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/ Learning the Art of Acceptance http://www.davidireland.org/learning-the-art-of-acceptance/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:2cc17d54-463b-ccc3-1537-eec04e8dc0fb Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:51 -0500 <p>Do you try to control your spouse? Stop trying to change your partner. Petty bickering can cause unnecessary upset in a partnership. In this video, Dr. Ireland tells a story from his early years of marriage that humorously demonstrates this point! &#160; &#160;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/learning-the-art-of-acceptance/">Learning the Art of Acceptance</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>Do you try to control your spouse?</h4> <p>Stop trying to change your partner. Petty bickering can cause unnecessary upset in a partnership. In this video, Dr. Ireland tells a story from his early years of marriage that humorously demonstrates this point!<br /> <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KY7DfdWjHHA?rel=0" height="315" width="560" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/learning-the-art-of-acceptance/">Learning the Art of Acceptance</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> PURSUING RECONCILATION http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/10/how-are-we-to-pursue-reconciliation-is.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:9f938059-82f0-0fa7-fe17-bc99ed316d51 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:25:14 -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;<span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;">How are we to pursue reconciliation?&nbsp; Is reconciliation a legitimate or worthy goal?&nbsp; How do we define it?&nbsp; How do we know when it has been achieved, and is it achievable at all?<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; If reconciliation is making something whole again, if it is making peace, if it bringing what has been torn back together so that it is mended where then do we begin in measuring the break, the wound, the rupture, and the alienation?<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; How deep must the wound be before we say it is incurable?&nbsp; How strong must the pain, hurt, and bitterness be before we admit we can’t get over it, we can’t overcome its distraction?&nbsp; Pain has a way of grabbing our attention and it tends to distort our perspective and relationships.&nbsp; It was meant to do that so we would understand our peril and our body or soul’s clamor for survival.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Reconciliation is a big word and the Bible applies it to various kinds of relationships.&nbsp; In theology the biggest meaning is with the human race and God, with those who were of the first Adam and now included in the second Adam.&nbsp; The next biggest meaning is with people groups, especially between Jews and Gentiles, but by extrapolation and extension then between all sub groups of Gentiles.&nbsp;&nbsp; The third and most personal is between persons, especially between believers.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In parallel with the doctrine of reconciliation and its practical application is the reality and demand of love.&nbsp; Love is of course the motivator of reconciliation; God’s love.&nbsp;&nbsp; God is the one whose own creation has been marred and broken.&nbsp; The creatures of God are the ones who rose (and fell) into rebellion and have attempted to hide from him, deny his Lordship, then deny his existence, and to attempt to kill him both by unbelief and crucifixion. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Mankind is the sinner, and God is the lover.&nbsp; God is also the offended party with every right to anger and the claim of justice.&nbsp; Though rejected God is the pursuer, and it is left to him to find some remedy; not simply for his justice but also for restoration.&nbsp; It is left to him because the wound we have caused between ourselves and God is too great for us,(we who are the guilty), to close.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; God is the model of reconciliation.&nbsp; He demands morality (and all that living justly demands), a demand as it were to go back to that first Edenic obedience.&nbsp; It is a preconceived and manipulative attempt to help mankind see his inability to ever make things up to God as obedience in the Edenic sense is, for all of us, now impossible.&nbsp; The Law is a school teacher to bring us to the Reconciler.&nbsp; The illumination of our incapacity is our gateway to salvation, the revelation of our inability for self-recovery and self-rehabilitation is the birth canal of our hope to and in a Savior who has the power not only to forgive, but to transform. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; God is love and those born of God must love their brothers.&nbsp; Love demands reconciliation. Reconciliation is not simply a worthy goal, it is a necessary pursuit, an imperative.&nbsp; Reconciliation is as necessary to spiritual and relational healing (and as inevitable) as the closing of flesh is to the action of coagulating blood upon a cut.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Theologically speaking reconciliation has already happened in the sense that all the necessary work for it was accomplished by the activity of God upon the cross.&nbsp; God provided for the satisfaction of His justice at the cross. God’s anger was satisfied at the cross. God brought the Jews and Gentiles (and all the Gentiles in their various histories and war) together at the cross and made them “one” new man at the cross. God broke down the middle wall of partition between those who had the Law and the patriarchs and those who did not, at the cross.&nbsp; God ended the hostility with those who were separated between circumcision and uncircumcision, at the cross. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; God knows no impossibility in reconciliation.&nbsp; The greatest sinner is not beyond his reach, the depth and depravity of mankind’s rebellion has not delayed or dismayed him.&nbsp; The judgement in the time of Noah showed how close we came to an eternal schism, the violence of man ended God’s patience with those of earth, yet God saved a remnant.&nbsp; In that remnant contained not only the seed of the woman (Christ) but the seed of all the hate monsters that make history so depressing.&nbsp; God would not give up and God has not given up.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Have we sinned since reconciliation?&nbsp; Let each person confess the truth for themselves.&nbsp; Yet reconciliation remains an accomplished fact of God, and provides the continued hope of forgiveness, though our lives sometimes scandalize the continued grace of God.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Do we wound each other as nations, as ethnic groups?&nbsp; How much horror or national shame can we endure, how much hurt can we bear, how much failure of our very humanity can we admit without recognizing ourselves as beasts, and how can we live with that?&nbsp;&nbsp; How much revenge do we want, how much reparation?&nbsp; And even if money was given, what heals the trauma, and who brings back the dead?<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Love must pursue reconciliation.&nbsp; It is the only thing strong enough for its motion, the only thing to make the unreasonable reasonable.&nbsp; Love forgives, love will not hate a brother.&nbsp; Love makes “the other” our brother, our neighbor.&nbsp; Mercy is the payment by the wronged for the unpaid debt of the one who did the wrong.&nbsp; Zaccheaus stated he would make restoration, but Jesus was already on the way to his house, already calling him out of his tree, giving grace previous to restitution.&nbsp; Reconciliation pursues and precedes and restitution follows.&nbsp; Sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes it can’t. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Some things between nations can’t and won’t be fixed, though that doesn’t mean those with love and a conscience won’t (or shouldn’t) pursue love and reconciliation with whatever resources and tools they have.&nbsp; Sometimes reconciliation cannot happen between persons; danger and death prevent it.&nbsp; Yet forgiveness must pursue, as far as it can, and that is driven by love.&nbsp; So what is left for those things unresolved?&nbsp; What is left for justice unsatisfied between nations or persons?&nbsp; If we are reconciled to God are we allowed to cease or suspend the pursuit of reconciliation in the world due to our own hurt, our own bitterness, our own sense of righteousness?&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Self-righteousness does not heal, it drives us apart.&nbsp; We may be right about being wronged, and be totally wrong about how we try to make things right.&nbsp; The reality is that we may attempt to reconcile and fail in the attempt, we may be continually wronged even as we are ready to forgive, we may be hated and killed by those who hate us (justly or unjustly).&nbsp; Our doing right doesn’t guarantee anyone else will.&nbsp; But, if God has reconciled us to himself then we are impelled by the power of love to proclaim a message of reconciliation.&nbsp; We are caught up in the ministry of reconciliation because it is the ministry of God, not because it is our social or political passion.&nbsp; To be given the ministry of reconciliation means we must practice being peacemakers, and for the followers of Christ it cannot be replaced with anything less.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; What about truth and justice?&nbsp; Do we simply deny these things, do we stuff our grief and carry our own sorrows?&nbsp; Honest reconciliation is one of integrity. Reconciliation is a truth telling work.&nbsp; In salvation God always calls us to repentance; God always calls us to the humility of honesty, to the brokenness of confession.&nbsp; Reconciliation is no easy work, not for the pursuer, nor for the guilty.&nbsp; Yet reconciliation is not a conditional love, it is not a hostage taker of relationship otherwise it would not be a peacemaker but a warmonger.&nbsp; God’s love sought us and found us, and we have to do that with each other.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; What about what is unresolved, how can we let that lie, or sit, and how can we live with ourselves if we don’t wring out our full payment of blood?&nbsp; May God then treat you as you would treat others, may God then call for his last payment, not from his son but from you.&nbsp; Christian, we are called to a life of faith, and part of that faith is waiting for healing, and I make no light thing of the faith needed to wait for it.&nbsp; There is a tree there, in that city, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.&nbsp; It is obvious then that the unresolved must wait for the City which is to come.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;century gothic&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div></div> Treat Your Spouse Kindly http://www.davidireland.org/treat-your-spouse-kindly/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:fdf99eec-644a-e62f-774f-1dd05c85f34e Thu, 12 Oct 2017 00:00:28 -0500 <p>Are you changing your spouse for the worst? Constant criticism can push your spouse to become difficult and unpleasant, to the point where you no longer recognize who you married. Watch as Dr. Ireland explains how to practice acceptance, value your spouse, and avoid creating a “Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde” experience.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/treat-your-spouse-kindly/">Treat Your Spouse Kindly</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>Are you changing your spouse for the worst?</h4> <p>Constant criticism can push your spouse to become difficult and unpleasant, to the point where you no longer recognize who you married. Watch as Dr. Ireland explains how to practice acceptance, value your spouse, and avoid creating a “Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde” experience.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Lc8cbE0qV6A?rel=0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/treat-your-spouse-kindly/">Treat Your Spouse Kindly</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> My New Blog Demystifying Prayer https://djchuang.com/2017/my-new-blog-demystifying-prayer/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:4ef6c2de-7cea-9372-1498-a3746a94868b Thu, 05 Oct 2017 22:48:52 -0500 <p>I started a new blog project called Demystifying Prayer. It will run for 30 weeks. I&#8217;ll be blogging my conversational prayer with God, the one of Christianity as revealed in the Bible, about once a week. The idea for this blog came from my realization or discovery that my praying seems to engage me better [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/my-new-blog-demystifying-prayer/">My New Blog Demystifying Prayer</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>I started a new blog project called <a href="https://demystifying.bible/">Demystifying Prayer</a>. It will run for 30 weeks. I&#8217;ll be blogging my conversational prayer with God, the one of Christianity as revealed in the Bible, about once a week.</p> <p><a href="https://demystifying.bible"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-13972" src="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/demystifying-banner.png?resize=354%2C126&#038;ssl=1" alt="demystifying-banner.png" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/demystifying-banner.png?w=354&amp;ssl=1 354w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/demystifying-banner.png?resize=300%2C107&amp;ssl=1 300w" sizes="(max-width: 354px) 100vw, 354px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a></p> <p>The idea for this blog came from my realization or discovery that my praying seems to engage me better when I&#8217;m typing than when I&#8217;m silently thinking thoughts to God as a prayer. And, I&#8217;m not a verbose person that likes to talk too much and use my vocal cords and get dry mouth. So I&#8217;m writing out my prayers. There&#8217;s a biblical precedence for that. <a href="https://demystifying.bible/2017/about-the-demystifying-prayer-project/">Read more about the Demystifying Prayer blog project</a>.</p> <p>But, that&#8217;s not all. I want to pray conversationally without the Christian jargon and the fancy spiritual words that even though I have studied theology more than the average person, I think I can express my heart&#8217;s thoughts and emotions more clearly and directly by using the words that naturally come to me. One of the phrases that&#8217;s opened up my prayer life in a new way is, &#8220;<a href="https://demystifying.bible/2017/telling-god-what-i-want/">telling God what I want</a>.&#8221; You know what, Jesus asked that question, too,</p> <p>Follow along there by <a href="http://demystifying.bible/feed/">subscribing to the RSS feed</a> or <a href="http://eepurl.com/c1irc9" target="_blank" rel="noopener">subscribing via email</a>. I&#8217;d love to hear your feedback—just add a comment there.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/my-new-blog-demystifying-prayer/">My New Blog Demystifying Prayer</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=V7P-hmD3DNY:qIkyd4qcUDA:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=V7P-hmD3DNY:qIkyd4qcUDA: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/V7P-hmD3DNY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Your Spouse Is Not a Fixer-Upper http://www.davidireland.org/your-spouse-is-not-a-fixer-upper/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:99242894-f432-72a0-5e2e-3318ed746915 Thu, 05 Oct 2017 00:00:22 -0500 <p>Do you accept your partner as-is? Marriages that fail have twice as many putdowns and nitpicking between partners. In this video, Dr. Ireland speaks about accepting our spouse as he or she is. Also, listen to discover what signs indicate you should not marry a particular person in the first place. &#160; &#160;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/your-spouse-is-not-a-fixer-upper/">Your Spouse Is Not a Fixer-Upper</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>Do you accept your partner as-is?</h4> <p>Marriages that fail have twice as many putdowns and nitpicking between partners. In this video, Dr. Ireland speaks about accepting our spouse as he or she is. Also, listen to discover what signs indicate you should not marry a particular person in the first place.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zvkh1Dmkji0?rel=0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/your-spouse-is-not-a-fixer-upper/">Your Spouse Is Not a Fixer-Upper</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> The Harvest Show – Raising A Child Who Prays http://www.davidireland.org/raising-child-prays-harvest-show/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:fbea7507-2e5a-ad8c-1d63-dffb7ade4f92 Sat, 30 Sep 2017 00:42:48 -0500 <p>&#160; &#160;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/raising-child-prays-harvest-show/">The Harvest Show &#8211; Raising A Child Who Prays</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UOUjtnvvsHk?rel=0&#038;autoplay=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/raising-child-prays-harvest-show/">The Harvest Show &#8211; Raising A Child Who Prays</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> The World of David D. Ireland, Ph.D. http://www.davidireland.org/the-world-of-david-d-ireland-ph-d/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:9b9ddc3e-638e-5bf7-204f-4463b6a07b30 Fri, 29 Sep 2017 05:12:28 -0500 <p>&#160; &#160;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/the-world-of-david-d-ireland-ph-d/">The World of David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/i51u7bqfcKE?wmode=transparent" width="620" height="348" ></iframe> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/the-world-of-david-d-ireland-ph-d/">The World of David D. Ireland, Ph.D.</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> I SURE WISH THEY WOULD GO TO CHURCH! http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/09/i-sure-wish-they-would-go-to-church.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:162091f7-a935-520c-087e-0e7b58c52c26 Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:47:35 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">One Sunday I sat around a table with some dear friends who all have adult children.&nbsp; The conversation turned to the subject of children in the church who were raised in Christian homes and who no longer attend church.&nbsp; This was not a concern with them not attending “our” church, but the fact that these particular young adults weren’t attending anybody’s church.&nbsp; Let me state that my concerns here are not universal for this generation, because many of them are as solid in their faith and Christian lives as any who have lived before.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; This was not a conversation solely about a certain generation, but about families and children we all knew.&nbsp; This was about our pain, the pain of parents who dearly love their kids, prayed for them, taught them, challenged them, brought them to church, gave them the best education we could (and for some that meant Christian schools and Christian colleges).&nbsp;&nbsp; Now, it seemed that some of these kids were spiritually wandering, living immoral lives, or in outright defiant denial of the Faith.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I am aware of articles and books about this present generation and how a growing number of their number have decided to stop going to church, let alone how many of them have never come at all. All kinds of folks are weighing into the subject, and some are trying to come up with the formula of how to design the church experience to bring them back.&nbsp; I tend to avoid these kinds of solutions as they always seem to support the predispositions of the one writing for how they think a church service should be conducted, such as how contemporary worship is being rejected for more liturgical and traditional worship, etc.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; As I travel around the country and meet some old friends and my generational peers I am often told of the pain my friends are experiencing as they yearn to see their own children not only come to faith but to stay in it.&nbsp; My friends yearn to see their adult children be the godly people their parents have hoped to raise. &nbsp;They yearn to see the next generation taking their place of leadership in the church, no matter how it worships or where it meets.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I wish I had the wisdom to analyze the problem accurately and the brilliance needed to show parents the magic words, method, or strategy to bring their kids back to the Lord and the household of Faith.&nbsp;I confess that I don't. &nbsp;I do have some questions, and some thoughts which I will share with you.&nbsp; I also know some of these kids are never coming back, but my sincere hope and prayer is that even if happens after my present generations dies the seeds that were planted in them will bear good fruit.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; There are various reasons adult children who have been raised in the church stop going, and stop believing.&nbsp; Those are two different categories but sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.&nbsp;&nbsp; As we look at any problem we often look for someone or something to blame.&nbsp; Whose fault is this; the adult child, the parents, the church, the culture, the age, the Devil?&nbsp;&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I don’t intend to relieve anyone of their guilt, if they are in fact guilty.&nbsp; If we as parents have failed we have to own that, and repent, and ask for God’s forgiveness and we need to ask forgiveness from our kids.&nbsp; If the church has failed, collectively or individually, then those institutions need to own up to it and seek for renewal and revival.&nbsp; If it is the culture and the spirit of the age then we need to understand it and learn the methods of dealing with it.&nbsp; We can take it for granted the Devil is involved, but we know Jesus has defeated him.&nbsp; We just need to learn his tricks and fight him well.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Who is responsible for adult children of Christian parents leaving the faith and the church?&nbsp; Well, first of all, they are.&nbsp; This is a hard reality but if our children are not truly saved then they will go to eternal judgment.&nbsp; There aren’t any protective parents that can prevent it.&nbsp; If they reject Jesus, if they deny Jesus, then he also will deny them.&nbsp; It doesn’t matter if they were baptized as infants, baptized as a believer sometime in their childhood, or prayed the sinner’s prayer in your hearing.&nbsp;&nbsp; If they are not truly saved, then they are not truly saved.&nbsp; It is foolish in my opinion to keep consoling them with comments like, “I know deep in your heart you really do believe.”&nbsp; That might be a parent’s wish but it is not the fruit of their lives, and it is by the fruit we discern good trees from bad.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I want to be pretty up front with that, and with them, because in an analysis of our parenting some of us may have been too indulgent, and too excusing, of and for our kids.&nbsp; When they stand in front of Almighty God the parent won’t be there to make excuses for them.&nbsp; Their choices are their choices and they eventually will have to own them for themselves.&nbsp; One of the best things all of us can do for our children is to help them understand that, as we should have done many times in their lives.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There is no doubt some of us have made our children stumble.&nbsp; There are so many ways we as parents can and have screwed up.&nbsp; Often trying hard to be wonderful parents we have instead set up our kids for a pretty big fall.&nbsp;&nbsp; How might we have failed? <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Our parent’s generation seemed to struggle with emotional detachment, being harsh and making their love conditional, and sometimes living a fundamentalist, legalistic, yet hypocritical life; full of self-righteousness while denying the realities of their own materialism, racism, and various other sins. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Our generation (Baby Boomers) became too permissive, certainly with ourselves.&nbsp; Our children have seen us in our addictions, our lusts, our anger, our own kinds of hypocrisies while they have seen us go to church but it not seeming to make us very different from people in the world.&nbsp; Many times we backed off from pushing our kids too hard, and we indulged them at almost every turn.&nbsp; It was almost as if we and everything in the world revolved around them and existed to make their life happy and fulfilled.&nbsp;&nbsp; Our self-indulgent congregations reflected our own family life-styles and desires.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; To complicate matters our children entered into a world that does not reinforce absolutes, seems to deny eternal or even temporal accountability.&nbsp; They entered into a world of intensive and manipulative appeal to the sensual, to self-centeredness, to libertine indulgence without seeming consequence.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Many of our children who deny the faith are materially successful.&nbsp; They have the social skills, they have the education, personal discipline and ambition.&nbsp; These things without Christ are worldliness, but deceptively so, and we parents have too often let them get away with thinking that their progress even without Christ was okay with us.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Many of our children have a social conscience, and their peers reinforce the notion that this in and of itself is what makes a person moral, and it also makes them feel superior to anyone who does not care as passionately for their cause(s) as they do.&nbsp; In an ironic twist the Baby Boomer generation that tried not to be judgmental with their children created a new self-righteous generation. The passion of their compassion is often without any kind of absolute moral compass, they are swimming hard but it is often out to sea and not toward home.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Religion and dogma are too binding for them, cutting them off from their peers, bringing feelings of embarrassment upon them.&nbsp; To take the step of radical commitment to Jesus in full understanding of his exclusivity and his claims of solitary access to the Father can be too isolating for many of them.&nbsp; They don’t want to be more religious and yet less passionate about justice causes, they don’t want to lose the option of a self-focused lifestyle in exchange for the hassle of time demanding church life, church personalities, and church conflict and drama.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Some of our grown kids have and will struggle with simple rebellion against their parents, and God.&nbsp; Some of them will struggle with addictions of drinking, drugs, pornography, sexual encounters, and the body indulgence of sports, athletics and exercise.&nbsp; Some of our kids will struggle with their own educational and material success.&nbsp; These things are not new to human beings.&nbsp; Nevertheless, any or all of them of them are the thorns and weeds that grow up to choke out real faith.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now, the good news:&nbsp; We have the weapon of prayer, and we must not stop using it.&nbsp; The Word will accomplish that to which it was sent and good seed in good ground will bear much fruit.&nbsp; The Lord knows those who are His. The battle is not over yet, and we may die before we see the outcome, so we have to put our hope in God’s faithfulness and not in the power of our worrying to make things change.&nbsp; Failure and brokenness are God’s tools to break the pride and obstinate hard hearts of men and women, and even if it scares you to see your kids go through it, sometimes that is the only way they will reach heaven.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Your tears are not in vain, but don’t weep in despair.&nbsp; Keep trusting in Jesus to do the work.&nbsp;&nbsp; Receive his forgiveness if and where you have failed.&nbsp; Have confidence in the Gospel you know your children have heard and understood.&nbsp; Stop apologizing for your faith or your call to them to come to Christ.&nbsp; Be ready to welcome them home, and assure them of that, while you remind them with gentleness, love, and consistency that they ain’t yet where they need to be.<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> The Decline of the Tim Keller Wiki website https://djchuang.com/2017/decline-tim-keller-wiki-website/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:64c500be-1d0b-9cc1-a705-8624581c1ef3 Mon, 18 Sep 2017 09:45:09 -0500 <p>Since 2009, for about 8 years, a small group of contributors curated content for the Tim Keller Wiki at timkeller.info. At that time, only 2 popular books authored by Pastor Tim Keller had been published, namely, The Reason for God and The Prodigal God. Many many more Tim Keller books have been authored and published [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/decline-tim-keller-wiki-website/">The Decline of the Tim Keller Wiki website</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Since 2009, for about 8 years, a small group of contributors curated content for the Tim Keller Wiki at <a href="http://timkeller.info">timkeller.info</a>. At that time, only 2 popular books authored by <a href="/keller/">Pastor Tim Keller</a> had been published, namely, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0525950494/djchuang">The Reason for God</a></em> and <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0525950796/djchuang">The Prodigal God</a></em>.</p> <p><img class="border-gray alignnone wp-image-13939 size-large" src="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-site-1024x723.png?resize=1024%2C723" alt="timkeller-info" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-site.png?resize=1024%2C723&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-site.png?resize=300%2C212&amp;ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-site.png?resize=768%2C543&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-site.png?w=1039&amp;ssl=1 1039w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Many many <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Timothy-Keller/e/B001H6SAQW/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=djchuang&amp;linkId=OVT2ULBBBIWVUR66">more Tim Keller books</a> have been authored and published since. And, sadly, we can&#8217;t keep up with it all.</p> <p>As <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Timothy-Keller/e/B001H6SAQW/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=djchuang&amp;linkId=OVT2ULBBBIWVUR66">more Tim Keller books</a> were published, the traffic to the timkeller.info wiki site declined and other websites and blogs picked up the chatter about Tim Keller and his activities.</p> <p>By 2015, there was very little activity at the timkeller.info wiki. Has our effort been worth it? Well, over the course of its run, the website served 117,648 visitors!</p> <p><img class="border-gray alignnone wp-image-13940 size-full" src="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-statistics.png?resize=870%2C703" alt="analytics" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-statistics.png?w=870&amp;ssl=1 870w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-statistics.png?resize=300%2C242&amp;ssl=1 300w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-statistics.png?resize=768%2C621&amp;ssl=1 768w" sizes="(max-width: 870px) 100vw, 870px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Here&#8217;s what I&#8217;m thinking. When the domain name timkeller.info expires on January 8, 2018, I will not be renewing the domain name and the website will go dark. That&#8217;ll be the sunsetting of the website and all of its content.</p> <p>As the sun starts to set on timkeller.info, thank you to each and every one of the contributors that made this wiki a joy to share our curation of Tim Keller learnings, findings, and sightings—Co &#8220;Bumble&#8221; Ho, <a href="http://kennyjahng.com">Kenny Jahng</a>, Alex Philip, <a href="http://centralityofthegospel.wordpress.com/">Jon Spadino</a>, <a href="http://leadingchurch.com/">Paul VanderKlay</a>, Brandon Waltz, and <a href="http://seanmeade.blogspot.com/">Sean Meade</a>.</p> <p>And, thank you <a href="/keller/">Pastor Tim Keller</a> for speaking words of wisdom and grace that points all of us to the ultimate beauty and glory of Jesus Christ.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/decline-tim-keller-wiki-website/">The Decline of the Tim Keller Wiki website</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=6x8GWHeuE-E:YGWnwEmA8i0:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=6x8GWHeuE-E:YGWnwEmA8i0:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/6x8GWHeuE-E" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER ALL THE NAME CALLING! http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/08/i-cant-hear-you-over-all-name-calling.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:d040df63-2c83-8b41-b19a-08cd295e4534 Wed, 30 Aug 2017 16:24:08 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Lately I have been reading articles by a few Evangelicals who are deeply committed to racial justice.&nbsp; As I agree and sympathize with much, I do find myself in reaction to some of the things they have said. These ideas, and others like them, spring up from time to time, although often in new phrases and provocative rhetoric.&nbsp; &nbsp;Some of what they have said is not new, they are echoes of various lines of thinking that have been part of conversations that have been present as long as I have been involved in the struggle for justice and reconciliation.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Ah, you will see I mentioned a word that is part of what is at stake in the conversation, and that is the word “reconciliation.”&nbsp; The phrase “racial reconciliation” is a term that has been at times threatening, revolutionary, and welcoming to people who have been convicted about the racial and ethnic alienation that has been present in our society since the idea of race was constructed to help both Arabs and Europeans feel justified in their exploitation of various nations, namely those nations and ethnicities of color.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; This term is also slammed, shunned, and discarded by some as being either misunderstood or misused, and thereby not radical enough in the quest for justice. Some have postulated there can be no reconciliation since we were never unified to begin with, and though this sounds like it might make sense, the idea discards Adam and Eve and Noah as a unified human race, Babel as the dividing of the nations, and the calling of Abraham as a Jew to divide the world into Jews (circumcised) and Gentiles (uncircumcised).&nbsp; I take that criticism as a cheap rhetorical trick with no logical foundation.&nbsp; It also seems to accept the postulation of race as a biological reality and not a constructed one.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Some don’t like the word “racial” since it was a socially constructed idea to explain “color” in various human beings and to assign them a lower status by white people.&nbsp; No less a person than John Perkins has recently spoken powerfully against this word since it creates differentiation between people groups, and God is no respecter of persons.&nbsp; He thinks that our continued use of it perpetuates the differentiation in a negative way.&nbsp; Nevertheless we all pretty much admit to such realities as “racism” and doing away with the term is not going to do away with racists anytime soon.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Then there is the criticism of the entire phrase as one seen to be preferred by white people because they see it as an individualized process or event and fail (or refuse) to see systemic injustice in the broader society.&nbsp; One of the writers I read wants only to speak of “white supremacy,” and feels that is where the onus belongs, on the white community. I certainly sympathize with the need to see justice as a larger issue than simply our personal bias and prejudice.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; White Supremacy is a term that is searching for some consensus.&nbsp; It seemed to have a historical context in the teachings of the slave justifiers (even among Muslim scholars prior to the Western slave trade) the KKK, Aryan Brotherhood, and going back to Nazi Germany’s view of the “Superior Race.”&nbsp; &nbsp;The attempt to dump the guilt of such association&nbsp; on all white people due to their being in the numerical majority, having inherent white privilege as a cultural majority in a racialized nation, and or being clueless as to what systemic injustice does to people is problematic at best, and frankly, racist at worst. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Political ideologues, in their rhetorical world, are adept at polarizing issues, leaving no middle ground, and thereby marginalizing people who are still learning and still becoming conscious of issues.&nbsp; In their eyes you are either as radical as they are, or you are the enemy.&nbsp; Taking and using such political device and rhetoric may sound and read as prophetic, but the question remains as to whether or not it is genuinely Christian?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Some of the rhetoric is no better, and serves no other purpose, than name calling.&nbsp; I suspect some of it is an attempt to feel powerful, a sort of triumphalism, through the use of language. Rhetorical “one ups-man-ship” might make one feel better but I don’t think it convinces anybody but one’s allies. &nbsp;Instead of seeking peace, which is a Christian duty, command, and practice, it alienates.&nbsp; I believe one of the worse things we can do is to use language (no matter how lyrical or artistic) that is confused, opaque, and that causes more misunderstanding and less healing. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the realities we live in is that of a white majority in the United States, and lately we are seeing in the white population (both here and in Europe) a strong reaction against and resistance to any changing of that reality through immigration.&nbsp; White cultural reality is very strong in Evangelicalism, and those minorities which are present in a white Evangelical world are forced to encounter “white normativity.”&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Some decide that self-segregation is what they would rather pursue for their own cultural comfort, healing, and safety.&nbsp; They seek an escape from the cultural fatigue and aggravation which seems to be fairly consistent in the education and training of “one more white person,” who has only now realized and admitted there are other cultural realities.&nbsp; If it is not self-segregation it sometimes seems to be an emotional self-alienation with a lot of complaining.&nbsp; There is a corresponding majority culture reaction by which racial issues are simply shut down, walked away from, or mocked if a person feels personally feel racially aggravated.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The price to pay for real “reconciliation” is high for each of us in our own ethnic and cultural groups and we pay it in different ways.&nbsp; I believe minorities pay a higher price but it is arrogance to assume others are paying nothing (though they may not being paying the full price yet), it is disingenuous and dangerous to assume it will cost any of us little.&nbsp; There is both an illegitimate and a legitimate price to be paid. The illegitimate price of self-hatred and complete assimilation into the “other” while discarding our own culture and ethnic identity pays negative dividends in self, family, and community.&nbsp; There is only one thing worthy of paying the legitimate price of reconciliation (which is a long exposure to misunderstanding, insult, attacks of various kinds, and sacrifice in relationships,) and that is the pursuit of being the answer to the prayer of Jesus; that we might be one.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The argument for expanding the term White Supremacy to include the entire white population (and thus take the onus off of specific political and violent groups) as responsible for systemic injustice seems to negate the idea of personal repentance, and personal relational healing, and declare it to be inconsequential as long as injustice continues.&nbsp;In an attempt to thwart individual evasion of institutional racism it makes the personal repentance of racism meaningless.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;To take the term White Supremacy and make it universal rather than specific to hate groups is to deprive all of us of the vigilance needed to monitor their incipient violence and to be prepared to resist it.&nbsp; White supremacists must love this universal application and definitive inflation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I would like to be one of the few voices lifted up to defend the word “reconciliation.”&nbsp; Not only do I like it, want to practice it, and have paid some measure of a price to pursue it, but my bottom line is that I think it is Biblical.&nbsp; It is a word far greater than race, full of grace and mercy, includes all the Gentiles in the Body of Christ (thus including in its central idea inter-Gentile union), and the Jews, and is one of the soteriological effects of the death of Jesus on the cross.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Reconciliation is not a word to despise for the reason that being personally reconciled (to God or people) does not automatically end systemic injustice, but rather a word that is to be preached! &nbsp;It is our future hope that Jesus will reconcile all things to himself.&nbsp; In short, it is a process which God commissioned, a message and a ministry we should all be caught up in and which will not be fulfilled in our lifetimes.&nbsp; To reject reconciliation, and yes, racial reconciliation, and substitute it with permanent guilt until there is complete systemic change, is defeatist, despairing, unrealistic, and ultimately creates more division.&nbsp; I think it is better to spell out, and preach out, the price of real and Biblical reconciliation; the cost of sacrificially enslaving ourselves to other groups to win them, the cost of suffering with and for them in a true “becoming” with them. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One phrase that comes up is “white fragility”&nbsp;in the context of conversations about race and injustice. I think I understand the historic dynamic but unfortunately this is a universal human problem, and not simply one that can be assigned to one people group.&nbsp; It is difficult, as a representative of a particular racial, ethnic, or cultural group, to constantly hear the pathology present in one’s own people group carped on by another ethnic group. &nbsp;Racial conversations are frequently difficult and sometimes feel threatening, and the recent use of blaming and provocative language in the guise of the pursuit of justice I believe will be self-defeating. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;I have seen this reaction in various groups when the issues of public health and social concerns are listed by race or ethnicity.&nbsp; Invariably the argument is made to stop blaming those listed as representative of the statistics (from our ethnic group, or our ethnic group a whole) and attack something else; the system, society, and history that has helped to create those problems.&nbsp; I’m just wondering if you can feel my love if I keep telling you how bad your people are?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;Can any of our identified racial groups own any of (their) our peculiar or popular sins?&nbsp;It is no doubt difficult. Will our identified racial groups continue to resist group labeling as insulting and demoralizing?&nbsp; I have a suspicion that they will, therefore such labeling should be used tenderly, strategically, tactfully, and even lovingly in trying to bring about change.&nbsp; Every cultural group has particular sins that should bring shame to them, and certainly the white majority in this country has earned much of the shame and guilt that generally they don’t like to hear about or embrace.&nbsp; Guilt, by itself, is an insufficient motivator and is quite often the edge of the blade on which people will either divide into denial, anger, and resentment on one side and admission, confession, and a search for restoration on the other. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The preaching of the Gospel always contains the bad news of sinful reality, but it is not a Gospel at all if it doesn’t have “good news.”&nbsp; The Gospel, the real Gospel of Christ, is not true to itself if all it does is stick people with guilt and leaves it there.&nbsp; This is not a way of saying don’t preach against societal or national sins,&nbsp; it is a way of saying that with repentance there is forgiveness, there is grace, there is, (watch it, here it comes…) reconciliation.&nbsp; I see that word as one which has a milestone beginning but continues as a process, both personally, socially, institutionally, and ecclesiastically. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; It is progress when any community faces its reality head on, and in humility and courage seeks to change its culture toward righteousness, both personal and social, in its behavior. As the Scripture says in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people.”&nbsp; Does any of this humility and courage happen without change in individuals?&nbsp; I would submit that it cannot. Does it suddenly happen generally, culturally, systemically, politically?&nbsp;&nbsp; While some despise the individual aspect of Christian faith as insufficient for corporate change it is nevertheless a historic (societies and nations have changed) and realistic part of the whole, it just has to be preached (consistently) as a beginning and not an end in itself.<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"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> Houston Churches Responding to Hurricane Harvey https://djchuang.com/2017/houston-churches-responding-to-hurricane-harvey/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:5a67609b-38c3-0eda-c747-6302a0d8a817 Tue, 29 Aug 2017 13:12:33 -0500 <p>Hurricane Harvey has caused enormous damages to the Houston area, nearby Texas and Louisiana of an epic proportion. There are people who need help and people who want to help. In situations like this, people can use all the help they can get. Many local churches in Houston are helping people in the aftermath of [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/houston-churches-responding-to-hurricane-harvey/">Houston Churches Responding to Hurricane Harvey</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Hurricane Harvey has caused enormous damages to the Houston area, nearby Texas and Louisiana of an epic proportion. There are people who need help and people who want to help. In situations like this, people can use all the help they can get. Many local churches in Houston are helping people in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.</p> <p>In situations like this, people can use all the help they can get. Many local churches in Houston are helping people in the aftermath of Hurrican Harvey. Here are churches with info for those who want to help, both locally and from elsewhere:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://ecclesiahouston.org/helphouston">Ecclesia Houston</a>  ✋<img src="https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/2.3/72x72/1f4e6.png" alt=" THE POLITICIZATION OF RACIAL HISTORY AND SPEECH http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-politicization-of-racial-history.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:e64bb0c4-51e8-1ac2-8679-f1f1b7b6f307 Fri, 25 Aug 2017 15:05:35 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; Did anything ever really happen in history that all of us could agree on?&nbsp; Is there anything that has happened at which we could all say, “that was evil, that was bad, and that should never have happened?”&nbsp; Is everything up for interpretation?&nbsp;&nbsp; If we agree certain events did happen do we have the right to define and interpret it only from our ideological position?&nbsp; Do only the victors have the right, and the authority, to write history?&nbsp; Do the losers have the authority to rewrite it? &nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: large;">Does the majority have the right in their privilege to assess, define, and articulate for everyone, or just themselves, or not even themselves if it offends the minority?</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Is anything really true?&nbsp;&nbsp; How long are we allowed to keep words and phrases before someone tells us we can’t use them anymore, that they have become offensive and that the way they are used has taken on new meaning and we are no longer allowed to use them?&nbsp; I confess that sometimes I am a bit confused by the independent and self-authorizing claim to redefinition. I am thrown into asking, “who the hell made you Daniel Webster?”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We have certain philosophical and political dynamics which put us into a veritable sea of a tidal lexicon.&nbsp; Post modernism has sought to empower people (groups) by allowing them to control their own narrative.&nbsp; This sounds democratic and just, until of course one realizes that controlling one’s own narrative is no guarantee of honesty, accuracy, or the absence of self-deception.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Political ideologues have realized that allowing the simple acknowledgment of historical tragedy forces people into owning shame.&nbsp; To accept guilt allows the other party power and leverage, especially relating to social issues arising from that guilt.&nbsp; Therefore it is politically expedient to deny certain parts of history, or to deny the ownership of the guilt of it, and in essence to rewrite it by not allowing it to be discussed in any open and engaging manner but only as vituperative demagoguery. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; All the abuses of fallacious arguments are evident in political discourse today, and much of it centers on race.&nbsp; The issue of race and the history of race and racism in our country is a subject of much pain, anger, and guilt, or a tortured reactive denial.&nbsp; The election of President Obama heightened the discourse, and racial feelings were often disguised and concealed behind political sentiments, although not as well hidden as some supposed.&nbsp; Some political demagogues sought to silence any protest or complaint about racism as simple hucksterism.&nbsp; Much of the populace became immune to any racial sensitivity, tolerance, or desire for understanding let alone reconciliation.&nbsp; Certain politicians saw the issue of race as their Achilles’ heel and became hard hearted and steel faced about the subject, building a Teflon heart and a non-stick conscience, and their followers repeat the mantras of denial.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Where is the great moral center of the country that was shaken by the actions of civil rights heroes and disgusted by civil rights villains, such as Bull Conner, George Wallace, the KKK, and those who bombed Sunday Schools?&nbsp; That moral center allowed us to make national progress but the prominent political discourse of today is toward extremism and polarization, with an attendant deafness to anything said by the other side.&nbsp; If people are not deaf they have become deft at redirection, where the deflection of criticism is simply by way of assigning the critic to the camp of some other political party or political person’s worst previous political act or opinion or indiscretion.&nbsp; It seems to fail the comprehension of some that one could be opposed to certain policies of Trump and not have to be, at the same time, an advocate for the policies of a Clinton or Obama.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; This is not new of course, such radical division helped to create the Civil War, and that conflict continues to simmer in a rather consistent fight to revise its causes and see its main participants as heroes. Certainly it was about land and States Rights, but more accurately and primarily about a State’s right to not only allow slavery but to encourage its spread.&nbsp; Certainly many of the men that fought for the South thought they were fighting against the tyranny of a Federal government and for “freedom,” while in actuality propping up those governments intent on continuing the chattel enslavement of others.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;Such incongruity is part of the American dilemma.&nbsp; The Confederacy is full of tragic heroes who were fighting on the wrong side.&nbsp; No veneration of their personal faith or gentility can wash their hands clean of the blood of their victims, either that of the slaves or of the nation’s soldiers committed to preserving the Union whose majority voted against the wishes of the slave owners.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As one pursues the dialogue about race and racial history one sees the ebb and flow of vocabulary, redefinition of terms, and the attempt as it were to create new realities.&nbsp; There is a white majority, a dominating white culture, in America.&nbsp; As with all dominant cultures in any society or nation it has privilege.&nbsp; Some of it is intentional and intentionally protected by various individuals and groups, some of it is a de-facto reality that the majority assumes, accepts, and avoids confronting. &nbsp;I don't believe cultural majorities can erase all privilege or normality, it comes with being a majority.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;However, when one peels back, as it were, the onion of history it is simply jaw dropping amazing how many economic, land and real estate, and political decisions in our local, state, and national past have been made on the basis of race and for the protection of white privilege.&nbsp; Some of the benefactors of privilege are oblivious to it as a social reality and become offended, in a very American individualistic kind of way, to think that they are privileged at all.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;What complicates the European-American experience is the historical social construct of race to create and perpetuate “white privilege.”&nbsp; If I am not inherently superior to you it is hard to justify my taking your land, and taking you to another land against your will, and making you work for me in perpetuity – which means not only do I own you but I own your future and the generations that will come from you.&nbsp;Such arrogant beliefs of inherent superiority make people bestial.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; How does the minority, the descendants of former slaves, speak about these things?&nbsp; How can these things be spoken about and with members of the majority culture?&nbsp;&nbsp; White dominance at one time forced a black man to hold down his head and his eyes and his only allowed response was a “yessa masa.”&nbsp; Is the dialogue now only bitterness, is it hate, is it insult, is it condemnation?&nbsp; If we were not Christians this might be an unsurprising historical outcome. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Is the discussion in our current era only about white intransigence, ignorance, and the mockery of inept attempts for reconciliation?&nbsp;&nbsp; Is reconciliation despised both as a process and a goal?&nbsp; Is freedom become by definition a new segregation with a certain triumphalism and assumed moral superiority, but this time on the part of, and driven by, ethnic minorities? <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So the dictionary changes where (supposedly) racism can only be exercised or practiced by a majority person or institution that holds power, but cannot and will not be owned by a person of color, since by definition of being a minority they cannot actually hold power.&nbsp;&nbsp; The dictionary changes whereby “racial reconciliation” is a white goal and is now considered a fiction since there was no “conciliation” in the first place.&nbsp; The dictionary changes where any sociological reflection on minority neighborhoods or demographics that delves into pathologies of such communities is off limits as it produces shame and seems to deny the person-hood&nbsp;of those who live there.&nbsp; So, the word "thug" cannot be used because it (supposedly) replaces the “n” word.&nbsp; The dictionary changes as cross-cultural or multi-ethnic cannot be defined as such if a white person is in charge in any meaningful way.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; These are all current examples of problems within racial discussions, and some of it frankly is wrong, arbitrary, illogical, and fueled by an incipient racial agenda rather than a Christian one.&nbsp; The only way to peace is through truth and love.&nbsp; Redefining terms as a way of feeling powerful through provocation doesn’t always get us to peace.&nbsp; Every time I use the word black or white to assign problems, patterns, or pathologies to a certain group it is incumbent on me to be careful and precise about my explanation. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;But not only that, because I am a follower of Jesus, because I am trying to be a peacemaker (which I believe one must be if they are to be faithful to Christ) then I must also be loving, because it is through loving each other that men know that we are His disciples.&nbsp; This means I must be fair, and kind, and gentle, and seeking always to speak the truth in love. &nbsp;If I am faithful to Jesus I must be humble, longsuffering, preferring others in honor, and intentionally seeking to be at peace with them.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Can I not be angry at injustice and sin?&nbsp; Not only can we, we must be, and this is part of telling the truth.&nbsp;&nbsp; Yet, the way I tell the truth says much about my intention.&nbsp; What is my agenda?&nbsp;&nbsp; Where is the commitment to peacemaking? &nbsp;&nbsp;Will I achieve it by humiliating or destroying you? Whether one wishes to use the term racial reconciliation or not, reconciliation is a message and ministry from God and through God’s people; peacekeeping is the way to blessing.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As a believer I am intentionally stuck with a commitment and a submission to the Word of God, the final arbitrator of what is actually true, and right, and good.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; line-height: 115%;"><span style="font-size: large;">James 3:17-18 says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.&nbsp; Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."</span></span></div> GIVING AWAY MY DAUGHTER http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/08/giving-away-my-daughter.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:713b3447-9565-dd4f-b57f-305565e8f3e1 Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:15:01 -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;This last weekend I gave, along with my wife, my daughter away in marriage. &nbsp;Actually it was entirely at my daughter’s request and I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.&nbsp; My wife and I have prayed for her since she was born that the Lord would provide the man for her to marry, or make her content with His will, whatever God wanted.&nbsp; I confess I thought she would get married, it was obvious she wanted to be married, and there were times I worried too much about it and had to decide to trust God about His decision for her.&nbsp; In God’s providence so it has come about.&nbsp;&nbsp; I am thankful.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Several people have asked me over this last week, “How do you feel?”&nbsp;&nbsp; Some wondered if it would be hard for me to stand up there and give the short homily the couple requested, or would I cry as I walked her down the aisle?&nbsp; There was so much curiosity about (or noisiness into) my emotional state; though it did force me to reflect on what my emotions actually were and was I indeed showing them or not.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I began to wonder if I should feel guilty for not feeling something tangible or identifiable about the whole event.&nbsp; It took me a bit to remember something about myself, and that is that I am a person who often doesn’t know how to feel about things, or isn’t exactly sure how he is feeling at especially significant moments.&nbsp; I have had this problem with grief in losing people I love, or the birth of my children, or even acknowledging or coming to grips with my fears.&nbsp; When my kids were born women were all over the room gushing and asking how I felt and my reaction was that I had just met this person and didn’t even really know them yet.&nbsp;&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I kind of feel that way about my son-in-law.&nbsp; He seems like a great guy, I know nothing bad about him, and my daughter evidently likes him.&nbsp; I don’t know him real well as of yet, and I am hoping to come to love him and have deep and positive feelings about him. &nbsp;I don’t know if I would be over the moon about anybody driving off with my daughter, but I am happy he will be paying her bills in the future.&nbsp; Not exuberant, just satisfied and relieved.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now, about my daughter, and I only have one of them, along with three sons.&nbsp; She is the youngest of our family and the last one to be married.&nbsp; If you were to ask if she was spoiled I would say, “I certainly hope so since we tried so hard.”&nbsp; She occupies a singular space in our family, an intense interest and friend of my wife (and most of the women of her family), the one most to be protected and for whom to be provided.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Yet, we found out early we could not do it, not adequately and not completely.&nbsp; God took that away from me as her father when I stood helpless watching her go into a seizure.&nbsp; All my man strength, all my education, all my readiness to do violence to an enemy, whatever money or connections I had meant nothing to what her own brain was doing to her.&nbsp; The seizures would never stop until we got her to the emergency room so they could treat her.&nbsp; As she began to grow up it affected her learning and so it would erase all her reading ability.&nbsp; Her dyslexia meant our local Christian school could not help her.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Helplessness in the face of something attacking your child forces you into an emotional displacement; is my emotion anger, is it guilt, is it shame, is it sorrow?&nbsp; I was certainly terrified. I had a sister with a brain lesion and I couldn’t help her either.&nbsp; My daughter was beautiful, almost as if in fulfillment of a prophecy as we named her after one of the three most beautiful women in the world, one of the daughters of Job.&nbsp; So all of us in our family became even more protective of her, knowing where she was at all times, and who she might be with, and thinking of her needs.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Before our eyes God showed us that the good results in her life would not be our fault, not to our glory, nor due to our efforts.&nbsp;&nbsp; Doctors and medicine helped, good schools, teachers, and her own mother’s home schooling all helped, but it was the Lord’s mercy and grace that healed her and made her well. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;It was grace that gave her grit so that she worked hard, really hard, and pushed herself so that she now approaches finishing her Master’s degree.&nbsp; It was grace that made her smart, and grace that made her kind, caring for others, delighting in children, concerned for and about the needs of others, intolerant of injustice and racial bigotry, and full of appreciation for things true and beautiful.&nbsp; Her graciousness to intellectually interact with me is one of the great benefits to me in knowing her as an adult.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; So, I don’t know how to feel about it all.&nbsp; I think you can tell at least one thing, I am immensely proud and pleased with her.&nbsp; I count her as a profound friend, and someone who grew into that relationship with me.&nbsp; Since the time, it seems long ago when I realized that I could not protect her, I had to turn her over to the Lord.&nbsp; I had to consciously trust Him with my daughter’s life.&nbsp; That means I don’t feel that I have lost her, but I do feel a pretty consistent amazement that God keeps giving her life, and blessings, and His faithfulness to watch over her.&nbsp; With all that, I feel pretty good.<o:p></o:p></span></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> A List of Asian American Theologians https://djchuang.com/2017/list-asian-american-theologians/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:cb5c756a-685e-3c95-6861-ddb6261ab6ae Fri, 18 Aug 2017 22:48:21 -0500 <p>Thinking and writing about the study of God is known as theology. And in some ways, all of us who are Christ-followers are theologians in that we read and study the Bible. We are commanded to love God with all our mind. However, there are also theologians who are paid professionals, often seminary professors, Bible [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/list-asian-american-theologians/">A List of Asian American Theologians</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Thinking and writing about the study of God is known as theology. And in some ways, all of us who are Christ-followers are theologians in that we read and study the Bible. We are commanded to love God with all our mind. However, there are also theologians who are paid professionals, often seminary professors, Bible teachers, or scholarly pastors.</p> <p>As I compile these 2 lists—theologians with blogs and theologians with books, some do have both—I recognize that these are very elastic categories, that is, should I include Asian theologians? And what about pastors or sociologists? I&#8217;ll just post these <a href="https://twitter.com/StevenPatton/status/898618794079248385">lists</a> first and see what feedback can be crowdsourced to enhance this.</p> <h2>Asian North American Theologians who are Bloggers</h2> <ul> <li>Fred Mok&#8217;s <a href="http://breadbeforerice.blogspot.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Rant of the Exiles</a> (cf. &#8220;<a href="http://breadbeforerice.blogspot.com/2011/05/why-asian-american-theology-sucks.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Why Asian American Theology Sucks</a>&#8220;)</li> <li><a href="http://miheekimkort.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mihee Kim-Kort</a> ~ Pastor. Mother. Student. Writer. Itinerant. Hopemonger.</li> <li><a href="https://gracejisunkim.wordpress.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Grace Ji-Sun Kim</a> ~ Loving Life</li> <li><a href="https://engagescriptures.wordpress.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Engage Scriptures</a> ~ Sam Tsang&#8217;s Bible and Culture Blog</li> <li><a href="http://kwokpuilan.blogspot.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Kwok Pui Lan</a> &#8211; On postcolonialism, theology, and everything she cares about</li> <li><a href="https://timtseng.net" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tim Tseng</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecperson/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Justin Tse &#8211; Eastern Catholic Person</a></li> </ul> <h2>Asian North American Theologians who are Published Authors</h2> <ul> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2xcITA7" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tapestry of Grace: Untangling the Cultural Complexities in Asian American Life and Ministry</a> &#8211; by Benjamin C. Shin and Sheryl Takagi Silzer<br /> <a href="http://amzn.to/2waLiyv" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Conversations: Asian American Evangelical Theologies In Formation</a> &#8211; edited by DJ Chuang and Timothy Tseng</li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2w9UtiI" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Future of Evangelical Theology: Soundings from the Asian American Diaspora</a> – by Amos Yong</li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2wZi8Qn" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Double Particularity: Karl Barth, Contextuality, and Asian American Theology</a> &#8211; by Daniel D. Lee</li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2wbarsO" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times</a> &amp; <a href="http://amzn.to/2fTrAAF" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church</a> &amp; <a href="http://amzn.to/2fTpAsj" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity</a> – by Soong-Chan Rah</li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2vMqkFb" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Introducing Asian American Theologies</a> – by Jonathan Y. Tan</li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2waMUYT" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Theological Reflections on &#8220;Gangnam Style&#8221;: A Racial, Sexual, and Cultural Critique</a> (Asian Christianity in the Diaspora) &#8211; by Joseph Cheah and Grace Ji-Sun Kim</li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2vQH5Nz" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Off the Menu: Asian and Asian North American Women&#8217;s Religion and Theology</a> &#8211; Edited by Rita Nakashima Brock, Jung Ha Kim, Pui-lan Kwok, Seung Ai Yang</li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2fTW9WK" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Making Paper Cranes: Toward an Asian American Feminist Theology</a> – by Mihee Kim-Kort</li> <li><a href="http://amzn.to/2xcAzjB" target="_blank" rel="noopener">From a Liminal Place: An Asian American Theology</a> – by Sang Hyun Lee</li> </ul> <h3>Related</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://sanacs.wordpress.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Society of Asian North American Christian Studies</a> (SANACS)</li> <li><a href="https://aatfweb.org" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Asian American Theological Forum</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.panaawtm.org" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Pacific, Asian, and North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry</a> (PAMAAWTM)</li> <li><a href="https://www.lausanne.org/content/lga/2015-07/hispanic-and-asian-north-american-theologians-together" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hispanic and Asian North American Theologians Together: A groundbreaking consultation</a> (July 2015)</li> </ul> <p>Are there others that should be added to the list here? Please add a comment, or <a href="/contact/">contact me</a> if the comments are closed.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I’ve got a good amount of Black leaders I read from, but can y’all point me to some Asian &amp; Latinx theological thinkers? Books please</p> <p>&mdash; Steve Patton (@StevenPatton) <a href="https://twitter.com/StevenPatton/status/898618794079248385">August 18, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/list-asian-american-theologians/">A List of Asian American Theologians</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=CRtXC_o_0VI:wCNzQQ356eY:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=CRtXC_o_0VI:wCNzQQ356eY: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/CRtXC_o_0VI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Practical Suggestions for Redemptive Ethnic Unity http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/08/practical-suggestion-for-redemptive.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:69c1774e-2fa1-2b7a-dcc8-a72056fc9e77 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:10:51 -0500 <div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">In light of the recent incident in Charlottesville I wanted to follow up on a friend’s request for a few suggestions concerning the pursuit of redemptive ethnic unity. I define redemptive ethnic unity as the tangible unity God’s people are called to experience and enjoy in the local church. This isn’t exhaustive as each point could be developed further. Hopefully, it will provide a good starting point for those who wish to pursue the authentic unity of God’s people. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">1. Begin by asking yourself the following question: Does the church I serve need people from various ethnic groups to demonstrate a biblical, relevant witness to my community, my fellow church members and our children?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">2. Remember this is a gospel issue since it's God's express will to bring people from different ethnic groups into one multi-ethnic worshiping community called the church. (Gen. 12:3; 18:18-19; Ps. 72:8-11; Isa. 2:1-5; Jer. 3:15-17; John 10:16; Ch. 17; Acts 2; Eph. 2:11-3:21; Rev. 7)<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">3. Pray about these things consistently. Through prayer God does some miraculous things in the human heart. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">4. Cultivate the practice of thinking redemptively instead of ideologically. For example, redemptive thinking leads us to consider our responsibility to pursue unity across ethnic lines. Ideological thinking can lead to complacency with the status quo. Redemptive thinking emphasizes biblical virtues like sacrifice, love, humility, kindness and compassion. Ideological thinking stresses American virtues like individual rights, fairness, merit and tolerance. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">5. Pray about working toward more ethnic unity within your local church. It can do little good and seem hypocritical for us to say that 'all we need is the gospel' if the gospel's power can't begin to reflect God's will in this area within our churches. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">6. Read some insightful books on the topic such as Free at Last? By Dr. Carl Ellis, Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions. Edited by Dr. Anthony Bradley, Divided by Faith by Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith, Heal Us Emmanuel, (Edited by Rev. Doug Serven) One New Man by Dr. Jarvis Williams and </span><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; text-shadow: auto;">Winning the Race to Unity: Is Racial Reconciliation Working? Clarence E. Shuler.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">7. Listen to podcasts like Pass the Mic and Truth's Table to gain some solid, biblical insight into these issues. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;"><a href="http://www.podasterystudios.com/truths-table"><span style="color: windowtext; text-decoration-line: none;">http://www.podasterystudios.com/truths-table</span></a><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;"><a href="http://www.podasterynetwork.com/category/passthemic/"><span style="color: windowtext; text-decoration-line: none;">http://www.podasterynetwork.com/category/passthemic/</span></a><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">8. Consider attending the LDR conference. LDR is a yearly gathering on Labor Day weekend that focuses on biblically based redemptive ethnic unity and social justice. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">9. Be sure to have actual face to face, and not just Facebook conversations with minorities who tend to have a different view from most people in your church or circle of friends about this. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">10. Consider coordinating a church effort to establish a relationship with church of a different ethnicity. You can begin with joint worship services and then move to joint men's, women's and youth retreats. One of the goals is to build genuine relationships with a group of God's people. These relationships will enable you to talk about your lives, our common faith, along with some of the ways we differ in our approach to race. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">11. Learn the history of conservative evangelicals on race relations from the late 19th into the late 20th century. It will help to place our current challenges into context. You can begin with books like God's Long Summer (Charles Marsh) and For a Continuing Church (Dr. Sean Michael Lucas).<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">12. Related to that is the importance of learning about African-American history during this period. The following is a sample of where you can begin: Rev. Dr. King's Letter from A Birmingham Jail, The Souls of Black Folk by Dr. W.E.B. Dubois, The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson and the video documentary series Eyes on the Prize. Eyes on the Prize followed the Civil Rights Movement from 1954 through 1965. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">13. Check out our art. A people's art is a window into their souls. Read poetry, listen to music, attend theater productions and movies. The following is a very short list to get started. The characters in these stories examine African-Americans as they struggle with issues of dignity, identity and what it means to be human in America. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Fences by August Wilson, Crash, Boyz In the Hood, Precious, Twelve Years a Slave, 42, Selma, and Ragtime (musical). <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;">&nbsp;14. Finally, remember that redemptive ethnic unity matters to the living God. As such we can trust in Him to do the impossible in this area. Take some time to carefully read Eph. 2:11-4:6. See what the passage teaches about our unity across ethnic lines and then reflect on Paul’s exclamation of praise concerning God’s power to bring it to pass for His own glory. Finally, note how God has determined to receive this glory from His multi-ethnic worshiping community called the church and His Son throughout eternity. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;"><b>Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV) </b><br />Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.<span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;">Joyfully in Christ,&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 10.0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-autospace: none;">Pastor Lance</div> RAGING UNBELIEF http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/08/raging-unbelief.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:97f4c738-878d-fb8e-89e9-0c5e086434d1 Mon, 07 Aug 2017 15:32:32 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Raging unbelief, but I’m not talking about atheists.&nbsp; I’m not referring to skeptics, agnostics, or any unbeliever who struggles to have or understand faith.&nbsp; I’m speaking about myself.&nbsp; I’m classified as a believer, as a Christian, Reformed, orthodox, and conservative in my theological confession.&nbsp; Yet, it seems God has decided to face me with my raging unbelief.&nbsp; It is raging because it deprives me of all the things I say I believe and happens almost before I know it.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Most of us know what temptation feels like.&nbsp; As a male human being I know what it feels like to be tempted to lust.&nbsp; Actually, quite often in my life I just bypassed the temptation and fell into sin.&nbsp; I know I must have been tempted but it seemed I just sinned blithely and quickly without putting up any kind of a fight.&nbsp; I am reminded of the young man described in Proverbs 7:22, <i>“All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.”</i>&nbsp; Did you notice the, “all at once,” line?&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The sin I am dealing with lately is not lust, though it is just as bad.&nbsp; I am tempted not to believe God, and I can fall “all at once.”&nbsp; I did not recognize my sin as unbelief right away.&nbsp; I was not conscious of saying in my heart or mind, “I don’t believe you God, I don’t trust you!”&nbsp; I don’t think I would ever say that directly to God.&nbsp; It would just shock me to say that.&nbsp; I think though that is indeed what I have done.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I didn’t have the opportunity to be raised by my father.&nbsp; He left my family when I was young.&nbsp; That made me very curious about him.&nbsp; Later in life I did get to know him, at least to some degree.&nbsp; I also was able to get some insight into his life from his siblings and relatives.&nbsp; I wanted to know what strengths he had, and what weaknesses.&nbsp; I wondered how I was like him, if at all.&nbsp; Is there any disposition in my personality that comes from my genetics, any proneness to certain behavior?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I am not saying here that my dad was all bad.&nbsp; I am still thankful for his eventual reconciliation with me and the welcome he gave to my wife and children.&nbsp; However, I found out that my dad took offense at anything he felt was a slight or an insult.&nbsp; He would cut off relationships and not look back.&nbsp; Once his pride was hurt he tended to avoid any exposure to getting hurt again.&nbsp; To others in the family it was almost irrational.&nbsp; They put up with a lot of his nonsense, but he wouldn’t put up with even honest and well-meaning rebuke or criticism.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the constant reminders in the book of Proverbs is to listen to rebuke, and those who won’t be corrected are “stupid.”&nbsp; Proverbs 12:1, <i>“Whoever loves discipline love knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”</i>&nbsp; Whenever I read such verses I pray that the Lord will help me listen, that I would not resist or run away from correction or rebuke.&nbsp; Evidently I am still sometimes, often times, stupid, and I need to keep praying.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Whenever I feel disrespected, dismissed, or “dissed” I tend to withdraw inside myself.&nbsp; I don’t like it and I have, too many times in the past, covered myself with self-pity, anger, and bitterness.&nbsp; My ego and pride can be bruised so quickly, and there have been times when I just went into a dark cloud for days over it.&nbsp; I was too proud to admit it was all about my pride.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Why should anyone’s insults, or even a totally unintended slight, bother me so much?&nbsp; I have to admit, (and this is hard because I tend to avoid any kind of psycho-babble description of myself), that very deep in my soul, way down deep in the view I have of myself, I feel worthless.&nbsp; My inner belief is that I am innately and essentially not good enough, I will never measure up to those who are truly worthy of honor, and I have a desperate craving to be esteemed. Now, I have hardly ever articulated those thoughts about my inner beliefs.&nbsp; I think I am too arrogant to go there, and I don’t like that description of myself.&nbsp; It just makes me sound so pathetic.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I can find no other explanation as to why I get so bent out of shape so quickly over feelings of disrespect.&nbsp; Maybe I think if I was worth something my dad would not have left me, maybe I have a short man’s need to over-compensate, maybe I feel the shame of my sinful failures (and I deserve that shame), maybe I am frustrated in my ambitions and feel like a failure compared to the achievements of others?&nbsp; These are all embarrassing but possible emotions and motives.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Today was one of those days when a phrase jumped into my mind as I prayed for God to straighten out my thinking.&nbsp; That phrase was, “raging unbelief.”&nbsp; I tell other people they need to keep reading Romans 8, and here I am acting like none of it is true.&nbsp; It can happen so quickly, by a phrase or a word, and the Devil pours on the hurt, the sensitivity, and I run as fast as I can away from the truth of God’s Word, and I know if left to myself, I would run right out of and on my family and friends.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Would I, could I, risk so many relationships, to simply bathe in my own hurt? &nbsp;I know I could, and I know I would, except that my anchor holds.&nbsp; It is not me holding onto Jesus but Him holding onto me.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; What have I stopped believing?&nbsp; To give up and abandon all the wonderful things I believe about God and what he says about how he feels and declares as to my relationship with him is raging unbelief.&nbsp; I believe my sins are forgiven and that he bore all my shame.&nbsp; I cannot be blackmailed by any of the truth of my history because it hangs on the cross and is buried in the tomb.&nbsp; I believe he gave me power to become a son of God because I believed in his name.&nbsp; I believe I am beloved and a son, and He is my father.&nbsp; I believe I am a friend of God.&nbsp; I believe I am an heir, and a joint heir with Christ.&nbsp; I believe that I sit with Christ in heavenly places and that all creation groans waiting for the sons of God to be revealed, and I believe that is talking about me and my future vindication.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I do believe Romans 8, and so should every true believer, and most of all when we are tempted to disbelieve because of the worthlessness we feel deep inside.&nbsp; “<i>What, then, shall we say in response to this?&nbsp; If God is for us, who can be against us?&nbsp; He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?&nbsp; Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen</i>?&nbsp; <i>It is God who justifies.&nbsp; Who is he that condemns?&nbsp; Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”</i>&nbsp; Romans 8:31-34<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; In the end it doesn’t matter what I believe about myself, someone greater has changed my essential identity and definition, and He calls me to believe that. In the end it doesn’t matter what the Devil says, or enemies, or even friends o</span><span style="font-family: a, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">r family.&nbsp; It is all about what He has said, and keeps saying.&nbsp; I’m feeling better.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div></div> SENSITIVITY TO RACIAL HURT AND GUILT http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/07/sensitivity-to-racial-hurt-and-guilt.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:97037971-52c3-822c-0f83-46ca3444becb Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:31:38 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">On a recent weekend I was forced to remember how sensitive racial and ethnic feelings are within some people.&nbsp;&nbsp; It was an interesting juxtaposition of one black man and one white man on two consecutive days in two different places, providing not so much a contrast but a similarity.<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; I will tell you in brief about the incidents and then seek to draw some conclusions, and I do this as much for my benefit as well as for yours.<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; The African American brother is a former drug addict and ex-con, who has struggled much since getting out of prison in being able to find and keep a job.&nbsp;&nbsp; He was going church to church to find help, and one church finally sent him to a PCA church (almost as a way of dumping him on a church they resented) but it turned out to be a good thing.&nbsp; The PCA pastor who pursued a relationship with this brother really began to help him by taking him to a potential employer, vouching for him, supplying transportation for him, and befriending him.&nbsp; So this black man is now a Christian and growing in his faith.<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; He had been to places seeking jobs, and felt insulted with what he had been offered, or insulted in receiving no offer at all.&nbsp; So, now there were a few of us going out to dinner and we went to a restaurant where he had applied for a job and been rejected, and as soon as we entered he began talking about it.&nbsp; During our time there the all white staff interacted with us, one lady identifying herself as being from the south as she tried to make some kind of connection with a few of us who were from Tennessee.<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;&nbsp; At one point this lady came out from the kitchen and asked us if we had any “black eyed peas” on our table.&nbsp;&nbsp; The one African American in our group, the man who had already felt disrespected by the people of this establishment became angry.&nbsp; He let it be known to the rest of us that he felt she had said this as a direct comment about himself, and he because so bothered by it he had to go outside and have a cigarette. <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;&nbsp; Now, it is unknown as to exactly what she meant.&nbsp; The best take on it was she wasn’t speaking about the brother at all, and the worse take was she was indeed trying to needle him.&nbsp; It was not obvious enough for anyone else to feel it was a racial insult, but the brother did.&nbsp; When he came back in all of us at the table were a little unsure about what to say, how to deal with it, or how to calm him down before things got worse.&nbsp; He certainly didn’t need any more legal trouble, yet his feelings were raw and real.<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; What followed next was a pretty good time of facing the possibility that this was the worst case, and asking the question as to how we, and especially our brother of color, should deal with it.&nbsp; How do we deal with our enemies, how do we deal with those who sin against us, how and when should we turn the other cheek?&nbsp; We felt it would have been wrong to be dismissive about his hurt or his feelings.&nbsp; <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;&nbsp; This brother has truly struggled and suffered in trying to change from his past, and has done very well over the last year in working hard to make a life for himself, and to grow in Christ.&nbsp; Far too often white folks have explained away racial bias and racial insult on the part of other white folks, working way too hard to come up with some alternate explanation or justification for why a white person said or did what they did.&nbsp; Attempting to dismiss and deflect the legitimate concerns, feelings, and anger of those disrespected adds further insult to injury.<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; Yet, some situations are ambiguous, they can be all about perspective and interpretation.&nbsp; So, our discussion centered on what any of us ought to do, as followers of Jesus, when we are indeed attacked.&nbsp;&nbsp; It was not about, “don’t be so sensitive,” or “stop playing the race card.”&nbsp; It was about the reality that the world is truly fallen, full of trouble and danger, and unfortunately, full of obnoxious people who don’t mean us well.&nbsp; Thankfully he decompressed a bit, and I had one more experience of how one stray word, phrase, look, or attitude can set off a fire storm, even if it is unintended, or especially if it is intended.<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; So, the next day I spoke to a bunch of white men.&nbsp; The crowd was completely white.&nbsp;&nbsp; I was in fact thanking them for their support for planting a church in a poor, racially mixed community.&nbsp; I was trying to inform them of how hard it might be, of how long they might need to stay committed, and of how different this church might be from their own.<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;&nbsp; Along the way I made remarks about our usual practice in the PCA is to plant middle class churches and not do much evangelism, but to take advantage of new suburban communities and transfer growth, and to give those new plants just 3-5 years to make it.&nbsp; I also spoke about how, in a mixed community, the worship might be culturally different, and God help me, I mentioned the Regulative Principal of Worship (although in a positive sense but with contextual appreciation, and attempting to be humorous, which sometimes gets me into trouble).&nbsp; <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;&nbsp; Afterwards, one of those white men, came and got in my face.&nbsp; He was angry and began to rebuke me for attacking the middle class, from whom most of the money would come to help plant this church and I "shouldn’t bite the hand that fed me."&nbsp; He was offended by my remarks about worship, and he was offended that I assumed their churches didn’t care about racial minorities as they had a few in their own church, and middle class people needed Jesus too.&nbsp; He also thought I was referring to white southern churches and shouldn’t think the church (here, up North) had the same racial problems.&nbsp; This was his perspective and interpretation of my remarks, with which in all honesty I could not agree that what he thought I had said I had actually said.&nbsp;&nbsp;<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;&nbsp; What was similar about these two incidents was the emotion of anger, one that had been directed at others, and one that was now directed at me.&nbsp; Another similarity was the issue of interpretation and perspective. In both situations others didn’t take it the way the person being angry took it. &nbsp;By way of contrast, one brother seemed to listen and the other didn’t. <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;&nbsp; &nbsp;I was a bit amused that the Devil was tempting me to not take my own advice (which was to not return insult for insult), because I do feel insulted when my words are misconstrued.&nbsp; In God’s mercy I tried to humble myself, listen to his concerns, assure him I didn’t mean to insult (which when telling the truth I sometimes do but by no means maliciously, at least this time) and sought to make peace with him.&nbsp; I’m not quite sure how it worked out in his heart, but at least he didn’t hit 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;">&nbsp;&nbsp; It might be some people need to wear warning labels over their heads: <b>WARNING</b> –this person might explode or go off at any moment, and your best intentions might be misinterpreted, and you should be careful to remember that some people have a lot of racial hurt and others a lot of racial guilt and they don’t know what to do with it. Others of us need an internal warning that reminds us that there is racism, and some are guilty, and to be dismissive of it makes things worse.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div></div> 10 Most Common Causes of Hopelessness https://djchuang.com/2017/10-common-causes-hopelessness/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:72986a5d-3f5d-725b-8441-6388d6ba58e8 Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:57:30 -0500 <p>There is hope for living each and every moment of life, each and every day. But, some people struggle with hopelessness. I know I have. This sermon titled &#8220;How Hope Is Your Anchor&#8221; (September 2015) by Pastor Rick Warren shared these 10 reasons for why people lose hope, getting triggered towards hopelessness: You feel alone/abandoned Life [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/10-common-causes-hopelessness/">10 Most Common Causes of Hopelessness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>There is <strong>hope</strong> for living each and every moment of life, each and every day. But, some people struggle with hopelessness. I know I have.</p> <p>This sermon titled &#8220;How Hope Is Your Anchor&#8221; (September 2015) by Pastor Rick Warren shared these 10 reasons for why people lose hope, getting triggered towards hopelessness:</p> <ol> <li>You feel alone/abandoned</li> <li>Life seems out of control</li> <li>You don&#8217;t see a purpose</li> <li>Grieving a loss</li> <li>You don&#8217;t have what you need</li> <li>You&#8217;ve done something wrong</li> <li>Deeply wounded by someone</li> <li>Pulled in the wrong direction</li> <li>Hounded by fear</li> <li>When it looks like defeat</li> </ol> <p>The truth is that there is <strong>hope</strong>, for you, and the antidote to each and every one of these reasons for hopelessnesss is in the Lord&#8217;s Prayer. <a href="https://youtu.be/i35Jyxg-cq0?t=27m38s">Watch this video</a> to hear Pastor Rick explain.</p> <p><iframe width="1170" height="658" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i35Jyxg-cq0?start=1668&#038;feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Here are 10 reasons why you can have hope as articulated in the Lord&#8217;s Prayer:</p> <ol> <li>My loving Father will never abandon me</li> <li>God&#8217;s power is greater than any problem</li> <li>God fits everything into His plan</li> <li>God has a greater purpose for my life</li> <li>God has promised to meet all my needs</li> <li>Jesus died to pay for all I&#8217;ve done wrong</li> <li>God will settle the score someday</li> <li>God has promised to help me</li> <li>Jesus in me is greater than any other power</li> <li>This is not the end of the story</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/10-common-causes-hopelessness/">10 Most Common Causes of Hopelessness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=W_xEu3BUy4U:M-EfEpi59kE:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=W_xEu3BUy4U:M-EfEpi59kE: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/W_xEu3BUy4U" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> A HAPPY LIFE AT HOME http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/07/a-happy-life-at-home.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:7c466c21-18f5-0f45-14f1-724a63952433 Tue, 18 Jul 2017 14:30:07 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Century&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 14.0pt;">This is an excerpt from a book I am writing on ministry....</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Century&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: Century, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;There is probably nothing better for your physical heart than to have a happy home life.&nbsp; If you are in love with your wife, and she loves you, and if you enjoy your children and they delight for you to be home and involved in their lives, this indeed is joy.&nbsp; There is so much to oppose the achievement of this in modern ministry life.&nbsp; I will try to give some ideas to make it possible….<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></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: Century, serif;">1.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">&nbsp;Let’s be counter intuitive, to have a happy home you must not make an idol out of it.&nbsp; Your wife and family have to see you leading them to something greater than time with you, or seeing themselves indulged with all of your attention.&nbsp; The call of God, missions, ministry, commitment to a local church, justice, the poor, and love for others has to be the value system on which our families are built.&nbsp; If you don’t want self-centered children than you have to model it, and far too often our quest for a good quality of life is in reality nothing but self-love.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in;"><br /></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: Century, serif;">2.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">To have a happy home you have to love your wife.&nbsp; If you want your children to respect you, honor your wife.&nbsp; If you want respect from your wife, learn to listen to her and take her opinions seriously. If you want your children to be polite, teach them to respect and honor their mother.&nbsp; Insist on obedience and respect in the home from your children and do not allow signs and acts of rebellion in their early years to go unchecked; it will pay off when they are teens.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraph"><br /></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: Century, serif;">3.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">Being full of anger and giving yourself over to rage at home is neither healthy nor a testimony to your children.&nbsp; Many pastors are driven people, often frustrated, and sometimes way too demanding of their wives and children.&nbsp; Rage, bellowing and yelling, being controlling, and overly strict is not the same as discipling your children.&nbsp; Do not call them names, except those of endearment (idiot, meathead, lazy, fool, and your mother’s child are not included).&nbsp; Love and patience with affection works wonders.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraph"><br /></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: Century, serif;">4.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">Nothing can replace time spent with your wife and kids, and it is a rare pastor who can get through life without feeling guilty over the times he has missed with his immediate family.&nbsp; There is no way out of it, you and your family will sacrifice to be in the ministry, and you should.&nbsp; However, that means the times you should set apart to be with them should be sacred to you, so set apart the time and fight hard to protect it.&nbsp; I failed often at this, as do many pastors, and lay people who must work long hours and sometimes work more than one job to keep their families financially afloat. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraph"><br /></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: Century, serif;">5.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">Learn how to rest. Set a day off and take it, plan vacations and take them, ask for a sabbatical and use it well.&nbsp; Try not to replace real vacations with working ones, but sometimes that is the only way to get your family out of town and some place fun, so don’t despise the opportunity if that is what you have to do.&nbsp; I learned these lessons far too late in raising a family.&nbsp; I am grateful for every great, but rare, memory of time off fun with my kids and family.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraph"><br /></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: Century, serif;">6.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">Pray for and practice a healthy sex life.&nbsp; If you are married you need to not neglect each other, and neither do you need to be obsessive and selfish. Talk to your wife about your mutual needs and don’t fall into habits of neglect, being slovenly, or emotional distance.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraph"><br /></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: Century, serif;">7.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">&nbsp;May God deliver you from pornography, and if it is any kind of problem get counseling, and help.&nbsp; Protect yourself from temptation and stop thinking you are above it and can handle everything.&nbsp; Watch out for counseling sessions with needy women, make sure someone else is around or in the building.&nbsp; When you travel for ministry take someone with you that will hold you to godly behavior, of the same sex or your wife.&nbsp; Think of yourself as vulnerable and a target for the Devil and stop listening to his lies that tell you that you are a success and deserve to be admired and can handle sexually dangerous situations.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraph"><br /></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: Century, serif;">8.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">Stop obsessing over money.&nbsp; One can spend way too much time worrying about how, or if, they are going to financially make it, or give way to anger about how they are not being paid enough, or how their spouse seems to have no self-control, or how their children are missing out, or about the car they have to drive, or vacations they can’t take. Pray about your money, be diligent to account for it and use it well, get advice on how to manage and budget it, and learn to be content in whatever situation you are in.&nbsp; Make sure you tithe faithfully and be generous. Stop your complaining (especially in front of your wife) and learn to be grateful for what you have.&nbsp; It is unhealthy to have a cheap and greedy heart.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraph"><br /></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: Century, serif;">9.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">Figure out how to worship as a family and teach your children about our holy religion.&nbsp; Use the catechism, Scripture memory, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, Christian stories and biographies.&nbsp; Engage your children in ministry events, mission trips, and service.&nbsp; Pray with and for them, at the table, when you put them to sleep, when they are struggling with issues of friends, school problems, etc. &nbsp;Try to stop your bitching about all the failures of the church or the people in it, show some respect for the Bride of Christ.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraph"><br /></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: Century, serif;">10.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">For your children; compliment, encourage, use good and positive words.&nbsp; Stop always saying, “no!” Try to get to a “yes.” Make sure your wife and you are a team and can’t be divided and conquered by those manipulative children. Reward, gently push, ask questions, listen to their questions, don’t judge them for doubts or concerns.&nbsp; Brag about them, and let them know of your pride in them.&nbsp; Say, “I love you” a lot.&nbsp; Let your boundaries be clear and the door always open to your heart.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Century, serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin-left: .5in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Century, serif;">END.</span></span></div><div align="center" class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div align="center" class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div align="center" class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><div align="center" class="MsoNoSpacing" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div></div> How to Really Change the Lives of People https://djchuang.com/2017/really-change-lives-people/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:83903f41-c636-2cc4-0527-e4db9b30e4ea Sat, 15 Jul 2017 16:10:12 -0500 <p>Most people want to know that their life matters. You can call it making a difference in the world, searching for the meaning of life, discovering your purpose, identifying your calling, proving yourself, changing the world, making a dent in the universe, self-actualization, having impact. And there are many good things that people do in [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/really-change-lives-people/">How to Really Change the Lives of People</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Most people want to know that their life matters. You can call it making a difference in the world, searching for the meaning of life, discovering your purpose, identifying your calling, proving yourself, changing the world, making a dent in the universe, self-actualization, having impact. And there are many good things that people do in their quest for significance. And then there are some not so good things that people do in trying to fill that void.</p> <p>This brilliant insight from a Tim Keller sermon cuts through all of that and points to the one thing, the essence, of how life change really happens in a person. This echoed back to a tagline I&#8217;ve used in the past: &#8220;Seeing life change up close.&#8221; Here&#8217;s the salient excerpt from <a href="http://www.gospelinlife.com/an-immigrant-s-courage-6527">An Immigrant&#8217;s Courage</a>:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Number one, we learned the spiritual dynamite of friendship.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">… What changed Ruth’s life? It wasn’t a sermon. It wasn’t programs. It wasn&#8217;t a great book. It wasn’t incredible arguments. And then, let’s go backwards.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">What changed Naomi’s life? She was poor. Was it a government program that changed her life? Do you see what I’m saying? All the economic redemption and all the spiritual redemption, it all happen through nothing but a friendship. And there&#8217;s nothing else to it.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Friendship is about the only way I know to change somebody&#8217;s life.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Nobody, no matter how great a speaker you are, no matter how smart you are, no matter how powerful you are, whether you&#8217;re the President of the United States; is that how you’re going to change the ghetto?</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">If you&#8217;re a great preacher and you are really articulate, is that really how you’re going to change people spiritually?</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">I tell you. Listen. If you come here and you don’t have a friend with you, you might get inspired by my preaching; your life isn’t going to be changed. If you don’t have a friend to think about this with and to work it in with, you’re never going to learn.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Over the history of my education, the times in which I&#8217;ve learned the most, the places, the courses, the professors, in which I say that really change my life? I realize that it wasn’t the professors. It was the people I was learning with, the friends, the people that I ate in the cafeteria with afterwards, the people that worked it in.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">We can only have a few friends in our whole lives. And they are the only people who probably you will be able to see the transforming power of God in, through your friendship.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">And a lot of us are so dog gone busy, running around doing things we think are really going to make the world a better place, when this is the only thing that really will. All the things that I&#8217;m doing, all the things you&#8217;re doing, all those things that you’re running around to make this world a better place, are nothing but the artillery. This is the infantry.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">They&#8217;re used by friendships, they’re used in friendships. But it’s friendships. That’s the place. That’s the thing.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Think about that. Wrestle with that. Understand that.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">This is the only way that anybody’s life is really changed, in the end.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">And what is a friend? The definition is right there: time and constancy. “Where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge. And where you die, I will die.”</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">It’s not information. It&#8217;s not a skill. It&#8217;s being present, being committed, being there for somebody over a long period of time.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">It&#8217;s in that context. Without that, all the information is roll off you. All the sermons, all the projects, all the movies, will just roll off you.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Friendship is the only way to change the world. You only will have, probably in your lifetime, about a dozen or a half a dozen opportunities to do it. So think about it.</p> <p>&#8212;</p> <p>Raw transcript excerpted from <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/timothy-keller-sermons-podcast/id352660924?mt=2&amp;i=1000381033088" target="_blank" rel="noopener">An Immigrant&#8217;s Courage</a>—this sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on October 19, 1997. Scripture: Ruth 4:13-17. Posted on the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/timothy-keller-sermons-podcast/id352660924?mt=2&amp;i=1000381033088" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life</a> feed on February 9, 2017. Also available as a free download at <a href="http://www.gospelinlife.com/an-immigrant-s-courage-6527" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gospelinlife.com/an-immigrant-s-courage-6527</a>.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/really-change-lives-people/">How to Really Change the Lives of People</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=tgvaezg4Fkg:-NADw0L3a5A:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=tgvaezg4Fkg:-NADw0L3a5A: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/tgvaezg4Fkg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How Important Is Being a Christian to Being an American? How Important Is It that America Be a Christian Nation for Being the Church in America? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/07/important-christian-american-important-christian-nation-church-america/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:1d563955-2fd2-ad4e-13d0-2260568207d2 Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:41:11 -0500 Do You Take Clean Water for Granted? If So, How Will You Ever Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/07/take-clean-water-granted-will-ever-hunger-thirst-righteousness/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:3bb0171c-68c0-19ba-430b-2a5a822d3df8 Fri, 07 Jul 2017 14:01:10 -0500 Suffering for the Christian Faith Does Not Need to Be Salt in the Wounds, but Salt of the Earth http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/07/salt-of-the-earth/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:71d0da91-c1e8-3ec8-80df-0f4cd92a211f Wed, 05 Jul 2017 13:59:36 -0500 What Are We Declaring Independence from Today? The Tyranny of One Another? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/07/declaring-independence-today-tyranny-one-another/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:a93d4565-14bb-ca9c-11e4-dade2e959cb9 Mon, 03 Jul 2017 13:57:21 -0500 “Driving While Black” and Racial Fear: An Interview with Pastor Jimi Calhoun http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/06/driving-while-black/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:a54e5368-2f86-d46b-6071-4e3c686fc0df Fri, 30 Jun 2017 13:56:17 -0500 WATCH YOUR MOUTH http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/06/watch-your-mouth.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:a74598fb-bf63-6c9e-d02f-52f8c2c6ac4a Thu, 29 Jun 2017 09:47:42 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;"> I have been consciously in the struggle for racial justice since I was in high school.&nbsp; I believe strongly in and strive for racial reconciliation in the way I live my life.&nbsp; I am a white American male married to an African American woman.&nbsp; We both come from Newark, NJ and were teenagers at the time of the Newark riots in 1967.&nbsp; We both grew up watching the news of Civil Rights marches, Dr. King’s speeches, his murder, and riots in the streets.&nbsp; We have felt the intensity of racial hatred from Black Muslims in Newark and arbitrary white people in the south. <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;We have felt the smug equivocation concerning injustice from fellow Christians when it absolutely was not ambiguous.&nbsp; We have seen the retreat into denial and the determined avoidance of engagement from truth and justice by far too many Christian leaders.&nbsp; These are matters that demand engagement and require repentance, the risk of love and forgiveness, and determined change. Many simply want nothing to do with repentance if it deprives them of their self-righteousness or their anger.<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;My wife and I have both read and studied African American history and culture, we have helped to start and I have pastored an intentional cross-cultural church, pursued various reconciliation ministries and initiatives, and fostered a national movement of cross-cultural congregations. We have had to be apologists for justice within our own very conservative Presbyterian denomination.&nbsp; We have sometimes had to be apologists to an untrusting and incredulous black community concerning sincere white folk who wished strongly to see justice come and experience love and peace from people of color.&nbsp; We have had to answer countless questions about race and culture, explaining and teaching the value of diversity and difference while pursuing and living out unity.<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; Neither of us has a degree in racial reconciliation, cultural diversity, cross cultural communication, or racial justice.&nbsp; We do have experience.&nbsp; We have been in some tight spots and scary situations, sometimes fearing the possibilities for ourselves or our children.&nbsp; We have experienced some shunning, been falsely accused of nefarious agendas, assumed to have a confused racial identity, purposefully left out of certain opportunities, and when we have achieved had those dismissed as if things were simply handed to us.&nbsp; In short, to some degree, we believe we have paid our dues in the struggle.&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;&nbsp; All of this being said so the reader might understand why we find it a bit problematic when people who are also in the struggle chose to be needlessly provocative, insulting, and divisive as they claim to pursue social justice.&nbsp; My problem isn’t so much with the purpose and attitude of their hearts; obviously only God can accurately assess that, and I tend to give those that I know the benefit of the doubt that they mean well.&nbsp; My problem is more with the current language in the quest for racial and cultural justice.<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; I would imagine that there are those who have heard me speak on racial or justice issues that felt slightly beat up by the time I was through.&nbsp; It is difficult to honestly and humbly listen to the shameful racial history of our country, or of American Christianity, and to see the facts of current prejudice and disparities and not feel ashamed, disturbed, and even angry.&nbsp; I know those feelings because I have certainly felt them as I became more and more woke to the reality of our fallen world in regard to the issues of race and justice.&nbsp; I cannot read of slavery, Jim Crow laws and segregation, lynching, race riots, and a history of intentional economic discrimination that has helped to create poverty, humiliation, and injustice without deep emotional anguish; I have often been reduced to weeping.&nbsp; I know it is difficult for my wife to even watch a film or television documentary that will throw in her face one more time all that her people have suffered in this land.<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; Yet, we seek peace.&nbsp; We follow Jesus the Reconciler, the One who brought us the message of reconciliation from God the Father and accomplished reconciliation at the cross.&nbsp; We believe that we are called to be peacemakers; it is simply part of what it means to be a Christian.&nbsp; So how do you tell uncomfortable truths to people and make peace?&nbsp; &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; James answers that this way, “<i>But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.&nbsp; Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”</i>(3:17-18)&nbsp; So, peace isn’t simply my goal or end, it is the very means by which I accomplish my end and achieve God’s goal.&nbsp; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. articulated this many times, and he practiced 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 consciousness of racial injustice and its attendant social, economic, psychic, emotional, and physical realities are like a punch in the gut.&nbsp; We have no alternative but to spell them out, to both the ignorant and the resistant.&nbsp; Yet, if we allowed hate to fill us, these truths could inflame our hearts and push us to be fiery-eyed zealots and avengers, we instead seek to speak the truth in love; as Ephesians 4:15 teaches us to do.&nbsp; This is not always easy to do, to speak hard truths in love.&nbsp; We cannot be flippant about what love means (claiming we love people but producing no demonstrable proof) in our communication, especially not in having read the James passage in how the “wisdom from above” is to be imparted.&nbsp; In other words people who hear hard truths from us must also hear and feel the love as far as it may depend on us. <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; It is way too easy to be self-righteous in this work, especially if any of us ever lose touch with our own sinfulness.&nbsp; Self-righteous zealots are both dangerous and boring.&nbsp; They create more division and give people an excuse to stop listening.&nbsp; I may have taken too long to get to my point, which is simply that we need to watch our mouths and our pens if we want to stay true to Jesus as we pursue the justice we believe is inherent in his own character and which he demands from all of us.<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 is a lot of racial rhetoric (from various ideological perspectives) and the Christian has to navigate their way through words and phrases that are sometimes intemperate, out of proportion, historically inaccurate, blatantly false, almost totalitarian in their attempt to control the narrative, and just plain mean.&nbsp; We must never sacrifice our commitment to truth nor our commitment to love, and for that we will need a lot of help from the Holy Ghost. <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; Let me try to give some suggestions in the quest for peacemaking:<o:p></o:p></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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">Tell the truth while being humble, and with as much kindness as possible.<o:p></o:p></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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">Is the purpose of your communication positive change in others or an excuse for you to vent your anger?&nbsp; We should all be angry at injustice, but none of us should be sinfully angry.<o:p></o:p></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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">Watch out for gross generalizations and provocative slogans that are needlessly offensive.&nbsp; Do you simply want an “amen” from people who agree with you or understanding from those who are still in ignorance?<o:p></o:p></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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">Articulate racial concepts with explanation and alternative strategies and try to avoid leaving people in and with ambiguity.<o:p></o:p></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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">Watch out for simply spreading guilt, even to the guilty, without the Gospel alternative.<o:p></o:p></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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">Have some sense of balance concerning your reactions to things which are annoying or make you feel insulted as opposed to those threats and situations which are actual physical assaults on life and liberty.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">Choose your battles, for there will be times you will need real courage against dangerous foes.&nbsp; An insulting mouth will give you enemies you don’t need to make.<o:p></o:p></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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">Denouncing the mistakes and cultural obliviousness of the dominant majority culture can be helpful, but it won’t keep them from being the dominant culture, so how can these various cultures live with justice and love in their current reality?<o:p></o:p></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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">Lead us to some positive change, model it, and love your enemies, or else your articulate explanation of what is wrong and unjust might simply leave us all frustrated.<o:p></o:p></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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">Proportion your perspectives and passions: keep in balance the reality of living in a fallen world that will always have a limited ability for change, keep fervent your eschatological hope that a new heavens and new earth is coming, keep fervent your passion and call for justice, love and peace (and belief in its possibility) in the name of Jesus and by the power of a resurrected Christ.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><b><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">END.<o:p></o:p></span></span></b></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> What Does Mourning Have to Do with Happiness and Clowning Around? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/06/what-does-mourning-have-to-do-with-happiness-and-clowning-around/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:28c63d3d-f508-b1cb-bdce-ce60b8e334c0 Wed, 28 Jun 2017 13:53:49 -0500 CHANGING THE BLUE CULTURE http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/06/changing-blue-culture.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:5009deb0-d86c-ae19-8948-58325c25efb0 Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:13:12 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">One of the greatest things we have in our Western system of justice is trial by jury.&nbsp; One of the most frustrating things we have in our Western system of justice is trial by jury.&nbsp; One of the best things we have as American citizens are our rights under the U.S. Constitution and one of the most mischievous parasites upon it is the way the criminal justice system seems to manipulate it to create perverted ends.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Surely most thinking citizens have at times been frustrated when someone who has clearly broken the law seems to get off with little or no punishment.&nbsp; At other times most thinking citizens have been scandalized when someone who is innocent, or actually a victim of unusual circumstances, is slammed with a heavy- fisted punishment due to the written code of jurisprudence. In all of these situations the reflective question of, “What if that had that been me, or someone close to me?” is worth asking.&nbsp;&nbsp; What if I had been railroaded and sent to prison for a crime I did not commit and spent years in prison?&nbsp; What If I had lost my family, my youth, and my fortune because of such injustice?&nbsp; Maybe those questions would motivate our sympathy, our sense of outrage at injustice; maybe.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; What if my wife, son or daughter, someone I love had been murdered, raped, beaten, robbed by someone who had been clearly identified and that person managed to get away with murder?&nbsp;&nbsp; Surely if I thought that the victim of crime on the news could have been me or mine my empathy might become engaged; maybe. I remember all those vigilante movies, (remember the ones with Charles Bronson?) and I am a bit sympathetic.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Our American history reveals how the jury system is not infallible in determining guilt or innocence, especially when the culture of the jurists is resistant to justice, predetermined to protect the accused because of a communal prejudice.&nbsp;&nbsp; It is one of the great protections for defendants to be tried by a jury of his or her peers, as it allows defendants, and especially those who are ably and well defended by competent and zealous attorneys, to elicit sympathy even in the clear and demonstrable evidence of their complicity and guilt. We have seen racism in juries during the Civil Rights movement allow clearly guilty killers and bombers walk out of the courtroom as free men.&nbsp; The words of Native Americans, African Americans, and Mexicans just didn’t carry the same weight as white men when in court.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Many poor defendants never get a jury trial, and therefore many of them end up in prison serving long sentences.&nbsp; The process of plea bargaining, the heavy handed stacking of charges, and incompetent representation deprives many of a sympathetic jury and only a “by the book” mathematical precision of sentence by penal code.&nbsp; Again, when a person of color went before a white jury the results were often predetermined.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We are currently facing such a cultural injustice in our jury system.&nbsp; It has a blue color over it, but it is not the fault necessarily of the police departments or systems whose individuals come to trial.&nbsp; It is a fault in our citizenry, and thus in our culture.&nbsp; We are prejudiced for law and order, we are prejudiced for the uniform, we are prejudiced for authority and it is a prejudice that is both ignorant and dangerous.&nbsp; We are finding it almost impossible to hold officers of the law responsible for their crimes.&nbsp; If they cannot be held accountable sooner or later all of our rights, and our lives, are at risk.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; What is interesting is that in several cases the police departments themselves have repudiated the actions and behaviors of their officers and fired the incompetents or malefactors.&nbsp; What is also interesting is that in case after case whole cities and communities have had to pay exorbitant settlements in wrongful death suits.&nbsp; In short, the very citizens who let these officers go free pay for the crimes they have committed by higher taxes, or less policing since the city budget can no longer include it.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Does this tell our citizens anything?&nbsp; Does it educate them that when officers go off the reservation as it were and kill citizens whose guilt has in no way been proven or established, nor have given any real threat to the officers, that these officers need to be held accountable for their failures in executing the law they have sworn to uphold?&nbsp; The jury system allows for feelings, and the biggest feeling such officers submit in their defense is fear.&nbsp; Fear now seems to be the trump card that an officer can offer as to why they shot the deceased in the back half a dozen times or so, and why they shot the man who was walking away from them, or the man who was telling the officer he had a gun but also had a permit, etc. etc.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Can we change the culture of juries so that they understand that fear might make any of us sympathetic but is not an excuse for cowardice?&nbsp;&nbsp; Cowards are those who are afraid but don’t know how to master their fear.&nbsp; Fear is something that training is supposed to help those in uniform services know how to confront in themselves so that they can function effectively and lawfully.&nbsp;&nbsp; Fear is understandable, and so is anger, but it should be no defense for those who respond emotionally and not with self-control.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;If you cannot learn to control your fear you should not be a police officer, or a soldier.&nbsp;&nbsp; Fear is a constant in confrontation, it can make people do stupid things and it surely has, but it cannot be an excuse for killing innocent or non-convicted citizens.&nbsp; Despite what police unions say (that seem to excuse all kinds of bad behavior and make incidents political) police departments are trying to hold their officers to a higher standard and all of us as citizens need that higher standard.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; So, if you ever have the opportunity to be on a jury that must judge a police officer who has been accused of hurting someone unjustly, think not just of that officer’s fear, think of the victim, and think of them as if it had been you or yours.&nbsp; We must have sympathy for the abuse and danger officers face every day, we must pray for them, love on them, support them, and absolutely let them know that we understand that the challenge they face is greater than just another day at the office.&nbsp; However, we depend on them not to respond with their fears, but with wisdom and justice.&nbsp; And we will and must hold them to such standards, if for nothing else than for the safety of our very own children.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div></div> How Can We Be Peacemakers if We Are Pugnacious, or Too Nice? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/06/how-can-we-be-peacemakers-if-we-are-pugnacious-or-too-nice/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:d0082290-97db-d9d6-0eb9-1e8fc8293fbb Sun, 25 Jun 2017 13:52:15 -0500 Paganism Is Back! Now What Are We Christians Going to Do? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/06/paganism/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:301a086e-3fa2-3064-fd6c-3392ec0d4624 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:02:04 -0500 <p><img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-2610" src="https://i1.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2937273739_74e72c6cef_z.jpg?resize=300%2C225" alt="" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2937273739_74e72c6cef_z.jpg?resize=300%2C225 300w, https://i1.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2937273739_74e72c6cef_z.jpg?resize=96%2C72 96w, https://i1.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2937273739_74e72c6cef_z.jpg?w=640 640w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> The Gospel Is Total Foolishness http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/06/gospel-total-foolishness/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:3f3c1d1a-54c1-6de7-3ec2-1ec572e877d9 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:03:11 -0500 <p><img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-2613" src="https://i1.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Eccehomo1_opt.jpg?resize=300%2C157" alt="" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Eccehomo1_opt.jpg?resize=300%2C157 300w, https://i1.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Eccehomo1_opt.jpg?resize=96%2C50 96w, https://i1.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Eccehomo1_opt.jpg?w=600 600w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> Erasing the Shame of Mental Illness https://djchuang.com/2017/erasing-shame-mental-illness/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:1d5594a4-0f93-c3fe-8114-74a9e8739921 Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:31:53 -0500 <p>Quite the honor and privilege to be here at the inaugural Honor Shame Conference 2017 at Wheaton College, near Chicago. This is very pioneering work to bring out other facets and perspectives embedded in Scriptures that are brought out through the lens of honor-shame cultures. Powerful presentation so far by Jayson Georges (of HonorShame.com), Steve [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/erasing-shame-mental-illness/">Erasing the Shame of Mental Illness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Quite the honor and privilege to be here at the inaugural <a href="https://honorshame-conference.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Honor Shame Conference</a> 2017 at Wheaton College, near Chicago. This is very pioneering work to bring out other facets and perspectives embedded in Scriptures that are brought out through the lens of honor-shame cultures. Powerful presentation so far by Jayson Georges (of <a href="http://HonorShame.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">HonorShame.com</a>), Steve Hawthorne (cf. <a href="https://waymakers.org/hope/story-of-his-glory/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Story of His Glory</a>), and <a href="https://seminary.ashland.edu/directory/david-a-desilva" target="_blank" rel="noopener">David deSilva</a> (noted prolific author of <a href="http://amzn.to/2tKuNnL" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Honor, Patronage, Kinship &amp; Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2tpKJwf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Bearing Christ&#8217;s Reproach, The Challenge of Hebrews in an Honor Culture</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2sMBDvQ">Despising Shame: Honor Discourse and Community Maintenance in the Epistle to the Hebrews</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2rzTJxB">The Hope of Glory: Honor Discourse and New Testament Interpretation</a>). Tomorrow will be an awesome plenary from <a href="http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jacksonwu/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Jackson Wu</a>.</p> <p>I faciliated a workshop titled <strong>Towards Erasing the Shame of Mental Illness</strong>. The slides, transcript, and resources are online at <a href="http://djchuang.com/hs2017/" target="_blank">djchuang.com/hs2017</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/workshop-honor-shame-conf-djchuang.png?resize=1005%2C564" alt="" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-13839" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/workshop-honor-shame-conf-djchuang.png?w=1005&amp;ssl=1 1005w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/workshop-honor-shame-conf-djchuang.png?resize=300%2C168&amp;ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/workshop-honor-shame-conf-djchuang.png?resize=768%2C431&amp;ssl=1 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1005px) 100vw, 1005px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>In the context of this conference, we took the first steps towards opening a conversation about how to erase the shame of mental illness. After all, if there&#8217;s stigma and shame about mental illness here in the United States, can you imagine how much more stigma and shame there is about mental illness in honor-shame cultures like those in East Asia? in the Middle East? in parts of Africa and Latin America? <a href="http://tektonics.org/tsr/tillstill7-5.html" target="_blank">70-75% of the world is still honor-shame oriented</a>. </p> <p>3 of the best ideas that we surfaced from the wisdom of the crowd, namely attendees and participants in the workshop, are: to provide mental health services in a place called a health clinic, that makes it more acceptable and accessible; 2. to have a pastor and church leadership team (those at the top of the hierarchy) get training and implement something like Emotionally Healthy Spirituality that reshapes the culture (cf. &#8220;you change culture by creating new culture&#8221;), 3. get the <a href="http://www.saddlebackresources.com/products/hope-for-mental-health-starter-kit" target="_blank">Hope for Mental Health Ministry Starter Kit</a> from Saddleback Church.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/erasing-shame-mental-illness/">Erasing the Shame of Mental Illness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Qcu6SaWq4oI:gJMH2WDiWVc:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Qcu6SaWq4oI:gJMH2WDiWVc: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/Qcu6SaWq4oI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Multi-Faith Engagement Involving Christianity and Judaism: Ask Jewish Questions of Jewish People http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/06/multi-faith-how-to-ask-jewish-questions-of-jewish-people/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:689f1cc0-389b-68f8-4245-112fdcb1c42c Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:04:05 -0500 <p><img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-2616" src="https://i2.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/3371696166_7299c6707d_z.jpg?resize=300%2C225" alt="" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/3371696166_7299c6707d_z.jpg?resize=300%2C225 300w, https://i2.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/3371696166_7299c6707d_z.jpg?resize=96%2C72 96w, https://i2.wp.com/paullouismetzger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/3371696166_7299c6707d_z.jpg?w=640 640w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> Great Music from The Piano Guys, 2Cellos, Simply Three, Brooklyn Duo https://djchuang.com/2017/great-music-piano-guys-2cellos-simply-three-brooklyn-duo/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:c0351f72-c393-2f23-932f-77aa73c79310 Mon, 12 Jun 2017 09:02:33 -0500 <p>I&#8217;m digging this new style of music popular on YouTube: classical covers of pop songs, some even call it &#8220;classical pop.&#8221; You might have seen and heard the most popular one, The Piano Guys, but these other 4 I found are very awesome too. Let me introduce you to these classical pop musicians and their most popular [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/great-music-piano-guys-2cellos-simply-three-brooklyn-duo/">Great Music from The Piano Guys, 2Cellos, Simply Three, Brooklyn Duo</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>I&#8217;m digging this new style of music popular on YouTube: classical covers of pop songs, some even call it &#8220;classical pop.&#8221; You might have seen and heard the most popular one, The Piano Guys, but these other 4 I found are very awesome too. Let me introduce you to these classical pop musicians and their most popular videos:</p> <p><strong>The Piano Guys</strong> @ <a href="http://thepianoguys.com/">thepianoguys.com</a> + YouTube <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/ThePianoGuys">youtube.com/ThePianoGuys</a> [cf. <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244389">How These Four Dads From Utah Quit Their Day Jobs to Make Millions on YouTube</a>; <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcus-t-wright/music-beautiful-inspirati_b_6049902.html">Music: Beautiful. Inspirational. The Piano Guys.</a>]</p> <p><iframe width="1170" height="658" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QgaTQ5-XfMM?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>2CELLOS</strong> @ <a href="http://www.2cellos.com">http://www.2cellos.com</a> + YouTube <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/2CELLOSlive/">youtube.com/2CELLOSlive</a> [cf. <a href="http://mashable.com/2015/02/05/2cellos-tbt/">2CELLOS: Two 20-somethings rocking out, making the cello cool</a>; <a href="http://www.wqxr.org/story/cello-duo-youtube-hit/">Cello Duo Scores YouTube Hit with Heavy-Metal Cover</a>]</p> <p><iframe width="1170" height="658" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uT3SBzmDxGk?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Simply Three</strong> @ <a href="http://simplythreemusic.com">simplythreemusic.com</a> + YouTube <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/SimplyThreeOfficial/videos">youtube.com/SimplyThreeOfficial</a></p> <p><iframe width="1170" height="658" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XSs2cR2Tvuk?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Brooklyn Duo</strong> @ <a href="http://www.brooklynduo.com">brooklynduo.com</a> + <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk_9hHaw0n1Vbbld6cXyh6A">YouTube</a></p> <p><iframe width="1170" height="658" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Qe2G6Vs1V_Q?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Valentina Lisitsa</strong> @  <a href="http://www.valentinalisitsa.com">valentinalisitsa.com</a> + YouTube <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/ValentinaLisitsa/">youtube.com/ValentinaLisitsa</a> [cf. <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/deceptivecadence/2013/03/11/174018651/the-classical-pianist-with-55-million-youtube-hits">The Classical Pianist With 55 Million YouTube Hits</a>]</p> <p><iframe width="1170" height="658" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zucBfXpCA6s?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Also see this great write up by William Pankey, <strong><a href="https://www.axs.com/5-musicians-who-are-reinventing-boring-classical-music-for-a-modern-au-103505">5 musicians who are reinventing &#8216;boring&#8217; classical music for a modern audience</a></strong>; he wrote the article I wanted to.</p> <p>Related articles:</p> <p><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/2cellos-there-are-no-rules-at-our-shows_us_58ff5fe3e4b047ce3ee27c24">2Cellos: “There are no rules at our shows”</a> (HuffPost, Apr 2017)</p> <p><a href="http://www.wqxr.org/story/2-cellos-bring-classical-crossovers-videos-next-level/">2Cellos Take Classical Crossover Videos to the Next Level</a> (WQXR, Sep 2016)</p> <p><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/25/arts/international/2cellos-classical-crossover-for-the-win.html?_r=0">Classical Crossover for the Win</a> (New York Times, May 2016)</p> <p><a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/classical-music-blowing-article-1.1618623">Classical music explodes, both in sales and in expanding boundaries</a> (New York Daily News, Feb 2014)</p> <p><a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2013/10/10/cellos-push-possibilities-their-instruments/cFRS79YIrzBuPTWDMo3SaL/story.html">2Cellos push possibilities of their instruments</a> (Boston Globe, Oct 2013)</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/great-music-piano-guys-2cellos-simply-three-brooklyn-duo/">Great Music from The Piano Guys, 2Cellos, Simply Three, Brooklyn Duo</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=2YTGf42n1Js:WDT-UERWw2U:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=2YTGf42n1Js:WDT-UERWw2U:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/2YTGf42n1Js" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How to register an expired domain name https://djchuang.com/2017/register-expired-domain-name/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:658e8d38-8518-acf7-f71a-7d0cb56beae1 Fri, 09 Jun 2017 19:23:33 -0500 <p>There&#8217;s 2 reasons you might want to register an expired domain name: It&#8217;s your own domain name and you forgot to renew. Or, it&#8217;s someone else&#8217;s domain name and you want it. Unfortunately, it&#8217;s complicated, because different registrars and different top-level domains have different terms for how they do things. And there&#8217;s not a precise [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/register-expired-domain-name/">How to register an expired domain name</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>There&#8217;s 2 reasons you might want to register an expired domain name: It&#8217;s your own domain name and you forgot to renew. Or, it&#8217;s someone else&#8217;s domain name and you want it.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it&#8217;s complicated, because different registrars and different top-level domains have different terms for how they do things. And there&#8217;s not a precise and predictable timing for how the timing will play out.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s a typical timeline after a domain name expires:</p> <ul> <li>Expiration Date</li> <li>Auto-Renew Grace Period (0-45 days)</li> <li>Redemption Grace Period (30 days)</li> <li>Pending Delete (up to 5 days)</li> </ul> <p><a href="https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/gtld-lifecycle-2012-02-25-en"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-13819" src="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/gtld-lifecycle.jpg?resize=960%2C392" alt="" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/gtld-lifecycle.jpg?w=960&amp;ssl=1 960w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/gtld-lifecycle.jpg?resize=300%2C123&amp;ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/gtld-lifecycle.jpg?resize=768%2C314&amp;ssl=1 768w" sizes="(max-width: 960px) 100vw, 960px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a></p> <p>If the expired domain name was yours, then you might have around 30-60 days to renew it. Some additional fee may be required, but it&#8217;s possible that renew without penalty within 30 days of expiration. Bottom line, if you want to <strong>renew it</strong>, do it <strong>as soon as possible</strong>.</p> <p>But if the expired domain name was someone else&#8217;s and you want it, you&#8217;d have to wait around <a href="https://mikeindustries.com/blog/archive/2005/03/how-to-snatch-an-expiring-domain">75 days after expiration</a>. Then, try to register it on day 76, the first day of its availability, on a first-come first-served basis.</p> <p>However, there are bots out there that are constantly monitoring and looking to &#8220;catch&#8221; expired domain names when they &#8220;drop,&#8221; so they&#8217;re buying up newly-available expired domains and taking them to resell at a profit. Alternatively, you can hire one of these bots to buy a domain name as a &#8220;<strong>back order</strong>&#8221; at some registrars (<a href="https://www.godaddy.com/domainaddon/domain-backorders.aspx">Godaddy</a>, <a href="https://registrar.epik.com/index/register-domain">Epik</a>) or a <a href="http://www.domainsherpa.com/domain-name-backorder-services/">service</a> like <a href="https://www.snapnames.com">Snapnames.com</a> or <a href="http://www.pool.com">Pool.com</a>.</p> <p>Or, some registrars or registries may put the newly-available expired domain name up for an <a href="https://www.godaddy.com/help/when-can-i-register-an-expired-domain-name-572">auction</a>. If that&#8217;s the case, read DomainSherpa&#8217;s article, <a href="http://www.domainsherpa.com/how-to-grab-an-expiring-domain-name/">How to Grab an Expiring Domain Name</a>, that explains in detail about how some expired domain names enter an auction. (cf. here&#8217;s <a href="https://www.godaddy.com/help/what-happens-after-domain-names-expire-6700">what Godaddy does with expired .COM domains</a>.)</p> <p>ICANN definitively explains the domain expiration process this way:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><a href="https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/expired-2013-05-03-en">Once your domain has expired, it will be in Auto-Renew Grace Period (for 0-45 days), followed by a 30-day Redemption Grace Period. At the end of the Redemption Grace Period, you will not be able to renew your domain name. Your domain name will be released for registration by third parties.</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/renewal-2013-05-03-en">ICANN Help for Domain Renewal/Redemption</a> answers to topics like: &#8220;Renewal Fee Paid But Domain Not Renewed,&#8221; &#8220;About Not Receiving Renewal Reminders,&#8221; &#8220;Filing a Domain Renewal Complaint Form.&#8221;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/register-expired-domain-name/">How to register an expired domain name</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=OyJN67f2fVI:kKeJwqu35ic:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=OyJN67f2fVI:kKeJwqu35ic: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/OyJN67f2fVI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Looking for smart sermon podcasts https://djchuang.com/2017/looking-smart-sermon-podcasts/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:209f9d21-5600-929e-15f3-2ebbd65e1599 Sat, 27 May 2017 23:33:45 -0500 <p>Someone asked me for sermons and sermon podcasts with smarter preachers, with more intellectually engaging content. This would be in contrast to the many other popular sermon podcasts that might be described as &#8220;putting cookies on the bottom shelf&#8221; and everyday language to try to reach the largest number of people, per se. Here&#8217;s what I [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/looking-smart-sermon-podcasts/">Looking for smart sermon podcasts</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Someone asked me for sermons and sermon podcasts with smarter preachers, with more intellectually engaging content. This would be in contrast to the many other popular sermon podcasts that might be described as &#8220;putting cookies on the bottom shelf&#8221; and everyday language to try to reach the largest number of people, per se. Here&#8217;s what I found so far &#8211; please add a comment or <a href="/contact/">contact me</a> with others.</p> <p><a href="https://www.redeemer.com">Redeemer Presbyterian Church</a> &#8211; Tim Keller (<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/timothy-keller-sermons-podcast-by-gospel-in-life/id352660924?mt=2">iTunes</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://myholytrinitychurch.com/resources/media/">Holy Trinity</a> &#8211; Todd Hunter (<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/holy-trinity-anglican-church/id372338513">iTunes</a>)</p> <p><a href="https://www.voxoc.com/voxcommunitypodcast">Vox Community</a> &#8211; Mike Erre (<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vox-community-podcast/id1117611439?mt=2">iTunes</a> | <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/VoxCommunityPodcast">RSS</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://www.realitysb.com/santa-barbara/sermons/">Reality Santa Barbara</a> &#8211; Chris Lazo (<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/reality-santa-barbara-audio/id78833008?mt=2">iTunes</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://www.peachtreechurch.org/Watch/Messages/">Peachtree Church</a> &#8211; Richard Kannwischer (<a href="http://media.peachtreechurch.org/podcast/?Category=Sermons&amp;Type=audio&amp;Format=mp3">RSS</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://www.gracepres.org">Grace Presbyterian Church</a> &#8211; Bryan Chapell (<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/grace-presbyterian-church/id268286266?mt=2">iTunes</a>)</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/looking-smart-sermon-podcasts/">Looking for smart sermon podcasts</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Hy9AN3V387k:FouzjhNzPcQ:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Hy9AN3V387k:FouzjhNzPcQ: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/Hy9AN3V387k" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 3 Big Lists of Church Social Media Policies https://djchuang.com/2017/3-big-lists-church-social-media-policies/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:26f24a57-90f9-7be8-86cb-f3b20f7df31d Fri, 26 May 2017 19:54:53 -0500 <p>Doing social media for churches is easy, that&#8217;s why social media is so popular, because it&#8217;s easy. But, when a church is larger and complicated or there&#8217;s questions about how effective or strategic social media has to be, then social media becomes work that takes some thinking and planning to do. Part of the work [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/3-big-lists-church-social-media-policies/">3 Big Lists of Church Social Media Policies</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Doing social media for churches is easy, that&#8217;s why social media is so popular, because it&#8217;s easy. But, when a church is larger and complicated or there&#8217;s questions about how effective or strategic social media has to be, then social media becomes work that takes some thinking and planning to do.</p> <p>Part of the work of social media with churches is setting some policies to guide the church&#8217;s social media usage. Lots of people find it easier to learn from examples. So here are 3 big lists of church social media policies and resources to help:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://socialchurch.co/social-media-policies-churches-ministries/">The Ultimate List of Social Media Policies for Churches &amp; Ministries </a>(Ryan Wakefield edition)</li> <li><a href="http://pastors.com/the-ultimate-list-of-social-media-policies-for-churches-ministries/">The Ultimate List of Social Media Policies for Churches &amp; Ministries</a> (Justin Wise edition)</li> <li><a href="http://churchcommunications.com/church-social-media-policies/">The Definitive List of Church Social Media Policies</a> (Darrel Girardier)</li> </ul> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/3-big-lists-church-social-media-policies/">3 Big Lists of Church Social Media Policies</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=XcEBBK62mZU:epCO9TEEKFQ:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=XcEBBK62mZU:epCO9TEEKFQ: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/XcEBBK62mZU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> IS THE PASTOR GONE AGAIN? http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/05/is-pastor-gone-again.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:bd071b75-b3e6-1968-3984-fabe328a7e0d Wed, 17 May 2017 14:46:40 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 14.0pt; mso-ascii-theme-font: major-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: major-latin;">&nbsp; &nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">I have been ruminating on how often a pastor should be gone from his flock.&nbsp; How many outside engagements should a pastor take per year?&nbsp; How many Sundays should he miss for vacation, denominational responsibilities, or preaching invitations?&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; The answer lies somewhere in what specifically your employer allows (namely your Elders or Board), in what your desire might be, in how many invitations one receives, and what you request (or need) for rest, and in what simply is a failure to fulfill ones’ responsibility in the discipling through preaching of your primary charge.<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; The answer to the question of how many absences from the pulpit is slightly different, as there are times when the pastor is not absent but he opens the pulpit to a guest preacher, missionary, associate pastors, etc.&nbsp; Taken together with the pastor’s absence from the church this can amount to a considerable amount of time away from his preaching presence and ministry.<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 have known some pastors who were amazingly gifted (and sought after) but seldom left their pulpit for out of town engagements.&nbsp; I have known some who simply hated to share the pulpit, even with associate pastors who desperately needed preaching time, or refused to relinquish it for missionaries or special speakers.&nbsp; At the same time I have known some who seemed always to be gone, who seemed to accept any and all invitations to go somewhere else or be anywhere else than where their congregation expected them to be; at their own church preaching on Sunday.<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; The pastor who is always gone will most likely soon be gone, permanently.&nbsp; Congregations expect to be pastored by the pastor they have hired, and they expect the person they pay to preach will actually do so on most Sundays.&nbsp; There are reasons of course some pastors are out of town or who give over their pulpit to others, some good and some not so good.<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 danger with discussing good and bad reasons is that sometimes these reasons are not obvious.&nbsp; A pastor may be having some internal struggles, even deeply psychological ones that he is not consciously aware of and hasn’t come to grips with yet.&nbsp; So, even if it looks legitimate, a pastor’s absence may in fact stem from a negative impulse.<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; If a pastor feels constantly criticized for his preaching he may prefer to preach to people who don’t complain, or where he can possibly preach one of his best sermons and be fairly certain it will be well received.&nbsp; Where his own people may seem bored to hear him week after week other places may see him as a novelty and think he is pretty exciting.&nbsp; Of course if he actually went there (and became their pastor) they would eventually be bored with him as well, so instead of resigning his charge he uses his main employment as a financial base while he keeps traveling to get positive feedback from strangers.<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; Instead of the people being bored, the pastor may be bored, and seeks outside engagements because he loves novelty and varied experiences.&nbsp; This leads of course to the question of how much he really loves his own flock, and does he seek to shepherd them effectively.&nbsp; If he only sees himself as a preacher and not a shepherd then he won’t care as much about shaping the congregation, or discipling them, in the direction of conforming them into the image of Christ.<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 had a Ruling Elder who loved me and he actually liked my preaching.&nbsp; Sometimes he would come to Session meetings with a list of dates that I had been out of town or absent from the pulpit.&nbsp; He was keeping score, and he would remind me of how much time I had missed.&nbsp; This always seemed to happen just before I was to make a request to be gone one more Sunday.&nbsp; As annoying as this was to me it was actually helpful. <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; I hate saying, “no” to anyone who asks me to come and preach.&nbsp; It certainly pumped up my ego, made me feel needed and important, and somewhat necessary for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.&nbsp; Being reminded that I had a responsibility gave me stability and kept me grounded in reality.<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; In my particular case the Session had agreed that I would have a certain amount of time for vacation, and another amount of time for my Army Reserve duty.&nbsp; If I exceeded that time I would have an unpaid leave of absence.&nbsp; Unfortunately, a few times, the Army took more of my time than I had planned for as they sent me off to war, but they did pay me while the church did not have to do so.&nbsp; Special requests for my teaching or preaching from outside the congregation had to be filtered through a Session committee which would permit, or not permit, another absence.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I was asked to do seminars in prisons, be a camp speaker, be a missions conference speaker, take foreign mission trips, and received various other kind of invitations.&nbsp; At the same time I often felt nobody noticed me or invited me to the really important (popular) speaking opportunities.&nbsp; Most of this was an insatiable need within me to feel important, and that was certainly fleshly, part of my sinful </span><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">fallenness</span><span style="font-family: Cambria, serif;">, a lack of faith in Christ’s love for me, a failure to see and appreciate my true identity and worth in Christ, and just the plain sin of pride.<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 actually loved preaching to my own congregation and seldom felt disappointed in their response or appreciation for my preaching.&nbsp; They seemed dismayed when I was gone, and complained hardily if the person preaching in my absence was not very good.&nbsp; I could use up all my own vacation time going somewhere else to preach, and then be exhausted.&nbsp; This certainly ticked off my wife, but made me feel embarrassed if I ever thought to complain to the Elders that I needed more time off. I often felt guilty for being away, and I had this one Elder who would make sure that I did.&nbsp; I loved him for it, and I needed it, as I would have failed to be faithful in my call to my own church.<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; So, it is wise to not only make an agreement with your Elders about how often you should be gone, but it also important to have that agreement “policed.”&nbsp; If the Session doesn’t hold preachers accountable the “spooky” spiritual nature of their calling seems to make all their choices to go somewhere else and preach “God’s will,” when it is not.&nbsp; I certainly believe in rest, in vacations, in sabbaticals.&nbsp; I believe in missions, I believe in study times.&nbsp; My problem was that I wanted to do it all and my congregation’s problem was they simply wanted a reliable pastor; what was wrong with those people? <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;">END</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div></div> Steps to Happiness I Need to Remember https://djchuang.com/2017/steps-happiness-need-remember/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:4b3f7760-a0d9-4760-9263-45e43a857b31 Sat, 06 May 2017 13:43:38 -0500 <p>I picked up this handout at a depression support group. Posting it here as a resource and help to people that struggle with depression or bipolar disorder: Steps to Happiness I Need to Remember You can’t be all things to all people. You can’t do all things at once. You can’t do all things equally [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/steps-happiness-need-remember/">Steps to Happiness I Need to Remember</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>I picked up this handout at a depression support group. Posting it here as a resource and help to people that struggle with depression or bipolar disorder:</p> <p><strong>Steps to Happiness I Need to Remember</strong></p> <div>You can’t be all things to all people.</div> <div>You can’t do all things at once.</div> <div>You can’t do all things equally well.</div> <div>You can’t do all things better than everyone else.</div> <div>Your humanity is showing just like everyone else’s.</div> <div></div> <div>So:</div> <div>You have to find out who you are, and be that.</div> <div>You have to decide what comes first, and do that.</div> <div>You have to discover your strengths, and use them.</div> <div>You have to learn not to compete with others,</div> <div>Because no one else is in the contest of *being you*.</div> <div></div> <div>Then:</div> <div>You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness.</div> <div>You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions.</div> <div>You will have learned to live with your limitations.</div> <div>You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due.</div> <div>And you&#8217;ll be a most vital mortal.</div> <div></div> <div>Dare To Believe:</div> <div>That you are a wonderful, unique person.</div> <div>That you are a once-in-all-history event.</div> <div>That it&#8217;s more than a right, it&#8217;s your duty, to be who you are.</div> <div>That life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish.</div> <div>And you&#8217;ll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.</div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/steps-happiness-need-remember/">Steps to Happiness I Need to Remember</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=rEd2mZ9UdDs:NybKi7_LxQ8:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=rEd2mZ9UdDs:NybKi7_LxQ8: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/rEd2mZ9UdDs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Bill Nye, the “not-so-science” Guy http://www.patheos.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/2017/04/bill-nye-not-science-guy/ Black, White and Gray urn:uuid:d6b41097-d115-b11b-6306-64990d1e9366 Thu, 27 Apr 2017 06:24:01 -0500 When Bill Nye became the co-chair of the March for Science it brought on controversy due to his being a white male. That is really a shame. The real controversy should have been over the fact that Nye is not a scientist. He’s an entertainer with one earned degree, a B.S. in mechanical engineering. He <a class="moretag" href="http://www.patheos.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/2017/04/bill-nye-not-science-guy/">[Read More...]</a> STOP HIDING IN THE BUILDING! http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/04/i-had-hardtime-sleeping-last-night.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:2c343700-2693-7b00-312b-e117c9f874cb Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:36:47 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">I had a hard time sleeping last night.&nbsp; It is sometimes like this for me after I preach or speak at an event.&nbsp; I am often agitated about the mistakes I have made in my sermon or speech.&nbsp; I feel guilty and that I have disappointed the Lord.&nbsp; Usually this does not come about because someone has complained or criticized me.&nbsp; It is extremely rare for anyone to criticize me to my face after I speak, and I suppose I should be very grateful for that.&nbsp; I just jump all over myself.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Let me assure everyone that I know I’m forgiven, oh praise God for that, and that I am loved by my Heavenly Father!&nbsp; It just takes some time to work out the emotions when I think I should have done better.&nbsp; Maybe I failed to connect some of the thoughts and arguments, maybe I failed to rely on the Holy Spirit when I was speaking (I get really angry at myself if that is the case.)&nbsp; So, the purpose of this article is simply to restate my argument from last night in a way that I hope will be more coherent.&nbsp; I desire most to give glory to God and to be faithful to His Word.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I had the honor and privilege of speaking at the annual Hope for the Inner City banquet.&nbsp; They are a faith based non-profit that seeks to pursue Christian community economic development in Chattanooga.&nbsp; This was the tenth anniversary of their merger with Inner-City Ministries, and the 45<sup>th</sup> anniversary when I helped to found the original organization, Inner City Missions, Inc. back in 1972.&nbsp; Man, am I old!&nbsp; Though both organizations have had their struggles they have tried to be faithful and to help people rise up and prosper both spiritually and economically.&nbsp; I am thankful and proud of their efforts.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; My remarks were based on the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18ff. “<i>Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.&nbsp; Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.&nbsp; And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”<o:p></o:p></i></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; This of course is the very familiar passage which is used at mission conferences and challenges us to <i>go</i>, and to <i>make disciples of the nations</i>, and we do that in the practice of baptism and teaching people to obey everything Jesus taught us.&nbsp; I am someone who grew up in the inner city of Newark, NJ and then was called by God to plant a church in the city.&nbsp; The communities of the poor are something the Lord won’t let me forget in terms of my personal calling and the reality of their need.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We usually see this term “nations” or “ethnic groups” as just that, particular nations or ethnic groups.&nbsp; I have been thinking about African American urban poor communities, Native American reservations, poor white trailer parks and communities as also coming under that “ethne” word in the passage.&nbsp; They are communities that need to be discipled, although we don’t usually think of them that way – unless we are a church planter among the poor, and then we do.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I know it is currently important to look upon poor communities from an “asset based” perspective than simply that of need.&nbsp; But, seriously, when you grow up there and live there it is a little hard to ignore the deficits.&nbsp; The poverty, the gangs and violence, the drugs, the broken families (I grew up in one), the failing public schools, the alienation from the police and justice system, the lack of grocery stores, viable jobs, etc.&nbsp;&nbsp; It goes on and on, generation after generation, and the despair and frustration can be daunting.&nbsp; I know there are assets, and the greatest of course are the wonderful people created in God’s image who live in these places.&nbsp; Their potential is huge and untapped.&nbsp; Yet, the trouble is real.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We know such troubled places didn’t create themselves.&nbsp; We are aware of the history of economic racism, red lining, discrimination in housing, and employment. &nbsp;We do not blame all of the problems of the inner city on the bad or immoral decisions of those who might live there.&nbsp; People make immoral and bad decisions in every kind of human community.&nbsp; It is just that when such overwhelming circumstances are against us then we need something inside us to help us through, and out, and over them.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; So, my remarks last night were based on two calls and two challenges.&nbsp; The first call is simply the call to salvation, which I believe is like a miracle.&nbsp; As the Scripture says, “<i>Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”</i> (2 Corinthians 5:17)&nbsp; We think that the people who live in the communities of the poor need Jesus, they need to be converted.&nbsp; As Paul said, “<i>I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”</i>&nbsp; (Romans 1:16)&nbsp; If something can only happen by the power of God it must be a miracle.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; One might object that is just the old fundamentalism that seeks to get people saved but doesn’t take their physical needs or being seriously.&nbsp; I would say it is much older than fundamentalism, it is essential Christianity.&nbsp; People need to be saved, and especially the poor who need an engine of hope in their hearts to rise above the circumstances in which they live.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The second call is that to discipleship.&nbsp; Now discipleship is that part of the Great Commission which tells us to teach people to obey everything that the Lord Jesus taught us.&nbsp; So much of American Christianity has been built on the idea of the instant miracle, where someone prays the sinner’s prayer (“Lord Jesus come into my heart and forgive me of my sins, amen!”)&nbsp; I am thankful that sometimes we see this miracle happen in people’s lives, where their life is changed immediately. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;However, even in the ministry of Jesus, he led his disciples for three years and even after that they struggled, deserting him and betraying Him.&nbsp; No, he did not fail in discipleship, he forgave them, he taught them, he changed them.&nbsp; My point is that it was a process, and some people are saved that way.&nbsp; We are not sure exactly when it happens, but in the process of loving, mentoring, befriending, teaching, and training the transformation takes place.&nbsp; The Holy Spirit opens a person’s heart to realize Christ died for them, and loves them, and they can be forgiven and adopted as a child of God, and they believe.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; People who come from so much trouble, dysfunctionality, and brokenness need their value system changed.&nbsp; They need hope, and they need models, and opportunity.&nbsp; Now, why isn’t this happening?<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Here is where I want to offer two challenges.&nbsp; The first is to the church, the local church that is anywhere near the communities of the poor.&nbsp; If we persist in having church indoors, staying in our buildings, commuting to the neighborhood but never interacting with the neighbors, then we are not going to have much opportunity in sharing Christ with the poor.&nbsp; For that we are going to have to get out on the streets, hang out on porches, play ball in the community centers, and speak with people.&nbsp; Hold back yard bible clubs, have home Bible studies, whatever ways you can to share Christ.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The poor are not a project for the middle class do-gooder, they are real live human beings.&nbsp; Now, there is obviously a reason people avoid poor communities.&nbsp; Sometimes it is scary, we are afraid, there is potential violence.&nbsp; That has always been true in the history of missions.&nbsp; There have always been places too dangerous to go, too unhealthy, where people die and get killed.&nbsp; Places that don’t seem to even want Christ or seem to hate us for showing up.&nbsp; Yet, Christians went.&nbsp; They went, they shared Christ, they fed the poor, healed the sick, and lived among the people, and yes sometimes it cost them their lives.&nbsp; So, more Christians came, and the Christians among the people grew bold and lived out their faith, and nations were discipled.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Pastors and Christians need to get up out of their buildings and go out among the people.&nbsp; Just show up and hang out and as the Lord gives you opportunity become involved in God conversations.&nbsp; Ask questions, share your faith, invite folks to church and into your life.&nbsp; Now, if you are a pastor who doesn’t believe the Bible, or you don’t believe that people can be saved or need to be, well, you should stay in your office and not speak with anyone.&nbsp; You will just screw them up.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The second challenge, and this is specifically where I challenged people to support Hope, is to help the folk we meet in the community to enter into a long term training and development effort.&nbsp; It is not enough just to go around asking people to make decisions for Jesus; we need to call them to a lifetime of discipleship.&nbsp; This discipleship of the poor includes economic discipleship, and programs like Hope are trying to create a conveyor belt experience where principles of how to work, and then skills to do a job, are taught while a stipend is given to provide incentive to keep going in training.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; My hope and vision is to see the community discipled.&nbsp; Yes, I know neighborhoods need viable jobs; that pay enough to allow families to get off of welfare and make progress.&nbsp; We need entrepreneurs, new industry, relevant training that translates into work opportunities.&nbsp; We need good schools; we need good government, better housing, adequate and affordable medical care.&nbsp; Yes, all of those things.&nbsp; But to have an engine of hope to pursue them, to use them, to profit from them, people need a relationship with Jesus Christ.&nbsp; I am calling on the church to get out among the people and disciple them as individuals and the community so that our neighborhoods might be changed. &nbsp;Church, do your job!<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Last night I mentioned that even right now some young person is driving around with a gun in his pocket, looking for someone to shoot.&nbsp; This is our reality, and sure enough last night there were a few more shootings.&nbsp; How are we going to change that?&nbsp; Well, some of those folks are God’s elect, and they can and will be saved if we will actually get into their lives and experiences with the love of Christ.&nbsp; The need is urgent and real. May God give us the courage and faith to do so!<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-family: &quot;cambria&quot; , 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: &quot;cambria&quot; , serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div></div> What I like About the Benedict Option http://www.patheos.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/2017/04/like-benedict-option/ Black, White and Gray urn:uuid:22a15732-5eef-e7ee-88f4-1954a7cf0fc9 Sat, 08 Apr 2017 17:42:25 -0500 The long awaited book “The Benedict Option” book is finally out and I am looking forward to reading it. When I do, I plan to perform a solid review of it. Although, I have not read the book, I have read some of the commentaries on it and Dreher’s discussion of the Benedict Option. Therefore, <a class="moretag" href="http://www.patheos.com/blogs/blackwhiteandgray/2017/04/like-benedict-option/">[Read More...]</a> How to Restore from Free WordPress Backup Plugins https://djchuang.com/2017/restore-free-wordpress-backup-plugins/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:42ece85f-13d9-36f3-713e-847bde713a5e Tue, 28 Mar 2017 22:59:21 -0500 <p>Sure it&#8217;s important to have backups of your WordPress websites and blogs, but it&#8217;s just as important to be able to restore those backups. After all, what good are the backups if you can&#8217;t restore them? It seems many of the popular backup plugins will do the backup for free but make you pay for [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/restore-free-wordpress-backup-plugins/">How to Restore from Free WordPress Backup Plugins</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Sure it&#8217;s important to have backups of your WordPress websites and blogs, but it&#8217;s just as important to be able to restore those backups. After all, what good are the backups if you can&#8217;t restore them?</p> <p>It seems many of the popular backup plugins will do the backup for free but make you pay for the restore, or a more convenient restore. Sure, that&#8217;s okay, a convenience fee for one-click restore. And, that&#8217;s okay if you know that&#8217;s what you&#8217;re getting in the first place; but with some backup programs, it&#8217;s not clear up front that doing any restoring requires paying.</p> <p>Now, there are more non-techies than techies, so in conclusion, it may well be worth just paying for the restore function, because there&#8217;s no way getting around the technical steps involved in doing a manual restore. But for the tech adventurous, here&#8217;s useful info.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s some of the most popular <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/search/backup/">WordPress Backup Plugins (based on # of installs)</a> and instructions for how to do a restore without</p> <p><a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/updraftplus/">UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin</a>&#8230; <a href="http://updraftplus.com/faqs/i-want-to-restore-but-have-either-cannot-or-have-failed-to-do-so-from-the-wp-admin-console/">how to restore manually (from scratch)</a></p> <p><a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/backwpup/">BackWPup – WordPress Backup Plugin</a>&#8230; <a href="http://docs.backwpup.com/article/127-how-to-restore-a-wordpress-backup">How to restore a WordPress backup</a></p> <p><a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/backupwordpress/">BackUpWordPress</a>&#8230; <a href="https://bwp.hmn.md/knowledge-base/how-to-restore-a-backup/">How to Restore a Backup</a></p> <p><a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/backup/">Backup Guard</a>&#8230; <a href="https://backup-guard.com/products/backup-wordpress/faq/manual-restore-website">How to restore when the website is crashed</a></p> <p><a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-backup-to-dropbox/">WordPress Backup to Dropbox</a>&#8230; <a href="http://www.mikeyd.com.au/2011/10/26/restoring-wordpress-from-a-backup-to-dropbox-using-cpanel-and-phpmyadmin">Restoring WordPress from a backup to Dropbox using Cpanel and PhpMyAdmin</a></p> <p><a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/xcloner-backup-and-restore/">XCloner – Backup and Restore</a>&#8230;&#8221;XCloner provide an easy to use restore script&#8221;</p> <p><a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-backitup/">Backup &amp; Restore WPBackItUp</a>&#8230; has instructions for <a href="http://support.wpbackitup.com/support/solutions/articles/5000676459-how-to-manually-restore-your-wordpress-database">How To Manually Restore Your WordPress Database</a></p> <p>There are other very good WordPress backup plugins that don&#8217;t show up on a search in the WordPress Plugins library, like BackupBuddy. Here are some other blog posts that describe those:</p> <p><a href="http://www.wpbeginner.com/plugins/7-best-wordpress-backup-plugins-compared-pros-and-cons/">http://www.wpbeginner.com/plugins/7-best-wordpress-backup-plugins-compared-pros-and-cons/</a></p> <blockquote data-secret="hmbVkt5OKh" class="wp-embedded-content"><p><a href="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/free-quality-backup-plugins/">11 Best Free Quality Backup Plugins for Protecting Your WordPress Site</a></p></blockquote> <p><iframe class="wp-embedded-content" sandbox="allow-scripts" security="restricted" src="https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/free-quality-backup-plugins/embed/#?secret=hmbVkt5OKh" data-secret="hmbVkt5OKh" width="600" height="338" title="&#8220;11 Best Free Quality Backup Plugins for Protecting Your WordPress Site&#8221; &#8212; WPMU DEV Blog" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <blockquote data-secret="UuIV5Ere14" class="wp-embedded-content"><p><a href="https://wpapplied.com/backup-restore-wordpress/">How to Backup and Restore WordPress &#8211; Step by Step</a></p></blockquote> <p><iframe class="wp-embedded-content" sandbox="allow-scripts" security="restricted" src="https://wpapplied.com/backup-restore-wordpress/embed/#?secret=UuIV5Ere14" data-secret="UuIV5Ere14" width="600" height="338" title="&#8220;How to Backup and Restore WordPress &#8211; Step by Step&#8221; &#8212; WP Applied" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <blockquote data-secret="zVId9P5OyJ" class="wp-embedded-content"><p><a href="https://www.wpbuffs.com/the-5-best-backup-and-restore-plugins-to-keep-your-site-safe/">The 5 Best Backup and Restore Plugins to Keep Your WordPress Site Safe</a></p></blockquote> <p><iframe class="wp-embedded-content" sandbox="allow-scripts" security="restricted" src="https://www.wpbuffs.com/the-5-best-backup-and-restore-plugins-to-keep-your-site-safe/embed/#?secret=zVId9P5OyJ" data-secret="zVId9P5OyJ" width="600" height="338" title="&#8220;The 5 Best Backup and Restore Plugins to Keep Your WordPress Site Safe&#8221; &#8212; " frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>For migrating a WordPress site from one web hosting service to another, check out <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-wp-migration/">All-in-One WP Migration</a>.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/restore-free-wordpress-backup-plugins/">How to Restore from Free WordPress Backup Plugins</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=8fsTJqqRlYM:Jgbj2qqc5vQ:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=8fsTJqqRlYM:Jgbj2qqc5vQ:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/8fsTJqqRlYM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Research on Chinese Canadian Christians in progress https://djchuang.com/2017/research-chinese-canadian-christians-progress/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:81491e1e-62b6-16ae-98fb-8494abd937ab Mon, 27 Mar 2017 22:29:57 -0500 <p>There’s a research project about Chinese Canadian Christians underway that’d be very valuable and of interest to many. This is a summary by Jonathan Tam with details about this research— “Listen to their Voices” is a project spearheaded by Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism &#8211; Canada (CCCOWE-Canada) and joint-funded by CCCOWE-Canada, The Christian and [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/research-chinese-canadian-christians-progress/">Research on Chinese Canadian Christians in progress</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There’s a research project about Chinese Canadian Christians underway that’d be very valuable and of interest to many. This is a summary by </span><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jontam/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jonathan Tam</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> with details about this research—</span></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Listen to their Voices” is a project spearheaded by </span><a href="http://cccowecanada.org"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism &#8211; Canada (CCCOWE-Canada)</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and joint-funded by CCCOWE-Canada, </span><a href="https://www.cmacan.org"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the Canadian Association of China Graduate School of Theology, the </span><a href="http://www.acem.ca"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Association of Chinese Evangelical Ministries</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the </span><a href="http://anacefc.squarespace.com"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Association of North American Chinese Evangelical Free Churches</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and the Chinese Mennonite Brethren. Enoch Wong is the head researcher, I&#8217;m the associate researcher, and we have a team of pastors and specialists working on the project as well. Enoch and I are currently co-authoring the report. </span></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The project is a mixed methods report and the target population are Canadian-born Chinese Christians. For the quantitative piece, we received a nationally representative sample of 739 respondents to the eSurvey from six cities where 87% of the Chinese Canadian population reside (i.e. Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Greater Toronto Area, Metro Vancouver). We are working on mapping scales and trends by finding the correlations of those who decide to stay or leave based on salient factors from the opinion survey (e.g. church retention&#8217;s correlation with views on homosexuality, parental involvement’s correlation with children leaving the church).</span></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">For the qualitative piece, our sample consists of 37 interviewees—19 regular church attendees and 18 irregular or non-church attendees—based on the same cities as the survey piece. Interviewees were recruited through church contacts or e-survey respondents. The interview questions covered lived experiences in church (e.g. upbringing, critical junctures, church leadership, mentoring). The purpose is to uncover the causal mechanisms of those who choose to stay or leave.</span></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The final piece of the project is based on the roundtable feedback of our presenting some of our preliminary data and will make practitioner recommendations in the form of a directional action plan. We brought together practitioners within the Chinese Canadian immigrant church community in different cities, discussed our findings, and solicited their feedback. To be clear, we are not advocates of a one-size-fits-all approach and believe our findings should be nuanced and adjusted to each specific church&#8217;s needs. We hope the report will make contributions to both academic and practitioner fields.</span></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The data collection is complete and the analysis and writing is underway. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As you can see, this is a very <strong>valuable</strong> research project that can be <strong>informative</strong> for Christian leaders among Chinese North Americans in Canada and even in the United States. </span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Add a comment here</span></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to express your interest in this research project (within 60 days of this blog post, because my WordPress engine will automatically close the commenting section then.) And I’ll update this blog post when/if there is news &amp; updates about this research.</span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/research-chinese-canadian-christians-progress/">Research on Chinese Canadian Christians in progress</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=u0-FBN4MaYU:8RVgHcHUhvI:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=u0-FBN4MaYU:8RVgHcHUhvI: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/u0-FBN4MaYU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> SEEKING PEACE http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/03/as-someone-who-has-beeninvolved-in.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:37995f8b-49aa-2924-7144-3826ad88d7fb Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:09:27 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">As someone who has been involved in the struggle for racial reconciliation for most of my life and ministry I am concerned at times with some of the rhetoric and conversation I hear and read from my side of the fence.&nbsp; What I mean by “my side of the fence” are those folks with whom I am in general agreement, those who claim Christ and who seek justice.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I am often dismayed, but seldom surprised, with statements made by people on the “other side of the fence;” those who are racist, and especially those who actually seek to defend hostile racial attitudes while still claiming to be Christian.&nbsp; I am also not that surprised by people we might describe as “on the fence;” those who want to take a neutral stand, who seem superior and condescending, who act like they don’t really have to take sides.&nbsp; This last group thinks they can escape blame for fostering prejudice, supporting an unjust status quo, or can justify being silent on those days when a righteous voice is needed.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I might be able to level criticism at these other people, at least at their statements or positions.&nbsp; I might be able to in general raise a prophetic voice at attitudes and commitments that I feel are antithetical to Christ, which I believe is my calling as a preacher and minister of the Gospel.&nbsp; However, I am constrained to make such statements, and to hold attitudes, and to foster only those emotions which are obedient to my understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.&nbsp; This constraint means I must be restrained in returning evil for evil.&nbsp; The rules I live by are different than those who do not claim to serve Christ, and I only have a select drawer of weapons which I can legitimately use in this war.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; So, when I read or hear from those with whom I mostly agree say things, or write things, or post, or blog, or podcast, etc. that I think are going in a direction of bitterness, or retreat, or separation, or self-segregating, or revenge, or arrogance, or self-pity, then I feel a bit discouraged, if not a bit annoyed.&nbsp; I also find myself wanting to give a warning.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As a white man I am very conscious that I ought never to attempt to speak for African Americans, or actually any group, including my own.&nbsp; I am certainly not the spokesman for white people.&nbsp; I am however a spokesman for God, and I certainly do not mean that in any presumptuous or arrogant way.&nbsp; This I accept as God’s calling on my life, and according to the power that God invests in me, and always bordered, controlled, and examined by the Scriptures.<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;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There are those who write or say provocative things, and though sometimes the “truth” they are sharing might contain some of the truth yet not the complete truth, it sounds clear and radical enough to get our attention.&nbsp; Again, I am speaking about those on “the same side of the fence” as me.&nbsp; This provocation presumes motives, then seeks to stir up a reaction, and those who don’t hold to Biblical rules (even while claiming to be Christians) respond with hatred and racially vituperative rejoinders.&nbsp;&nbsp; I can roundly condemn all this racial garbage, all this meanness, all this spiteful and nasty commentary, and I most emphatically do.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;At the same time I don’t feel as much pity for the victim because he obviously started the conversation in the way that he did to provoke a reaction but not necessarily to solve a problem.&nbsp; In other words it looked like he wanted attention but was not seeking some positive change.&nbsp; Such provocations cloud motive, and they are sharp enough to make people angry but not prophetic enough to bring repentance.&nbsp; On top of that the person who created the provocation tends to blame everyone else for not coming to comfort him.&nbsp; So, he repeats the cycle, and continues the alienation by blaming whole groups of people for those who acted sinfully.&nbsp; “…As much as it depends on you, live at peace with all men,” Romans 12:18 says.&nbsp; &nbsp;I thought that was Scripture, not, “as much as it depends on you start fights with all men.”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In this world of injustice, and then within the smaller world of those seeking justice is an even smaller world of those who seek justice but do it in the name of Jesus.&nbsp; I confess with great sorrow that not all of those who associate themselves with Jesus as savior have any commitment to seeking justice.&nbsp; In this relatively small world, (in this Christian community of justice seekers), there are various hurts, pains, reactions, intentions, commitments, and strategies.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; There is no way any of us will completely know someone else’s pain. &nbsp;Proverbs 14:10 says, “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.”&nbsp; I cannot deny how much hurt someone is feeling.&nbsp; However, I believe we can usually discern whether or not their response is Biblical.&nbsp; This goes back to being constrained and restrained by what Scripture teaches us.&nbsp; The delicate thing is that when people are hurting it gets a bit dicey to say to someone that they aren’t handling it well.&nbsp; However, if enough of us keep our mouths shut when our very own brothers and sisters, and comrades in this fight, divert us from Jesus’ endorsed behaviors and strategies we risk being taken down some very dark roads.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There seems to be in this present generation the idea that if a person feels hurt or can express that hurt in racial or ideological terms then they are free to say stupid things, even if in fact those things are not really Christian but sound like justice.&nbsp;&nbsp; As I read the Scriptures I think we are told to test every prophecy, which I take to mean we have to align ideas, comments, statements, and proposals for action up against God’s Word.&nbsp; The test isn’t how authentic the feeling might be, or how sympathetic we might feel to someone who feels hurt or slighted, or even brutally attacked.&nbsp; The comparison is with Jesus, who being mocked and reviled did not respond in the way he surely could have, with ten legions of angels to kick the snot out of the world.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The real heroes of course are not those who have simply had their feelings hurt but who have physically suffered, who have lost property, wholeness and health, family, and even their own lives but still forgave and rose above the bitterness and hate which would seem so humanly understandable.&nbsp; I am convinced it is miraculous for God’s people to respond to injustice in such a forgiving way, but these are the miracles which God uses to convert the lost and convince the haters of God’s mercy and justice.&nbsp; We still need these kinds of miracles, and we need less of petty sniping and bitterness.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; There seems to be a certain amount of insecurity and fear about how to deal with unjust power structures and privilege, even if residual from history.&nbsp; Some of the discussion I hear or see is not the call to faith strategies, but about power strategies.&nbsp; Are we after racial reconciliation or not?&nbsp; To not be for it means to be after racial alienation and satisfaction in segregation. To not be for reconciliation now, to refuse to pursue it until there is “racial justice,” is to lose all hope that the Spirit of God is able to create new realities on earth before all is made right in heaven (and that is the only place and time when true justice will actually be brought to pass). <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;We can retreat into the status quo and seek to create our own little strongholds protected from the storm of reality. Let us acknowledge that this is indeed retreat and not a quest for justice.&nbsp; It might feel comfortable, but it is an illusion, and without the pursuit of reconciliation in the church we allow the enemies of justice to grow and perpetuate themselves.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Is the quest for the advancement of minorities in formally white power structures a quest for ego, a quest for status and power (even in the name of justice), or is it a quest for relationship based on love and respect?&nbsp; Is it reconciliation we seek, or simply position?&nbsp; Sometimes those struggles that happen between pastors, between a Senior and an Associate or Assistant are simply personality issues.&nbsp; Sometimes they are pissing contests between a younger man and an older man with the younger wanting position now, or feeling his ideas are better and he could run things in a better way.&nbsp; This is all too human and it doesn’t matter what race you are to have such struggles.&nbsp; We even have black men who don’t want another black man to serve under them because they fear competition, as we do with plenty of white men.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Let’s be practical; can a black pastor work in a majority white church and be legitimately loved and respected if he holds a subordinate position to the senior white pastor?&nbsp; Is he in fact an “Uncle Tom” type token?&nbsp;&nbsp; Is the church legitimately cross-cultural if it doesn’t have black senior pastor leadership?&nbsp; Now the reality is that sometimes people of color are tokens.&nbsp; Sometimes people are hired for “window dressing” and don’t have authority or real influence. Sometimes there is a racial paternalism and patronizing spirit in an institution and this compromises what real reconciliation is and demeans individuals and institutions. Truth needs to be spoken to power to help correct such misguided patterns of church life. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Yet, there is the corresponding damage of people making assumptions about black people in white institutions, and this has happened in all kinds of institutions and organizations, not just the church.&nbsp; Some have offered generalized opinions that a black person in white institutions has to be a “sell out,” a “self-hater,” or “somebody’s boy.”&nbsp; Wow, what racist destructive trash people sell and buy, as if no one could legitimately earn or keep place, privilege, and power on their own merits and not forget who they are or where they come from.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I have lived long enough to see some racial myths broken down.&nbsp; I remember being told, “White people in the PCA will never submit to a black pastor.”&nbsp; Well, in the Presbyterian Church in America that has certainly been proved wrong as most of the black senior pastors we have do indeed pastor majority white churches.&nbsp; Such racial myths will keep being made up and propagated; they usually have a motive, hold a portion of the truth, but are not usually positive or helpful.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; I write this with the conviction that Jesus want us to be peacemakers and that the only consistently Biblical way to do that is through peace, not by fighting.&nbsp; As the Lord is my witness, and as my whole life of preaching might attest, I am not trying to protect anybody’s feelings from the painful conviction of truth.&nbsp; I just don’t think being mean, demeaning, or needlessly insulting is the same as “speaking the truth in love.”&nbsp; James 3:17-18 says, “but the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.&nbsp; Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness</span><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">.”<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">END.</span></div></div> Untapped Stories of Atlanta featuring Asian American voices https://djchuang.com/2017/untapped-stories-atlanta-featuring-asian-american-voices/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:48082115-8833-d337-824e-1a06b7569da0 Sat, 18 Mar 2017 11:43:29 -0500 <p>4Pointes Church can be considered a MultiAsian.Church in Atlanta, the modernized center of the Deep South. Recently (on March 12th) they premiered a film festival with 4 mini documentaries of Asian American faces and voices who are creatives. Very empowering and encouraging to see! Watch the videos here or click over to the YouTube playlist: And [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/untapped-stories-atlanta-featuring-asian-american-voices/">Untapped Stories of Atlanta featuring Asian American voices</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://4pointes.org">4Pointes Church</a> can be considered a <a href="http://MultiAsian.Church">MultiAsian.Church</a> in Atlanta, the modernized center of the Deep South. Recently (on March 12th) they premiered a film festival with 4 mini documentaries of Asian American faces and voices who are creatives. Very empowering and encouraging to see!</p> <p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL76-R9tYDN6hAmaJSgElFrDRSbzGfSnot"><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-13732" src="https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/untapped-1024x504.png?resize=1024%2C504" alt="untapped" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/untapped.png?resize=1024%2C504&amp;ssl=1 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/untapped.png?resize=300%2C148&amp;ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/untapped.png?resize=768%2C378&amp;ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/untapped.png?w=1279&amp;ssl=1 1279w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a></p> <p>Watch the videos here or click over to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL76-R9tYDN6hAmaJSgElFrDRSbzGfSnot">the YouTube playlist</a>:</p> <div style="position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.25%;"><iframe style="position: absolute; width: 100%; height: 100%; left: 0;" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PL76-R9tYDN6hAmaJSgElFrDRSbzGfSnot&amp;showinfo=0?ecver=2" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>And you can keep up with <a href="https://twitter.com/UntappedATL" target="_blank">@UntappedATL</a> and their unfolding stories via Twitter:</p> <ul> <li>Adelaide Tai <a href="https://twitter.com/adelaide_tai">@adelaide_tai</a></li> <li>Josh Fu <a href="https://twitter.com/mistahfu">@mistahfu</a></li> <li>Mikkoh <a href="https://twitter.com/mikkohmikkoh">@mikkohmikkoh</a></li> <li>Larry Luk <a href="https://twitter.com/larryluk">@larryluk</a></li> </ul> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/untapped-stories-atlanta-featuring-asian-american-voices/">Untapped Stories of Atlanta featuring Asian American voices</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=paLFIhHSh9k:G5VJGkoJH1Q:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=paLFIhHSh9k:G5VJGkoJH1Q: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/paLFIhHSh9k" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Apple AirPort Extreme USB hard drive not showing up https://djchuang.com/2017/apple-airport-extreme-usb-hard-drive-not-showing-up/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:74d3aa97-5ef0-92be-e3ca-968f91f90b6a Wed, 08 Mar 2017 21:43:37 -0600 <p>I&#8217;ve used the AirPort Extreme as a WiFi hotspot for several years. Then I recently learned that USB devices can be connected to it and shared, like a USB printer and a USB hard drive! I was very happy to see that when connected my legacy USB printer (Canon MX330), it just showed up on [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/apple-airport-extreme-usb-hard-drive-not-showing-up/">Apple AirPort Extreme USB hard drive not showing up</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>I&#8217;ve used the AirPort Extreme as a WiFi hotspot for several years. Then I recently learned that USB devices can be connected to it and shared, like a USB printer and a USB hard drive!</p> <p>I was very happy to see that when connected my legacy USB printer (Canon MX330), it just showed up on the WiFi network and my Wifi-connected laptops could now see the printer and print to it! Very nifty!</p> <p>Then I learned that the Airport Extreme had only 1 USB port, but with a hub, multiple USB devices could be connected. So I bought an <a href="http://amzn.to/2mnIBnl" target="_blank">Anker 4-port ultra slim USB 3.0 data hub</a> from Amazon. It arrived in a couple days, thanks to Amazon Prime.</p> <p>Plugged it in and started connecting USB hard drives, but they didn&#8217;t just work. By the way, the printer connected to the USB continued to work, so that&#8217;s good news.</p> <p>The first hard drive I tried was a Seagate GoFlex 200GB that I had formatted using NTFS. Come to find out that NTFS is a showstopper. Airport Extreme with Mac OS is only able to mount USB hard drives <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204664" target="_blank">formatted as Mac OS Extended (HFS+) or FAT16/FAT32 volumes</a>.</p> <p>Then I tried a hard drive that was formatted as a Mac OS Extended (HFS+) but that didn&#8217;t work because it&#8217;s very <a href="https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3734849?start=0&amp;tstart=0" target="_blank">important to use a powered USB hub</a>, not like the unpowered one I bought above. And my little USB hard drive was relying on the power from the USB hub, so it didn&#8217;t get enough juice to run.</p> <p>Then I tried a USB flash drive, and that worked. One thing to note on this: in AirPort Utility &gt; Disks, I had to check the box for &#8220;Enable file sharing&#8221; and while you can probably choose any of the 3 options, I chose &#8220;With a disk password&#8221; for the most convenient security. Then I was able to see this USB flash drive as a connected server via Finder, as follows:</p> <ul> <li>under Devices &gt; Network &gt; AIRXP &gt; DRIVENAME</li> <li>under Shared &gt; AIRXP &gt; DRIVENAME</li> </ul> <p>I figured if I&#8217;m having problems finding answers, maybe others would find this blog post helpful. When/if I have time, I might just update this blog post to be a simple and clear checklist of basic requirements for connecting USB hard drives to AirPort Extreme and save us all some hours of headache.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2017/apple-airport-extreme-usb-hard-drive-not-showing-up/">Apple AirPort Extreme USB hard drive not showing up</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=JNJgWTEiAjc:lx87nRiJaU8:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=JNJgWTEiAjc:lx87nRiJaU8: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/JNJgWTEiAjc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> PROTEST http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/02/protest.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:ae1dfc40-b799-8fac-e4eb-5f2b7f63e86f Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:52:38 -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;"> On a recent Sunday our congregation sat down to a discussion during the Sunday School hour.&nbsp; We usually do something like this every year in February as we commemorate Black History Month.&nbsp; This year our discussion leader (Dr. Carl Ellis, Jr.) led us through some thoughts on Black Lives Matter, the difference between the concept and the organization.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The continuing discussion brought up questions about protest, the use of protest, and various efforts to bring about justice and righteousness in the community and the nation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; One of my observations about Evangelicals, especially those of us in the PCA, is our hesitation to take public stands, or to become involved in protests or demonstrations.&nbsp; We are reticent to make or do anything which might be construed as a political statement.&nbsp; At one and the same time of course the whole country pretty much knows where we stand on political issues, both by our statements, our sermons, our social media discourse, and our votes.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I read and hear criticism of pastors who write or speak very much about social or political issues.&nbsp; I also read or hear comments that tend to spiritualize any approach to issues, such as calling to prayer, and a negative opinion about going outside the doors of the church to march, or demonstrate in some way.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; While many in our churches see any discussion or mention of social or political issues as straying from the Gospel I tend to see our reticence as a dogged maintaining of an often unjust status quo and a refusal to make our faith known concerning issues of justice.&nbsp;&nbsp; We have in our church used prayer as social protest.&nbsp; We have used protests at abortion clinics as evangelism.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;This last year we had a very public prayer walk and march, with seasons of prayer as we began and when we finished, in protest against recent gang shootings and killings in our neighborhood.&nbsp; Was it spiritual to pray?&nbsp; Of course, blessedly so!&nbsp; Was it political to march?&nbsp;&nbsp; I think so, but it probably didn’t seem that way to most people who are against murder.&nbsp; Gang leaders might have taken it another way and as soon as you have two sides to an issue, whether they be right or wrong, you have politics.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; What often comes across during a “spiritual” rebuke to any public demonstration by Christians is that often the “issue” is what really matters, and this is the underlying offense, and not usually so much the behavior of demonstration or protest.&nbsp;&nbsp; I think we always need to be discerning about both, not only to how a protest or demonstration is conducted but also as to what the issue might be. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;As believers we must be non-violent, we must be loving, even to our enemies.&nbsp; We have to follow the example of Jesus who when he was reviled did not answer in the same way.&nbsp; Another problem some have with protests is that good guys and bad guys might come to the same rally for the same reason, and conduct it in the same way.&nbsp; So, if an anarchist, or a socialist, or a Muslim, or a Catholic, or a Democrat, or a Tea Party member shows up at a rally in which I am standing for something righteous, or just, then I welcome them to the event.&nbsp; However, not everyone shares our values as to being loving, meek, non-violent, and seeking conciliation. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;There are times when we cannot stand with those who will take actions, or use strategies, that are antithetical to our faith.&nbsp; For me there are uniforms that would be so antithetical to my faith that I couldn’t stand with them even if they were against the same things I am against.&nbsp; I don’t think I could stand with a Klansman, or a Nazi.&nbsp; A nudist would bother me as well.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I believe we have to always be angry at evil.&nbsp; There is no other godly way to feel about it.&nbsp; This does not make us angry people.&nbsp; I think we always have to be angry at oppression and injustice, but this does not mean we are called to slander, belittle, misuse, hurt, malign, or commit violence against those who practice it.&nbsp; One of the problems with social media protest is that we often assume we know someone’s motives and mock them for a motive we actually have no honest or accurate way to discern. To articulate and describe their behavior is accusation enough.&nbsp; To call for penalty within the law is legitimate and does not make us vicious.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Civil disobedience calls for a lot more thought and justification.&nbsp; Sometimes there is absolutely no other way to protest an unjust and evil law except to disobey it, and be willing to go to jail for violating it, until such laws are changed.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;Churches as churches have to be very discerning about what moral or justice issues they will speak about or against, but if they will not speak up against clear and sustained injustice or abuse then they are being disobedient to the Scriptures, hypocritical, and protectors and partners with oppression. One of our problems in Evangelicalism is that we won’t even discuss these issues in the church, so how are we ever going to have discernment about them? <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Pastors especially have to know where their place of leadership should be, and when and where they must curtail their political or social involvement for the sake of maintaining a pastoral and shepherding role for everyone to whom they must minister. They must never let their pulpit ministry be consumed with anything but the Glory of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the grace of God, and the call of the Kingdom of God.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;This is why pastors are subject to their brethren and have to be humble enough to listen to their Elders.&nbsp; It is easy to become self-righteous when inflamed with the issues of social righteousness and justice.&nbsp; It is also too easy to be passive and negligent in standing for the rights of the poor, the widow, the fatherless, and the immigrant.&nbsp; I personally don’t want to sin either way but I think the much more frequent sin, and easier and often taken road is to do nothing; and I don’t believe this is acceptable to God.&nbsp; Lord, give us humility, wisdom, good counsel, strong Scriptural understanding and conviction, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, faith, and courage!<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> BEING PROPHETIC WITHOUT BEING A JERK http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/02/being-prophetic-without-being-jerk.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:8debd80b-39fc-ead9-caa1-cb00398385d3 Fri, 10 Feb 2017 17:44:29 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><b><span style="font-size: large;">BEING PROPHETIC WITHOUT BEING A JERK!<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; In these turbulent and polarizing political times how are we to speak a Biblical and true word to the actions, events, and words of politicians to those around us? Here are twelve tips, especially if you are going to use social media to express political opinions:<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<b> </b></span></span><!--[endif]--><i><b>Don’t be rash or relationships might crash.</b></i> (Watch out for your emotional reactions [to anything] and take time to measure your words. Surely you know someone out there will not agree with you, so in the way you express your argument do you just not care about their feelings, or how they will now feel about you, since you seemed to care so little about them?)&nbsp; Proverbs 12:16, 13:5, 17:27, 29:20<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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<b> </b></span></span><!--[endif]--><i><b>Don’t be wise in your own eyes.</b></i> (Be humble enough to get counsel and listen to the opinions of others.) Proverbs 3:7, 15:22, 16:18<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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<i> </i></span></span><!--[endif]--><i><b>Check it out before you put it out</b></i>. (Please make sure you are not spreading “fake” news.&nbsp; Investigate the facts first.) Proverbs 14:15<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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><b><i>Stick like glue to what is True</i>.</b> (Always evaluate your words, actions and opinions against what you know the Bible says.) Proverbs 16:13, 30:5-6<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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<i> </i></span></span><!--[endif]--><i><b>What have you heard <u>ass</u>uming makes, out of you and me</b>?</i> Proverbs 18:13<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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<b> </b></span></span><!--[endif]--><i><b>What you write can come back to bite</b></i>. (Whatever you put out there is out there, and hard to take back, even if you later apologize or recant.) Proverbs 12:18, 17:27-28<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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><i><b>We can forgive your fumble, if you remain humble</b>.</i> (God gives grace to the humble and it is hard to feel good about beating up on a humble person). Proverbs 4:34<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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<i> </i></span></span><!--[endif]--><i><b>If you just attack you will get off track.</b></i>&nbsp; (Always be angry at evil and injustice, but do not make it personal.&nbsp; Love people!) Proverbs 3:30<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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<i> </i></span></span><!--[endif]--><b><i>We need prophets whose words bring profit</i>.</b> (Is what you are saying or writing helping anybody, are your words moving us toward positive change?) Proverbs 10:21, 15:23<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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><i><b>Don’t get your back up about the blow back.</b></i>&nbsp; (No matter how kind, righteous, gentle, or correct you might be today’s climate seems to excuse bitter and biting retort.&nbsp; Sarcastic and malicious response is common, so expect it.&nbsp; Be sad, pray, forgive, and love.&nbsp; Don’t return word for word, argument for argument, if there is no learning.) Proverbs 15:28, 17:14, 24:29<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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]--><i>I<b>f you can’t be taught you will surely get caught</b></i><b>,</b> in your own arrogance. Proverbs 12:1, 15:31-32<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><br /><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="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<b> </b></span></span><!--[endif]--><i><b>A godly walk means sometimes you’ve just got to talk.&nbsp; </b></i>Proverbs 31:8-9</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> THE PRICE OF AMBIGUITY http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-price-of-ambiguity.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:f50e7317-e1ce-dc97-71fb-602feb9c6901 Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:39:59 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">Let me start this article by some “up fronts.” Since this article is about a political figure it is therefore a political article. I am not a Hillary Clinton supporter.&nbsp; I am pro-life, I am opposed to homosexual marriage being made legal, I am concerned with radical Islam.&nbsp; I am also pro-civil and human rights and I believe the government has a role to play in upholding justice and the care of the poor, the sick, and the elderly.&nbsp; Okay, so these are a few things up front in case you seek to put me in a political box. &nbsp;&nbsp;I didn’t vote for either majority party candidate for the sake of my conscience.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I will try to pray faithfully for our new president, as I tried to do for our departing president.&nbsp; As I seek to honor that office and seek to refrain from slander, gossip, or malicious talk about the President I am still committed to speaking out as to my concerns.&nbsp; This means that sometimes those comments will be negative. I am concerned about the behavior of President-Elect Donald Trump, and therefore concerned about our future as a country.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I am afraid our president elect is putting himself in the position of being suspected of some shady things.&nbsp; This reminds me of the dilemma that Saddam Hussein got himself into when he just wouldn’t let inspectors come back into Iraq while the U.S. government suspected him of having weapons of mass destruction.&nbsp; Many people accused George Bush of lying and using the WMD fear as a pretext for war.&nbsp; I blame Saddam for creating ambiguity and defying the United Nations which ended up in our invading his country and in his eventual execution.&nbsp; This is simply an example of creating ambiguity, and not of anything else in regard to Saddam Hussein.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The ambiguity Mr. Trump is creating has to do with Russia.&nbsp; He won’t disclose his tax returns, he won’t be open about his dealings with Russia, and seems to be in denial about Russia’s hacking of the DNC computers.&nbsp; He seems to prefer Putin to many of his fellow Americans.&nbsp; So, what are we to make of these things?&nbsp;&nbsp; He has the opportunity to be transparent, and if he is an advocate of closer relations with the Russian leader he really needs to be transparent, or else the suspicions are going to linger.&nbsp; We certainly hope there will not be further reason to suspect his motives due to some strange realignment of our national interests which might just compromise the freedom of other countries.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I remember when the arch-conservatives were paranoid of the Soviet Union (the rest of us were somewhere between concerned and terrified, and not that there weren’t Americans who advocated for communism).&nbsp; There was a book in the 1960s called, <u>None Dare Call it Treason</u>, by John Stormer.&nbsp; The John Birch society loved this book.&nbsp; It smacked of some of McCarthy’s accusations back in the 1950’s, with the suspicion that communists had infiltrated the State Department. &nbsp;The Obama administration was accused of making room for Muslims in the government (which by the way is quite legal) and this was seen by some as giving way to the enemy, (which in not Islam but radical Islam). For any President to compromise our national interest or strategic security due to his own personal interests would indeed be a step toward treason.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; The way Mr. Trump has handled things leaves open the idea that the President Elect might be vulnerable to blackmail by the Russian President.&nbsp; The fear is that if he can be manipulated by them he could be used as a Russian stooge. Is it possible that a Republican President, not a Democrat or a liberal one, is in fact our worst nightmare for an unethical national compromise with an adversary that invades other sovereign nations (Georgia and Ukraine), supports and cooperates with our avowed opponents (Syria and Iran), attempts consistently to intimidate our military in fly-bys, uses cyber warfare against us on a fairly regular basis, and plays hard ball with us and our allies with the threat of nuclear weapons?&nbsp;&nbsp; Ambiguity leads to just these kinds of questions.&nbsp; Admiring strong leadership is ridiculous when it comes to strong arm dictators.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; When I see conservatives, especially Evangelicals, defend Mr. Trump from even being asked legitimate questions I am a bit chagrined.&nbsp; Some of the same people who slandered Barack Obama incessantly, and insisted he wasn’t even born in the USA, was a Muslim, a Socialist, and a liar (and all of this before they mentioned what policies he stood for that they didn’t like) don’t seem to realize how hypocritical they sound today.&nbsp; At one time character seemed to matter to these folks but evidently not recently.&nbsp; What protection do any of us have for the pursuit of policies in which we believe not being thrown overboard by someone whose integrity we cannot trust?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;What I am left with is the impression that conservatives are saying, “if your policies are in agreement with mine I don’t mind your lack of character.” I think a President’s character is always an issue, as well as their policies.&nbsp; They both count as either one can hurt or help us as a nation. Having endured top secret security checks during my own military career I know that consistent loyalty to America matters when you work for the government. Not only was loyalty an issue but so was susceptibility to financial or moral compromise. It wasn’t taken for granted, it wasn’t simply accepted by verbal affirmations or denials, and it had to be verified and proven.&nbsp; But now, for our highest office it is evidently to be taken simply by trust while we are given no means of verification.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Defending Mr. Trump cannot be done simply by attacking the policies of Barack Obama, or those that Hillary Clinton might have advocated. He cannot be defended by simply bashing the press. This situation has nothing to do with them, it only has to do with someone in whom we will all have to (at least to some degree), and want, to trust. Our freedom of the press is one thing that helps the American people to believe that we have something on which we can rely to ask probing questions.&nbsp; I certainly hope we will not have another Richard Nixon in office, nor a Richard Nixon type scandal.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The President is someone we all will need to act wisely and faithfully in America’s interest and not his own.&nbsp; Mr. Trump is, at this point, leaving us with lots of questions that come from an ambiguity which he has created, that leads to fear, and will create not only continued disunity but increasing cynicism.&nbsp; Again, this has nothing to do with his political opponents, nor about changing the election.&nbsp; It only has to do with him and the leadership that he is not giving at the moment.&nbsp; I hope you will join me in praying for him, and our collective future.&nbsp; My hope for that however lies with the God in whom I do trust.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><b>END</b><o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div></div>