Tag Archives: Nashville

Red Bike, Blue Bike, community bikes, sharing bikes.

In 1999 and for sometime before and after that there was and I believe still is a successful community bike sharing program in my hometown of Madison, WI. It was called the Red Bikes Project and consisted of a bunch of bikes painted entirely red placed for people to use through out the downtown.

I love the community bike program, and I think it would be such a wonderful thing to do here in Nashville, especially with the possiblity of folks using them year-round.

I’ve just heard from a couple of Bike Co-ops in the area, and I’m beginning to think this could become a real possibility out here.

(More bike projects)

Threads: Relevance

RELEVANCE: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

-incarnational living as opposed to attractional
-relevant to Jesus
-method changes, message remains without compromise
-communicating in the language of the culture
-others focused

Paul’s famous line: “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”

The idea of being relevant to culture and people is a wonderful idea. In some circles this is called, “contextualization,” the idea that we are taking the gospel and putting it into a context that the receiver will understand. I wrote an essay to get my major approved in college on that very topic.
To often though I think we use this idea of being “Relevant” as justification for fulfilling our own desires. We justify as being “Relevant” our country club membership, boat, drinking, smoking, watching certain movies, going out to eat, and many more things. I think we need to be more skeptical of “relevance” when i is beneficial or pleasurable for ourselves.

Contextualizing is considering that regardless of how direct a translation “washed white as snow” is, it is going to make no sense to someone who has never seen or heard of snow.
Relevance and Contextualization also seeks to recognize that talking to someone about your views on abortion or homosexuality is going to take something other then a “love the sinner, hate the sin,” approach. A person who never had a loving father in their life has no direct context with which to understand God as a “loving father.”

I really like the line above that says: “incarnational living as opposed to attractional,” because that acknowledges that we need to be careful not to cloak our self-gratification in a false effort to be “relevant.”

I love the idea of relevance because it really gets to the nitty gritty. It’s practical, it’s specific, it’s something we can sit and talk about and really take some action on. And I really think we need to spend more time in the church doing that. It seems we spend most of our time talking about abstract, philsophically or touchy-feely things, and then we walk out the door with no real challenge on our lives what so ever. Let’s get dirty and talk about how we can be more relevant to our culture.

Gift Bags

In the past I’ve brought up the idea that we should be more giving and not use the excuse of what happens on the receiving end to justify our lack of giving. The response, not unexpected, that folks don’t want to give a person money because they might spend it on booze or drugs. Instead folks would like to give something else. Well, since I can’t convince them otherwise, I figured I should offer a more agreeable suggestion.

A sweet guy from Nashville gave a great suggestion about what to put in a gift bag you might give to a homeless person. Basically he suggests a paper bag with:

  • new or clean socks
  • nail clippers
  • a comb
  • tooth paste
  • tooth brush
  • deodorant
  • bar of soap
  • gloves (when it’s cold)
  • disposable razor
  • small candies
  • personal note or decorate the bag

The Homeless Guy: Gift Bags

Sometimes they will try to make you feel guilty so they can get more out of you. Be polite but firm. If you set, and hold to your limits, they will respect you for it. This is a great way of giving. I have received such packages myself – they’ve always been a blessing.

I’d like to add one final suggestion to thise gift bag idea. I still think you should put a few bucks in the bag. Money is a very useful and tangible resource, you can get whatever you might need with it. Take a couple dollars or maybe a five and put it in an envelope and seal it. Then write a note on the envelope. Write whatever it might be that you would like to say to a person about being wise about what they use their money for.

What would you write on the envelope?

Interview with Adria : Coffee Lover Extraordinaire

After a morning hanging out with Adria and helping her get ready to do her own podcast I couldn’t let her go with out you getting a chance to hear a little from her and some of the things she’s interested in. I hope you enjoy Adria’s podcasting debut and stay tuned for links to her upcoming podcasts.

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  • Adria shares her thoughts on fair trade coffee and Bongo Java’s story.
  • You hear it hear first: Adria’s business venture
  • Adria has a long line of entrepenuers in her family

Read more of Adria’s Thoughts, writings, and soon to be Podcast:

Congrats to KIPP Academy

About 8 months ago I applied for a job as an office manager at KIPP Academy in Nashville.  I had a phone interview with the Principal, and then only employee, of the new school that would be opening in the fall of 2005.  Randy Dowell was a really nice guy and the interview went incredibly well, at least I thought so. 
A couple weeks later I found out that I did not get the job, nor was I qualified to apply for the other jobs available there.  I must say I was really disappointed about it, but I gather myself together and moved on.  I hoped to live in the area near the school and maybe help out there, but things worked out differently.

Today I saw that the Nashville Scene had given the honor of Nashvillians of the Year to the teachers and students at KIPP Academy.  I wish I could have been a part of the effort and excitement that went in to making that possible.  Regardless, I’m extremely excited to see and hear about the students exceling at that school and hopefully really getting a good and solid education.

“I learned my lesson that fighting will not get me nowhere but all locked up or on the streets somewhere,” he continues. “When I started coming to KIPP, Mr. Dowell told me I didn’t need to fight, that it won’t get me nowhere…. I have changed, because I’m getting ready to go to college.” Look for him, sometime in, say, 2014 to be the starting quarterback at Vanderbilt University, where he says he hopes to study.

Nashville Homeless Memorial and Christmas

A friend of mine and I went to the Nashville Homeless Memorial on Saturday morning. It’s a chance for folks to come together and remember and honor those who have died in the past year.

According to a “Homeless Count” organized by the Department of Social Services on March 24, 2004 there were a minimum of 1,805 homeless individuals. This count only included those who were actually physically seen and counted and did not include camps that were not found or the hundreds who may be staying with acquaintances, friends, or in motels. [TIMC]

There where about 20+ names read and a few stories told. A couple people read some poems, shared some thoughts, and did a little spoken word. It was neat to be a part of the people gathered, there but troubling at the same time.
Are Christians so naive as to not connect HOMELESS and JESUS? I’ve mentioned this before, but it keeps bothering me. At some point down the road we are going to need to make a shift in our way of thinking. WE WORSHIP A MAN WHO WAS HOMELESS! Why do we not the treat the homeless we encounter around us with the same level of dignity?
I want to be careful here though, because I don’t want people going around saying, that because Jesus was a man we should treat men with more dignity or anything crazy like that. I do think though that there is something terribly important to recognize about the fact that Jesus, while preaching the Kingdom, did not have a job, nor a home. What do you think of that?

Why I’m walking the AIDS walk

I haven’t done an event where I’m supposed to raise money before (at least not in my recent recollection). For some reason I felt the urge to have the AIDS walk be my first event. I like encouraging people to give money to good causes but it’s not often I actually ask for money myself (there was IsupportMeera). Here are a few of the reasons I’m encouraged to do the AIDS walk here in Nashville and why I hope you might consider sponsoring me.
I became aware of the AIDS pandemic in the world shortly before college. Seeing the statistics and reading about the lack of resources to address the problem, I grew increasingly interested in helping. It seemed AIDS in the USA had gone from a hot topic and serious concern, to almost off the radar screen of our media. I think this was due to the drugs created that helped inhibit the onset of the virus and helped those with HIV lead fairly healthy lives. But as news in the USA decreased, slowly I was beginning to hear about how quick the virus was spreading overseas. We didn’t respond fast enough. There is quite a charge to deal with AIDS globally, with the much supported ONE campaign lead by, U2 singer, Bono. We need to keep AIDS in the forefront of our minds, we cannot forget our global neighbors.
After moving to Nashville I quickly was made aware of the major change in the state health care program, TennCare. Starting August 1st about 300,000 people where cut off from their health care access and many where seriously reduced in their prescription options. If you know about AIDS treatment at all you know that you NEED to take a number of treatments at once (a cocktail); and you NEED to take them consistently. And if you get sick at all you need to go see a doctor. Well those suffering from AIDS who where cut or reduced from TennCare are in a terrible situation. Joining the AIDS walk will help raise crucial funds for meeting the needs of those with AIDS in Nashville.
Finally, there is a personal note to this. When I was in sixth grade my uncle died. He lived in Texas (we lived in Wisconsin) and at some point he got really sick and my dad flew down to be there with him. He seemed to young and healthy to just get sick and die like that, and for a long time it remained a mystery in my mind (though, I guess my parents told me). I sort of put the clues together as I got older and after graduating high school I asked my dad about Uncle Jiffy. He died from AIDS. I always wish I had been able to know him better. The more stories I hear about him, the more I wish I had the opportunity to know him better while he was alive. I’ve never done anything to really honor my uncle, I’ve never really outwardly acknowledged his dying of AIDS. I love my uncle and I miss him.

This AIDS Walk is in honor of my Uncle Jiffy.

Donate here.

Biking to work

I’m about to leave for my first day of biking to work. I’m a little nervous, mainly on the awkwardness of having to shower once I get to work, but I think I worked that out okay.

Anyone have any suggestions? I have a route that is mostly bike lanes, but I’m still gonna be biking home in the dark.

So, just a note to all you Nashville folks, be careful driving down the roads this evening.


Live blogging from Red Cross training

Okay, so people talk about live blogging as if it’s some special activity, so here I am trying it.

I’m sitting in the Red Cross Disaster relief training, and I’ve got an internet connection. So I guess I’ll live blog it.

Right now we are watching a video. The training is three and a half hours long.

There was mention at the beginning that there is a good chance that there will be four shelters opened in the area before this thing is over (there is currently one in the Nashville area).