Archive for November, 2009

Escalation in Afghanistan

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2009 by Stephen Tickner

Tomorrow, President Obama will announce his plans for the war in Afghanistan. As we prepare to send more troops and suffer more violence on both sides, I feel we need more voices like this.

Let us pray for the leaders of all involved nations, all involved troops, the people of Afghanistan and all citizens of the middle east caught up in this war.

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Prayer for Redemption

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2009 by Stephen Tickner

Dear Lord,

I ask much and don’t give enough
I pray that you forgive me.
I speak much and don’t listen enough
I pray that you forgive me.
I play much and don’t worship enough
I pray that you forgive me.
I ignore much and don’t see enough
I pray that you forgive me.

I could end my poetic prayer there, Lord,
But my spirit won’t let me go.
I have a heavy heart, Lord,
The reason only you know.

I can’t forgive myself, Lord, for mistakes
I’ve made before you.
I can’t forgive myself, Lord, for hurt
I’ve caused beside you.
I can’t forgive myself, Lord, for sin
that’s still within me.

Take this ball of guilt Lord
and toss it to the sea.
Take this ball of worry Lord
and finally let me be
A cause of change
that makes this world
a better place for all.
Take this ball of pain, Lord,
and use it for your call.

I pray that you forgive my past
I am a brand new man.
I pray that you protect my future
as I implement your plan.

Amen.

“If Slavery is Not Wrong, Nothing is Wrong”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2009 by Stephen Tickner

Check out this handwritten letter by Abraham Lincoln posted on Letters of Note.

In the letter he talks about using black soldiers in the Union army and the repeal of the thirteenth amendment, among other issues. It’s an awesome read…especially for us history nerds.

Jesus Christ by Woody Guthrie

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 by Stephen Tickner

Heard this song by Woody Guthrie in Michael Moore’s documentary “Capitalism: A love affair” and was touched. So, I thought I would share it.

“Moving Ourselves from Unknown Peril to Noble Vision” by Rev. Dr. James Lawson

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 2, 2009 by Stephen Tickner

The Rev. Dr. James Lawson is a relatively unknown giant. Even though he is one of the most important figures in the Civil Right’s movement of the 50’s and 60’s, his name does not resonate in the general public sphere like a Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy, or Rosa Parks. While his name is unkown, his stamp is felt worldwide.

In 1951, he refused to enter the draft siting himself as being a conscientious objector. Consequently, he spent 14-months in prison. After his release from prison, Rev. Lawson went to India as a Methodist missionary. During this time he studied the practice of non-violent resistance from Mahatma Ghandi himself.

On his return to the states, Rev. Lawson enrolled in graduate school to study theology at Oberlin College. One of Oberlin’s professor’s introduced Lawson to Dr. Martin Luther King and eventually King convinced Lawson to move to the south telling him to, “Come now. We don’t have any one like you down there.”

Rev. Lawson did move south, enrolled at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, and started to mentor and train young activists in the practice of non-violence. These Lawson trained groups were the ones that organized the Nashville sit-ins and the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Because of his activism in the civil-rights movement, Lawson was expelled from Vanderbilt University. In 2006, the University publicly apologized for this act during the graduation ceremony and has subsequently hired him as a member of their faculty.

In this 2007 lecture at Vanderbilt University, “Moving Ourselves from Unknown Peril to Noble Vision”, Rev. Lawson discusses how we-as a people-can change our world to make it a better place.

For me, it is people like Rev. Lawson and other Civil Rights activists, that have the most to tell us and the most to teach us today. Please take some watch this powerful talk.