QUOTE: “To the many Americans cynical about religion, news of the emerging church might come as a stereotype-busting surprise. Christians fired up not about wedge-driving culture-war issues, but about spreading nonjudgmental love and compassion? What's to resent about this public face of religion? … As is so often the case with religious movements in this country, the emerging church is both old and new: Old, in that Christianity in America has seemingly always been in a state of re-invention in response to the ever-changing culture; and new, in that we see in the emerging church a group of Jesus followers who reject the social conservatism modeled by [Jerry] Falwell and many other leading evangelicals this past quarter-century. Is the emerging church compromising biblical truth for the sake of being hip? That debate won't be resolved here. Whatever the case, there is something hopeful about the appearance of a youthful, idealistic form of faith focused more on healing broken neighborhoods than accumulating members and political power.” —USA Today columnist Tom Krattenmaker [usatoday.com, 11/12/07]
10 years Running Blind
Friday, November 30, 2007
Twisted Sister - Oh Come All Ye Faithful
From one of my favorite Christmas Albums- A Twisted Christmas!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
A little better today
I went to bed early last night and slept in real late today. The good thing is, my chest does not hurt anymore. It is mostly congestion in my head and sinuses today, which is kind of odd. usually stuff like this starts in your head and works its way into your chest. I just spoke with my boss and he said to take another day because they will need me on Friday. Yes, believe it or not, the Valley of the Sun has a major storm system coming in that could bring us a lot of rain Friday and Saturday. So I get another day of rest and get to jump right into things Friday. But I always enjoy being at work when there is real weather going on.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Could it be the flu?
So my weekend was pretty uneventful. Patty and Shannon left for Mexico late Friday morning with a whole bunch of other folks. I stayed back because I had to work Saturday evening.
I rented a couple of movies and just stayed home Friday night. Went to work Saturday evening and went to church Sunday morning. Felt great all weekend. Patty and Shannon got back real late Sunday night because there was an extra long wait at the border due to the holiday weekend.
I went to work Monday, still felt great. had some stations to visit then met Mark B. for lunch at Kyoto Bowl. Still felt great even as I went to bed last night. Slept good, but woke up feeling like crapola. Ya know that achy feeling you get all over when you have the flu? That's what I felt like when I woke up. Just run down and knowing that something just ain't right. Anyhow, I went to work because I had to visit two sites today so I knew I would be out of the office. I headed out to Arizona City and Florence. Went back to the office, did the trip report, then left early. I rarely take sick days, but I think I'm taking one tomorrow. I'm a little bit nervous because it hurts my chest a little bit on the right side when I take a deep breath. If I don't start to feel better, or if it gets any worse, I'll have to go see the doc I guess. So much for the Project 86 concert tonight. I hope everyone has fun without me :-(
So I guess I'm just gonna lay around for the next day and a half and see if I can get over whatever it is that is trying to take me out.
A few trips ago to the orphanage, Patty hurt her fingers and thumb by jamming them with a basketball. It had been bugging her a lot since then. It got really bad yesterday and she went to the doc this morning and the doc told her that it looked like it could be broken. So off she was to x-ray. The doc will look at it this afternoon.
So say a prayer for us will ya? We would appreciate it.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Border crosser saves boy after crash kills mom
We always hear bad stories about illegals crossing the border into Arizona. Let's hear a good one. This is a very touching story and what this guy did is commendable.
Border crosser saves boy after crash kills mom
Friday, November 23, 2007
They Like Jesus but not the Church
I am reading a VERY good book right now called They Like Jesus but not the Church written by Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz California. Please visit http://www.dankimball.com/ to read more about him. I love his theology and the way he presents it.
If anyone reading this is wondering about Christianity and the way it is presented to non-believers, I would recommend this book. He also has another one coming out specifically for those who struggle with difficult questions and negative perceptions of Christianity and the church. It is entitled I Like Jesus but not the Church.
Here is an excerpt in the book that I read that talks about homosexuality and the "church". he speaks with a gal named Penny who is homosexual.
From the chapter The Church is Homophobic pages 146-148
THEN I ENTERED THE CHRISTIAN SUBCULTURE
Coming from that background, I entered evangelical subculture and was pretty amazed at most Christians' lack of understanding of homosexuality. One of the first things I noticed was the church consistently made a big deal about homosexuality and sex outside of marriage. I listened to how sermons depicted homosexuals and how Christians talked about them, and it seemed like they were talking about people I had never met. One time I went to a Christian camp and they showed a video clip of the gay parade in San Francisco. It showed people in drag and in bondage leather walking around and making out in front of the camera. The speaker said something like, "This is what homosexuals are like!" He tried to rally the youth at this camp to see how terrible homosexuals are. I remember thinking, I have known several gay people, and none of them dressed like that, acted like that, or marched in a gay parade. It seemed to me the speaker characterized a group of people in an extreme way in order to manipulate impressionable Christian teenagers. I was pretty shocked at the stance most churches took toward all homosexuals, looking at them as their enemies.
Granted, a small percentage of homosexuals does fit in that extreme category. But so do some Christians fit in an extreme category, such as the fringe group that carries "God hates Fags!" signs in public places. In the same way that people in emerging generations see extreme Christian groups and think that's what all Christians are like, so have some Christians drawn conclusions about gays that are more caricature than reality. From what I experienced, most gays are regular folks, living normal lives just like straight folks, and aren't bent on converting children or anyone else to their sexual orientation. Yes, vocal gay activists get the press and are probably the ones you see on the street. But we can't let them shape our impression of gays as a whole. We don't like it when Christians are stereotyped by extremists, and we shouldn't stereotype others because of extremists we see. Imagine if all Christians were stereotyped by the extreme fringe Christian groups who hold up signs saying "God hates America" and God Hates Your Tears" at funerals for American soldiers killed in Iraq. They get the media attention by their actions, but by no means do they represent the majority of Christians. We shouldn't be stereotyping homosexuals in this manner either. I think Penny put it well:
I am not a gay activist. None of my friends are gay activists. I am just Penny. I don't want people to regard me just by my sexuality. I want them to consider what kind of person I am. Am I loving? Am I caring? Why do Christians think that all gay people are like the ones who are dressed half-naked in leather out marching in the gay parade? That is so far from the truth. It would be like me thinking that all Christians are like Jerry Falwell telling people to stay away from Teletubby dolls or that all Christians bomb abortion clinics.
Remember what Karen said it was like for her, struggling as a teenager with her sexuality but feeling uncomfortable about confiding in people in her church? How many in our youth ministries right now are like Karen, struggling with same-sex attractions but unable to talk with the pastor or youth pastor because they heard them say how horrible all gay people are? What torment we must put people through, people who are trying to follow Jesus and need someone to talk to. We basically haven't left them much choice other than to go to a gay church, like the Metropolitan Church or some other church that endorses gay marriages and ordains gay pastors. But that's not what Penny would want to do:
If I were to go to a church, I wouldn't want to be part of a gay church. Because that is not my primary identity. I don't want to be ghettoized. It is very sad, Dan, feeling that even if I wanted to go, I don't feel the church would welcome me, so I don't go.
Some readers may say, "Well, sinners don't want to admit their sin and that's why they don't go to church." That's true to an extent. But again I want us to put ourselves in other people's shoes. I was once getting my hair cut by someone filling in for my regular stylist. When this girl, around twenty-five years old, asked me what I do, I told her I'm a pastor and asked if she has ever gone to church. Without hesitation, she said, "Oh no. I am gay. You wouldn't want me there." How horrible that we have painted the church in such a way that we get that as a response from someone on the outside looking in.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Led Zeppelin - Mothership *New Release * Promo Video
Rumor has it that they will be touring in 2008. This will definitely be the concert that will break all records for sales. Geez! I wonder how much tickets will be. I better start saving now.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
IF YOU WANT A GOOD LAUGH, READ ON
I saw a story about this on the news the other night. It just goes to show you how much words can hurt people. In this day and age of Myspace and Facebook kids can be real mean to other kids. I've seen it on school campuses and even in church youth groups. The sad case in this story is that it was an adult that sent these cruel words. In the end, we have a dead teen. I guess those words stung. Be careful what you say to people.
For release 11/21/07
(ATTENTION EDITORS: This column ends with the words "They really got her good." If the column you see below concludes any other way, you have received an incomplete version. Please contact TMS customer service at 800-346-8798 for a retransmission.)
IF YOU WANT A GOOD LAUGH, READ ON
By Leonard Pitts Jr.
Tribune Media Services
This will kill you.
Have you heard about the practical joke that was played on a girl in Dardenne Prairie, near St. Louis? You're going to slap your knee at this one. You're going to bust a gut.
See, this girl - Megan Meier was her name - was 13. You remember 13, that gawky, uncertain age when you're growing into a new body, hormones firing off like howitzers. They say Megan was a heavyset child, emotionally vulnerable as only an adolescent girl can be. They say she had ADD and struggled with depression.
Are you laughing yet?
It seems Megan had this friend, a girl who lived a few doors down. Through seventh grade, they had gone round and round: best friends one day, feuding the next, the way kids do. Finally, Megan broke off the friendship for good. She was done with the other girl. But the girl was not done with her.
This all happened last year, by the way, but we are indebted to reporter Steve Pokin of the Suburban Journals newspaper for bringing it to our attention just days ago. Since then, the story has made national headlines. Because everybody loves a good joke.
So anyway, sometime after Megan and the other girl ended their relationship, this guy named Josh Evans shows up on Megan's MySpace page saying he wants to be added as a friend. And this Josh, he's like a gift from the god of cute boys. He's new in town, home schooled, fatherless, a musician, a major hottie. And he wants to be friends. He thinks Megan is pretty. Chunky, socially awkward Megan.
She describes herself to him with an acrostic. M, for modern. E, for enthusiastic. G, for goofy. A, for alluring.
N, for neglected.
For a time, everything was good. Oh, it was strange that Josh never gave her a phone number and never asked for hers, but Megan overlooked that. Then Josh sent that strange message: "I don't know if I want to be friends with you anymore because I've heard that you are not very nice to your friends." Megan was shocked. Where was this coming from?
It was a Sunday night. As it turned out, the last Sunday of Megan's life. Are you laughing yet?
The next day after school, Megan asked her mother - Tina Meier restricted Megan's online access - to log on the computer so Megan could check for new messages. What she found horrified her. Josh was still sending mean notes. And he had apparently been sharing her messages with others. Now the online community was abuzz with invective. Megan was fat. Megan was a slut.
Megan was destroyed. Especially after one last hateful message from Josh. You're a bad person, he said. Everybody hates you. The world would be better without you.
He got his wish just hours later. Megan Meier hanged herself that night.
Weeks later, her family got the punch line. There never was a Josh. He was a fiction, created by the parents, Curt and Lori Drew, of the girl who had once been Megan's friend. By. The. Parents.
People have threatened and harassed the Drews and there are fears for their safety. No fears of prosecution, though; what they did broke no laws. But me, I don't want to hurt or jail them. I just want them to know how funny that joke was. How hee-fricking-larious.
No one wants acceptance quite as desperately as an adolescent girl who has never been the most popular, never been the prettiest. What brilliance, what comic genius, to take that vulnerability and use it against her.
So no, I don't want these folks hurt. I want them healthy. I want them long-lived. And I want them to be reminded, every day of their long, healthy lives, what a great joke they pulled.
They really paid Megan back. They really got her good.
(Leonard Pitts is a columnist for the Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132. Readers may contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
© 2007 The Miami Herald
Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.
link to article here
Police Chopper buzzing my house
Last night I was sitting with the dogs downstairs watching television. Patty was already in bed and Shannon was out for the evening.
All of a sudden I hear a really loud noise outside and then a spotlight hit the window. The dogs went nuts. I stepped outside on the back patio and there was a police helicopter obviously scanning the neighborhood. I decided to go back inside, since obviously they were looking for something or someone.
This afternoon I found out why they were in my neighborhood. check this out
This guy is probably not going to have a nice Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
What a wonderful blessed weekend it was. This trip was one of my favorites so far. I am beginning to see it through Hannah's perspective now. I am now able to watch people who go down for the first time and watch them fall in love with these kids.
On this trip, my co-worker Leslie and her husband Paul came down with us. They sponsored some siblings and the bond was instantaneous. They were a perfect match. Leslie and Paul spent the entire time with their kids and the kids just adored them. Leslie and Paul had to leave Saturday evening but they were able to utilize the whole day to get to know their new kids. We took all of them to lunch and the De La Paz kids ate so much food. After lunch we went back to the orphanage and there was a group down there that was ministering to the kids through songs and games. Leslie and Paul were able to watch their kids sing, dance and play games and were truly touched by it all. Paul mentioned to me that he wishes now that he knew spanish.
When it was time for Leslie and Paul to leave they were all gathered together to say goodbye and the tears began to flow. I can tell you one thing though, Leslie and Paul will be back. It was mentioned by them and I am so happy for the De La Paz kids and also for Leslie and Paul's adoration and love for them.
Jen P. also went down on this trip. She fell in love with the kids and clicked with a couple of the boys and she is thinking about sponsorship. She will talk to Obie about it but I know she is already looking at her schedule to plan when she can go back down.
I had some quality time with Guadalupe on this trip. He got real emotional at one point on Saturday and was crying. He was upset about what someone had said to him and had wandered out to the middle of the field where I found him crying. I was able to console him as best I could and he began to process what he was feeling and I just let him process it out in his own way and just let him know that I cared and was there for him. I also found out that his family has never come to visit him and he has never gone to see them since he has been at the orphanage. Manuel said that he would let me look at his folder the next time I am there so that I can see his history and find out why he was put in the orphanage. This will help me better understand his emotions.
Patty and Hannah just did what they do best and that is to just love on them all. The kids just adore them and cling to them like glue.
I have a lot to do today so I better quit blogging and get to it but I had to blog about this trip because it was just amazing to see God using us to bless these kids and also to see God using orphans to bless us and show us love through them also.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
On the road again
I'm heading out tomorrow morning on the Interstate 8 portion of by CPM trips for work. I'll be staying in Yuma both nights and doing a lot of driving all 3 days. I am also going to the Mexican border to meet one of our Radar Techs at the Yuma radar site because I have never been down there to see it. They are already there and will be heading back to Phoenix Thursday. So after my inspections tomorrow I'm going to drive down there and check it out.
I'm going to take an extra long day on Thursday so that I can make sure I'm back home on time Friday, because we are leaving for the orphanage when I get back. I am extra excited about this trip because one of my co-workers and her husband are going down for the first time to meet the kids they sponsored.
Gonna be a busy few days coming up so I'll catch you all Sunday evening when we get back.
An amazing kid
I had heard from several folks that Jordan G. had had some amazing things happen through answered prayers. Since we have been talking about prayer at our youth meetings on Monday nights, I approached him a couple of weeks ago to see if he would like to share with the Amadeo youth. He got back to me about a week later and said he would.
This kid gave the most amazing talk on prayer and I believe each kid that heard him talk last night was touched. I was touched, by his faith, his words and his testimony. I feel that Jordan will be used by God in mighty ways.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I finished reading a book by Sarah Cunningham titled "Dear Church: Letters from a disillusioned generation". She was raised in the church and her father was a pastor.
The book was very good and I liked it. But about halfway through it she said something that hit home for me and I had marked it so that I could go back and find it. I wanted to read the verses she gave and after I went back and read this part, I had to blog about it to see if I could get opinions on it. So here it goes, an excerpt from the book on pages 88-89:
Local congregations, of course, have varied requirements for membership; however, many of them still seem to stand in contrast to Jesus' approach. The only task that Jesus mentioned, when asked what God required of people, is "to believe in the one he has sent."
It was belief that made someone a disciple (John 8:31), belief that deemed them God's children (John 1:12), and belief that qualified them as children of Abraham (Galations 3:7). Belief was also the qualifier that got tax collectors and and prostitutes to the door before religious leaders (Matthew 21:31-32).
Throughout the New Testament, we see this same mode of entry revisited by author after author. Paul reminded people that the Spirit doesn't move because you observe the law, but because you believe what you've heard (Galations 3:5). Peter taught it was only though belief in God that people had hope (1 Peter 1:21). John too passed on a similarly simple command: believe in the name of God's Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as he commanded us (1 John 3:23). Even the chief priests and Pharisees feared that if Jesus continued to do miracles, more people would believe (John 11:48). In fact, belief was apparently such a central part of Christians' identities that they were referred to as believers (Acts 4:32 is just one example).
Interestingly enough, from Nicodemus (John 3) to Zaccaeus (Luke 19), the Samaritan townspeople (John 4:39-42) to the disciples (Matthew 4, Mark 3, Luke 5, John 1), not one person is asked to sign a list of doctrines.
In fact, there is no "repeat after me." No "raise a hand." No "ask Jesus into your heart."
And you know what is cool about belief? It's something anyone can do. Physically disabled, mentally challenged, young, old, smart, uneducated. Not everyone can understand and recite a list of complex doctrines, not everyone can read and process a manual. But even a child can believe.
I once worked with a homeless man who was both schizophrenic and epileptic. Because of his mental illness, he came to think that men he was once imprisoned with had implanted a homing device in the back of his head and were tracking his every move (it sounds bizarre, but real life is sometimes). Whenever something would go wrong - for example, if a salt shaker would get bumped off the table - this man would chalk it up as evidence that the cons were following him and out to make his life miserable. You can only imagine the chaos and confusion that ruled him.
My husband and I went to all lengths to help this man and his wife. We secured temporary housing for them in a hotel and made a return trip to argue with the staff when they tried to evict him. We searched out an apartment in the city where he and his wife could walk to nearby organizations that could support them. We took him, his wife, and his dog (that he refused to leave behind) to our church on a number of occasions.
Despite all our efforts, I never heard this man engage conversion by the definitions of my childhood. Even if the perfect moment presented itself, he would have never - in my wildest dreams - been able to process the beliefs inherent in most of the creeds and church covenants I'd been raised on. But the longer we talked, the more often my husband and I heard the man say, "I think they are following me, but I know they won't get to me because God is watching out for me" or "When they come near, I just ask God to help me."
Less than a year after coming into our lives, this man died suddenly (his wife claimed paramedics didn't even attempt to resuscitate him after he had a seizure). As I sat at the funeral, looking at the man's body in the coffin, a new spiritual principle dawned on me. I thought to myself: without a doubt, this man is experiencing Christ's fullness right now. Like Abraham, like the centurion, like those who ate and fellowshiped with the early church, this man believed.
I know it's hypothetical, but maybe the gal in the previous video would not have committed suicide had she have known there are other ways out of a bad situation.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Five Finger Death Punch -
This is a very heavy band and I really like the sound. It is dark though as far as videos go.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Focus on the Family's possible new leader?
I was reading this article this morning and it was talking about this guy Jim Daly, that is probably going to take over the leadership of Focus on the Family that is currently headed by James Dobson. Here are a few excerpts and I'll link to the entire article at the end.
He is the nicest right-wing evangelical powerhouse you've never heard of. Jim Daly grew up the last of five children in what anyone would call a broken home. His mother died when he was 10 and he lived with, in turn, a stepfather, a foster family, his own alcoholic father and his divorced brother. He came to Jesus in high school, under the guidance of a football coach. His recent memoir, "Finding Home," has barely made a dent on the best-seller lists. Nevertheless, in 2005, Daly got the job of president and CEO of Focus on the Family, and although he denies this, it's clear that he was picked to be the yin to James Dobson's yang. While Dobson continues to threaten in the press, Daly chats amiably with a reporter about the fall weather. He sticks to the hard line on policy issues—gay marriage is bad for families, he says—but his presentation is all soft edges. "I'm sure there are wonderful gay parents out there; there's a poster child for everything." If one of his boys turned out to be gay, he says, "I'd love him."
Is the presence of Daly at the head of what is arguably the country's most politically powerful conservative Christian group more evidence of a shift by evangelicals toward the center? Or is this alleged shift simply cosmetic? Events of the past few weeks offer contradictory evidence. On the one hand, you have Dobson, creating a furor with a New York Times op-ed warning Republicans to deliver a presidential candidate with the right values—or else. On the other, a handful of new books and studies show some movement centerward, at least on the question of tolerance toward homosexuals. According to a new study by the Barna Research Group, 80 percent of churchgoers between the ages of 16 and 29 believe that the term "anti-homosexual" describes Christianity, and they complain that they don't get enough guidance from their pastors in how to apply Christ's message of love to their gay friends. According to another study cited in "After the Baby Boomers" by Robert Wuthnow, young evangelicals have grown dramatically more tolerant of gays over the past 20 years on issues like teaching in schools.
Love Thy (Gay) Neighbor
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
A group of 6 of us went to the orphanage this past weekend. It was a wonderful time and a blessing as usual. Here are a few of the highlights for me this weekend.
A co-worker of mine sponsored some siblings at the orphanage. She gave me some gifts for her kids to bring down on this trip. She also included a picture of her and her family. These kids were so proud of their sponsors it brought some wetness to my eyes. They were more interested in the photos of their new sponsor family than they were of the gifts. They gave Hannah some letters to bring back and I handed them to Leslie (my co-worker) this morning. I told her what one of the letters said a little bit because my cousins husband, Guillermo interpreted it for me. Leslie started crying. Her and her husband Paul and possibly their oldest boy Jaden will accompany us down there in two weeks.
One of my favorite boys, Abraham was gone. That bummed me out a little bit because him and I were getting close. Guadalupe was fun as he always is. Now he just follows me around wherever I go. Saturday night we got to watch a movie. It was pretty fun.
I had some fun with the English-Spanish dictionary while I was there. Page 126 had some pretty interesting phrases and words. Cuss words. I found it quite amusing and asked some of the kids what it meant. Probably not a good idea, but I was only kidding around and having some fun. Hannah tore the page out and kept me in check!
Hannah told Manuel she was moving down there on Jan 4th. You could tell he was elated about it by the expression on his face. He said something to the effect that "we need more people like you". And ya know what? He's right!
I also so enjoy watching my wife Patty while we're down there. It is her passion ministering to those kids. You can tell by watching her interact with them. Even though the trips can get you tired sometimes because you are always on the go, she just is a different person when she goes down there.
On the way back we stopped at Pizza Hut in Tucson and met my parents, my grandma, and my cousin Jael and her husband Guillermo. My mom's birthday was Saturday so we spent about an hour with them.
Monday I left for work at 6 am. I had to drive out to Casa Grande to relocate some weather equipment. I usually have someone with me but I did this one solo. It involves a lot of digging (a 50-foot trench) and lifting. I did not get home until almost 6:30 pm.
So this morning I woke up and guess what? I was sore as hell. Everything, arms, chest, back, legs, even my fingers from squeezing. It will probably be even worse tomorrow. But I did get that station relocated and the new one is up and running.
Bryant got baptised Sunday morning. When I got home there was a message on my answering machine from Ben. It turned out he was asking me to baptise Bryant. But I was in Mexico. I did get to see the photo though of the baptism. Awesome.
Be well folks and be MoVeD! And don't swear in Spanish!
Friday, November 02, 2007
It's hard to go to any news source these days without finding multiple stories about the Christian community influencing or being influenced by some presidential hopeful. Last Sunday, though, New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick took it one step further in what has already been called "one of the most talked-about stories of the pre-election season." Kirkpatrick's analysis of evangelicals and their dance with the Republican Party, called "The Evangelical Crackup," assessed that "the movement shows signs of coming apart beneath its leaders" because younger pastors and leadership are more concerned with faith in action than divisive issues or party loyalties. To read the entire article, click here. [nytimes.com, 10/28/07]
QUOTE: "There was a time when evangelical churches were becoming largely and almost exclusively the Republican Party at prayer. To some extent—we have to see how much—the Republicans have blown it. That opportunity to lock up that constituency has vanished. The ball now really is in the Democrats’ court." —Marvin Olasky, editor of the evangelical magazine World and an informal adviser to George W. Bush when he was governor [nytimes.com, 10/28/07]
QUOTE: "There is this sense that the personal gospel is what evangelicals believe and the social gospel is what liberal Christians believe—and, you know, there is only one gospel that has both social and personal dimensions to it. Now it is a growing phenomenon. ... The religious right peaked a long time ago. As a historical, sociological phenomenon, it has seen its heyday. Something new is coming." —Gene Carlson, former senior pastor of Westlink Christian Church in Wichita, Kan. [nytimes.com, 10/28/07]
Going South of the Border
I forgot to mention that I am going to the orphanage this weekend. We're leaving about 5 pm tonight and coming back Sunday evening. I am excited because I missed the last trip. Saturday is my mom's birthday so if we don't have a long wait at the border crossing Sunday night, and depending on what time we leave the orphanage, we may stop in Tucson and meet my parents for a quick bite to eat on the way back.
Happy Birthday Mom!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
-Do I believe that each and every member of a terrorist group has insurmountable worth to God?
-Do I really believe that God doesn’t play favorites, that America isn’t His favorite country?
-Could I really believe that God is just as saddened by an insurgent’s death as He is by the death of an American soldier?
-Does my complacent ignorance of a certain death toll say something about how I value those people?
I was reading this article and I think this guy makes a very good point about the war on terror, Iraq, etc...
read the rest here
Study: Youth see Christians as judgmental, anti-gay
Majorities of young people in America describe modern-day Christianity as judgmental, hypocritical and anti-gay. What's more, many Christians don't even want to call themselves "Christian" because of the baggage that accompanies the label.
The vast majority of non-Christians — 91% — said Christianity had an anti-gay image, followed by 87% who said it was judgmental and 85% who said it was hypocritical.
Such views were held by smaller percentages of the active churchgoers, but the faith still did not fare well: 80% agreed with the anti-gay label, 52% said Christianity is judgmental, and 47% declared it hypocritical.
Kinnaman said one of the biggest surprises for researchers was the extent to which respondents — one in four non-Christians — said that modern-day Christianity was no longer like Jesus.
"It started to become more clear to us that what they're experiencing related to Christianity is some of the very things that Jesus warned religious people about," he said. "Which is, avoiding removing the log from your own eye before trying to take the speck out of someone else's."
The rest of the article
Not a Christian
What if we all stopped identifying ourselves as Christians? What would we say the next time a co-worker asks us about our faith? How would we describe what we believe to a stranger at a party or that person next to us on the airplane?
Here's what I think I'll say from now on; "I have been fascinated lately with the person of Jesus. So, I've been reading books about his teachings, especially the Gospels, and doing my best to follow his wisdom in every area of my life."
It seriously excites me now to think about my next encounter of this sort. Imagine the honest conversation you can have with someone by simply identifying yourself as someone who is fascinated with Jesus. Personally, I can't wait to introduce myself as someone who is curious about the teachings of Jesus and who is learning how to put his words into practice. I think this is a far more compelling response to someone who inquires about our faith. Much more so than simply saying, "I am a Christian" which instantly polarizes everyone, shuts down any hope of conversation and creates an "Us vs Them" environment.
This is an excerpt from another great article written by Keith Giles. I so agree with what this guy has to say and the way he lives out his faith. Plus, he has a really cool first name :-)
Check out the entire article here