Monthly Archives: January 2007

now this story is surreal…

Meet the minister who says he is Jesus Christ.

My question is – does he actually believe this himself (he is delusional), or does he know he is lying to get people’s money?


Ruthless trust

We are getting to know an amazing couple out here — Eugene & Eun Chu. Their hearts and faith are quite remarkable.

Eugene passed this quote on to our canvas group we are in. It is from Brennan Manning’s book, “Ruthless Trust”

“The way of trust is a movement into obscurity,
into the undefined, into ambiguity,
not into some predetermined,
clearly delineated plan for the future.
The next step discloses itself
only out of a discernment of God
acting in the desert of the present moment.
The reality of naked trust
is the life of a pilgrim
who leaves what is nailed down,
obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown
without any rational explanation
to justify the decision or guarantee the future.
Why? Because God has signaled the movement
and offered it his presence and his promise.

They will be moving out of the country in the next year or so, to follow God’s leading in a very radical way. Pray for them if you think of it. I assume that this quote relates to that impending move.

Eugene signed the email like this…’May we all walk in faith, together as a community, through valleys and mountains, as Sojourners who recognize our home is not of this world.’
Amen to that my friend.

new neighborhoods & new cultures

We love learning about new neighborhoods & cultures out here in L.A. — you can go any direction in about 30 minutes & be in totally different worlds it feels like.

….went to Koreatown to meet with someone on Saturday, but the IHOP had a very long wait, so we decided to go to a Korean coffee-house. It had the coolest ambiance in the place. There were couches everywhere & very relaxing. Had a great talk with Greg (who I work with out here). Then we go to pay the bill & his tea was $6 & my latte was $6 — ouch! It was worth it though for the experience.

Had lunch with Simon on Friday. He is a professor at a local college (L.A. City College)

Michelle, Simon and I talked about going to Little India sometime (which is about 30 minutes away in Artesia), to see a Bollywood movie with him.

As I was walking down Vermont Ave after meeting with Simon, I thought – I love this city, with all the people, shops & neighborhoods.





Jeremiah 29:4 The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, sends this message to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food you produce. Marry, and have children. Then find spouses for them, and have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of Babylon (Los Angeles). Pray to the LORD for that city where you are…, for if Babylon (Los Angeles) has peace, so will you.â€?

you know it is California when…

…left the coffee shop early this morning & a flyer was on my window for a home that is for sale.

It read: 1800 square foot house, 3 bedrooms — (& then in big, bold letters) ‘ONLY $629,000 !
Our Minnesota friends will get a kick out of that, while our new Californian friends — will say ‘I dont get it? What’s so funny about that?’

Jason & G.K. Chesterton

One thing about L.A. is that there are 1000’s of little hole-in-the-wall places to eat. I met a friend from Kairos last week (Jason). He is an architect here in L.A.

We met at this little pizza place in the Silver Lake neighborood…


We got into this interesting conversation about architecture & creativity. Jason sent me an email with a G.K. Chesterton quote. Chesterton is a fascinating author. Here is how one person describes him…

Chesterton had a way of expressing an opponent’s views better than that person could and then demolishing them. He is known for his use of paradox, and his style is marked by brilliance, wit, inventiveness, and originality. He described his book Orthodox as “my elephantine adventures in pursuit of the obvious� (that is, old-fashioned Christianity). In it he upheld the freedom offered by belief in Christ over materialistic and other current philosophies.

anyway, here is the email & quote…

In our conversation Friday, the ideas of practicality and creativity came up…in the context of architecture, politics (city codes, set backs, height restrictions, ect.) and real estate/development. I came across this yesterday in my readings, and wanted to show it to you. It is from G.K. Chesterton’s What’s Wrong With the World. I quote the following under the assumption/idea that architecture currently “isn’t working”, along with many other things.

“A practical man means a man accustomed to a mere daily practice, to the way things commonly work. When things will not work, you must have the thinker, the man who has some doctrine about why they work at all. It is wrong to fiddle while Rome is burning; but it is quite right to study the theory of hydraulics while Rome is burning.

It is then necessary to drop one’s daily agnosticism and attempt rerum cognescere causas. If your aeroplane has a slight indisposition a handy man may mend it. But, if it is seriously ill, it is all the more likely that some absent-minded old professor with wild white hair will have to be dragged out of a college or laboratory to analyze the evil. The more complicated the smash, the whiter-haired and more absent-minded will be the theorist who is needed to deal with it…

‘Effciency,’ of course, is futile for the same reason that strong men, wil-power and superman are futile. That is it is futile because it only deals with actions after they have been performed. It has no philosophy for incidents before they happen; therefore it has no power of choice. An act can only be successful or unsuccessful when it is over; if it is to begin, it must be in the abstract, right or wrong. There is no such thing as backing a winner; for he cannot be a winner when he is backed. There is no such thing as fighting on the winning side; one fights to find out which is the winning side. If any operation has occured, that operation was efficient…A man who thinks much about efficiency must be the drowsiest of sentimentalists; for he must be always looking back. If he only likes victory he must always come late for the battle. For a man of action there is nothing but idealism.

This definite ideal is a far more urgent and practical matter in our existing English trouble than any immediate plans or proposals. For our present chaos is due to a sort of general oblivion of all that men were originally aiming at. No man demands what he desires; each man demands waht he fancies he can get. Soon people forget what the man really wanted first; and after a successful and vigorous political life, he forgets it himself. The whole is an extravagant riot of second bests, a pandemonioum of pis-aller…our practical politicians keep things in the same confusion through the same doubt about their ideal demands. There is nothing that so much prevents a settlement as a tangle of small surrenders. We are bewildered on every side by politicians who are in favor of secular education, but think it hopeless to work for it; who desire total prohibition, but are certain they should not demand it; who regret compulsory education, but resignedly continue it; or who want peasant propietorship and therefore vote for something else. It is this dazed and floundering opportunism that gets in the way of everything. If our statesmen were visionaries something practical might be done. If we ask for something in the abstract, we might get something in the concrete.”


Praying with the Psalms


Reading Psalm 18 this morning & came across this verse…

7 Then the earth quaked and trembled;
the foundations of the mountains shook;
they quaked because of his anger.

I like Eugene Peterson’s thoughts on it:

Earthquake, thunder, lightning, volcanic eruptions — sudden, violent dislocations of nature’s routine — are images of the God who is tremendously active beneath the surface of casually observed life.

Prayer: Lord, in my little faith, I try to reduce you to a convenient size and harness your attributes to my requirements. I need your thundering word to lay the foundations of my world bare so I can see that you are not a convenience to use, but the very rock on which I stand. Amen.

a little good news from Iraq?

You are probably, like I am — a little confused, hopeful at times, sad at times, and hopeless at times — about the war in Iraq. I read this article today however, and it was a tiny bit of good news from the L.A. Times…

Sunni sheik declares war on the insurgency