Mosaix Blogs Full http://feed.informer.com/digests/LIX0YUF5O5/feeder Mosaix Blogs Full Respective post owners and feed distributors Wed, 11 Sep 2019 10:51:13 -0500 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ Profiles in African-American Missions: Dave https://thefrontporch.org/interview/profiles-in-african-american-missions-dave/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:6014fcfa-db01-8483-3dab-b49217f0b38b Thu, 12 Dec 2019 05:45:32 -0600 From a homosexual lifestyle to homelessness to Christ to the mission field <p><iframe title="Profiles of African Americans in Modern Missions: Dave" width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/olnHqZ3mceM?wmode=transparent&amp;rel=0&amp;feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Thank you for listening to our brother Dave&#8217;s testimony. Please pray for him as he labors to bring the gospel to a predominantly Muslim area in a major African city. To graciously partner with him on mission, follow the steps below:</p> <p>1. Donation Online or via text-<br /> &#8211; Go to www.pushpay.com/g/finishthetaskmissions or text &#8220;FTT to 77977 &#038; follow the steps<br /> -Dave&#8217;s Missionary ID Number: D44148B<br /> -A receipt will be automatically sent to the email address you provide upon donation</p> <p>2. Donation by Check-<br /> -Please make checks payable to: Finish the Task<br /> -Write Dave&#8217;s Missionary ID Number in the Memo: D44148B<br /> -Checks can be mailed to:<br /> Finish the Task<br /> P.O.Box 491598<br /> Lawrenceville, GA 30049</p> <p>3. Donation by Phone-<br /> -You may also arrange a one- time or recurring gift via credit card or electronic check<br /> -Simply call 1(404)348-2349 ext. 2 and ask to make a donation to a missionary</p> <p>Grace and Peace be with you all.</p> Is It the Church We Despise, Or Is It Sin? https://thefrontporch.org/2019/12/is-it-the-church-we-despise-or-is-it-sin/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:bb8951fd-9c2f-e943-7c43-2253f103b8e0 Wed, 11 Dec 2019 06:11:55 -0600 I realized it wasn’t the Church I despised. It was sin. <p>Slander. Gossip. Sins of the tongue in 140 characters or less. Social media provides constant opportunities to sin against our neighbor. Instead of speaking in a way to encourage and build up, we confront others online.</p> <p>As I read comments to posts, I sometimes find myself growing a disdain for other believers. I think, if this is the “Church” I don’t want it. After all, Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (<cite class="bibleref" title="John 13:35" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip0_273_anchor"></a>).</p> <p>As I viewed the anger online, anger began to brew in my heart. However, I had to repent because what is seen online isn’t always a representation of the beauty of Christ’s Bride. I paused and began to reflect about the blessing the Church has been in my life.</p> <p><strong>Conversion</strong></p> <p>The body of believers served as witnesses to my conversion. I was dead in my sins and trespasses (<cite class="bibleref" title="Eph 2:1-3" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip1_9267_anchor"></a>). I was lost spiritually, mentally and physically. My sins were weighing me down. I heard the gospel being preached, but one night after I was hit in the middle of the street by a drunk driver, my life changed. I sat in the bed and everything started to make sense. I reflected on a sermon I heard earlier. I realized I needed to turn from my sins and believe in Jesus. But, the Lord directed me to His Bride. I remember being baptized and publicly professing my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ before the Church. The Church helps us to see our new identity. Can you see the beauty of the Church? The Church provides a witness to one’s conversion but the Church also provides community.</p> <p><strong>Community</strong></p> <p>I don’t know where I would be without the community within the Body of Christ. As my wife and I moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., the Lord has consistently provided us with brothers and sisters with whom we have had fellowship. These wonderful believers have come alongside us during our moves. I am reminded of “Answering them, He said, ‘Who are My mother and My brothers?’ Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, ‘Behold My mother and My brothers!’” (<cite class="bibleref" title="Mark 3:33-35" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip2_5731_anchor"></a>). The Church provides us with community with whom we can love and grow. It is a tremendous grace of the Lord. In fact, many of these individuals we continue to stay in touch with even though we are not in the same city. Can you see the beauty the church?</p> <p><strong>Compassion</strong></p> <p>Lastly, compassion has been a such a blessing to learn from the Church. The Church should be at the forefront of displaying compassion to others. I’ve seen pity and concern for the difficulties of others. Whether it has been the loss of a loved one, the difficulties of politics, the inability to have children, the hurt from sexual abuse, or the grappling of ethnic disunity and hatred, I’ve witnessed people pour their hearts out and come alongside others. “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (<cite class="bibleref" title="Gal 6:2" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip3_6110_anchor"></a>). “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (<cite class="bibleref" title="Rom 12:15" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip4_3857_anchor"></a>). The Church comes alongside people when they are hurting from the effects of sin on the world. Can you see the beauty the church?</p> <p>There are some who may remark, “This is not occurring in my local assembly.” My encouragement would be to pray. Pray the Lord would help you to find a local assembly full of believers who display the love of Christ. Can you see the beauty of the Church? I can, but not quite yet in its fullness. Despite the lack of love, I realized it wasn’t the Church I despised. It was sin. The same sin affecting the members of the Body is the same sin inside of me. However, we can grow in love. We can grow in grace. Guard against social media accounts and websites, Satan uses to tempt you to sin. Be comforted from Paul that “God will count you worthy of your calling and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (<cite class="bibleref" title="2 Thess 1:11-12" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip5_5066_anchor"></a>).</p> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="John 13:35" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/John%2013.35/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="John 13:35" data-anchor="#tippy_tip0_273_anchor" ><p id="p43013035.01-1"><span class="verse-num woc" id="v43013035-1">35&nbsp;</span><span class="woc">By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.&#8221;</span> (<a href="http://www.esv.org" class="copyright">ESV</a>)</p></div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Eph 2:1-3" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Eph%202.1-3/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Eph 2:1-3" data-anchor="#tippy_tip1_9267_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Mark 3:33-35" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Mark%203.33-35/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Mark 3:33-35" data-anchor="#tippy_tip2_5731_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Gal 6:2" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Gal%206.2/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Gal 6:2" data-anchor="#tippy_tip3_6110_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Rom 12:15" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Rom%2012.15/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Rom 12:15" data-anchor="#tippy_tip4_3857_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="2 Thess 1:11-12" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/2%20Thess%201.11-12/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="2 Thess 1:11-12" data-anchor="#tippy_tip5_5066_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> Corporate Ladders and Contentment https://thewitnessbcc.com/corporate-ladders-and-contentment/ The Witness urn:uuid:4ddd1801-7496-b3bb-b0dc-5339bd30651c Tue, 10 Dec 2019 06:00:38 -0600 <p>As a Black man in this line of work, I have to choose my battles &#038; words carefully.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/corporate-ladders-and-contentment/">Corporate Ladders and Contentment</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Way Out of No Way https://thewitnessbcc.com/way-out-of-no-way/ The Witness urn:uuid:32e7e543-3e47-7783-19c6-a72253cadada Mon, 09 Dec 2019 06:00:22 -0600 <p>We have been forced, due to a lack of progress and an overall apathy, to become the freedom fighters of our own lives.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/way-out-of-no-way/">Way Out of No Way</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> “First World” Politics https://thefrontporch.org/2019/12/first-world-politics/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:c9fadfc1-975f-48db-accb-8bce2b7cc697 Mon, 09 Dec 2019 05:43:28 -0600 Many of us are freed up to engage politics in a “first-world” kind of way. But we ought not vote solely for our own interests, but also for the interests of others. <p>If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced what we call “first-world problems.” Your cell phone does weird things, like cutting off unexpectedly or not connecting to wi-fi. Your cable service, which provides hundreds of viewing options, yields nothing worth watching. In middle- and upper-class America, these events fill our chests with sighs of frustration. But what is it that frees us to worry about such trivial matters? It’s the reality that all our basic needs are met with such abundance that even the most spiritual don’t think to pray for daily bread. Our socioeconomic privilege allows us to concern ourselves with a small number of issues, because we have food in the fridge and lights on in the house.</p> <p>Many of us are freed up to engage politics in a “first-world” kind of way. We have a social privilege, where society, without intervention, flows with our flourishing in mind. We only think about healthcare when open enrollment comes around. Our citizenship may cross our minds on certain holidays, or when we get a passport to travel. But these issues, health care and citizenship, don’t weigh on our daily experience. So when we vote, we are free to focus on one issue, because other political concerns make no difference in our day-to-day experience. For evangelicals, that one issue is often abortion.</p> <p>Let me first be clear about what I’m <strong>NOT</strong> saying. I’m not saying abortion is not an important issue. I’m not saying abortion isn’t the most important issue. And I’m not saying that someone’s stance on abortion should not be an important factor in determining whether or not you support a candidate or policy.</p> <p>What I <em><strong>am</strong></em> saying is this: Your position in society impacts your daily concerns. Those concerns determine, in part, what political issues hold weight in your voting. If I am marginalized in society, I have a more complicated political equation, because there are more variables that will impact my and my community’s flourishing. But if I’m privileged, my flourishing is already secure because society protects it. So I don’t need to be concerned about many issues; I can afford to focus on one.</p> <p>Let me use a personal example. A few years ago, my family could not afford private healthcare. For a season, we used Obamacare to secure our basic needs until the Lord furnished a better job. If I’m honest, I couldn’t have cared less about the availability of healthcare up to that point. I was a school bus driver prior to that, and we had the best healthcare package in the county. So that issue didn’t concern me. As an American born citizen of the United States, with American parents, I also wasn’t too concerned about conversations on immigration. At that time, I was concerned about two things: 1) Abortion, because it is a plain and pervasive evil in our society (and a big deal in the Christian circles that influenced me), and 2) Racial rhetoric and police brutality, because I’m black and was soon to be the father of a black son.</p> <p>My social privilege (being born American, having good healthcare) anesthetized me to concern about political issues that affect many people, because they didn’t affect me. But once I needed health care, that political issue became important, and something for which I thanked God.</p> <p>Many white evangelicals occupy a place of social privilege in society. They aren’t worried about healthcare, immigration reform, or education reform, for example, because they have good healthcare, aren’t immigrants, and have good schools in their communities. Note, I’m not saying they don’t care, but that these issues aren’t a central concern. So they use a much simpler political equation that leads to voting with abortion as their single-issue, because no matter what happens with healthcare, immigration, or education, their day-to-day life will go unchanged.</p> <p>This may serve to agitate some, because of the sheer number of lives lost to abortion when compared to lives affected by healthcare. But the very action of approaching politics from a statistical angle, rather than an experiential one, assumes an experiential distance from the effects of lacking health care or citizenship.</p> <p>God calls us to love our neighbors. This command extends, not only to our relationships, but to the voting booth. In Jesus, we see Love Incarnate, entering our world, making our issues His concern, and doing whatever it took to ensure our eternal flourishing. If Jesus so loved us, then we ought to love others in this same way. We ought not vote for our own interests, but also for the interests of others. We vote with people in mind, not just abstract talking points. We make our neighbor’s concerns our concerns. We vote for the good of our neighbors, whether unborn, poor, foreign, or minority neighbors.</p> Committing My Life to 3 Things = M.S.G. https://djchuang.com/2019/committing-my-life-to-3-things-m-s-g/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:65b60d81-2d9e-0915-84bb-cc67e882e7ba Sat, 07 Dec 2019 13:59:35 -0600 <p>3 things that I&#8217;m devoting my life to = MultiAsian + Shame + Generosity. Watch this quick personal update video where I explain. It&#8217;s taken me many years, several decades, to arrive at discovering what my ultimate contribution in life will be, or should be. My&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/committing-my-life-to-3-things-m-s-g/">Committing My Life to 3 Things = M.S.G.</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=LRfiwDQ_XDk:FLWvQBMSZ8E:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=LRfiwDQ_XDk:FLWvQBMSZ8E:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/LRfiwDQ_XDk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> More Multiethnic Church Resources 2019 https://djchuang.com/2019/more-multiethnic-church-resources-2019/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:ac1fc8d1-8677-db13-cb92-4dd3cb5ab959 Fri, 06 Dec 2019 10:11:33 -0600 <p>Get the latest information about growing healthy multiethnic churches—access the Digital Pass to the 2019 Mosaix National Multiethnic Church Conference for $99, with all the videos to the plenary sessions and main stage conversations. (I know there are thousands more who were&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/more-multiethnic-church-resources-2019/">More Multiethnic Church Resources 2019</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=lygCbg-tUsw:9nmsF2aExRk:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=lygCbg-tUsw:9nmsF2aExRk:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/lygCbg-tUsw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Am I a Workaholic? – Introduction: Exploring Black and Brown Perspectives on Work & Its Worth https://thewitnessbcc.com/am-i-a-workaholic-introduction-exploring-black-and-brown-perspectives-on-work/ The Witness urn:uuid:7cc5aaa3-dbc7-973c-2125-db064813d052 Mon, 02 Dec 2019 07:00:42 -0600 <p>I am honored that my friends and colleagues across multiple industries have trusted me with their stories and have graciously [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/am-i-a-workaholic-introduction-exploring-black-and-brown-perspectives-on-work/">Am I a Workaholic? &#8211; Introduction: Exploring Black and Brown Perspectives on Work &#038; Its Worth</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Top 12 Social Media Churches in 2019 https://djchuang.com/2019/top-12-social-media-churches-in-2019/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:e5f4c2d4-9768-3890-03d9-e7c30d68d434 Fri, 29 Nov 2019 16:35:03 -0600 <p>Life.Church gathered 12 of the &#8220;most creative and innovative churches&#8221; doing social media at a roundtable in November to learn from each other and to freely share their key takeaways and learnings with the world at open.life.church. Here&#8217;s the list of (most&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/top-12-social-media-churches-in-2019/">Top 12 Social Media Churches in 2019</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=ZED1fMXHnvE:0AnymzMxRPk:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=ZED1fMXHnvE:0AnymzMxRPk:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/ZED1fMXHnvE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Souls of Black Folk: Reconciling Gospel Music and Hip-Hop https://thewitnessbcc.com/souls-of-black-folk-reconciling-gospel-music-and-hip-hop/ The Witness urn:uuid:ec92cd69-f8e7-94c6-ea7b-9b938843a61b Mon, 25 Nov 2019 06:00:42 -0600 <p>It was a spring afternoon and I was returning home from a pretty good day in high school. I got [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/souls-of-black-folk-reconciling-gospel-music-and-hip-hop/">Souls of Black Folk: Reconciling Gospel Music and Hip-Hop</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Can Kanye West Be Your Worship Pastor? https://thefrontporch.org/2019/11/can-kanye-west-be-your-worship-pastor/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:2b379a1c-1020-25d9-0632-c62b7936aead Thu, 21 Nov 2019 11:30:12 -0600 In our worship services, we’re being led into the presence of a God who has holy standards for both how we worship and who leads us in it. <p>For several weeks now, Kanye West has been grabbing attention and headlines with his “Sunday Service” impromptu worship concerts across the country, news of his conversion, a new album entitled “Jesus Is King,” and appearances in a couple of high-profile mega-churches like Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. The artist’s moves have generated mixed reactions, from elation to skepticism. For my part, I think there’s a great deal to be excited about and to give God praise for.</p> <p>However, Kanye’s appearances at churches prompts a question for me. Not about Kanye, but about churches and standards of Christian worship. Think for a moment: Could Kanye West be a worship pastor at your church?</p> <p>If you answer, “yes,” what does that reveal about the expectations and standards your church holds for public worship? What qualifications for leading God’s people in public worship does your church require? Is the primary (sole?) qualification musical skill and creativity? What about character and Christian maturity? Should the persons who lead the gathered assembly of God’s people not only point us to Jesus through the music we sing but also point us to Jesus through their lives and teaching? After all, music does teach (<cite class="bibleref" title="Col. 3:16" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip0_9703_anchor"></a>).</p> <p>But that last sentence—music does teach (<cite class="bibleref" title="Col. 3:16" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip1_1802_anchor"></a>)—suggests something about the nature of gathered Christian worship. It’s more than a concert. It’s more than hype and flow and even feeling. It’s instruction and admonishment. Corporate singing is, in fact, part of the ministry of the word. We should be singing things that are theologically true. Leaders should introduce and bridge songs in ways that are pastorally wise and theologically responsible.</p> <p>So, what does it mean for a church to invite Kanye West to “lead their service” or “perform” during their Lord’s Day gathering? Again, I’m not interested in critiquing Kanye. I watched the “Sunday service” in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was impressed by his testimony. I found his theological correction of “Jesus Walks” very compelling and edifying. The music was banging—as is “Jesus Is King.” Kanye is fine, although he’s a new Christian. But how do our worship leaders compare to Kanye—not in musical ability—but in maturity, character, discernment and pastoral bearing?</p> <p>Here are three principles for leadership of congregational worship.</p> <p><strong>1. Pastors should lead God’s people in worship.</strong></p> <p>Pastoral ministry is more than preaching. As mentioned earlier, the ministry of the word is more than preaching; it includes public praise as well. As the church officers specifically called to lead the ministry of the word, pastors should have primary responsibility for the corporate singing of God’s people.</p> <p>By this, I do not mean the senior pastor must be the one who does all the singing and plays all the instruments. Or that everyone in the music ministry needs to be a pastor. I simply mean the pastors should supervise public worship, select or guide the selection of songs, and make sure what’s sang and said in public worship is theologically accurate, true, edifying, and pastorally sensitive.</p> <p><strong>2. Worship leaders should be mature and sound in character.</strong></p> <p>Character trumps musicianship and vocal ability. We never want to sacrifice character or competence. But if we must lean in one direction or the other, we should choose character. We should choose character for at least two reasons. First, the Bible chooses character in <cite class="bibleref" title="1 Timothy 3" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip2_449_anchor"></a> and other places. Wherever ministry qualifications are the focus of a biblical text (<cite class="bibleref" title="1 Tim. 3:1-13" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip3_3819_anchor"></a>; <cite class="bibleref" title="1 Peter 5:1-4" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip4_7109_anchor"></a>; <cite class="bibleref" title="1 Cor. 4:1-2" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip5_8496_anchor"></a>; etc), the biblical text emphasizes spiritual maturity and never emphasizes technical competence. We should emphasize what the Bible emphasizes: character.</p> <p>Second, we want to emphasize character over competence (if we have to!) because worship affects people. Christian praise of God should involve the entire being (<cite class="bibleref" title="Mark 12:30" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip6_2541_anchor"></a>). Such worship should be in spirit and in truth (<cite class="bibleref" title="John 4:24" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip7_6355_anchor"></a>)—never feigned (<cite class="bibleref" title="Isa. 29:13" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip8_4105_anchor"></a>; <cite class="bibleref" title="Matt. 15:7-9" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip9_9502_anchor"></a>) or manipulative (<cite class="bibleref" title="1 Thes. 2:3-4" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip10_9155_anchor"></a>). The worship leader causes us to feel a great deal that brings us joy. So, congregations can get emotionally attached to those who lead them in public praise. That attachment can be disastrous if it involves a person of unproven or unsound character.</p> <p>Third, we want to avoid putting unproven persons in the Satanic and unique temptations and pressures leaders face. The alarming rationale  of <cite class="bibleref" title="1 Tim. 3:6" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip11_6959_anchor"></a> applies to worship leaders as much as pastors. Pride and the enemy&#8217;s condemnation can befall the novice with sudden force. That&#8217;s why it&#8217;s unwise for the Joel Osteen&#8217;s of the world to take a new Christian like Kanye&#8211;however talented&#8211;and platform them inside the church. The world and worldly Christians may fawn over him because of his celebrity. But wise Christians should understand that premature promotion poses a danger for Kanye and any other novice worship leader. We should lovingly keep them from such danger by allowing them time to mature over years rather than months.</p> <p><strong>3. Worship leaders should have some theological training.</strong></p> <p>Because public singing is a ministry of the word, the lyrical content of our songs is very important. We must sing true things about God and His work in the world. We must sing things that anchor our faith and hope in what is actually promised in the scripture. Our music ministers should provide the kind of pastoral care and commentary that nourishes the saints in the “green pastures” the Lord leads us through. For that to happen in consistently rich ways, our worship leaders (anyone directing the congregation in singing and speaking up front) should have some theological training.</p> <p>Not everyone needs to go to seminary or have degrees in theology to lead worship. No one in the first century church had such degrees. But, some should go on to gain degrees where there is capacity and desire. Others should participate in courses and conferences that include theological teaching. Every worship leader should receive some discipleship and theological formation from the pastors in their local churches. And, independently, as disciples, worship leaders should be committed to reading solid doctrinal books alongside the things they consume regarding music and singing. The worship leaders who know God best will also lead worship best.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>If Kanye West—a new Christian with exception musical giftings—were in my city, I’d be happy for the sheep in my care to check out one of his “Sunday services” gatherings. I think they would be highly edified.</p> <p>But Christians should not expect to be lead Sunday after Sunday by someone with musical gifting but as yet undeveloped Christian character and theology. What we enjoy as entertainment cannot be safely inserted in the place of congregational worship. More is going on than artistry. In our services, we’re being led into the presence of a God who has holy standards for both how we worship and who leads us in it.</p> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Col. 3:16" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Col.%203.16/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Col. 3:16" data-anchor="#tippy_tip0_9703_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Col. 3:16" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Col.%203.16/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Col. 3:16" data-anchor="#tippy_tip1_1802_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="1 Timothy 3" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/1%20Timothy%203/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="1 Timothy 3" data-anchor="#tippy_tip2_449_anchor" ><p id="p54003001.04-1"><span class="chapter-num" id="v54003001-1">3:1&nbsp;</span>The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003002-1">2&nbsp;</span>Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, <span class="verse-num" id="v54003003-1">3&nbsp;</span>not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003004-1">4&nbsp;</span>He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, <span class="verse-num" id="v54003005-1">5&nbsp;</span>for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God&#8217;s church? <span class="verse-num" id="v54003006-1">6&nbsp;</span>He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003007-1">7&nbsp;</span>Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.</p> <p id="p54003008.04-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v54003008-1">8&nbsp;</span>Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003009-1">9&nbsp;</span>They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003010-1">10&nbsp;</span>And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003011-1">11&nbsp;</span>Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003012-1">12&nbsp;</span>Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003013-1">13&nbsp;</span>For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.</p> <p id="p54003014.05-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v54003014-1">14&nbsp;</span>I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, <span class="verse-num" id="v54003015-1">15&nbsp;</span>if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003016-1">16&nbsp;</span>Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:</p><div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p54003016.10-1">He was manifested in the flesh,<br /><span class="indent"></span>vindicated by the Spirit,<br /><span class="indent-2"></span>seen by angels,<br />proclaimed among the nations,<br /><span class="indent"></span>believed on in the world,<br /><span class="indent-2"></span>taken up in glory. (<a href="http://www.esv.org" class="copyright">ESV</a>)</p></div></div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="1 Tim. 3:1-13" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/1%20Tim.%203.1-13/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="1 Tim. 3:1-13" data-anchor="#tippy_tip3_3819_anchor" ><p id="p54003001.04-1"><span class="chapter-num" id="v54003001-1">3:1&nbsp;</span>The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003002-1">2&nbsp;</span>Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, <span class="verse-num" id="v54003003-1">3&nbsp;</span>not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003004-1">4&nbsp;</span>He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, <span class="verse-num" id="v54003005-1">5&nbsp;</span>for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God&#8217;s church? <span class="verse-num" id="v54003006-1">6&nbsp;</span>He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003007-1">7&nbsp;</span>Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.</p> <p id="p54003008.04-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v54003008-1">8&nbsp;</span>Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003009-1">9&nbsp;</span>They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003010-1">10&nbsp;</span>And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003011-1">11&nbsp;</span>Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003012-1">12&nbsp;</span>Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. <span class="verse-num" id="v54003013-1">13&nbsp;</span>For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. (<a href="http://www.esv.org" class="copyright">ESV</a>)</p></div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="1 Peter 5:1-4" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/1%20Peter%205.1-4/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="1 Peter 5:1-4" data-anchor="#tippy_tip4_7109_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="1 Cor. 4:1-2" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/1%20Cor.%204.1-2/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="1 Cor. 4:1-2" data-anchor="#tippy_tip5_8496_anchor" ><p id="p46004001.05-1"><span class="chapter-num" id="v46004001-1">4:1&nbsp;</span>This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. <span class="verse-num" id="v46004002-1">2&nbsp;</span>Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. (<a href="http://www.esv.org" class="copyright">ESV</a>)</p></div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Mark 12:30" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Mark%2012.30/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Mark 12:30" data-anchor="#tippy_tip6_2541_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="John 4:24" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/John%204.24/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="John 4:24" data-anchor="#tippy_tip7_6355_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Isa. 29:13" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Isa.%2029.13/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Isa. 29:13" data-anchor="#tippy_tip8_4105_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Matt. 15:7-9" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Matt.%2015.7-9/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Matt. 15:7-9" data-anchor="#tippy_tip9_9502_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="1 Thes. 2:3-4" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/1%20Thes.%202.3-4/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="1 Thes. 2:3-4" data-anchor="#tippy_tip10_9155_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="1 Tim. 3:6" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/1%20Tim.%203.6/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="1 Tim. 3:6" data-anchor="#tippy_tip11_6959_anchor" ><p id="p54003006.01-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v54003006-1">6&nbsp;</span>He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. (<a href="http://www.esv.org" class="copyright">ESV</a>)</p></div> Seeing Ourselves in “Waves” https://thewitnessbcc.com/seeing-ourselves-in-waves/ The Witness urn:uuid:862a2306-5c75-4e54-376a-61dbf0d12ddb Thu, 21 Nov 2019 07:00:37 -0600 <p>I didn’t know what to expect going into &#8220;Waves&#8221; but I walked out of the theater feeling a heavy mixture [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/seeing-ourselves-in-waves/">Seeing Ourselves in &#8220;Waves&#8221;</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> A Burden Removed: A Biblical Path for Removing the Racism of Our Forefathers https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabiti-anyabwile/burden-removed-biblical-path-removing-racism-forefathers/ Thabiti Anyabwile Posts – The Gospel Coalition urn:uuid:b5924fec-ce7c-3358-511c-b9dd8d43f206 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 05:47:18 -0600 <div><img width="300" height="225" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-300x225.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-300x225.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-536x402.jpg 536w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8.jpg 540w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div>Editor&#8217;s note: The following article is authored by Dr. Reed DePace, senior minister of The Church at Chantilly, Historic First Presbyterian of Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. DePace has served The Church at Chantilly since 2008. He holds degrees a MAR from Westminster Theology Seminary in Philadelphia and a DMin from Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies. He&#8217;s a self-described &#8220;Philly boy&#8221; now serving in the South. &#8220;But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, so that I walked contrary to them... <div><img width="300" height="225" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-300x225.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-300x225.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-536x402.jpg 536w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8.jpg 540w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div><p><em><strong>Editor&#8217;s note:</strong> The following article is authored by Dr. Reed DePace, senior minister of The Church at Chantilly, Historic First Presbyterian of Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. DePace has served The Church at Chantilly since 2008. He holds degrees a MAR from Westminster Theology Seminary in Philadelphia and a DMin from Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies. He&#8217;s a self-described &#8220;Philly boy&#8221; now serving in the South.</em></p> <hr /> <p>&#8220;But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, so that I walked contrary to them … then I will remember my covenant.” (Lv 26:40-42, ESV, and all subsequent Scripture references)</p> <p>Is this something a congregation should consider? Should a congregation repent of the sins of their forefathers?</p> <p><strong>A Church in Decline</strong></p> <p>This was a particularly relevant question for us. First Presbyterian Church (PCA) of Montgomery, Alabama was the first church <em>formally</em> established in Montgomery. (1824, we beat our Baptist brothers and sisters by 6 months; whew!) We’ve seen lots of blessings from God over our history. One of our early pastors was the great-uncle of Winston Churchill. In the late 1800’s we were key supporters of the Presbyterian missionaries God worked through to bring about the 1907 Pyongyang Revival and the Christianization of Korea. In the 1920’s we were a “mega-church” before there were such, with a membership over 2,000. Even in 1961, our membership was still at a respectable 1,100.</p> <p>When I was called to be the pastor of Historic First Church (our nick name) in 2008, the church had moved from its downtown location to a suburban one, where it was thought that folks more like the existing congregation would join. Yet that hadn’t really happened. While official membership was around 100, the reality was that we had about 50 active members—many of whom were from the Silent Generation, well into their 70’s and 80’s. The common renewal plan of many a downtown church (move to the suburbs) wasn’t working for us.</p> <p>Yet, as often happens with a new pastor, we saw an increase in our ministry over the next few years. By 2011 membership rose to just over 100. It looked like there was a re-birth of new life, that God was going to bless us with more years of ministry. Yet over the next few years, the historic slide toward dissolution continued. By 2015 membership was down to the 70’s, with active membership back at the 50’s.</p> <p>The elders at the time agreed that we needed to spend some time investigating why God seemed to be “walking contrary” to us (Lev 26:41), why he seemed to be cursing rather than blessing our ministry efforts.</p> <p><strong>The Past Is Never Dead</strong></p> <p>I conducted a thorough search of our church records (something southern Presbyterians are very good at keeping) back to the very founding of our church (1821). Regarding our current circumstances, the records from the Civil Rights era forward seemed most relevant. Starting in the 1950’s our church, both the congregation and leadership, engaged in actions and decisions that are most simply described as racist, a refusal to love our black neighbors as ourselves.</p> <p>Oh, historic First Church wasn’t all racist all the time. Some members sought to obey Christ and love our fellow black Montgomerians. For example, Rosa Parks’ white attorney was a deacon in our church, and his wife was one of Mrs. Parks best friends. In the 1960’s, even though he suffered for it, one of our ministers accepted the call to be the pastor of a small struggling black congregation (planted out of our church in the 1880’s). Other notable examples were seen throughout 1950’s and 60’s.</p> <p>Yet far more often in this era, our church chose to partake of racial sins. In 1956, about a decade before most other white churches in Montgomery took this action, our leadership chose to formally block blacks from membership and attending services at our church. In 1961 our church was located a half block away from the Greyhound Bus station where the Freedom Riders were attacked. Rather than offering sanctuary, we ignored what was happening. As late as 1974 our elders and deacons were still affirming their intention to not allow backs to join or attend any services at our church. Numerous other racist attitudes and decisions littered Historic First Church through the Civil Rights era. In fact, these attitudes and actions only began to disappear from our records in the late 1970’s.</p> <p>Yet these sins were still present and would occasionally make themselves known. An outreach decision to open up a daycare was actively hindered for the whole of the 1980’s, in part, because it would require letting black children participate in the day care. The dominant debate among the elders in the 1980’s and 90’s was whether or not to reach the surrounding community with the gospel, a community that was no longer white. While not overt in every discussion, the underlying opposition to including blacks in outreach meant that virtually no witnessing ministries took place. Then in 1999 the decision was made to move to a suburban community where the demographics of the surrounding community matched that of the congregation.</p> <p>Back to 2015. Despite a number of attempts, witnessing efforts at Historic First Church met with very little response from the congregation. Comparing this to the research gleaned from our history showed a startling similarity. In the Civil Rights era Historic First Church refused to reach out to a people unlike them: blacks. By 2015, with most members never being a part of the downtown church, we had become a congregation that was all but unwilling to reach out to anyone. All might be “welcome,” but we weren’t putting any effort into taking the gospel to them, white, black, or the proverbial purple with pink polka dots.</p> <p>This was the context for our consideration to the debatable practice of repenting of the sins of our forefathers. It sure looked like we were experiencing the fruits of past sins, even though we were no longer racist. It certainly looked like God was “walking contrary” to us. Was repenting for past sins, sins that no one in the existing congregation participated in, God’s path to restoring the ministry of the gospel among us?</p> <p><strong>Visits from God</strong></p> <p>The answer to this question is not immediately obvious in the Scriptures. There seems to be a contradiction at play in this question. As many others have noted in recent years, the Bible is expressly clear that God does not impute the culpability of forefathers’ sin on their descendants.</p> <blockquote><p>The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. (Ezk. 18:20)</p></blockquote> <p>On the other hand, there are numerous warnings that God “visits the iniquities” of forefathers on their descendants (Ex 20:5; 24:7; Nm 14:18; Dt 5:9; Lv 26:39-41; Isa 14:21; Isa 65:6-7; Jer 14:20; 32:8, etc.). The notable examples of Daniel (Dan 9:8, ff.), Ezra (Ezr 9:6-7, ff.), and Nehemiah (Neh 9:16, ff.), each confessing their forefathers’ iniquities, gives strong evidence that God both fulfills the warnings and the promises attached to “visiting the iniquities.”</p> <p>The way out of the apparent contradiction here is found in the details associated with the words <em>visit</em> and <em>iniquity</em>. Rather than overwhelm you with the breadth and depth of these details, let me summarize them. One of three words used for sin in the OT, the Hebrew word translated <em>iniquity</em>, is used to express sin <em>with its results</em>. We are most familiar with the result of culpability. Sin makes us culpable before God, accountable to him for our rebellion against his law.</p> <p>Yet there is another result of sin, one that is as common as culpability, but not often focused on. In addition to culpability, sin also results in <em>corruption. </em>This is the spiritual pollution, the contamination factor attached to sin. It spiritually infects others. A significant part of the Mosaic ceremonial law dealt with picturing the corruption result of sin:</p> <blockquote><p>And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness. (Lev 16:21-22)</p></blockquote> <p>One of the reasons for church discipline is to protect the other members of a congregation from the corruption of the offending member’s sin:</p> <blockquote><p>Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1Co 5:6-7)</p></blockquote> <p>The corruption result of sin is so pervasive that there is nothing we can do to avoid it:</p> <blockquote><p>We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isa 64:6)</p></blockquote> <p>The Hebrew word <em>visiting</em> explains how the sins of forefathers corrupt their descendants. The visiting in view is not some sort of social call, as if God were promising to drop in for milk and brownies. Instead, the word refers to a <em>covenantal visiting</em>: God visits on people, he gives them the experience of, the blessings or curses of his covenants to those in covenant with him, and their descendants. The Fourth Commandment (Ex 20:5-6) illustrates the pattern of covenantal visiting succinctly:</p> <blockquote><p>“You shall not bow down to them or serve [other gods], for I the LORD your God am a jealous God<em>:</em><br /> [covenant curse] <em>visiting the iniquity </em>of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,<br /> [covenant blessing] but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”</p></blockquote> <p>It is quite simple: God gives to the descendants of those in covenant with him the corruption results of their forefathers’ sins. If the culpability result of sin is personal (it only attaches to the sinning individual), then the corruption result of sin is <em>corporate</em> (it also attaches to those in covenant relationship with the sinning individual).</p> <p>Admittedly there are many more details that show this corruption result is basic to the nature of sin. But this is nothing more than the historic understanding of the church: God curses the descendants to follow in the sinful footsteps of their forefathers, sinning in related ways.</p> <p>This explains why Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah were resolute in confessing their forefathers’ sins. They knew that God had promised to forgive those sins, not their culpability, but their corruption. So, they confessed and led their congregations to confess with them. Likewise, in the letters to the Seven Churches of Revelation, Jesus advises certain congregations to repent of sins committed only by some of their members (e.g., Pergamum, Rv 2:13-17; Thyatira, Rv 2:18-29; Sardis, Rv 3:1-6). While not personally culpable for the sins of the few, all the members of these congregations were corrupted by these sins. Corporate repentance, confessing the sins of others to whom they were covenantally related, was Jesus’s gospel-rooted solution.</p> <p><strong>Time to Repent?</strong></p> <p>In 2016 as we explored these things, our leaders were aware of some of the controversy around repenting for sins of the forefathers. But as they played no part in our considerations, we did not give much attention to various social motivations and concerns. It was quite straight forward for us. We understood we could not repent <em>for </em>sins we did not commit. But could we repent <em>of </em>sins, sins committed by those covenantally related to us?</p> <p>We were shepherding a congregation that seemed to be experiencing problems related to sins of forefathers. For us then, it was purely a matter of gospel-practice. Did our forefathers commit atrocious racial sins? Yes. Was God visiting the corruption of these sins on subsequent generations, including the congregation under our care? Yes. Was repenting of these:</p> <ul> <li>Acknowledging the wickedness of those sins,</li> <li>Acknowledging God’s righteousness in visiting the corruption of those sins on us,</li> <li>Trusting that in Jesus there is cleansing from the corruption of these, and</li> <li>So confessing the sins of our forefathers,</li> </ul> <p>The gospel-rooted resolution before us?</p> <p>We understand that this <em>corporate</em> usage of repentance is outside the common personal usage. We respect that others may come to different conclusions. That’s ok. We didn’t apply this principle to make a statement, to persuade others to do likewise. Our sole purpose was to seek God to remove the burden of our forefathers’ sins, and thereby bring glory to his holy name.</p> <p><strong>Forgiveness Brings Freedom&#8211;and Fruit</strong></p> <p>In the summer of 2016, following the tradition of our Presbyterian forefathers, the elders and I signed a solemn declaration of all these things, particularly identifying our forefathers’ sins, and our repentance for them. At the beginning of 2017 we entered into a formal period of renewal. We added to our historic name a second name that identified us with our community: located on the grounds of a historic slave plantation, the name “The Church at Chantilly” (the location marker) declares that this church has been freed from the curse of sin, including all forms of racism. The members of the congregation at that time asked to follow their elders’ lead, and signed their names to the declaration of repentance. That document now hangs in the entry hallway of our church, right next to a picture of our downtown buildings, for all visitors to see.</p> <p>In God’s providence and through no intention of ours, the story of our repentance was publicized both locally and nationally. This many years after the Civil Rights era, and after many other churches took a similar action decades ago, we were not concerned with publicizing our actions. Yet, God honored our efforts in restorative ways. Over the last few years we have been contacted by numerous former members of our church, and even some of the descendants of former members, who had all taken a stand against Historic First Church’s racism and had been driven out of the congregation for doing so. The experience of asking them to forgive the sins of our forefathers brought healing and, in some cases, a believable gospel witness from a church with a previous reputation of hypocrisy.</p> <p>While our current congregation is small, for the first time in over half a century (possibly longer) we are seeing new conversion growth. In the last year and a half we have seen a good half dozen millennials make a profession of faith and actively participate in the ministries of the church. Sustained weekly witnessing activities have been going on for over a year now. Two thirds of the congregation has participated in evangelism training, now offered twice a year.</p> <p>In 2016 we were blessed to partner with Korean brothers and sisters in Orlando, Florida to plant Montgomery Open Kingdom (Korean, PCA) church. In the fall of 2018, we were blessed to host a Spanish speaking (Baptist) congregation, Light to the Nations, reaching Spanish speakers in Montgomery hailing from numerous Central and South American countries. Today all three congregations share Historic First Church’s facilities, with multiple worship services, joint children’s Sunday School, and numerous joint activities throughout the year.</p> <p>You might notice that I didn’t mention anything about outreach into the black community in Montgomery. While we maintain strong relationships with sister black congregations in our area, this is a blessing God has not yet seen fit to grace us with. We prayerfully continue to reach into the black community around us, praying for God to raise up a family or two from which he would grace us with further elders and deacons.</p> <p>Truth be told, we’re small enough now (about 40 active, 50 + including shut-ins), that statistically speaking, there is every possibility that Historic First Presbyterian Church of Montgomery might close before she reaches her 200<sup>th</sup> anniversary. We’re ok with that. Repenting of the sins of our forefathers was not some pragmatic church renewal step. It was simply the right thing to do. The corruption of sin is real. In a community filled with so many churches, and the next generation all but abandoning them, turning to God and pleading for his forgiveness from all sins (including those of the past) is nothing more than what gospel-believing people ought to do. Because in God’s providence, some who had lost hope, who had been helped by our forefathers’ sins to disbelieve in Jesus Christ, have found a new hope in him through our repentance.</p> <p><strong>Repentance Comes Home</strong></p> <p>Let me end with one of the most interesting and unexpected examples of this. Vivian is an older Baby Boomer raised in Montgomery. With some background in the hippie movement, she was won to Christ and then spent some time as one of the early English language teacher missionaries in China. In 2016, sensing she only had a few more years in Montgomery before she would need to move to be near family members as health needs increased, she wanted to join our church because she wanted to focus on reaching Millennials.</p> <p>Like many members raised in Montgomery, Vivian was a tad suspicious when her pastor and elders first began discussing repenting of the sins of our forefathers. “Social justice” concerns, etc., filled her with questions about the what and why. Yet as the biblical basis for the action was explained, Vivian began to see that repenting of the forefathers’ sins was a godly thing completely consistent with living by faith taught through the gospel’s ministry. She willingly joined her fellow members in signing her name to the declaration of repentance.</p> <p>At the beginning of the following year, 2017, Vivian got an odd query from her brother (living in a western state). He asked if she knew about any first cousins still living in Montgomery? The answer was no; Vivian was the only one left from her family in this area, all others having moved away years ago. When she asked why, her brother told her that a DNA test he had completed sent back results telling him that he had a first cousin, one he didn’t know anything about, living in Montgomery. He gave her the contact information and left it up to Vivian to do the sleuthing.</p> <p>Vivian contacted the first cousin, Mattie, and arranged to meet her. I was blessed to briefly meet Vivian’s new-found family at one of those first meetings. Gathering at a hospital for a doctor’s appointment, Vivian, white, sat with her new-found cousin Mattie, black.</p> <p>The story that unfolded was in some sense rather common here in the deep south. Yet because it was personal for Vivian and Mattie, their meeting was momentous for both of them. Mattie was the daughter of Lily (half-black/white). Lily’s father was Ray, Vivian’s (white) grandfather (poppee). An archetype story, Lily’s mother, Mattie the first, had been the maid in Ray’s household. In case you haven’t put things together yet, let’s put it in biblically blunt terms: Vivian’s white grandfather had raped her cousin’s black grandmother.</p> <p>As a little girl Vivian remembered her poppee taking long walks on Sunday afternoons, ostensibly to smoke down at the park, and not coming home till well after dark. Vivian now heard the real story. Her grandfather would walk two blocks down from his house, get picked up by his daughter of rape, Lily, and spend the afternoon with his black family. They all resented him, yet consistent with the times, he was their patriarch and they had to show him some respect.</p> <p>You can just imagine Vivian’s shock as she learned all this family history she had never heard before. She knew that her poppee, like many southern white men from the first half of the twentieth century, showed common racist behaviors (e.g., Jim Crow cultural attitudes and acts). But that he had raped a black woman, and had a whole other, black, family?!</p> <p>I was fascinated by the new family history Vivian had to share. But then she revealed a fact that caused me to join her in being shocked to my core. While her poppee was Talking about Depression, Anxiety, and Faith next Fri 11/22 https://djchuang.com/2019/talking-about-depression-anxiety-and-faith-next-fri-11-22/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:214f6c41-a6f0-d1a1-4c9f-f29b50616cb4 Fri, 15 Nov 2019 11:32:58 -0600 <p>Come next Friday 11/22 to Torrance, California, where I am speaking about mental health. The event starts at 7:30pm and the location is the Bread of Life Church (2780 Lomita Blvd. Torrance, CA 90505). I&#8217;m very grateful for this invitation to openly&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/talking-about-depression-anxiety-and-faith-next-fri-11-22/">Talking about Depression, Anxiety, and Faith next Fri 11/22</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=dyNpH-JvfKo:m7tpbjRRSKM:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=dyNpH-JvfKo:m7tpbjRRSKM:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/dyNpH-JvfKo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Missions and Justice https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabiti-anyabwile/missions-and-justice/ Thabiti Anyabwile Posts – The Gospel Coalition urn:uuid:ca1b3b10-f994-6b3f-7eab-b6f0bb4bf89d Thu, 14 Nov 2019 11:47:12 -0600 <div><img width="300" height="138" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey-300x138.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey-300x138.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey.jpg 545w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div>I commonly hear Christians and non-Christians object to missions on the grounds that missionaries have sometimes been the tip of the spear for oppression and cultural subjugation. People cite the way Christian missions rode the wave of colonial domination in Africa and India, for example. The remedy, according to some, is that Christian missions be halted altogether or at least seriously re-examined. To be sure, there&#8217;s a place for re-examining mission practice. We need to learn from the history of cross-cultural gospel ministry, especially those painful and shameful aspects we do not wish to repeat. But it&#8217;s also important to... <div><img width="300" height="138" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey-300x138.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey-300x138.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey.jpg 545w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div><p>I commonly hear Christians and non-Christians object to missions on the grounds that missionaries have sometimes been the tip of the spear for oppression and cultural subjugation. People cite the way Christian missions rode the wave of colonial domination in Africa and India, for example. The remedy, according to some, is that Christian missions be halted altogether or at least seriously re-examined.</p> <p>To be sure, there&#8217;s a place for re-examining mission practice. We need to learn from the history of cross-cultural gospel ministry, especially those painful and shameful aspects we do not wish to repeat.</p> <p>But it&#8217;s also important to note that some missionaries were valiant in the cause of justice. Where the gospel and the church have spread so too has liberation and justice. Yesterday my missions pastor shared a tidbit from the life of William Carey that I did not know. It&#8217;s an excerpt from Ruth and Vishal Mangalwadi&#8217;s &#8220;Who (Really) Was William Carey?&#8221; in Ralph Winter and Stephen Hawthorne&#8217;s <em>Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, 3rd edition</em>. The Mangalwadis write:</p> <blockquote><p>Carey was the first man to stand against both the ruthless murders and the widespread oppression of women, virtually synonymous with Hinduism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The male in India was crushing the female through polygamy, female infanticide, child marriage, widow-burning, euthanasia and forced female illiteracy, all sanctioned by religion. The British Government timidly accepted these evils as being an irreversible and intrinsic part of India&#8217;s religious mores. Carey began to conduct systematic sociological and scriptural research. He published his reports in order to raise public opinion and protest&#8230;. It was Carey&#8217;s persistent battle against sati for twenty-five years which finally led to Lord Bantinck&#8217;s famous Edict in 1829, banning one of the most abominable of all religious practices in the world: widow-burning.</p></blockquote> <p>Carey&#8217;s pioneering work is known by nearly all Christians with a rudimentary knowledge of Christian missions history. Yet I wonder how many know of this aspect of Carey&#8217;s work&#8211;engaging the religious cultural practices and advocating for justice using the tools of both social science and the Bible? Carey wasn&#8217;t perfect&#8211;no Christian is. But we need more &#8220;Careys&#8221; not fewer. Perhaps then Christian missions will be associated with positive good rather than injustice, with not only freedom from sin but also freedom from oppression. May it be so. May the Lord be pleased to make it happen in our lifetimes!</p> There was a blog for Asian American Christian voices https://djchuang.com/2019/there-was-a-blog-for-asian-american-christian-voices/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:8723fc89-a6a0-7e90-1c40-5e6f6b6e8a27 Wed, 06 Nov 2019 09:00:07 -0600 <p>NextGenerAsianChurch team blog had quite a run, almost a decade, as a collective that was open to talk about the collision of faith and Asian American cultures. The blog went dark about a year ago, for some unknown reason. I was digging&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/there-was-a-blog-for-asian-american-christian-voices/">There was a blog for Asian American Christian voices</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=kwOJ9jc24r4:MfvGErZrPSU:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=kwOJ9jc24r4:MfvGErZrPSU:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/kwOJ9jc24r4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Oldest Asian American Churches in USA https://djchuang.com/2019/oldest-asian-american-churches-in-usa/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:7fbab8b0-50fb-0ce5-72bb-f47ad3d6af42 Sun, 03 Nov 2019 23:25:44 -0600 <p>Some people love to remember the history and honor the traditions of the past generations. One of the lasting legacies of faith that is passed on from one generation to the next is a church community. While the typical church has a&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/oldest-asian-american-churches-in-usa/">Oldest Asian American Churches in USA</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Zd4kNAgw1K8:B8a4o4oFq5k:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Zd4kNAgw1K8:B8a4o4oFq5k:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/Zd4kNAgw1K8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> The Calling to Dignity https://thefrontporch.org/2019/10/the-calling-to-dignity/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:e97fdda0-a048-4973-ab68-1241870a92d3 Wed, 30 Oct 2019 11:20:36 -0500 It&#8217;s been my custom to read good Christian books to the members of our church as they trickle in for our mid-week Bible study. For about 5-10 minutes I read &#8230; <a href="https://thefrontporch.org/2019/10/the-calling-to-dignity/" class="more">Continue reading</a> <p>It&#8217;s been my custom to read good Christian books to the members of our church as they trickle in for our mid-week Bible study. For about 5-10 minutes I read aloud as a way to focus us and another small way to introduce the church to good thinkers and writers whose works edify the Church. Currently, we&#8217;re reading Andy Crouch&#8217;s excellent book, <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Strong-Weak-Embracing-Life-Flourishing/dp/0830844430">Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing</a></em>. I highly commend the book and this <a href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/pass-mic-andy-crouch/">Pass the Mic interview with Crouch</a>.</p> <p>Recently we read a subsection of Strong and Weak chapter 6 entitled &#8220;The Calling to Dignity.&#8221; The subsection really struck the group in a positive and unique way. It prompted us to see and appreciate some things about traditional Black Church pastors we perhaps had not seen before or appreciated in quite the way Crouch put it. The chapter meditates on the ways leaders must bear hidden vulnerabilities&#8211;weaknesses and threats that they cannot share with those they lead without harming them. The bearing of that hidden vulnerability has an unusual relationship to dignity for marginalized communities according to Crouch.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s Crouch&#8217;s comment:</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">[There is] a paradox that is often hard for privileged people to understand. The more a community experiences shared vulnerability without authority&#8211;the more that poverty and oppression have shaped a community&#8217;s experience&#8211;the more likely that transformative leadership from within that community needs to bear hidden vulnerability.</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">I have had the great gift, at several seasons of my life, of worshipping and working in African American churches. It took me many years, as a young white man, to understand why leaders in the black church so often carry themselves with what initially seemed to me like excessive amounts of visible authority. A pastor wearing an expensive suit, driving a late-model car, and protected by layers of administrative staff and formality, presents very little apparent vulnerability to the world. Such leaders appear, especially to outsiders, as residents of something perilously close to the Exploiting quadrant. In middle-class and professional-class white churches, we expect more casual attire and emotionally transparent demeanor from our leaders.</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">But I gradually came to understand that black church leaders in fact bear a tremendous amount of vulnerability, even if it is not readily apparent. Their vulnerability can be personal: vanishingly few white Americans who drive late-model, high-end cars have ever been stopped by police simply on suspicion that the vehicle is not theirs&#8211;whereas many, many black pastors have experienced this insult to their dignity and accomplishments. But more importantly, as representatives of a historically subjugated community, black pastors live every day bearing the nearly unbearable burdens of a <em>community</em> that has been shaped by oppression and violence, prejudice and ignorance.</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">And the appropriate response to this hidden vulnerability is in fact public dignity&#8211;representing the community not just in its vulnerability but in its God-given, image-bearing authority. It may be appropriate for a pastor in a privileged and powerful community to emphasize his vulnerability by saying, &#8220;Just call me Dan.&#8221; But it is entirely appropriate for a pastor in a community of vulnerability to model authority and expect to be addressed, especially in public, with his full title and family name.</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">To be sure, there can be exploitative leaders in the black church just as there are in every social system&#8211;very much including the white church, where leaders can use transparency and modesty as a cloak for manipulation. But healthy leadership in a context of oppression often requires levels of visible authority that might seem unhealthy elsewhere. What brings transforming hope in that context of suffering is the presence of leaders who balance the <em>community&#8217;s</em> vulnerability with their own <em>representative</em> authority. And when you truly get to know the most faithful and courageous leaders in the black church or any minority community, you come to understand that in contexts of oppression, authority is itself a great risk and a most vulnerable calling. (pp. 125-127)</p> <p>Have you ever thought about how pastors carry the vulnerability of the <em>community</em> and meet that vulnerability with <em>representative</em> displays of authority? As Crouch acknowledges, this can (and has been) exploited by the unfaithful and wolf-like. But it&#8217;s also important to understand how pastors should use their authority and displays of it to represent those they serve and lead in marginalized community. At the least, it ought to prompt us to take a closer look before we judge the church and its leaders purely on external shows of authority, strength and even affluence.</p> Where to get the cheapest .BIBLE domain names https://djchuang.com/2019/where-to-get-the-cheapest-bible-domain-names/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:09e51b78-9dee-3b03-2c40-7a981aaba804 Tue, 29 Oct 2019 17:04:01 -0500 <p>Want to pay less for registering .BIBLE domain names? Whether you like saving money just because you can or you want to be a good steward with finances, finding the lowest prices is one factor in selecting a registrar for your domain&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/where-to-get-the-cheapest-bible-domain-names/">Where to get the cheapest .BIBLE domain names</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=djD-44qqbtY:uDk5TojNjyE:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=djD-44qqbtY:uDk5TojNjyE:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/djD-44qqbtY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Sold for a Bag of Flour https://thefrontporch.org/2019/10/sold-for-a-bag-of-flour/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:b143bfa8-038b-88be-933e-d42735b5bf79 Mon, 28 Oct 2019 11:51:37 -0500 A desperate transaction led to a transformational relationship <p>In July 1991, an elderly white couple drove their pickup truck into my grandparent’s driveway. The old woman sat in the driver’s seat, trying to console her distraught husband. As my grandmother pushed her walker toward the vehicle, the old man, through uncontrollable tears, cried, “My brother’s dead! My brother’s dead.” Grandma, in need of comfort herself, rubbed Mr. Younce on the hand, consoling him in his grief.</p> <p>My grandmother’s name was Inez. The man who was dead was her husband, Charles “Bryant” Woodley. Mr. Younce had just heard that my grandpa was dead. When Mr. Younce said “brother,” it wasn’t church lingo or street talk. He really meant brother, someone who had grown up with him in his family.</p> <p>Their story began in 1916, when my great-grandfather, Job, made a decision for his family that would change my grandfather’s life forever. My grandfather, Charlie Bryant, was the middle child in a family of 8, and times were hard. Real hard. Job could no longer provide for his household. He knew of the Younce family who owned a sawmill in their area of Macon, GA. Job went there with two of his younger sons and offered to give the boys over to the Younces as workers in exchange for food. Mr. Younce agreed to take eight-year-old Charlie and gave Job a bag of flour to seal the exchange.</p> <p>Charlie was raised with the Younce children, but never had any formal education. He spent his life doing household chores and working in the Younce family lumber yard. The Younces traveled over a period of years from Georgia, to Florida, to Virginia, young Charlie in tow. Upon leaving Virginia, they decided to move to North Carolina, this time bringing with them a truckload of 12 African American men. These men worked for the Younce family for many years in the lumber yards of eastern North Carolina, many of them becoming lifelong friends. Charlie worked with the family for over 73 years.</p> <p>As a young child, I never knew the Younces very well. But I do remember visiting Granddaddy Charlie at the lumber yard on many occasions, stacking wood to earn money for candy and ice cream. Two of the Younce sons, James and Earl (and his wife Daisy), were like brothers to my grandfather. Earl was a mechanic who fixed Granddaddy’s cars. Granddaddy, a carpenter, returned the favor by building picnic tables and furniture for Earl.</p> <p>Over the years, as I’ve tried to process the relationship my grandfather had with the Younces, many conflicting thoughts and emotions came to mind. How difficult must it have been for Great-grandpa Job to let go of his young son? Was this some sort of post-reconstruction slave trade, Granddaddy being sold for a bag of flour? How many of the other children were “sold off” for a bag of flour or a side of beef or less? As his life unfolded in the midst of the Jim Crow South, how were the Younces publicly portraying their relationship to Granddaddy—as guardians or employers or property owners? I don’t have any of the answers. As I research and remember, I can’t seem to help or hold on very long to my conflicting feelings of confusion, gratitude, indifference, anger, intrigue. One moment, I’m vexed my grandfather worked for them so long with little connection to his biological family. The next moment, I’m grateful for the relationship between Granddaddy, Earl and Daisy. </p> <p>The tears that Earl Younce cried when Granddaddy died, the ways in which they cared for my grandmother afterwards, all attest to a love that can’t be fully explained or understood with mere family history. That bag of flour led to a bond truly built on blood, sweat and tears, and to a love that crossed boundaries despite the circumstances that led them to each other.</p> <p>The histories of black and white families, their distance and mingling, their love and hurts, isn’t always neat. Life is messy, but also surprising and awkward and beautiful. Like my grandfather’s relationship with the Younce family. Resistance and solidarity aren’t always outward acts of opposition and protest, tacit agreement and unanimity. Accommodation isn’t always cowardice or compliance. They can and should coexist where there is true neighbor love and empathy. The deepest solidarity often exists where there is an acknowledgement of injustice and a resolve to not give in to it, while also making room for one another in our hearts and lives. Perhaps, like Earl and Granddaddy, we too can find a way to be brothers and sisters. Perhaps what starts as transactional relationships borne of dire necessity can become transformational relationships borne of life lived together, wherever it takes us. Perhaps.</p> Where to go off-roading in Orange County? https://djchuang.com/2019/where-to-go-off-roading-in-orange-county/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:84d7e86d-7a6c-6ac1-9f86-21004d756b17 Sat, 26 Oct 2019 17:07:55 -0500 <p>Let&#8217;s say you&#8217;ve got a 4-wheel drive vehicle and you&#8217;d like to go four-wheeling onto a dirt road or trail in Orange County, California. For example, a Jeep Wrangler. (Granted, there are other kinds of off-roading too, like ATV-ing and dirt-biking.) It&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/where-to-go-off-roading-in-orange-county/">Where to go off-roading in Orange County?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=C7oFh848zcg:I9ZJKv6Nbwk:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=C7oFh848zcg:I9ZJKv6Nbwk:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/C7oFh848zcg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> A few quick thoughts on success https://danhyun.com/2019/10/14/a-few-quick-thoughts-on-success/ My Thoughts – Dan Hyun urn:uuid:e3245371-e424-e54e-7312-17d4c06a2374 Mon, 14 Oct 2019 17:55:53 -0500 Christians often think of “secular” in terms of art &#38; culture but one of the ways we are most secular is in our understanding of success. A&#8230; <span class="read-more"><a class="more-link" href="https://danhyun.com/2019/10/14/a-few-quick-thoughts-on-success/" rel="bookmark">Read more <span class="screen-reader-text">"A few quick thoughts on&#160;success"</span></a></span> <ul> <li>Christians often think of “secular” in terms of art &amp; culture but one of the ways we are most secular is in our understanding of success.</li> <li>A Kingdom-oriented life means that success can be measured by what and who comes behind us. Success is laying the foundation for those coming behind us to do even greater things that us.</li> <li>Success can be faithfully &amp; anonymously toiling for the harvest, even if you are not the one who ultimately gets the credit for bringing it in.</li> <li>Cultural factors have to be taken into consideration when gauging success. What may be overlooked or dismissed in some contexts should be rightly celebrated in others as highly successful.</li> <li>In a narcissistic society, sacrifice for the benefit of those coming behind you is a means of God’s sanctification. It’s a merciful reminder that it’s not all about us. The fruit of those coming behind us will require a sacrificial death to ourselves and point us to our Savior.</li> </ul> On Being a Late Bloomer https://danhyun.com/2019/10/10/on-being-a-late-bloomer/ My Thoughts – Dan Hyun urn:uuid:79864f4e-fd17-50c4-3007-82da21f06cbb Thu, 10 Oct 2019 20:52:08 -0500 A few years back I was honored with an alumni pastor award from my seminary. I recall feeling really humbled. When you witness moments like that in&#8230; <span class="read-more"><a class="more-link" href="https://danhyun.com/2019/10/10/on-being-a-late-bloomer/" rel="bookmark">Read more <span class="screen-reader-text">"On Being a Late&#160;Bloomer"</span></a></span> <p><img data-attachment-id="621" data-permalink="https://danhyun.com/2019/10/10/on-being-a-late-bloomer/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o/" data-orig-file="https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg" data-orig-size="1080,1080" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=775" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-621" src="https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=775" alt="69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o" srcset="https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=775 775w, https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=150 150w, https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=300 300w, https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=768 768w, https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=1024 1024w, https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg 1080w" sizes="(max-width: 775px) 100vw, 775px" /></p> <p>A few years back I was honored with an alumni pastor award from my seminary.</p> <p>I recall feeling really humbled. When you witness moments like that in someone else’s journey, you tend to see the “completed” picture in front of you. And for some who were in the audience that day, perhaps they saw someone who had accomplished something.<span class="text_exposed_show"></p> <p>Yet as the one experiencing it, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the twists and turns of the road that got me there.</span><span id="more-619"></span></p> <p><span class="text_exposed_show">I thought of the brokenness that marked so much of my journey. Looking back with the clarity of hindsight, I recognize a person lacking self-awareness. Dysfunction in my relational and family dynamics resulted. Ministry relationships driven by my insecurity were a thorny fruit to eat.</p> <p>Failure wasn’t just what I deserved but it became who I was. Some of my dysfunction manifested outwardly but much of it was internalized in entangled depression, self-loathing, &amp; lack of self-control.</p> <p>What I’m saying is that no one would have pointed at me in those years &amp; declared, “Yup, there’s a leader who’s going to make something of himself.”</p> <p>Yet, here I stand.</p> <p>With God’s grace &amp; mercy, I have taken steps in unearthing much of what sourced my wounds.</p> <p>I’ve also grown more accepting of the good parts of me. Part of that is embracing that I am a late bloomer.</p> <p>What used to be an unrelenting sense of regret at the years I’d wasted is now a growing acknowledgement of God’s sense of timing in letting things develop the way they have.</p> <p>I can be notorious in my high expectations for others but in the temptation of those ungracious moments, God reminds me to be patient as He has been for me throughout my winding path.</p> <p>When I want to write people off, God reminds me that I should have been written off countless times in the past. Yet what He and others have continually and kindly afforded me is the time to grow into me.</p> <p>Knowing myself with greater self-clarity, if things would have come easier to me than they have, I don’t believe I’d be the leader I am today.</p> <p>I am a late bloomer who believes the best is yet to come.</span></p> Get Internet Service for a New Home Address https://djchuang.com/2019/get-internet-service-for-a-new-home-address/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:72e87854-51ae-70fb-9c09-60a248c63e4b Thu, 10 Oct 2019 17:40:01 -0500 <p>Several websites work like a search engine for broadband internet service providers at your home address. One shouldn&#8217;t have to go to every single website provider to check for availability. Here are some free services that make it a little easier; if&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/get-internet-service-for-a-new-home-address/">Get Internet Service for a New Home Address</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=cFGyA79WAzk:hRs1LftFraI:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=cFGyA79WAzk:hRs1LftFraI:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/cFGyA79WAzk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Joy and Justice Recap: A Celebration of the Black Church and Black Christianity https://thewitnessbcc.com/joy-and-justice-recap-a-celebration-of-the-black-church-and-black-christianity/ The Witness urn:uuid:09e4cbff-8071-7c78-7bbb-7023a8e70b4e Thu, 10 Oct 2019 12:10:26 -0500 <p>Black Christians don’t have to leave part of ourselves at the door in an attempt to placate the least culturally-aware white person around us.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/joy-and-justice-recap-a-celebration-of-the-black-church-and-black-christianity/">Joy and Justice Recap: A Celebration of the Black Church and Black Christianity</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p>