Friday, July 30, 2004

on vacation

Well I'm officially on vacation. We had the girlies spend the night at Grannys tonight (for the first time ever) and then we went out to dinner and to a movie. Bourne. Nice. Except it kind of made me motion sick. Tomorrow is our 10th year wedding anniversary. We are old farts.
NYC this sunday, family vacation the next week. Not much updating until I get back.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

New York New York

I got the rough schedule for NYC yesterday. Up until then, I had not gotten anything in writing. I was almost planning out our own trip... so to get that document was a big relief.
Here are some of the ministry activities we are going to do:
- Prayer walk & Hand out invitations & Fliers, & New Testaments in Brooklyn
- Kids Program With Muslim Children
- ESL Class & Fellowship with West African Muslims in Brooklyn
- Store to store & Coffee Shop Ministry with Arabs in Astoria, Queens
- ESL Class & Sports w/Afghan/Pakistani Muslims in Flushing, Queens
Wow. I can't quite believe it.... this is going to be some very very cool stuff.
The kids are very very excited and one of their biggest hopes is that they will have meaningful conversations. I'm interested in seeing God do something that is on the verge of miraculous.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

NYC in 4

Wow... The final missions trip for me for the summer... NYC in 4 days - on Sunday. Got the rough schedule today, looks really good. Lots and lots of ministry opportunities, all with ethnic groups from the 10/40 window. Very cool.
Had a final team meeting tonight to go over the details.
The very last thing this summer is a big missions party on 8/21.
Whew. I'm tired already... Lots of good opportunities this summer so far and I'm sure NYC will have plenty more.

Monday, July 26, 2004

LC missions trip

Wow, what a great trip. Went really well. Very fun. Great group of kids and awesome group of leaders!!.
We went to CMTS to help out with whatever they needed - detailing cars, mowing lawns, etc. It was really fun, the kids worked hard, and they loved hearing from the director, Andy.
Here are my notes from conversations with Andy, it was cool to bump up along someone who lives such a life of faith and sees God provide so readily.
the kids fell in love with him

crazy stories about God providing and walking in faith
property obtained for $175K

downflow paint module - $50K new, got it for $400

God speaks audibly, the clearer the voice the harder the task

We circumvent God doing miracles
We don't let God work that way in America

Story - Peru
driving in mud road
Nancy asks is something wrong with the car
He gets out to look
One wheel has totally fallen off
It's 300 feet behind them
Totally destroyed
In the middle of nowhere, nobody is going to come around
They pray
A land rover shows up
The guy asks if they need help
You could take me up to the river, so I can go across on a ferry and get
a repalacement wheel
The guy takes him, waits for him, brings him back, helps him put the new wheel
on his truck
Then he hands him his business card, goes back the way he came from
His name was "Angel Mendez" and he supposedly worked at a local bank.
Andy never did check at the bank...


Here is the followup thank you letter for the people that prayed for us.

Dear friends,

Thank you so much for praying for the middle school missions trip.
I believe we accomplished our primary goal - to blow away
the image of a stereotypical missionary.
We went to Christian Missions Technical Services in Bernville, PA
to serve A and N Mrick for a weekend. The Mricks were
missionary mechanics with Wycliffe Bible Translators and on the field,
got a vision for bringing that kind of technical service back to
the States to serve missionaries on the field. They have been
in operations now for 21 years and their primary tasks include
servicing vehicles and machinery for missionaries both state
side and overseas. They also allow missionaries to use their
property on furlough and travels, and obtain and send specialized
equipment to the mission field.
Our time there included cleaning and detailing some of their fleet of
vehicles, basic lawn maintenance and odd jobs on their property. We also
spent time listening to some of A's amazing stories of how God
speaks, how God provides and how God enables.
Our students fell in love with the Merricks and they were captivated
by how far reaching the CMTS impact is, and how they were able to
be a part of that for a short weekend, accomplishing our original goal.
So, thank you for faithfully praying for this trip. Your partnership
in the sending and enabling of these students was vital.

(You can see some of the pictures at

Serving Him with you,

Here is team picture.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Greenbelts Approach to Young People

Greenbelt is a large Christian festival in the UK, probably something like Creation.... I was poking around on the website today, it looks like a great time.
I was looking at the speakers and looking at their segments for youth. Very intruging.
Read this guys background. Wow.
And read this about what they believe about youth. Can you say resonate?

Middle school trip

I will be gone tomorrow until Sunday with my second missions trip of the summer. Thats an intersting statement. Does that mean that the rest of my summer is spent 'not on mission?' It reminds me of what they said at Origins, that using the word 'missions' can compartmentalize the idea of every Christ follower being called to mission. Anyway, that's where I will be.
My goals:
- band these kids together with this common experience
- expand their perspective with what a missionary is
- call them to a life of mission and impact

What I've got in mind besides the work projects:
- blind volleyball
- two adult leaders talking about service and unpacking it from inside/outside (holiness, obedience, service, engaging relationships)
- swimming
- mini golf
- a fun, spy type, strategy game that I'm going to make up on the drive up.
Along these same lines, one of the students said to me that they didn't get surprised when I made up plans spur of the moment. Haha I thought that was funny. Cemetaries are the most organized place on the earth, because they are dead. Haha.

Special thanks to Leslie who wrote the devotional guide. Good stuff. (Also the first time that I have linked to a student blog. Leslie you are now famous)

Also, this blog will probably hit the 1000 visitor sometime today or tomorrow. That will be fun. If you know its you, drop me an email and I'll send you a funny digital gift. or something.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


In case you didn't know... Im an addict to Patagonia gear. It started in college when I worked at a fairly large outdoor shop. Anyway, I just got the new catalog in the mail, when I saw this...
I can imagine that is a pretty cool jacket, I have the Retro X jacket, which they don't make anymore, but is just like the new one except without a hood. It's the black one every calls my yak fur. It's so warm and its windproof too. The first day I got it, I drove with the windows down in 20 degree weather.
It's hard, if not impossibly materalistic, to rationalize $185 on a jacket. I got my Retro X on sale. A constant battle of mine is to stay focused on lifestyle choices that are consistent with what I believe about our mission here and how God wants us to steward our resources.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Soul in the City

Soul in the City is this HUGE urban mission in London that lasts for 5 days. Here is a quick overview. Sounds awesome. Petewrites that you can feel God's energy...
Pretty awesome.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Signs and Wonders in Technology

Been thinking about this whole signs and wonders issue.... I got to thinking this weekend a bit about it in the context of work... Where we work with computer systems mostly, and how this whole signs and wonders issue would translate to technology.
Jesus healed people, raised people from the dead, and all kinds of stuff like that. Could it be possible that there is also a realm between Heaven and Hell that exists in technology? Can this idea of the excluded middle also deal not only with where the physical and spiritual meet, but also in the context of technology issues, ie. computer systems, high tech devices, stuff like that?
I think it can... I posted earlier this year about how everything I did at work was being sabotaged and how it was a spiritual attack. We had computer programs that had been tested multiple times fail when it was their most important run, root causes that could never be determined, all to thwart the efforts of what I was doing both at work and outside of work.
If the realm of the physical, with flesh and blood, can be an intersection where the spiritual works, I think the same can be true of the domain of bits and bytes, disk drives, physical computer memory...
Yesterday, I must have prayed for our release 5 or 6 times throughout the day before it started...

A Real Rest

Worked a release last night - 10pm to 6am. It actually ran pretty smooth for the most part, it's nice to see things go well for a change. And I felt like I really had the time to make sure the prep was done the right way.
I slept until 1pm today, and have spent the rest of the day laying around the couch. Specifically, it has consisted of pieces of:
- Die Hard
- The Real World
- Bugjuice Marathon (I'm really digging this show for all the lessons on group dynamics, etc.)
- Lethal Weapon 3
- Overhaul
- I Love the 90s
- The CMT awards
- City Slickers
Wow, there is a lot of quality tv on Sundays. (That would be a sarcastic opinion.)

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Make No Agreement

Afew quotes from "Waking the Dead" by Eldredge:
- "Remember, when Jesus boiled his whole mission down to healing the brokenhearted and setting prisoners free from darkness, he was referring to all of us.  Our modern, scientific, Enlightenment worldview has simply removed spiritual warfare as a practical category, and so it shouldn’t surprise us that we can’t see spiritual strongholds after we say they don’t really exist."
- "Satan is called in Scripture the Father of Lies (John 8:44).  His very first attack against the human race was to lie to Eve and Adam about God, and where life is to be found, and what the consequences of certain actions would and would not be.  He is a master at this.  He suggests to us – as he suggested to Adam and Eve- some sort of idea or inclination or impression, and what he is seeking is a sort of ‘agreement’ on our part.  He’s hoping we will buy into whatever he is saying, offering, insinuating. "
- "During an assault like this, you must remember:  make no agreements.  The Enemy will suggest all sorts of things.  “God doesn’t care.  You’re not worth fighting for.  Your heart doesn’t matter.  You can’t trust him.”  He is trying to kill your heart, destroy the glory of your life.  It will feel hard – really hard, almost impossible – but whatever you do, make no agreements.  You have to start there."
I have felt this all week for some reason.  I'm not sure what it boils down to.  It has come from all angles - my role as a father and husband, my abilities at my job, the things I am doing with students...  I'm not sure why with regard to the timing.
I don't even really know why I decided to look up my notes from Eldredge's book again... but I'm really glad I did.
John 10:10 - life to the full - your are God's delight

No More Prepping

Ok, ignore my two previous posts.
So for the past 6 months, I have been consumed by preparing mission teams.  Well, that time has drawn to a close.  Significant phases of mission trips are:
- preparation
- execution
- debriefing and re-entry
I'm thankful that the preparation time is over.  Frankly, I was done talking about it all, having people visualize it, getting people excited.  Last week was the final LC missions prep meeting.  Of course, there were other issues related to that, which is a tangent. 
So a week from yesterday, the LC trip for 3 days.  Back for 5 days and then the NYC trip, and then back for 2 days, then to see the DC trip off and then on family vacation.
I have to admit, I'm looking forward to the family vacation more than anything right now, but that's just because it's been a long, quiet week. 
We are doing foundational stuff this year.  The LC trip is totally going to change the perspective of these students, they will see missions in a whole new light.  NYC will open eyes and ears.  I want to see those students see the nations differently, and I want to see them hear tongues they have never heard before, and enjoy that sensation, to realize that God understands all these languages, and relishes lives that worship Him in these tongues.
SEMP starts tomorrow without us.  Drag.  We missed a big foundational piece this summer.  Rather unfortunate.  I was contemplating taking a drive up there to say hello.

New Blogger Interface

I've noticed that the new interface doesn't quite work well with Firefox....  That's grim.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Real Meanings from a pointless entry

Of course, there were a billion things that I could have spent my time
wisely on this week. Not many of them made it to the list.
The fam has been gone all this week, and won't be back for another few
days. Real meaning - the house is really boring.

So instead of doing great things, I did little meaningless things. Real meaning - I spent more time at work.

I guess I could have done a bunch of stuff for the middle school
trip. I'm starting to have some second thoughts about that, but
its too late now. And I think I have an atmosphere I have to
cultivate from the very beginning about that... But thats kind of a
tangent. Real meaning - I should have just stuck to leading
mission trips for high schoolers.

Here are some other things I did this week, to give you a sample of those meaningless things:

- painted most of the trim in the kitchen. (just a few minutes ago)
- worked from 11-1am last night, building a database of 4 tables to
load some data from a system that decided to go to production without
telling us of their need for this data to get loaded in our
system. (see what I mean)
- played pool on yahoo games with my friend M^3. (actually that
wasn't meaningless, that was really fun. And his initials are MM,
but I like calling him M^3. i like calling him that in this blog
- mowed and trimmed the lawn
- sprayed weed killer on the lawn. chickweed, its a tragic disease.
- watched Spiderman 1 on DVD.
- watched SWAT on DVD. I liked it, it was filmed in LA.
- went thru all my old mission trip files so that I could relive those glory days. uh, right.

- i will probably go buy snacks for the middle school trip tomorrow.

- i will probably finishing doing some more painting tomorrow.

- i will probably work a 12 hour marathon release tomorrow night,
starting at 10pm. isn't there something more to a career than

- i will probably take a nap tomorrow.

Real meaning - I'm really ready for my wife and kids to come home.

Wow, this was seriously pointless. I'm proud, I think its a whole new level.

Good for some church...

Dr. Calver resigns from World Relief. Bad news for World Relief, and GCC, I think. But really really really good news for some church out there....

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Fill in the blanks

Barbara is the Executive Director of Act One, Inc., dealing with teaching Christian people working in Hollywood. She writes some great great stuff, dealing the intersection of the the media, the arts, and the Church.
This quote is rich:
"I would say, you are functionally irrelevant as a pastor in this particular moment if you cannot complete the sentence, 'With great power comes…_______?'"
You should make the time to read the whole post.
Since we are doing fill in the blank, _________ to the culture is not optional.

Mid aged man and DMB

Walt is great! Check out his write up about going to a Dave Matthews Band concert. (No permalinks but the title of his post is "Diversion from Despair")


I don't know Rudy... But I know what he has done and how many people he has challenged and encouraged for the kingdom. They just got a medical report on their son... Pray for him if you will.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Why Be Normal?

Sometimes I wish I was normal.
Sometimes I wish it was easier to :
- not give any money away so I could buy a sports car
- be able to use all of my vacation time for a really long family vacation
- buy really expensive and nice things and not feel a twinge of something in my soul
- care about my career like other people
- have normal hobbies like maybe golf or tennis (well maybe those aren't normal... or maybe they are)
- care only about my children and not the rest of the younger generation
- not think about how to provide experiences where my kids meet Jesus
Am I that weird?

Reflections on the DR

I never really have gotten all of my thoughts together on the DR experience after taking I thought I would do that here now.
In 1994, I led a team of students on a 3 week long missions trip to the Dominican Republic. I had one coleader and five high school students. Our task was to work with kids in an orphanage in the mountain town of Jarabacoa in central DR. While we were there, I got really sick (see previous post). It was a great experience, it was my first time in the third world, yet, I think there were so many things that could have made it even better.
- We were not immersed in the culture.
We lived in the 'compound' of ANIJA. (From the website, the place has really changed in the last 11 years) Instead of really living in the culture, we segregated ourselves by living with our own team, in isolation from people we were ministering to.
At the time, there was one other staff member who lived there too and she would go out to the nightclubs every night when we were there. At a minimum, we should have gone with her. A big regret.
- Culture shock paralyzed our team.
I can remember our first two days there. Being surprised at the idea of not being able to flush toilet paper, having the electricity shut down for about an hour every day at any time, having to be very careful about drinking the water (and I still got sick). The culture shock got to us. I specifically found myself incredibly tired and disengaged for at least the first two days. It was not an ideal start. From those two days, we created the precedent, for the next three weeks, that evenings were just spent lounging around our compound, instead of being in the town, trying to meet people, build some relationships, learn the culture.
- We didn't focus on setting the national leadership up for anything.
Our team didn't have any kind of focus on sustaining ministry or leadership from the community that lived there. Short sighted, yes. But of course, that was in 1993, I was young, etc. Still, having that kind of focus could have made a difference in how intentional we were on the trip.
So... after 11 years of introspection... Still, it was a valuable trip in the experience, seeing how we are blessed to bless others, seeing what its like to live in another part of the world where no one has phones, toilets are different and they speak a different language.

Monday, July 12, 2004

The DR

AAAhhhh.... I was digging through some old boxes looking for something from an old friend... and I found this.... It's a prescription from 1993 when I spent 3 weeks in the Dominican Republic... and got really sick. I had classic 'infectious diarrhea'. Yup, it was as bad as it sounds. And you thought going to the doctor in the US was bad...

More on the sendoff

It really was a huge privilege for me to be involved with both the middle and high school services yesterday, doing the sendoff for the mission teams. HUGE. I only really do announcements and various stuff like that during the services, so to be able to do a little speaking during the high school service was an awesome honor.
For middle school, the sendoff was a little confused, but our middle school pastor just rolled with it, it was cool.
For high school, it worked out just like I had in mind. I got the idea from Origins, when we all prayed for the church planters that were there. We had the students going kneel in front, their friends could come up behind them and lay hands on them, and adult leaders (Dteam, program, staff, etc) would pray for one person individually, out loud at the same time. When everyone was done, Scott closed the whole sendoff in prayer, which was a really passionate prayer.
It was important to me to communicate the idea of mission versus missions. I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that it wasn't just about a group of kids going somewhere, rather it was about each person knowing that God wants them involved in the overall mission.
If mission trips and the idea of mission is an important value in our community, if we encourage and challenge students to step out a bit, to feel the pulse in their world by going into it intentionally for the Kingdom, we have to celebrate these opportunities, demonstrate that the Body is behind them, be excited with them as they go forth.
As I wrote before, I was pretty nervous about the speaking part. It didn't help that all these people showed up - my friend K was there, a few girls from the 03 class, and practically every person that Scott has on the teaching team. Talk about an audience.

FAQ - Mosiac

here is a FAQ for Mosaic.
Finally some answers huh?

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Feel free to change the world...

I love this quote:
"To everyone who reads this: Love God more than life and feel free to change the world."
From the liner notes of this album

Mission Sendoffs

This morning was great. In LC, we did a little missions sendoff for the team. And then in CpR, I did a 15 minute talk on mission, blessed to bless others and feeling a pulse for the world. I was really nervous, but it was totally worth it.
The coolest thing from the morning was hearing the worship set the band picked out when the talk was over. The words of the music fit the message so well. Nothing supernaturally crazy, but I know that the morning was divine.
My notes from this morning - very scattered...

space - service and missions
this am - missions send off
a few minutes to share

missions vs. mission

we don't think enough about us having a mission in the world
God has a heart for mission
He deisres to be worshipped, with peoples whole lives

Every story, every circumstance, every principle in Scripture
illustrates God's heart on a mission
That mission is so that people everywhere will seek to worship Him
reading the Bible from that point of view might be a lot different

story - glenn food fight
he was a man on a mission
in the same way, God has hearts of people in target
He desires worship from everyone

I want us to think about God's mission this morning
in two terms:

Genesis 12

1 - Gen 12
You are blessed to be a blessing to others
It's not about you
Your family
Your time in history
Your place in this world
Spiritual leaders, mentors, CpR specifically
If nothing else, I know that your place in this church has enabled you
to do much for you have been given much
I want you to see that its not neccessarily about you

It's easy to disengage when we believe that its all about us

you don't have to go somewhere to do this
taking the time to listen
showing up early to help out with something going on here
taking an interst with someone at school
deciding you are going to do somehting radical for God's kingdom

2 - the world is waiting
heart for the nations, for the world
there is much more at stake than just us
- 6.2B people in the world
- estimated 25% are unreached - never could hear about jesus if they wanted to
- 25M infected with AIDS in subsaharan Africa
- 1 missionary among 1M muslims
- Sudan
- i could go on and on about the world's stories
it's hard to be a global jesus follower
you have to care about the world, both around you and at large

story - k - boot camp
im not into torture
160 bug bites
to see your child suffer is a very very difficult thing
best thing - Zambia - Cindy - 500 AIDS orphans in a 5 mile radius
if giving her that experience gives her a heart for the world
but i would do it if she can learn to see the world through Jesus eyes
if she or you could get a sense of how God longs for disciples,
how discples win the world, not converts, how we need to be concerned
for the world, i would put you or her through it again
its not easy, its hard work
NYC - be forewarned i wouldn't mind making you suffer like that too

this idea of full engagement
we are in a passionate movement,
scraming down the road
not worried about how we are going to stop
fully engaged towards God's mission

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Barna Report on The Passion

Just published. Read it here.

Like always, Barna's info is some good stuff. As youthworkers, we should use this kind of info to help us make disciples.
Thanks to David for the link.

Friday, July 09, 2004


I'm doing a little talk at our high school service on Sunday. I've never done that before. I'm already REALLY nervous... And its only Friday.


Lots of info this week about the AIDS crisis in Africa and potentially India. The 15th International AIDS conference is coming up next week. Here is a snippet I never heard of before, which I thought was quite interesting:
Brazil is considered the leading success story in the developing world's battle against HIV. Brazil offered comprehensive HIV prevention plans from the start of the epidemic and, ignoring the protests of patented AIDS drugmakers, began distributing copied versions to HIV-infected patients in 1996. In Brazil's own analysis, the payoff has been: 90,000 deaths averted; a sevenfold reduction in AIDS hospitalizations; and savings of $2.2 billion.
The whole article, which is about the potential of India to turn into an Africa, is here.

A link about World Relief at the AIDS conference.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

More Power

From the Friday Fax, relevant to the whole Power Evangelism discussion:
India: amputation unnecessary, healed of cancer
"Two of our full-time evangelists were looking for accommodation for the
night," reports German missions agency "Stimme der Zigeuner" (Voice of the
Gypsies). "When they eventually found a place to stay in Khamman, Andra Pradesh
State, the house owner refused to let them in because they were Christians. The
housewife bravely decided to let them in. The unfriendly owner, a rich
landowner, suffered from diabetes, and had open wounds on his feet. His doctors
had prescribed various medicines to prepare him for an amputation the following
week. His wife asked her guests for prayer for herself and her husband; the
evangelists told her that she too should pray to God. The healing was rapid;
the surprised doctors cancelled the amputation, because the man was completely
healthy. When his wife told of her husband's healing in the nearby store, the
store owner, who suffered from cancer, also started praying to God. She was
healed too. The thankful landowner donated land, on which a church building was
opened in April 2004."
Source: Stimme der Zigeuner

Hope for NY - Affiliates

Neat idea here. Hope for NY, the mercy arm of Redeemer Pres Church. One of the fundamental issues in mission is the whole idea partnering with indigenous ministries already doing the right stuff in the right places. Who do you choose, whats the critiera, etc. Interesting to think about.

2001 power

Reading this Power Evangelism book has made me think a bit. In a good way. Mostly I'm just contemplating how come if it really is a valid deal, why I haven't really seen something like that before. Is it because I've got a worldview that says those kinds of things don't happen? Maybe I've got a closed mind? Maybe I haven't really looked for it, or had an open heart to God really speaking to me, in a tangible, audible way? I don't exactly walk around with having this concept of 'Divine Appointments' in my head...
In the summer of 2001 I took a team of high school guys to do some conversational evangelism on the boardwalk of Ocean City, MD. We went for 3 days and the only task we were there for was to talk to people on the boardwalk about spirituality. We had a rough survey put together, which I got from SEMP, and bascially asked people if they might be interested in answering some questions about religion and spirituality. Most people were pretty receptive. There is something about the boardwalk at the beach at night, a kind of charge in the air, all the more when you might be engaging people about eternal things. For the whole time we were there, the guys were ok to go off on their own, as long as they were in either pairs or groups of three. One evening, two of our guys started talking to an older gentleman, sitting on a bench. He seemed pretty interested in what they were saying, until his wife came out of the store he was sitting in front of. They could not have been opposite. He was very engaging, talkative, open to hearing and listening. She was aggresive, dogmatic, not wanting to listen, dialogue or even share her name. She had a different spirit about her. Eventually, she looked at one of my guys and asked, "Your birthday is in May isn't it?" E and T booked it out of there as fast as they could. They were, understandbly, spooked.
I think about it now and wonder if that was a situation that was what Wimber would call a power encounter, meaning that there was 'a force that must be overcome for the Gospel to be believed.' I kind of am thinking that there was, but we didn't know how to deal with it, so instead, did the natural and easiest thing, ie. leaving the situation. As I ponder it now, its a kind of scary proposition - to take high school students and potentially expose them to something of that sort. It is sooooo out of our American worldview. Of course, the opposite extreme of having to deal with something almost out of a movie is that we have the potential to expose our students to having a transforming encounter with Jesus. Yup, its worth it.
If you are taking a group on summer missions this summer, think about this idea of a power encounter. Would love to hear from people about it.

Power Encounter

"The mission of the Church is a power encounter every where it goes." - Alex McManus, Origins 2004

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

UN report on AIDS

A Happy 4th

We had a great 4th. Spent lots of time with family and watched the fireworks on the beach. It was really cool.
The girlies loved it, and it was Em's first fireworks. I think she is hooked.

Power Evangelism number X

My good friend MM lent me this book when we were in FL.

Probably 18 months ago, I would have been a huge skeptic of most of what was in there. But I don't really think I am anymore. Call me crazy... If you've read it, or heard of it, would love to hear your thoughts.
A few of my notes:

Any system or force that must be overcome for the gospel to be believed is cause for a power encounter.
‘A power encounter is a visible practical demonstration that Jesus Christ is more powerful than the false gods or spirits worshipped or feared by a people group’ – C. Peter Wagner

By power evangelism I mean a presentation of the gospel that is rational but also transcends the rational. The explanation of the gospel – the clear proclamation of the finished work of Christ on the cross – comes with a demonstration of God’s power through signs and wonders.
The Bible does not teach that evangelism apart from signs and wonders somehow changes the gospel message. The heart and soul of evangelism is the proclamation of the Gospel.
Many of us are suspicious of a story in which supernatural knowledge of personal sin is used in evangelism. This demonstrates how far Christianity in Western society has drifted from experiences that occurred in New Testament times.

I guess the gist for me is that I'm not longer suspicious when I hear a story like that. And boy, this book is full of stories. It's scary because when someone's worldview changes, look out. It's like McManus says, "The Bible - it can really mess your stuff up."

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Happy 4th weekend!

Happy 4th weekend to you all. I'm in CT at the Madres house for the weekend. Probably not much posting. Enjoy those fireworks and remember that Jesus worked for the ultimate independence from sin, so that we could live in full and liberating dependence upon Him. It's a funny thing isn't it?


Missiologists use the term 'indigenous' a lot. Meaning that missions should not destroy the culture, but try to provide spiritual leadership, at some point, from within the culture. I think the same thing applies to youth culture. Most of you probably sense it quite often - students need to own the ministry. You can (fill in the blank here - lead a talk, invite some kids, run a small group, etc.) and you will draw X number of kids. Have a student help you or own it, and they will draw X*X number of kids. Someone told me that the Univ of MD has the most Chinese foreign students in the US. Their point was that if a person had a heart for Chinese, they should do ministry to the students at U of MD, for one student there could reach multitudes more Chinese than they ever could.
It's one paradigm thats important with SPACE. Here are two quick things I'm doing:
- asked one Senior to write some devotionals for a middle school trip.
- hoping a Junior will come on the middle school and do worship for me.
I think both of these ideas have the indigenous concept as well as having older kids involved with the vision reach out with projects to the younger kids, forming more of that momentum.

Friday, July 02, 2004

House Churches

Great post about the house church movement here.


I read this book prob a year ago... skimming it again, in reference to career...
Here are some notes that I found relevant to me...

Chapter 4 – Doctor or Lawyer

Understanding our parents
First – attempt to understand where our coming from in their perspective on our career choices.
Among Asian parents, providing well and having one’s physical needs met in an ample and dignified way is of utmost importance.
Second – we struggle to communicate well with our parents because they may not share some of the values that may be assumed by this current more Americanized generation.
We often speak in different languages from what our parents speak.
A friend of mine remembers telling her mother during college that she wanted to do something after college that ‘would help her get in touch with who she really was.’ Her mother, however, who had not been influenced by such a psychological oriented, individualistic culture, had no concept or value for self-expression or psychological self-understanding. “I know who you are, you are my daughter. Study hard and get a good job.”
When a culture based on Confucian philosophy encounters a culture that has been deeply influenced by humanistic psychology, much confusion can result.
Our parents love us very much, but their conceptions of what ultimately will make us happy differ from our own ideas.
Third – it is wise to keep in mind that our parents may hope to see some of their aspirations and desires come true though the lives of their children. In the Asian mentality this is not as evil and manipulative thing to do as it is in the mainstream American, individualistic society, where one’s personal choice is the most important thing.

God is our Guide
1. you have to begin by telling God what you want. He will work with this.
2. Don’t just talk at him, listen.
3. seek confirmation of your sense of God’s leading through godly people whom you trust.

Vocation and Work in God’s Kingdom
Vocation – calling
Less to do with what we do from day to day to earn an living and more to do with our primary purpose for living – what God has created and called us to be.

Practical Suggestions
1. Trust that God is the One who has the best plan for your life.
2. Listen to your parents.
Are you able to articulate what their true concerns for you are? Can you talk to them about your future in the presence of a trusted friend and then hear your friend’s perspective about what they seem to be saying and where they are coming from?
Practically this means asking your parents well thought out questions in an honoring way that they can respond to.
3. Don’t use the Bible as a weapon.
Waging theological battles, especially when the issues are primarily cultural, are not fruitful.
4. Take advantage of advocates in talking with your parents.
Are there older people in authority whom your parents respect and who could connect with them on your behalf?
5. Show how you are being responsible in what you are considering.
Usually its not that our parents simply hate the alternative job choices, its that they don’t understand them and don’t see how they are going to provide well for our futures. What are your parents perspectives on the basics in terms of salary, benefits, retirement, and personal growth options? You should know what they are, so that you can work with this information respectfully and thoughtfully.
6. Consider a different timeline so that you and your family can be better prepared for the future you are stepping into.
Can you take an intentional time of preparation for what may come next?
7. let yourself dream and get in touch with your real desires and interests.


Thursday Night Thing at the Warehouse.
Very cool open ended worship.
This is my friend K who has been leading.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


A few weeks ago, K (my 6 year old) and I gave my parents a set of prayer cards for our trip to Teen Missions. My mother responded and said, "I will pray for you guys." Which is funny because my parents have never been religious. They have supported me in my endeavors with youth work and stuff, for the most part. Of course, they tell me all the time that I spend too much time doing stuff for the church. They just aren't interested in spiritual things. Or so I thought.
While we were at Boot Camp, I know K thought about my parents a lot, and what they thought of Jesus. It was on her mind at least two nights after the evening rallys.
Yesterday I was having dinner with them, griping about my job, more than a bit. My mother said, "I will pray for your job." Which was a surprise. Well, come to find out that she has visited this local Chinese church plant, right down the street, that meets in the upstairs of a pretty big local Baptist church. They do the service all in Chinese and they have Chinese Bibles and all. There were about 30 people that were there, she has only visited once.
I know K is going to be incredibly excited to talk to Granny about church and Jesus. They have already talked a little bit about it, since K told me that my parents are preferential to Buddah rather than Jesus. In other words, she has dialogued with my parents about stuff that I never really had the courage to. Moreso, my parents seemed to have been willing to talk to her about it, whereas with me, it was a subject they could just dismiss out of hand.
That's some pretty wild stuff. It's got me thinking a few things:
- We write people off in their spiritual journeys so easily. I would have never thought my mother would be at all interested in going to a church.
- That the younger generation does and will and will continue to make more of an impact than we ever will. Youth has an energy, a drive, a power, that those of us in our 30s and older do not have. Us older people still have some of that, but life experience has changed us a bit. We now have a medium that is conducive to mentoring, guiding, etc.
- God has granted us enormous power and impact when we minister as families. I saw it with my Dteam, and continue to see it as we lead SPACE... students love little kids, they love to see families. Our kids speak about what kind of Jesus followers we are.
- Older people are still searching, even when we may not think so. My good friend's mother make Jesus her Lord when she was 70.

New Way to the Street

Check this out - a new way to do street evangelism...
Link courtesy of David.