• 109105925316991514


    this cd needs to be bought (to all you thieves out there – including myself) and listened too. it is incredible and so are the people that make this music. congradulations micheal, you deserve this. and if it makes anyone feel better i bought it. today at Best Buy how cool is that.  Posted by Hello

  • 109097588664739006


    there is beauty in those things we see as feeble and weak. are we willing to be weak in order to find beauty or will we continue to hide behind false pretenses, power, control and pretend as if we are greater than life itself?  Posted by Hello

  • Lovedrugs Save the World

    Lovedrug
    I am on my way to by the new lovedrug album.  you should all do the same. support music that still has some heart in it.
    Then i am going to drink coffee and read how to save the world.

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  • Reading List From My First Year at Fuller

    I went through and typed out all those book this year that have been most influential in my schooling.
    It was good for me to do this because I actually had the opportunity to realize that I did learn something this year!

    Philosophy:
    Brown, Warren; Murphy, Nancy; Malony, H. Newton eds
    Whatever Happended to the Soul: Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human nature

    A collections of Essays put together by Fuller’s Main Philosopher Nancey Murphy of the possibility of human beings having no soul and its implications upon Christianity. She Who is an Anabaptist believer herself believes that there is no immaterial soul and seeks to verify her beliefs through Science and theology.
    Influence on my thinking*** (out of 5)

    Murphy, Nancy
    Reasoning and Rhetoric in Religion

    An easily accessible book covering the structure of arguments to Alasdair MacIntyre’s account of how to evaluate traditions using Philosophy and the Methods from the field of science.
    Influence ****

    Spirituality:
    O’connor, Elizabeth
    Journey Inward Journey Outward 3rd Ed

    A biography of the Church of the Savior in the late 60’s a wonderful community church that reaches out to the urban poor in downtown DC.
    Influence ****

    King, Martin Luther
    Strength to Love

    A Collection of Luther’s Sermons you could almost hear him speaking these powerful messages.

    Influence: **
    (I thought it was amazing, but I agreed pretty much with what he was saying, and much of it wasn’t that new)

    Quakerism:

    Woolman, John
    The Journal and Major Essays of John Woolman

    A great read for any mystic and especially for those who are interested in how the Abolition got started. John Woolman’s Piety is challenging to anyone’s faith.

    Influence: ***
    Cooper, Wilmer
    A Living Faith, A Historical and Comparative Study of Quaker Belief

    A brief history and summary of Quaker Beliefs from the most liberal to the most conservative evangelicals. One of the best parts of this book is when Cooper talks about Christ as Prophet, Priest and King, and how Christ as prophet was one of the most important parts of early Quaker Christology, a part that is lost in much of evangelical Christianity today.

    Influence: ***

    Barclay, Robert
    Apology for True Christian Divinity

    The founding theology for Quakerism, written 30 years after the movement was started. It is as systematic a theology as the Quakers had and it is quite frankly an amazing work of theology. I found myself saying time and time again “why have I never heard any of this before???? Probably the single most important book to me this school year.

    Influence: *****

    Barbour, Hugh and Frost, J.
    The Quakers

    A great history of Quakerism in America, pretty critical and covers fairly the different parts of the movement.

    Ethics:
    Pitts, James
    How to Live Your Life
    Probably the best book ever written by the one true Christian human alive.

    Sieder, Ron
    Rich Christians in An Age of Hunger

    A very powerful, provocative and moving account of the America’s (and its church) neglect of the poor.

    Influence:****

    Douglas, Kelley
    The Black Christ

    A book about Christ and how he relates to African American Spirituality written from a Feminist African American Woman. A great a short read to get your feet wet in Black Theology.

    Influence: ****

    Marsden, George
    Fundamentalism and American Culture

    A critical and well put together history of the Fundamentalist movement and its negative effects on the American church. Probably the second most important book I read this school year. It helped me understand much of my church background and the ideologies that fueled it.

    Influence: ****

    McKnight, John
    The Careless Society and its Counterfeits

    How is it that there are so many service jobs now? With so few product producing jobs available in this country? J. McKnight asks this question and many others as he sets for the idea that much of America’s economy is fueled by service jobs that were created to fulfilled false needs in the society. He says that what people need is true community (and he offers great ideas as to what this is) and not more therapists, doctors, teachers, and rescue mission workers etc.

    Influence: ****

    Roberts, Samuel
    African American Ethics

    A great ethics book looking at many important issues for African Americans and how these issues are being handled by the larger society. It also has some great Black Theology in it.

    Influence: ****

  • friday moving day

    We have been packing for about two weeks, and we have
    already taken many things to the other apartment.
    Last week emily went everyday i think just to take
    even a couple things so that we would have less to
    move when the day came. it is here. I am picking up
    a uhaul today – i will probably spend about $80 on it.
    we were considering taking multiple trips with vans
    and small trucks but decided that one trip with the
    uhaul would be less stressful and less of a commitment
    for our friends.

    We have been thinking about, praying for and talking
    about moving to Glendale for about 4 months now. and
    when it comes down to it i am nervous about the move.
    What if we aren’t supposed to go there, what if we
    can’t really afford the rent, what if we have a really
    hard time maintaining our friendships or making new
    ones, what if young-life falls through…

    “You start to trust the things that deeper comfort
    brings..safety abounds, safety abounds..” -Pedro

    Lord please helps us to find the deeper comfort.

    We have:
    Ron Ragsdale
    Jamie Pitts
    Richard Kentopp
    Andrew Stanfield
    Jeff Ash
    Rob Strong
    Eric Mulligan
    Mike Work
    and Emily and I all helping.

    We should be good to go.

    k
    We went to Jessie’s birthday yesterday, and met many
    of her friends, and then those who she rents from DAVE
    and MEREDITH. they are pretty hip people with fun
    personalities. they own their own home so of course
    we were jealous and felt like kids because we haven’t
    bought a place yet. This is one main reason i want to
    be back home. right now we could be living in a 3 or
    4 bedroom house. anyways hanging out with these kats
    makes me want to continue to pursue art and music. I
    know what i have some ability and when i get around
    people who are artsy it makes me want to be amazing
    -that is what i am not. I often wonder how much my
    art should be apart of my life, because i am not
    naturally gifted like some i know – i wonder if i am
    chasing after hollow dreams.

    “I am a simple, and I sing a simple song…”
    -Denison

    I found myself entering a conversation on urban
    ministry with a friend who is a young-life staff person.
    I think i have four
    things you don’t want me talk about, Urban ministry,
    Quakers, Dylan and Macs. I have a hard time shutting
    up about any of that stuff. anyways she pretty much
    said that for her Urban ministry is no different than
    any other kind of ministry and she gets really annoyed
    with people who “are like i am all about urban
    ministry, that is where it is at…” I told her i
    don’t like people that make one thing their cause –
    because people get more caught up being sold out to
    their cause and can often miss the point of the
    Gospel. I know plenty that have done this for urban
    ministry, suburban ministry, homosexual and abortion
    issues etc. I don’t want to be one of those people
    that have a cause, except that my cause be to proclaim
    the kingdom of God.

    BUT…(knew it was coming)…i can’t help but read the
    prophets in the OT and read the whole freaking! Gospel
    (especially the very urban-underdog focus book of
    Luke) and see that Jesus speaks time and time again
    about serving the poor, and the rejects of society,
    those who have been forgotten by the suburban church,
    those who have been hated by the government. I am not
    trying to read into the Gospel here, i got this from
    reading the Gospels honestly.

    I just read Matthew 4:23 – where it talks about Jesus
    “proclaiming the kingdom of God” and he was healing
    all the sick around him. It was interesting to find
    that both of these events were recorded as taking
    place in the same verse, and if i remember correctly
    it was in the same sentence! so what do i mean to say
    about this? Well the sick and crippled have always
    been the poor and outcasts of society, there is little
    argument otherwise and the fact that proclaiming the
    kingdom of God (the verbal event) is coupled with the
    healing of people (the physical event). For Christ to
    speak of the kingdom of God (the good news) was to
    make things right for those who have been brought low
    by the social, cultural and political systems of the
    day. This isn’t something that is understood by the
    typical evangelical church today (suburban or
    otherwise). Most people equate proclaiming the
    kingdom of God with preaching the Gospel and they
    couple that with “getting people saved.” The ideology
    that fuels this thinking is, “I believe that Christ
    has called me to get people saved, i get them saved by
    telling them to believe in Jesus and get out of sin,
    when they do that their lives are now whole. Now I
    must move on to the next person to get them saved, and
    so on.” There is something wrong with this
    picture…it is that Christ never got people saved and
    then ditched them, actually it is if anything flip
    flopped, Christ fixed their social situation, gave
    them hope by healing them, feeding them, or
    confronting the unjust systems that took advantage of
    the weak. The point isn’t to say that christ never
    tried to bring people into a relationship with God,
    because he did do that, the point is that he was
    concerned about the whole individual, and how to make
    it right for each person – one at a time. There are
    whole people, hearing about how to get saved but left
    to sleep on the cold streets, there are people who are
    hearing “Jesus Saves” but then they go home to an
    abusive single mother who has no food or money and
    screams at her kids out of desperation and fear.
    There are mothers who are forced to live in places
    like Skid Row in Downtown LA, with four kids. There
    are divorced familes, that are broken, angry and tired
    of the fighting but have no one who is willing to just
    listen to their problems, there are people who preach
    at them about right and wrong choices, but no
    Christ-loving friends who shut-up and just listen.
    There are children who have fathers who kill
    themselves because they lost all hope, those kids
    wonder where the “Jesus Saves” church was at for the
    past 10 years while their father died from depression
    – no one to love – no one to listen to the rejects.
    those same kids now have no father, they know he gave
    up because he had no hope, and they only here the
    words of “Jesus Saves” while they see no real physical
    people who are willing to get involved in their lives,
    who are willing to get dirty.
    well this is why I believe that ministry to the poor,
    rejected and oppressed is at the base of Christianity,
    because just like everything else our Lord did, it is
    counter intuitive, it is difficult, costly and frankly
    it is really unappealing to my american wallet and LA
    image.

    Good thing Christ never called us to those things.
    Good thing for me that i was born in a struggling
    middle class family – that was better than those
    damned families in Skid Row. God must have just
    decided that it should be that way. I should consider
    myself lucky and do whatever i can to keep my family
    from ending up down there, oh heavens what could be
    worse than living on the streets??!!

    May we be like you Lord Jesus – concerned with the
    whole person – healing those who you loved and sought
    after…the lost.
    Matt. 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in
    their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the
    kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness
    among the people.

    Hear America!
    Luke 12:15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your
    guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does
    not consist in the abundance of possessions.Â???

    Luke 12:33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make
    purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an
    unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes
    near and no moth destroys.
    Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your
    heart will be also.

    Unfortunately – those who speak with such passion
    often get written of as too extreme, this is not my
    intention, and those of you who know me hopefully you
    can testify to my heart. But at the same time Jesus
    was written off as too extreme – so if we are like our
    Lord I hope we are too extreme.

Publications


Resisting Empire: The Book of Revelation as Resistance (2019)

Resisting Empire: The Book of Revelation as Resistance looks at Revelation from the perspective that Revelation is not about predicting the end times but is instead a handbook for early Christian resistance and survival against empire.

Resisting Empire: The Book of Revelation on Bookshop.

A Convergent Model of Renewal: Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture (2015)

A convergent Model of Renewal lays out a model for working with congregations and communities alike, interested in maintaining their tradition while also becoming more connected to their context and needs of their community.

A Convergent Model on Bookshop

Image of the cover of the book The Quaker World
The Quaker World Co-Edited With Rhiannon Grant – 2022

The Quaker World is a book with over 50 authors around the world covering sections such as global Quaker history, to spirituality, and embodiment and emphasizes global Quaker diversity and biographies of Quakers.

The Quaker World on Bookshop.


More books and publications by Wess