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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.
laphamsquarterly:

One of three photographs that show Abraham Lincoln arriving at Gettysburg for the consecration of the Soliders’ National Cemetery. Lincoln arrived around noon, and the headliner for the event was Edward Everett, who spoke for more than two hours. 
When Everett had finished, Lincoln got up and delivered the 272-word Gettysburg Address, which took about two minutes.

I find this completely spellbinding. Just imagine.
~Trent Gilliss

laphamsquarterly:

One of three photographs that show Abraham Lincoln arriving at Gettysburg for the consecration of the Soliders’ National Cemetery. Lincoln arrived around noon, and the headliner for the event was Edward Everett, who spoke for more than two hours. 

When Everett had finished, Lincoln got up and delivered the 272-word Gettysburg Address, which took about two minutes.

I find this completely spellbinding. Just imagine.

~Trent Gilliss

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This week we’re focusing our production efforts on the Sufi idea of ashk, the love of Allah and the divine that has no end. But, inothernews reminds me that romance lives on in the States — in an arena:

The First Family took in an exhibition game between the U.S. and Brazil men’s basketball teams in Washington, D.C. Monday evening.  Above, Michelle Obama reacts to seeing herself and POTUS on the “Kiss Cam” at Verizon Center — before the two decide to smooch for the masses.

More amazingly, perhaps, Brazil — up by as many as 10 points during the match — was only down by 7 points in the 4th quarter.  The U.S. eventually won the pre-Olympics warmup, 80-69.

(Photos: Alex Brandon / AP [top]; Jonathan Ernst / Reuters via NBC News)

~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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Joseph Lowery’s Benediction for Barack Obama’s Inauguration
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor

As I was listening to Dr. Lowery’s benediction, I couldn’t help tweeting about how smitten I was with his understated delivery. Rather than placing a surging emphasis on each word, he expressed a quiet dignity with a wry smile and a confident pause. There’s something to be learned by his choice of opening words from the historic anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” his use of humor and, perhaps more importantly, his subtle call-and-response that cleaved people to one another as fellow humans rather than distant observers.

I immediately scoured the scoured the Web looking for a transcript and finally found one by the Federal News Service to complement the video of his speech:

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you’re able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed — the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around — (laughter) — when yellow will be mellow — (laughter) — when the red man can get ahead, man — (laughter) — and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen!

REV. LOWERY: Say amen —

AUDIENCE: Amen!

REV. LOWERY: — and amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)

What did you think? What did you think of Rev. Warren’s words? Let’s discuss.

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What Is the Master’s Commission?
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor

This video of Gov. Palin speaking at her former Pentecostal church in Wasilla, Alaska has sparked a healthy number of news stories from major media outlets such as The New York Times and National Public Radio, not to mention in the blogosphere.

Despite all the quotes being pulled and examined, I was unfamiliar with the phrase “Master’s Commission” she uses to address a group of students at the service. The Website for the Master’s Commission in Wasilla states:

"Master’s Commission Wasilla Alaska will give you a creative opportunity to set yourself aside for 9 months by becoming a 24/7 ministry student, where you will be launched on a journey To Know God And To Make Him Known. This Foundation will carry you for the rest of your life regardless of where you go in God.

During your time at MC:WA you will be trained and matured in the prophetic gifts, prayer and intercession. You will experience worship possibly like you never have before. You will be involved in evangelism in many different forms from illustrated sermons to one on one street ministry.”
From watching their promotional videos and reading some other literature, Master’s Commission programs across the U.S. have some variation when it comes to curriculum and schedule, but these full-immersion ministry programs train young men and women (generally 18-25 years old) by emphasizing the memorization of Scripture, prophesying, community service, and spreading God’s word and converting people to be followers of Jesus Christ.
The ministry program in Wasilla sees the state of Alaska as a land of “divine destiny” and a center for a new great awakening and outpouring of the Holy Spirit in which the state motto (“North to the Future”) is a prophetic indicator:
"Alaska is a mission field within itself, it has over 200 distinct people groups and most can only be reached by air. Flying only a few hours out of Wasilla is like flying to another country just because of the great cultural differences within the different parts of our state.”
I’m curious to know more about these types of ministry programs and their impact. I’d love to hear better detail and some personal experiences. Help?
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Rick Warren and the Presidency

Krista Tippett, Host

I’ve been fuming a bit this week over the way the usual constellation of journalists, pundits, and commentators have analyzed this past Saturday’s Civil Forum on the Presidency, hosted by Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church in southern California. I watched the forum with great interest and found it a useful contribution to our evolving sense of who Barack Obama and John McCain are, what they believe in, how they explain and present themselves.

82383336I won’t focus here on my personal impression of how the candidates performed. I will say that I found much to admire in the way the evening was laid out. Interviewing them separately and asking each of them roughly the same set of questions provided a remarkable display of how different they really are. While some of Warren’s questions were predictable, I thought that many of them were very good, and different enough from the usual network or public broadcasting fare that they elicited a few answers we hadn’t heard before.

For example, Warren asked each of them, in the context of tax reform, to “define rich.” At another point he noted that what is often called “flip flopping” may be a sign of wisdom — changing one’s mind can be a result of personal strength and growth. Such common sense questions and statements have been lamentably rare in all the debates hosted by professional journalists in this long campaign season up to now.

And yet the edition of the Sunday New York Times that landed on my doorstep the next morning did not even report on this first post-primary encounter of the two candidates on the same stage. I’ve heard and read one parody after the other online, in print, and on the air, at least in my home territory of public radio. When these news gatherers have seen fit to mention the Saddleback event, they’ve analyzed it in terms of what it says about the changing Evangelical scene. The same kinds of journalists who are happy to earnestly take the temperature of “the man on the street” have gleefully made fun of the demeanor and words of Saddleback members who attended the event Saturday night and church the next morning. It’s been a field day for pat generalizations about Evangelicals that nearly amount to caricature - sometimes verging on bigotry - that might be nixed by editors if it were about people of different ethnicity or race.

Obviously I have strong feelings about this. Did any of you watch the event? What do you think?

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