evil, and rewarding good with more good. We like liking those who like us and we like punishing or casting out those we don’t like.

For instance, in two minutes on Facebook and you’ll see demarcation lines drawn. Outsiders and insiders. Good and bad. Idiots and smart.

We assume that praying for them (to change) is the godly option …

(because we are actually tempted to do something really nasty and let them have it…but, gosh, we are holding our selves back, you know, because of trying to be godly and such).

The godly thing to do is to think and act through the framework of love as our heavenly Father would.

This has nothing to do with feeling warm fuzzies or giving out hugs. It’s about fundamental fairness, as God defines it.

It’s about a shift is perspective.

Jesus tackles that next:

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

 

So what should we do instead? Jesus says…

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Don’t trip over the perfection part.

The point of the statement is to show how God is thoroughly good and also quite different in his ways than you and me. Be like God.

Being like the good Father from heaven is the true aim. This portion of Matthew 5 isn’t truly centered on what to do about our enemies. Weird, right?

It’s about transforming our thinking and our ways into Kingdom ways.

(That’s what all of the Sermon on the Mount to geared toward.)

The more good and loving we are, (even to those who are unlike us, or who hate and mistreat us), the more we are like children of God and children of his kingdom (dominion).

The contention Jesus makes is that God doesn’t play favorites.

Most people don’t like this part and don’t truly go along with it. We do gymnastics to find some useable loopholes or other verses to avoid the this part, because we define ourself by who our favorites are.

Why doesn’t God play favorites?

Because he really loves us. It is the very nature of God, as defined and modeled by Jesus.

Evil is redeemed through generosity, forgiveness, and love.

Sounds crazy, of course, but we see this happen all the time.

• Remember the story of Officer Jeremy Henwood who bought a child a happy meal just a few minutes before he was violently gunned down in a random attack (and his good deed was caught on video)?

 

• Or the woman from Rwanda who’s only son was violently murdered. She not only visited the young man who killed him and visited him in prison, but later adopted him and became his mother when he had no place to go.

This stories make us want to be better people through just hearing the story!

• Think of Jesus dying for his enemies.

• Think about how true forgiveness makes things new.

Because we let the person off?

No.

It’s because we have transformed.

We stopped letting the offense trap and define us.

The next time you think about “praying for your enemies” remember:

• You are praying for you.

• You are praying for your mindset to change about what is happening.

• You are practicing being a child of God.

 

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