Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Reign In Us" by Starfield

A new favorite song that I learned a few weeks ago at camp:

"Reign In Us" by Starfield

You thought of us before the world began to breathe
You knew our names before we came to be
You saw the very day we fall away from You
and how desperately we need to be redeemed

Lord Jesus
come lead us
we're desperate for Your touch

Oh great and mighty one
with one desire we come
that You would reign that You would reign in us
we're offering up our lives
a living sacrifice
that You would reign that You would reign in us

Spirit of the living God fall fresh again
come search our hearts and purify our lives
we need Your perfect love we need Your discipline
we're lost unless You guide us with Your light

we cry out for Your life to revive us cry out
for Your love to define us cry out
for Your mercy to keep us
blameless until You return

So reign please reign in us
come purify our hearts
we need Your touch
come cleanse us like a flood
and send us out
so the world may know You reign

You reign in us

Kenny Smith to Brazil

Kenny Smith and Frank Penna left this afternoon with 3 others for a short-term mission trip to Brazil. Kenny will return July 22nd. Kenny's oldest son, Josh, will join him next week. They have several projects they are working on for pastors and leaders with the World Renewal Churches in Brazil. This is Kenny's fifth mission trip to Brazil.

Please pray for Kenny who woke up this morning very sick, with what seems something like a food poisoning event or something. He left nevertheless and is on his way.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Crossroads Loves Bangladesh!

Above 2 pictures: from 6/28 service - Jennifer Phillips, wearing a Bangadeshi sari, made 2 kinds of food to share during the service as 'A Taste of Bangladesh' and 3 other ladies from Crossroads who have gone to Bangladesh shared their testimonies/messages.

Note the Bangladesh flag at the left and though it's impossible to see, a map of Bangladesh at right.
This Sunday, we will conclude our 5-part series: "Don't Ride The Fence!"

From church website:

The current message series at Crossroads is “Don’t Ride the Fence!” This series of messages in May and June will focus on the mission field in Bangladesh and the challenging words Jesus says about what it means to be his follower. At Crossroads, we want to partner closely with the Church in Bangladesh and even ‘own’ it as ‘our’ mission. Come ready to be challenged by the lives of sold out and persecuted believers in Bangladesh who show us what “Don’t Ride the Fence!” really means. Join us in May/June for this series.

If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26-27 NLT

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Following and Praying for Saltshaker Mission Trip

BELOW: Smiling and praying to send off a group today! 7/1It's hard and weird to be on this side of the mission trip: Sending, Praying, Supporting. Nevertheless, this time this is my role.

I'm doing updates for the 250+ friends and family who are prayer supporters for the mission trips this summer: http://saltshakerinfo.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday Evening Boxscore: Yankees 0, Braves 4


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Last Word and the Word After That

Recently (mid-May) I was talking to one of the elders at my church about how much and who we both like to read. I suggested he read the McLaren “A New Kind of Christian” Trilogy. So I wrote out the titles of the three books and just for fun, I wrote my own little impromptu book review (which went something like this).

I highly recommend Brian D. McLaren’s “A New Kind of Christian” trilogy series. Each creative nonfiction novel is based on an imaginary pastor, Dan Poole and his friend Neil Edward Oliver, known as Neo, and a host of other characters. In the first book, Neo introduces Dan to the concepts of postmodernism (which Dan finds as a breath of fresh air in his attempt to understand culture and his place in serving the church and world). The second book, “The Story We Find Ourselves In” deals with science, origins, and the story of God’s love for the world. The third book, “The Last Word and the Word After That” deals with the biblical concepts of hell and the grace of God. Mclaren’s works are excellent, offensive, helpful, shocking, useful, provocative, and down right brilliant (and very confusing).

I finished reading for the second time the 3rd and then the 2nd of these works in mid-May and early June.

“The Last Word and the Word After That: A Tale of Faith, Doubt, and A New Kind of Christianity” (Conclusion to A New Kind of Christian trilogy) by Brian D. McLaren favorite quotes

We have to tell people the good news…that God is even better than we thought, that the gospel is even better and more powerful than the conventional news they’ve been believing and preaching. p.68

“Most of the passages in the New Testament which have been thought by the Church to refer to people going into eternal punishment after they die don’t in fact refer to any such thing. The great majority of them have to do with the way God acts within the world and history. Most of them look back to language and ideas in the Old Testament, which work in quite a different way from that which is normally imagined.” (N.T. Wright, Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship) p.96

…”I’m intrigued by the term post-Protestant. What do you mean by it?”
“Part of it is that we’re done protesting, saying the bad guys over there have it wrong and we here in our little circle have it right. That rhetoric distracts us from spiritual formation, and besides that, it protests injustice.”
There was that word again. “Injustice?” I asked
“Whenever we locate evil ‘over there’ with ‘them,’ we render ourselves innocent and proud. They are of the devil; we are of God. No one is more likely to commit injustice than those than those who think themselves incapable of doing so, those who are certain that God is on their side and vice versa.” p.142

To believe in God is to believe in the salvation of the world. The paradox of our time is that those who believe in God do not believe in the salvation of the world, and those who believe in the future of the world do not believe in God.
Christians believe in the “end of the world,” they expect the final catastrophe, the punishment of others.
Atheists in their turn…refuse to believe in God because Christians believe in him and take no intertest in the world…
Which is the more culpable ignorance?
…I often say to myself that, in our religion, God must feel very much alone: for is there anyone besides God who believes in the salvation of the world? God seeks among us sons and daughters who resemble him enough, who love the world enough sothat he could send them into the world to save it.
-Louis Evely, In the Christian Spirit

Our problem is that we use the idea of hell precisely the way the Pharisees did, exactly the opposite of the way Jesus did. We say everyone not of our elite party—the party of people who believe in certain doctrines, however they’re defined—are excluded and will face not only our rejection in this life but also God’s eternal rejection and scorn forever. We use hell to instill compliance through fear…” p.163

A quote from Desmond Tutu…When the European missionaries came, Tutu said, the Africans had the land and the Europeans had the Bible. The Europeans asked the Africans to close their eyes in prayer. When they said amen and opened their eyes, the Europeans had the land and the Africans had the Bible. But the Africans got the better end of the deal, he concluded, because the Bible then gave them the rationale to ask for their land to be returned and their rights respected. P.167

In my way of telling the gospel, what you call the modern Western way, there were always two key questions:
1. If you were to die tonight, do you know for certain that you’d go to be with God in heaven?
2. If Jesus returned today, would you be ready to meet God?
Jesus is important because he paid for your sins when he died on the cross, so if you die tonight, or if Jesus returns today, you’ll be forgiven and can enter heaven.

But in this new understanding of the gospel, two very different questions come to mind:
1. If you were to live another fifty years, what kind of person would you like to become—and how will you become that kind of person?
2. If Jesus doesn’t return for ten thousand or ten million years, what kind of world do we want to create?
Here Jesus is important because he leads you and forms you to become a better and better person, and the kind of people who truly follow his way will create a good and beautiful world.
The first set of questions, which used to satisfy me, don’t anymore, at least not on their own. I’m realizing that both sets of questions have validity, and the second may be more important. I guess that’s obvious to you, but it’s just dawning on me. P171

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rain n' Run?

Early Saturday morning, I ran a 8K YMCA run called the "Rock n' Run!" The idea was approximately 5 miles of running in northeast Wichita with live rock bands along the way. Well, it rained and rained and rained. It downpoured as we stood there, getting soaked, before the run, waiting for the gun. It rained the whole time we ran (which was actually a welcome relief with the 100 degree heat and high humidity we've been having in Wichita every day!) and rained even harder standing around the finish line! Linda (who is here in Wichita with Andrew and I, this time saying she wants to stay for a month!) waited inside the Y until she saw me cross the finish line. I finished in the top 25%. We did hear a couple of the bands who were able to find shelter from the rain. Race Results: http://runwichita.org/siteadmin/raceresults_file/318.txt

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

more Camp Marathon pictures

Kaleb from Crossroads (Summer Staff @ CQH)

Isn't CQH beautiful? This was a glow in the dark Ultimate Frisbee game. Lot's of fun!
Crossroads Lead Pastor, Jeff Mullen, was one of our best counselors.

One of the cabins with their counselors. (Josh Locke, Crossroads, far right)

Youth Pastor David Frazier on the ostacle course game ("Redneck Playground")

Every day we spent 30 minutes "Serving CQH" - a little road work here

My mother, the every year CQH Camp Nurse since at least 2005 (and once back in like 1993 or so), was brave enough to ride in the intertube obstacle course ride, down a very steep hill and high speeds. Not me!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Camp Marathon

Yep, I did it again. But I promised to learn a new song to rap next year. Do you like really, really big bibles?
The "starting line" of the Camp Marathon at Junior Camp
The starting line of the 2 mile trail run at Senior High camp
Kids Camp (I did around 50 laps on the CQH 'heart road' .3 mile loop plus 10 miles on the county road)