Seeing Something for the First Time

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Eiffel Tower 01No picture captures the grandeur and size of it. It dwarfs those standing in line for lift tickets, making them look like ants from the perspective of the top observation deck.  Even the 605 foot Seattle Space Needle looks like a shrimpy cousin compared to the Eiffel Tower at 1,063 feet.

Standing under the Tower or on top of it renders its observer speechless.  What can be said about something so lovely, it’s steel like Belgian lace? Continue reading

My Privilege

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White Privilege

I grew up in a loving family.  My dad worked hard hours to make a living for us.  My mother scrimped and saved in order to provide good food and warm clothes for my sister and me.  I had grandparents who doted on me, included me in their lives, took me fishing and camping, and participated in my upbringing.  My parents picked me up from elementary school, went to school conferences, and monitored my schooling as needed.  It was a privilege living in my parent’s home. Continue reading

Want a new drug?

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Drug SalesmanAcross Embarcadero from the Ferry Building there is a phalanx of flea market booths staffed with people who want to tell you why their product is superior quality or designed just for you.  They sell liquor bottles smashed into small platters designed to hang on your wall or hold a messy spoon used to stir a pot.

Jewelers turn spoons into bracelets.  Little Asian women create necklaces made of stones or shells.  There’s something for every taste.  And only the brave steers his/her way through the forest of stalls. Continue reading

Who & Why I Am Here

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Why am I hereMonoLogue started in 2005 as a way of letting friends and family follow our new venture – a pretty simple goal.  But the thing we describe and participate in today in 2016 is decidedly different from what we described in 2005.  As the adage says, “Time and tide wait for no man.”  Merced is a different city than it was in 2005.  What was our new church in 2005 is now a church of deeper relationships, greater spiritual insights, and more well-defined commitment to Jesus.  And MonoLogue thinks differently than it did in 2005. Continue reading

Liberal and Conservative Like Jesus

Liberal_ConservativeLiberal and conservative are inflammatory words.  Say them in the wrong company and the guns come out.

We’ve seen the extent of the breach that these words have caused in our current Congress.  No one wanted the honored position of Speaker of the House because the position is so fraught.  Time after time our national economy is brought to the brink of paralysis because of the inability of Congress to go beyond the impasse created by Liberal-Conservative name calling. Continue reading

Leading versus “lording”

Bad bossJesus was talking to his disciples and he said this.  “You’ve observed how….rulers throw their weight around and how quickly a little power goes to their heads.  It’s not going to be that way with you.”  Matthew 20:25, The Message.

Jesus’ statement came directly after one of his disciples asked for appointment to a seat of power for her sons in what she thought the Kingdom was going to be.  Sound familiar? Continue reading

Boxers or Briefs

Boxers or BriefsLaetitia Thompson, age 17 was one of the two hundred 16-20 year-olds present for the MTV “Enough is Enough” town hall meeting in Washington, D.C.  Held on April 19, 1994, the meeting was supposed to explore the issue of violence in America with, then president, Bill Clinton.

Questions ranged from teen suicide to handgun legislation and showed the depth of angst being experienced among Gen Xers.

Then Laetitia raised her hand.  “Mr. President, boxers or briefs?”

It was an iconic moment.  A teen-aged girl was asking the President of the United States what kind of underwear he wore and simultaneously showing how far we had tumbled on the civility scale. Continue reading

Pottery Sold Here

laguna-pueblo-01The little town of Laguna, New Mexico sits on the north side of I-40, midway between Albuquerque and the Arizona line. A church sits at the top of a hillock, surrounded by adobe houses all resembling the red dirt on which they sit.

If you blink or look too long at your dashboard you’ll miss this wisp of a town. More like a village, there’s no polluting industry or neon lights to blind the stars.  It’s monochrome, except for the white church sitting at its summit. On this day Pepsi trucks lined the lined the tight little streets. They were there to film a new soft drink commercial and looked totally out-of-place. Continue reading

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