Geeked-Out Soul

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Our day of ashes

Ash Wednesday is symbolic solidarity of those who aren’t suffering much with those who are suffering more. Today we are all Jordanian pilots and reporters who got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Today we are all Palestinian refugees, Israeli shopkeepers, and World Trade Center office workers. Today we are all gays in the Upstairs Lounge, Jews under Auschwitz, Buddhists in China’s cultural revolution, Cherokees on the Trail of Tears, Gypsies under the Inquisition, Muslims in the Crusades, Christians in the Colosseum, and Israelites in Egypt. Today is our day of ashes.

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Week 25: Jesus, Violence, and Power

In this week’s installment of We Make the Road With Kids: The first thing you need to know about Moses and Elijah is that they’re awesome. The second thing you need to know is that, like most heroes, they are violent. And when Peter suggests that Jesus should be that kind of hero too, Jesus reacts…um…strongly…

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Week 24: Jesus and Hell

In this week’s installment of We Make the Road With Kids, we look into Jesus’ hobby of taking the Pharisees’ notion of the afterlife, flipping it upside-down, and throwing it back at them in order to expand their vision of God.  Good times.  You can see this week’s playlists below. I think Jesus believed in Hades about as much as he believed in Zeus http://t.co/pADHvMFr1D — John Stonecypher (@GeekedOutSoul) February 5, 2015 For the full package for this week, you can subscribe for free to the weekly email newsletter, which includes playlists, teaching scripts, extra activities, coloring pages, archives for...

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Week 23: Jesus and the Multitudes

In this week’s installment of We Make the Road With Kids, we explore how Jesus frees people — poor, rich, and in-between — from broken systems, particularly from what Brian McLaren calls the “Pyramid Economy.” You can see this week’s playlists below. For the full package for this week, you can subscribe for free to the weekly email newsletter, which includes playlists, teaching scripts, extra activities, coloring pages, archives for previous weeks, access to our super-secret Facebook group full of other parents and ministry workers working through the same issues you are. Enjoy!    

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Video for Week 11

It appears BBC World has some copyright issues with this video, so they’ve blocked it on YouTube.  I will try to work this out with them (I think it may have to do with the short Monty Python clip), but in the meantime, you can download the video file here: Rock on, Road-Makers! John

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Week 20: Join the Adventure!

The We Make the Road With Kids teaching playlists are up for this week’s reading in Brian McLaren’s We Make the Road by Walking! For more weekly resources for using Brian’s book with kids, be sure to sign up for the weekly email newsletter, which includes these and other playlists, teaching scripts, interaction with other parents and teachers, and much more!

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Superheroes questioning violence?

If you want to know what someone believes, look at their superheroes.  Think of an old-timey superhero — Popeye, for instance.  He is evidence of our long-held belief that the solution to our problems is punching (especially punches powered by leafy greens). The superhero idea since then has evolved along basically the same lines, minus the emphasis on vegetables.  We believe in bad guys who are the source of our problems, and we believe in good guys who (if they have big fists and/or big guns) are the solution to the problem. Something interesting is happening, though.  Over the past...

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Week 12: Stories That Shape Us

Israel’s story is a lot like the story of every other civilization — Their society rises and prospers (and things go well, miraculously well, even), so they think God is on their side. Then their society declines and collapses (with no miracles to save the day), so they think God hates them. But being convinced of the faithfulness of God, they are forced to re-think God in terms beyond your everyday petty tribal deities…

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Jesus’ TED Talk #2: How to make people hate you

Whatever culture/community you’re in, it holds together because of shared hatred for someone, someone you blame for your community’s biggest problems. Your job is to find that someone, and be a friend to them. Then sit back and prepare to be hated. If you love the wrong people, your people will hate you. Love will expose and disrupt the organized hate that holds your society together; don’t expect them to thank you. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Church potlucks will turn into lynch mobs in your honor, but fear not. Even if they do their worst and kill you, they won’t be able to defeat you.

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What Han Solo taught me about biblical genocide

Let’s admit it: Han shot first. Han Solo is a cold-blooded murdering thug, not to mention a slimy double-crossing no-good swindler. At the same time, Han Solo is awesome. He is one of us. I have a similar problem with my Judeo-Christian heritage. My spiritual forebears were spittle-emitting genocidal religious fanatics. I am one them; they are my people. But what I discover in the Bible is a God who is subverting our violent mythologies from within, taking us all somewhere we have never been before…