Monday, September 25, 2006

100 Years Ago - Atlanta Race Riot

There are many portions of our history, especially in regard to race, that go untaught and unnoticed.  For most of my own personal history, I have lived as if race was never a big deal.  I knew some bad stuff happened in the past, but that was the past and (I thought) it was probably not that bad because people are generally nice to people.  I was blissfully ignorant in most areas concerning race.  

Over the past few years I have received quite the education.  So, I was shocked on Sunday to learn about a riot that took place in Atlanta 100 years ago this past Thursday.  These are the ugly, but true, aspects of our history that we fail to look at and then fail to learn from.  
There are many accounts of this, but the NPR site does a good job with the whole story.  You can check it out here:

From the NPR Article -
"The modern-day civil-rights movement grew out of the biracial coalitions that were established at that time. Many current leaders will gather this weekend for a series of events commemorating the 1906 race riot, including a memorial service, walking tours and an exhibit called "Red Was the Midnight," at the Martin Luther King Jr. historic site.

"What we hope people will understand is that problems cannot be ignored," says exhibit co-curator Harris. "Negative things that have occurred in the city's history cannot be ignored, and current conditions that are not beneficial to people in the community cannot be ignored. We have to address them."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Financial Stats

61% of Christians in the U.S. Believe that God wants them to be ‘financially prosperous.’

31% believe that if you give money to God, God will bless you with more money.

21% believe that material wealth is a sign of God’s blessing.

From Time / SRBI Public Affairs

Simple Summer

If you have ever logged time at one of our summer leadership development venues (referred to as Summer Projects), you can quickly see that we have these things down to an exact science.  There are variations on the theme, but the basic context of a summer has been the same since the 70’s.  Usually at a resort location (Branson marginally qualifies) with a focus on development and training in personal ministry skills.  Many o life has been changed in the course of a summer like this (including me – Summer of 87 in Myrtle Beach baby!).

This past year I was incredibly proud of some great friends who stepped out to do a little missional change in our normal strategy.  Kevin Dennis, Steve Van Diest, Joanna Meyer and Dennis & Carita Chen all started new organically focused summer projects – in Orlando, Long Beach and San Jose respectively.  Results vary (as with any learning curve) but God did some cool stuff.  Here is a quote from one student from Long Beach.

"God has been teaching me way more than I thought this summer. I originally came with a hardened heart because I was pretty sick of the structure of CRU and the general state of mind. We're all so cliquey and exclusive and sometimes I think we're all about being in CRU instead of being all about the Lord.  I was afraid summer project would be a CRU overload for me and I heard that you're kept super busy on project which really worried me.  Sometimes I go through the day planning Bible studies and doing D-Times and when it's time to go to bed I realize that the Lord was not included.  From the outside it looked like I had it altogether and I thought I had it together half the time too because I wasn't leaving enough room to think in a day to know that I didn't let God in.  Sure my day was filled with "holy things" but that's a lie because I never really asked God what He wanted me to do.  I'm learning is that prayer is everything.  You need to pray to see results and prayer should be my first step in EVERYTHING I do.  it seems like a concept I should have had down a long time ago but for so long I felt like I was wasting my time by praying for someone.  I'm still struggling with that but now I won't hesitate to sit down and prayer over someone who needs it knowing that the Lord will hear my call and answer if it is in His will."

"Man just as I get back into the school life, it is really hard to apply what I've done this summer.  It's strange that its easier to be intentional about ministering to people somewhere else than it is to do that here.  I'm already tempted to get back into my "ministry duties" rather than seeing my life as a ministry and seeking God for every moment.  But the good thing is, I'm trying, and I know with the Lord's help I can do it.  It's just been really hard right now."

"This summer was so incredible for me.  I learned to take the most of every opportunity I had and make it a ministry opportunity.  I am still keeping in contact with 2 of the women at the rescue mission.  Please be praying for them.  The mission received a grant right when we left Long Beach.  This allowed for the Mission to remodel their facility and to better equip it, but it also left the women homeless again for a month.  So, please be praying for them.  I am also keeping in contact with a girl named Mayla. I worked with her at the shoe store.  Since I have left, things at the shoe store have been kinda rough.  They hired a new manager and I hear she is kinda rough and a lot of the employees are getting discouraged and wanting to quit."

I hope we have a lot more opportunities like this.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Back at It

I meant to take an August hiatus from the blog (like an Italian vacation) but 4 weeks turned into 6 and now I am just now getting back at it.

A lot has happened in that time - but leaning toward spiritual movements everywhere by any means is still the watchword, and I am more invigorated by this mission than ever.