A youth group in Hong Kong loving God | loving people
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"Being With God For Others" by Mal Green, Dec. 8, 2013.

FCC Sermon Recording Series.

unfoldingslowly:

the final twe12th

What a strong finish :)

Thank You.

Hi guys!

Just want to say thank you for your hilarious, beautiful, honest, and joy-filled submissions. I’ve had a sneak peak at most of them - about 30 in all - and am pretty blown away.

Thank you, most of all, for sharing your lives, hearts, dreams, failures, and joys with us.  Sarah and I have given ourselves to you, but we’ve received back a rich, diverse volley of gifts in return.

I want you to know that we are proud of you guys. Many of you have gone and, as the form called you to at the end, grown up. We are glad that God has pushed, pulled, and maybe even kicked you into new situations, forcing you to be stretched so that you might resemble a new creation in the midst of the old.

We are mindful that each of you are in a different place. That’s how we began, that’s how we end. That’s who we are.

Some of you are in a good place - you can look back and say that you’ve grown, that you’re grateful, and that you don’t quite know how it happened, but some strange grace has brought you into a spacious and centered wholeness. Some of you are in a rougher place - you feel a little lost, a little shrunken, a little unsure of who/where/what you are. The world is screaming at you to become something - but you don’t know what that something is, and all the somethings that you’re trying out seem a little futile, a little bit like chasing the wind…  God, or at least what you knew of him, seems like a distant reality.

Wherever you are, know this: God is with you. In your highs and lows, in every connection and every alienation, he is breath itself. Everyone finds him at different times; yours may have been years ago, or it may be years ahead. In any case, let the time that Sarah and I have spent with you remind you that all of life is littered with his footprints. Not in a glittery, blue-skies-in-the-clouds way, but in the Jesus way - sandals in soil, guffaws and heaving sorrows, pure pain and ecstatic pleasure. Jesus is always uncomfortably close. And that’s the Way that we’ve sought to introduce you to - a life, not a religion; a pure, honest, simple love; a full humanity. Every dinner, every pie, every immaterial moment and every bit of flesh and blood is God with us. Hopefully you’ve caught a glimpse of the One who overturns tables, welcomes the wrong crowd, and hangs on a cross: our Way, our Truth, and our Life.

And so, it is time for a final blessing. May God surprise you in your intimacies and in your alienations. May you find Bedrock and stand tall on it. May you give up your life that you may find it. May you surrender. May your lives be large and courageous. May you be blessed and dogged with discontentment. May you salt the earth with forgiveness and dance upon injustice. And may the peace of Christ make you whole and well, so that you can be a force for renewal throughout the whole world.

With real and unabashed love,

Sarah and Richie

Book Submissions Form! 

5 DAYS LEFT to submit something for the twe12th book!

We’ve compiled an online form for you guys: click the link above and you will be transported to a wonderful world of 6 simple questions.

For those of you who’ve already submitted: Thank you!  You are on your way to becoming a part of twe12th’s illustrious history :)

twe12th says joi geen!

Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts. 

An astute article on the interplay of love and technology, originally titled Technology Provides an Alternative to Love.  One small snippet:

Love is about bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are. And this is why love, as I understand it, is always specific. Trying to love all of humanity may be a worthy endeavor, but, in a funny way, it keeps the focus on the self, on the self’s own moral or spiritual well-being. Whereas, to love a specific person, and to identify with his or her struggles and joys as if they were your own, you have to surrender some of your self.

The big risk here, of course, is rejection. We can all handle being disliked now and then, because there’s such an infinitely big pool of potential likers. But to expose your whole self, not just the likable surface, and to have it rejected, can be catastrophically painful. The prospect of pain generally, the pain of loss, of breakup, of death, is what makes it so tempting to avoid love and stay safely in the world of liking.

And yet pain hurts but it doesn’t kill. When you consider the alternative — an anesthetized dream of self-sufficiency, abetted by technology — pain emerges as the natural product and natural indicator of being alive in a resistant world. To go through a life painlessly is to have not lived. Even just to say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll get to that love and pain stuff later, maybe in my 30s” is to consign yourself to 10 years of merely taking up space on the planet and burning up its resources. Of being (and I mean this in the most damning sense of the word) a consumer.

Those are some wise, wise words.

To friend a person is merely to include the person in our private hall of flattering mirrors.
Jonathan Franzen, in his NY Times article, Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts. Ouch.

It begins. Wish you were here!

At Sunday School

  • Richie: Do you guys have any questions about what's gonna happen after I go?
  • Eugene: Who's going to fill the void in my heart?

unfoldingslowly:

to be a generation marked by authenticity

If you missed Resound…

(Sarah should really just write beautiful notes and sell them for a living.)

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rooftopchurch:

Worship at The Rooftop, 23 April 2011.

This was good indeed.  It captures the spirit of twe12th over the last 6 years: simple, inquiring, restless, real - and, deep down, a quiet, intense, fierce love.  Download this track and keep it close - you’ll listen years later and smile :)

I just stumbled across this photo in my Mom’s iPhoto library.  I love how Anthony looks so…unfazed.  And the bathrobe is so fitting for Eugene.

dailyspoonful:

rooftops

All you budding photographers: stop taking photos that merely record information.  Take photos that tell stories.  It’s not about the latest camera or lens, but perceiving and interpreting the spirit of a moment.

dailyspoonful:

favourite moment at Resound

Sarah’s getting good with this camera of hers…

dailyspoonful:

Richie’s final word at Resound

I had a word.  And I gave it

Now I can go in peace.

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