What Motivates You?

I’m not sure about you but I constantly find myself going through a refining. It’s as if my heart starts spiritually spazzing out. It’s as if I’m being gently prompted to examine my heart and my motives. And it’s in those times that I ask myself one simple question: What is motivating you right now?

As often as I find myself motivated by hope, just as easily I find myself being motivated by fear. Sometimes it’s a yearning to learn more and other times it’s a desire to gain more; to serve and, more often, be the one who is served. But something inside tells me I’m not alone.

So, during one of my spazzmatic moments, I decided to step further and ask this question to my Twitter and Facebook friends: What motivates you?

Matt Messner, a pastor at Eastside Church in Bothell, Washington was the first to respond. “I am motivated,” Messner wrote, “by a compelling vision, felt needs and spiritual convictions.” Beautifully put I thought.

Professional Minnesota photographer, Shelley Paulson, chimed in and wrote, “A passion for excellence and a desire to help others.”

Within the first few responses I started noticing a trend. Most people, it seems, are motivated by the success of others above themselves.

Jason Boyett, author of the famed Pocket Guide books, talked how his family was a source of his motivation. “Providing for them,” he wrote, “being available for them, being healthy for them.”

Robert Chapman, technical communicator and known opinionist, took it one step further and commented on the thing that most de-motivates him: “When I’m not able to use my skills, knowledge, and abilities to work on a solution.”

It’s encouraging that I’m not the only one who is stirred by a motivation that isn’t always self-serving. Hopefully, in those spiritually spazzmatic times, I can recognize that the Spirit is strong at work and may I always follow that questioning in my heart. What about you? What is motivating you right now?

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Freedom Under Fire

“This is a sad day for the cause of freedom. When the Supreme Court cannot clear their calendar to hear a case of this magnitude, then our freedoms are in jeopardy. Such censorship and discrimination should not be permitted in America.”
John W. Whitehead,
The Rutherford Institute

The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of a high school valedictorian whose microphone was turned off by school officials after she began speaking about the part her Christian beliefs played in her success in life. Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute had asked the Court to hear the case of Brittany McComb, charging that school officials violated McComb’s free speech rights and engaged in viewpoint discrimination when they censored her speech because of its Christian content. The Court issued the order denying the petition without additional explanation.

“This is a sad day for the cause of freedom,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “When the Supreme Court cannot clear their calendar to hear a case of this magnitude, then our freedoms are in jeopardy. Such censorship and discrimination should not be permitted in America.”

In the spring of 2006, Brittany McComb was one of three valedictorians chosen based on their grade-point averages to give a speech at Foothill High School’s annual commencement ceremony. Each valedictorian was provided with “suggestions” for crafting their speeches. However, school officials neither encouraged nor forbade the students to include or exclude religious content from their speeches. In her speech, Brittany reflected on past experiences and lessons learned at school and wrote about the emptiness she experienced from accomplishments, achievements and failures in her early high school years. She then mentioned the fulfillment and satisfaction she later came to experience in something greater than herself, namely, in God’s love, and Christ.

Upon receiving a copy of Brittany’s draft speech, school administrators proceeded to censor her speech, deleting all three Bible references, several references to “the Lord” and the only mention of the word “Christ.” Believing that the district’s censorship of her speech amounted to a violation of her right to free speech, on June 15, 2006, Brittany attempted to deliver the original version of her speech in which she talked about the role that her Christian beliefs played in her success. The moment Brittany began to speak the words, school officials cut off her microphone. Despite extensive jeers from the audience over the school officials’ actions, McComb was not permitted to finish her valedictory speech.

With the assistance of The Rutherford Institute, Brittany McComb filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Foothill High School officials in July 2006. In June 2007, the U.S. District Court for Nevada rejected the school district’s second attempt to have the case dismissed and affirmed that the lawsuit raises substantial claims of infringement of McComb’s right of free speech. School officials subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeals, which dismissed the case, holding that McComb had no right to give her speech, which it deemed to be “proselytizing.”

Despite the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the McComb case, John Whitehead points out that the battle is far from over. “As we see our freedoms constantly under attack, be reminded that The Rutherford Institute continues to defend those whose freedoms are in jeopardy,” stated Whitehead. “In fact, we have two more cases on appeal before the United States Supreme Court. In the first, Nurre v. Whitehead, the courts have ruled that public school students cannot perform Christian music at a graduation ceremony, even without spoken words or printed lyrics. In the second, Busch v. Marple Newtown School District, the courts have affirmed that a Christian mother cannot read a passage from the Psalms to her child in kindergarten, while other parents are permitted to read whatever they choose.”

The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit legal and educational civil liberties organization, provides legal assistance at no charge to individuals whose constitutional rights have been threatened or been violated.

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An Interview with Jason Berggren

The journey of faith is sometimes marked by moments of disillusionment and anger. If you don’t believe us, just ask Jason Berggren, author of 10 Things I Hate About Christianity. The Rethink Podcast guys interview Jason about his book, hate, and everything in between.

To learn more about Jason and his book, 10 Things I Hate About Christianity, visit his website at www.10thingsihate.com.

Download the podcast here, listen below, or check us out on iTunes.

Don’t forget to check out our recent interviews with Jason Boyett and Mike Foster.

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Clothing Line Addresses Hunger Issues

Break the Chain® Apparel and the Marion-Polk Food Share have joined together to bring awareness to the hunger issues in Oregon’s Marion and Polk counties. They have designed and produced a t-shirt that will serve as a fundraiser for the Food Share. The shirt’s slogan, “Because No One Should Go Hungry… End Hunger Now” is a powerful message that the organizations expect will bring positive attention to the hunger plight.

“In light of the recession, the Food Share and its network more than 80 member charities are being called on to provide food boxes for an all-time record average of 6,500 families a month. That is an 11 percent increase from the previous year or, put another way, it is 631 more families who are hungry in an average month than a year ago at this time,” says Ron Hays, president of the Food Share.

The Marion-Polk Food Share approached Break the Chain Apparel in the spring of 2009 with the idea of creating a shirt to address local hunger issues. Break the Chain Apparel designs and produces “clothing with a voice,” t-shirts that speak out against social issues, relaying messages of strength and hope. “We loved this idea,” says CEO and domestic violence survivor Tammi Burns. “This is a simple concept that allows us to make a difference in the lives of families in our region.”

Five percent of the proceeds of the End Hunger Now t-shirt will go back to the Food Share program to help get food to families in need in the Marion and Polk County region. The t-shirt is designed with both the Break the Chain Apparel logo and the Marion-Polk Food Share logo on the back. “It is created in such a way that if other food banks want to use this fundraising concept, we can easily swap one food share logo out for another. We’ve got the design now; why not use it as a tool to help address hunger issues across the country?” says Tammi.

About Break the Chain® Apparel

Break the Chain Apparel was founded in 2006 by domestic violence survivor Tammi Burns. Tammi is a social entrepreneur whose team aspires to make positive changes in the lives of others by creating “clothing with a voice.” The company’s wares display messages that address social ills and inspire social change. Tammi’s vision is twofold: to use apparel as a tool to help fund social programs, and to inspire change by making messages against violence and addiction in-style. “These messages speak so you don’t have to,” says Tammi. “It allows the person wearing the clothing to speak out while remaining non-invasive.” For more information, visit www.breakthechainapparel.com or call Tammi at 503.859.5555.

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What Kind of Coffee Are You?

Just a few minutes ago, I was eating lunch at a local coffeehouse / deli when a man came in, looked at the board, and became quite perplexed. He wanted coffee but had no clue what to order. The waitress started rattling off what seemed, to this poor ol’ guy, like gibberish. After placing his simple order he turned and looked at me and said, “Coffee is too complicated.” To which I replied, “That’s why I drink tea.”

But we’re complex people right? And complex people require complicated things. So, being the complex person you are, what sort of coffee concoction do you best relate yourself to … and, of course, why?

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An Interview with Mike Foster

We’re back with a special Veteran’s Day podcast featuring Mike Foster, author of Deadly Viper Character Assassins and all around cool guy. We talk about Mike’s recent project, The ManCave, as well as pose the question: How far does grace extend especially to those in ministry?

To find out more about Mike Foster and the Deadly Viper project, visit deadlyviper.org.

Download the podcast here, listen below, or check us out on iTunes.

Don’t forget to check out our recent interview with Jason Boyett.

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An Interview with Jason Boyett

Two of the Rethink Podcasters, Anthony and Randy, interview author Jason Boyett about his latest books; Pocket Guide to Sainthood, Pocket Guide to the Afterlife, and Pocket Guide to the Bible. Find about out Jason’s inspiration behind the books in this special Rethink Podcast.

Check out Jason Boyett on his blog or on Twitter.

Download the podcast here, listen online or check us out on iTunes.

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