Monthly Archives: October 2008

foto Friday

The family and I went to the Getty a little while back. An amazing, unbelievable museum (& much more…) on the west side of L.A.

It has some of the best art collections in the city…

We also, saw an other-worldly exhibition of the works of Bernini (Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italian, 1598–1680) and his contemporaries in Rome transformed the portrait bust into a groundbreaking art form. With dazzling virtuosity, these artists were able to coax the living presence and personality of their sitters—creating a “speaking likeness”—from the intractable medium of stone.)

There were some great views of the city also (which you could make out through the smog…)

a couple of shots of the family, waiting for the tram to get to the top of the ‘mountain’ & see the Getty…


new @ Kairos

If you read this blog & think about it — pray for the new talks starting this Sunday at Kairos…. Finding Perspective in Difficult Times.

Lots of people going through hard things out here (probably where you are at also)  — financial, relational, physical, spiritual, psychological, & the list goes on & on & on. We live in a broken world people.

music Monday

an artist that maybe many of you enjoy — but I just recently have been listening to & love — Ray LaMontagne…

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Music Monday“, posted with vodpod

weather in L.A.

a friend of mine — emailed me the current weather in MN, so I just had to email him back this…

Weather for Los Angeles, CA 90027

Sun – 88°F | 56°F

Mon – 88°F | 56°F

Tue – 85°F | 56°F

Wed – 83°F | 58°F

(actually I just saw it is going to go down to 79 on Thursday — brrrrrrrrr )

only in Los Angeles

….so I was attending a high school soccer parents meetings, and I realized very quickly — that I was not in Minnesota any more.
The coach, the assistant coach and all of the parents were speaking in Spanish, and I was the only one in the room that did not know what was going on & needed an interpreter. Now, I am taking Spanish — but could not keep up with everything that was said.

It was kind of funny because it honestly felt like I was in some Latin American country, but it was not – it was here in Los Angeles, California.

It also, however was a very strange feeling. It made me realize very acutely how someone feels when they do not speak the language that everyone around them is speaking.

You feel like the ‘other’ really quickly, but not only that — you can feel really stupid and out-of-place. It surprised me all of the emotions that so quickly rose to the surface.
That’s it — but again, ‘only in LA’ ??!!

new Dancing with the Stars winners

(via BW3)

How can I not love this city??

To quote my good friend, and that great theologian — Tim Keller. (okay, we are not good friends…)

“…there is no better place for Christians to live, work, serve, and spend their lives and resources than in the city.”

I could not have said that better myself !!!  oh, how I love this city of Los Angeles. Yes, it is filled with smog (see the picture), crime, people everywher, traffic (again everywhere!), the homeless everywhere, but it is also filled with beauty everywhere – if you look for it. And there are needs everywhere — that, even in a small way — maybe my family and I are able to meet.

Here is a much, much longer quote from Keller about the city:

“The gospel originally grew in and through the city. The Pax Romana (27BC-180AD) led to the growth of the first multi-ethnic, global cities. Travel was easier than it ever had been and ever would be again until the 19th century. Nationalities that had been at war with one another were now at ‘peace’ under the iron rule of Rome. Cities became multi-cultural and the hub of international networks of capital and information—
essentially, city-states. For example, Antioch was really a United Nations, with a Asian, African, Jewish, Greek, and Roman sections. Capital and culture flowed back and forth from Antioch to three continents through urban-based networks.

The missionary strategy of the early church was extremely ‘urban-centric.’ 1 Acts 16 shows the pattern. Paul is called by God to reach Macedonia, so he automatically chooses to go to the largest city of the region (v.16). Over and over in both the book of Acts and the history of the local church, we see Christian missionaries doing urban church planting in the largest city of the region and then leaving the area altogether. Why? They knew that once they reached the city, they had reached the society and culture. Yale scholar Wayne Meeks explains why it was so brilliant to target cities:

a) City dwellers are confronted daily with new experiences, people and situations, and are therefore more open to new ideas than more insulated (and conservative) rural people.

b) City dwellers are more connected and mobile so that when one of them is converted, the chance of the gospel spreading far and wide is much greater. In the multi-ethnic cities, the gospel can be preached in the lingua franca of the city, yet reach back (through cultural, international networks) into dozens of nations.

c) City dwellers have a great deal of ‘cultural clout.’ If you go to the village, you may win the lawyer in town for Christ, but if you want to have an impact on the legal profession, you go to the cities where the law schools and legal networks are based.

d) Cities have many social problems and tensions. Historian Rodney Stark says early Christianity spread so rapidly because the love and service of Christians amidst urban problems was so striking.

“To cities filled with the homeless and impoverished, Christianity offered charity as well as real hope. To cities filled with newcomers and strangers, Christianity offered an immediate basis for attachment. To cities filled with widows and orphans, Christianity offered a new and expanded sense of family. To cities torn by ethnic strife, Christianity offered a new basis for social solidarity…I am not saying the misery of the ancient world caused the advent of Christianity…people had been enduring for centuries without the aid of Christian theology or social structures. I am arguing that once Christianity did appear, its superior capacity for meeting human problems soon became evident and played a major role in its ultimate triumph…for what Christianity brought was not simply an urban movement, but a new culture. (Stark, The Rise of Christianity, p.161)

By 300 A.D. 50% of the city populations were Christian while the countryside was still pagan (the word paganus probably meant ‘rural dweller’). But as the city went so (eventually) went all of society. So it is today. If a Christian can live in the city, it is (overall) the most strategic place to be.

–Two books that document the urban-centric nature of early Christian mission are Wayne Meeks, The First Urban Christians and Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity. Richard Fletcher’s The Barbarian Conversion shows that the same pattern occurred during the evangelization of Europe. Christianity first dominated the cities and only secondarily spread to the countryside. Philip Jenkins’s The Next Christendom reveals that much of the explosive growth of Christianity today in Africa, Latin America, and Asia is happening through cities. Rural tribes are finding Christ when they immigrate to urban areas.