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/ Grammarly adding extra HTML code? http://djchuang.com/2017/grammarly-adding-extra-html-code/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:a0799ecc-2eb3-9ca8-8c07-e29c9a6bea52 Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:27:34 -0600 <p>I want to like Grammarly. I really do. And for the grammar errors that it catches for me, Grammarly is working pretty good. But the other day, I noticed that the Grammarly extension was adding extra HTML code at the bottom of some of my blog post. I haven&#8217;t figured out the pattern yet and [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/grammarly-adding-extra-html-code/">Grammarly adding extra HTML code?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>I want to like Grammarly. I really do. And for the grammar errors that it catches for me, <a href="http://grammarly.com">Grammarly</a> is working pretty good.</p> <p>But the other day, I noticed that the Grammarly extension was adding extra HTML code at the bottom of some of my blog post. I haven&#8217;t figured out the pattern yet and I don&#8217;t want to put in all kinds of time to troubleshoot.</p> <p>There&#8217;s one that showed up at the bottom of this blog post. To see if it shows up in your blog post, click on the HTML tab of your blog editor. It looks like this:</p> <pre>&lt;div class="grammarly-disable-indicator"&gt;&lt;/div&gt; </pre> <p>Anyone else notice this? What&#8217;s up with that? How do I prevent Grammarly from doing this? Or is this one of those free features that goes away with a paid upgrade?</p> <p>I&#8217;m blogging on WordPress, a self-installed version. And I&#8217;m using Safari for Mac browser, with the Safari extension for Grammarly. And this blog post is being composed and posted from my wordpress.com dashboard.</p> <div class="grammarly-disable-indicator"></div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/grammarly-adding-extra-html-code/">Grammarly adding extra HTML code?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=6UjvHMtd9iM:RZR8HFM2Tok:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=6UjvHMtd9iM:RZR8HFM2Tok:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/6UjvHMtd9iM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> The Reason We Celebrate http://www.davidireland.org/the-reason-we-celebrate/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:81162220-10a9-72fc-f549-4496d7af3822 Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:53 -0600 <p>What makes heaven celebrate? Parties have a purpose. Heaven has parties, but for a single reason. Angels celebrate when a lost person wakes up. When someone repents of their sins, they return to sanity, they know what they need and who they are. Listen as Dr. Ireland discusses what truly makes angels rejoice. &#160; &#160;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/the-reason-we-celebrate/">The Reason We Celebrate</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>What makes heaven celebrate?</h4> <p>Parties have a purpose. Heaven has parties, but for a single reason. Angels celebrate when a lost person wakes up. When someone repents of their sins, they return to sanity, they know what they need and who they are. Listen as Dr. Ireland discusses what truly makes angels rejoice.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/z3uEFZGHCb0?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/the-reason-we-celebrate/">The Reason We Celebrate</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> Silent Exodus: Asian American Christians Leaving Churches http://djchuang.com/2017/when-asian-american-christian-youth-go-to-college/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:94fda92f-1a66-2547-a7c6-ed92ffe7adfb Sat, 09 Dec 2017 00:57:43 -0600 <p>For over 20 years now, ethnic Asian churches have lamented the loss of the next generation of Asian Americans, often the children of Asian parents who remain faithful to the ethnic Asian church, whether that&#8217;s Korean, Chinese, or one of the other 30-some Asian ethnicities. Many church leaders have expressed their concerns over the attrition [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/when-asian-american-christian-youth-go-to-college/">Silent Exodus: Asian American Christians Leaving Churches</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>For over 20 years now, ethnic Asian churches have lamented the loss of the next generation of Asian Americans, often the children of Asian parents who remain faithful to the ethnic Asian church, whether that&#8217;s Korean, Chinese, or one of the other 30-some Asian ethnicities.</p> <p><img src="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/15554567909_f1decc31eb_b.jpg?resize=1024%2C292" class="alignnone wp-image-14221 size-full" height="292" alt="15554567909_f1decc31eb_b" width="1024" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/15554567909_f1decc31eb_b.jpg?w=1024 1024w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/15554567909_f1decc31eb_b.jpg?resize=300%2C86 300w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/15554567909_f1decc31eb_b.jpg?resize=768%2C219 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Many church leaders have expressed their concerns over the attrition of Asian American Christians who leave their ethnic Asian church home when they go to college, in quotes like these (emphasis in <strong>bold</strong> added):</p> <div style="padding-left: 30px"> <p>&#8220;At <strong>an alarming rate</strong>, many young believers who have grown up in these Asian congregations are now choosing to leave not only their home churches, but possibly their Christian faith as well.&#8221; (Helen Lee, &#8220;<a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1996/august12/6t9050.html">Silent Exodus: Can the East Asian church in America reverse the flight of its next generation?</a>&#8220;, Christianity Today, August 1996<a href="https://peterong.wordpress.com/2006/08/29/silent-exodus/">.</a>)</p> <p>&#8220;<a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=AC6INy48ZTkC&#038;lpg=PA146&#038;pg=PA146#v=onepage&#038;f=false">A study shows that well over </a><a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=AC6INy48ZTkC&#038;lpg=PA146&#038;pg=PA146#v=onepage&#038;f=false"><strong>75%</strong></a><a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=AC6INy48ZTkC&#038;lpg=PA146&#038;pg=PA146#v=onepage&#038;f=false"> of American-born Chinese in Chinese immigrant churches end up leaving their churches (</a><a href="http://nextgenerasianchurch.com/completing-the-face/">Joseph Wong, &#8220;Bridging the Gap,&#8221; </a><a href="http://nextgenerasianchurch.com/completing-the-face/"><em>About Face</em></a><a href="http://nextgenerasianchurch.com/completing-the-face/">, February 1990.)</a><a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=AC6INy48ZTkC&#038;lpg=PA146&#038;pg=PA146#v=onepage&#038;f=false"> Some informal studies indicate that up to </a><a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=AC6INy48ZTkC&#038;lpg=PA146&#038;pg=PA146#v=onepage&#038;f=false"><strong>90%</strong></a><a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=AC6INy48ZTkC&#038;lpg=PA146&#038;pg=PA146#v=onepage&#038;f=false"> of postcollege Korean American young people are also leaving their immigrant churches.</a>&#8221; (&#8220;Finding a Church Home,&#8221; in <em><a href="http://amzn.to/2iUzF6w">Following Jesus Without Dishonoring Your Parents</a></em>, 2009)</p> <p>&#8220;<a href="http://www.newphiladelphiachurch.com/about/"><strong>Statistics</strong></a><a href="http://www.newphiladelphiachurch.com/about/"> in both America and Korea report that we are losing the </a><a href="http://www.newphiladelphiachurch.com/about/"><strong>majority</strong></a><a href="http://www.newphiladelphiachurch.com/about/"> of the young people who grew up in church.</a>&#8221; (Christina &amp; Erin Lee)</p> </div> <p style="padding-left: 30px">&#8220;<a href="https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/cultivating-faith-asian-american-teens">We’ve all heard the </a><a href="https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/cultivating-faith-asian-american-teens"><strong>statistics</strong></a><a href="https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/cultivating-faith-asian-american-teens"> that suggest about </a><a href="https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/cultivating-faith-asian-american-teens"><strong>half</strong></a><a href="https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/cultivating-faith-asian-american-teens"> of youth group graduates fail to stick with faith after high school.</a>&#8221; (Mike Park, July 2016)</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px">&#8220;<a href="https://pres-outlook.org/2017/07/understanding-korean-american-churches/">Recent </a><a href="https://pres-outlook.org/2017/07/understanding-korean-american-churches/"><strong>statistics</strong></a><a href="https://pres-outlook.org/2017/07/understanding-korean-american-churches/"> show more next-generation Korean-Americans are returning to their Korean constituency.</a>&#8221; (The Presbyterian Outlook, July 2017)</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px">&#8220;&#8230; <a href="https://cocogen.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/the-silent-exodus-of-syrian-christians-and-the-next-generation-from-immigrant-churches/">having grown up in an Indian immigrant churches&#8230; [a] </a><a href="https://cocogen.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/the-silent-exodus-of-syrian-christians-and-the-next-generation-from-immigrant-churches/"><strong>majority</strong></a><a href="https://cocogen.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/the-silent-exodus-of-syrian-christians-and-the-next-generation-from-immigrant-churches/"> of second generation who are dropping out are not going anywhere at all –  not their parents church nor any local churches. They are in fact falling through the cracks of cultural disparity and getting  dechurched and lost completely.</a>&#8221; (Sam George, 2013)</p> <h3>Attrition Rate of Next Generation Faith</h3> <p>Okay. Many feel sad over this situation. We do often hear stories of people losing their faith for all kinds of reasons. But can we see the actual numbers of these statistics?</p> <p>So I went searching. For hours. Here&#8217;s what estimated numbers I could dig up:</p> <p>&#8220;<a href="https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/korean-american-churches-from-generation-to-generation/">Estimates of second generation Koreans leaving the church vary from </a><a href="https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/korean-american-churches-from-generation-to-generation/"><strong>55%</strong></a><a href="https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/korean-american-churches-from-generation-to-generation/"> to </a><a href="https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/korean-american-churches-from-generation-to-generation/"><strong>90%</strong></a><a href="https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/korean-american-churches-from-generation-to-generation/">, depending on whether you count those who leave Korean-language churches but join Anglo or multiethnic churches, those who still call themselves Christian but don&#8217;t act on it, or those who completely leave church and faith behind.</a>&#8221; (Joan Huyser-Honig, July 2005)</p> <p>&#8220;<a href="http://likumc.org/cp/?p=492">Korean American second generations attend church following their parents till high school however after entering college over </a><a href="http://likumc.org/cp/?p=492"><strong>70%</strong></a><a href="http://likumc.org/cp/?p=492"> of them are leaving churches</a>&#8230;&#8221; (Joshua Kang, August 2012)</p> <p>Now, to be fair, youth going to college and leaving the faith of their home church behind is not only an Asian American phenomena. It&#8217;s also a disturbing trend among mainstream Caucasian evangelical millennials.</p> <p>Brett Kunkle found the statistics for evangelical youth leaving church after entering college to range anywhere from <strong>61%</strong> to <strong>88%</strong>. (&#8220;<a href="http://www.conversantlife.com/theology/how-many-youth-are-leaving-the-church">How Many Youth are Leaving the Church?</a>&#8221; &#8211; February 2009).</p> <h3>Maybe faith dropout is actually a hiatus?</h3> <p>More recently, like in May 2014, <a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/dropouts-and-disciples-how-many-students-are-really-leaving.html">LifeWay Research data shows that about </a><a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/dropouts-and-disciples-how-many-students-are-really-leaving.html"><strong>70%</strong></a><a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/dropouts-and-disciples-how-many-students-are-really-leaving.html"> of young adults who indicated they attended church regularly for at least one year in high school do, in fact, drop out—but don&#8217;t miss the details. Of those who left, almost </a><a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/dropouts-and-disciples-how-many-students-are-really-leaving.html"><strong>two-thirds return</strong></a><a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/dropouts-and-disciples-how-many-students-are-really-leaving.html"> and currently attend church</a>.</p> <p>Back to the Asian American context, there are a few signs indicating that some next generation Asian Americans are returning to their ethnic Asian church home. (cf. <a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/september-web-only/boomerang-effect.html">The Boomerang Effect: The generation of the &#8216;silent exodus&#8217; has now started coming back.</a> Christianity Today, October 2014).</p> <p>Let&#8217;s put some numbers to this.</p> <p>If I&#8217;m reading <a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/dropouts-and-disciples-how-many-students-are-really-leaving.html">this article</a> correctly, this academically robust analysis of religious research, the authors observed that only <strong>34%</strong> of those who grew up Protestant have lost their faith. Read for yourself; here&#8217;s the actual words excerpted from <a href="http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2014/05/keeping-losing-faith-asian-american-way/#sthash.ILGArLnA.dpbs">that article</a>:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px">&#8220;The need for quantifiable data on religion among Asian Americans is ever more pressing as this population grows more rapidly than the rest of the nation. One of the most rigorous attempts at surveying Asian Americans comes from the <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/asianamericans/" target="_blank" rel="external noopener">Pew 2012 Asian American Survey</a> &#8230; With respect to the silent exodus of the second-generation, we can look at the data from two vantage points, the percentage of those who retained their faith from childhood, and the percentage of current affiliates who grew up with that faith. The first number tells us whether religious individuals have remained committed to their faith tradition, while the second tells us whether today’s believers are made up of long-term followers or new converts. &#8230;</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px">For the second-generation Protestants, these two figures are surprisingly similar. The data shows us that <strong>66%</strong> of those who grew up Protestant were still Protestant at the time they were surveyed. Similarly, about <strong>two-thirds</strong> of today’s second-generation Asian American Protestant Christians grew up as Protestant. Either way we look at the data, <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline">there does not appear to be a mass exodus</span></strong>, if nearly <strong>two-thirds</strong> who started their faith journey as Protestants are still Protestant.&#8221; (Jerry Z. Park and Joshua Tom, May 2014)</p> <p><strong>Can you help us find more researched statistics?</strong> I know people that want to know.</p> <h3>Focusing on Reaching People, not Researching Numbers</h3> <p>Whatever the statistics may be across the overall American landscape, there are regional and local variations. Please don&#8217;t let the numbers lull you into complacency or shock you into paralyzing anxiety.</p> <p>There&#8217;s much work to be done for passing along our faith to the next generations. Making disciples like Jesus said to do.</p> <p>To be continued&#8230;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/when-asian-american-christian-youth-go-to-college/">Silent Exodus: Asian American Christians Leaving Churches</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=5ngsb0TVCzA:ytKHKLlHRrs:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=5ngsb0TVCzA:ytKHKLlHRrs:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/5ngsb0TVCzA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Devoted to Generosity http://www.davidireland.org/devoted-to-generosity/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:d0a15d3f-29fb-cc4d-3e8f-cb74560fb529 Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:26 -0600 <p>Are you spiritually mature? Our God gave his only son that you and I might gain access to His love and forgiveness. So, when you think about how you live as a believer, the fact is that giving is the backbone of the Christian faith. Ask yourself: Do I practice a generous lifestyle or do... </p> <div class="clear"></div> <p><a href="http://www.davidireland.org/devoted-to-generosity/" class="excerpt-read-more">Read More<i class="fa fa-caret-right icon-caret-right"></i></a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/devoted-to-generosity/">Devoted to Generosity</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>Are you spiritually mature?</h4> <p>Our God gave his only son that you and I might gain access to His love and forgiveness. So, when you think about how you live as a believer, the fact is that giving is the backbone of the Christian faith. Ask yourself: Do I practice a generous lifestyle or do I practice a stingy, or miserly, lifestyle? In other words are you spiritually mature? You need to understand that as a believer you are called upon not to just be devoted to the Word; not just to be devoted to fellowship; and not just to be devoted to soul care. You need to be devoted to generosity.</p> <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Vb49eN1nKpg?wmode=transparent" width="620" height="348" ></iframe> <p>&amp;nbsp</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/devoted-to-generosity/">Devoted to Generosity</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> OC Christmas Tour 2017 http://djchuang.com/2017/oc-christmas-tour-2017/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:3a75f940-d241-bfa1-4d08-8daa63692546 Sun, 03 Dec 2017 17:28:37 -0600 <p>One of the family Christmas traditions we started in 2011 is to worship at as many churches as we could during Christmas week. We&#8217;re able to go to more churches when there are fewer gatherings with extended family. Not sure what the plans are for this year yet. Here in Orange County, California, a dozen [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/oc-christmas-tour-2017/">OC Christmas Tour 2017</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>One of the family Christmas traditions we started in <a href="http://djchuang.com/2011/oc-christmas-tour-2011-recap/">2011</a> is to worship at as many churches as we could during Christmas week. We&#8217;re able to go to more churches when there are fewer gatherings with extended family. Not sure what the plans are for this year yet.</p> <p>Here in Orange County, California, a dozen or so larger churches have extra worship services to accommodate more people (and have the resources to run those extra events.)  And that allows us to visit more churches over several days. This year the festivities start as soon as Tuesday 12/19 and culminates with Christmas Eve on Sunday 12/24.</p> <p><a href="http://140t.co/oc2017">Here</a> is the overall schedule for Orange County churches with extra Christmas worship services in 2017. A small Christmas gift to the people of Orange County.</p> <p><a href="http://140t.co/oc2017"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-14110 size-large" src="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Screen-Shot-2017-12-03-at-3.10.09-PM.png?resize=1024%2C343" alt="" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Screen-Shot-2017-12-03-at-3.10.09-PM.png?resize=1024%2C343 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Screen-Shot-2017-12-03-at-3.10.09-PM.png?resize=300%2C101 300w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Screen-Shot-2017-12-03-at-3.10.09-PM.png?resize=768%2C258 768w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Screen-Shot-2017-12-03-at-3.10.09-PM.png?w=1184 1184w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a></p> <p>Feel free to use the spreadsheet to map out your own Christmas tour. When we have our plans confirmed and you want to do the Christmas tour with us Chuangs, add a comment or <a href="/contact/">contact us</a> so we can coordinate.</p> <div class="grammarly-disable-indicator"></div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/oc-christmas-tour-2017/">OC Christmas Tour 2017</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=_26hzt9yJoE:4gVe2PWL6HM:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=_26hzt9yJoE:4gVe2PWL6HM: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/_26hzt9yJoE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Walk in Truth & Grace http://www.davidireland.org/walk-in-truth-grace/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:a0d899e9-aa7a-5765-94b3-27d807be394f Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:27 -0600 <p>What, truly, are truth and grace? Truth is the reliability of God: Grace is unmerited favor to the undeserved. Truth needs grace; one cannot be practiced without the other. Listen as Dr. Ireland relays the story of the adulterous woman, whom though condemned to death based on truth, Jesus lovingly saved through grace. &#160; &#160;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/walk-in-truth-grace/">Walk in Truth &#038; Grace</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <h4>What, truly, are truth and grace?</h4> <p>Truth is the reliability of God: Grace is unmerited favor to the undeserved. Truth needs grace; one cannot be practiced without the other. Listen as Dr. Ireland relays the story of the adulterous woman, whom though condemned to death based on truth, Jesus lovingly saved through grace.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1bqueJcerVo?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/walk-in-truth-grace/">Walk in Truth &#038; Grace</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> THE PATHETIC PREPARATION OF PASTORS FOR PRACTICAL PERFORMANCE http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-pathetic-preparation-of-pastors-for.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:243da12d-729c-4d29-13e0-77a100168e54 Wed, 29 Nov 2017 13:59:57 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: large;"> So what does the average seminarian actually know how to do when he enters the ministry?&nbsp; Notice, I didn’t ask how much he knows.&nbsp; He probably knows more than he will ever actually make use of in ministry to real people, or even in ministry to himself.&nbsp; Depending on the Presbytery that examines him he will probably be pressed to know a great many facts and details about all kinds of things theological, historical, and hermeneutical.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The candidate for ordination will be force fed with knowledge, and then squeezed like a lemon, so that the committee can examine him to the point of dripping out of him everything they can, up to the limits of his knowledge.&nbsp; They will take him to the edge of his learning, and God help him if that edge is too far from the expectations of the committee.&nbsp; The gulf between expectations and his deficiencies will not be easily tolerated, let alone any shaky, suspicious opinions, or convictions.&nbsp; If found wanting he will be sent back for more study, and possibly for a few persuasion sessions.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Studying is in fact what he knows how to do, and what the members of the Examining Committee know how to do.&nbsp; This is what he will do to his disciples, and to any potential new officers; he will make them study.&nbsp;&nbsp; And when it comes to any kind of hands on work of ministry, he will endeavor to study that as well on his way to actually avoiding it.&nbsp; It is hard to learn from pastors these days, unless one has time for more study.&nbsp; If one wanted to be mentored by a pastor, to catch some ministry skills he might be modelling, well, one would have to sit quietly while he reads, or uses some kind of software study material, or as he listens to a sermon series by a prominent scholar; that is if the student wanted to emulate the skills of his pastor.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; If one were to ask a seminary where the practical training comes in they might answer that they are in fact not a Bible College or Institute that teaches “ministry.”&nbsp; Or they might say that is what internships are for, where they send recent graduates to learn from recent graduates who have no practical experience either, except in preaching on Sunday morning.&nbsp; It is hard to learn ministry skills from pastors who are still learning theirs on the job, or have settled for a new definition of the job that has conveniently left off the skills of evangelism, home visitation, hospital visitation, prison preaching, doing acts of mercy and good works, and even counseling or conflict resolution.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; If such pastors are planting churches and asked to train new Elders and Deacons they repeat for them what they learned how to do in seminary.&nbsp; Yes, they challenge them to study.&nbsp; They give them as much theology, doctrine, apologetics, Catechism, and Book of Church Order material as these lay people can absorb.&nbsp;&nbsp; They don’t necessarily teach them how to pray, or how to have a good argument in a meeting without getting mad and quitting the church, or how to handle a divorce case, or how to go on a mercy visit, or how to mobilize the laity to do ministry in the community, or how to design and organize various outreach kinds of ministry, or how to handle the pressure of marriage and child raising while feeling obligated to keep ordination vows and serve the church.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Internships are not for a student to become a gopher for the church staff, or to be saddled with a particular ministry (such as nursery or Jr. High) that everyone else seems to be avoiding.&nbsp; It is specifically to rotate him through essential skills; how to evangelize and share his faith actively and on purpose with strangers, how to visit widows, the elderly, the sick, and those in prison, how to prepare and execute a worship service, wedding, and funeral, how to moderate and help make effective a leader’s meeting, how to problem solve and deal with conflict on every level (other staff, Elders, Deacons, members and attenders), and how to cast vision for ministry.&nbsp; He needs to do these things with and in the company of the Senior pastor and other leaders so he can hear their reflections and see their reactions in ministry context.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Internships are to help a potential pastor realize if he has a work ethic or not, if he knows how to set boundaries for himself and his family as he does ministry, and if he has the capacity and willingness to sacrifice himself and his boundaries for the sake of the Gospel.&nbsp;&nbsp; Internships should set up new pastors for the reality that one will often need more people, more money, and more time to get the simplest programs off the ground.&nbsp; This reality will help new pastors learn the joy of frustration and anxiety, and be tempted to reach the heights of resentment and despair as no one seems to give a rip about his new idea. &nbsp;&nbsp;Where will the volunteers come from, and where will the resources come from?&nbsp;&nbsp; Oh yes, this is where interns learn the practical realities of faith and prayer, and that God makes things happen out of resources that aren’t yet seen.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Without practical training experiences pastors will continue to be woefully unprepared to really train their members for ministry, and they will continue to avoid those experiences because it means risk, and time, which could be better spent in ….study.&nbsp; Without passing practical skills to the people of the church then those church members will have no way of showing the love of God to the people of the world, or of learning how to get to those people and communicate the Gospel to them.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">May the Lord raise up among us great training pastors, who take potential leaders into practical ministry and teach them skills by doing, reflection, and re-doing!<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> How Fast the Facebook Matching Grant Runs Out on #GivingTuesday http://djchuang.com/2017/how-fast-the-facebook-matching-grant-runs-out-on-givingtuesday/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:840efcdc-ba28-ae7d-ba42-7c70b8177530 Tue, 28 Nov 2017 16:55:55 -0600 <p>I was wondering how long that $2M matching grant from the Gates Foundation lasted for today&#8217;s #givingtuesday on Facebook. With a $50k limit per nonprofit, 40 orgs could have used it all up in the first couple hours starting at 8:00am Eastern Time. The matching grant won&#8217;t likely last all day. Good news is that Facebook will [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/how-fast-the-facebook-matching-grant-runs-out-on-givingtuesday/">How Fast the Facebook Matching Grant Runs Out on #GivingTuesday</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>I was wondering how long that $2M matching grant from the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/gatesfoundation/videos/10156249112058072/">Gates Foundation</a> lasted for today&#8217;s <a class="_58cn" href="https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/givingtuesday?source=feed_text&amp;story_id=10155288873243915" data-ft="{&quot;tn&quot;:&quot;*N&quot;,&quot;type&quot;:104}"><span class="_5afx"><span class="_58cl _5afz" aria-label="hashtag">#</span><span class="_58cm">givingtuesday</span></span></a> on Facebook. With a $50k limit per nonprofit, 40 orgs could have used it all up in the first couple hours starting at 8:00am Eastern Time.</p> <p>The matching grant won&#8217;t likely last all day. Good news is that Facebook will waive all fees for online donations made through Facebook on #givingtuesday all day. That means <strong>100%</strong> of your donation goes to the nonprofit, instead of the usual <strong>95%</strong>. cf. &#8220;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/901370616673951">Donations to US-based charitable organizations that have been approved to receive donations through Facebook Payments are assessed a 5% fee.</a>&#8221;</p> <p>In other words, Facebook donations made on #GivingTuesday get a <strong>5%</strong> boost. Do donors care about that? If a donor gave <strong>$100</strong>, does a donor care if all $100 goes to the cause, or only $95 goes to the cause and $5 goes to administrative costs? Hey, <strong>$5 is $5</strong>!</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14087" src="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/hand-heart-card.png?resize=300%2C250" alt="hand-heart-card" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>The <a href="https://donations.fb.com/givingtuesday/">announcement</a> about how fast the matching fund ran out was &#8220;unprecedented&#8221;:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">We are so inspired by how the community came together to give back this Giving Tuesday in an unprecedented turnout. The $2M in matching dollars was met quickly by the Facebook community, but every donor and every dollar counts. We will continue to waive all Facebook fees on donations to nonprofits today.</p> <p>How fast was did it run out? The answer to that question is: somewhere between 7 and 15 minutes (cf. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/nonprofits/photos/a.85612830917.95996.41130665917/10154971432800918/?type=3">15 minutes</a>; <a href="https://www.facebook.com/maisan.chan/posts/10155626305265219">10 minutes</a>; the timestamp <a href="https://www.facebook.com/nonprofits/photos/a.85612830917.95996.41130665917/10154971432800918/?type=3">6:07am</a> @ Nonprofits on Facebook page). Supposedly last year, the matching fund lasted <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1942954942586261/permalink/1952746324940456/?comment_id=1952755044939584&amp;reply_comment_id=1952755488272873&amp;comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R0%22%7D">a couple of hours</a>.</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14088" src="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fb-givingtues-info.png?resize=600%2C410" alt="fb-givingtues-info" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fb-givingtues-info.png?w=600 600w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fb-givingtues-info.png?resize=300%2C205 300w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Want more info? This excerpt from the <a href="http://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/facebook-gates-to-match-up-to-2-million-for-givingtuesday">PND</a> article about #GivingTuesday 2017 gives some details that nonprofit organizations and some donors would want to know:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/facebook" target="_self">Facebook</a> has announced that it will again partner with the <a href="https://www.gatesfoundation.org/" target="_self">Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation</a> to match up to <a href="https://donations.fb.com/GIVINGTUESDAY/" target="_self">$2 million</a> in donations for this year&#8217;s <a href="http://www.givingtuesday.org/" target="_self">#GivingTuesday</a> event on November 28.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Launched in 2012, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving positioned as a &#8220;do-good&#8221; alternative to the post-Thanksgiving shopping and consumption associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Donations made to participating nonprofit organizations through Facebook&#8217;s <a href="https://nonprofits.fb.com/" target="_self">charitable giving tools</a> beginning at 8:00 am EST on November 28 will be matched — up to $50,000 per nonprofit, or $1,000 per fundraiser or donate button — until the matching funds run out. Facebook and the Gates Foundation are contributing $1 million each for the campaign, and all matched funds will be paid out to nonprofits through <a href="https://www.networkforgood.com/fundraising-software-tools-for-nonprofits/" target="_self">Network for Good</a>&#8216;s donor-advised fund.</p> <p>Depending on the size of the nonprofit, getting a match of $1k might be considered a drop in the bucket. Plus, the effort it&#8217;d take to mobilize more than 50 raving fans to hit the $50k maximum match might be too much.</p> <p>Of course, #GivingTuesday is more than trying to get a slice of the matching grant or getting the processing fees waived. It&#8217;s a good opportunity to raise awareness and connect more people to your cause.</p> <p>Want to prepare for 2018? The <a href="https://nonprofits.fb.com">Nonprofits on Facebook</a> site has lots of info about using Facebook more effectively to connect more people with a nonprofit. And, the page at <a href="https://donations.fb.com/givingtuesday/">donations.fb.com/givingtuesday</a> has info for #GivingTuesday 2017 — not sure if they will keep the same URL for next year.</p> <div class="grammarly-disable-indicator"></div> <div class="grammarly-disable-indicator"></div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/how-fast-the-facebook-matching-grant-runs-out-on-givingtuesday/">How Fast the Facebook Matching Grant Runs Out on #GivingTuesday</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=RBjIhSZX9UQ:u6uiyZ3DZ6Y:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=RBjIhSZX9UQ:u6uiyZ3DZ6Y: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/RBjIhSZX9UQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Raising a Child who Prays – On the Way with Paul Ridgeway http://www.davidireland.org/on-the-way-with-paul-ridgeway/ David D Ireland, Ph.D. urn:uuid:ae2c4a67-99c9-24c6-ce76-c5db4e9045e6 Sat, 25 Nov 2017 12:25:43 -0600 <p>&#160; &#160;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/on-the-way-with-paul-ridgeway/">Raising a Child who Prays &#8211; On the Way with Paul Ridgeway</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> <iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F282033083&visual=true&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org/on-the-way-with-paul-ridgeway/">Raising a Child who Prays &#8211; On the Way with Paul Ridgeway</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.davidireland.org">David D Ireland, Ph.D.</a>.</p> 7 Tips for Going to Museum of the Bible in DC http://djchuang.com/2017/7-tips-for-going-to-museum-of-the-bible-in-dc/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:e7ef1511-24df-03e9-f38c-207dd805ae34 Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:14:11 -0600 <p>My personal tips for your visit to Museum of the Bible. See the controversial museum about the provocative book for yourself.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/7-tips-for-going-to-museum-of-the-bible-in-dc/">7 Tips for Going to Museum of the Bible in DC</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>Very grateful for getting to go to <a href="http://museum.bible">Museum of the Bible</a> during its first week of opening with my family, and boy is it grand or what! It&#8217;s one of those epic experiences, punctuated with a spare-no-expense approach to build a world-class museum experience (perks of a privately-funded project). I know some people just want the bottom line, so here&#8217;s my best tips for having an even better time at <a href="http://museum.bible">Museum of the Bible</a>, based on my first visit on Black Friday 2017.</p> <p>1. Getting there by Metro is the <a href="https://www.museumofthebible.org/visit/plan-your-visit">recommended</a> way to go, very conveniently right there at the Federal Center station. But if you want to be frugal, i.e. you have more than 2 people going, driving can save some money. The closest parking is the garage that has a street address of 409 3rd St SW, Washington, DC, (with entrance at 319 Virginia Avenue SW, Washington , DC) &amp; make your reservation online at <a href="https://www.parkme.com/lot/87310/lot-96-federal-center-washington-d-c-dc">parkme.com</a> and print out your ticket to bring with you.</p> <p><img src="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_2811.jpg?resize=1170%2C1560" class="wp-image-14077" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_2811.jpg?w=1536 1536w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_2811.jpg?resize=225%2C300 225w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_2811.jpg?resize=768%2C1024 768w" sizes="(max-width: 1170px) 100vw, 1170px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>2. Going early in the day was so worth it. We didn&#8217;t have to stand in line outside—which can be particularly uncomfortable in the winter and summer. We got timed-entry tickets with a family membership package. My guess is they&#8217;ll need to run timed-entry until the New Year, because the Bible is especially popular this time of year with Christmas and all. And, when we got to the coat check at 9:19am, it was already 2/3 full. Hint: if you don&#8217;t want to lug around your winter coat, get to <a href="http://museum.bible">Museum of the Bible</a> early.</p> <p>3. You must see the 3rd floor visual experiences. Simply amazing how they could tell the main story of the New Testament in 12 minutes and the Old Testament in 20 minutes. And, special creativity shined in the retelling of the Noah&#8217;s Ark, the rainbow of promise, the 10 plagues in Egypt, and the parted Red Sea. (No spoiler here,) These had timed-entry during our visit, not sure if that will continue even past the New Year; my hunch is that it will.</p> <p>4. Side note on that out-of-place thrill ride called Washington Revelations, with a panoramic virtual ride above Washington DC. $8 per person for something that obviously isn&#8217;t Bible-related. Okay, I concede there are some Bible verses embedded in some DC landmarks, but I still stand by my uninformed opinion. Save the money for lunch.</p> <p>5. Speaking of lunch, you have 2 choices: there&#8217;s Manna&#8217;s restaurant on 6th floor with a menu of Mediterranean foods; they serve <a href="https://twitter.com/djchuang/status/932673595863580672">kosher</a> items there too. Then there&#8217;s a Café on the 1st floor with grab-and-go foods: sandwiches (they had tuna salad and chicken salad, during our visit) or a egg &amp; veggie salad. If you can time your lunch time to be off hour (we couldn&#8217;t), you might get shorter lines. For the record, we ate in the Café.</p> <p>6. I&#8217;ll mention 3 notable exhibits: On the 4th floor, there&#8217;s a huge history of the Bible exhibit, but I confess I didn&#8217;t go. Heard it was huge; after all, there&#8217;s over 4,000 years of history to curate from. 2ndly, very powerful to see the 2nd floor exhibit about the impact of the Bible on so many areas of life. One comment got mentioned several times in the Impact of the Bible on America portion: different people did different things based on their conviction and interpretation of the Bible; good discussion starter, but sometimes it can get into heated debates, or worse, even riots and other terrible things. One thing for sure: this Bible is a very provocative book. 3rdly, happy to see the exhibit on Bible translation into 1,000+ languages around the world, with thousands more yet to be done. One of the video screens there said you can support and donate to the work of Bible translation more info at <strong><a href="http://illumiNations.bible">illumiNations.Bible</a></strong>. (Yes, that is a real domain name; innovative indeed.)</p> <p><img src="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_2838.jpg?resize=1170%2C1558" class="wp-image-14076" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_2838.jpg?w=1538 1538w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_2838.jpg?resize=225%2C300 225w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_2838.jpg?resize=768%2C1023 768w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_2838.jpg?resize=769%2C1024 769w" sizes="(max-width: 1170px) 100vw, 1170px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>7. Membership to <a href="http://museum.bible">Museum of the Bible</a> was so worth it: unlimited admission for a year and more—like getting your name etched permanently on <a href="https://experience.museumofthebible.org/app/memberships/select">One Million Names wall</a>. The museum is actually free to enter, but a suggested donation of $10-$15 is suggested. Here&#8217;s a museum that I would visit many times, even though I&#8217;m not local. They say it can take 5 to 8 hours to see everything. I think that might be a gross underestimate.</p> <p>bonus #1: read the back story in Cary Summer&#8217;s book, <a href="http://amzn.to/2A6lMfh">Lifting Up the Bible: The Story Behind Museum of the Bible</a>. The autographed hardback print edition can be found in the Museum Gift Shop until they run out. Act fast.</p> <p><img src="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_0020.jpg?resize=332%2C498" class="wp-image-14078" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_0020.jpg?w=332 332w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/img_0020.jpg?resize=200%2C300 200w" sizes="(max-width: 332px) 100vw, 332px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>bonus #2: if you know <a href="/contact/">who</a> to ask, you could get the WiFi password to the guest network, because the cell phone signal for me was very weak inside.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/7-tips-for-going-to-museum-of-the-bible-in-dc/">7 Tips for Going to Museum of the Bible in DC</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=wDkEuDmH7yI:tgeiMq5-jzo:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=wDkEuDmH7yI:tgeiMq5-jzo: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/wDkEuDmH7yI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 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:4c83041f-3ada-2bad-f58b-165f659fbf70 Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:12:28 -0600 <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> KevJumba Interview on Asian America Podcast http://djchuang.com/2017/kevjumba-interview-asian-america-podcast/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:6255ae3f-c03a-b50c-2a73-15de1311203d Sat, 18 Nov 2017 21:03:26 -0600 <p>KevJumba has entered a new season of life and a lot has happened since his quick rise to fame on YouTube. KevJumba was one of YouTube&#8217;s first stars who happens to be Asian American, Chinese  ethnicity, to be specific. He started his channel in 2006, got featured on the YouTube homepage in 2007, and was [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/kevjumba-interview-asian-america-podcast/">KevJumba Interview on Asian America Podcast</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>KevJumba has entered a new season of life and a lot has happened since his quick rise to fame on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/kevjumba">YouTube</a>.</p> <p>KevJumba was one of YouTube&#8217;s first stars who happens to be Asian American, Chinese  ethnicity, to be specific. He started his channel in 2006, got <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbZ9zJ22WfQ">featured on the YouTube homepage in 2007</a>, and was the 3rd most subscribed channel by 2008.</p> <p>There&#8217;s a little web chatter about KevJumba going dark in 2014, like at YOMYOMF, <a href="http://www.yomyomf.com/what-happened-to-kevjumba/">What Happened to KevJumba?</a> that referenced the Hollywood Reporter&#8217;s piece, <a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/why-kevjumba-disappeared-inside-youtube-stars-departure-1031552?utm_source=twitter">Why YouTube Megastar KevJumba Mysteriously Disappeared</a>. That was August 2017.</p> <p>In September, <a href="http://asianamericapodcast.com/?podcasts=kevjumba">Ken Fong interviewed Kevin Wu</a> on his podcast, <a href="http://asianamericapodcast.com">Asian America: the Ken Fong Podcast</a>. (I&#8217;m surprised it&#8217;s not on the leaderboard as a most popular episode there, yet.) Depending on your interest, you might like the backstory of his YouTube popularity, his new ambition for acting in films, his near-death experience, and his spiritual journey in seeking different religions.</p> <p><a href="http://asianamericapodcast.com/?podcasts=kevjumba"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14062" src="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-18-at-6.38.16-PM.png?resize=616%2C315" alt="" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-18-at-6.38.16-PM.png?w=616 616w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2017-11-18-at-6.38.16-PM.png?resize=300%2C153 300w" sizes="(max-width: 616px) 100vw, 616px" data-recalc-dims="1" /></a></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>Episode description</em>: &#8220;YouTube star KevJumba talks about his early days as one of the internet&#8217;s first social media sensations. Kevin also discusses his foray into feature films, his awesome dad, the car accident that almost killed him, and his focus on spirituality.&#8221;</p> <p>This conversation did reveal that KevJumba was in a Bible study with Jeremy Lin (yes, the NBA basketball player), though he wasn&#8217;t practicing any particular religion at that time.</p> <p>I&#8217;m grateful that his life was spared and that he is on the road to recovery. I wish KevJumba the best.</p> <div class="grammarly-disable-indicator"></div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/kevjumba-interview-asian-america-podcast/">KevJumba Interview on Asian America Podcast</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=dvRnVMklrks:ly8WeJAiQkI:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=dvRnVMklrks:ly8WeJAiQkI: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/dvRnVMklrks" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> THE POWER OF SEX http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-power-of-sex.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:d20faedc-7936-e1db-ccf8-073f3774de4e Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:21:59 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: large;"> Let’s talk about sex baby!&nbsp; It kind of seems that is all anyone is talking about these days, and maybe that is really good.&nbsp; It is also sad.&nbsp; It is certainly needed but at the same time it is a bit disturbing.&nbsp; Surely no one of any mature years can be shocked that sex causes us so much trouble.&nbsp; We are in a period of calling out old sins, old sexual assaults and harassment, even old rapes.&nbsp; We are always (always) in a period of current sexual exploitation, brokenness, confusion, aggression, and need.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We live in a media atmosphere where, on the same day, we hear about someone guilty of rape that was never reported and a man who just spent 45 years in prison for a rape he didn’t do, but has now been exonerated.&nbsp; Given the right context and circumstance, (especially of race and income) we have brought the hammer down hard on suspected rapists but let other rapists go free; usually because they were rich and powerful.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; We have lived in an age of sexual hedonism where Hugh Hefner&nbsp;gave an apologetic for how free, frequent, and multiple partner sex means freedom from a puritanical life of constraint and up-tightness.&nbsp; We live in an age of feminism whereby women want control of their own bodies, to have sex when and with whom they wish, to dispose of pregnancies when and how they wish, to dress how they wish, to drink and drug when they wish, and yet seem to expect men to act with restraint and take control of their own impulses.&nbsp; Yes, they should, but men are as stupid as women when it comes to sex, and along with their stupidity often have the power to take what they want and cause great and lasting harm.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We live in an age where people seem to think it is okay to grope other people, whether it be on the street where women grope attractive men who might be total strangers to them (and vice versa), to the office or studio where male supervisors and bosses think it is okay to grope employees.&nbsp; We live in an age where teachers sleep with their students and pregnancy results either by them or in them.&nbsp; We live in an age where female teachers go to jail for child sexual abuse of their teen-age boy toys.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; I am sure I don’t have to tell anyone the law, or what is right, or what God demands but can I say simply…Keep your hands off of other people’s bodies if they haven’t given you permission, and especially if they don’t belong to you in marriage!&nbsp; Do not make sexual advances, remarks, innuendo, gestures, or remarks to anyone to whom you are not married!&nbsp; Does that sound limiting? It ought to, and it will keep you out of trouble.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We live in an age of open homosexuality and yet live in an age of denial about how behavior might be connected to HIV/AIDS and STDs.&nbsp; Education and protection and advances in medications are the answer but not morality, not self-control, and certainly not censure for behavior.&nbsp;&nbsp; We condemn human trafficking and indulge the porn industry.&nbsp; What the hell is going on here?<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There is hypocrisy everywhere; in religious leaders who get found out as child sex abusers or as excuse-rs of the abusers and in politicians who call for legislation regarding various sex or gender related issues and then are found out to have skeletons in their own closets.&nbsp; We live in an age of media “gotcha” for every celebrity, politician, priest, or leader whose failure may be a moment of indiscretion, a circumstantial and stress caused illicit relationship, or a hidden life of a stalker looking for prey.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There are victims; they never asked for the abuse, they were never seducers, and they never thought it might happen to them.&nbsp; Some of these of course were children or teens, some fearful about their livelihoods, some afraid of a closed door for advancement, some afraid of a counter-attack of reprisal, some physically afraid, and some just in the wrong place at the wrong time.&nbsp; Some of these vulnerable folk live with a scarred and damaged psychology for the rest of their lives, a damaged view of their own sexuality, a perverted view of how to relate to members of the opposite sex, and some live on to recycle the abuse.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Who among us can be pure?&nbsp; Who among us has the right to speak?&nbsp; If I am a sexual being can I reflect on these issues without admitting to my own desires, my own fantasies, my own failures, my own frustrations, my own recklessness to fulfill my own pleasure and exploit others?&nbsp; No, not if I am honest.&nbsp; I know how I have thought about women, my objectifying of them, my secret plans for using them, and I know how worse I would have been without the restraints of my own conscience, the reality of criminal prosecution, the reality of social and community condemnation and abhorrence.&nbsp; I blame God for my not being worse than I’ve been.&nbsp; The restraint of grace is what I count on the most.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; We are not pure, but we must speak.&nbsp; Even if we have all failed, we must speak.&nbsp; We must seek to protect our children, our neighbors, our spouse, our community, the vulnerable, and our future.&nbsp; Sex is a great gift, but oh how twisted it has become.&nbsp; Sex is a great need, and how powerful its desires are within us.&nbsp; Sex is such a great comfort, a witness to confidence, an intimacy of love.&nbsp; It is so damn dangerous.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The attempt to attack either gender, alone, for sexual abuse or sin is both disingenuous and delusional.&nbsp; The tendency to attack institutions, such as the church, either as institution or religious theology, is simplistic and a little too easy.&nbsp; Of course there are failures in churches, in church leadership, in how they have dealt with abusers, in how they have sheltered them, in how they have failed victims.&nbsp; This is true in every social institution where there are sexual beings.&nbsp; The church however should have done better, and it must do better, and when caught in its failure ought to be called out.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Yet, again, wherever there are institutions made up of people, and those people are sexual beings, there will be sexual trouble.&nbsp; The military which counts on professionalism to inhibit sexual misbehavior, finds out again and again that professionalism in and of itself cannot do it. The news media, which is the mouthpiece of this very story, finds corruption in its own ranks.&nbsp; Every industry and business, educational institutions, and the arts, all have sordid stories.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; There are lines which must not be crossed, for those are the things which protect and enable society to function.&nbsp; Yet, we are all in need of compassion. We all have to have some sane understanding of the temptation in many of us to cross those lines. This has always been hard for societies, how do we draw clear lines of safe and right conduct without producing self-righteousness, self-deception, and hypocrisy?&nbsp; Which value system will win in how we live our sexual lives with one another in this world because it is a value system that decides where the lines will be drawn? Without those lines, those borders of decency, we produce a license for predation and with that the fear and determination to protect and revenge our own, and that leads to violence.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; How do we deal with people’s shame, both of the abused and the abuser?&nbsp; How do we deal with people’s guilt?&nbsp; How do we deal with the reality of sexual passion without denying that we all pretty much have it and, for many of us, go through times, periods, years, and a lifetime of not quite knowing what to do with it? <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;I come back to grace.&nbsp; The powerful mercy of God, the grace of Jesus who died for sinners, the mercy of God to forgive the failures, the power of God to heal the victims, the power of God to change an evil heart, the merciful power of God to deliver the addicted and sexually imprisoned, the free adoption of God to make those who feel like orphans realize they have an identity as sons and daughters of a God who loves them.&nbsp; We dare not “put a cork in it” because we were not made to simply suppress it, but we dare not fail to surrender its passions to a loving and gracious God who knows how to help us use it for his glory, and our joy.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> God’s Immutable Purpose: The Revealed Redemptive Jehovah Titles in the Incarnate Jesus https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/gods-immutable-purpose-the-revealed-redemptive-jehovah-titles-in-the-incarnate-jesus/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:f6ab31df-ec6b-6344-a81b-3e9dd9ebe4cd Tue, 14 Nov 2017 07:36:17 -0600 The forthcoming essays discuss God’s immutable purpose in the revealed redemptive Jehovah titles in the Incarnate Jesus, as well as overview the progressive revelation of the Name Jehovah. Each will examine the Lord’s revealed redemptive purposes, unchangeable throughout the covenants. They seek to accomplish three goals: (1) explain the doctrine of God’s immutability; (2) exegete the attributes of the seven Jehovah redemptive titles in light of their fulfilled revelation in the person of Jesus Christ; and (3) interpret how the Gospels illustrated the progressive unfolding of God’s immutable nature by means of the seven redemptive titles of Jehovah.<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/gods-immutable-purpose-the-revealed-redemptive-jehovah-titles-in-the-incarnate-jesus/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p><img alt="" border="0" src="https://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=specs12.wordpress.com&#038;blog=12269709&#038;post=4605&#038;subd=specs12&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;">Introduction</span></h3> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Jan Paron, PhD|November 14, 2017</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          God’s nature does not change due to His immutability: “I am the Lord, I change not (Mal 3:6a KJV; e.g., Num 23:19; Isa 46: 9-11; Jas 1:13). His nature remains unchanged across the dispensations of time grounding itself in the same redemptive purpose with humanity. Thus, the very attributes in God’s titles expressed in the Old Testament manifested themselves in the substance of Jesus Christ in the New (Exodus 3:14-15; John 8:56-59).</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          The forthcoming essays discuss God’s immutable purpose in the revealed redemptive Jehovah titles in the Incarnate Jesus, as well as overview the progressive revelation of the Name Jehovah. Each</span><span style="color:#000000;"> will examine the Lord’s revealed redemptive purposes, unchangeable throughout the covenants. They </span><span style="color:#000000;">seek to accomplish three goals: (1) explain the <a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/doctrine-of-immutability/">doctrine of God’s immutability</a>; (2) exegete the attributes of the seven Jehovah redemptive titles in light of their fulfilled revelation in the person of Jesus Christ; and (3) interpret how the Gospels illustrated the progressive unfolding of God’s immutable nature by means of the seven redemptive titles of Jehovah.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;"><img data-attachment-id="4678" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/gods-immutable-purpose-the-revealed-redemptive-jehovah-titles-in-the-incarnate-jesus/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=345&#038;h=216" data-orig-size="640,400" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="Redemptive Names of God B W" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=345&#038;h=216?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=345&#038;h=216?w=529" class="alignnone wp-image-4678" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=345&#038;h=216" alt="Redemptive Names of God B W" width="345" height="216" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=345&amp;h=216 345w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=150&amp;h=94 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg?w=300&amp;h=188 300w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/redemptive-names-of-god-b-w.jpg 640w" sizes="(max-width: 345px) 100vw, 345px" /></span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          Revelation denotes an uncovering (Vine, Unger &amp; White, 1996). God progressively uncovers His identity through His Word. For a comprehensive understanding of God’s immutable nature, one finds a portrait of His fullness in the single biblical story from the eyewitness accounts the inspired Gospel authors wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          The key to grasping the progressive manifestation of God’s immutable nature in the Incarnate Jesus comes with examining the compound, redemptive titles of Jehovah in tandem with innertextual and intertextual messianic analyses of Old Testament text and canonized Gospels. To understand the titles’ entirety requires more than relying on the reader’s perspective in front of the text. One also must delve into aspects from the biblical author’s world behind the text and analyze the literary elements of Scripture within the text (Tate, 1997; Paron, 2013). Further, each distinct Gospel emphasis shapes God&#8217;s immutable nature into a complete biblical portrait of a covenantal God in His expressed <em>image </em>(character) in the <em>person</em> (substance) of Jesus Christ. The Gospel’s purpose, interpreted events, messianic sayings, covenantal fulfillment, linear prophetic fulfillment, and New Covenant establishment put the paintbrush in the reader’s hand.</span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;">Overview: Progressive Revelation of the Name Jehovah</span></h3> <p style="text-align:left;"><span style="color:#000000;">          The name Jehovah in combination with titles, uncovers His immutable, redemptive nature ultimately made visible in Jesus with the Church and then the nation of Israel at the Fullness of Time when the Church Age ends. In historical Old Testament order (Bullinger, 2007), Scripture shows seven titles expressing His redemptive nature:</span></p> <ol> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-jireh (LORD that provides: Gen 22:14; cf. John 1:29; Heb 11:17-19)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-rapha (LORD that heals: Exod 15:26; cf.; Jas 5:14)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-nissi (LORD my banner, victory: Exod 17:15; cf. 1 Cor 15:57)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-shalom (LORD is peace: Judg 6:24; cf. John 14:27)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-tsidkenu (LORD our righteousness: Jer 23:6; cf. 1 Cor 1:30)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-shammah (LORD is there, the Ever Present One: Ezek 48:35; cf. Matt 28:30)</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">Jehovah-raah (LORD my shepherd; Ps 23:1; cf. John 10:11)</span></li> </ol> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          Jehovah of the Old Testament shows continuity of His redemptive nature revealed in the incarnated God in Jesus. With the titles Jehovah-jireh, rapha, nissi, shalom, and raah,  Jehovah expressed Himself as Jesus to the end of earthly matters. As Jehovah-tsidkenu and shammah, He identified Himself in His final Kingdom reigning in righteousness (Isa 32:1). Thus, Jesus fulfilled the totality of the seven redemptive titles of Jehovah with the I AM: “and all flesh shall know that I Jehovah am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (49:26), therefore, immutable. </span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;">References</span></h3> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2010). <em>The essentials of oneness theology. </em>Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2016). <em>The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ</em>. Dorset, UK: Deo Publishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2007). <em>The oneness of God.</em> Florissant, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bullinger, E. E. (2007). <em>The divine names and titles: In the Old and New Testaments</em>. Bible Students Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Creswell, J. (2009). <em>Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches</em> (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Graves, R. (2009). <em>The God of two testaments.</em> Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Kaiser, W. (1995). <em>The Messiah in the Old Testament</em>. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Norris, D. (2009). <em>I AM: A Oneness Pentecostal theology</em>. Hazelwood, MO: WAP Academic.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Paron, J. (2013, January 19). <em>The three worlds of text.</em> [Web blog post]. Retrieved from <a href="https://wordpress.com/post/specs12.wordpress.com/2017">https://wordpress.com/post/specs12.wordpress.com/2017</a></span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Reeves, Kenneth. (1962). <em>The Godhead, Book 1 (Revised) Seventh Printing.</em> St. Louis, MO: Trio Printing Company.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Segraves, D. L. (2008). <em>Reading between the lines</em>. Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Tate, W. R. (1997). <em>Biblical interpretation: An integrated approach</em>. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Thayer, J. T. (2009). Th<em>ayer’s Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament</em> (9th ed.) Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Vine, W., Unger, M., &amp; White, W. (1996). <em>Vine&#8217;s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testaments</em>. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Filed under: <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/apostolic-pentecostal-theology/'>Apostolic Pentecostal Theology</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/immutability/'>Immutability</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/incarnation/'>Incarnation</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/redemptive-jehovah-titles/'>Redemptive Jehovah Titles</a> Tagged: <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/apostolic-pentecostal/'>Apostolic Pentecostal</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/immutability/'>Immutability</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/redemptive-jehovah-titles/'>Redemptive Jehovah Titles</a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/specs12.wordpress.com/4605/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="https://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=specs12.wordpress.com&#038;blog=12269709&#038;post=4605&#038;subd=specs12&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> Doctrine of Immutability https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/doctrine-of-immutability/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:291adc65-d486-8582-9801-effefd389c29 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:02:18 -0600 Jan Paron, PhD&#124;November 13, 2017                Malachi 3:6 offers a strong statement about God’s own revelation of His name, “I &#8230;<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/doctrine-of-immutability/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p><img alt="" border="0" src="https://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=specs12.wordpress.com&#038;blog=12269709&#038;post=4550&#038;subd=specs12&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Jan Paron, PhD|November 13, 2017      </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          Malachi 3:6 offers a strong statement about God’s own revelation of His name, “I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” <em>Lord</em> in Hebrew means Jehovah—The Unchangeable One: He Who is, He Who was, and He Who is to Come (cf. Isa 44:6). The New Testament ascribes this same title and purpose to Jesus (1 Tim 1:16; Rev 1:7-8).</span></p> <h6 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#000000;"><img data-attachment-id="4589" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/doctrine-of-immutability/god-is-immutable/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=290&#038;h=193" data-orig-size="960,640" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="god-is-immutable" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=290&#038;h=193?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=290&#038;h=193?w=529" class=" wp-image-4589 aligncenter" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=290&#038;h=193" alt="god-is-immutable" width="290" height="193" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=290&amp;h=193 290w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=580&amp;h=386 580w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=150&amp;h=100 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/god-is-immutable.jpg?w=300&amp;h=200 300w" sizes="(max-width: 290px) 100vw, 290px" /></span>  Image: shaynageorge</h6> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          God’s covenant restoration forms the basis of His name. The Unchangeable One has sought to reconcile His people into covenant with Him across the dispensations of time. Jehovah will fulfill His final covenant promise of crushing the serpent’s head and saving His people (Gen 3:15) to restore them to covenant with Him in His Millennial reign. As the immutable I AM, Jehovah vowed the promise of redemption to His people so “the sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6b), meaning perish (Brown, Driver, &amp; Briggs, 2006). In an ever-changing world, Jehovah will remain unchangeable into the Everlasting.</span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;"><strong>Redemptive Faithful Husband of Israel</strong></span></h3> <p><strong>           </strong><span style="color:#000000;">The Prophet Isaiah remarked, “For your husband is your Maker, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of the whole earth” (Isa 54:5 AMP). The prophets described how God’s redemptive name revealed His unconditional love as the faithful Husband who sought to restore covenantal relationship despite His wife Israel’s adulterous actions.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          In the Book of Hosea, the prophet portrayed God and His wanton whorish wife. In Ezekiel 16, the prophet told of himself laying on the plywood with a model of Jerusalem on one side of his bed and him naked and facing away from her. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="color:#3d596d;">          </span>The unfaithful Israel caused the Lord to lament in Jeremiah: “Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord” (3:20 KJV). Yet the faithful Husband, the Holy One of Israel, robed Himself in flesh as Jehovah-Savior to redeem the House of Israel fulfilling His promise of a Messiah for His people. </span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;"><strong>Redemptive Chosen Son of the Two Covenants </strong></span></h3> <p><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="color:#3d596d;">          </span>God made covenants with Abraham and David (Gen 12:2; 2 Sam 7:8). When the Lord placed His expressed image behind Jesus, He revealed the Chosen Son of the two covenants—the descended Son of Abraham and David (Gen 22:17-19; 2 Sam 7:8; cf. Matt 1:1; 17; Luke 1:32; Acts 13:22, 23). God revealed His manifested character as well as His dual fulfillment when He raised Jesus from the dead and exalted Him as Lord (Eph 1:16-23). The title Lord attributed to Jesus in His exaltation and biblical expression “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” identified Jesus as the Incarnation of God and Father. Christ blessed us in Him as well as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ blessed us in the person of Jesus who would bring forth a new and better covenant. The expression “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” recognizes Jesus as the Chosen Son of the covenants and the Incarnation of Jehovah, the God of Israel of the two covenants.</span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;"><strong>Redemptive Word Robed in Flesh</strong></span></h3> <p><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="color:#3d596d;">          </span>“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent:” (Num 23:19b). Repent means to change one’s mind. The I AM did not retract His promise of redemption when He revealed His nature in the person of Jesus Christ. Neither did God change His mind about His purpose for humanity when He robed Himself in flesh uniting divinity with humanity incarnated in Jesus. Rather, Jesus embodies all God’s divine (Phil 2:6a; cf. John 1:14d). Bernard explained Jesus’ divines essence “the incarnation of the fullness of God; in His deity He is the Father, Word, and Spirit” (2010, p. 210) while He also took on the nature of man (John 1:14b).</span></span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          Revelations 1:7-8 reveals the Lord subject to time through the Incarnation “the Lord which is; which was; and which is to come, the Almighty:”</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="color:#000000;">“The Lord which was” revealed the crucified Christ of the Gospels. Christ took on the form of God, the Word in robed in flesh. Jesus’ first birth of a virgin, conceived of the Holy Ghost brought Him forth into time from eternity (Reeves, 1984, Supreme Godhead 11, p. 47).</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">“The Lord which is” expressed the Christ of the Gospels resurrected and exalted to the throne (Rev 3:21). Jesus’ birth out of death “who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead” brought time into eternity (Col 1:18).</span></li> <li><span style="color:#000000;">“The Lord which is to come” will identify Jehovah as Christ as the coming King of kings, also the Son of David (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:7, 8). In the fullness of the appointed time as the supreme and authoritative head over all things in the Church, Jesus will put in subjection all things in every realm under His feet (Eph 1:22 AMP).</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="color:#000000;">          Time cannot subject God because of immutability, but does through the Incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ for the benefit of humanity’s redemption.</span></p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:#993300;">References</span></h3> <p style="text-align:left;"><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2010). <em>The essentials of oneness theology. </em>Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2016). <em>The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ</em>. Dorset, UK: Deo Publishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bernard, D. (2007). <em>The oneness of God.</em> Florissant, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Bullinger, E. E. (2007). <em>The divine names and titles: In the Old and New Testaments</em>. Bible Students Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Carpenter, G. (2012). <em>God’s covenants: A study guide in Bible symbolism.</em> Thomas Nelson, Inc.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Conner, K. &amp; Malvin, K. (1997). <em>The covenants: The key to God’s relationship with Mankind</em>. Portland, OR: Bible Temple Publishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Conner, K. (1980). <em>Interpretation: The symbols and types</em>. Portland, OR: Bible Temple Publishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Creswell, J. (2009). <em>Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches</em> (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Ferguson, E. (2003). <em>Backgrounds of early Christianity</em> (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Graves, R. (2009). <em>The God of two testaments.</em> Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Haney, N. (2004). <em>Daniel’s 70 Weeks. </em>Stockton, CA: Nathaniel Haney Publishers.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Haney, N. (2006). <em>The times of the Gentiles: Biblical prophecy series, volume 4</em>. Stockton, CA: Nathaniel Haney Publishers.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Kaiser, W. (1995). <em>The Messiah in the Old Testament</em>. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Keener, D. (2003). <em>The Gospel of John: A commentary, volume one</em>. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Keener, D. (2003). <em>The Gospel of John: A commentary, volume two</em>. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.</span></p> <p>Moltmann, J. The crucified God: A Trinitarian theology of the Cross. 278-299. <em>Sage Publications</em>. doi: 10.1177/002096437202600302</p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Norris, D. (2009). <em>I AM: A Oneness Pentecostal theology</em>. Hazelwood, MO: WAP Academic.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Paron, J. (2013, January 19). <em>The three worlds of text.</em> [Web blog post]. Retrieved from <a href="https://wordpress.com/post/specs12.wordpress.com/2017">https://wordpress.com/post/specs12.wordpress.com/2017</a></span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Reeves, Kenneth. (1962). <em>The Godhead, Book 1 (Revised) Seventh Printing.</em> St. Louis, MO: Trio Printing Company.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Rydelnik, M. (2010). <em>The Messianic hope</em>. Chicago, IL: Moody Bible Publishers.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Segraves, D. L. (2008). <em>Reading between the lines</em>. Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Tate, W. R. (1997). <em>Biblical interpretation: An integrated approach</em>. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.</span></p> <p><span style="color:#000000;">Thayer, J. T. (2009). Th<em>ayer&#8217;s Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament</em> (9th ed.) Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers. </span></p><br />Filed under: <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/apostolic-pentecostal-theology/'>Apostolic Pentecostal Theology</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/authority-of-jesus/'>Authority of Jesus</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/immutability/'>Immutability</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/incarnation/'>Incarnation</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/jesus/'>Jesus</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/category/oneness-of-god/'>Oneness of God</a> Tagged: <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/apostolic-pentecostal/'>Apostolic Pentecostal</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/immutability/'>Immutability</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/incarnation/'>Incarnation</a>, <a href='https://specs12.wordpress.com/tag/onenesstheology/'>onenesstheology</a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/specs12.wordpress.com/4550/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="https://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=specs12.wordpress.com&#038;blog=12269709&#038;post=4550&#038;subd=specs12&#038;ref=&#038;feed=1" width="1" height="1" /> A List of Influential Chinese-American Christian Leaders http://djchuang.com/2017/list-influential-chinese-american-christian-leaders/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:2d50ca2b-c42b-81f5-cae4-506a96d30c3c Wed, 08 Nov 2017 09:46:40 -0600 <p>I asked for help with this question, &#8220;Who are the influential Chinese-American (English-speaking) Christian leaders?” on the internet and on Facebook. The crowdsourcing activity was way more numerous on Facebook, with 41 comments and counting. Here&#8217;s the list of Chinese-Americans mentioned on Facebook in response to the question: Gideon Tsang, Pastor at Vox Veniae (Austin, [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/list-influential-chinese-american-christian-leaders/">A List of Influential Chinese-American Christian Leaders</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>I asked for help with this question, &#8220;<a href="https://djchuang.com/2017/influential-english-speaking-chinese-american-pastors/">Who are the influential Chinese-American (English-speaking) Christian leaders?</a>” on the internet and on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/djchuang/posts/10155229283133915">Facebook</a>. The crowdsourcing activity was way more numerous on Facebook, with <a href="https://www.facebook.com/djchuang/posts/10155229283133915">41 comments</a> and counting.</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdjchuang%2Fposts%2F10155229283133915&amp;width=500" width="500" height="482" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>Here&#8217;s the list of Chinese-Americans mentioned on Facebook in response to the question:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://inhabitconference.com/gideon-tsang/">Gideon Tsang</a>, Pastor at <a href="http://voxveniae.com">Vox Veniae</a> (Austin, TX)[<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/us/breaking-the-evangelical-mold-at-an-austin-church.html">*</a>]</li> <li>David Hsu, <a href="http://whcchome.org/">West Houston Chinese Church</a></li> <li><a href="http://vivianmabuni.com">Vivian Mabuni</a>, Author of <em><a href="http://amzn.to/2rsLdE4">Warrior in Pink</a></em> and with <a href="http://www.epicmovement.com/">Epic Movement</a></li> <li><a href="https://timtseng.net">Dr. Timothy Tseng</a>, Pastor of English Ministries at <a href="http://canaanem.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church</a> and church history professor for many years</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/grace.may.796">Rev. Dr. Grace May</a>, Founder of <a href="http://www.womenofwonder.us">Women of Wonder</a> and <a href="https://aawolsisters.com/2012/03/20/spotlight-grace-may/">minister at large</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.margaretyu.com">Margaret Yu</a>, National Executive Director, <a href="http://www.epicmovement.com">Epic Movement</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.les.edu/blog/portfolio-items/dr-chloe-sun-ph-d-en/">Dr. Chloe Sun</a>, Professor of Old Testament Studies at Logos Evangelical Seminary</li> <li><a href="http://crazylove.org">Francis Chan</a>, best-selling author and speaker, church planting <a href="http://wearechurch.com">We Are Church</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.peteandviv.com">Pete Sung</a>, Pastor, <a href="http://davis.baysideonline.com">Davis Campus of Bayside Church</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/JudyWuDominick/">Judy Wu Dominick</a>, Speaker and <a href="http://lifereconsidered.com/">blogger</a> to build bridges across racial divides</li> <li>Dr. Jeffrey Jue, Provost and Executive VP of Westminster Theological Seminary[<a href="http://www.ligonier.org/learn/teachers/jeffrey-jue/">*</a>]</li> <li>Jeanette Yep, Pastor of Global Outreach at <a href="https://www.grace.org">Grace Chapel</a>[<a href="http://asianamericanchristian.org/2015/10/jeanette-yep-part-1-background/">*</a>]</li> <li>Rev. Dr. Ken Fong, Podcast Host of <a href="http://kenfongpodcast.com">Asian America Podcast</a> and recently retired pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles</li> <li><a href="https://faculty.sfsu.edu/~rjeung/">Dr. Russell Jeung</a>, Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University and author of <em><a href="http://amzn.to/2ApRJNl">Faithful Generations</a></em>and<em><a href="http://amzn.to/2iBXM9n">At Home in Exile</a></em>, and more</li> <li><a href="https://www.biola.edu/directory/people/nancy_yuen">Dr. Nancy Yuen</a>, Associate Professor of Sociology, Biola University and author of <em><a href="http://amzn.to/2AqhRHK">Reel Inequality</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://mem.intervarsity.org/bio/joe-ho">Joe Ho</a>, National Director of Asian American Ministries, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship</li> <li><a href="http://www.aacf.org/current-staff/">Melanie Mar Chow</a>, Asian American Christian Fellowship</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.kuan">Jeffrey Kuan</a>, President of Claremont Theological Seminary</li> <li><a href="http://www.cbccoc.org/Staff/pfong.html">Rev. Darryl Fong</a>, English Pastor, Chinese Baptist Church of Central Orange County</li> <li><a href="http://www.newlifebayarea.org/staff.html">Rev. Katie Choy-Wong</a>, Senior Pastor at New Life Christian Fellowship (Castro Valley, CA)</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/victor.quon">Rev. Victor Quon</a>, Campus Minister, <a href="http://www.aacf.org/current-staff/">Asian American Christian Fellowship</a></li> <li>Pastor Daniel Wong, <a href="http://www.newhopemeadowview.com">New Hope Community Church</a> (Sacramento, CA)</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/check.yee.58">Check Yee</a>, Salvation Army</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/stephen.quen">Rev. Steve Quen</a>, Chinese Bible Church (Alameda, CA)</li> <li><a href="http://www.the-river.org/about-us/our-team/member/88411/">Brad Wong</a>, Pastor of The River Church</li> <li><a href="https://ivcf.ca/people/donna-dong/">Donna Dong</a>, Director Multi-Ethnic/Multicultural Ministry, InterVarsity Canada</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/hugotpcheng">Hugo Cheng,</a>, Senior Pastor, Chinese Bible Church of Maryland</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/ccsetiawan">Clement Setiawan</a>, Youth Guy at Dallas Chinese Bible Church</li> <li>Rev. Joshua Lee, EM Pastor at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/thecrossinghayward/">The Crossing at CFCC Hayward</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/fredtmok">Fred Mok</a>, Garden City Church</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/ong.peter">Peter Ong</a>, Director of Church and Community Engagement at Hope For New York</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/amos.yong.58">Amos Yong</a>, Professor of Theology &amp; Mission at Fuller Seminary</li> <li>Dr. Robert Chao Romero</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/brian.leong.984">Brian Leong</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.guo.56">Jennifer Guo</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.s.yen">Jennifer Yen</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/wei.f.ho">Wei Feng Ho</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/janna.louie.1">Janna Louie</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/schan1">Sabrina Chan</a></li> <li><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaeson_Ma">Jaeson Ma</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/debbie.h.gin">Debbie Hearn Gin</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/tracey.s.gee">Tracey Gee</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/melissa.dyo">Melissa Dyo</a></li> <li>Debbie Schwartz</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/BrendaJoWong">Brenda Wong</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/denlee901">Dennis Lee</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/hyungleeTX">Hyung Lee</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/jodi.y.chung">Jodi Yin Chung</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/tinason83">Christina Son</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/stan.chang.963">Stan Chang</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/jenjen616">Jennifer Lin</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/zanetaloh">Zaneta Loh</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/jeremychu">Jeremy Chu</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/BVLtexas">Benjamin Lam</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10125763">Joshua On</a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10125763">g</a></li> <li><a href="fb.com/curiousliz">Liz Lin</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.reyes-chow.com/">Bruce Reyes-Chow</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I found out after the initial query that the questioner was more interested in church influencers (pastors and professors) rather than all Christian leaders in all kinds of vocations. Fair enough. So I&#8217;ve moved Chinese-American Christian leaders who are not religious professionals to this list below:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://larissalam.com">Larissa Lam</a>, Award-winning singer and songwriter, talk show host, <a href="http://larissalam.com/larissa-lam-tedx-talk/">TEDx speaker</a>, and more</li> <li><a href="http://onlywon.com/">Baldwin Chiu</a>, Rapper &#8220;Only Won&#8221;; and with her wife Larissa Lam, made a short-film <a href="http://www.findingcleveland.com">Finding Cleveland</a> that will have <a href="https://www.facebook.com/FindingCleveland/posts/1989678991308668">a sequel as a full-length documentary</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.nikolelim.com">Nikole Lim</a>, speaker and educator on leveraging dignity through the restorative art of storytelling</li> <li><a href="https://www.jennyhyang.com">Jenny Yang</a>, SVP of Advocacy and Policy at <a href="https://www.worldrelief.org/leadership-team/">World Relief</a> and Co-Author of <em><a href="http://amzn.to/2znjsA9">&#8220;Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion &amp; Truth in the Immigration Debate&#8221;</a></em></li> <li><a class="profileLink" dir="ltr" href="https://www.facebook.com/YuzhanHong" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-hovercard="/ajax/hovercard/hovercard.php?extragetparams=%7B%22hc_location%22%3A%22ufi%22%7D">Yuzhan Hong</a>, Advocate for justice, especially women&#8217;s rights, and blogger at <a href="http://feministasiandad.com">feministasiandad.com</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/grace.linys">Grace Esther Liao</a></li> </ul> <p>If you noticed there were names listed above without any description, that&#8217;s because I haven&#8217;t had the time or energy to find out who they are or they&#8217;re not findable on the internet. You may also have observed that there&#8217;s a wide range of what people consider to be influential.</p> <p>Did you find this list helpful? Do you know of others? For those without descriptions, would you describe how they&#8217;ve been influential? Please add a comment. Thank you.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/list-influential-chinese-american-christian-leaders/">A List of Influential Chinese-American Christian Leaders</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=h6pVx7TiTW8:8rJBtpheS5M:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=h6pVx7TiTW8:8rJBtpheS5M: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/h6pVx7TiTW8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> FIGHTING NEGRO SUPREMACY http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/11/fighting-negro-supremacy.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:c2911275-a0bb-0dd8-7920-2273cc783f06 Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:49:00 -0600 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 14.0pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: large;"> Every time African Americans seem to ask for their rights, or protest against injustice, or gain some political, educational, or economic footing there are those who see their gain as a loss for white people.&nbsp; There is such a hysterical fear among some whites that any gain for African Americans is seen not simply as an achieving of their rights as full citizens but as a “win” over white people, as a step toward actual &nbsp;“Negro” supremacy.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I am reading (listening) to a great biography of Ulysses S. Grant by Ron Chernow.&nbsp; Surely this must be a book that revisionist historians of the Civil War and Reconstruction are going to hate.&nbsp; One of the things that jumped out to me in the book was the citing of historic quotes from those who opposed the implementation of the 14th &amp; 15<sup>th</sup>Amendments to the Constitution. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Some folks actually used the phrase “Negro Supremacy” to describe what was happening in the country during Reconstruction.&nbsp; This is the time when 4 million freed slaves went from being counted as 3/5 of a human being for Congressional representation to being counted as full citizens.&nbsp; Black people were to be given the full protection of the law, they were allowed the right to vote, and to run for office.&nbsp; Those Confederates who would not admit defeat attempted to do everything they could to prevent black people making use of their rights.&nbsp; The origins of the Klu Klux Klan came from this time and it was a time of terrorism, violence, and intimidation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; It is interesting that the Southern states were allowed to increase their Congressional representation by counting black folks as full persons (they gained 40 extra seats) but did not intend for black folks to be treated as equals.&nbsp; This was a perverse outcome of Reconstruction and made it harder for the Republicans (the party of the North and abolitionists) to continue the reforms of Reconstruction.&nbsp; Virulent racism kept resisting any substantive change to the status of black folk (except as legal slaves) by wailing over “carpet-baggers” and injury to State Rights and racial fear of what free black might do to white women.&nbsp; White Republicans were assassinated, black men were slaughtered, schools that Northern missionaries had come down to build for freed black people were burned.&nbsp; A reign of terror took hold until President Grant could break it through a targeted prosecution of Klan leaders.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; The reelection of President Grant in 1972 was the freest election for black voters, something they would not enjoy and not to be repeated again until 1968.&nbsp; So powerful was racism that it resisted and finally broke the hold of the former abolitionists and Northern Republicans on the reforming and integrating of the South toward a real living out of the Bill of Rights.&nbsp; One hundred years of racial darkness enveloped the South, and a system of Jim Crow segregation was allowed to deny black folks their full rights as American citizens.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the things that comes to light in Chernow’s book is that even some abolitionists gave way to racism.&nbsp; They had advocated and fought for emancipation but were ready to throw away the human rights of people of color and were not ready to count them as equals.&nbsp; This fear of black ascendancy is irrational but it is based on real emotional passion.&nbsp; Most of it is simple fear and pure anger, expressed and practiced as hate. It is a zero sum game way of thinking that if “they” gain “we” must lose.&nbsp; This is as tribal a rivalry as one can find in the world.&nbsp; We are not immune from it today, not in thinking, relating to one another, or in politics.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Full rights, full protection, and full integration into the life of society and the country doesn’t mean anyone has to lose, except in someone’s preconceived ideas of what a society or country should look like.&nbsp; This fear of “Negro Supremacy” continues to prevent white folks putting themselves into the shoes of people of color when they are profiled, treated unjustly by authorities, treated differently in schools, courts, or employment opportunities.&nbsp; Racism prevents empathy and without empathy we can’t achieve unity. With unity our whole country prospers.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; For too long children have been lied to about the time of Reconstruction, lied to about campaigns of racial violence, lied to about the mechanization's&nbsp;of racist politicians to dismantle the achievements of the Civil War, and about the sacrifice of both white and black people who lived and came down to the South to realize those achievements.&nbsp; Many of them were wonderful Christians who took their lives into the hands, and gave up their lives, for the glory of Christ and for the freedom of men. We all need to resist “zero-sum-game” thinking when it comes to treating people with dignity and standing for their rights.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">END.</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div> Influential English-Speaking Chinese-American Pastors http://djchuang.com/2017/influential-english-speaking-chinese-american-pastors/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:801719c4-c3f2-4e10-049a-7f2e5c53a032 Sat, 04 Nov 2017 17:21:15 -0500 <p>This question came into my inbox, &#8220;Who are the influential Chinese-American (English-speaking) Christian leaders?&#8221; Frankly, the question stumped me. My hunch is the question behind the question might be to find conference speakers that would draw a crowd. And that&#8217;s just how it goes with the business side of conferences, that keynote speakers are often [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/influential-english-speaking-chinese-american-pastors/">Influential English-Speaking Chinese-American Pastors</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <p>This question came into my inbox, &#8220;Who are the influential Chinese-American (English-speaking) Christian leaders?&#8221; Frankly, the question stumped me.</p> <p>My hunch is the question behind the question might be to find conference speakers that would draw a crowd. And that&#8217;s just how it goes with the business side of conferences, that keynote speakers are often selected based the quality of the content delivery and how much of an attendance they can help draw.</p> <p>Yes, there is the best-selling author and popular speaker Francis Chan, and he&#8217;s well-recognized in mainstream evangelicalism. Some have <a href="http://natejlee.com/francis-chans-ethnic-identity-journey/">questions about whether or not his ethnic identity makes a difference</a> in his theology or spirituality. Someone else mentioned that Francis has been significantly influenced by the house churches in China, while he currently develops <a href="http://wearechurch.com">a church planting network</a> in the San Francisco Bay area.</p> <p>2 others I have seen on the Christian conference circuit: <a href="http://kenfongpodcast.com">Ken Fong</a> and <a href="https://brucefong.wordpress.com">Bruce Fong</a> (<del>no relation</del> second cousins.) Ken Fong is very conversant about Asian American cultures, well expressed in his <a href="http://asianamericapodcast.com">Asian American podcast</a>; I don&#8217;t know how Bruce navigates the Asian Amerian issues of contextualization.</p> <p><em>[bulleted list added after initial post]</em></p> <ul> <li>Steve Chin, Senior Pastor of <a href="http://bcec.net">Boston Chinese Evangelical Church</a></li> <li>Gideon Tsang, Pastor of <a href="http://voxveniae.com/">Vox Veniae</a> (Austin TX), featured in <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/us/breaking-the-evangelical-mold-at-an-austin-church.html">NY Times article</a></li> <li>David Hsu, Senior Pastor of <a href="https://www.whcchome.org">West Houston Chinese Church</a></li> <li><a href="http://vivianmabuni.com">Vivian Mabuni</a>, speaker &amp; author of <em><a href="http://amzn.to/2hKSysu">Warrior in Pink</a></em>, cancer survivor</li> <li>[update 11/8/17] See this <a href="http://djchuang.com/2017/list-influential-chinese-american-christian-leaders/">List of Influential Chinese-American Christian Leaders</a>, compiled from <a href="https://www.facebook.com/djchuang/posts/10155229283133915">Facebook comments</a></li> </ul> <p>Anyone else?</p> <p>How would you answer the question: <strong>who are the influential Chinese-American (</strong>English-speaking)<strong> Christian leaders?</strong></p> <p>###</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Aside: In the mainstream evangelical context, race and ethnicity are often rarely discussed. The prevalent thinking is that ethnicity doesn&#8217;t matter when it comes to theology, using a &#8220;color-blind&#8221; theory of one&#8217;s personal identity, how our spiritual identity in Christ is preeminent and all that matters. While some Asian American Christians subscribe to a color-blind evangelical faith, recent chatter has surfaced systemic issues and problems with the whiteness of evangelicalism, like these:  Raymond Chang&#8217;s &#8220;<a href="https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/october/open-letter-to-john-piper-on-white-evangelicalism-and-multi.html">Open Letter to John Piper on White Evangelicalism and Multiethnic Relations</a>: Lecrae, Truth&#8217;s Table, and an Asian American ministry leader&#8221; and <a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/october/response-to-ray-changs-open-letter-to-john-piper.html">&#8220;More on Leaving White Evangelicalism: A Response from Bryan Loritts</a>: People of color need to establish our own conferences, organizations, and networks.&#8221; (both on The Exchange blog at Christianity Today)</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">And you know what? The issue of faith and race will not go away, so I do sincerely pray that the right people in positions of power and influence will carve out a better way forward.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com/2017/influential-english-speaking-chinese-american-pastors/">Influential English-Speaking Chinese-American Pastors</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=MP4ARhMvV0c:NZelwu-xKmM:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=MP4ARhMvV0c:NZelwu-xKmM: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/MP4ARhMvV0c" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How Do You Know If Something Smells of the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of the Age? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/teen-spirit-draft/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:93d73b4d-8f29-1f2a-655d-a5cf9f2318c3 Thu, 26 Oct 2017 18:43:46 -0500 TRENDS IN EVANGELICAL SOCIAL ACTIVISM http://randysrag.blogspot.com/2017/10/this-is-attempt-tohighlight-and-maybe.html Randy's Rag urn:uuid:75442fe1-a932-8899-bb44-562d58ebdc7f Tue, 24 Oct 2017 16:28:57 -0500 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">This is an attempt to highlight<i>,</i> and maybe analyze, some of the trends I see in that part of the Christian community that is focused on urban, poverty, cross-cultural (ethnic and racial), justice, and community development issues.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; By way of full disclosure I am a Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) minister, which means I am a Reformed Biblical conservative, and in my case, white.&nbsp; I am also married to an African American woman, and a member of the Christian Community Development Association. I have been involved in urban, multi-ethnic churches and ministry since I was saved as a child.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Since I have tried to participate in conferences and events dedicated to a Christian approach to the issues mentioned above I have seen various trends and developments in philosophy, theology, and personalities.&nbsp;&nbsp; Obviously all institutions and movements are affected by their leadership and the personalities involved within them, and since people grow old, grow different, or pass away, leadership changes within movements and organizations.&nbsp; This is inevitable, and movements and organizations often struggle to remain committed to their first principles after their initial leadership changes.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; All of the organizations and movements that I have been involved with, or have observed, are affected to some degree by national and general cultural trends.&nbsp; There is both a desire to be relevant to those trends, and a corresponding resistance to some trends that seek to negatively affect the value system of these movements and organizations.&nbsp; They have varied success in each direction.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I am a member of one of the most conservative Christian denominations in the USA in what some might identify as the Evangelical camp.&nbsp; It is not the same as fundamentalism, not simply nor solely evangelical, but Reformed, Covenantal, and Confessional.&nbsp; That might be a difference meaningless to anyone outside of our own circles, but it does set certain boundaries for our members.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One reason I am involved with various conferences and movements is because I believe the Kingdom of God is larger than my denomination.&nbsp; I have my theological convictions, and my willingness to love, befriend, and fellowship with other believers doesn’t mean I have abandoned my convictions.&nbsp; Sometimes my ability to fellowship and cooperate with other believers depends on their willingness not to demand that I surrender my convictions.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Discerning when there is a uncompromising conflict or knowing when I must separate myself from others due to conviction is sometimes both difficult and painful.&nbsp; It is fairly easy to know when I hear something I don’t like, but that is not the same as a reason for separation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As I seek to participate in and enjoy the fellowship of the wider Body of Christ, (especially among those who care deeply about those things which have been too long ignored and even resisted by some of our American Christian forefathers), I know that I need God’s wisdom and love to maintain a faithful witness to the things I believe while working among those with whom I sometimes disagree.&nbsp; My hope is that those believers who disagree with me would also seek for a godly tenaciousness in loving me, and being patient with me and those who believe as I do.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; &nbsp;Too many of my brethren tend to set very narrow lines to discern who is a brother, who is a friend, and are fairly quick to separate from fellowship.&nbsp; This is true from both the “left” and the “right” in my experience.&nbsp; I understand that sometimes there is no choice, and sometimes it is just not worth the effort to keep trying to build bridges when the other side keeps trying to burn them down. Sometimes that separation is formal and comes by declaration, more immediately it happens from non-participation and the ending of communication.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; I am committed to seeking to obey the Word of God and I take the prayer of Jesus (thus realizing what his will is concerning me) seriously when He says in John 17:21, “I in them and you in me.&nbsp; May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”&nbsp; The Scripture also says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Unity, peace, and love between the brethren are high values for the Lord Jesus, and thus they must be high values for his followers, which I believe includes me.&nbsp; I have to keep trying to pursue these values. Among the Christian social activists I know, and among whom I include myself (and I realize that even as I use the phrase, “social activist” some of my conservative brethren have already drawn a line to distance themselves from me), there are various trends that can cause real concern, misunderstanding, if not clear distinction.&nbsp; Sometimes that difference is fairly drastic.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><b><span style="font-size: large;">BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The most foundational difference would be an old argument in theology and that is the struggle between a liberal interpretation of the Bible versus a conservative one.&nbsp; The evangelical social activists I am concerned about in this regard would still call themselves Bible believers, but their view of Scripture might not be consistently high, and I think some of them don’t realize that their interpretation of the Scriptures comes from a liberal interpretation of it and not a conservative one.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Please understand that these words, “conservative” and “liberal” are a bit different than the political meaning of these words.&nbsp; Some would consider me a social liberal in some things while I would claim I am seeking to be consistently conservative in my interpretation of Scripture.&nbsp; My advocacy of justice and mercy are not driven by social liberal politics but by a conservative reading of Jesus, the Torah, and the prophets.&nbsp; My hatred and resistance to racism doesn’t come from liberalism, Marxism, or current fads, but from the commandment to love my neighbor as myself and the Biblical injunction to hate evil.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; So, when my brothers and sisters seem to pick and choose what Scripture they want to obey, or choose to ignore, then I see a failure to keep the Word of God in high regard.&nbsp; One of the marks of that failure is a very convenient way of interpreting Scripture culturally, so that the things that smack in the face of current philosophical and political trends, and cause a bit of generational embarrassment, are softened, ignored, or changed in their meaning. The most obvious examples fall in the realm of sexual-gender issues.&nbsp; It seems to be getting harder to tell the difference between a theological liberal and an intellectually sloppy Evangelical.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><b><span style="font-size: large;">FEMINISM&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp; The power and impact of feminism has hit the Evangelical church and the wider Christian church hard.&nbsp; In the world of evangelical social activism there are some who assume the everyone who is keeping socially and culturally current believes that women should be accepted as pastors and preachers, that this is progress, and that those who are opposed to it are not only failing to grow but may actually be oppressors of women.&nbsp; The ordination and elevation of women preachers is not consigned to liberals alone, as some Pentecostal and prosperity preachers are women.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; My participation in evangelical social activist circles becomes offensive to feminist adherents when I use male focused language and seem to imply that only men are preachers.&nbsp; They are correct in picking up the implication. Though they have little patience with my convictions they seem to expect that I will support women preaching and participation in leadership in the events we commonly attend and support. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I recognize there are denominations of Bible believing Christians that ordain women, and I can fellowship and interact with those women in various settings.&nbsp; Usually this happens in an “association” but not in a denomination, nor in a worship service provided in my church or denomination.&nbsp;&nbsp; This is by Scriptural conviction on our part.&nbsp; Advocates of women preachers would find it hard to be happy in my denominational circles, and might not want to even recognize the legitimacy of our convictions.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;However, the trend I see in some events is a desire to have more women preachers, even when some fail to preach very well (some women are amazingly gifted communicators so this has nothing to do with innate ability). Sometimes this whole area is fudged a bit by referring to a “plenary speaker.”&nbsp; I have no problem with women being plenary speakers; some of them have great things to say and I need to learn from them.&nbsp; It is the assumption of the preaching office that causes concern.&nbsp; The problem is not women, the problem goes back to the interpretation of Scripture and with a lack of consistency on that part too many things begin to shift in Biblical application.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;I don’t see very much concern, by leaders in Evangelical social action settings, for those of us who don’t really believe women should be up there preaching.&nbsp; I believe they mistakenly think that justice for women requires this elevation of women that conservatives believe God designed for men. The desire for gender diversity has sometimes trumped content.&nbsp; As with several of these trends this tends to drive conservative believers away from participation as they seek other venues where they will not have this conflict.&nbsp; I am not sure if social activists Christians even know that there are many Christians who no longer attend their events.&nbsp; I don’t think this difference is going to end anytime soon, and for some it will never end.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><b><span style="font-size: large;">EVANGELISM AND THE LOCAL CHURCH<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the things I don’t hear very often from Evangelical social action folks is the necessity of conversion, which implies the necessity of evangelism, and the irreplaceable part the local church plays for true community and cultural change. Corresponding to those necessities then is an imperative to plant wholistic, Gospel preaching and Spirit empowered neighborhood loving congregations in the communities of the poor. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In fact, one might misunderstand some of the economic community development rhetoric and believe that God is already in the communities of the poor, we need to listen to the poor and not tell them anything, and that by utilizing their assets and their own ideas they can change their own communities.&nbsp; Well, maybe it is not a misunderstanding; maybe this is what some Evangelical social activists think.&nbsp; Of course God is already among the poor.&nbsp; He is already everywhere.&nbsp; Yes, the poor have resources and they need to use their own assets and take ownership of their own development.&nbsp; Yes, many outside forces have coalesced to create poor communities and they are not simply the result of the moral or immoral personal choices of the poor. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; However, it is a denial of the Gospel and the entire missionary history of the Church to think that any individual or community, poor or otherwise, doesn’t need a spiritual conversion into a life of discipleship.&nbsp; It is also a denial of reality that those captured by their sins among the poor don’t need to be set from them; that freedom cannot happen by social improvement.&nbsp; Does the preaching of the cross matter?&nbsp; If it does then it doesn’t matter as a historical anachronism, as something we Evangelicals used to do, or did once in a neighborhood.&nbsp; It matters just as much today, and will matter as much tomorrow so as to be a constant dynamic.&nbsp; The proclamation of the cross is as much needed today, for everyone, but especially among the poor as it has ever been.&nbsp; The commission of Jesus is still in force.&nbsp; Any Evangelical social activist who doesn’t believe in the necessity of preaching the cross and need for people to be saved is simply and only a social activist, but not truly an Evangelical, and without the Gospel his or her social activism is inherently limited in power.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; Can people socially, culturally, and economically change without believing the Gospel message?&nbsp; Certainly they can.&nbsp; I don’t think one has to be a Christian to stop being a drug addict, or a gangster, or an alcoholic; though many have found deliverance from these things through Christ. One doesn’t have to be a Christian to value education, finish school, and learn a good work ethic.&nbsp; One doesn’t have to become a Christian to learn how to manage their money and gain financial literacy, or to value marriage, or to raise children with love and boundaries.&nbsp; I think Christianity gives a person a great foundation, and reasons, to pursue such things but these things don’t require Christianity, and they are not the same as Christianity.&nbsp; This was the great mistake of 19<sup>th</sup>century missions with their so-called Christian civilizing of the savage. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; However, real character change cannot happen without the Gospel.&nbsp; A real understanding of purpose and identity cannot happen without the Gospel.&nbsp; An assurance of the forgiveness of one’s sins cannot happen without the Gospel.&nbsp; A hope of heaven cannot be real without the Gospel.&nbsp; The power to love neighbors and even enemies, and to come together as a church community in love, cannot happen without the Gospel.&nbsp; I don’t want to give up either side of the challenge, that of preaching and believing the Gospel and that of wholistic love that provides resources for communities to achieve justice and human flourishing.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><b><span style="font-size: large;">THE NON-PROFIT VERSUS THE LOCAL CHURCH<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp; In line with this need to remember the Gospel is the unfortunate abandonment of recognizing the need for good churches, really good churches, to be planted among the poor.&nbsp; I am in favor of non-profit, or for profit, social enterprises and ministries to help in the work of social and economic community development.&nbsp; It is just not enough in and of itself, nor is it the main agenda of Jesus, nor is it the self-governing and self-perpetuating organism God created to be the most grass roots kind of an organization.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Churches don’t simply exist to supply funds to non-profit Christian ministries, non-profits exist to help accomplish the wholistic work of the Church.&nbsp; It takes great leadership, and loving cooperative leaders, to get these ministries to work in concert and mutual support.&nbsp; Far too many well-meaning non-profits have lost their connection to the church and to the Gospel.&nbsp; Many of them do really good work, but they are not the local church.&nbsp; Obviously the common pastor who is not radicalized by a Gospel love of the poor, or a God given thirst for justice, will seek to “have” church, but fail to do the really hard mission work of building a local congregation in places of need.&nbsp; These kind of pastors are hard to find, but God still raises them up, and we need thousands more of them.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><b><span style="font-size: large;">ETHNIC JUSTICE VERSUS RECONCILIATION<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Another dynamic within Evangelical social activist circles is the discussion of how we should deal with racism, with white privilege, with institutions that wittingly or unwittingly support white advantage.&nbsp; Even the terminology is problematic.&nbsp; Proclaiming white supremacy as the enemy, with its historic horrific icons of the KKK, the Nazi party, and violence without a differentiation between the average and often clueless white person who lives in the luxury of white privilege produces misunderstanding and alienation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The growing antagonism of people of color who have become frustrated with Evangelical institutions and their slowness of change, or resistance to it, or the deafness of white evangelicals to the pain of those who continue to suffer the brunt of police brutality, profiling, over-policing, and mass incarceration has given a seeming new incentive for racial separation.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As the commission on race riots once pointed out anger is often a symptom of improved conditions, due to heightened expectations married to a rising frustration.&nbsp;&nbsp; There is also a feeling of power, a self-confidence to not care for the feelings of those perceived as the problem.&nbsp; So language because more strident, and declarations are made, and division is seen as acceptable.&nbsp; The reality and problem of racism in America has created a long history of division and separateness, sometimes by overt racism by white people, and sometimes by reaction from people of color.&nbsp; The black church is a creation of white racism, at least if one remembers the story of Bishop Richard Allen and the African Methodist Episcopal church.<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; Many of these voices of frustration are not from people of color who grew up in segregated churches but by many who have been reached, educated, mentored, and supported by white evangelical institutions and churches.&nbsp; They have experienced these institutions from the inside, even as these institutions were, in and by their conscious effort, trying to be less "white."&nbsp; Too slow, too late, and still un-woke can make the Evangelical experience hard to take; especially when Evangelicals take political actions that seem monolithic while being racially obtuse if not hostile.</span></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: large;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; How Can Men Support #MeToo, Too? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/6130/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:0e204570-2961-a359-b76f-4aacebfa176a Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:43:50 -0500 Jesus Is More Than a Great Moral Teacher—He’s the Moral Order. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/jesus-great-moral-teacher-hes-moral-order/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:ca0da0ae-9556-d07d-2486-b9d2a5e4cdff Sat, 21 Oct 2017 18:44:52 -0500 Do You Miss Democracy—and George W. Bush—Yet? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/miss-democracy-george-w-bush-yet/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:b8cc8fd5-7cf0-235f-267c-6998bbd3b797 Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:45:32 -0500 What Boxes Do You Cross in the Attempt to Gain Eternal Life? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/following-christ-draft/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:5755ac43-c9b7-b264-4943-98576f3c52cb Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:46:26 -0500 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> How Much Would Bonhoeffer Value the Values Voter Summit? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/how-much-would-bonhoeffer-value-the-values-voter-summit/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:de06e8a8-2b3d-e233-b125-a6ccdcd66258 Sat, 14 Oct 2017 18:47:19 -0500 Many of Us Need to Disabuse Ourselves of the Notion that Widespread Abuse of Women Is a Thing of the Past http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/many-us-need-disabuse-notion-widespread-abuse-women-thing-past/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:201098dc-3408-79b5-b4c1-e24350eca4fc Thu, 12 Oct 2017 18:49:56 -0500 Columbus Day and the Myths that Make Us http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/6080/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:82c80c04-9ab9-d25d-43ce-9c9024f3762e Mon, 09 Oct 2017 18:50:58 -0500 How Do You Build Relational Bridges in the Midst of Conflict? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/build-relational-bridges-midst-conflict/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:c3a7fe65-a582-9739-0496-fb051bc9bf40 Fri, 06 Oct 2017 18:52:15 -0500 My New Blog Demystifying Prayer http://djchuang.com/2017/my-new-blog-demystifying-prayer/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:eef07365-226e-0dec-c975-cdb90c3ef310 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="http://djchuang.com/2017/my-new-blog-demystifying-prayer/">My New Blog Demystifying Prayer</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://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 354w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/demystifying-banner.png?resize=300%2C107 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="http://djchuang.com/2017/my-new-blog-demystifying-prayer/">My New Blog Demystifying Prayer</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=OX6HDH0rXSE: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=OX6HDH0rXSE: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/OX6HDH0rXSE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> How Do We Guard Against Raising the Red Flag and White Flag Over National Anthem Protests and Gun Violence? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uncommongodcommongood/2017/10/white-flag-red-flag/ The Works of Paul Louis Metzger urn:uuid:bba5aaa0-cd4d-ce0c-04cb-3ff8e78555a6 Wed, 04 Oct 2017 18:52:58 -0500 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 http://djchuang.com/2017/decline-tim-keller-wiki-website/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:03c7603c-2744-b55a-5eba-381b374e34f7 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="http://djchuang.com/2017/decline-tim-keller-wiki-website/">The Decline of the Tim Keller Wiki website</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://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.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 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-site.png?resize=300%2C212 300w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-site.png?resize=768%2C543 768w, https://i1.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-site.png?w=1039 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 870w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-statistics.png?resize=300%2C242 300w, https://i2.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/timkeller-info-statistics.png?resize=768%2C621 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="http://djchuang.com/2017/decline-tim-keller-wiki-website/">The Decline of the Tim Keller Wiki website</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=yJI1rOb6e2s: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=yJI1rOb6e2s: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/yJI1rOb6e2s" 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 http://djchuang.com/2017/houston-churches-responding-to-hurricane-harvey/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:6d4fa2dc-2ec8-c4ae-c9b2-fb929ae7b21d 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="http://djchuang.com/2017/houston-churches-responding-to-hurricane-harvey/">Houston Churches Responding to Hurricane Harvey</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://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 http://djchuang.com/2017/list-asian-american-theologians/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:f982bfe6-702d-5b67-58ae-debcf7897552 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="http://djchuang.com/2017/list-asian-american-theologians/">A List of Asian American Theologians</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://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="http://djchuang.com/2017/list-asian-american-theologians/">A List of Asian American Theologians</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=MaQ7diixyMQ: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=MaQ7diixyMQ: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/MaQ7diixyMQ" 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 http://djchuang.com/2017/10-common-causes-hopelessness/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:d3b8e7ac-7701-952a-910a-4f7b344a1912 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="http://djchuang.com/2017/10-common-causes-hopelessness/">10 Most Common Causes of Hopelessness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://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="http://djchuang.com/2017/10-common-causes-hopelessness/">10 Most Common Causes of Hopelessness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=_31IlC_0GH8: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=_31IlC_0GH8: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/_31IlC_0GH8" 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 http://djchuang.com/2017/really-change-lives-people/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:d100da39-2c9a-aff0-817e-b8aeae75486c 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="http://djchuang.com/2017/really-change-lives-people/">How to Really Change the Lives of People</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://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="http://djchuang.com/2017/really-change-lives-people/">How to Really Change the Lives of People</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=A_o5ccqnkeg:-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=A_o5ccqnkeg:-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/A_o5ccqnkeg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> 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> 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> Erasing the Shame of Mental Illness http://djchuang.com/2017/erasing-shame-mental-illness/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:097e0d71-2344-dd27-8604-48b2bfcb2b86 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="http://djchuang.com/2017/erasing-shame-mental-illness/">Erasing the Shame of Mental Illness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://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 1005w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/workshop-honor-shame-conf-djchuang.png?resize=300%2C168 300w, https://i0.wp.com/djchuang.com/c/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/workshop-honor-shame-conf-djchuang.png?resize=768%2C431 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="http://djchuang.com/2017/erasing-shame-mental-illness/">Erasing the Shame of Mental Illness</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=q8NiFTvTgzI: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=q8NiFTvTgzI: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/q8NiFTvTgzI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Great Music from The Piano Guys, 2Cellos, Simply Three, Brooklyn Duo http://djchuang.com/2017/great-music-piano-guys-2cellos-simply-three-brooklyn-duo/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:15c6f259-eb4e-33c1-35d3-906783dfb6b2 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="http://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="http://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="http://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="http://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=S0_ySr820ec: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=S0_ySr820ec: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/S0_ySr820ec" 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> 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>