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Sunday, February 25, 2007


disclaimer I'm pretty sure this post will generate a few comments, so I'd like to suggest a few things. First please respond with your thoughts, not your arguments. Second please respond not only to what I've written but also to others comments as well. Third please know that I and others are still in the midst of processing, which means that I (we) am/are still thinking and praying, so speak with understanding.


I was flipping though the tv as I often do and ended up on KCET which is the PBS station here in LA.

I'm not even sure what caught my attention, but they were talking about religion and it caught my ear in the few seconds I was giving to see if it was worth watching. I thought it might be Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly which I try and watch, but it turned out to be something else.

It was worth watching. The story revolved around a young girl, a teenager and her struggle to understand her being a christian and a lesbian.

It was fascinating. In so many ways I can sympathize with the struggles this girl is having. Not in the being gay part, but in understanding that the christian community can be so amazingly harsh towards people. Beliefs or no beliefs about homosexuality, hearing stories like these, only re-affirms that more often than not we as christians can be so mean and even racist. And more often than not done in God's name. Where's the love?

It turns out that the program is called In the Life and is a regular program on PBS. The episode I watched is called The Principles of Youth. You can watch the full episode online here and the segment that I'm talking about is the fist one in the program.

Whether or not you agree with what homosexuality is, meaning something that people are or is just a sin, I encourage you to take a look at the story that I watched.

The segment was called "I'm Still Emily". The most fascinating point was when Emily was sitting across from a youth pastor and their conversation.

This is something that almost every youth minister should deal with. We desire so much to care for and protect our students that sometimes our words end up being more painful than helpful. In the above mentioned conversation so can visibly see the struggle that Emily is going through as she sits and listens to him talk to her about the Bible and homosexuality. What they did not show (and I don't know if it occurred) is that it did not seem that he affirmed her for being her, for her being courageous for being the first person to come out in their town, or simply reminding her that God loves her exactly the way she is (sin) or no (sin).

In fact she, herself has to be the one to remind him that she is still desiring to follow God with all of her life and that in some way deep down she knows that she will follow God, but just as a homosexual.

Let me change gears a little...

What strikes me most about the whole christian/gay conversation is the lack of compassion. There is so much hurt and pain that is caused by parents and others towards homosexuals and we are doing little to combat this easily preventable situation. Wasn't Jesus about people feeling safe and accepted? While he does stand for truth, he's also the one who defines truth. Sin is bad, but not once does Jesus himself say anything about same sex relationships. Jesus talks more about divorce and the severing of relationships than he ever talks about homosexuality.

Off the top of my head the times that homosexuality is mentioned in the bible are times that are saturated in cultural understandings of the time and not as much as direct words from God or Jesus.

This is obviously something that I have been thinking about a lot. In a way homosexuality has replaced race as the new minority. Maybe, just maybe in a number of years homosexuality will become what we think of when we think of civil rights for blacks. And just as then, there were a few people, who also were christians who stood up for people's rights and basic humanity, in the same way I think we are in a similar situation. I hope you see the parallels that I am drawing here, I am tired and not sure if my complete thoughts are coming out. But I did want to start to get them down, in hopes that it might help me further process all these thoughts that are floating around.

As history has shown us, that many of the major problems of history were started by christians, but they were also solved by christians who really understood the situation and stood up as the minority, often for the oppressed.

So if you have a chance find a way to catch In the Life this month, or go online and I think they at least have some clips of this month's show.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

lent 07 pt1 

Lent 06 Lent 05

Well lent is already two days old and I have nothing to show for. And I still haven't decided if there will be.

Mainly this is because I haven't been thinking lately.

Let me explain...

Maybe this post should be called "void".

My current life situation (see previous post) is one where I work 50+ hours a week, come home, eat, relax a little catch up on my favorite tv shows (which is a separate post, if I get to it), try and get to sleep knowing that I have to get up far too early to do it all over again. My weekends are consumed with nothing at all, mostly because I need to use the time to recoup from the week that has past (that is if I'm not working 6-7 day weeks).

All that to say, deep thinking has been at a minimum, which in turn has left the blog a bit vapid, anemic and sparse. There have been some good ideas floating around in my head, but the will-power to spend the time and energy to put them down has been lacking.

Not to mention the stresses of financial burden has been impacting me more than I can probably handle. I think in a lot of ways this is impacting my life far more than I'm willing to admit and even in ways that I'm still probably not aware of. (see this vlog and maybe I'll get some real journaling of my thoughts soon)

So lent has begun and I'm not sure how to feel.

Hopefully I'll get some time in the next few days to really search about this season of lent and what it will end up meaning to me.



I'm in one of those "stuck" phases again.

Lost in a sea of questions with no answers with no idea of which way is north and there is not even the slightest wisp of wind to fill my sails.

Maybe this is just a time that I'm being forced to take in my surroundings and not to worry about which way to land.

Just my thoughts for now. Nothing to get all worked up about.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, February 16, 2007


This weekend I'll be here for sr. high winter camp, my friend from this church asked me to go and help out. And even as tired as I am, I know the weekend will be great and I will really appreciate the chance to step into ministry for a little while, even if it is with students that I don't really know and probably won't see again.

Besides that if you have some time and you happen to work in youth ministry or love students here is a great read by Mark Riddle, see this blog entry.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007


(click for larger)
This is from a few weeks ago. I thought I was bad at spell checking. But the front page of news.google.com c'mon!!!

I didn't know clam was that high in demand. Maybe Red Lobster should think about opening a location there.


Saturday, February 10, 2007


Bill was at the National Pastor's Convention in San Diego the last few days, which is put on by Zondervan, which happens to be the publishing company that published both the Nooma videos and Rob Bell's book(s).

So...Bill got himself his hands on Rob's new book Sex God (it's not out yet) which I had blogged about here.

And he was kind enough to let me read it before he did. So tonight I'll be immersed in this book. Thanks bud.

And when it comes out in early March I'll get my own copy, since I'm sure I'll mark it all up like I did with Velvet Elvis.

One more thing, during the writing of this post I discovered that Rob has a "Sex God Tour" that is going around to a few universities in the US and UCLA is one of his stops. And as an added bonus he'll be showing a NEW Nooma called "you". This will make Nooma number 3 that I'll have gotten a sneak preview for.

Here's the info about the event.

March 8th Ralph Freud Playhouse, MacGowan Hall UCLA Campus, 8pm. I'll be there hope to see you too.

update 9:43p
Done with the book. More things to process. Might need to wait to read it again before making too many statements about it. I did really enjoy it, he addresses many of the things that I have previously written about here as well as things that have been floating around in my head. But does such a much better job articulating thoughts than I could. I recommend you get a copy when it comes out.

I'm now off to finally see Pan's Labyrinth. More on that soon too.


Thursday, February 08, 2007


Tonight I participated in my first Skype call (btw my skype name is andrewseely). It was for the EmergentSoCal Cohort that I'm a part of. We are the first cohort (someone in emergent land correct me if I am wrong) to try a "pod" system. Meaning that we exist as a regional (So Cal - San Diego to Ventura to San Bernadino) cohort, but due to our geographical expanse and lower numbers we cannot really meet as a cohesive cohort so we decided to spilt up into smaller sub-divisions called pods.

Each pod will be responsible for developing relationships in their area, as well as planning gatherings, but we will do larger meetings that include all of the pods.

Even after a year of EmergentSoCal existing, things are still just getting underway. There has been some great response to the site and there is a lot of interest in getting things rolling. So tonight was a time for some of us "guides" to get together and talk about the future of EmergentSoCal. A huge thanks to Aaron Flores for coordinating things and pretty much being the one who has spearheaded this whole thing. Kudos to Nathan Clair (who moved) for starting things up with Aaron.

I'm excited to see where this is going to go and excited to be able to contribute my time and energy into this endeavor.

Thanks also to those of you who joined in our conversation tonight, you added so much and we thank you for your interest and support.

So please check out EmergentSoCal (register if you haven't) and if you don't live in SoCal please visit emergentvillage.com to locate a cohort near you. And if you have any questions please feel free to email me and maybe we can meet for coffee and talk more about emergent and EmergentSoCal.


Monday, February 05, 2007


I'm a bad blog father.

I forgot my own blog's birthday.

Well it's been a great 3 years...on to year 4.

Happy blogaversary to me.


Sunday, February 04, 2007


Here is where I live.

It's so good to be fully moved in and unpacked. Finally got to finishing the dart board project as you can see below. Thanks to Bobby for some awsome help on that.

I'm going to try and keep it clean. Yes, yes I know what you are thinking if you know anything about me. But now that I have the space for all my stuff, I might be able to do a better job, and especially keeping the dart area clean so that others can use it too.

The only other things that I might add to the room would be a couch on the wall near the dart board, where the Corona box is, and then maybe the coat hanger that I talked about below.

Pleas feel free to come over and have a brew and throw some darts.

Enjoy the pics (click for big).


Thursday, February 01, 2007


Thank you to all of you who have wished me a happy b-day, either by phone, myspace, email, text message or any other form.

If you have time tomorrow, we (AJ and I) are meeting folks at BJ's in Woodland Hills for drinks and pizza at 5:30p so feel free to stop by. Otherwise see post below for super bowl party info.

And if you are feeling really generous you could get me either this or this.

In case you were wondering how the setup of the room is coming...well it's like 90% done. I should be all set up by tomorrow or sat afternoon, depending on if I can complete my "special" project.

I will try and take pics from the same angles as the ones before, but it may be a little more difficult since there is stuff in the way now. So hang in there. It's harder for me to get everything in line than it is for you to chill out for a day or two.

Thanks again everyone.



So in case you haven't heard, the super bowl is this sunday. In honor of groundhog's day we are having a super bowl party at the casa.

Everyone is invited. Bring your own meat for the grill and we'll take care of the rest. Email or call for directions...or just look a few posts down for the address, fun starts at 2:30 and I'll have my dart board set up too.

And if you don't know the Chi Bears and the Ind Colts are playing.

Here's how I hope the game will turn out. (it's worth the 5min 30sec)

(ht to these guys)