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Hello, friends. It's been a while since I've written, so I hope you haven't been discouraged by the lack of posts.

Anna, Wyatt and I just returned from a five day trip up to Chicago. Anna participated in a four day training event to become a certified Bradley Instructor, which is a type of birthing philosophy/technique. You can read more about the Bradley Method by clicking here. Even though Anna attended these classes by herself, this is something Anna and I both support and believe in. And, it is likely that in the future you'll be hearing more about the Bradley Method from us - including some classes for any friends or family members who are expecting.

My task up in Chicago was to keep watch over Wyatt - something not that hard to do when you've got a Holidome, a big city full of museums and air-hockey. Needless to say, Wyatt enjoyed all of it. So did I - big time!

While up in Chicago, I also had some time to start a book by Walter Brueggemann titled The Jounrey to the Common Good. This is a very challenging, yet worthy read, and I certainly recommend it.

The challenging part comes from the fact that Brueggemann is honest and straight-forward about his critiques of American culture. He even suggests that there is much in the American way of life that is "empire-like" rather than "God-like." That can be very difficult for some to swallow. It can sound like the language of someone with an agenda.

Yet, Brueggemann isn't just speaking as a culture critic. He speaks as - perhaps - the foremost Old Testament Biblical scholar. As a Bible scholar, he is able to see both the positives and ills of our modern day through the stories of the Old Testament, and he is quick to point out the similarities between our thirst for power, wisdom and wealth and the same desires in Pharaoh's Egypt and even Solomon's Israel.

Still, the greatest gift this book is providing me is not criticism, but promise. Brueggemann is reminding me of another way of life - YHWH's way. Brueggemann acknowledges that the world's "economy" is one based off of scarcity. The world assumes there is only so much wealth, power, and wisdom - so this leads to striving and competition and jealousy and anxiety. But, against this economy of scarcity, God continues to introduce over and over again an economy of abundance. Brueggemann cites two great examples of this: manna in the desert and Jesus feeding thousands. Both instances reveal our natural tendency to see the limitations around us as well as our tendency to be guided by fear. But, both manna and Jesus feeding thousands also reveal God's gracious abundance.

You'll probably be hearing more about this from me, too. It is such an important word to share when our nation and our community are so defined by this economic recession we keep hearing and reading about. Reading Brueggemann has reminded me that our hope is not found in restoring the "world economy." Our hope comes from learning to see the world again as God's household and to recognize that there is abundance of life with the Lord.



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