Friday, June 30, 2006

The Sneeze - University of Marilyn

Like alot of web blather, this may or may not be true, but not a bad story of the state of things.

They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would not pray during the commencements----not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.

The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.

The speeches were nice, but they were routine.....until the final spe ech received a standing ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened. All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED!!!!

The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, " GOD BLESS YOU, each and every one of you!" And he walked off stage...

The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found an unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Organic Summer Projects

I just spent an incredible three days with student mission projects in San Jose and Long Beach. Both of these new projects are approaching ministry on a very simple church / organic level - to varying degrees of success. Steve van Diest and company in Long Beach have been at it a bit longer and they have watched students experience the 'detox' of not having everything programmed for them at every moment. In fact, the project schedule is so wide open that some students floundered a bit as things were coming together. But the combination of praying for the lost, identifying your 'oikos' in the community and encouraging each other to step out, has proven to produces some significant fruit in the lives of these young leaders. Many are excited in how clearly they are hearing what the Lord is calling them to. Lead on guys!! It is really cool.

Dennis and Carita (along with Gordon & Angela Ebert and Keoke & Kris King) are just starting. Their group is smaller but they are approaching things very much the same way. Keoke helped them understand G3 (similar to Neil Cole's LTGs) and already a few students have done evangelistic gatherings with new students they have met on campus. There is a real boldness to this group that I believe will yield some interesting reslults - I look forward to what God will do in San Jose.

It was bonus to see Jaeson Ma and his crew one evening while I was there. I called Jaeson to let him know I was standing on his home campus - and lo and behold he was in town. He joined us and the rest of the project for some Ben and Jerry's and good hang time. I love it when teh Lord brings thing together in providential ways.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Missippi's Katrina

Linda and I spent part of the past week with a group of students in Pass Christian MS. The students, 45+, where from 20 different states. They came to MS as part of a Campus Crusade summer project to do relief work, demolition and construction. Paul & Amy Mayer (along with a bunch of other Cru Staff) have done a fantastic job leading this beast. It was one of the most inspirational things I have ever been a part of.

Each day the crew makes their way to from the Library (the place they are staying is the shell of the old Pass Christian Library) to a place a few blocks away where a gentlemen named Randy gives them the days assignments. Of course, many assignments last for more than a day and the students are all over the city making repairs and generally helping out. While we were there we helped gut the home of an 84 year-old man who had not touched the place since the storm (safety tip: Dont open the fridge). My kids worked pretty hard along side 4 students from the University of Toledo. One of the students, Erin, was on her forth trip to the area. There ar a lot of young people doing very similart things - planning their next trip almost as soon as the leave.

The project operates with 4-5 crews focusing on different things around the city. One crew arrives at “God’s Katrina Kitchen” at 4:30am. This food tent is right of the beach on hwy 90 and serves three squares to the workers and residence alike. The food is hot and good and there are great opportunities to minister to whoever shows up.

Paul and Amy and doing a fantastic job. Watching these staff and students work made me feel proud to be part of this organization. We should have hundreds of projects like this – for this truly seems to be the hands and hearts of Christ to those who are hurting.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Two Years Back

This article on Organic Church Movements is from May 2004, but it is worth the read. The article mentions 400 simple churches . . . . I believe that it is now closer to 700. Part of he artricle states:

In 1999, Cole jettisoned his traditional pulpit ministry in Alta Loma, California, to launch Awakening Chapel--founding it literally in the smoking section of The Coffee Tavern in Long Beach, an urban beach town southwest of Los Angeles. In a little more than four years, the crew he gleaned from the smokers' ranks on the patio at The Coffee Tavern has ballooned into a movement of 400 churches in 16 states and 12 countries.

I think one of the key words here is 'jettisoned'. There is a sense in which Neil could have never done what he set out to do without radically changing what he was currently doing. All to often I believe we want to simply adjust what we have and our minor surgery is never enough to truly bring radical change. We may have to kill what is in order to birth what could be.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Largest Enrollment Fall 2005

Here are the numbers for where the big schools started last fall. You can check out the last decade here.

  1. Arizona State 51,612
  2. University of Minnesota 51,175
  3. Ohio State 50,504
  4. University of Texas 49,696
  5. University of Florida 49,693
  6. Michigan State 45,166
  7. Texas A&M 44,910
  8. University of Illinois 41,862
  9. University of Wisconsin 41,447
  10. Penn State 40,709

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Birth of Radical Prayer

So how does a prayer movement begin? Often through a vision God gives to one man. Graham Power is a man like that, and in July 2000 he received a clear and compeling vision from God. Check out the what has happened and what steps are planned next. The basic plan is amazingly simple and masses of people have rallied to the call.

Following the example of the first believers who “joined together constantly” in prayer (Acts 1.14) during the ten days between the ascension of Jesus and the descent of His Spirit on Pentecost ….. the next 5 years until 2010, a simple threefold strategy will be implemented:

1. 10 Days of day-and-night prayer from Ascension Day till the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday.
2. A global day of repentance & prayer on Pentecost Sunday
3. 90 Days of "community blessing"