Mosaix Blogs Full http://feed.informer.com/digests/LIX0YUF5O5/feeder Mosaix Blogs Full Respective post owners and feed distributors Tue, 19 Feb 2013 18:24:15 -0600 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ Excessive Busyness http://davidireland.org/excessive-busyness/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:cb7bd754-dcdd-a572-8576-66f93bb8f68b Wed, 15 Aug 2018 20:00:33 -0500 <p>Are you stressed out? Have you ever asked yourself why your life is so busy? Listen as Dr. David Ireland shares the 80/20 rule. Putting it in place will help you prioritize and give you more time to recharge, regroup, and rebuild. &#160; &#160;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/excessive-busyness/">Excessive Busyness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>Are you stressed out?</h4> <p>Have you ever asked yourself why your life is so busy? Listen as Dr. David Ireland shares the 80/20 rule. Putting it in place will help you prioritize and give you more time to recharge, regroup, and rebuild.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2PHrkmjS9yA?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/excessive-busyness/">Excessive Busyness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> Familiar Foreigners: Asian-Americans and White Majority Culture Churches http://djchuang.com/2018/familiar-foreigners-asian-americans-and-white-majority-culture-churches/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:9389625b-0a52-bb9a-3ad1-07a0c70de507 Wed, 15 Aug 2018 09:07:39 -0500 <p>Guest Post by Young-Sam Won, August 2018—adapted from Twitter Thread Recent discussions of racial justice and racial reconciliation have led to an increased interest in the relationship between people of color and majority culture churches and institutions. Many Asian-Americans (AsAms) who have been a part of majority culture churches are experiencing a renewed interest in [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/familiar-foreigners-asian-americans-and-white-majority-culture-churches/">Familiar Foreigners: Asian-Americans and White Majority Culture Churches</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p><em>Guest Post by Young-Sam Won, August 2018—adapted from <a href="https://twitter.com/SamObiWon/status/1026903129739198470">Twitter Thread</a></em></p> <p>Recent discussions of racial justice and racial reconciliation have led to an increased interest in the relationship between people of color and majority culture churches and institutions. Many Asian-Americans (AsAms) who have been a part of majority culture churches are experiencing a renewed interest in returning to ethnic minority churches. After a period of integration into diverse majority culture congregations why would many AsAms be looking to return to less diverse ethnic minority churches? Recently, I have been asked about this question, as well as the question of how majority culture churches can better serve AsAm members in their congregations. In light of the current interest in these questions, I thought I would share some background and perspective that can be helpful to majority culture churches serving AsAm members.</p> <span id="more-35263"></span> <p>Before delving in, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how indebted AsAms are to the many impactful voices in African-American, Latinx, and Native American contexts who have written and spoken at length about the complex dynamics involving majority culture Christians and people of color. Many of the cross-cultural and racial dynamics surfaced by these voices apply to the relationship between AsAms and majority culture Christians. However, the unique history of Asians in America and particular characteristics of AsAm communities warrant a more nuanced look at the relationship between AsAm believers and majority culture churches.</p> <h3><strong>“Asian-Americans” and The Model Minority Myth</strong></h3> <p>I’d like to set the stage by touching on two aspects of Asian-American history that set our communities apart from other people of color. First, there is the term, “Asian-American,” which both simplifies and clouds the way majority culture views Asian immigrants. Asian immigrants actually represent a very broad spectrum of Asian nations and cultures. Asians-Americans consist of people from East Asian nations, such as China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Taiwan. Asian-Americans also hail from Southeast Asian nations, such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, and East Timor. However, some do not readily recognize that Asian-Americans also include people from South Asian nations, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.  Asian-Americans are far from a mono-cultural, mono-ethnic demographic. In fact, many individual Asian nations and people groups share complex and even difficult histories. For example, Japan has a painful history with China, Korea, and other Asian nations due to its period of imperial ambition. India and Pakistan have long had a contentious relationship along their common border. In addition, various periods of European colonialism and imperialism have led to complex and difficult socio-political dynamics throughout Asia. It is important for majority culture folks to understand that Asian-Americans are an incredibly diverse group of people of unique ethnicities and cultures.</p> <p>The term “Asian-American” was coined in the 1960s to help forge a pan-Asian community that would foster inter-ethnic solidarity, greater representation, cultural presence, and socio-political power. In a sense, people who may have shared little solidarity in Asia grew to see a pan-Asian identity as helpful in America where they were now in the minority (strength in numbers). Thus, there is a complex relationship between Asians of various ethnic backgrounds. On the one hand, old world socio-political and cultural dynamics still hold sway, especially for older immigrants, but minority status also evokes a new world sense of solidarity based on common Asian roots in a sea of whiteness. </p> <p>The second historical point of note is that the <em>Model Minority Myth</em> has led to a unique cross-cultural dynamic involving Asian-Americans and the majority culture. There is extensive literature and discussion regarding the many difficulties of the Model Minority Myth, but the most germane aspect to this discussion relates to the high degree of Asian immigrant acceptance by white majority culture. The Model Minority Myth has contributed to the perception that AsAms have achieved a higher level of success and acculturation into American life. Unfortunately, the Model Minority Myth has been used to differentiate AsAms from other people of color (PoC), often using the success of some Asian immigrants as a means of denigrating other minority groups. This perceived success and acculturation has also been attributed to the supposed Asian cultural values of conformity and submission, which led to the perception of AsAms as a “safe” minority group. In addition, the subjective perception that people of Asian descent are closer in physical appearance (i.e., skin color) to people of European descent has further eased the acceptance of AsAms into majority culture contexts. In sum, AsAms have found the path to white majority culture acceptance relatively easy in comparison to the tragic history of black, brown, and Native American PoC in America.</p> <h3><strong>“I don’t see you as Korean…”</strong></h3> <p>Growing up in Dallas, TX, I lived a largely ordinary “American” childhood. I was the only Asian in my circle of friends and took part in just about all the regular activities of kids in my community. I often heard friends tell me that they didn’t see me as Korean because I was pretty much just like them. In some ways, I took this as a compliment and took comfort in the fact that I was accepted and not ostracized on the basis of my ethnicity. However, I also attended a Korean church and found that my time with my Korean friends energized me in ways my non-Korean friends could not understand. I didn’t know how to articulate it at the time, but I was learning that God had created me to enjoy and embrace my ethnicity and my adopted nationality. Acceptance at school was satisfying on one level, but I could not experience the fulness of who I was created to be without my Korean community. Acceptance of any person of color without embracing their unique culture is essentially the erasure of a significant part of who they are.</p> <p>In light of the history of Asian immigrants in America, it makes sense that many AsAms are quite comfortable in majority cultural contexts. Racism has certainly been part of the experience for Asian immigrants, but many have also achieved great cultural fluency and ready acceptance by “white America.” While this is largely a positive cross-cultural dynamic, it is not without difficulties. The perception of AsAms as culturally “safe” and acceptable can contribute to the erasure or minimization of ethnic and cultural identity. Many Asians growing up in America find that a desire to be accepted by the majority culture leads identity struggles. Some Asians pursue an erasure of ethnic identity in an attempt to become “white,” while others struggle to rediscover or be defined by ethnic and cultural distinctives. From the perspective of the majority culture, the net effect is AsAm invisibility. AsAms do not garner the same attention in majority spaces as other minorities, blending in easily and effectively becoming invisible. </p> <h3><strong>Some Pastoral Food for Thought</strong></h3> <p>Though I have touched on some broad AsAm cross-cultural issues, my primary perspective is that of a pastor. As a fellow pastor, I would like to offer some helpful perspectives for those in majority culture churches that serve AsAm members. The acceptance of AsAms and the relative invisibility of Asians as PoC often causes majority culture to lose sight of the fact that AsAms are still dual-culture minorities. In fact, many AsAms would even fit the broad definition of “third culture kids,” i.e., children raised in a country other than the parents’ native country. This cultural complexity is often minimized. Though AsAms often move well in majority culture circles, they do engage in code switching and still have an entire cultural identity native to their ethnicity. Therefore, there will inevitably be unique needs from a pastoral care perspective. As a pastor, what might be helpful for white Americans may not be ideal for AsAms.</p> <p>Some pastoral care tools, techniques, and principles are more centered in white majority culture than we may realize. The struggle in identifying such culturally-centered elements is that white majority culture is largely invisible in to most white Americans since it is the normative context that determines how other cultures are viewed. This is true in churches and is also true in Western theological education where pastors and ministry leaders are trained. Too few majority culture leaders recognize that Asian Christianity has a rich history featuring developed schools of theological thought and robust church traditions. As a result, most AsAm Christians and ministry leaders end up submitting to dominant Western theological structures and institutions out of necessity. Unfortunately, this means majority churches often teach and preach in ways that don&#8217;t engage AsAms in adequately sophisticated ways. In effect, what you often find in majority culture churches is AsAms being taught and trained as <em>de facto</em> members of the majority culture. Unfortunately, this is far too simplistic a view of AsAms and neglects the unique ethnic and cultural aspects of their person and identity. </p> <p>This is one of the main reasons why many AsAms are now leaving diverse majority culture churches and rediscovering or exploring for the first time the ethnic minority churches of various Asian communities. They are finding that a Korean church with an English-speaking ministry can provide much of the same level of biblical teaching, preaching, and worship while also providing the added nourishment of fellowship in a familiar ethnic community. Many are finding that not having to code switch and being able to embrace the entirety of who they are as Chinese-American, Vietnamese-American, Indian-American, etc., is life-giving. </p> <p>To be clear, when AsAms try a white church and then hunger to return to a minority church, it is not racism toward white people or an inadequate respect for the Gospel. It is likely weariness over cultural negotiations that were one-sided for too long. AsAms in white churches engage, worship, serve, and learn as white people. What this leads to is a church experience that leaves our Asian cultural selves undernourished. It is very rare to find a majority culture church that can provide the kind of cultural community that a minority church can. This is not due to some insufficiency in the Gospel or in biblical teaching. This is a fellowship issue where our imago Dei as Asians is not being honored and cultivated by our majority culture brothers and sisters.</p> <p>So, what are some things we miss in a majority culture church even though we speak English fluently and live in the majority culture seamlessly? Some examples include the following: understanding the struggle of learning a second language, the related struggle of losing the ability to communicate with your parents and family as you adopt a new language, a cultural disconnect with our own parents, understanding the feeling of being third culture people marginalized by both our adopted country and our native land, the struggle to find acceptance as peers when it comes to dating/marriage, cultural invisibility, breaking free of common stereotypes (e.g., studious, quiet, not athletic, submissive), finding that Bible studies and sermons present Jesus as one who doesn&#8217;t always seem to speak to us as Asian people, and finding that the unique social needs of Asian communities are not of concern to the church’s leadership and members.</p> <p>Some majority churches recognize this disconnect and hire AsAm staff to try and provide culturally-informed pastoral care. This is a helpful and appreciated step but one or two staff does not make up for the congregation&#8217;s prevailing culture. The majority culture church often fails to realize that the congregation’s dominant cultural attitudes and perspectives largely determine how a minority person feels in that setting. Even if the leadership says the right things about cross-cultural relationships and outreach, it is ultimately the people of the church who will determine how a person of color feels. Sadly, many churches have good mission statements and doctrinal statements, but fail to “live up to the paper” at the level of the congregation’s prevailing culture. As long as AsAms feel like perpetual foreigners, no AsAm staff or welcoming mission statement will meaningfully nurture AsAm members.</p> <h3><strong>Closing Encouragements</strong></h3> <p>I have attempted to identify and shed light on issues and perspectives that majority culture churches may not understand when it comes to serving Asian-American believers. Though I have attempted to provide some helpful ideas, I don&#8217;t have definitive answers or solutions. Each church is unique and so is each AsAm individual. I have attempted to provide a general portrait of an AsAm Christian, but I am aware that each AsAm is an individual who processes her cultural identity in different ways. I do hope that this discussion has helped to show that AsAms are very different from majority culture Americans, no matter how culturally and linguistically fluent they may be.</p> <p>In closing, I will suggest two steps as a good starting point. First, the majority culture must not be threatened by or uncomfortable with our cultural and ethnic differences. Scripture clearly reveals that God intended for the Body of Christ to be beautiful in its diversity. As a Korean-American believer who has grown up in America and grown up as a Christian in American Christianity, I would welcome any attempt to lean across the table and cross over culturally so that we&#8217;re not the only ones leaning over to cross cultural divides.</p> <p>Finally, I believe most AsAm believers would welcome the chance to share our faith perspectives and theological ideas as equals, rather than as perpetual foreigners and learners in need of the final word provided by Western theological traditions. Having our white Christian brothers and sisters approach us as learners would open many doors to fruitful cross-cultural conversations. Sometimes majority culture churches do not know how best to serve their AsAm members because they simply never thought to ask how. We are united by something much greater than our differences and that is the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The power of the Gospel means that we no longer have to fear our differences. We can freely embrace one another fully celebrating our cultural and ethnic distinctives as God’s good work. </p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h4><strong><em>About the Author</em></strong></h4> <p>Young-Sam (Sam) Won is a pastor, former missionary to Russia (Cru), and a day-tripping oncology pharmacist (UMich, ‘94) in the Dallas area. He is married over twenty years to Hanna and has three wonderfully goofy kids. He recently completed his PhD in Biblical Studies with an OT emphasis at Dallas Theological Seminary. He serves at The Bridge Church in Carrollton, TX and moonlights as an oncology pharmacist at the Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas. You can find him on Twitter if you don’t mind crazy Michigan Wolverine and Dallas sports tweets. <a href="http://twitter.com/SamObiWon">@SamObiWon</a>.</p> <p></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/familiar-foreigners-asian-americans-and-white-majority-culture-churches/">Familiar Foreigners: Asian-Americans and White Majority Culture Churches</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Xbd1Yi9Gn74:cPUJOYL7-zU:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Xbd1Yi9Gn74:cPUJOYL7-zU: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/Xbd1Yi9Gn74" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Where Asian American Pastors Gather Together http://djchuang.com/2018/where-asian-american-pastors-gather-together/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:732c8a56-d7a4-64d2-6a0d-8956e253e820 Tue, 14 Aug 2018 00:30:23 -0500 <p>I believe in the value of gathering pastors and leaders gathering together for robust discussions, the iron sharpening iron kind of dialogue. There is some value in sharing a meal for fellowship and encouragement. In many localities, cities or regions, I&#8217;ve participated in and have known of pastor&#8217;s fellowships that met monthly or quarterly. I [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/where-asian-american-pastors-gather-together/">Where Asian American Pastors Gather Together</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>I believe in the value of gathering pastors and leaders gathering together for robust discussions, the iron sharpening iron kind of dialogue.</p> <p>There is some value in sharing a meal for fellowship and encouragement. In many localities, cities or regions, I&#8217;ve participated in and have known of pastor&#8217;s fellowships that met monthly or quarterly.</p> <p>I don&#8217;t have a list or calendar of where and when these groups meetup currently. Previous groups have connected in cities like Washington DC, New York City, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles; maybe Seattle, Dallas, Houston. This is very doable, really, just 2 or 3 can gather, Jesus in the midst, and invite a couple of others, and then meet regularly.</p> <h3>Conferences are Something Else</h3> <p>Then there are those Asian American pastors and ministry leaders&#8217; public events designed for many, be it 50, 150, 500 or more. These take more effort in planning and funding resources to pull off, so they haven&#8217;t happened as frequently as they could or should, for Asian Americans as the fastest growing racial-ethnic group in America.</p> <p>Aside: Intergenerational multilingual conferences have become annual family traditions in certain circles; that isn&#8217;t addressed here. (someone else would be more qualified to do that.) Also noteworthy is the significant Christian ministries on college campuses that contextualized for and with Asian Americans, like <a href="http://www.aacf.org/">Asian American Christian Fellowship</a>, <a href="http://aam.intervarsity.org/home">InterVarsity</a> and Cru&#8217;s <a href="http://www.epicmovement.com/">Epic Movement</a>.</p> <p>Conferences for English-speaking Asian American pastors and church leaders have not yet hit an annual stride, mostly one-off events and occasionally irregular ones.</p> <p>This question came up, in chatting with <a href="https://raymondchang.wordpress.com/">Raymond Chang</a>, about what&#8217;s happened before, as we anticipate the upcoming Asian-American Pastors Pre-Conference attached to the the Gospel Coalition West Coast conference this October 15-16, 2018, in the Los Angeles area.</p> <p>Let&#8217;s recall those past conferences, as a point of reference, with assistance from <a href="https://asianamericanchristian.org/2014/11/01/asian-american-christian-evangelical-ministries-in-america/">asianamericanchristian.org</a>—</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://t4g.org/about/">Together for the Gospel conference</a> had an Asian American pre-conference seminar, hosted by Project Antioch in <a href="https://www.9marks.org/article/does-the-asian-american-church-need-an-adjusted-gospel/">2010</a>; as a workshop at <a href="http://t4g.org/media/2016/04/the-future-of-the-asian-american-church-protesting-the-status-quo/">2016</a>, <a href="http://t4g.org/media/2018/04/asian-american/">2018</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.sealsmovement.org">Southeast Asian Leadership Summit (SEALS)</a> &#8211; 6 conferences between 2006-2017</li> <li><a href="https://pcamna.org/church-planting/church-planting-ministries/kali/">PCA MNA</a>, <a href="https://www.theaquilareport.com/2011-council-of-asian-american-reformed-leaders-caarl-conference/">Council on Asian American Reformed Leaders (CAARL)</a>, and <a href="http://www.christianitydaily.com/articles/3501/20150505/pca-ckc-holds-fourth-annual-leadership-forum-english-speaking-pastors.htm">Coalition of Korean Churches (PCA-CKC)</a> have gathered Korean American English Ministry (EM) pastors for more than 12+ years</li> <li><a href="http://henrycenter.tiu.edu/sapientia-old/catalyst-project/who-we-are/">Catalyst Leadership Center</a> initially started as Katalyst for Korean American pastors, then broadened to other Asian Americans, with conferences from 1992-1997</li> <li>Asian American Leadership Conferences hosted by Ministry of English Speaking Asians (MESA) in 2004 &amp; 2008, then by <a href="http://www.aaleadershipcenter.org/">Asian American Leadership Center</a> in 2013</li> <li class="mbr-section-title display-1">aside: SBC has recently formed this <a href="http://asianbaptists.org">National Asian-American Second Generation Fellowhip</a></li> </ul> <h3>Potential for Much More in the Future</h3> <p>Allow me to share a few personal thoughts; this excerpt is taken from my book <a href="https://multiasian.church/">MultiAsian.Church: A Future for Asian Americans in a Multiethnic World, </a><a href="https://multiasian.church/2016/chapter-11-unleashing-our-potential/">Chapter 11</a>—</p> <blockquote><p>&#8230; What I have not yet seen is an annual national summit that convenes key leaders among Asian American Christians to kickstart the conversations around the shared agenda we can have as the Body of Christ.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><p>&#8230; In my humble opinion, the absence of this kind of an annual national gathering hinders our development on the whole, we stayed isolated in our struggles, and too many of us keep “reinventing the wheel” trying to solve the same old problems.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><p>Does this sound like a compelling vision to you? It’s worth a conversation, right? I’m praying for God to bring the right people together to seek first the Kingdom of God for our tribe. Pray with me in creating a greater future for Asian Americans in a multiethnic world.</p></blockquote> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/where-asian-american-pastors-gather-together/">Where Asian American Pastors Gather Together</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=JbxCDQydAks:lgmBh-hwOAk:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=JbxCDQydAks:lgmBh-hwOAk: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/JbxCDQydAks" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Aligning with God’s Promises http://davidireland.org/aligning-with-gods-promises/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:333eb818-3457-9d5a-0b62-d73fc2bf148d Wed, 01 Aug 2018 20:00:03 -0500 <p>How do you &#8220;pray the promise&#8221;? God&#8217;s promises can dispel all types of darkness&#8211;addiction, fear, mental anguish. Aligning with God&#8217;s promises through prayer is like dwelling in a separate kingdom&#8211;blessings come. Today Dr. Ireland highlights the benefits of having citizenship in a world where God&#8217;s laws rule. &#160;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/aligning-with-gods-promises/">Aligning with God&#8217;s Promises</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>How do you &#8220;pray the promise&#8221;?</h4> <p>God&#8217;s promises can dispel all types of darkness&#8211;addiction, fear, mental anguish. Aligning with God&#8217;s promises through prayer is like dwelling in a separate kingdom&#8211;blessings come. Today Dr. Ireland highlights the benefits of having citizenship in a world where God&#8217;s laws rule.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GxUaD9LrHmI?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/aligning-with-gods-promises/">Aligning with God&#8217;s Promises</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> Prayer, the Language of the Heart http://davidireland.org/prayer-the-language-of-the-heart/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:4d47ed2a-689e-9693-bf66-8363812a0cfb Thu, 26 Jul 2018 04:00:20 -0500 <p>How can you help others wake up? Is someone you care about not changing for the better? Stop talking. Pray instead. Go to God and ask for them to be moved. God welcomes hard cases. In this video Dr. Ireland advises, &#8220;Pray first, Proclaim second&#8221; when it comes to helping others. Watch to learn more. [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/prayer-the-language-of-the-heart/">Prayer, the Language of the Heart</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>How can you help others wake up?</h4> <p>Is someone you care about not changing for the better? Stop talking. Pray instead. Go to God and ask for them to be moved. God welcomes hard cases. In this video Dr. Ireland advises, &#8220;Pray first, Proclaim second&#8221; when it comes to helping others. Watch to learn more.</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/SB-K6_-DJnc?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/prayer-the-language-of-the-heart/">Prayer, the Language of the Heart</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> MALPRACTICE IN CROSS CULTURAL MINISTRY http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/07/malpractice-in-cross-cultural-ministry.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:9e18142d-03f5-fb3a-e7f1-428215646c67 Wed, 25 Jul 2018 16:05:37 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">There are ways we can fail in our pursuit of cross-cultural ministry.&nbsp; I refer to this as “malpractice.”&nbsp;&nbsp; I am not speaking simply of not achieving our goals but of going about ministry in ways that actually hurt people, hurt the reputation of the church, and possibly bring slander to the name of Christ.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Cross cultural ministry has to be defined by the cultures one is trying to cross or bridge. There are ministries that are multi-ethnic, and that is (merely, or only) what they want to be.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Sometimes these groups think of themselves as “multi-cultural.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>That is they don’t really want to “cross” over into someone else’s culture but they do want to have a mixture of kinds of people in their group or church.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>They would prefer everybody to be comfortable in “their own skin” and not force anyone to “walk in someone else’s shoes.” <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>To settle for this model usually means there is a dominant culture for worship, or a dominant culture for leadership, or an acceptance of cultural assimilation in some form.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There is usually compromise on some things, for some time, until some particular thing brings the friction or competition.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The option is always for separation into cultural groups. This is not what I mean by cross cultural ministry, and to insist that this is the only way (i.e., multi-ethnic or multi-cultural) for people to become part of one body is malpractice.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>If cross cultural ministry is more missional, where a person or group intentionally seeks to become like the other, or give up their personal or cultural rights so as to win others to Christ, or to become one in unity, there are some things one should bear in mind to do so with some integrity, honesty, and humility.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Cross cultural ministry done biblically is intentional servanthood (slavery) to others.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Therefore it cannot be done with arrogance or superiority lest it be malpractice.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We have some powerful spiritual weapons to help us when it comes to culture but I think all of the various pieces of ordinance come under one main heading and that would be <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">love</i>.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Part of love is telling the truth, but one can tell the truth without love.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>A scalpel can heal you or kill you, it depends on how it gets used, in what circumstances, and with what skill. Obviously, if a doctor uses a scalpel carelessly he commits malpractice.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I will use two scenarios with which I am somewhat familiar.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The first scenario: If I as a white man come into the poor black community (and please notice that I am specifying that there is a “poor” black community as opposed to wealthier parts of the black community) and want to serve Jesus there by serving the people there, then how do I approach it?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The way we approach things begins with the way we see it, and that very act of failing to see things properly, or truthfully, can result in malpractice.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Take the case of a surgeon who is losing his eye sight but wants to operate on my nervous system; scary thought.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>There are debates about what created the poor black community, or the typical inner-city neighborhood.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If I arrive as a preacher and I see pathology, I see sinful behavior, and think the answer is a prophetic voice to call people to repentance for their wicked lives I might be seeing an aspect of the truth.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I can pretty much guarantee you that the people there won’t be feeling much love from me. For me not to love the people to whom I seek to minister means I am guilty of malpractice. At the same time, to deprive the people there of inherent dignity by excusing their sinful choices, of not recognizing individual moral responsibility, and blaming everything that happens in that community on racial history and present racial injustice then I would be equally guilty of ministry malpractice.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Fundamentalists seem to have gone one way with the blame game, social action folks seem to go to the other extreme of blaming others who are somewhere else.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>As someone who grew up in the projects of Newark, NJ I would have to admit that if I had kept going the way I was going I probably would be dead or in prison, or living off what I stole from you, (I might have been a success in crime, one never knows).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I was culpable in my own dysfunctionality.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>My father abandoned me, so my failures must be his fault.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The city was corrupt and the way they administered city housing was corrupt so my failures must be their fault.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The schools weren’t that good so it was the fault of the Board of Education.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I am not reticent to say that some of the blame might belong to them, but my soul and heart’s condition could not have been changed by them. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>I am white, and would later find that I had white privilege in other places, but at that time I wasn’t aware of any privilege except to try and earn the respect of the gang I ran with and stole with.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I needed Christ, I needed a change of heart, I needed to be born again and converted, I needed to repent of the way I was living and the way I was headed.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Did my city need to be fixed?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Oh yeah, it needed justice and just government.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It still does.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Maybe if my heart was changed by grace I might actually get to be part of that change, might help to be a conscience to the forces that make a city what a city should be.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>For the church to neglect my soul’s salvation would have been malpractice.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>For them not to have called me to care for the values of the Kingdom of God, such as justice and mercy, would have been malpractice.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>For me not to have compassion on the misery of the people who suffer from economic injustice (racial and/or simple economic exploitation), or to stay silent about it when I become aware of how it operates, would be malpractice.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>My point is that the way we approach things, the way we see things, has a lot to do with whether or not we are ministering appropriately. I first have to see the city with compassion, the way Jesus did, as sheep without a shepherd.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>God had compassion on Nineveh, that wicked city, where people did not know their right hand from their left. The Ninevites were morally responsible for their sins and that is why God sent Jonah to proclaim judgement yet God had compassion on them and recognized their ignorance.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Is there immorality in the inner cities of America?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Way too much sexual immorality, pregnancies without marriage, abortions, drugs, gangs, violence and sexual violence, a collapse of family, a satisfaction with ignorance, a loss of aspiration and thus a poor work ethic.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Too deny these things and not see the exercise of personal choice at work, or to excuse them as merely by-products of history or oppression, is to rob human beings of moral agency. To not preach a redeeming character changing Gospel to people who desperately need to be born-again is malpractice.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>At the same time to see these things as if they all just happened overnight by the choice of the people and that there aren’t historic and systemic forces that perpetuate it and not seek to change those forces; that would also be malpractice.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The second scenario: If a white person seeks to be reconciled with black people, to stop worshiping&nbsp;and living in a segregated by choice church and community, and seeks friendships and relationships that are deep, meaningful, and honest then how should that be pursued, and how is that achieved?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If this particular white brother (and let’s begin with the idea that he is saved) comes to a cross cultural church, or a black church seeking to learn, how is he to be treated?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>We go back to what and how one<i> sees</i> as an approach is made.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>What are the assumptions we make when someone attempts reconciliation?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>If we see this white person as simply a victim of his raising or his culture, that he doesn’t know any better about being a racist because he learned from a racist family, we deprive him of the responsibility of moral agency.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>He is responsible for what he thinks, says, and does, no matter where he comes from or how he was raised.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>If all we do is bombard people with the rhetoric of angry racial analysis (and I am an advocate for piercing racial analysis), hold them off from friendship until they admit to or make some steps to dismantle white supremacy (or worse not even care if they should make such an effort but just blow them off), mock them for their white privilege, and ridicule them when they seem confused or disturbed by what they are hearing by referring to their white fragility then we are committing cross cultural malpractice as well.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; Racial rhetoric carries emotional power, but is not always substantive especially when disconnected from biblical foundations, and not usually nuanced enough to help people know where the bridges to healing might be.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; Depending on how it is delivered it doesn't always&nbsp;</span>hint at an invitation to relationship but rather a sad inevitability toward segregation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>If we allow, and even encourage, people to come to emotional closure over feelings of racial and social guilt without repentance, without pragmatic strategies for peace making, and without commitment to a justice that mends, heals, and restores, then that too is malpractice.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Cross cultural ministry has to face the realities of history, of race, of oppression, or a purposeful racial economic disparity, and of social science statistics in the various fields of urban sociology, the criminal justice system, and the role and activity of the church in that reality.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>It is cross cultural ministry malpractice to simply dwell on the failures of humankind and not to remember that reconciliation is God’s work, beginning at the tearing of our relationship and alienation from him in the Garden of Eden.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It is malpractice to forget the healing of the cross, between God and people, between Jews and Gentiles (and thus all sub-ethnic groups) and our becoming one new man in the body of Christ, through the work of Christ.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It is malpractice to despair of the hope of reconciliation, as if it is an effort on one group to simply feel better about themselves, and not to remember it is given to all of God’s people as a message and a ministry.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It is malpractice to dismiss the reality that reconciliation, especially cross cultural reconciliation, takes a conscious choice to be another people’s servant, and requires a death to self.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It is also malpractice to give up the hope that it is possible, and wonderful, and the future of heaven.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /></div> How to Pray Faithfully http://davidireland.org/how-to-pray-faithfully/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:975e564e-b30a-cf0e-3850-22095b4437df Thu, 19 Jul 2018 20:00:23 -0500 <p>How can I pray with faith when I am just a beginner? Sometimes, when we are first learning how to pray, we can be hard on ourselves&#8230;but we don&#8217;t need to know everything at once. Dr. Ireland explains how to be at peace with where you are on your spiritual journey&#8230; God will still provide [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/how-to-pray-faithfully/">How to Pray Faithfully</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>How can I pray with faith when I am just a beginner?</h4> <p>Sometimes, when we are first learning how to pray, we can be hard on ourselves&#8230;but we don&#8217;t need to know everything at once. Dr. Ireland explains how to be at peace with where you are on your spiritual journey&#8230; God will still provide what you need.</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/wEgSQJ1Ghsk?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/how-to-pray-faithfully/">How to Pray Faithfully</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> 2018 Asian American Christian Blogs http://djchuang.com/2018/2018-asian-american-christian-blogs/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:3a69415a-fa61-bbc1-b35e-935d866a4de1 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 09:22:17 -0500 <p>I&#8217;m listening for Asian American Christians with thoughful things that emerge from their distinctive bicultural perspectives. This is a short list of Asian American Christian men and women I&#8217;m currently reading as they actively post their insights: Fred Mok https://breadbeforerice.blogspot.com/ • recently exploring darker questions of faith and race Angela Kay Hong http://www.angiekayhong.com • worship [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/2018-asian-american-christian-blogs/">2018 Asian American Christian Blogs</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>I&#8217;m listening for Asian American Christians with thoughful things that emerge from their distinctive bicultural perspectives.</p> <p>This is a short list of Asian American Christian men and women I&#8217;m currently reading as they actively post their insights:</p> <p>Fred Mok <a href="https://breadbeforerice.blogspot.com/">https://breadbeforerice.blogspot.com/</a> • recently exploring darker questions of faith and race</p> <p>Angela Kay Hong <a href="http://www.angiekayhong.com">http://www.angiekayhong.com</a> • worship leader, previously at Willow Creek Community Church, now studying at <a href="http://www.angiekayhong.com/2018/06/12/the-exact-essay-that-got-me-into-duke-divinity-school/">Duke Divinity School</a></p> <p>Raymond Chang <a href="https://raymondchang.wordpress.com">https://raymondchang.wordpress.com</a> • notorious for his open letter to John Piper #launchedbig</p> <p>AAWOL <a href="https://aawolsisters.com">https://aawolsisters.com</a> • a team blog of Asian American Women on Leadership</p> <p>Justin Tse <a href="http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecperson/">http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecperson/</a> • Eastern Catholic Person #verbose</p> <p>Liz Lin <a href="https://mynameiselizabeth.com/">https://mynameiselizabeth.com/</a></p> <p>Thomas Hwang <a href="http://www.tom-talks.org/">http://www.tom-talks.org/</a></p> <p>Steve Bang Lee <a href="https://www.bangblogs.org/">https://www.bangblogs.org/</a></p> <p>Daniel Yang <a href="http://koobxwm.com/">http://koobxwm.com/</a></p> <p>Let&#8217;s kickstart some crowdsourcing. Add other interesting bloggers with a <a href="http://#comment">comment</a> or <a href="/contact">contact</a>.</p> <p>I&#8217;ll add more as I find more active bloggers. You may also be interested in this aggregated feed of <a href="http://djchuang.com/asian/blogroll/">AsAm Christian Blogroll</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/peoplebrowsr_1235244043138.png?w=1170" class="size-full" data-recalc-dims="1"></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/2018-asian-american-christian-blogs/">2018 Asian American Christian Blogs</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=rlqUfaDof7k:_blLEhnUTek:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=rlqUfaDof7k:_blLEhnUTek: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/rlqUfaDof7k" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> The Danger of Following an Ideological Line http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-danger-of-following-ideological-line.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:279d1297-e24d-3020-0f4f-a6fd7ea20c9b Tue, 17 Jul 2018 17:27:48 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<span style="font-size: large;"> It is hard not to say something about this latest activity by our President, and I speak of the comments President Trump made in Finland about Russia.</span></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I recently heard a lecture by Professor Peter C. Mancall of the University of Southern California (Audible –The Teaching Company) in a lecture on the American Revolution.&nbsp; In it he spoke about political ideology.&nbsp; He described it as a road map, a bunch of street signs, which guide our thinking. It explains and seems to reflect a reality we desire. I picture it as one of those single line maps someone draws on a table napkin which seems to correspond to reality but it certainly is not an above the earth view like GPS.&nbsp; Nor is it like a biblical world view which gives you godly principles.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I am afraid way too many people are following line maps drawn on a napkin, and they get angry with anyone saying there might be other factors to consider before one continues in this direction. These political line maps seem to compromise virtues such as honesty and honor. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>I love my country, and I think every country is important to God.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I believe God is sovereign and he rules the destinies of each nation.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>He can use the Chaldeans, the Babylonians, and the Persians to accomplish his will for Israel.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>He can use evil men to bring about his will, like Pharaoh in Egypt for Israel, and then destroy Egypt.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>He can use good and great men in such a way that they bring their own nation into disaster, even though they were good.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>At the same time God’s revealed will is actually what we have to deal with; that’s the stuff that we can obey or disobey.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>God’s revealed will of truth, justice, mercy, and righteousness is our business, not what he plans to do in a hidden way, except that we must learn to have faith when that hidden plan means our nation comes to an end, or disaster overtakes us.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I want our nation to do right, and be right.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I sincerely don’t want it to be destroyed, corrupted, or brought into shame.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Conservative political ideology has some correspondence to truth.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Liberal political ideology has some correspondence to truth.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Following their ideology is still only a line drawing.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Yet, adherents seem willing to sacrifice other things to keep following that ideological line.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I am afraid this President may be one of the worst things to ever happen to the Republican Party and the Conservative movement.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In a desperate desire to finally have some conservative judges and conservative influence on law and legislation the Conservatives are selling their soul, and maybe the prestige and honor of the nation with it.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The victory may be short lived, unless they are willing to use the muscle they presently have to be honorable.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Being a sycophant to this President means you only take your turn waiting to be thrown under the bus, it guarantees you nothing.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>One never knows how a narcissist will interpret how sincerely you are kissing his posterior.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Will they hold their President, our President, accountable?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Or are they so afraid of losing what little they have that they condemn their (our) future? I am wondering if our citizens even realize what may be at stake.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Political ideology is a map to nowhere if it is not a map to justice and goodness.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If it is only a map that prevents the opposite party from influence or participation then it is a map to delusion and confusion.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In their fear of undermining a powerful leader whose agenda they sometimes like they may choke when it comes to recognizing and denouncing a Quisling. We don’t just need men and women of courage in Washington, we need men and women of integrity with enough courage to tell the truth about their own party, and enough of them to finally get good things done.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Please Lord, help our nation, and confuse all tyrants! <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /></div> What do you want to learn about mental health? http://djchuang.com/2018/what-do-you-want-to-learn-about-mental-health/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:68d5d029-4454-3572-f6eb-e7333b7afa84 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 05:55:01 -0500 <p>Seminar organizers of an event about mental health are collecting feedback to make it most helpful. Please find 4 minutes in your busy schedule to help — Please take the survey by Wednesday, July 18th. Thank you for caring about mental health, your own and others.https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K36MK5GTo attend the seminar in person, save the date, Saturday, [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/what-do-you-want-to-learn-about-mental-health/">What do you want to learn about mental health?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Seminar organizers of an event about mental health are collecting feedback to make it most helpful. Please find 4 minutes in your busy schedule to help — <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K36MK5G">Please take the survey</a> by Wednesday, July 18th. Thank you for caring about mental health, your own and others.<a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K36MK5GTo">https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K36MK5GTo</a> attend the seminar in person, save the date, Saturday, October 20, 2018, and make plans to be in Thousand Oaks, California. <img src="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/img_4952.jpg?resize=1136%2C640" class="wp-image-35186 size-full" height="640" width="1136" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/img_4952.jpg?w=1136 1136w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/img_4952.jpg?resize=300%2C169 300w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/img_4952.jpg?resize=768%2C433 768w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/img_4952.jpg?resize=1024%2C577 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1136px) 100vw, 1136px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/what-do-you-want-to-learn-about-mental-health/">What do you want to learn about mental health?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=vLhTT8--9a4:SzjwzjWDSgQ:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=vLhTT8--9a4:SzjwzjWDSgQ: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/vLhTT8--9a4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> The Beauty of Forgiveness http://davidireland.org/the-beauty-of-forgiveness/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:7885208b-716e-4b05-5997-91e4651b1ce2 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 20:00:12 -0500 <p>How do you see a life that harbors unforgiveness? Like daylilies, robust and joyous, forgiveness is a blessing that flows through our hearts, lighting our lives. It is critical to the soul. Satan, however, uses unforgiveness to make us recoil. When we choose not to forgive, we create a drab, colorless life. This dull existence [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/the-beauty-of-forgiveness/">The Beauty of Forgiveness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>How do you see a life that harbors unforgiveness?</h4> <p>Like daylilies, robust and joyous, forgiveness is a blessing that flows through our hearts, lighting our lives. It is critical to the soul. Satan, however, uses unforgiveness to make us recoil. When we choose not to forgive, we create a drab, colorless life. This dull existence negatively affects our ability to relate to people out of fear of being hurt.</p> <p>Listen as Dr. David Ireland explains the simple path to forgiveness and offers the simple prayer: &#8220;God, give me the grace to forgive,&#8221; so we may, like the daylily, live an open and vivid life.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NAkZRk1FDjI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/the-beauty-of-forgiveness/">The Beauty of Forgiveness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> WHAT IS YOUR POLITICAL POSITION? http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/07/what-is-your-political-position.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:ca6c9c16-115a-d5f2-9c5e-9277690d68d2 Tue, 10 Jul 2018 14:04:48 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: large;">Where do I stand?&nbsp;&nbsp; I don’t think the middle is a proper understanding of my position.&nbsp; I am trying to stand on the Rock, on the Word of God, from his “fixed” position.&nbsp; This is opposed to partisans in America, whose positions shift, though they are often referred to as “being on the right,” or “being on the left.” &nbsp;“Being in the middle” is often dismissed as a real position because people think that to oppose their point of view means you are siding with their opponents, so in an election you are declared to have hurt the vote if you don’t vote for their side, even if you can’t in good conscience vote for either side.&nbsp; Most political partisans hate the people in the middle and seek either to radicalize them or to dismiss their legitimacy.&nbsp; Ideology despises compromise.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I don’t think my position is the “middle.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Though at times, for political understanding, it might seem that way.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I want to be in the <u>correct</u> position, God’s position, and I want to know what he thinks and what he wants, and that’s where I hope you will find my opinion.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There is of course a danger to even saying such things, as some might find it outrageous that anyone could know God’s position on any particular thing concerning politics.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Actually, for those who believe the Bible to be God’s Word it is not outrageous at all.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It is certainly true that those claiming to believe the Bible have often come out on various sides of an issue, and so things can get a little tricky in deciding a political opinion.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Yet, I maintain there is a God side of things, and it is that side to which we must conform no matter what party to which we belong.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><span style="font-size: large;">As I have tried to ascertain God’s position on things I have sometimes found myself agreeing with those on the right, and sometimes agreeing with those on the left.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>People on either of those sides tend to assume, if I agree with them on one issue, that I will therefore accept all of their ideology and all of their venom for those on the other side.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Far too often I have found fellow believers selling their minds to an ideological drift and becoming fairly nasty in their partisanship.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>These people will often tell you they are discerning, that they vote for the person or the particular issue, but their track records don’t reflect much independence (in my opinion) especially as I watch them spread “fake news.”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><span style="font-size: large;">I am not always sure about things, not always educated about issues or personalities.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There is plenty of ambiguity in the political realm and therefore plenty of room for humility, though that seems hard to find these days.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If I am wrong in my understanding of Scripture or of what may be deduced by good and necessary inference from it when it comes to righteousness (moral and ethical), then I want very much to be corrected.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I don’t want to be stubborn, proud, or arrogant before the Scriptures and its truth, and neither do I want to be those things before people.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I need wisdom, knowledge, prudence, and discernment, continually and increasingly.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><span style="font-size: large;">Let me be specific about some of my stands on things so the reader can understand the dilemma of position.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I am opposed to abortion, so I am declared therefore to be a conservative.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I am opposed to the practice of homosexuality and opposed to homosexual consensual relationships given the title of “marriage.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>So, now I am even more conservative, and called other names.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I am opposed to racism, I am for human and civil rights, I am for the protection of the poor and the weak, therefore I am called a liberal.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><span style="font-size: large;">I think having a position on such things is important because when one fears God they are supposed to “hate” evil.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Some things in our culture are evil and should be opposed.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If I oppose an evil someone will remind me that America is not the Kingdom of God and my very opposition to certain behaviors and political opinions might lose me a hearing for my preaching.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I agree about America, it is not the Kingdom of God.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Yet, I believe that nations count, they are important to the life of the people who live there. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>The government of any nation is important as to whether or not the people who live under it are allowed to live in a context of moral and ethical righteousness, and evil will prevail when good people say and do nothing about it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Though America is not a “Christian” nation many people live here.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They are all made in the image of God, each one is important and significant, their lives matter.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><span style="font-size: large;">As a Christian God’s love compels me to care for the well-being of all people, and that not just in an individualistic relational sense, but as a society. The Kingdom of God is active in any society when justice reigns, when love prevails, and there is peace or shalom.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Righteousness is indeed where wisdom walks. These are marks and aspects of the Kingdom.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Not only that but America is one place where the government takes it shape from the opinions, consensus, and vote of the people and so Believers are able to help shape it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>As an American Christian I am more responsible for the government of my nation than people from many other countries simply because I have more of a possibility to change it.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><span style="font-size: large;">So we must pray.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I must pray for our President, even if I didn’t vote for him or if I don’t like the way he acts much of the time.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I am thankful for him when he does something right.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I must pray for the next Supreme Court Justice and I hope he is opposed to Roe vs. Wade, but I don’t want him to hurt the civil and human rights of people of color or to hurt the poor by allowing them to be exploited.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I support obedience to law and the rulers over us, but demand they be held to account when they break the very laws they are sworn to uphold, and I believe that some laws are in fact unjust and should be changed, and in some cases disobeyed for conscience sake until those laws are changed.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I am for love and against violence, and deeply thankful for the freedom I have to advocate, practice, and vote for these things.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; text-indent: -.5in;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: large;">END.<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><br /></div> Prayer is a Weapon http://davidireland.org/prayer-is-a-weapon/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:c24ec260-5671-52de-6d5b-8ab283fec82f Thu, 05 Jul 2018 20:00:38 -0500 <p>How do you fight off troubles in your life? Christian life is not all spirituality all the time. It is sometimes war. The Bible teaches us that rather than go to battle with worldly weapons, a Christian’s weapons have divine power. That divine power is prayer. Prayer—when used not just periodically, but as a lifestyle—has [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/prayer-is-a-weapon/">Prayer is a Weapon</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>How do you fight off troubles in your life?</h4> <p>Christian life is not all spirituality all the time. It is sometimes war. The Bible teaches us that rather than go to battle with worldly weapons, a Christian’s weapons have divine power. That divine power is prayer. Prayer—when used not just periodically, but as a lifestyle—has the potency to outwit and defeat ANY adverse circumstance in your life.</p> <p>&#8220;Though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world&#8230;&#8221; 2 Corinthians 10: 3-4</p> <p>[gdlr_video url=&#8221;https://youtu.be/4vrZ5ieJs9c&#8221;]</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/prayer-is-a-weapon/">Prayer is a Weapon</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> MISTER BIG STUFF, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/07/mister-big-stuff-who-do-you-think-you.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:5584ce3d-c19e-9645-84cd-231c3b1e8aa1 Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:37:47 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;Do you ever get bothered by pictures of young white people surrounded by little black children, whether American or African, as they send out stories and messages of their latest mission trip or urban experience?&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">I’m all in favor of “best practices” when it comes to community development and ministry. &nbsp;I am in favor of a discerning and growing “cultural intelligence” while working in cross cultural contexts and across economic strata. &nbsp;This sounds a bit stupid but I,&nbsp; in a very simple way, am in favor of justice.&nbsp; That leads me to being against paternalism. Consequently, I am opposed to exploiting the poor for the purpose of fund raising, marketing, and publicity whether it be for the aggrandizement of my personal name or the enrichment of my organization.</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; The bottom line in analyzing my behavior is of course <u>love</u>; to be continuously asking the question of myself and my organization, "are we, am I, showing love to the the very people I say I am trying to help."&nbsp; The pertinent question is not simply how I feel about the people whom I serve but, “am I loving <u>in the way</u> I am trying to love?”&nbsp; &nbsp;This question should become intuitive for those of in cross-cultural and trans-social ministry.</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Sound confusing? &nbsp; Well, it can get confusing in the world of missions and ministry across ethnic and social lines, in the world of professional or semi-professional “helping” via faith-based non-profits, church mercy and ministry programs, and mission trips, etc.&nbsp; The confusion comes from several different sources.</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;It is confusing because I don’t think there is such a thing as “missions” worthy of the Biblical name that isn’t resisted by the Devil. &nbsp;Part of that resistance is often false accusation, and resistance and anger from people with whom we are sharing the Gospel. &nbsp;Do you realize that no matter how well we do things some people still hate the truth, they hate the Gospel message, and therefore they hate us? &nbsp; Some of the resistance is internal, through inner self-doubt as to whether we are doing the right thing, in the right way, and for the right purpose.&nbsp; What makes this complex is the fact that all of us make mistakes and sometimes with the best motives we screw things up.</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; Another complication is the criticism we are liable to get from others who are doing similar work in community development and urban ministry based on certain principles. &nbsp;Even if an organization or person might theoretically agree with the principles there is discrepancy and variation in their application across the ministry spectrum. Some people are what we might call ‘purists.”&nbsp; &nbsp;Frankly there are some who have developed a new legalism and it comes across in a judgmental attitude when it comes to an evaluation of others, especially novice workers, in the field.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;One of the principles of community development is learning how to listen to the people who live in the community, listening with understanding, and listening with empathy. &nbsp;That principle doesn’t mean we always agree with the people of the community.&nbsp; How could we if they say, “we don’t need your religion or works of mercy or good deeds (done in the name of Jesus) here?”&nbsp; Missions is an invasive experience, an intrusion into the culture of a community so we have to try, and try very hard, to not insult or demean the dignity of the folks to whom we go.</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; One of the sources of conflict or misunderstanding comes by way of publicity, prayer letters, and photographs. &nbsp;I learned very early when I was beginning urban ministry in Chattanooga that I needed to be circumspect about having my name and picture in the newspaper. &nbsp;I am a white man, and here I was working in an inner city African American neighborhood. &nbsp; White churches, from whom I needed support, wanted me to tell the story of the good work we were doing, they wanted drama, they wanted testimony, they wanted pictures.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Black churches were trying to figure out if I was just one more “do-good” white boy who was having a transient savior complex, or worse, trying to build a reputation and earn a living on the plight of inner city folk.&nbsp; I often had to check my own motives, and I had to live with the gossip and mean accusations of people who made assumptions about me and the work we were doing. &nbsp;Longevity is sometimes the only defense one can make in ministry.</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;Really, I sometimes wanted to ask? &nbsp;I live and try to raise my family on inadequate income with few if any benefits, working at three jobs to do it, constantly being libeled and mocked, sometimes in physical danger, suspected by my professional peers as being inadequate to hold a “real church,” while living in a run down apartment in a run down neighborhood to accomplish or gain what? Fame, fortune, power and leverage?&nbsp; Seriously?</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;What is ironic is that living like I did does get you a reputation, it does cause people to think of you as a hero, and sometimes it brings about envy and resentment from people who wish they had that reputation. &nbsp;I am no messiah, only the Lord Jesus is that, and anyone in ministry has to constantly take whatever hardships or trials they have been through and lay it at the cross of Jesus and not hold onto it as glory for themselves. &nbsp;Anyone can have such a reputation if they are willing to earn it and live it. &nbsp;What is silly is for any of us in ministry, white or black, is to covet a reputation we haven’t earned yet.&nbsp; Our lives are supposed to make Jesus famous, not ourselves.</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; What is also mean and harsh is to slam people who are well-meaning but sometimes ignorant about how they go about things. &nbsp; There are lots of mistakes made on any battlefield, but if you are not or have not&nbsp; been on it, I would be cautious about acting like you are an expert. &nbsp;Even if you are on the battlefield, are you so arrogant as to despise those God is sending as reinforcements (maybe even your replacement) to help you, but are beginning at a very elementary stage?&nbsp; They don’t know yet (or why) their sincere and sometimes sickly sweet story telling about how much they are loved by the poor people, with whom they are currently taking a selfie, drives you crazy. </span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;Too many people in the field of charity show little charity with folks who don’t get all the principles right. &nbsp;These clumsy novices need correction, yes, but they also need our patience.&nbsp; If all we have to give is criticism about all their wrong motives and their bad of way of doing things we should not be surprised when we call for help and no one comes.</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;Won’t their stupid and clumsy acts of mercy and mission cause harm to the people to whom they are going? &nbsp;I assume that this is true, they will sometimes cause harm. &nbsp;As far as I have seen it isn’t usually the worst harm the kids and people with whom I have worked are going to face, especially if no one comes to tell them about Jesus.&nbsp; We can do better, we must do better, in educating God’s people who sincerely want to serve, but I think we all need to remember how much we needed to learn, and have learned, over the years in doing this type of ministry.&nbsp; Man, I mean, who do we think we are?</span></div> What does Asian American worship sound like? http://djchuang.com/2018/what-does-asian-american-worship-sound-like/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:443d74d6-ac41-7274-26d7-46c1ea906bde Tue, 03 Jul 2018 11:11:07 -0500 <p>A significant Asian American population worships weekly in over 7,000 churches, mostly in Asian languages, with some in English. One research approximates 42% of Asian Americans identify as Christian, including both Protestants and Catholics. People can easily distinguish the unique sounds of African-American and Latino-American worship music. A majority of Christian worship music has been [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/what-does-asian-american-worship-sound-like/">What does Asian American worship sound like?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>A significant Asian American population worships weekly in <a href="https://multiasian.church/2016/chapter-3-overview-of-asian-american-christianity/">over 7,000 churches</a>, mostly in Asian languages, with some in English. One research approximates <a href="https://multiasian.church/2016/chapter-3-overview-of-asian-american-christianity/">42% of Asian Americans</a> identify as Christian, including both Protestants and Catholics.</p> <p>People can easily distinguish the unique sounds of African-American and Latino-American worship music. A majority of Christian worship music has been influenced and shaped by a generic American sound, or historically, an European sound. Think of the hymn, Amazing Grace. I&#8217;ve heard that song sung by all kinds of people, even non-Christians.</p> <p>During the 80s, when my Christian faith was forming, American worship&#8217;s popular influences were Maranatha and Vineyard.</p> <p>Today, the popular sounds in American music are brands like Hillsong, Passion, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, Elevation Worship. <a href="https://songselect.ccli.com/Search/Results?List=top100">CCLI Top 100®</a> tracks the most popular worship songs, because of licensing requirements for the many worship songs that have copyrights.</p> <p><strong>But what does Asian American worship look and sound like?</strong> Here&#8217;s a list, and unfortunately, it is a short list. If you know of others, please <a href="#comment">add a comment</a> and we can grow this list.</p> <h3>Asian Amerian Worship Resources</h3> <p><a href="http://djchuang.com/2016/asian-american-worship-leaders-christian-musicians/">Asian American worship leaders and Christian musicians</a>, curated by DJ Chuang</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2KrssuV"><strong><em>Worship on the Way: Exploring Asian North American Christian Experience</em></strong></a> by Russell Yee (2012) &#8211; Yee is a third-generation Asian American, who has directed several groundbreaking contextualized worship projects</p> <p><a href="http://nextgenerasianchurch.com/2007/05/14/the-search-for-asian-american-worship/">The Search for Asian-American Worship</a> — article by by Russell Yee (<em>Chinese Around the World</em> #185, Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism, Hong Kong, June 2004, pp. 85-90)</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2KD2QdO"><strong><em>Singing the Lord&#8217;s Song in a New Land: Korean American Practices of Faith</em></strong></a> by Su Yon Pak, Unzu Lee, Jung Ha Kim, Myung Ji Cho (2005) — &#8220;The groundbreaking work identifies eight key practices of the Korean American culture: keeping the Sabbath, singing, fervent prayer, resourcing the life cycle, bearing wisdom, living as an oppressed minority, fasting, and nurturing.&#8221;</p> <p><a href="https://www.worshiptraining.com/media/asian-american-song/">worshiptraining.com/media/asian-american-song</a><br /> &#8220;According to this author’s view, there is no distinctive hymnody that prevails in Asian-American churches, but there are certain characteristics and trends that typify these congregations.&#8221;</p> <p><a href="https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/korean-american-churches-from-generation-to-generation/">Korean American Churches: From generation to generation</a> (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship)</p> <p><a href="https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/hymns-songs-prayers-liturgy-for-asian-pacific-american-heritage-month-may">Hymns, Songs, Prayers, Liturgy for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month</a> (UMC)</p> <p>Theresa Cho&#8217;s <a href="https://theresaecho.com/category/worship/">blog posts in the worship category</a> and <a href="https://theresaecho.com/intergenerational-worship/">Intergenerational Worship resources</a> — has a great collection of liturgy examples and worship exercises contextualized for Asian Americans</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/what-does-asian-american-worship-sound-like/">What does Asian American worship sound like?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=XVwwi3_sy-s:GNMqdTiZYSQ:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=XVwwi3_sy-s:GNMqdTiZYSQ: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/XVwwi3_sy-s" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Fulfill Your Purpose http://davidireland.org/fulfill-your-purpose/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:2c97c4bc-9681-7ba0-cb28-2195a4ce43a3 Thu, 28 Jun 2018 00:00:23 -0500 <p>What are your &#8220;grace&#8221; gifts? From the time you were a kid, you probably displayed certain natural strengths. Were you often leading games with your playmates? Did you have a tendency to help other children? Imagine how fulfilled you would be right now if you were operating in your natural gifts—doing what makes you feel [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/fulfill-your-purpose/">Fulfill Your Purpose</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>What are your &#8220;grace&#8221; gifts?</h4> <p>From the time you were a kid, you probably displayed certain natural strengths. Were you often leading games with your playmates? Did you have a tendency to help other children? Imagine how fulfilled you would be right now if you were operating in your natural gifts—doing what makes you feel whole and satisfied. That is your purpose. Learn to polish the gifts God gave you and live the amazing life He planned for you.</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1QD9wmT7vy4?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/fulfill-your-purpose/">Fulfill Your Purpose</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> How to see Twitter client used to tweet? http://djchuang.com/2018/how-to-see-twitter-client-used-to-tweet/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:8a9d92d2-e74d-fed5-948a-b2fefa448f6e Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:13:59 -0500 <p>Twitter used to display the twitter client used in a tweet&#8217;s footer, but they stopped displaying that at twitter.com for an unannounced reason. They can do that, because things do change from time to time. Some have speculated the reason being that &#8220;apps are the enemy,&#8221; or &#8220;make it feel more homogeneous,&#8221; or Twitter wants [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/how-to-see-twitter-client-used-to-tweet/">How to see Twitter client used to tweet?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Twitter used to display the twitter client used in a tweet&#8217;s footer, but they stopped displaying that at twitter.com for an unannounced reason. They can do that, because things do change from time to time. Some have speculated the reason being that &#8220;<a href="https://gizmodo.com/5938438/twitter-no-longer-displays-which-app-posted-a-tweet">apps are the enemy</a>,&#8221; or &#8220;<a href="https://thenextweb.com/twitter/2012/08/28/twitter-longer-displays-client-tweet-posted-web-emphasizing-first-party-reading-experience/">make it feel more homogeneous</a>,&#8221; or Twitter wants to &#8220;<a href="https://thenextweb.com/twitter/2012/08/28/twitter-longer-displays-client-tweet-posted-web-emphasizing-first-party-reading-experience/">control the reading experience</a>.&#8221;</p> <p>Before the change, tweets had a footer that included something like &#8220;via Twitter on Web&#8221; — now it&#8217;s not on the official website or official app. (okay, so the change happened years ago, this is a late note, but it is a recent research I was doing, since I was researching, thought I&#8217;d share my answer with you to save you time.)</p> <h3>Find out Twitter Clients Used in Tweets</h3> <p>But all is not lost. The Twitter client info is available in some of the other Twitter apps and social media dashboard. This list of apps that display where the tweet came from, include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://tweetdeck.twitter.com">Tweetdeck</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.hootsuite.com/">Hootsuite</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.echofon.com">Echofon</a></li> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/PeregrineApp">Peregrine</a> (WinPhone)</li> <li>know of others? <a href="/contact/">plese add to this list</a></li> </ul> <p>What&#8217;s the big deal? This information is great for the curious. This info can show researchers the popularity or usages of different apps. Hey, if you want to use the same Twitter app as a particular brand or popular user, now you can find out.</p> <p>(ht: <a href="http://www.sixtwodigital.com/how-to-see-where-people-are-tweeting-from/">sixtwodigital</a>)</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/how-to-see-twitter-client-used-to-tweet/">How to see Twitter client used to tweet?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=weDSVpbEpkk:Jkw0XjJU2e4:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=weDSVpbEpkk:Jkw0XjJU2e4: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/weDSVpbEpkk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> The Right Season for Fruit http://davidireland.org/the-right-season-for-fruit/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:f587ebee-6320-8883-98e0-002c595f35b6 Thu, 21 Jun 2018 00:00:31 -0500 <p>How may I ripen at the proper time? For the fruit of a peach tree to grow sweet and succulent, the plant must grow at the right pace and ripen in season. The peach that is only in seedling form will be sour, even distasteful. Like the peach tree, allow yourself time to grow at [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/the-right-season-for-fruit/">The Right Season for Fruit</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>How may I ripen at the proper time?</h4> <p>For the fruit of a peach tree to grow sweet and succulent, the plant must grow at the right pace and ripen in season. The peach that is only in seedling form will be sour, even distasteful. Like the peach tree, allow yourself time to grow at the right pace, according to the different seasons in your life. Sometimes it will feel as if nothing happening—the time may be too early, too premature.</p> <p>Listen as Dr. David Ireland explains how to allow the Holy Spirit to grow patience in you so you may bear delicious fruit, in season.</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NZf7eZp6fbs?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/the-right-season-for-fruit/">The Right Season for Fruit</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> Compassion for the People http://davidireland.org/compassion-for-the-people/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:75d0016a-7315-7d8f-4677-a40d6f5c026d Tue, 19 Jun 2018 11:07:28 -0500 <p>What do compassion and leadership have in common? The great Nehemiah, a prisoner of war in Babylon, wept when he learned about the devastation of his people in Jerusalem. Is that leadership? Dr. Ireland explains the critical link between compassion and effective leadership. As Mother Teresa said, “A life not lived for others is not [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/compassion-for-the-people/">Compassion for the People</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>What do compassion and leadership have in common?</h4> <p>The great Nehemiah, a prisoner of war in Babylon, wept when he learned about the devastation of his people in Jerusalem. Is that leadership? Dr. Ireland explains the critical link between compassion and effective leadership. As Mother Teresa said, “A life not lived for others is not a life.”</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fX6AKU39Yv4?rel=0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/compassion-for-the-people/">Compassion for the People</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> Watered by God http://davidireland.org/watered-by-god/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:c4267e29-605b-bc0a-c49b-8812bc3dad7d Tue, 19 Jun 2018 11:04:01 -0500 <p>How does God nourish you? God, the consummate gardener, takes special care of his beautiful landscapes. He ensures you receive the right amount of sunlight, waters your soul, and provides nutrients fitting to your temperament so you may exist just as you were intended. Learn how to draw closer to God and let the Holy [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/watered-by-god/">Watered by God</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>How does God nourish you?</h4> <p>God, the consummate gardener, takes special care of his beautiful landscapes. He ensures you receive the right amount of sunlight, waters your soul, and provides nutrients fitting to your temperament so you may exist just as you were intended.</p> <p>Learn how to draw closer to God and let the Holy Spirit rain down on you so you may feel refreshed, full, and set to thrive.</p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/oRT-SI4E9m0?rel=0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org/watered-by-god/">Watered by God</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://davidireland.org">David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> IMMIGRATION http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/06/immigration.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:1caf6a27-07d7-e15f-cd37-3548a9b8eed1 Mon, 18 Jun 2018 17:08:49 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="font-size: large;">There are many folks writing and speaking out against the Trump Administration policy of separating children from their parents, those who have sought to enter the U.S. without permission, or illegally.&nbsp; I am sure my voice will not add much to what is being said, but I do feel it right to say something about it and not remain silent.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Every once in a while our government does something it thinks is necessary to solve a problem and makes a choice to do something that is immoral, wrong, and/or even a crime against humanity.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We are a very “legal” nation so the government usually takes pains to declare something to be legal, even when it is morally wrong.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>One example was the policy of torture during the Bush administration. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Much of the time the executive branch is responsible for creating a “policy” to define how laws will be carried out.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The Legislative branch is supposed to be the branch that makes laws but many people are affected by how the Executive branch defines and executes those laws, or by how the Supreme Court interprets them.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Again, torture was a policy, not a law passed by Congress.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Abortion was allowed due to a SCOTUS decision, not by a law passed by Congress.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Expediency and politics often are the driving forces in creating such policies.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The internment of Japanese citizens was such an expediency, the removal of Native Americans from their own lands was such an expediency.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>History gives us more perspective years after an event, and after destroyed lives and bodies too.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Law enforcement is put into a dilemma as its personnel have to carry out such “laws” even when some of its members might have some conscience about enforcing things which cause obvious outrage among many of our people.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Politics becomes a hindrance to moral considerations because parties don’t like to be criticized by the other side, and thus political parties attempt to discard moral arguments as mere political leverage in an argument.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>We have an obvious problem in our country when it comes to immigration, both legal and illegal.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Even the legal side is confusing, onerous, cumbersome, and intimidating.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Our present policies bear little resemblance to what is written on the Statute of Liberty or to the spirit and history of the land of freedom and the beacon of liberty from those who come from oppression and poverty.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>We have varying views of how to handle the flow of immigrants and it has been one that has flipped and flopped, ebbed and flowed, over the years.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>At one time America had pretty wide open borders for some, and absolutely closed for others.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It was wide open for white people who came with guns and took the lands they wanted.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It was a border not wanting to be crossed by Africans who were brought here against their will.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It was a border already crossed by Spaniards in lands settled by them well before the Americans got to the West. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>It was a land closed to the “yellow peril” except for labor to build the railroads and do mining, up until the 1960’s. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>People from Asia of varying countries were not welcome until the second half of the Twentieth Century.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Immigration has had an effect.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The idea that it is always good and helpful is certainly debatable. Beside a secular idea of individual freedom what culture do we already have that is worth protecting and preserving?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There has always been some sort of fight going on between Deism, the Enlightenment, Secular Humanism, and the ideology of the Protestant Reformation.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Without religious liberty, without religious morality and ethics, would America be America?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Can our culture, if our culture is worth maintaining, survive mass influxes of Muslim and Eastern thought and philosophy?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Jews and Catholics have been absorbed into our American culture and have made it richer, while adjusting to the reality of what was already here.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In short they gave up things to survive while America has had to come to grips with protecting their rights.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>So, when our government policy became more liberal in the openness of immigration to all nations, religions, and groups some of our people become alarmed at changes perceived to be taking place around them.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Job competition, religious competition, linguistic competition, and the downright mobbing of borders by people refusing to be slowed by procedure and process has caused a reaction.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Some of that reaction is xenophobic, and some of it is sort of a righteous indignation that people are “dishing” the line.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Stories and incidents of terrorism and crime are alarming, and violent foreign ideologies and individual criminals need to be identified, resisted, and rejected.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; None of us should be blaming people for wanting to come here.&nbsp; We as a nation should be <u>the</u>&nbsp;destination for anyone seeking a better way of life on this planet.&nbsp; Our hope would be that every other nation could have such freedom and prosperity so its people would not want to leave where they are.&nbsp; Unfortunately there are too many places of violence, oppression, and desperation.&nbsp; Immigration has always brought enterprising and risk taking individuals to our shores.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Once again our present Executive branch is making policy on top of the laws that exist, and some of those policies are inhumane.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They are expedient, they are an attempt to frustrate and discourage people who cross the border without documentation, but they are not all good policies.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>On top of that the current President sends confusing signals to his own party, blaming others for what his erratic and ambiguous leadership creates.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Our Attorney General misapplies Scripture to defend government as he falls into the same trap as the “Divine Right of Kings” and disconnecting the creation of American law from the source of the greatness of American history.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Americans appealed to a “higher” law to resist the King who claimed that same Biblical authority.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Abolitionists appealed to a “higher” law to fight against legal but unjust slavery. Civil rights advocates violated state laws of racial segregation based on a “higher law” of justice. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Pro-life people appeal to a “higher” law to resist abortion policies.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Certainly some laws are unjust and don’t deserve to be law, they need to be changed.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In this case something weaker than law is being fiercely defended by the Administration and that is simply expedient policy to help meet a practical political goal.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I absolutely believe in obeying Romans 13, but I see that text in the context of a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We the people get to choose our laws, and we get to choose our leaders, and we desperately in my opinion need to choose to change the leaders we have unless they get to a reality of justice, compassion, and wisdom, none of which they are exhibiting at the moment.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>If we detain families at the border they should be kept intact and held together.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>This is not the same as arrest for criminal activity where children are taken from parents by the state system<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Detainees don’t even get the rights of people arrested in criminal cases such as quick hearings, adequate and provided legal representation.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If they are not applying for asylum, if they have no good argument for seeking shelter here then we need to send them home quickly, as families. If they are seeking asylum they should not be treated as criminals in any way. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>All this money sought for a wall is nowhere as needed as money needed for a good system of examination, decision, and repatriation, with adequate provision for such families who are in that process.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The President is correct that Congress needs to act, but it obviously has a hard time doing so with such a mercurial leader.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;he should stop making suggestions and then changing them, hoping for more political advantage.&nbsp; He needs to paint a picture of justice, one that he really believes in, and sell that to Congress and lead them toward it.&nbsp;</span>Somebody needs to lead, and we are a country desperately in need of one, a good one.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /></div> WHITE FRAGILITY AND PASTORAL CARE http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/06/white-fragility-and-pastoral-care.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:0f7948bb-d98e-140c-824e-8e242f7ebb48 Sun, 17 Jun 2018 19:39:40 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;<span style="font-size: large;"> One of the struggles I experience in the world of racial reconciliation and peacemaking is to hear people say pretty stupid things.</span></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; Sometimes I get to hear people express their fears, and sometimes their anger, and sometimes just their ignorance.&nbsp; In all of these expressions I am still called on by God to love people.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Most of us are exposed to different spheres of thought, or activity.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Those of us who are Christians live, or ought to, in the world (environment) of the Church.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We also live in the world of politics, media – including both news and editorials.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We live in our cultures, we live in our families, in our vocations, and our opinions are formed.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Sometimes those opinions are well founded, and sometimes they are not.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Sometimes those opinions are held without pride or arrogance, they are held loosely, and are open to change.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Sometimes we tie our opinions to our egos and then we entrench ourselves against all comers, even the truth.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Pastors are called to shepherd folks, and part of that shepherding is the pastoral care of people with racial opinions.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I have been thinking of how to do that, and how we can do that well.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I realize of course that even pastors like to choose sides, and sometimes it is necessary and right to do so.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I have decided to follow Jesus and therefore I am for righteousness, justice, mercy, and love.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I am against oppression, and evil, and racism.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I make no apology for that.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Yet, my weapons are not the weapons of the world, nor am I allowed to become so self-righteous in my causes that I being to mistreat people with whom I disagree, although at times that is hard.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>One pastoral issue within racial discussions is the subject of “white fragility.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Now, there are other names for this and varying degrees of it such as…denial, defensiveness, anger, confusion, blaming the victim, creating false narratives about intents or motives, etc. The phrase is often used in a pejorative sense especially by People of Color to dismiss those white people who react negatively to various racial and justice issues.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In some circles there is little patience for white folks just coming into awareness about issues, especially when that awareness results in resistance to change or even in naïve celebration of their new realizations. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>When I say little patience there is slight willingness to hear people say dumb things, either as they try to learn and understand, or actually resist listening to truth.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>This is where the phrase becomes pejorative, and speeches are made about how people should know better, should know by now, and allowance is not going to be made for very elementary discussions to teach these folk.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>This is exactly where pastors live, in a world of people being dumb, and saying dumb things, and doing dumb things.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It is like the world of parents who only hang on to their children because they are in fact blood relatives, otherwise they couldn’t continue to put up with such immaturity.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>One can only try to imagine what it must be like for God to put up with any of us.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Pastoral care for folks caught up in “white fragility” has to begin with a love for sinners and patience with them especially when their ignorance and racism is exposed.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It must be coupled with a determination not to excuse racism nor its buttressing of injustice, but with a willingness to begin with people where you find them.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It means answering a lot of very simple questions, hearing erroneous statements made boldly and not being intimidated by them, and gently correcting people.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Pastoral care is always about not losing the patient while trying to bring them to healing and that can usually only be done by maintaining the relationship.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Why bother with putting up with such folks?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I like the bumper sticker I once saw that said, “we don’t make peace with our friends but with our enemies.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Making peace is hard, and one has to be tenacious to do it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Making peace is safer for everyone in the long run. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>In a multi-ethnic society establishing allies across racial lines is essential for progress, and protection.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Isolating ourselves and defining our “sides” and our parties while&nbsp; demonizing our opponents is sort of an American political tradition.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The triumphalism of gaining ascendancy&nbsp;as our ethnic and ideological groups gather strength is often an illusion and very often temporary.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We reinforce ourselves in our rhetoric as we mock not simply our ideological opponents but those asking questions, even if they are sincere in their ignorance.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>White fragility is a way of thinking that sees white people as being set upon, as if gains for POC will mean less freedom for white people.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>White fragility is fear because it finds the tables turned and white privilege (often assumed but not identified as such) seems at risk, socially, politically, and financially.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>White fragility is anger at being made to feel guilty often before that guilt is specified and understood. We live in a blame culture and white people especially resist unspecified guilt.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>When that guilt is accepted they know it will cost them something.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>No one likes to feel guilt, or accept guilt, or be blamed for things that happened long ago or about which they struggle to see a direct link to their door, or to their personal decisions.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>When assailed by such blame without an understanding of how they could possibly be at fault they are like people about to be sued by someone assumed simply trying to make some money for themselves, without justice, in the legal system.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>People get ready to fight back in such circumstances.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Good pastoral care means helping people see that repentance for real guilt is actually a doorway to joy, freedom, and fellowship. Good pastoral care means helping people own up to history, and to be delivered from illusions about living in a completely merit based society with everyone beginning at the same starting line. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Pastoral care for people working their way to racial reconciliation means seeing and hearing sinful things from people, and from people on both sides of issues.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It means loving them through it, seeking to maintain relationships, to keep the discussion going, to reducing the heat in the words and conversation, listening to the hurt, anger, and panic, and pointing people always to Christ and the Scriptures.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It means at times repenting in ourselves as pastors as we feel like giving up, or cutting some folks off, or just getting to name calling.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Lord have mercy!<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /></div> Can we talk about suicide and mental illness now? http://djchuang.com/2018/can-we-talk-about-suicide-and-mental-illness-now/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:60eed428-8ffb-fbd2-d473-252da7f073fb Sat, 09 Jun 2018 16:58:25 -0500 <p>How many more celebrities have to die tragically, before we can talk about these hard topics of life and death? Death is one of those topics that most people don&#8217;t want to talk about; there are many reasons for that. But death is a certainty; we are all human and mortal. Closely related to that, [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/can-we-talk-about-suicide-and-mental-illness-now/">Can we talk about suicide and mental illness now?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>How many more celebrities have to die tragically, before we can talk about these hard topics of life and death?</p> <p>Death is one of those topics that most people don&#8217;t want to talk about; there are many reasons for that. But death is a certainty; we are all human and mortal.</p> <p>Closely related to that, talking about why one should keep on living, can be a difficult subject to bring up, especially for the person that has those kind of thoughts.</p> <h3>When Celebrities Get Our Attention</h3> <p>Kate Spade and Anthony Bordain died this week because they couldn&#8217;t shake those negative thoughts. Other celebrities have died tragically from self-harm too, including Robin Williams, Prince, Amy Winehouse, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain, and others.</p> <p>This Chicago Tribune piece, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-celebrities-and-suicide-20180608-story.html">Anthony Bourdain suicide a reminder of celebrities&#8217; distance from us</a>, noted how we all share very little of ourselves: &#8220;The reality is that it&#8217;s only a fraction of who they are, the part of themselves they choose to put out and share.&#8221;</p> <p>Most people, both celebrities and the rest of us, typically share the best of our lives, like highlight reels. Life isn&#8217;t like that. Suicide happens to the celebrated and successful. <a href="https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/">Every day, over a hundred suicides</a> happen in the United States alone.</p> <h3>I Struggle with Suicide as an Asian American</h3> <p>Last year, I was struggling very badly. More than a handful of times in my life, I get plagued with negative thoughts of suicide that would not go away. There are different reasons for that each time. Once it was ideological and existential; other times it was unbearable stress that triggered mental illness. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2000 and I&#8217;ve had to work hard to manage that, sometimes harder than others.</p> <p>Last year, <a href="http://djchuang.com/5150">I was arrested during a psychotic episode of hypomania and committed to a psych ward</a>. My story was posted on the <a href="http://djchuang.com/5150">website of my church</a> and its printed bulletins. Thank God that He gave me enough support through family, friends, medication, therapy, and more, so I can be well again. I know others may not be so privileged and I hurt for them, I hurt with them.</p> <p>Growing up in a shame-based culture as an Asian Americans, it is that much more difficult to talk about death and suicide. Though it may be hard, it is necessary. I would dare say, it is urgent. (I have much more to say in the weeks and months ahead.)</p> <h3>Erasing Shame about Mental Health</h3> <p>I&#8217;m very grateful to be part of launching <a href="http://erasingshame.com">the Erasing Shame podcast</a> where we have honest talk about healthy living. This summer we&#8217;ll have a special series specifically focused on <a href="http://erasingshame.com">erasing shame about mental health for Asian Americans</a>. I hope you&#8217;ll share this with others. Sharing our pain is the first step to erasing shame.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14562" src="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Myth5.jpg?resize=863%2C684" alt="Myth5.jpg" width="863" height="684" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Myth5.jpg?w=863 863w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Myth5.jpg?resize=300%2C238 300w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Myth5.jpg?resize=768%2C609 768w" sizes="(max-width: 863px) 100vw, 863px" data-recalc-dims="1" />cf. <a href="http://suicidology.org">American Association of Suicidology</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/can-we-talk-about-suicide-and-mental-illness-now/">Can we talk about suicide and mental illness now?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Z7UIQN4Usvc:tSIMomA8QBA:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Z7UIQN4Usvc:tSIMomA8QBA: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/Z7UIQN4Usvc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> ANOMALIES http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/06/anomalies.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:71e6db8d-1d8d-9499-16c3-b79a2d17decd Tue, 05 Jun 2018 13:56:47 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">The Anomaly of Social Justice without faith and of Christianity without Social Justice.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Recently I have been listening to one of the “great courses” from the Teaching Company on “Transcendentalism.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Listening to the history of this movement one realizes how profoundly American culture and philosophy has been impacted by unbelief.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>America is not immune from the philosophies and religious opinions of the Enlightenment, Deism, and frankly, unbelief.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Some of our greatest American founders were Deists.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They were educated men, they read the Bible, they just didn’t believe much of it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They certainly were culturally influenced by it, but when it came to accepting miracles they trusted their intellect more than the word of preachers.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>By the time of Jefferson some intellectuals, and religious folks, no longer believed in the Trinity.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>This was not new of course, there had been struggle over this theological concept back to the time of Arius, writer’s such as Milton didn’t accept it (though probably with more orthodox belief) and then came the slide of Congregationalists in New England from Trinitarian orthodoxy to an unorthodox Unitarian belief.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>One can see a pattern of applying skeptical and intellectual judgement, with a sense of human determined superiority ("free thinkers") in determining what is true or not, to the Scriptures.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>There have always been people who have felt their own reason was superior to an old book, who have tried to be scientific, and used their best reason to determine if something could be true or not.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Christianity is not one of those things that can be taken apart by reason, intellect, or science and still be left intact, especially if all of those things are undertaken by unbelief.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If one starts with the proposition that supernatural things are absolutely not possible then one cannot end up with believing that the miracles in the Bible are true.&nbsp; Without the supernatural there is no God, and there is no salvation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The Transcendentalists were essentially Deists with an agenda.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They thought that human beings could intuitively leap (transcend) to enlightened thought as to what was moral, just, and best for humanity.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They were too unbelieving to stay even in the Unitarian Church, but they nevertheless borrowed much from the Christian “capital” of justice and mercy.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>What they claimed as “intuitive” was often simply stuff they learned from Scripture.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>They were champions of abolition from slavery, equality for women, justice for the worker, and respecters of creation (nature).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>These are not out of accord with concepts in the Bible, or with the character of God.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Of course they found it difficult to create Utopian&nbsp;expressions of community with just these concepts.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Human sinfulness kept getting in the way.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Nevertheless they weren’t wrong about everything, and they have had a deep and lasting impact on American education, intellectual thought, and the claim of “free thinkers” thinking they could think better than believers.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Some of the people who opposed their ideas of justice were orthodox believers.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Though orthodox believers weren’t trying to “transcend” to leaps of intuition about what was best for humanity they still could easily have read the Bible more closely.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;Transcendence has never been necessary to notice suffering or to understand justice.&nbsp;</span>In fact the Bible is not shy in revealing God to be in his essential character a God of justice, the only God, actually, who is also a God of compassion and mercy.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They could have read the character of Christ more perspicaciously rather than simply working to create a creedal formula for a confession of faith.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>One of the great tragedies of the institutional church has often been its protection of the status quo rather than following its radical founder (Jesus) into a life of full-orbed righteousness that affects not only personal morality but also public justice. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;For those who cannot believe </span>the supernatural power of God means to attempt justice without his gracious help, to attempt to love one’s neighbor as oneself without spiritual empowerment, to endure suffering and to be a servant without the hope of eternal life.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Thus, justice, mercy, and rights become causes with only human agency and means and not transcendent realities which the God of heaven and earth will finally accomplish.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They become righteous causes that make us self-righteous and give us no hope against the continual reality and witness of evil in humankind.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>There are so many Americans, and people around the world, who wish for a better one.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>They wish for justice, for peace, for equity.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Unfortunately their own unbelief deprives them of the prospect of joy and hope while the intransigence of <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>“Christians” who are racist, sexist, and oppressive gives unbelievers little witness of Biblical truth.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"></span>&nbsp; &nbsp; How strange to hear so-called Christians speaking against social justice, sometimes because they see it associated with people who so vociferously tell us they can’t believe in God or the Bible.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Righteousness is righteousness, and truth is truth no matter the mouth of the ass that speaks it.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span></div><br /></div> Where to download a shared custom voice for Waze app http://djchuang.com/2018/where-to-download-a-custom-voice-for-waze-app/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:de777e45-436b-60f6-f90d-0c36dc1b3cbe Sat, 26 May 2018 13:23:10 -0500 <p>Waze app, now owned by Google, added a custom voice feature where you can record driving instructions in your own voice and share them with others too. My voice may not be of great interest. On the other hand, celebrity voices would be popular, but they&#8217;re often licensed for a limited time only (at least [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/where-to-download-a-custom-voice-for-waze-app/">Where to download a shared custom voice for Waze app</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Waze app, now owned by Google, added a custom voice feature where you can record driving instructions in your own voice and share them with others too.</p> <p>My voice may not be of great interest. On the other hand, celebrity voices would be popular, but they&#8217;re often licensed for a limited time only (at least that&#8217;s how it was done in the past)—currently unavailable. <em>At the time of this writing, there&#8217;s a voice titled &#8220;English &#8211; Boy Band&#8221; but we don&#8217;t know how long that will be available.</em></p> <p><img class="alignright wp-image-14542 size-medium" src="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/img_0261-1-1.jpg?resize=202%2C300" alt="waze" width="202" height="300" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/img_0261-1-1.jpg?resize=202%2C300 202w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/img_0261-1-1.jpg?resize=768%2C1140 768w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/img_0261-1-1.jpg?resize=690%2C1024 690w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/img_0261-1-1.jpg?w=848 848w" sizes="(max-width: 202px) 100vw, 202px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Here&#8217;s some custom voices for you to try out on Waze. Check out these custom turn-by-turn voice directions! Listen to them on your next drive with Waze:</p> <ul> <li>Daniel Ware <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=5aaa042f-9c06-4903-8924-ca5b610c5900">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=5aaa042f-9c06-4903-8924-ca5b610c5900</a></li> <li>Kids <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=DEDE6791-959C-42DB-8268-007C34704214">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=DEDE6791-959C-42DB-8268-007C34704214</a></li> <li>Sophia <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=7fa902cd-95e5-4c33-bdaf-e3aa6ac1578d">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=7fa902cd-95e5-4c33-bdaf-e3aa6ac1578d</a></li> <li>SpotterBrett <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=5E9A4B11-B720-4D5B-ADC2-1F99EBE2B847">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=5E9A4B11-B720-4D5B-ADC2-1F99EBE2B847</a></li> <li>Chuck Nellis <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=769D7292-C683-4591-ADB2-C94EA93BA657">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=769D7292-C683-4591-ADB2-C94EA93BA657</a></li> <li>Chinese Mother <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=883E1599-9D93-483A-9CA4-96202B5B73B8">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=883E1599-9D93-483A-9CA4-96202B5B73B8</a></li> <li>Rude lady <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=81E77DCF-A158-40B9-973B-8507EC0BCF26">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=81E77DCF-A158-40B9-973B-8507EC0BCF26</a></li> <li>Jamaican <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=3AF908A5-D798-44B3-9BAB-8F4DB7625E9B">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=3AF908A5-D798-44B3-9BAB-8F4DB7625E9B</a></li> <li>Dawn <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=F1BE8D22-80CA-4A84-9380-4E0C8CF8DF85">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=F1BE8D22-80CA-4A84-9380-4E0C8CF8DF85</a></li> <li>Michael Starr <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=B947BA01-3946-4FDB-9587-653B33633EC9">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=B947BA01-3946-4FDB-9587-653B33633EC9</a></li> <li>Lola <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=03ED3E72-0140-4CF4-BB90-F14805BD8C2B">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=03ED3E72-0140-4CF4-BB90-F14805BD8C2B</a></li> <li>Annoying yeshevish <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=7770A3C1-0D83-46BA-832A-B058095EFFF6">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=7770A3C1-0D83-46BA-832A-B058095EFFF6</a></li> <li>Buzz Jackson <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=2D05B9E9-76E7-4BB7-BDD5-35E54C0A31D3">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=2D05B9E9-76E7-4BB7-BDD5-35E54C0A31D3</a></li> <li>Lindurita Marcela Alarcón<em> (en Español) </em><a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=24A20037-8911-4CBB-9E94-E53086E03871">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=24A20037-8911-4CBB-9E94-E53086E03871</a></li> <li>Stephen Hawking <a href="https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=14caec5d-e478-44d4-a905-a5ca8cbd53aa">https://www.waze.com/ul?acvp=14caec5d-e478-44d4-a905-a5ca8cbd53aa</a></li> </ul> <p><a href="/contact">Add to this list</a>. If this list gets too large, I&#8217;ll have to create a Google Form to manage it or something.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/where-to-download-a-custom-voice-for-waze-app/">Where to download a shared custom voice for Waze app</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=nYxcIIQWYIA:9zEuiahPSDo:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=nYxcIIQWYIA:9zEuiahPSDo: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/nYxcIIQWYIA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> IDEOLOGY AS ETHICS http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/05/ideology-as-ethics.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:cc17d63f-5ff6-69d2-42bc-42c5b96a43ef Thu, 03 May 2018 15:43:08 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Some comments about…<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Ideology as ethics and mantras posing as reasoned argument; the sad state of American politics and the zombie zeal of political followers, with the contingent dismissal of biblical Truth while adhering to Evangelical rhetoric.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Some observations:<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->To criticize Trump is not the same as endorsing Hillary.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Even a bad man can get some good stuff done, and for that we thank no one but God.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We can give Trump his due as having raised some real issues, and even accomplished some good, while recognizing what is shameful, and dangerous.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->I respect the office of the President, as such I show respect to the person who holds it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I pray for whoever might be in that office while at the same time I can completely disagree, even despise, either their personal behavior or policies.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I cannot imagine the grace that Daniel needed to live, and serve, under the narcissistic king Nebuchadnezzar.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->To believe that the liberal media never says anything true is about the same as believing that Fox News always tells the truth.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>One of course is more patently partisan while the other is consistently condescending.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->For godly people to look over immorality, lying, slander, and bullying in the hope of a national moral revival is fairly idiotic and certainly short sighted.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It is embarrassing to hear Evangelicals say, in so many words, that the ends justify the means. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->To dismantle and resist government regulations sounds like a good idea for someone’s business interests, until one’s own children eat contaminated food, use untested and expired drugs, drink leaded water from the tap, get cheated by the undersized&nbsp;gallon at the gas pump, and have an uninspected bridge fall on them.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Cutting taxes always sounds good, until one realizes that America’s failure to pay its bills results in the collapse of both physical and social infrastructure.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Politicizing infrastructure as “pork” while claiming to be the champion of “cost cutting” has been the strategy of hucksters and our present irresponsible government, on both federal and state levels.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Being a “fiscal” conservative cannot legitimately mean consistent deficit funding for conservative political love babies, whatever they happen to be. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->The de-funding of social infrastructure is always the first victim of an irresponsible government, while the funding of it usually ends up being forced by the courts.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>To this end we have an epidemic of mentally ill homeless people, over-crowded prisons with resultant violence and riots, teachers (even in “right to work” states) who have to create state wide strikes to get a fair wage, and inadequate state protection of children, the elderly, and the poor.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->The Church cannot replace the State for the creation and support of social infrastructure for all of a nation’s citizens, nor can it create the economic environment for entrepreneurial enterprise to create wealth. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->The Church must rise up to do more (and it can) for its own people, the people in and around its locations and outreach, and the general welfare, with wise and best practices for human flourishing.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->It is the exercise of democracy that creates the boundaries for government provision and the taxation it requires for that provision. It is the exercise of democracy that creates the boundaries and the incentives for free enterprise by government regulation or government restraint.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Privatization is not inherently evil, nor is it inherently positive.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It always comes with repercussions and inadequacies and does not relieve government of its proper role of oversight.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Government run prisons have no more historical claim to humanity, resistance to corruption, or strategies for rehabilitation than private prisons.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The profit motive of contracting to fulfill government services is not a disqualification for participation and neither is it immoral.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It usually means the corporation has to balance its budget, unlike government.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->The profit motive of contracting means that the relationship with government overseers, lobbyists, and the pass ways between government and contractor employment must be severely inspected, regulated, and transparent.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->To create a government of reactionary laws and policies in order to protect the nation from terrorism and illegal immigration creates a legacy of torture, false imprisonment, kangaroo courts, and incipient jingoistic nationalism and creates a too comfortable context for public racism.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->It is far too easy to use the motive of fear to create hasty, unreasonable, and potentially illegal recourse to national concerns.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Demagogues thrive in such environments while people without power are crushed.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Embarrassment and shame will become our internal national emotion, while inhumanity, meanness, and selfishness our national reputation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->We have real problems and real enemies and it will take wisdom to solve and resist them.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We need rational national discussion and consensus, following our original democratic and constitutional principles.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We cannot abandon the most essential of our moral values to somehow create a safe and moral future. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Without the protection of life; unborn, black, students, police officers, and general citizens collectively we cannot really claim that the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” continues to guide us.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Life must be a value without qualification, and must be a higher value than personal choice or unregulated gun sales.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Without the welcome to immigrants, and especially the poor immigrant, we cannot continue to claim to be the beacon of liberty and the harbor of safety. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->Our history has always conflicted with our ideals and it is our national fight to strive to live up to those ideals.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>America cannot simply be about providing freedom for those who have achieved economic self-sufficiency, it must also mean the inclusion of others into this land of opportunity.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->We must find a way to humanely and wisely integrate the immigrant into a land of welcome.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There is no reason, except political intransigence, for us not to come up with an efficient, legal, honest, humane, and understandable process for all concerned.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol;"><span style="mso-list: Ignore;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><!--[endif]-->We are not If Asian Americans struggle with Mental Health in May 2018 http://djchuang.com/2018/if-asian-americans-struggle-with-mental-health-in-may-2018/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:09647ee9-b0dc-74e7-7874-fdc2c2206a3e Tue, 01 May 2018 22:38:56 -0500 <p>The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. And these two things intersect, or shall we say, collide, for those who are Asian Americans and struggle with mental illness. Let&#8217;s do the math. The Asian American population is estimated at 21.4 million (as of 2016, cf. Census Bureau&#8217;s [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/if-asian-americans-struggle-with-mental-health-in-may-2018/">If Asian Americans struggle with Mental Health in May 2018</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>The month of May is <a href="http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may">Mental Health Awareness Month</a> and <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/president-donald-j-trump-proclaims-may-2018-asian-american-pacific-islander-heritage-month/">Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month</a>. And these two things intersect, or shall we say, collide, for those who are Asian Americans and struggle with mental illness.</p> <p>Let&#8217;s do the math. The Asian American population is estimated at <strong>21.4 million</strong> (as of 2016, cf. Census Bureau&#8217;s <a href="https://census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2018/asian-american.html">Facts for Features: Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: May 2018</a>) About <strong>1 in 5</strong> Americans <a href="https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers">struggle</a> with mental health each year.</p> <p>That comes to <strong>4.28 million Asian Americans</strong> struggling by mental illness every year!</p> <p>Millions of Asian Americans are struggling with mental health. And it&#8217;s generally not talked about in their respective Asian cultures nor ackowledged in mainstream American culture. That&#8217;s why there&#8217;s this month of May for raising awareness. (Aside: July is <a href="http://www.8asians.com/2015/07/30/july-national-minority-mental-health-awareness-month/">National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month</a>; in pop culture, <a href="https://www.teenvogue.com/story/kanye-west-opened-up-about-his-mental-health">Kanye West Opened Up About His Mental Health</a> along with <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/new-campaign-hopes-to-help-young-people-struggling-with-mental-health-1223541827960">other celebrities</a> in the month-long <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/myyoungerself">#MyYoungerSelf</a> campaign—a different celebrity every day.)</p> <p><a href="https://nextshark.com/congresswoman-introduces-bill-asian-americans-battling-mental-illness/">Rep. Judy Chu</a> introduced the &#8220;<a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2677">Stop Mental Health Stigma in Our Communities Act</a>&#8221; in Congress and noted:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">While mental illness can be treated, there are lower rates of treatment in the AAPI community due to cultural stigma and language barriers. Asian-Americans are reportedly three times <a href="http://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/asian-american/article-mental-health.aspx" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">less likely</a> to seek mental health services than their white counterparts.</p> <p>Through outreach and education efforts, many organizations have worked for years to lower the stigma about mental health for all peoples everywhere, with some specifically for Asian American communities. Awareness month once a year, campaigns, conferences, community events, seminars, articles, mental health professionals, awareness are all good resources. I think that blogs &amp; podcasts are especially valuable because of their personal voices (in contrast to a corporate voice), available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in the privacy of one&#8217;s home. And, because of the on-going nature of blogs and podcasts, the potential for relevant and easier-to-understand information can be powerfully helpful.</p> <p>Knowing that so many Asian Americans struggle with mental health and how challenging it is to find relevant resources, I&#8217;ve gathered some here to make it more accessible to normal everyday people.</p> <h3>Podcasts</h3> <p><a href="http://fb.com/erasingshame"><img class=" size-thumbnail wp-image-14387 alignright" src="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/erasing-shame.jpg?resize=150%2C150" alt="erasing-shame" width="150" height="150" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/erasing-shame.jpg?resize=150%2C150 150w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/erasing-shame.jpg?resize=300%2C300 300w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/erasing-shame.jpg?w=500 500w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a><br /> <a href="http://erasingshame.com"><strong>Erasing Shame</strong></a>—Eunice Lee and DJ Chuang co-host this podcast where there&#8217;s honest talk for healthy living—emotionally, relationally, mentally, and personally. (Launched in February 2018; livestreamed on <a href="http://fb.com/erasingshame">Facebook</a> every Thursday)</p> <p><strong><a href="https://soundcloud.com/the-bull-and-the-badger-podcast">The Bull and the Badger Podcast</a></strong>— April and Vanessa (producer of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheLaundromatDocumentary/">The Laundromat</a> documentary) talks about mental health issues, especially ones specific to the Asian American community. (over 400 episodes!)</p> <h3>Articles</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://theestablishment.co/where-are-the-asian-american-mental-health-stories-6dd6edb56674">Where Are The Asian-American Mental Health Stories?</a> (The Establishment)</li> <li><a href="https://www.bu.edu/today/2015/model-minority-pressures-take-mental-health-toll/">&#8220;Model Minority&#8221; Pressures Take Mental Health Toll</a> (BU Today)</li> <li><a href="https://www.ocregister.com/2016/04/04/breaking-down-a-wall-of-silence-on-mental-health-among-vietnamese-americans/">Breaking down a wall of silence on mental health among Vietnamese Americans</a> (OC Register)</li> <li><a href="http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/10/16/39830/biggest-roadblocks-to-asian-mental-health-may-come/">Biggest roadblocks to Asian mental health may come from within</a> (KPCC)</li> <li><a href="https://nextshark.com/congresswoman-introduces-bill-asian-americans-battling-mental-illness/">Congresswoman Judy Chu Introduces Bill For Asian Americans Battling Mental Illness</a> (in May 2017)</li> <li><a href="https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/1/21/harvard-aapi-mental-health/">An AAPI Perspective: Cultural Roots of Mental Health</a> (Harvard Crimson)</li> <li><a href="http://sampan.org/2014/07/top-five-mental-illness-myths-in-chinese-american-communities/">Top five mental illness myths in Chinese American communities</a> (Sampan)</li> <li><a href="https://www.nami.org/Press-Media/Press-Releases/2011/Asian-American-Teenage-Girls-Have-Highest-Rates-of">Asian American Teenage Girls Have Highest Rates Of Depression; NAMI Releases Report</a> (2011)</li> <li><a href="https://planamag.com/why-are-asian-american-kids-killing-themselves-477a3f6ea3f2">Why Are Asian American Kids Killing Themselves?</a> (Plan A magazine)</li> <li><a href="http://c-hit.org/2013/05/07/asian-americans-shun-mental-health-care/">Asian-Americans Shun Mental Health Care</a></li> <li><a href="http://koreanamericanstory.org/disclosing-mental-illness-among-korean-americans-is-losing-face/">Disclosing Mental Illness among Korean Americans is Losing Face</a></li> <li><a href="http://kalw.org/post/asian-american-women-depression-and-suicide-go-largely-unseen#stream/0">For Asian American women, depression and suicide go largely unseen</a> (KALW)</li> <li><a href="http://www.newsweek.com/mental-illness-may-go-untreated-asian-americans-87613">Mental Illness May Go Untreated in Asian Americans</a> (Newsweek)</li> <li><a href="https://newrepublic.com/article/122892/silence-mental-health-south-asian-culture-dangerous">The Silence About Mental Health in South Asian Culture Is Dangerous</a> (The New Republic)</li> <li><a href="https://youthradio.org/journalism/education/on-some-college-campuses-a-focus-on-asian-american-mental-health/">On Some College Campuses, A Focus On Asian American Mental Health</a><br /> (New America Media)</li> <li><a href="https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20150212/asian-americans-mental-health#1">Asian-Americans Tackle Mental Health Stigma</a> (WebMD)</li> <li> <p class="headline__title"><a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mental-health-stigma-asian-americans_us_59d4f739e4b0218923e6e8fd">A New Generation Of Therapists Is Fighting Asian-American Mental Health Stigma</a> (HuffPost)</p> </li> </ul> <h3>Organizations</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net">Mental Health America</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.nami.org/">National Alliance on Mental Illness</a> (NAMI)</li> <li><a href="http://naapimha.org">National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association</a> (NAAPIMHA)</li> <li><a href="https://aapaonline.org">Asian American Psychological Association</a>—&#8221;Advance the mental health and well-being of Asian American communities&#8230;&#8221;</li> <li><a href="http://aaccs.org">Asian American Christian Counseling Service</a> (Alhambra, Torrance, Cerritos, Culver City — California)</li> <li><a href="http://www.aahiinfo.org">Asan American Health Initiative</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.teamasianminds.org/">Together Empowering Asian Minds (TEAM)</a>— <a href="http://www.teamasianminds.org/join-team/bloggers/">engaging</a>, <a href="http://www.teamasianminds.org/news/resources/">educating</a> and <a href="http://www.teamasianminds.org/team-efforts/">empowering</a> our community by talking about the stigma of mental health, with culturally-relevant resources</li> <li><a href="http://www.acmhs.org">Asian Community Mental Health Services</a> (San Francisco Bay area)</li> </ul> <h3>Brands celebrating APA Heritage Month</h3> <p>Panda Express celebrates with a <a href="https://apahm.pandaexpress.com">Trailblazers mini-documentary</a></p> <p><iframe width="1170" height="658" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/45VVIY8Wnwk?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/if-asian-americans-struggle-with-mental-health-in-may-2018/">If Asian Americans struggle with Mental Health in May 2018</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=TU5TQOWN_Qo:o3yVC4UYOrA:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=TU5TQOWN_Qo:o3yVC4UYOrA: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/TU5TQOWN_Qo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> THE PUBLIC READING OF SCRIPTURE http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-public-reading-of-scripture.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:14f5140e-6d0e-ecfa-a1ba-596aa057962c Mon, 23 Apr 2018 15:35:32 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">I want to share some thoughts on the importance of the public reading of Scripture.&nbsp; Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:13, <i>“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”</i><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Evidently Paul thought this to be an important task for Pastors, as it is something to which they should “devote” themselves to do.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I don’t necessarily think that pastors are the only ones who are allowed or authorized to read the Scripture in a worship service. I do think they are responsible to make sure the Scripture is read, and read well.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>There have even been pastors who did not know how to read, or through physical difficulty could not read, but they were oral learners, they listened, then learned, and they memorized.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Can you imagine being a pastor who needed someone to read for you, and then you preached the Word?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Whatever a pastor’s capacity or incapacity for reading it is his responsibility to make sure the Word is read, and read well, so the people – the public- can hear it.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>We live in an educated age.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Literacy is a common expectation, yet the reality is that there are many who are functionally illiterate and many who are lazy readers and resist any kind of regular Scripture reading.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The Bible is not just for the educated, not just for intellectuals, and not just for those who know how to, or enjoy, reading.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Every person needs to hear the Bible, and in that hearing they need to be able to understand it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>This is why the Church has put so much effort into common language translations for each and every people group and why we continue to attempt to get the written Word into every spoken tongue upon the earth.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I would imagine there is an expectation by Paul in his direction to Timothy that the public reading of Scripture is not simply meant as a “rote” exercise, where someone is droning on in a monotone voice and simply saying the words in the text.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I think the force of the direction is that devotion (commitment, focus, effort, consistency) is needed to make sure the reading is done well.&nbsp; &nbsp;I also think sincerity and intensity are important ingredients in the public reading of Scripture.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I received a wonderful compliment the other day from a pastor, for whose congregation I had just preached.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>He told me that he had never heard the public reading of Scripture done as I had just done it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I was very happy to hear his comment as I had decided to preach (and thus read) the whole chapter of John 9.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The whole chapter is one story about the man who had been born blind.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It is not a short chapter, but it is certainly entertaining.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>It is hard for modern Christians to sit through the reading of a long Biblical text and for that reason it must be done with some attempt to hold the attention of the congregation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Have you ever read a text for your sermon, then preached, and afterward felt you could have just as well sat down after the Scripture reading because the text was so powerful in and of itself?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I sure have, and it was not just the reading of the words but having read it with passion, intonation, and feeling that brought it alive.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There are people who seem to have a gift for Scripture reading and I wish we could hear them doing it more often.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Now there are people who are overly dramatic in their reading and some who seem to have no drama at all.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Scripture is made up of all kinds of styles of literature such as narrative, poetry, theology, and dialogue.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The reader has to read according to the style. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Pastors have to be aware, and decide, on how much to read at one time.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I usually warn the people before I read, if it is a long text, as a way of helping them put some effort into paying attention.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Then I try to give them no choice about paying attention by putting myself into it.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I believe in the spiritual nature of the Biblical text.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I believe God wrote it through His Holy Spirit and that its words and truth have power when people hear it (I mean really hear it) and believe it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>“He who has ears to hear, let him hear…”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I believe God uses His Word as a sword to expose the thoughts and intents of the heart.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>When the Word is read, listened to with understanding, and heard by faith amazing and wonderful transformation takes place in people’s lives.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>One of our Ruling Elders testified, when he first became a member of our church, that he had come to faith in Christ on the very first Sunday he attended our congregation.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>“How?” we asked him.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>He told us that the Call to Worship had gripped him, and then as I had read the Scripture prior to preaching he gave his life to Christ.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>I encourage Pastors to take the reading of their preaching text to be a crucial part of their ministry.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Your sermon should certainly help it to come alive, be understandable, and applicable to the people but the reading in and of itself is important to worship and to the faith of the people.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If you are a boring reader, enlist someone who is gifted to do it for you, especially if it is a long text.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Whatever you do don’t you dare take it lightly, do it perfunctorily, or simply treat is as something to get out of the way so you can get to giving your own opinions. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /></div> Mental Health Community Gathering on April 29, 2018 http://djchuang.com/2018/mental-health-community-gathering-on-april-29-2018/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:850ea19f-bb6a-a985-38e3-1536cd343b83 Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:39:34 -0500 <p>Most of us, if not all of us, know someone that struggles with mental health. Now there&#8217;s a safe place to help them know they&#8217;re not alone. (And, if that someone is you, you can experience a lot of help and hope here.) Hope for Mental Health is launching a monthly gathering this Sunday, April [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/mental-health-community-gathering-on-april-29-2018/">Mental Health Community Gathering on April 29, 2018</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Most of us, if not all of us, know someone that struggles with mental health. Now there&#8217;s a safe place to help them know they&#8217;re not alone. (And, if that someone is you, you can experience a lot of help and hope here.)</p> <p>Hope for Mental Health is launching a monthly gathering this Sunday, April 29, 2018, at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. This gathering is accessible and freely available for anyone within driving distance of Orange County, California.</p> <p>They&#8217;re serving <strong>free lunch</strong> too! (who said there&#8217;s no such thing as a free lunch?) You&#8217;re invited. I&#8217;ll be there. Would love to meet you. Here&#8217;s the event description and where you can RSVP:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Join us at the Hope for Mental Health Community! This is a place for anyone living with mental illness, family members, friends, volunteers, and anyone who has a passion to journey with others toward hope. This monthly connection time is designed as a place for people to meet, share a meal, learn about ways to serve, and connect with others while learning about mental health and wellness, and how we can walk together. We hope to see you there!</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Reserve your seat at <a href="http://hope4mentalhealth.com/connect/event/44499587464/hope-for-mental-health-community">hope4mentalhealth.com/connect/event/44499587464/hope-for-mental-health-community</a></p> <p>The time is 1:00pm at Saddleback Church in the Terrace View Room. Street address is <a href="https://goo.gl/maps/AU8FhpHtgzE2">1 Saddleback Way, Lake Forest, CA</a> (Google map link.)</p> <p>If you are interested in serving, please let Kathleen know (her email is <a>kathleenj@saddleback.com</a>) and also register for the event at <a href="http://hope4mentalhealth.com/connect/event/44499587464/hope-for-mental-health-community">hope4mentalhealth.com/connect/event/44499587464/hope-for-mental-health-community</a></p> <p>Space is limited; I believe it will be filled up. I have spoken with the organizers and they will have a wait list. They might even figure out a way to accommodate more people if the registration fills up quicker than expected.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/mental-health-community-gathering-on-april-29-2018/">Mental Health Community Gathering on April 29, 2018</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=OegyHOEwko0:ElTKDQJsKt4:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=OegyHOEwko0:ElTKDQJsKt4: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/OegyHOEwko0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Statements around an elephant in the evangelical room http://djchuang.com/2018/statements-around-an-elephant-in-the-evangelical-room/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:f055d803-587b-71e7-ded3-2ec920709e59 Wed, 11 Apr 2018 09:54:44 -0500 <p>It&#8217;s a painful tragedy, however you look at it. A most influential evangelical pastor resigned yesterday, April 10, 2018. His name was Bill Hybels, who founded the world-renowned Willow Creek Community Church in Chicagoland. There will be many conversations about this in the world of evangelicalism, but significant evangelical pastors and leaders that do participate [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/statements-around-an-elephant-in-the-evangelical-room/">Statements around an elephant in the evangelical room</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>It&#8217;s a painful tragedy, however you look at it. A most influential evangelical pastor resigned yesterday, April 10, 2018. His name was Bill Hybels, who founded the world-renowned Willow Creek Community Church in Chicagoland. There will be many conversations about this in the world of evangelicalism, but significant evangelical pastors and leaders that do participate in online conversations have not weighed in yet.</p> <p>When nothing is said, people will make up their own stories. This is the elephant in the room du jour.  The mainstream media and social media has said much more.</p> <p>These are the statements posted by people involved in this situation (whether they were written first-person or by professional PR agents is unknown):</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.willowcreek.org/en/willow-creek-announcement">Bill Hybels, church elder board, and new pastor Heather Larson</a> (<a href="https://willowcreek.tv/archive/family-meeting/">video of family meeting on April 10, 2018</a>)</li> <li><a href="http://www.nancylbeach.com/blog/2018/4/11/why-we-cant-move-on">Nancy Beach</a>, a previous staffer at Willow</li> <li><a href="https://vondadyer.weebly.com/blog/vonda-dyers-statement-re-chicago-tribune-and-bill-hybels">Vonda Dyer</a>, a previous staffer at Willow</li> <li><a href="http://www.johnortberg.com/observations-on-the-chicago-tribune-article-re-willow-creek-leadership/">John Ortberg</a>, a previous pastor at Willow</li> <li><a href="https://veritasbetold.wixsite.com/website">Betty Schmidt</a>, a previous elder at Willow</li> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/sniequist/status/977653243131162624">Shauna Niquist&#8217;s tweet</a>, daughter of Bill Hybels</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-willow-creek-pastor-20171220-story.html">The original Chicago Tribute </a>story, &#8220;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-willow-creek-pastor-20171220-story.html">After years of inquiries, Willow Creek pastor denies misconduct allegations</a>,&#8221; that broke it all.</p> <p>How will this bad situation turn out for good, particular for those who believe God can redeem the worst? It&#8217;s a drama that is just beginning to unfold. Stay tuned. Pray hard.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/statements-around-an-elephant-in-the-evangelical-room/">Statements around an elephant in the evangelical room</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=VfFX6YLRIPY:6yH71g4PXTw:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=VfFX6YLRIPY:6yH71g4PXTw: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/VfFX6YLRIPY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> I DON'T FEEL NO WAYS TIRED - EXCEPT SOMETIMES. http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/03/i-dont-feel-no-ways-tired-except.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:785e3888-3e6b-6ba9-d4ee-d60a061b2739 Wed, 28 Mar 2018 15:54:14 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;I was speaking with someone recently about “being woke,” and about trying to deal with folks who ain’t woke yet, and trying to love on them, and how some folks talk about “being tired” and feeling bitter about the frustration of not seeing people, or things, change.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; My friend quoted me back to myself when he mentioned at one gathering someone had asked me a question and began it, “I am so tired of people….” And I had asked him, “how old are you?”&nbsp; The answer was “26.”&nbsp; I said, “26, and tired already?”&nbsp;&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; This made me think of a few things about inter-racial dialogue and cross cultural ministry, and POC survival in inter-racial spaces.&nbsp; Being tired in the emotional sense doesn’t really have anything to do with the amount of hours one has put in, or even the amount of years or effort, or the strenuousness of the labor.&nbsp; Many people work long and hard, (really hard) each day and they are not emotionally tired.&nbsp; So much has to do with perspective, and faith, and love, and the patience that can come from it.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; “why are you not bitter?”&nbsp; Is a question I am sometimes asked, although I am always surprised by it.&nbsp; Who the hell do I think I am that I should be bitter?&nbsp; This is what occurs to me, that it would take an inflated view of myself to judge others so harshly or myself so important.&nbsp; I certainly have felt anger, frustration, and sometimes I have surrendered to the closed door or the reality of a mountain that I seemed unable to climb.&nbsp; I speak here about calling for justice, or even mercy, at least for understanding about issues of race, ethnocentrism, poverty, and suffering.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Burn out has more to do with anger than with exhaustion, more to do with frustration than with a need for rest.&nbsp; Burn out is relieved more with hope than sleep, more with assistance and fellowship in the struggle than time off.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I have to ask myself some questions, and maybe you can ask yourself some as well.&nbsp; Do I believe the world needs changing?&nbsp; Yes, I do.&nbsp; Do I believe I can change it?&nbsp; Yes, a little, and no, probably not a lot right away.&nbsp; Will it ever be changed?&nbsp; Absolutely, because Jesus is coming and he will create a new heavens and a new earth. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Is justice delayed truly justice denied?&nbsp; No, but it sure feels that way sometimes. Only a God perspective can help us understand that. &nbsp;Do I believe that Jesus will not rest until he brings justice to the earth?&nbsp; Yes, that is my hope, my constant hope.&nbsp;&nbsp; What kind of perspective does it take to live in a world full of injustice, with ignorant people who don’t even know they may be perpetrators of injustice, who don’t know that their defense of the status quo is an enshrinement of their privilege?&nbsp; What kind of perspective will give me a positive sense of progress and help me to endure, to keep trying, to keep listening, to keep teaching?&nbsp; Nothing less or short of an eternal one, and that is hard for us temporal human beings.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; When we are young we feel change should and ought to come quickly. Thank God for youth.&nbsp; When we grow old we realize change does indeed come, but sometimes it has been and is glacial, incremental, not yet come to full realization.&nbsp; Some people dream dreams, and they work at them and see them come true, but if the truth be told those dreams are never universal, never total in scope for all humanity, nor for all time.&nbsp; Human beings celebrate sports heroes and use the word “immortal,” “unforgettable” and such.&nbsp; Really? &nbsp;What is a GOAT (Greatest of all time) today won’t even be recognized in a generation, a century, a millennium.&nbsp; Sports statistics are possibly the most changeable of things, and all heroes turn to dust.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Some will perish still in prison waiting for a revolution that will never come, still in the wilderness, still never having seen the city that was promised to them.&nbsp; They will question sometimes, like John the Baptist did, “Are you the one?” What do you do with your ego when you feel you should be the one that brings the change and no one listens to you?&nbsp; What do you do when after all your radical speech, your passionate displays, your marching, and your advocation people act like they just don’t care?<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Will you waste your time to continue to win over the resistant, will you continue to pour yourself out to institutions that don’t live up to their own ideals?&nbsp; Will you come to be patient with one more stupid question (and there are stupid questions) from someone who should know better?&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; It comes back to the question of who do I think I am?&nbsp; I am a small man, not of much significance after all, despite my ambition and ego.&nbsp; I am a man of short time, no matter how long I may live my life upon the earth.&nbsp; Yet, with all my frustrations I am a man infinitely loved by the God who fills the universe, who is its creator and sustainer. I am a sinful broken man, yet forgiven, forgiven, forgiven again.&nbsp; I am a purchased man, and I can no longer live for myself but for him who died and rose again for me.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><span style="font-family: &quot;Copperplate Gothic Light&quot;, sans-serif; line-height: 115%;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; This means I have little choice about who I can choose to love.&nbsp; I have to love my neighbor, as myself.&nbsp; I have to love even my enemies, and bless them.&nbsp; I have to love those who make me feel tired.&nbsp; Seeking significant change is important, but we can’t stay at that quest if our importance to the world is what we depend on to give us hope.&nbsp; We have to take our rest in how important we are to God and in that knowledge we lose all our own self-importance, our self-righteousness, our need for fame, perfection, and accomplishment.&nbsp; In that importance we find and renew our passion, energy, and endurance in the fight of love</span></span></div> The seduction of celebrity power http://djchuang.com/2018/the-seduction-of-celebrity-power/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:02aa0b2d-76b5-b14c-658f-3d177e4c2c6c Sun, 25 Mar 2018 09:53:35 -0500 <p>Andy Crouch commentary on celebrity power, allegations, and institution-building—insightfully and succinctly written on a Twitter thread of tweets. Posted with permission. If you&#8217;re someone growing in celebrity, your first priority should be to build systems of unimpeachable independence and credibility that can hold you accountable. The problem is that almost no one who tastes celebrity [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/the-seduction-of-celebrity-power/">The seduction of celebrity power</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Andy Crouch commentary on celebrity power, allegations, and institution-building—insightfully and succinctly written on <a href="https://twitter.com/ahc/status/977145865973522434">a Twitter thread of tweets</a>. Posted with permission.</p> <p><span id="more-14459"></span></p> <hr> <p>If you&#8217;re someone growing in celebrity, your first priority should be to build systems of unimpeachable independence and credibility that can hold you accountable. The problem is that almost no one who tastes celebrity makes this a priority.</p> <p>And when credible allegations of misconduct come — as has happened in two cases in my circles this week — you are stuck. Even credible allegations can be false. But if you haven&#8217;t built a system others can trust to fairly assess those allegations, how can we believe your denials?</p> <p>This is the great tragedy of two generations&#8217; worth of impatience with institutions (which reached a peak with my GenX cohort). We neglected real institution-building and settled for celebrity power. But that is a house built on sand, and when it falls, how great is its fall.</p> <p>And culture basically dies if it isn&#8217;t transmitted over two generations (think language). Where do emerging adults go to see healthy models of institutions that both increase creative power and limit the capacity for destructive power? It&#8217;s very hard for them to imagine.</p> <p>There are countless glorious exceptions — individuals and institutions. But almost by definition, they don&#8217;t partake in the culture of celebrity, and thus they are culturally invisible, or far less visible than they ought to be given their integrity and trustworthiness.</p> <p>Meanwhile we have to endure the rise and fall of one celebrity after another, who suck all the oxygen out of the room both on the way up and on the way down.</p> <p>May God have mercy on us all, and give us the grace to &#8220;live quietly, mind our own affairs, and work with our hands&#8221; today (1 Thess 4:11) — trusting him to bless us, the work of our hands, and the generations to come.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/the-seduction-of-celebrity-power/">The seduction of celebrity power</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=uXLw5GVtI5E:rizBukNLqx0:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=uXLw5GVtI5E:rizBukNLqx0: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/uXLw5GVtI5E" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> MULTI-ETHNIC CHURCHES ARE NOT ENOUGH! http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/03/multi-ethnic-churches-are-not-enough.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:6d57b6f0-77c5-d703-3d8b-777f56daca9a Wed, 14 Mar 2018 13:28:54 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp; </span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;As I listen or read about the “white” Evangelical Church and its relationship to and with African Americans, or about how African Americans feel about the white Evangelical Church I am concerned, comforted, and confronted about truly cross-cultural churches and their place in this discussion.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /><span style="font-size: large;">CONCERNED</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I am concerned because I think the general public and the average white and black Christian doesn’t really understand the difference between truly cross-cultural churches and those with some ethnic diversity within them.&nbsp; Multi-ethnic churches are not the same as cross-cultural churches, and are in some measure set up for ethnic misunderstanding and conflict.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I think much of what we hear about these days is the inevitable frustration and friction that comes within churches seeking diversity without “missional intentionality.”&nbsp; Usually all it takes is something in the news or something in politics to create a dilemma.&nbsp; It’s as if a congregation in the days of the early Church had both Gentiles and Judiazers in it, and everything is fine until the subject of circumcision comes up.&nbsp; The Judiazers ask the Gentiles to assimilate, to give up their “Gentile-ness,” and suddenly the Gentiles realize there is a price to be paid to be among these type of Christians.&nbsp; Trouble happens when the knives come out, in that case literally. <br /><!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--><br /><!--[endif]--><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Judiazers assume their culture is normative, and can’t understand why others would be offended.&nbsp; It is not until something radical comes along, like the real Gospel, a Gospel that doesn’t demand uniformity of culture but instead oneness in Christ while we are at the same time diverse in culture.&nbsp; In fact the missional intentionality of the Gospel calls for the sacrificial willingness of the missionary (older brother, majority Christian culture) to become servant to those who are different, in fact seeking to “become” like them in order to reach them (I Corinthians 9:19ff).<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; When a multi-ethnic church seeks to demand everyone be “a-cultural” they are simply but profoundly demanding that minorities be deracinated.&nbsp; The majority cultural group is asking the minority to assimilate, and not to complain.&nbsp; This might be fine if all we were discussing was intentional migration, but when it comes to white and black in America we are also speaking about becoming a minority in religion as well as being a minority in society.&nbsp; We are speaking of assimilating without any sense of history or justice but instead calling for a denial of a sense of self.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Of course there are always those individual ethnic minorities who have no problem with assimilation.&nbsp; There are those who think the way to peace is to discard conversations about issues of injustice or history.&nbsp; Some of these ethnic representatives in a majority culture church are the strongest champions of silencing racial or cultural talk.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; So, this is why I am concerned about the recent discussions and that due to the ignorance of what a truly cross-cultural church is trying to be.&nbsp; A multi-ethnic church is not automatically a cross-cultural church, not even if they have a minority representative as a pastor or minorities in leadership.&nbsp; Some congregations assume that if they hire an African American pastor he is sure to know how to make the church cross-cultural.&nbsp; Why would someone assume that any pastor who hasn’t studied, thought about, or been trained in cross-cultural ministry skills and vision would know what they were doing in that regard?&nbsp; It is a hubris that can create confusion and chaos and it is an unfair burden to be laid on a pastor simply becomes he is an ethnic or minority representative.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">COMFORTED</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I am comforted about cross-cultural ministry in these recent discussions because I know that missional intentionality in a church means congregations will (and must) face the truth and realities of history, injustice, racism, and culture with Biblical truth and hope.&nbsp; Though cross-cultural churches also face the tension and stress of racial and political discussion and difference, through various moments of crisis, they have a commitment to Christ and to each other to see them through the episodes.&nbsp; They are not surprised at the tensions though they sometimes see individuals and families realize, sometimes suddenly, that there is a price to be paid for love across cultural boundaries.&nbsp; Some of those people do leave, but most are tenacious in seeking to live out a community of love that does not skirt truth.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; This common commitment to Biblical reconciliation as an accomplishment of Christ, and this common commitment to “being built together to become a holy temple to the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21) is accepted as part of their discipleship.&nbsp; They have rejected church as simply an expression of their preferences.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">CONFRONTED</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I feel confronted with the challenge of trying to make the distinction clear.&nbsp; If the distinction between missional intentionality and simply a desire for more color or flavor is not clear then time after time individuals who are the “diversity” within a majority church face the realization that they feel like “strangers in a strange land.”&nbsp; Pastors and leaders who have been hired for “diversity” realize that the commitment and sacrifice is in one direction only.&nbsp; It only takes one more episode of injustice, or even misunderstanding, to break hearts and lead to discouragement.&nbsp;&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><span style="line-height: 115%;"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: calibri, sans-serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Helvetica Neue, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> There is a Biblical model, and it is built on such Biblical values as honesty, love, and sacrifice.&nbsp; It is built on a deep and rich appreciation of the Image of God in each human being.&nbsp; It is built on the Biblical appreciation of the reality of human cultures and the necessity of becoming a “slave” to others in order to reach them.&nbsp; It is built on evangelism, missions, and discipleship and not politics.&nbsp;&nbsp; It is built on solidarity with those we finally recognize as full partners in the Kingdom of God.&nbsp;</span></span></span></div> How much sleep do you need? http://djchuang.com/2018/how-much-sleep-do-you-need/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:fe853d99-2ad5-66c0-8836-69c1357b4574 Tue, 13 Mar 2018 12:42:02 -0500 <p>If there&#8217;s a difference between how many hours you sleep versus how many hours you need to sleep, that&#8217;s called sleep deprivation. Many of us have learned how to live with less than optimal sleep because of the demands of life. The sure way to know how much sleep you need is to sleep until [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/how-much-sleep-do-you-need/">How much sleep do you need?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>If there&#8217;s a difference between how many hours you sleep versus how many hours you need to sleep, that&#8217;s called sleep deprivation. Many of us have learned how to live with less than optimal sleep because of the demands of life.</p> <p>The sure way to know how much sleep you need is to sleep until you naturally wake without using an alarm clock. I heard that years ago from an old friend.</p> <p>I&#8217;ve recently had to recalibrate my sleep schedule, also known as sleep hygiene. On average, I&#8217;m needing and getting 9 hours of sleep per night. That means I have to do the math based on the time I need to wake up, and get to sleep at the corresponding right time.</p> <p>But, as it is with my work schedule that occasionally involves travel that crosses time zones, there are nights when I don&#8217;t get my optimal hours of sleep. What I&#8217;ve wound up doing is to make up for sleep deficit by sleeping extra hours when I do return home to my own bed. That seems to help.</p> <p>Do you know why you&#8217;re not getting enough sleep? When you know the why, you can work on finding a solution. Here&#8217;s some more reasons for why people are losing sleep, based on research.</p> <h1>Why are we so sleep deprived, and why does it matter?</h1> <figure><img src="https://i1.wp.com/images.theconversation.com/files/208934/original/file-20180305-146645-8d89su.jpg?w=1170&#038;ssl=1" alt="File 20180305 146645 8d89su.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1" data-recalc-dims="1" /><figcaption>As many as 70 million Americans may not be getting enough sleep. Men get fewer hours of sleep than women.<br /> <a class="source" href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/monday-morning-again-186566120?src=xq4hLhcCUpruA-fFOIbQfQ-1-28"><span class="attribution">Akos Nagy/Shutterstock.com</span></a></figcaption></figure> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-s-jaffee-284786">Michael S. Jaffee</a>, <em><a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-florida-1392">University of Florida</a></em></p> <p>As we prepare to “spring forward” for daylight saving time on March 11, many of us dread the loss of the hour’s sleep we incur by moving our clocks forward. For millions, the loss will be an added insult to the inadequate sleep they experience on a daily basis.</p> <p>Surveys show that <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html">40 percent of American adults get less</a> than the nightly minimum of seven hours of sleep recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the National Sleep Foundation. The National Institutes for Health estimate that between <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20669438">50 million and 70 million people</a> do not get enough sleep. These recommendations for minimal sleep are based on a review of many scientific studies evaluating the role of sleep in our bodies and the effects of sleep deprivation on our ability of our body to function at our peak performance level.</p> <p>I am a <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=q5xsCiYAAAAJ&amp;hl=en">neurologist</a> at the University of Florida who has studied the effects of both traumatic brain injury and sleep impairment on the brain. I have seen the effects of sleep impairment and the significant effects it can have.</p> <p>According to the National Sleep Foundation, American adults currently average <a href="http://news.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx">6.9 hours of sleep</a> per night compared with the 1940s, when most American adults were averaging 7.9 hours a night, or one hour more each night. In fact, in 1942, 84 percent of Americans got the recommended seven to nine hours; in 2013, that number had dropped to <a href="http://news.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx">59 percent</a>. Participants in that same Gallup poll reported on average they felt they needed 7.3 hours of sleep each night but were not getting enough, causing an average nightly sleep debt of 24 minutes. <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-fitbits-6-billion-nights-sleep-data-reveals-us-110058417.html">Fitbit</a> in January 2018 announced results of a study it conducted of 6 billion nights of its customers’ sleep and reported that men actually get even less than women, about 6.5 hours.</p> <p><iframe id="lJfAi" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/lJfAi/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe>Why sleep matters</p> <p>The problems caused by sleep shortage go beyond tiredness. In recent years, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27397854">studies</a> have shown that adults who were short sleepers, or those who got less than seven hours in 24 hours, were more likely to report <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html">10 chronic health conditions</a>, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma and depression, compared to those who got enough sleep, that is, seven or more hours in a 24-hour period.</p> <p>There are more challenges for children, as they are thought to have an increased sleep need compared to adults. The <a href="http://jcsm.aasm.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=30652">American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends</a> that children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours a day and teens 13 to 18 should sleep eight to 10 hours daily on a regular basis to promote optimal health.</p> <p>A Sleep Foundation poll of parents suggested that American children are getting one hour of sleep or more per night less than what their body and brain require.</p> <p><iframe id="umc01" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/umc01/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Researchers have found that <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1978403/">sleep deprivation of even a single hour</a> can have a harmful effect on a child’s developing brain. Inadequate sleep can affect synaptic plasticity and memory encoding, and it can result in inattentiveness in the classroom.</p> <p>Every one of our biological systems is affected by sleep. When we don’t sleep long enough or when we experience poor quality of sleep, there can be serious biological consequences.</p> <p>When we are sleep deprived, our bodies become more aroused through an enhanced <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538178/">sympathetic nervous system</a>, known as “fight or flight.” There is a greater propensity for increased blood pressure and possible risk of coronary heart disease. Our <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538178/">endocrine system</a> releases more cortisol, a stress hormone. The body has less glucose tolerance and greater insulin resistance, which in the long term can cause an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Also, sleep deprivation causes a reduction in growth hormone and muscle maintenance.</p> <p>We also rely on sleep to maintain our metabolism. Sleep deprivation can lead to decreased release of the hormone leptin and increased release of the hormone ghrelin, which can be associated with increased appetite and weight gain.</p> <p>The human body also relies on sleep to help with our immune system. Sleep deprivation is associated with increased inflammation and decreased antibodies to influenza and decreased resistance to infection.</p> <p>Inadequate sleep has been associated with a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538178/">negative effect on mood</a> as well as decreased attention and increased memory difficulty. In addition, someone who is sleep deprived may experience a decrease in pain tolerance and in reaction times. Occupational studies have associated sleep deprivation with decreased performance, increased car accidents, and more days missed from work.</p> <h2>The role of the brain</h2> <p>Researchers have known for a while that brain health is an important aspect of sleep. Notably, sleep is an important part of memory consolidation and learning.</p> <p>Newer research has suggested another important aspect of sleep for our brain: There is a system for the elimination of <a href="https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-sleep-clears-brain">possibly harmful proteins</a> such as abnormal variants of amyloid. This waste removal process, using what is known as the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28859995">glymphatic system</a>, relies on sleep to effectively eliminate these proteins from the brain. These are the same proteins found to be elevated in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that older adults with less sleep have greater accumulations of these proteins in their brains.</p> <p>Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by the <a href="https://theconversation.com/understanding-the-genes-that-make-our-circadian-clocks-tick-67356">circadian system</a>, which helps signal the brain to sleep using the release of the natural hormone melatonin. It turns out that our body’s system for regulating melatonin and our sleep schedule is most powerfully controlled by light.</p> <p>There are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4812508/">cells in the retina of our eye</a> that communicate directly with the brain’s biological clock regulators located in the hypothalamus and this pathway is most affected by light. These neurons have been found to be most affected by light waves from the blue spectrum or blue light. This is the kind of light <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734149/">most prominent in electronic</a> lights from computers and smartphones. This has become a modern challenge that can adversely affect our natural sleep-wake cycle.</p> <p>Additional factors that can hamper sleep include pain conditions, medications for other conditions, and the increased demands and connectedness of modern society.</p> <p><img src="https://i1.wp.com/counter.theconversation.com/content/91803/count.gif?resize=1%2C1&#038;ssl=1" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" data-recalc-dims="1" />As we prepare for daylight saving time, we can be mindful that <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/02699052.2014.983978">many athletes have been including planned sleep extensions</a> (sleeping longer than usual) into their schedule to enhance performance and that many professional sports teams have hired sleep consultants to help assure their athletes have enough sleep. Perhaps we should have a similar game plan as we approach the second Sunday in March.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-s-jaffee-284786">Michael S. Jaffee</a>, Vice chair, Department of Neurology, <em><a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-florida-1392">University of Florida</a></em></p> <p>This article was originally published on <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a>. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-are-we-so-sleep-deprived-and-why-does-it-matter-91803">original article</a>.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/how-much-sleep-do-you-need/">How much sleep do you need?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=M2qE6q1YmXU:MDAU8BpgxnI:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=M2qE6q1YmXU:MDAU8BpgxnI: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/M2qE6q1YmXU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> What really is the value of Christian apologetics? http://djchuang.com/2018/what-really-is-the-value-of-christian-apologetics/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:3ba371f6-2c78-f666-6ffd-9a69e1017328 Sun, 11 Mar 2018 12:06:43 -0500 <p>Content of all kinds swirl around the internet and one category has been grouped under Christian apologetics. Apologetics has been around pre-internet and perhaps for many centuries. I was posed this question recently to which I decided to respond: Q: So do you think there is value in Christian apologetics? @djchuang&#8217;s answer: Yes, I think [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/what-really-is-the-value-of-christian-apologetics/">What really is the value of Christian apologetics?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Content of all kinds swirl around the internet and one category has been grouped under Christian apologetics. Apologetics has been around pre-internet and perhaps for many centuries. I was posed this question recently to which I decided to respond:</p> <blockquote> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Q: So do you think there is value in Christian apologetics?</p> </blockquote> <p>@djchuang&#8217;s answer: Yes, I think there is value to Christian apologetics. I don&#8217;t think of it having value in the traditional sense of how that term is used; let me briefly describe what I can within the limited time and space I have here.</p> <p><a href="https://1peter.bible/1-peter-3-15/"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-14447" src="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2n11mm-1peter-bible.png?resize=147%2C300" alt="" width="147" height="300" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2n11mm-1peter-bible.png?resize=147%2C300 147w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2n11mm-1peter-bible.png?resize=768%2C1564 768w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2n11mm-1peter-bible.png?resize=503%2C1024 503w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2n11mm-1peter-bible.png?w=873 873w" sizes="(max-width: 147px) 100vw, 147px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a>Christian apologists often refer to <a href="https://1peter.bible/1-peter-3-15/">1 Peter 3:15</a> as the key Bible verse for developing apologetics. That verse says: &#8220;But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.&#8221;</p> <p>Much effort has been made in publishing books and running conferences to circulate Christian apologetic resources. The impetus for creating all of these resources comes from an emphasis on the phrase, &#8220;always be prepread to give an answer to everyone.&#8221;</p> <p>However, that&#8217;s only half of the sentence. I think the other half is just as important, and perhaps even more important in a pluralistic multi-faith world.</p> <p>The more important part is: &#8220;<strong>to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.</strong>&#8221; What are people asking of those who profess to be Christians? Are they asking for hope or something else?</p> <p>More often than not, I have found, that people are asking Christians to be <a href="http://djchuang.com/2003/judgmental-hypocritical-boring/">less hypocritical and less judgmental</a>. Apologetics, when used as a defense to &#8220;prove&#8221; the rightness of one&#8217;s faith, is not helpful for this. And, for those who profess to be Christians that are hypocritical and judgmental, they&#8217;re probably not aware of how they are coming across in their zeal to be &#8220;faithful.&#8221; (Research has shown that <a href="https://sfgate.com/news/article/Incompetent-People-Really-Have-No-Clue-Studies-2783375.php">unaware people are unaware about their own unawareness</a>.)</p> <h3>Who does apologetics have value for?</h3> <p>I think Christian apologetics has more value for Christians, especially for those who are younger in their faith to gain more cognitive knowledge about their faith. Christians are the ones who are buying apologetics resources and funding to support apologetics ministries. This goes to show that the benefits of apologetics are more for Christians and not for non-Christians.</p> <h3>How non-Christians become Christian?</h3> <p>In my limited experience, I&#8217;ve found that a majority of people choose their faith, Christian or otherwise, based on some kind of a personal experience, usually through a relationship. Stories of non-Christian people becoming Christian, typically refer to that person experiencing kindness and love from Christians. I rarely hear of apologetics being the major factor for non-Christians becoming Christians.</p> <h3>Christian apologetics in a multi-faith world</h3> <p>Here&#8217;s my take on what kind of apologetics will work better in today&#8217;s context—whether it&#8217;s called pluralistic and multi-faith, secular humanistic, postmodern, or whatever.</p> <p>People everywhere of all faiths (or non-faiths, theists, agnostics, atheists) share in the human condition. Knowledge about life and faith is commonly available to all. And yet, different individuals arrive at different conclusions about their spirituality.</p> <p>For example, 2 children can grow up in the exact same family of origin, in a Christian home. One child grows up to remain a Christian, actively involved in their faith community called church. The other child grows up and rejects Christianity for their own reasons. Same content, different results. What&#8217;s going on there?</p> <p>There are these 5 very hard questions about the human condition: suffering, hypocrisy, inconsistencies, religions, and relevance. People are meaning-finding creatures; people are neurologically compelled to make meaning and to make sense of the world.</p> <p>Suffering is very often inexplicable, whether it is catastrophic natural disasters, violence, disease, or the inevitability of death.</p> <p>Hypocrisy exists among those who say they believe something but (some of) their behavior goes against the ethics and morals of the faith they profess to believe. There are both good and bad Christians; there are good and bad Muslims; there are good and bad people that profess faith or non-faith.</p> <p>Inconsistencies exist in how the various world religions were formed. For those who believe, they have a category of mystery to accommodate that. For those who don&#8217;t believe, well, the reality of the human condition, is, that people are inconsistent.</p> <p>Religions have come and gone throughout human history. Atheism or agnosticism are usually a minority voice. And, there are people who get stuck with so many religious options, they choose to disengage from faith. I&#8217;m of the opinion that life would be more meaningful with a commitment of faith than without. (This presupposes that there is a supernatural and immaterial part of life, which most people believe, and there are people who believe that the supernatural doesn&#8217;t exist at all.)</p> <p>Death is the finality of every single person&#8217;s life. Some cultures avoid talking about it or dealing with it. But it is unavoidable. With death being certain, it&#8217;s a fair question to ask what happens after death. And whatever it is that one believes about that, is the final answer of what one is truly believing by faith.</p> <h3>How you live matters more than what you can explain.</h3> <p>Now that I&#8217;ve taken some time to think out loud about what I think about Christian apologetics, I will say this. Christian apologetics for today&#8217;s world has to be more than cognitive content about metaphysics and religions.</p> <p>Could it be possible to recalibrate the scope of apologetics to be more? The other parts that need more emphasis and consideration are: relationally and behaviorally. What matters more is the quality of personal relationships with people of all faiths, demonstrating gentleness and respect with people of all faiths. Actions do speak louder than words.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/what-really-is-the-value-of-christian-apologetics/">What really is the value of Christian apologetics?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=5wIHxdA1qwY:_v1O31d2Zf0:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=5wIHxdA1qwY:_v1O31d2Zf0:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/5wIHxdA1qwY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> HELP WANTED! http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/03/help-wanted.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:a9a41889-2b65-4e42-8f00-e13fd36a3c6f Thu, 01 Mar 2018 16:05:46 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">&nbsp;<span style="font-size: large;"> Just suppose you wanted to make something of your life… Suppose you wanted to make a significant difference in the lives of other people…</span></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; Suppose you wanted to impact at least one specific community, one neighborhood… &nbsp;Suppose you had the belief that people coming to faith in Jesus Christ would actually affect their eternal destiny and that their faith in and of itself could change their present and future ability to deal with troubles in this life...<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Suppose you were willing to bring about this impact, this difference, over a long faithfulness, that you would be willing to be patient, tenacious, and gentle with people but impatient and irritated at poverty, injustice, and the damage of sin…&nbsp; Suppose you were willing to live among these people, and not just live in that place but to live before them with all your own struggles, fears, and needs, along with your faith…&nbsp; Suppose you were willing to live as their servant, to use your knowledge of God and His Word to teach them, through preaching, example and instruction, constantly pointing them to Christ while trying to be self-effacing and losing your identity (and thus finding it) in Christ…</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<span style="font-size: large;"> Suppose you were willing to live as a pastor without being perfect at it, and willing to suffer the cost of being misunderstood or being falsely accused.</span></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; Suppose you were willing to trust God for and with your money, for and with your marriage, for and with your children, for and with your “name,” your success, with the reality of your aging, your physical limitations, with the possibility of obscurity, with your culture…</span><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;Suppose you were willing to be abandoned to God, to live a life of prayer, repentance, study, and love….Suppose you were willing to gather a people, to create a new social reality in one geographic place, and were willing to live in the midst of the social and political reality of raising up new leaders, listening to them, learning from them, and being displaced by them…<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Do you think it could happen?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Do you think it would actually make a difference?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Do you think you could do it with joy, do you think you could do it without self-righteousness?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Well, could you do it, would you do it?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Will you do it?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>In addition, not necessarily alternatively, will you pray that someone will do it, that God would send someone to do it?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">We are looking for life-long and lifetime heroes in hard, normal, real life places.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>We are looking for church planters and pastors, looking for men who are full of God, with an insatiable hunger for more of Jesus, and more of His Word.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We are looking for those whom God is sending, whose ambition is being fully realized in saying “yes Lord, yes to your will!”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Normal human spaces are waiting for real, godly men, to take their places within them. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">God’s “yes” line is always open, angels are standing by.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /></div> Where Asian American Pastors Can Get Coaching http://djchuang.com/2018/asian-american-pastors-can-get-coaching/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:9f701661-3a9c-459f-df2d-48e5eada6e96 Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:45:38 -0600 <p>You have choices for coaching cohorts as Asian American pastors; coaching helps you to grow your effectiveness as pastors, church leaders, church planters, spiritually, relationally and personally.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/asian-american-pastors-can-get-coaching/">Where Asian American Pastors Can Get Coaching</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>There are several options available for Asian American pastors to grow their effectiveness as pastors, church leaders, church planters, spiritually, relationally and personally. Here&#8217;s the ones I know of; please add a comment or <a href="/contact">contact</a> with others you know of.</p> <h3>Coaching for Asian American Pastors</h3> <p><a href="http://regenerant.org/cohort/"><strong>ReGenerant Church Planting Cohort</strong></a> &#8211; 12-month program, starting in April 2018, for church planters in Southern California</p> <p><a href="https://www.patreon.com/intentionalcoaching"><strong>Intentional Coaching</strong></a> &#8211; with Pastor Thien Doan. 4-6 months of online meetings.</p> <p><a href="https://healthychurchleaders.wordpress.com"><strong>Healthy Churches Leadership Initiative</strong></a> &#8211; peer coaching groups in San Francisco Bay area</p> <h3>Coaching in Academic Settings</h3> <p>There are also valuable programs in an academic setting that have coaching baked into their studies contextualized for Asian American pastors. Here&#8217;s that list.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.talbot.edu/dmin/asian-american/">D.Min. Asian American Ministry Track</a></strong> &#8211; 3-year academic program at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, with a 2-weeks residency annually</p> <p><a href="https://fuller.edu/asian-american-center/"><strong>Asian American Center</strong></a> at Fuller Theological Seminary</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/asian-american-pastors-can-get-coaching/">Where Asian American Pastors Can Get Coaching</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=GLvRBzWDTvA:4avFZBHWp7k:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=GLvRBzWDTvA:4avFZBHWp7k: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/GLvRBzWDTvA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> CRITICISM http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/02/criticism.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:c1833943-8c9b-4bed-76d3-8f3ecec0ba65 Tue, 13 Feb 2018 10:56:01 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;<span style="font-size: large;"> I have been thinking some about the role of Critical Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Post Modern ideology concerning prevalent ethnic and racial justice and injustice issues.&nbsp; I have been thinking of the rhetoric of cultural and social critics, the presumptive attempt to be “prophetic” in speaking to social problems, and the difficulty of pointing out hard and unpleasant realities, while at the same time maintaining a Biblical attitude and behavior.&nbsp; For the Christian to be prophetic in this day and age must mean that not only he or she has the courage to speak truth to power, or truth to institutions, but also that both the truth that is expounded, and the manner in which it is expounded be grounded and understood from Biblical absolutes.&nbsp; This means our attempts to speak the truth have to be practiced in the context of Christ, Gospel, and grace. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We live in a world of social and cultural criticism.&nbsp; Much of this criticism is media driven, often through the use of humor and especially using satire, sarcasm, and mockery.&nbsp; Some of this criticism arises from pain, from real racial hurt, and from both the results of oppression as well as current acts and attitudes of racism and injustice.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To cut off social criticism from a God’s eye point of view of truth, love, and eternity inevitably leads to all kinds of errors.&nbsp; Some of these errors create darkness in our own souls as we can be crushed by the despair caused by the oppression of societal sin in the world.&nbsp; We can attempt to face the unjust realities of the world without faith and that just keeps us angry, traumatized, and ultimately burned out.&nbsp; We can attempt to face social and economic realities with some kind of jury-rigged earthly analysis, and as brilliant as they might seem or as militant as they may make us feel, they have no hope.&nbsp; Some of that societal sin is the sin of the unjust or unwise State, some is tribal and ethnic oppression, some is collective economic exploitation, some might be the oppression of cultural dominant groups either by design or ignorance, and some of course is familial and interpersonal, i.e. individual to individual.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Believers need to be cultural and societal critics, or at least some leaders in the church have to be.&nbsp; To be “in the world and not of it” means that we are called to some discrimination, some discernment, to know what is happening around us, to us, or to others. We cannot love our neighbors as ourselves if we have no knowledge, concern, or empathy for them.&nbsp; We cannot adequately preach the Gospel to the poor if we don’t know who they are. &nbsp;We cannot throw off the yoke of oppression if we don’t know what oppression is, who is being oppressed and how, and where. It is not always easy work to be culturally discerning.&nbsp; The secular philosophical world can sometimes give us helpful ideas, clues, and even slogans or phrases to help sum up what has happened in history or culture.&nbsp; Common grace allows all human beings to tell a bit of the truth, and it certainly allows them to pick up pretty quickly what they feel to be just and unjust.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Evangelicals have studied, discussed, and written about trends in philosophical culture.&nbsp; They have studied and strategized about generational culture.&nbsp; Some are beginning to add an ethnic and racial analysis to culture, which is long overdue in the American context.&nbsp; Evangelicals have preferred moral criticism and sometimes divorced it (shamefully and embarrassingly so) from justice.&nbsp; As I have read and listened to some of the (Evangelical) modern cultural critics I have been concerned about the amount of polarization that has taken place.&nbsp; For some polarization seems almost to be an achievement, and I am concerned, and sad about that.&nbsp; If we give criticism we have to be able to receive it, and this is often hard for us to hear especially when we feel so right about our stance on the issues.&nbsp; Some seem unable to hear criticism about their views or rhetoric, or have possibly tied their egos to their platforms, and as we should all know, it is hard to disentangle oneself from a run-away band wagon once we are tied to it with our pride.&nbsp; This is as true for the conservative wing of Evangelicals as it is for the more liberal side of Evangelicals.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: large;">Here are some of my concerns, i.e., criticisms, and observations about recent conversational trends and they are not to be taken as universal, they are of course generalized but not appropriate for everyone in the conversation.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Asserting that historic behaviors of past injustice, responsible for residual effects, must all still be at play.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Asserting that racism is an extremely rare attitude and behavior within specific individuals and is having no significant current impact on culture, society, or politics. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Inserting racial, ethnic, and tribal rationalizations to explain all inequities.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Allowing one’s frustration with seemingly implacable societal realities to create theories of systemic, systematic, and intentional conspiracy about those realities.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Asserting that anyone who describes society and culture in terms of group/class antagonism, or attempts to discuss or describe social injustice must be a Marxist. [There are Marxists, then there are others who are members of the Communist Party (they are not necessarily the same) and then there are others who borrow Marxist social criticism terms and phrases in their speech and writings, but certainly are not consistently Marxist in their ideology.]<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Avoiding and denying subject (individual) responsibility for the creation of cultural and ethnic distortions in equity.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Avoiding and resisting group (or group representative) responsibility for the reality of privilege and the exercise of power.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Interpreting even the “well meaning” (but failed) solutions to social problems with the most negative and racist explanations.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Ignorance of how the radical rhetoric of group condemnation will motivationally affect the opposition, or giving the results no concern.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Assuming that even in the midst of pointed and emotional speech against perceived evils that the speaker is exempt from giving honor to everyone, especially leaders, love to their neighbors, and especially to what one may assume is an “enemy.”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Creating the myth that the language of ethnic triumphalism can replace individual moral responsibility, or group activism, on the ground.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Allowing ethnic and racial identity narratives to harden into tribal narrative competition.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Failing to see that creating a negative world of personal bitterness and condemnatory speech with an oppositional isolation is an inadequate path for survival, and deprives one of a necessary social and cultural interaction in a multi-cultural world.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Failing to realize that the language of love is a necessary component of love.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Creating the false narrative that reconciliation is only a product of the full realization of guilt, confession, repentance, restoration, and reparations or leaving the alternative… permanent condemnation or retribution.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Creating the false narrative that reconciliation is either accomplished or not, thus denying it as a process that has both emotional and relational beginnings, as well as realizations and actions.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Creating rhetoric that denies grace to the ignorant and the transgressor (and failing to define the difference) while removing the necessity of faith, humility and responsibility in the response of the victim, thus denying them inherent dignity.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Failure to see the power of love and mercy to cover a multitude of sins and bring healing even without adequate self-knowledge, self-realization, and personal acceptance of blame and responsibility from the privileged. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Conflating a Marxist and Post-Modern dialectical tribal analysis to construct a narrative of conflict and competition that alienates rather than reconciles.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Conflating a conservative political and economic world view, with its attendant patriotic civil religion, with Biblical Christianity. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->A practical rejection of Biblical anthropology and God’s sovereignty in the historical ordering of mankind to bring about his eternal and eschatological purposes.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol;">·<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->An attempt to convey real and honest history with an incisive and unapologetic exposure of injustice and oppression without much hope or Gospel, and without a rhetorical acknowledgement or commitment of the tenacity of the Church to prevail against the gates of hell.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div></div> $20 for your thoughts, Asian American Pastors http://djchuang.com/2018/20-thoughts-asian-american-pastors/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:3db75fad-b927-b817-b53f-f743beddeb9d Mon, 12 Feb 2018 19:57:41 -0600 <p>Asian American Pastor and Church Survey! (Around 30 minutes, $20 Amazon gift card) If you are a lead/senior/solo Asian American pastor of a predominately Asian American congregation (i.e. EM, pan-Asian, multiethnic), fill out this online survey (around 30 minutes) and receive a $20 Amazon gift card. Please share this with your pastor friends! This is [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/20-thoughts-asian-american-pastors/">$20 for your thoughts, Asian American Pastors</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Asian American Pastor and Church Survey!<br /> (Around 30 minutes, $20 Amazon gift card)<br /> <a href="http://140t.co/fulleraasurvey"><img src="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/27788328_1621916861222940_3779694818827876965_o.jpg?resize=1024%2C576" alt="" width="1024" height="576" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-14402" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/27788328_1621916861222940_3779694818827876965_o.jpg?resize=1024%2C576 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/27788328_1621916861222940_3779694818827876965_o.jpg?resize=300%2C169 300w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/27788328_1621916861222940_3779694818827876965_o.jpg?resize=768%2C432 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a></p> <p>If you are a lead/senior/solo Asian American pastor of a predominately Asian American congregation (i.e. EM, pan-Asian, multiethnic), <a href="http://140t.co/fulleraasurvey">fill out this online survey</a> (around 30 minutes) and receive a $20 Amazon gift card.</p> <p>Please share this with your pastor friends!</p> <p>This is one of the first surveys of its kind and will help us to understand our community much better. Our churches and pastors are definitely understudied and underresourced.</p> <p>Here is the link: <a href="http://140t.co/fulleraasurvey">tinyurl.com/aapcsurvey</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2018/20-thoughts-asian-american-pastors/">$20 for your thoughts, Asian American Pastors</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=sf-x3ULkm4I:VWh6yV0NCnI:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=sf-x3ULkm4I:VWh6yV0NCnI: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/sf-x3ULkm4I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> MAKE PURSES FOR YOURSELVES THAT WON'T WEAR OUT! http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/02/make-purses-for-yourselves-that-wont.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:5a2380fb-7a24-7df1-087e-db1bcab70a6a Mon, 05 Feb 2018 17:06:25 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">I’ve recently had some opportunities to speak about money, sacrifice, and the poor.&nbsp; I often speak on poverty but it gets a bit more personal when I speak to “the poor” and to “the rich.”&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Over the last decade or so I have heard preachers and speakers on the radio and other places mention the fact that the Bible talks a lot about money.&nbsp; After they mention this fact I seem to hear either a discussion about getting out of debt and achieving sound financial management, or from another direction I hear a sermon urging me to believe in the “prosperity Gospel.”&nbsp;&nbsp; Usually those sermons don’t use that phrase but instead encourage me to go after my "money miracle, my breakthrough, my blessing, or to enlarge my tent."&nbsp; Both sides seem to encourage me to be pretty self-focused, it is all about how I use, tithe, sow, or save “my” money.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I don’t hear from those sources much about the poor, except to encourage me not to be counted among them.&nbsp; I also don’t hear much from those preachers concerning a rebuke, command, or charge to the rich, except that if God was truly blessing me then I would be one of them.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the great joys of my preaching ministry has been to sometimes speak to very poor people, in places where almost everyone in the room, tent, hut, field, beach, under the stars, or church building was poor.&nbsp; Telling them that God cares about them; that they are indeed loved in Christ and that they can become fellow heirs with Christ has filled me with joy.&nbsp; This joy is sometimes because I see and feel the joy in them, as I hear them sing in faith, as I see them encouraged that God actually loves them in their poverty, and notices their condition.&nbsp;&nbsp; I see them take joy in their exalted position.&nbsp; It is a joy, but it is sometimes simultaneously heart-breaking.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the great challenges of my ministry is preaching to and relating to the rich.&nbsp; The challenge is how to love them while calling them to make purses for themselves that will not wear out, to not wear themselves out to be and stay rich, to not trust in the temporal nature of their wealth, to lay up their treasure in heaven where moth and rust don’t corrupt and thieves don’t break in to steal, to share their bread with the hungry, to be generous and ready to share, to glory in their low estate, and to be rich in good works.&nbsp; I have to command them not to be arrogant and not to put their hope in their money.&nbsp; I have to warn them that they can’t serve God and money at the same time.&nbsp; I have to do this while still loving them and not making the false assumption that material things are bad in themselves or that God doesn’t want any of us to enjoy life and the things he has given us in this world.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the great tasks of my ministry is to put these two kinds of people in touch with each other, sometimes personally, and sometimes simply through resources.&nbsp; When it happens I get to see two different kind of Christians receive a blessing and I see the Gospel at work.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; There are temptations in this kind of work.&nbsp; One is a subtle kind of coveting, not so much for the stuff of wealth, but for the power of it.&nbsp; Why doesn’t God just give me all that money so I can give it directly, which surely I would do?&nbsp; One conclusion is that God doesn’t put any confidence in my humility; that with the power to decide on distribution would come an insufferable arrogance.&nbsp; This would lead to a conviction that I didn’t need to pray, no longer to trust God, and no need of working at relationships that might be difficult.&nbsp; Having money can give one the illusion that they don't need other people or accountability.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; As the writer of Proverbs (30:7-9) prayed, <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">“Two things I ask of you, O Lord, do not refuse me before I die:<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">But give me only my daily bread, <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my god.”<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Another kind of temptation is to be afraid of the faces of men.&nbsp; My ministry seems to be dependent on the generosity of God’s people so maybe I had better be careful not to "bite the hand that feeds me"?&nbsp; (I have actually heard that warning from people who didn’t like my social or cultural application of the Scriptures).&nbsp; What if the wealthy cut me off, what if they don’t like me, what if they no longer support me, give me their money to help others, or won’t share some of their very nice homes, cars, and company?&nbsp;&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; You might notice I used the word “seems” when I talked about depending on the generosity of God’s people, and there is certainly nothing strange or wrong about receiving support from God's people.&nbsp; As an itinerant preacher and teacher Jesus received generosity from the wealthy.&nbsp; The Apostle Paul was supported by the gifts of God’s people.&nbsp; They also sometimes went without, in danger, exposed to the elements, no place to lay their head, etc.&nbsp;&nbsp; The truth is that they didn’t depend on God’s people; they depended on God the Father.&nbsp; So should we all, and to do otherwise will certainly compromise our courage and our message.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; The standard of my calling is to be true to God’s Word and never use it to manipulate people.&nbsp; My calling is to be a man of integrity in how I teach it and live it, and to love everyone as I meet, preach to, encourage, and live among them.&nbsp;&nbsp; Part of that standard is to be humble, and that humility is to be both an inner conviction and an outward appearance.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Another part of my calling is to say like Amos, “the lion has roared who can but tremble, the Lord has spoken who can but prophesy?” &nbsp;And so like Jeremiah I have to say, “but if I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.&nbsp; I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” And like James I have to tell people, “show me your faith by your works.”<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;I am called to be both humble and bold. Being prophetic about poverty and wealth might cause some to think of me with annoyance which can then lead to avoidance, especially when I speak of injustice and the necessity of sacrifice.&nbsp; The reality is that I am no hero, and I have suffered very little abuse in trying to be faithful to the calling God has given me.&nbsp; I consider myself immensely blessed.&nbsp; Yet, I know sometimes I make people nervous.</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">&nbsp; &nbsp; To, and for me, the cross calls us to discipleship, to the cost of it, and to proclaiming and living out the Gospel of the Kingdom. I have absolutely no ability to carry that cross, no innate spirituality or moral strength to carry it.&nbsp; I find myself to be a person who has contradictions; holding powerful convictions and too little holiness, a powerful message and too much selfish weakness.&nbsp; If Jesus doesn’t help me I won’t make it.&nbsp; If God’s grace doesn’t empower then the cross is too heavy.&nbsp; Yet in that cross is all my help, all my cleansing, all my deliverance from sin and self.&nbsp; The cross begins with justification but it has all these sanctification&nbsp;implications that keeps nailing me to it.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The conclusion is fairly clear and direct for all of us, from the poorest to the wealthiest; we can’t continue to be afraid and let worry make us hold onto material possessions for our security.&nbsp; We have to learn to live in contentment by faith, and we must learn the amazing and wonderful experience of sharing, generosity, and sacrifice in caring for the poor and loving our neighbors.&nbsp; All of us can and must do that, as hard and even as impossible as it seems, as Christ empowers us.&nbsp; It is want He wants.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">END.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div></div> THE SOCIAL GOSPEL SLANDER http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/01/every-once-in-whilesomeone-decides-to.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:f557d0bb-a74e-409e-ee89-654e2c2a9a08 Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:59:07 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Every once in a while someone decides to smear those who advocate social righteousness in the practice of both the church as <u>congregation</u>, and the church as <u>members</u>, as the “Social Gospel.”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; It is perfectly fine with me to have brothers and sisters debate the extent or parameters of local churches, or the denomination, to deal with social injustices, oppression, and social moral evils.&nbsp; However, with both positive and negative words and actions, public and social sinfulness needs to be confronted by somebody.&nbsp; Certainly we know this is part of the role of government as mentioned in Romans 13, where we are taught that those in authority are to commend those who do right, but hold terror for those who do wrong.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; How is the government supposed to know what that is exactly , i.e., what is the difference between those two things, what is good and what is wrong?&nbsp; Do we leave this for “common grace,” that we should assume any and all people who might end up in politics and government know the difference?&nbsp; Do we as believers feel any responsibility to be a moral and ethical voice to secular government, based on Biblical and godly values?&nbsp; Do we feel that the realm of government is none of our business?&nbsp; Do we leave this for those Christians who get into government to carry that burden, if they are indeed trying to be “Christian” in their role as politicians and governors?&nbsp; Do we assume that partisan ideologies are the same as justice and moral righteousness?&nbsp; (God help you if you believe that.)<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Some of the “smearing” or labeling against those of us who call for the church, and its members, to live out justice and morality in society is due to a misunderstanding (ignorance) of historical theology in regard to the Social Gospel movement.&nbsp; Some of the labeling I suspect comes down to which social issues are being discussed.&nbsp; Conservatives tend to have their favorite social issues, which to them are seen as <u>legitimate</u> moral issues so they tend not to describe them as social gospel liberalism.&nbsp; These issues are abortion, human trafficking, homosexuality and the gay rights agenda, and alcoholism (though we don’t hear so much about temperance these days). <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; On a side note it is interesting to me to observe how “Fundamentalist” moral issues have been superseded by secular activists in realms of anti-smoking (public health), sobriety (AA and the recovery “industry”), and sexual constraint (the “me too” movement).&nbsp; These public movements have probably brought more public “buy in” to concern about behavior than the legalism of fundamentalism.&nbsp; This would probably make for some good research in a doctoral program.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Debating the role of the local church versus the involvement of its members is one thing, but to confuse a call for the social application of justice and moral righteousness to society’s ills with a theology that abandoned the need for personal redemption and conversion and replaced it with a passion for societal reform, is to call fellow believers who are members by confession and vows of an orthodox religion -heretics.&nbsp; It is a lie, it is a slander, and frankly seems&nbsp; intended to avoid social responsibility as an obedient follower of Jesus Christ.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; People need to be saved, by the blood of Christ, who died for sinners.&nbsp; The cross was a legal and redemptive transaction within the Trinity to satisfy the wrath and righteousness of God.&nbsp; People need to believe in Jesus, and He transforms them.&nbsp; Inner and personal transformation is a necessity for a relationship to God, and that can only happen by grace.&nbsp; At the same time there is a Kingdom of God, and it is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.&nbsp;&nbsp; We are saved unto good works, and those good works are for the good of human beings.&nbsp; God, the God of the Bible, is a God of justice, who hates wickedness, and oppression.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;Preachers have to preach, teach, and model good works.&nbsp; Not as a means to salvation or as a substitute for it, but as the end of it.&nbsp; Any preacher who takes his stand that the local church should not be involved in works of mercy, or should stand against local, national, or international injustice, better be preaching, stimulating, and even commanding his people to do good works; or he is simply an obstacle to the Kingdom of God, if not its enemy.&nbsp; The preaching of grace does not nullify the teaching or practicing of good works but empowers them, with liberty and joy.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Most of the time teaching that the local church shouldn’t do anything in terms of social mercy or justice is a luxury of the wealthy, middle and upper class church.&nbsp; Those people have the money, the education and the social networks to deal with their problems.&nbsp; When the church is among the poor then widows often have to be fed by the church itself, and not given over to their own retirement funds.&nbsp; One’s wealth perspective often deprives us of an adequate view not only of reality, but of Biblical application.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; There was a theological movement of the early twentieth century, led by men such as Walter Rauschenbusch, who looked upon the need for personal redemption as a mistaken view of the teachings of Jesus.&nbsp; While advocating some of the teaching of Jesus he separated Jesus from his saving work to focus on a social application of love and peace.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; Obviously those are worthy things, but not good enough for those who wish to be holistically obedient.&nbsp; Men need personal salvation and redemption, they need their characters changed in order to be able to deal with both their own sins and their own eternity, and to prevent them from sinning against others. &nbsp;Love can only really and radically come from the God who is love within us, and not some moral sentiment.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We need social activists who rise up within and from the church who are saved and blood washed by Jesus, and who become advocates for love, goodness, and peace within the world.&nbsp; We need activists who preach the cross, while they feed the hungry, and stand against evil.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> ARROGANCE http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/01/arrogance.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:6df3037e-79b8-24bc-2022-3eb210581cfe Tue, 09 Jan 2018 14:43:57 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><b><span style="font-size: large;">THIS TOWER HAS MY NAME ON IT<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">“All who walk in pride He is able to humble,”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Says Nebuchadnezzar.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">A proud king, if there was ever<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">And ever was there a tree<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Quite as tall as me?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">As large, as strong<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">So high<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Whose top can touch the sky?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Where beasts find a bed<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">And by its fruit the birds are fed?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">“All who walk in pride He is able to humble,”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Says Nebuchadnezzar,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Who called for Belteshazzer,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">A wise man, clever<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">To discern dreams and mysteries.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">What does it mean, this dream that was sent,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">About whom or why and what was meant<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">When the messenger said, “cut it down<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">And let it be stripped?”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">What does it mean, “live with the animals?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Imprisoned in an animals mind?”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">I’m not a beast<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">But of the kingly kind!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">“All who walk in pride He is able to humble,”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Says Nebuchadnezzar.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">“Here is my tower, here is my wall<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">My name in gold letters<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Triumphant and all.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Has there ever been such glory to see,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Is this not my kingdom, the name I have built?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">This was by my doing,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">An empire of me!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">“All who walk in pride He is able to humble,”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Says Nebuchadnezzar.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">He who makes kings eat grass like kind<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Nebuchadnezzar knew,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">For God took his mind.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">The King of Heaven does as He pleases<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Regarding the boastful,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Their claims as a tease.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Takes note of neglect<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Those who will not respect<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Nor acknowledge<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">The Most High as Sovereign.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">He can give or take knowledge,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Sanity, wealth, life, and power<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">To the one whom he pleases.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Assigns them their hour,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">And tombs,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Which remain their houses forever,<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Even their dwelling place for generations;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Though they had named lands after themselves.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Randy Nabors<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">January, 2018<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div></div> UGLY RELATIVES http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2018/01/ugly-relatives.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:6bb64e01-e584-fd93-f1ae-210e26d13938 Wed, 03 Jan 2018 15:21:18 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: large;"> &nbsp;I have been watching the unfolding Evangelical internecine squabble, the civil war of social/theological embarrassment.&nbsp; I have been listening to the racial/cultural commentary of the “woke,’ the sometimes arrogant, condescending, and despising rhetoric from those seeking distance from the uncool part of Jesus followers.&nbsp; I too have been embarrassed by my so-called brethren excusing racial, sexual, and materialistic misbehavior in the name of political moral achievement.&nbsp; I was glad for the Christmas break, as people seemed to take some time off from bashing each other, separating, excluding, mocking, or excusing.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I am looking for a cooler tribe.&nbsp; I am seeking authentic, true, and reliable branding; at least until hypocrisy appears in my new self-identified group.&nbsp; In the end I suppose I shall have to run away from myself, sin just seems to keep showing up in this lonely group of one known as me.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Some of the old songs give me tags, though we have the ability to make hash out of them.&nbsp; “Lord I want to be a Christian in my heart,” and “I have decided to follow Jesus!”&nbsp;&nbsp; “I’m gonna treat everybody right!”&nbsp; Right.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Well, how can I tell you that I believe in Jesus, which means I believe the Bible to be true, but I am educated and intelligent (self-assessment confessed) &nbsp;and really like science, and I really want to follow Jesus by loving people, and think he wants me to pursue justice, and mercy, and love?&nbsp; Part of following Jesus means (for me) to not practice being a racist, and I see that as a very human condition of ethno-centrism but gets aggravated and complicated when we have power and privilege.&nbsp; Following Jesus means for me to actually hate evil, which puts me in conflict with those who think love means having no boundaries, standards, or penalties, but only tolerance except for those who think God draws lines.&nbsp; I mean, doesn’t he somewhere, eventually?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Following Jesus for me means that I believe that the God of the Bible is big, Sovereign, King, Lord, boss, planner and disposer and as such I call myself Reformed and think that God can use even delusional, paranoid, and narcissistic presidents for his own purposes but has the ability to make kings eat grass and be diseased in their legs when they take to themselves the idea that they are a god.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So, I’m not afraid, but I’m also a pragmatic American and a believer that the controlling God of destiny looks for someone to stand in the gap and make a difference.&nbsp; So, I’m an activist and want to struggle and fight for life, righteousness and social righteousness in the practice of equitable justice, and peace.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I want to live my life as if the future depends on how I live it, but with enough equanimity and humility so I can enjoy my life built on the assurance that God will work things out no matter if I fail, or others fail me, or you, or all of us.&nbsp; I also would like to be patient, not think so much of myself and be kind – at least on a personal level. &nbsp;I keep wishing others were teachable, so I suppose I need to have that for myself.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I suppose all of us have relatives that don’t know how to dress, or even if dressed we can’t take them anywhere because they don’t know how to act.&nbsp; It is so much fun to despise them.&nbsp; I am struggling with just how much distance I can put between myself and them before one of us loses the family name.&nbsp; I suppose I can always change the name, it is just the genetics I’m stuck with, and no matter my superiority to ugly relatives someone unrelated is still sure to claim there is a family resemblance.&nbsp; I just wish we all looked a lot more like Jesus.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> JUSTICE IS COMING! http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/12/justice-is-coming.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:b02b729a-3007-7a95-63f7-28f129c178e9 Mon, 18 Dec 2017 15:38:07 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Is justice inevitable?&nbsp; Is it true, as Theodore Parker (a Unitarian minister) first said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice!”&nbsp; One sees a touch of realism in that statement, that to get to justice we will have to wait quite a while.&nbsp; There is also a touch of optimistic idealism, or even fatalism, that the force of morality is heading in a positive direction.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Idealism is a slander used against Christianity, usually by Marxists and certainly non-believers.&nbsp; Christians affirm that we are idealists, but only in the sense that we think prophecy and Scripture, via the revelation of God himself, is not chance or luck, but certainty.&nbsp; The Reverend Parker’s statement however seems to be an echo of Christianity, almost there, but not quite.&nbsp; He has its optimism, without its certainty.&nbsp; Maybe he has its hope, but based on what?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In the Christmas season we sometimes hear this passage from Isaiah 42…<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">“Behold my servant whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.&nbsp; [There it is!]&nbsp; he will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.&nbsp; [There it is again!] He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coast lands&nbsp;wait for his law.” (verses 1-4).<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; If this is true, then Jesus, the one about whom this passage promises, “will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth…”&nbsp; Now that is a reason for optimism, and hope, and endurance. &nbsp;I take it that this means Jesus will not stop till His work is done. &nbsp;So, how is he going to do that exactly?&nbsp;&nbsp; Is this solely the work of his Second Coming?&nbsp; Is this a passage about trusting in the power of God to finally, completely, and inevitably bring about justice in the earth, by his power and intervention? <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;And does that mean that the only thing we need is the faith to believe it?&nbsp; That in spite of the centuries of war, of invasions, oppression, slavery, racism, colonialism, genocide, and the rape, pillaging, execution, and dehumanizing of one’s person, family, people, clan, ethnicity, and nation by other human beings we are simply to wait in constant faith?&nbsp; Is this supposed to give us contentment, peace, and some kind of consolation as we bury the bodies?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The Reverend Parker was an abolitionist.&nbsp; This means he was an activist of sort, not someone who was content to simply wait for that “institution” to outlive its&nbsp; usefulness.&nbsp; He wanted to be an agent of justice, to be an agent of bending that moral arc toward the correct inclination. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, as a believer that we are the body of Christ on earth, as a believer that as God is a God of justice so also his people are to be people of justice, that as the Church of Jesus Christ we are to proclaim the Kingdom of God throughout the earth, and that we are to make disciples of every ethnic group, and that as the Church we are to teach these disciples “everything that I have commanded you,” then the task of Jesus in pursuing and completing justice in the earth is also our task.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We do this with a certain hard faced realism about that task, its difficulty, its horrendous price of martyrdom, its discouraging and frustrating delay, but also with a faith beyond our abilities, determination, and patience.&nbsp; Our trust in the triumph of justice is because we rest in the triumph of Christ.&nbsp; Our energy is found in confidence that he will accomplish some of that work through us.&nbsp; As Isaiah puts it, “he will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth.”&nbsp;&nbsp; “The earth,” the place where we live, in the place that needs justice so desperately, the Lord Jesus is on campaign.&nbsp; It is a place where we do grow faint, fall apart, panic, throw up our hands, and curse the world and others.&nbsp; Yet Jesus does not, and therefore as he lives in us, we will not.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I just want to encourage you.&nbsp; The work of Jesus is the work of justice, and it is going to happen no matter what anybody’s army says about it.&nbsp; We need to be about his work, preaching the Gospel, making disciples, speaking truth, living the Kingdom, until the knowledge of the Lord covers the earth like the waters cover the sea.&nbsp; It is going to take time; that is what that little word “till” means.&nbsp; That word also means that there will be a definite conclusion to the matter, and that is when the world is finally healed from its sorrow, turmoil, and pain.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> THE PATHETIC PREPARATION OF PASTORS FOR PRACTICAL PERFORMANCE http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-pathetic-preparation-of-pastors-for.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:243da12d-729c-4d29-13e0-77a100168e54 Wed, 29 Nov 2017 13:59:57 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: large;"> So what does the average seminarian actually know how to do when he enters the ministry?&nbsp; Notice, I didn’t ask how much he knows.&nbsp; He probably knows more than he will ever actually make use of in ministry to real people, or even in ministry to himself.&nbsp; Depending on the Presbytery that examines him he will probably be pressed to know a great many facts and details about all kinds of things theological, historical, and hermeneutical.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The candidate for ordination will be force fed with knowledge, and then squeezed like a lemon, so that the committee can examine him to the point of dripping out of him everything they can, up to the limits of his knowledge.&nbsp; They will take him to the edge of his learning, and God help him if that edge is too far from the expectations of the committee.&nbsp; The gulf between expectations and his deficiencies will not be easily tolerated, let alone any shaky, suspicious opinions, or convictions.&nbsp; If found wanting he will be sent back for more study, and possibly for a few persuasion sessions.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Studying is in fact what he knows how to do, and what the members of the Examining Committee know how to do.&nbsp; This is what he will do to his disciples, and to any potential new officers; he will make them study.&nbsp;&nbsp; And when it comes to any kind of hands on work of ministry, he will endeavor to study that as well on his way to actually avoiding it.&nbsp; It is hard to learn from pastors these days, unless one has time for more study.&nbsp; If one wanted to be mentored by a pastor, to catch some ministry skills he might be modelling, well, one would have to sit quietly while he reads, or uses some kind of software study material, or as he listens to a sermon series by a prominent scholar; that is if the student wanted to emulate the skills of his pastor.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; If one were to ask a seminary where the practical training comes in they might answer that they are in fact not a Bible College or Institute that teaches “ministry.”&nbsp; Or they might say that is what internships are for, where they send recent graduates to learn from recent graduates who have no practical experience either, except in preaching on Sunday morning.&nbsp; It is hard to learn ministry skills from pastors who are still learning theirs on the job, or have settled for a new definition of the job that has conveniently left off the skills of evangelism, home visitation, hospital visitation, prison preaching, doing acts of mercy and good works, and even counseling or conflict resolution.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; If such pastors are planting churches and asked to train new Elders and Deacons they repeat for them what they learned how to do in seminary.&nbsp; Yes, they challenge them to study.&nbsp; They give them as much theology, doctrine, apologetics, Catechism, and Book of Church Order material as these lay people can absorb.&nbsp;&nbsp; They don’t necessarily teach them how to pray, or how to have a good argument in a meeting without getting mad and quitting the church, or how to handle a divorce case, or how to go on a mercy visit, or how to mobilize the laity to do ministry in the community, or how to design and organize various outreach kinds of ministry, or how to handle the pressure of marriage and child raising while feeling obligated to keep ordination vows and serve the church.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Internships are not for a student to become a gopher for the church staff, or to be saddled with a particular ministry (such as nursery or Jr. High) that everyone else seems to be avoiding.&nbsp; It is specifically to rotate him through essential skills; how to evangelize and share his faith actively and on purpose with strangers, how to visit widows, the elderly, the sick, and those in prison, how to prepare and execute a worship service, wedding, and funeral, how to moderate and help make effective a leader’s meeting, how to problem solve and deal with conflict on every level (other staff, Elders, Deacons, members and attenders), and how to cast vision for ministry.&nbsp; He needs to do these things with and in the company of the Senior pastor and other leaders so he can hear their reflections and see their reactions in ministry context.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Internships are to help a potential pastor realize if he has a work ethic or not, if he knows how to set boundaries for himself and his family as he does ministry, and if he has the capacity and willingness to sacrifice himself and his boundaries for the sake of the Gospel.&nbsp;&nbsp; Internships should set up new pastors for the reality that one will often need more people, more money, and more time to get the simplest programs off the ground.&nbsp; This reality will help new pastors learn the joy of frustration and anxiety, and be tempted to reach the heights of resentment and despair as no one seems to give a rip about his new idea. &nbsp;&nbsp;Where will the volunteers come from, and where will the resources come from?&nbsp;&nbsp; Oh yes, this is where interns learn the practical realities of faith and prayer, and that God makes things happen out of resources that aren’t yet seen.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Without practical training experiences pastors will continue to be woefully unprepared to really train their members for ministry, and they will continue to avoid those experiences because it means risk, and time, which could be better spent in ….study.&nbsp; Without passing practical skills to the people of the church then those church members will have no way of showing the love of God to the people of the world, or of learning how to get to those people and communicate the Gospel to them.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">May the Lord raise up among us great training pastors, who take potential leaders into practical ministry and teach them skills by doing, reflection, and re-doing!<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> THE POWER OF SEX http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-power-of-sex.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:d20faedc-7936-e1db-ccf8-073f3774de4e Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:21:59 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: large;"> Let’s talk about sex baby!&nbsp; It kind of seems that is all anyone is talking about these days, and maybe that is really good.&nbsp; It is also sad.&nbsp; It is certainly needed but at the same time it is a bit disturbing.&nbsp; Surely no one of any mature years can be shocked that sex causes us so much trouble.&nbsp; We are in a period of calling out old sins, old sexual assaults and harassment, even old rapes.&nbsp; We are always (always) in a period of current sexual exploitation, brokenness, confusion, aggression, and need.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We live in a media atmosphere where, on the same day, we hear about someone guilty of rape that was never reported and a man who just spent 45 years in prison for a rape he didn’t do, but has now been exonerated.&nbsp; Given the right context and circumstance, (especially of race and income) we have brought the hammer down hard on suspected rapists but let other rapists go free; usually because they were rich and powerful.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; We have lived in an age of sexual hedonism where Hugh Hefner&nbsp;gave an apologetic for how free, frequent, and multiple partner sex means freedom from a puritanical life of constraint and up-tightness.&nbsp; We live in an age of feminism whereby women want control of their own bodies, to have sex when and with whom they wish, to dispose of pregnancies when and how they wish, to dress how they wish, to drink and drug when they wish, and yet seem to expect men to act with restraint and take control of their own impulses.&nbsp; Yes, they should, but men are as stupid as women when it comes to sex, and along with their stupidity often have the power to take what they want and cause great and lasting harm.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We live in an age where people seem to think it is okay to grope other people, whether it be on the street where women grope attractive men who might be total strangers to them (and vice versa), to the office or studio where male supervisors and bosses think it is okay to grope employees.&nbsp; We live in an age where teachers sleep with their students and pregnancy results either by them or in them.&nbsp; We live in an age where female teachers go to jail for child sexual abuse of their teen-age boy toys.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; I am sure I don’t have to tell anyone the law, or what is right, or what God demands but can I say simply…Keep your hands off of other people’s bodies if they haven’t given you permission, and especially if they don’t belong to you in marriage!&nbsp; Do not make sexual advances, remarks, innuendo, gestures, or remarks to anyone to whom you are not married!&nbsp; Does that sound limiting? It ought to, and it will keep you out of trouble.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We live in an age of open homosexuality and yet live in an age of denial about how behavior might be connected to HIV/AIDS and STDs.&nbsp; Education and protection and advances in medications are the answer but not morality, not self-control, and certainly not censure for behavior.&nbsp;&nbsp; We condemn human trafficking and indulge the porn industry.&nbsp; What the hell is going on here?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There is hypocrisy everywhere; in religious leaders who get found out as child sex abusers or as excuse-rs of the abusers and in politicians who call for legislation regarding various sex or gender related issues and then are found out to have skeletons in their own closets.&nbsp; We live in an age of media “gotcha” for every celebrity, politician, priest, or leader whose failure may be a moment of indiscretion, a circumstantial and stress caused illicit relationship, or a hidden life of a stalker looking for prey.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There are victims; they never asked for the abuse, they were never seducers, and they never thought it might happen to them.&nbsp; Some of these of course were children or teens, some fearful about their livelihoods, some afraid of a closed door for advancement, some afraid of a counter-attack of reprisal, some physically afraid, and some just in the wrong place at the wrong time.&nbsp; Some of these vulnerable folk live with a scarred and damaged psychology for the rest of their lives, a damaged view of their own sexuality, a perverted view of how to relate to members of the opposite sex, and some live on to recycle the abuse.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Who among us can be pure?&nbsp; Who among us has the right to speak?&nbsp; If I am a sexual being can I reflect on these issues without admitting to my own desires, my own fantasies, my own failures, my own frustrations, my own recklessness to fulfill my own pleasure and exploit others?&nbsp; No, not if I am honest.&nbsp; I know how I have thought about women, my objectifying of them, my secret plans for using them, and I know how worse I would have been without the restraints of my own conscience, the reality of criminal prosecution, the reality of social and community condemnation and abhorrence.&nbsp; I blame God for my not being worse than I’ve been.&nbsp; The restraint of grace is what I count on the most.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We are not pure, but we must speak.&nbsp; Even if we have all failed, we must speak.&nbsp; We must seek to protect our children, our neighbors, our spouse, our community, the vulnerable, and our future.&nbsp; Sex is a great gift, but oh how twisted it has become.&nbsp; Sex is a great need, and how powerful its desires are within us.&nbsp; Sex is such a great comfort, a witness to confidence, an intimacy of love.&nbsp; It is so damn dangerous.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The attempt to attack either gender, alone, for sexual abuse or sin is both disingenuous and delusional.&nbsp; The tendency to attack institutions, such as the church, either as institution or religious theology, is simplistic and a little too easy.&nbsp; Of course there are failures in churches, in church leadership, in how they have dealt with abusers, in how they have sheltered them, in how they have failed victims.&nbsp; This is true in every social institution where there are sexual beings.&nbsp; The church however should have done better, and it must do better, and when caught in its failure ought to be called out.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Yet, again, wherever there are institutions made up of people, and those people are sexual beings, there will be sexual trouble.&nbsp; The military which counts on professionalism to inhibit sexual misbehavior, finds out again and again that professionalism in and of itself cannot do it. The news media, which is the mouthpiece of this very story, finds corruption in its own ranks.&nbsp; Every industry and business, educational institutions, and the arts, all have sordid stories.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; There are lines which must not be crossed, for those are the things which protect and enable society to function.&nbsp; Yet, we are all in need of compassion. We all have to have some sane understanding of the temptation in many of us to cross those lines. This has always been hard for societies, how do we draw clear lines of safe and right conduct without producing self-righteousness, self-deception, and hypocrisy?&nbsp; Which value system will win in how we live our sexual lives with one another in this world because it is a value system that decides where the lines will be drawn? Without those lines, those borders of decency, we produce a license for predation and with that the fear and determination to protect and revenge our own, and that leads to violence.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; How do we deal with people’s shame, both of the abused and the abuser?&nbsp; How do we deal with people’s guilt?&nbsp; How do we deal with the reality of sexual passion without denying that we all pretty much have it and, for many of us, go through times, periods, years, and a lifetime of not quite knowing what to do with it? <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;I come back to grace.&nbsp; The powerful mercy of God, the grace of Jesus who died for sinners, the mercy of God to forgive the failures, the power of God to heal the victims, the power of God to change an evil heart, the merciful power of God to deliver the addicted and sexually imprisoned, the free adoption of God to make those who feel like orphans realize they have an identity as sons and daughters of a God who loves them.&nbsp; We dare not “put a cork in it” because we were not made to simply suppress it, but we dare not fail to surrender its passions to a loving and gracious God who knows how to help us use it for his glory, and our joy.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> God’s Immutable Purpose: The Revealed Redemptive Jehovah Titles in the Incarnate Jesus https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/gods-immutable-purpose-the-revealed-redemptive-jehovah-titles-in-the-incarnate-jesus/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:f6ab31df-ec6b-6344-a81b-3e9dd9ebe4cd Tue, 14 Nov 2017 07:36:17 -0600 The forthcoming essays discuss God’s immutable purpose in the revealed redemptive Jehovah titles in the Incarnate Jesus, as well as overview the progressive revelation of the Name Jehovah. Each will examine the Lord’s revealed redemptive purposes, unchangeable throughout the covenants. They seek to accomplish three goals: (1) explain the doctrine of God’s immutability; (2) exegete the attributes of the seven Jehovah redemptive titles in light of their fulfilled revelation in the person of Jesus Christ; and (3) interpret how the Gospels illustrated the progressive unfolding of God’s immutable nature by means of the seven redemptive titles of Jehovah.<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/gods-immutable-purpose-the-revealed-redemptive-jehovah-titles-in-the-incarnate-jesus/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p><img alt="" border="0" src="https://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=specs12.wordpress.com&#038;blog=12269709&#038;post=4605&#038;subd=specs12&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;">Introduction</span></h3> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Jan Paron, PhD|November 14, 2017</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          God’s nature does not change due to His immutability: “I am the Lord, I change not (Mal 3:6a KJV; e.g., Num 23:19; Isa 46: 9-11; Jas 1:13). His nature remains unchanged across the dispensations of time grounding itself in the same redemptive purpose with humanity. Thus, the very attributes in God’s titles expressed in the Old Testament manifested themselves in the substance of Jesus Christ in the New (Exodus 3:14-15; John 8:56-59).</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          The forthcoming essays discuss God’s immutable purpose in the revealed redemptive Jehovah titles in the Incarnate Jesus, as well as overview the progressive revelation of the Name Jehovah. Each</span><span style="color:#000000;"> will examine the Lord’s revealed redemptive purposes, unchangeable throughout the covenants. They </span><span style="color:#000000;">seek to accomplish three goals: (1) explain the <a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/doctrine-of-immutability/">doctrine of God’s immutability</a>; (2) exegete the attributes of the seven Jehovah redemptive titles in light of their fulfilled revelation in the person of Jesus Christ; and (3) interpret how the Gospels illustrated the progressive unfolding of God’s immutable nature by means of the seven redemptive titles of Jehovah.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;"><img data-attachment-id="4678" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/gods-immutable-purpose-the-revealed-redemptive-jehovah-titles-in-the-incarnate-jesus/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=345&#038;h=216" data-orig-size="640,400" 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="Redemptive Names of God B W" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=345&#038;h=216?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=345&#038;h=216?w=529" class="alignnone wp-image-4678" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=345&#038;h=216" alt="Redemptive Names of God B W" width="345" height="216" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=345&amp;h=216 345w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=150&amp;h=94 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=300&amp;h=188 300w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg 640w" sizes="(max-width: 345px) 100vw, 345px" /></span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          Revelation denotes an uncovering (Vine, Unger &amp; White, 1996). God progressively uncovers His identity through His Word. For a comprehensive understanding of God’s immutable nature, one finds a portrait of His fullness in the single biblical story from the eyewitness accounts the inspired Gospel authors wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          The key to grasping the progressive manifestation of God’s immutable nature in the Incarnate Jesus comes with examining the compound, redemptive titles of Jehovah in tandem with innertextual and intertextual messianic analyses of Old Testament text and canonized Gospels. To understand the titles’ entirety requires more than relying on the reader’s perspective in front of the text. One also must delve into aspects from the biblical author’s world behind the text and analyze the literary elements of Scripture within the text (Tate, 1997; Paron, 2013). Further, each distinct Gospel emphasis shapes God&#8217;s immutable nature into a complete biblical portrait of a covenantal God in His expressed <em>image </em>(character) in the <em>person</em> (substance) of Jesus Christ. The Gospel’s purpose, interpreted events, messianic sayings, covenantal fulfillment, linear prophetic fulfillment, and New Covenant establishment put the paintbrush in the reader’s hand.</span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;">Overview: Progressive Revelation of the Name Jehovah</span></h3> <p style="text-align:left;"><span style="color:#000000;">          The name Jehovah in combination with titles, uncovers His immutable, redemptive nature ultimately made visible in Jesus with the Church and then the nation of Israel at the Fullness of Time when the Church Age ends. In historical Old Testament order (Bullinger, 2007), Scripture shows seven titles expressing His redemptive nature:</span></p> <ol> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-jireh (LORD that provides: Gen 22:14; cf. John 1:29; Heb 11:17-19)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-rapha (LORD that heals: Exod 15:26; cf.; Jas 5:14)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-nissi (LORD my banner, victory: Exod 17:15; cf. 1 Cor 15:57)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-shalom (LORD is peace: Judg 6:24; cf. John 14:27)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-tsidkenu (LORD our righteousness: Jer 23:6; cf. 1 Cor 1:30)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-shammah (LORD is there, the Ever Present One: Ezek 48:35; cf. Matt 28:30)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-raah (LORD my shepherd; Ps 23:1; cf. John 10:11)</span></li> </ol> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          Jehovah of the Old Testament shows continuity of His redemptive nature revealed in the incarnated God in Jesus. With the titles Jehovah-jireh, rapha, nissi, shalom, and raah,  Jehovah expressed Himself as Jesus to the end of earthly matters. As Jehovah-tsidkenu and shammah, He identified Himself in His final Kingdom reigning in righteousness (Isa 32:1). Thus, Jesus fulfilled the totality of the seven redemptive titles of Jehovah with the I AM: “and all flesh shall know that I Jehovah am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (49:26), therefore, immutable. </span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;">References</span></h3> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2010). <em>The essentials of oneness theology. </em>Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2016). <em>The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ</em>. Dorset, UK: Deo Publishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2007). <em>The oneness of God.</em> Florissant, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bullinger, E. E. (2007). <em>The divine names and titles: In the Old and New Testaments</em>. Bible Students Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Creswell, J. (2009). <em>Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches</em> (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Graves, R. (2009). <em>The God of two testaments.</em> Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Kaiser, W. (1995). <em>The Messiah in the Old Testament</em>. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Norris, D. (2009). <em>I AM: A Oneness Pentecostal theology</em>. Hazelwood, MO: WAP Academic.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Paron, J. (2013, January 19). <em>The three worlds of text.</em> [Web blog post]. Retrieved from <a href="https://wordpress.com/post/specs12.wordpress.com/2017">https://wordpress.com/post/specs12.wordpress.com/2017</a></span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Reeves, Kenneth. (1962). <em>The Godhead, Book 1 (Revised) Seventh Printing.</em> St. Louis, MO: Trio Printing Company.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Segraves, D. L. (2008). <em>Reading between the lines</em>. Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Tate, W. R. (1997). <em>Biblical interpretation: An integrated approach</em>. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Thayer, J. T. (2009). Th<em>ayer’s Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament</em> (9th ed.) Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Vine, W., Unger, M., &amp; White, W. (1996). <em>Vine&#8217;s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testaments</em>. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Filed under: <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/apostolic-pentecostal-theology/'>Apostolic Pentecostal Theology</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/immutability/'>Immutability</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/incarnation/'>Incarnation</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/redemptive-jehovah-titles/'>Redemptive Jehovah Titles</a> Tagged: <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/apostolic-pentecostal/'>Apostolic Pentecostal</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/immutability/'>Immutability</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/redemptive-jehovah-titles/'>Redemptive Jehovah Titles</a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="https://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=specs12.wordpress.com&#038;blog=12269709&#038;post=4605&#038;subd=specs12&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> Doctrine of Immutability https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/doctrine-of-immutability/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:291adc65-d486-8582-9801-effefd389c29 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:02:18 -0600 Jan Paron, PhD&#124;November 13, 2017                Malachi 3:6 offers a strong statement about God’s own revelation of His name, “I &#8230;<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/doctrine-of-immutability/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p><img alt="" border="0" src="https://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=specs12.wordpress.com&#038;blog=12269709&#038;post=4550&#038;subd=specs12&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Jan Paron, PhD|November 13, 2017      </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          Malachi 3:6 offers a strong statement about God’s own revelation of His name, “I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” <em>Lord</em> in Hebrew means Jehovah—The Unchangeable One: He Who is, He Who was, and He Who is to Come (cf. Isa 44:6). The New Testament ascribes this same title and purpose to Jesus (1 Tim 1:16; Rev 1:7-8).</span></p> <h6 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#000000;"><img data-attachment-id="4589" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/doctrine-of-immutability/god-is-immutable/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=290&#038;h=193" data-orig-size="960,640" 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="god-is-immutable" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=290&#038;h=193?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=290&#038;h=193?w=529" class=" wp-image-4589 aligncenter" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=290&#038;h=193" alt="god-is-immutable" width="290" height="193" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=290&amp;h=193 290w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=580&amp;h=386 580w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w" sizes="(max-width: 290px) 100vw, 290px" /></span>  Image: shaynageorge</h6> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          God’s covenant restoration forms the basis of His name. The Unchangeable One has sought to reconcile His people into covenant with Him across the dispensations of time. Jehovah will fulfill His final covenant promise of crushing the serpent’s head and saving His people (Gen 3:15) to restore them to covenant with Him in His Millennial reign. As the immutable I AM, Jehovah vowed the promise of redemption to His people so “the sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6b), meaning perish (Brown, Driver, &amp; Briggs, 2006). In an ever-changing world, Jehovah will remain unchangeable into the Everlasting.</span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;"><strong>Redemptive Faithful Husband of Israel</strong></span></h3> <p><strong>           </strong><span style="color:#000000;">The Prophet Isaiah remarked, “For your husband is your Maker, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of the whole earth” (Isa 54:5 AMP). The prophets described how God’s redemptive name revealed His unconditional love as the faithful Husband who sought to restore covenantal relationship despite His wife Israel’s adulterous actions.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          In the Book of Hosea, the prophet portrayed God and His wanton whorish wife. In Ezekiel 16, the prophet told of himself laying on the plywood with a model of Jerusalem on one side of his bed and him naked and facing away from her. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="color:#3d596d;">          </span>The unfaithful Israel caused the Lord to lament in Jeremiah: “Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord” (3:20 KJV). Yet the faithful Husband, the Holy One of Israel, robed Himself in flesh as Jehovah-Savior to redeem the House of Israel fulfilling His promise of a Messiah for His people. </span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;"><strong>Redemptive Chosen Son of the Two Covenants </strong></span></h3> <p><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="color:#3d596d;">          </span>God made covenants with Abraham and David (Gen 12:2; 2 Sam 7:8). When the Lord placed His expressed image behind Jesus, He revealed the Chosen Son of the two covenants—the descended Son of Abraham and David (Gen 22:17-19; 2 Sam 7:8; cf. Matt 1:1; 17; Luke 1:32; Acts 13:22, 23). God revealed His manifested character as well as His dual fulfillment when He raised Jesus from the dead and exalted Him as Lord (Eph 1:16-23). The title Lord attributed to Jesus in His exaltation and biblical expression “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” identified Jesus as the Incarnation of God and Father. Christ blessed us in Him as well as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ blessed us in the person of Jesus who would bring forth a new and better covenant. The expression “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” recognizes Jesus as the Chosen Son of the covenants and the Incarnation of Jehovah, the God of Israel of the two covenants.</span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;"><strong>Redemptive Word Robed in Flesh</strong></span></h3> <p><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="color:#3d596d;">          </span>“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent:” (Num 23:19b). Repent means to change one’s mind. The I AM did not retract His promise of redemption when He revealed His nature in the person of Jesus Christ. Neither did God change His mind about His purpose for humanity when He robed Himself in flesh uniting divinity with humanity incarnated in Jesus. Rather, Jesus embodies all God’s divine (Phil 2:6a; cf. John 1:14d). Bernard explained Jesus’ divines essence “the incarnation of the fullness of God; in His deity He is the Father, Word, and Spirit” (2010, p. 210) while He also took on the nature of man (John 1:14b).</span></span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          Revelations 1:7-8 reveals the Lord subject to time through the Incarnation “the Lord which is; which was; and which is to come, the Almighty:”</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="color:#000000;">“The Lord which was” revealed the crucified Christ of the Gospels. Christ took on the form of God, the Word in robed in flesh. Jesus’ first birth of a virgin, conceived of the Holy Ghost brought Him forth into time from eternity (Reeves, 1984, Supreme Godhead 11, p. 47).</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">“The Lord which is” expressed the Christ of the Gospels resurrected and exalted to the throne (Rev 3:21). Jesus’ birth out of death “who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead” brought time into eternity (Col 1:18).</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">“The Lord which is to come” will identify Jehovah as Christ as the coming King of kings, also the Son of David (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:7, 8). In the fullness of the appointed time as the supreme and authoritative head over all things in the Church, Jesus will put in subjection all things in every realm under His feet (Eph 1:22 AMP).</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          Time cannot subject God because of immutability, but does through the Incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ for the benefit of humanity’s redemption.</span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;">References</span></h3> <p style="text-align:left;"><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2010). <em>The essentials of oneness theology. </em>Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2016). <em>The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ</em>. Dorset, UK: Deo Publishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2007). <em>The oneness of God.</em> Florissant, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bullinger, E. E. (2007). <em>The divine names and titles: In the Old and New Testaments</em>. Bible Students Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Carpenter, G. (2012). <em>God’s covenants: A study guide in Bible symbolism.</em> Thomas Nelson, Inc.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Conner, K. &amp; Malvin, K. (1997). <em>The covenants: The key to God’s relationship with Mankind</em>. Portland, OR: Bible Temple Publishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Conner, K. (1980). <em>Interpretation: The symbols and types</em>. Portland, OR: Bible Temple Publishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Creswell, J. (2009). <em>Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches</em> (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Ferguson, E. (2003). <em>Backgrounds of early Christianity</em> (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Graves, R. (2009). <em>The God of two testaments.</em> Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Haney, N. (2004). <em>Daniel’s 70 Weeks. </em>Stockton, CA: Nathaniel Haney Publishers.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Haney, N. (2006). <em>The times of the Gentiles: Biblical prophecy series, volume 4</em>. Stockton, CA: Nathaniel Haney Publishers.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Kaiser, W. (1995). <em>The Messiah in the Old Testament</em>. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Keener, D. (2003). <em>The Gospel of John: A commentary, volume one</em>. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Keener, D. (2003). <em>The Gospel of John: A commentary, volume two</em>. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.</span></p> <p>Moltmann, J. The crucified God: A Trinitarian theology of the Cross. 278-299. <em>Sage Publications</em>. doi: 10.1177/002096437202600302</p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Norris, D. (2009). <em>I AM: A Oneness Pentecostal theology</em>. Hazelwood, MO: WAP Academic.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Paron, J. (2013, January 19). <em>The three worlds of text.</em> [Web blog post]. Retrieved from <a href="https://wordpress.com/post/specs12.wordpress.com/2017">https://wordpress.com/post/specs12.wordpress.com/2017</a></span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Reeves, Kenneth. (1962). <em>The Godhead, Book 1 (Revised) Seventh Printing.</em> St. Louis, MO: Trio Printing Company.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Rydelnik, M. (2010). <em>The Messianic hope</em>. Chicago, IL: Moody Bible Publishers.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Segraves, D. L. (2008). <em>Reading between the lines</em>. Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Tate, W. R. (1997). <em>Biblical interpretation: An integrated approach</em>. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Thayer, J. T. (2009). Th<em>ayer&#8217;s Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament</em> (9th ed.) Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers. </span></p><br />Filed under: <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/apostolic-pentecostal-theology/'>Apostolic Pentecostal Theology</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/authority-of-jesus/'>Authority of Jesus</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/immutability/'>Immutability</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/incarnation/'>Incarnation</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/jesus/'>Jesus</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/oneness-of-god/'>Oneness of God</a> Tagged: <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/apostolic-pentecostal/'>Apostolic Pentecostal</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/immutability/'>Immutability</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/incarnation/'>Incarnation</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/onenesstheology/'>onenesstheology</a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="https://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=specs12.wordpress.com&#038;blog=12269709&#038;post=4550&#038;subd=specs12&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> FIGHTING NEGRO SUPREMACY http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/11/fighting-negro-supremacy.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:c2911275-a0bb-0dd8-7920-2273cc783f06 Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:49:00 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: large;"> Every time African Americans seem to ask for their rights, or protest against injustice, or gain some political, educational, or economic footing there are those who see their gain as a loss for white people.&nbsp; There is such a hysterical fear among some whites that any gain for African Americans is seen not simply as an achieving of their rights as full citizens but as a “win” over white people, as a step toward actual &nbsp;“Negro” supremacy.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I am reading (listening) to a great biography of Ulysses S. Grant by Ron Chernow.&nbsp; Surely this must be a book that revisionist historians of the Civil War and Reconstruction are going to hate.&nbsp; One of the things that jumped out to me in the book was the citing of historic quotes from those who opposed the implementation of the 14th &amp; 15<sup>th</sup>Amendments to the Constitution. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Some folks actually used the phrase “Negro Supremacy” to describe what was happening in the country during Reconstruction.&nbsp; This is the time when 4 million freed slaves went from being counted as 3/5 of a human being for Congressional representation to being counted as full citizens.&nbsp; Black people were to be given the full protection of the law, they were allowed the right to vote, and to run for office.&nbsp; Those Confederates who would not admit defeat attempted to do everything they could to prevent black people making use of their rights.&nbsp; The origins of the Klu Klux Klan came from this time and it was a time of terrorism, violence, and intimidation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; It is interesting that the Southern states were allowed to increase their Congressional representation by counting black folks as full persons (they gained 40 extra seats) but did not intend for black folks to be treated as equals.&nbsp; This was a perverse outcome of Reconstruction and made it harder for the Republicans (the party of the North and abolitionists) to continue the reforms of Reconstruction.&nbsp; Virulent racism kept resisting any substantive change to the status of black folk (except as legal slaves) by wailing over “carpet-baggers” and injury to State Rights and racial fear of what free black might do to white women.&nbsp; White Republicans were assassinated, black men were slaughtered, schools that Northern missionaries had come down to build for freed black people were burned.&nbsp; A reign of terror took hold until President Grant could break it through a targeted prosecution of Klan leaders.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The reelection of President Grant in 1972 was the freest election for black voters, something they would not enjoy and not to be repeated again until 1968.&nbsp; So powerful was racism that it resisted and finally broke the hold of the former abolitionists and Northern Republicans on the reforming and integrating of the South toward a real living out of the Bill of Rights.&nbsp; One hundred years of racial darkness enveloped the South, and a system of Jim Crow segregation was allowed to deny black folks their full rights as American citizens.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the things that comes to light in Chernow’s book is that even some abolitionists gave way to racism.&nbsp; They had advocated and fought for emancipation but were ready to throw away the human rights of people of color and were not ready to count them as equals.&nbsp; This fear of black ascendancy is irrational but it is based on real emotional passion.&nbsp; Most of it is simple fear and pure anger, expressed and practiced as hate. It is a zero sum game way of thinking that if “they” gain “we” must lose.&nbsp; This is as tribal a rivalry as one can find in the world.&nbsp; We are not immune from it today, not in thinking, relating to one another, or in politics.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Full rights, full protection, and full integration into the life of society and the country doesn’t mean anyone has to lose, except in someone’s preconceived ideas of what a society or country should look like.&nbsp; This fear of “Negro Supremacy” continues to prevent white folks putting themselves into the shoes of people of color when they are profiled, treated unjustly by authorities, treated differently in schools, courts, or employment opportunities.&nbsp; Racism prevents empathy and without empathy we can’t achieve unity. With unity our whole country prospers.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; For too long children have been lied to about the time of Reconstruction, lied to about campaigns of racial violence, lied to about the mechanization's&nbsp;of racist politicians to dismantle the achievements of the Civil War, and about the sacrifice of both white and black people who lived and came down to the South to realize those achievements.&nbsp; Many of them were wonderful Christians who took their lives into the hands, and gave up their lives, for the glory of Christ and for the freedom of men. We all need to resist “zero-sum-game” thinking when it comes to treating people with dignity and standing for their rights.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> How Do You Know If Something Smells of the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of the Age? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/teen-spirit-draft/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:93d73b4d-8f29-1f2a-655d-a5cf9f2318c3 Thu, 26 Oct 2017 18:43:46 -0500