Monthly Archives: October 2007

amazing college football play

If you like football, you will like this play…

HT: Lu


No Reincarnation without Legal Permission in China

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This is great. It seems “China’s State Administration of Religious Affairs announced Order No. 5, a law covering “the management measures for the reincarnation of living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism.” This “important move to institutionalize management on reincarnation” basically prohibits Buddhist monks from returning from the dead without government permission…”

HT: Ben Witherington’s blog


The need for a missional church…

People often ask me what we are trying to accomplish out here in LA, and I explain that what we doing is planting neighborhood missional churches in the LA area. That is our goal. Since there is some confusion of what ‘missional’ is, and after explaining it many times I decided to post something here that explains it better than I can.

It is a paper on what the Missional church is, and it is written by Tim Keller, who is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. I have great respect for him, and the ministry out there. The following is simply an excerpt from the larger article…

“The British missionary Lesslie Newbigin went to India around 1950. There he was involved with a church living ‘in mission’ in a very non-Christian culture. When he returned to England some 30 years later, he discovered that now the Western church too existed in a non-Christian society, but it had not adapted to its new situation. Though public institutions and popular culture of Europe and North America no longer ‘Christianized’ people, the church still ran its ministries assuming that a stream of ‘Christianized’, traditional/moral people would simply show up in services. Some churches certainly did ‘evangelism’ as one ministry among many. But the church in the West had not become completely ‘missional’–adapting and reformulating absolutely everything it did in worship, discipleship, community, and service–so as to be engaged with the non-Christian society around it. It had not developed a ‘missiology of western culture’ the way it had done so for other non-believing cultures.”

“One of the reasons much of the American evangelical church has not experienced the same precipitous decline as the Protestant churches of Europe and Canada is because in the U.S. there is still a ‘heartland’ with the remnants of the old ‘Christendom’ society. There the informal public culture (though not the formal public institutions) still stigmatizes non-Christian beliefs and behavior. ‘There is a fundamental schism in American cultural, political, and economic life. There’s the quicker-growing, economically vibrant…morally relativist, urban-oriented, culturally adventuresome, sexually polymorphous, and ethnically diverse nation…and there’s the small town, nuclear-family, religiously-oriented, white-centric other America, [with]…its diminishing cultural and economic force….[T]wo nations…” Michael Wolff, New York, Feb 26 2001, p. 19.

“In conservative regions, it is still possible to see people profess faith and the church grow without becoming ‘missional.’ Most traditional evangelical churches still can only win people to Christ who are temperamentally traditional and conservative. But, as Wolff notes, ‘this is a shrinking market.’ And eventually evangelical churches ensconced in the declining, remaining enclaves of “Christendom” will have to learn how to become ‘missional’. If it does not do that it will decline or die.. you can read the rest here…


only in LA

Not everyone is born with the talent to make up plausible alibis on a moment’s notice. Take the gang member walking down an L.A. street…
‘What gun? Oh, this gun? Uh, it came with the pants’


interesting article

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In case you don’t know, Willow Creek Community Church is a huge mega-church in Chicago, that has literally influenced thousands of churches & tens of thousands of individuals in the church world. So what happens when leaders of Willow Creek stand up and say, “We made a mistake”?

Read the article here… Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for. — Bill Hybels


Praying with the Psalms

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Sent this out to the Kairos community yesterday…

This morning, I was reminded of the passage that JR shared on Sunday at our Kairos gathering:
Psalm 130:1-2 “From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.”

Then I read the following quote by Eugene Peterson — “There is no trouble so severe that it cuts a person off from God; there is no sin so powerful that it removes a person from the greater power of forgiveness. The witness of the troubled, suffering and afflicted who prayed and found their lives changed by a loving God is (unbelievably large).”

That thought challenged me today. The thought that when I am troubled, suffering & afflicted, and I pray, that God can & does change me and my circumstances (rarely in ways that I expect, and rarely in my timetable – but He does so nonetheless.)

What is weighing on you today, that you need to talk to God about? For some of us, we need to talk with God in the same manner the Psalmist does “from the depths of despair, O Lord, I CALL for your help. Hear my CRY, O Lord. PAY ATTENTION to my prayer”

God stands ready to listen to your heart.


more news on the fires

Took this shot yesterday of the smoke from the fires over LA…

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Many people have asked if the fires are affecting us, and for the most part — they have not at all — even though yesterday, my eyes were really burning when I was outside. Here is what someone wrote on the LA Times, and I can relate:

“Our windows are closed, the air purifiers are on, and it still feels like my throat is burning. We live in Metro Los Angeles and don’t live near any of the stricken areas, but that doesn’t matter. So much is burning that the smoke and ash is coming in anyway. Hard to explain to my 2 year-old why she can’t play outside. Also thinking our neighborhood firefighters, some of whom are probably out there helping fight the blazes. True heroes.” — Posted by Amy D.