The Genius of the Red Solo Cup

You’ve probably been to a party with red solo cups. You know the drill. Everyone has the same color cup so you write your name on yours,
or you never put your cup down,
or you go through about 10 cups during the party
because you don’t want to pick up the wrong one
(who knows what’s in there!).

The red solo cup.

A symbol for college parties, but also a symbol of conformity. Why don’t we get more creative with cups at these parties? Is it because we just want to blend in, we don’t want people to know what or how much we’ve been drinking, we just want to be part of the crowd?

I find this fascinating.

There are no red solo cups in the Kingdom of Heaven. “LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup” (Psalm 16:5).

No, everyone has their own cup, a cup that reflects who they are and how they’ve been beautifully and wonderfully made.

The Kingdom of Heaven is not one of conformity and monochrome monotony.

It is full of color
and life
and creativity
and expression,
where you are fully you.

This is the world we are invited to step into. Remember this the next time you fill your red solo cup.

Journey Through the Psalms

I hope to get back into the normal blogging routine next week. One thing I have discovered is that I get about 3 times the amount of traffic by simply posting a picture of Marina. This may signal the end of my blogging career. Probably not.

I mentioned this before, but the Sojourn staff is blogging all school year through the Psalms. Please check out our work and follow this blog here. I highly recommend it!

Here are my first two posts:

Psalm 4

“Many, LORD, are asking, ‘Who will bring us prosperity?” (v. 6) How true is this question? In this election season everything seems to be geared towards the economy…how well off are we…are we better off now than four years ago?

Interesting and important questions. Maybe even more interesting, though, is this: what is prosperity? What does it mean, what does it require of us, to be prosperous? At what point are we prosperous “enough”.

There’s another word that shows up a few times in this song: heart. In some way the heart is tied to prosperity, security, peace.

What kind of prosperity does your heart seek? Where do you find security and peace?

The song ends with this: “You alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (v. 8)

May you find true prosperity, security, peace, and safety in this great and faithful God of love.


Psalm 10

Campus does not always provide an environment congenial to following Jesus. There are times, in fact, when the conditions are dead set against openness to the Divine. Almost as if things are intentionally designed to squash our imaginations, our sense of wonder, our ability to recognize God at work all around us.

This reality makes us question the worth of continuing the journey. Those who are not following Jesus have more fun, and they get away with it! They are applauded. They are praised.

We grow bitter or cynical, we retreat and grow quiet. Our wonder and imagination squelched. We might even fall into “us vs. them” thinking. We might feel sorry for ourselves.

When it seems like faithfulness goes unrewarded, remember this…someone is probably being taken advantage of by the revelers. Someone, the people who clean your school or make your food or sew your clothes, needs YOU, to speak up for them, to defend their cause.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself and remember this: your faithfulness to the ways of God are not about you feeling good about your spirituality. It’s about “defending the fatherless and the oppressed” (v. 18).Your faithfulness matters, not just to you, but to those in our world who need to be cared for.So stick with it, you can change world.


Welcome to the New Illumination Dilemma!

Starting Monday, January 9th I will be experimenting with a new Monday-Friday format. Should look something like this:

  • Mondays…Sojourn/Ministry Updates and pics from the last week
  • Tuesdays…Reflection Pieces
  • Wednesdays…Quote of the week, or an opportunity to share something that I’ve been struck by in my reading
  • Thursdays…Link shares/interesting stuff out there on the web
  • Fridays (weekends)…Family updates/Stuff Amy and I are doing

So, there you go. Make sure you update your blog rolls, your favorites in your browsers, your RRS feeds, whatever you’ve been using to follow the ID and start coming here…

Thanks for reading!