Walking into the New Year

As I was preparing this post and then started to post, I put my title in first. I almost wrote: “Walking WITH PURPOSE into the New Year.” (Well, not all caps, but those were the words I chose to delete.)

It’s not that “with purpose” is a bad idea. It’s a bad idea to walk into a new year stumbling around. But, that phrase reminded of two more recommendations I want to make to you. I was going to focus on some podcasts to remind us all to stay focused when the political world is a rolling dumpster fire.

On to the recommendations!

First, two movies that I was reminded of when I decided not to put the words “with purpose” in my title.

One that has been out a few years and was recommended to me: “About Time.” The men in a particular family have the ability to kind of rewind time in their lives, with certain limitations. It is very funny but also very meaningful. The main character, who finds out about the “gift” when he turns 21, works to reset some mistakes and also realizes that he can use it to get some things “right”, but there are things he shouldn’t even try to set “right.”

Two things stood out for me: 1. His relationship with his dad, and 2. his ability to learn that he could get to a place where he didn’t need to “rewind time.” He was learning to enjoy the journey.

The second one I want to recommend is “Soul.” It’s a Pixar movie and while it is fun, it dives into what it means to have “purpose” in life.

Both were meaningful to me because I am still trying to grow into what I am becoming. What I desire to become is one who enjoys the journey far more than I used to. This is why I left out “with purpose” in the title. I’m trying to move away from “the job” I have to do. It is a LIFE I am to cultivate. I don’t have a “word” for 2021. I hope to observe life, absorb life, and find the joy along the way. You can label that under “purpose” if you feel better about it. 🙂

Over the past couple of weeks I have been able to absorb a few more podcasts and I want to recommend a few dealing specifically with the white evangelical church.

Toward the end of 2020, the six presidents of the Southern Baptist seminaries in the SBC came out with a statement rejecting what is called “Critical Race Theory.” There is a reason for their timing and their vagueness and these podcasts I am recommending will dive into all of it.

What it highlights to me in all of this is just how lost we continue to be as white evangelicals in America. In the year of George Floyd where we could really have stepped up… we woke up for a minute, looked around, felt a twinge of guilt, didn’t explore why, and nodded off again.

White evangelicals in America have had the past few years to really wake up. Not doing that, we’re in for a long haul.

The Holy Post is one podcast that I listen to every episode. THIS EPISODE dives a bit more into Critical Race Theory with some good discussion.

Lisa Sharon Harper does not pull punches when it comes to the reasons she believes the SBC had to make a statement about “not being racists” and yet slamming Critical Race Theory, which she contends they know nothing about. THIS EPISODE with Napp Nazzworth is a good primer on what is going on with CRT and the SBC. (Plus, saying the name Napp Nazzworth out loud is very fun.)

Harper doesn’t stop on the subject. She uses her own podcast to have a roundtable discussion with leading scholars and activists. Prepare to LEARN in this episode!

Finally, the last podcast of the year for the Holy Post podcast focused on Ken Ham and creationism. Phil Vischer came out with a video a few weeks ago talking about what defines an evangelical in America. In one small moment… and I’m talking barely a few seconds… Vischer upset the Pope of Creationism: Ken Ham.

I call Ken Ham the Pope because he is so focused on the issue of young earth creationism, it is dogma. It also shows the dangers of fundamentalism, whether that shows up to the “right” or to the “left.” Ken Ham didn’t criticize the video or the point Vischer was trying to make about the definition of an evangelical. Ham was simply offended at a caricature and just “has to get it right.” That is what fundamentalism will do: It will argue a sliver a point to make you submit to its rightness without engaging the larger picture.

At any rate, out of Pope Ham’s rage, Phil Vischer spent days researching the timeline of creationism theories and then dedicated THIS EPISODE to the issue. It’s worth a listen.

UPDATE: For those who may have read an earlier post, I let readers know my mom tested positive for COVID. Since then, she was able to get a treatment called monoclonal that has REALLY helped her. Also, my dad has tested positive and he just received that treatment as well. They are both in their 80s with underlying health issues, so I am grateful they are responding well at this point to some new treatments that are available.

So here is my reminder: WEAR A MASK PEOPLE!

Since I’ve given you about 7-8 hours of listening/viewing time in assignments, I’ll call it good for now.

Happy New Year!

empty stationary pad
Photo Credit: Brando Makes Branding, Unsplash

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