Saturday, December 30, 2006
I've seen the movie Blood Diamond.
Very good film - several scenes and challenges for me:
1. how I live affects other people in the world. I cannot continue to live a luxurious life, eating until I'm over-filled while others starve. It isn't right. I'm constantly challenged on how our lifestyle choices in the Western world affect the developing world and the people there. I can choose to live another way.
2. I've met many refugees and find it hard to comprehend their stories of survival and violence and pain... I need to committ to being a friend to the 'foreigners' who are in our land... they need/deserve some/lottsa love.
3. The scene where the Father finds his son (who has been taken by the rebel forces and trained into a child killing machine)... and he talks to him about who he really is (not who they have made him to be)... is essentially the GOSPEL... I want to hear my Father's voice in the midst of the war telling me who I am... I'm sick of the enemy trying to convince me I'm something horrible instead of someone good.
Let's listen to our Father.
That's a few anyway - it's loaded with stuff...
even the whole subplot - can a bad man become a good man through one act of love?
Greater love has noone than this - a man lay down his life for a friend..
Monday, December 25, 2006
So, I get a Christmas greeting from my friend Jonathan (who is a very funny and holy guy!).
It says this:
OK SANTA, let's see YOU rise from the grave!
Good point. It reminds me of a conversation I had recently with my four year old son.
It was snowing (very unusual in Vancouver) and he was excited because he said when it snows it's time for Santa to come.
I said, "yeah - but Santa is just a story - it's Jesus that's real."
And my son looked at me, smiled and said,
"But I thought Jesus made Santa to give us good gifts."
Hmm. He may have a point.
Let's celebrate with great joy.
Jesus is alive. Santa is a fun story. And gifts are cool. Peace on earth - and soon.
Merry Christmas and Holy Incarnation.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
The mystery of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding.
I was pondering the realities of the incarnation tonight in The War Room (a place our community prays non-stop).
I realized how easy it is to miss the simplicity of the message of Christ's birth.... Immanuel - God WITH us.
Why does it seem like gravity pulls us to worship Him from afar... when the whole point is He CAME NEAR... let's really draw near to Him this Christmas. I want the Incarnation to matter... not just in theory - but in life. What difference would it make in my life - who can even imagine. hmm.
He became what we are that he might make us what he is.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Went and saw the Nativity Story tonight... good movie. I am always amazed at how 'pretty' we make the Nativity out to be... I think we are afraid of messing up the beauty of the event... in the meantime I've been struck by a few things about the Christmas story this year:
1. Elizabeth. I'm understanding with fresh eyes that Mary was able to confirm the Word of God through Elizabeth and her faith and witness. This is key in our faith - we need each other to confirm the Word... who is confirming Jesus in you?
2. Joseph. Clearly the most underrated of all Christmas characters.. this movie does him credit - and it is a humbling experience to be overshadowed by your wife (espeically considering her age/experience and credibility).
3. Mary. What my friend Aaron refers to as the 'catholic boogeyman' of Christmas. :-) Truly, a wise girl who understood the upsidedown realities of the coming Kingdom. Her magnificant is stunning. I love her tenacity and willingness to embrace the pain before and after the child is born.
Well, here's to a deeper Christmas. God help us grasp the power in the incarnation. Jesus in me - the hope of Glory.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Who said kettles can't be fun.
Check out these solid singing warriors of Christmas warfare!
Anything for Jesus. :-)
Plus, Olivia looks fierce in her retro-army gear... Darren - nice shot... and we thought Australians weren't big on hockey (you have officially assimilated into Canadian culture).
George Scott Railton is a HERO.
here's a quick excerpt from his article published in this month's Journal of Aggressive Christianity (also linked for your convenience) on women and preaching:
"If the Salvation Army ceased to exist to-day, it would have amply justified its past career, and covered its originator with glory, if only because it has brought forward again to the light that chosen instrumentality of the kingdom of heaven, Female Ministry, and allowed of the demonstration of its utility and power — its Divine right."
OH that we would live up to what we have already attained!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Nobel for anti-poverty pioneers
Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh and the Grameen Bank have been jointly awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr Yunus, an economist, founded the bank, which is one of the pioneers of micro-credit lending schemes for the poor, especially women, in Bangladesh.
Mr Yunus set up the bank in 1976 with just $27 from his own pocket. Thirty years on, the bank has 6.6 million borrowers, of which 97% are women, according to the Grameen website.
Mr Yunus, 66, said he would use the 10m Swedish kronor ($1.35m, £730,000) prize money to "find more innovative ways" to help the poor launch businesses.
The winners were revealed by the Nobel committee chairman, Ole Danbolt Mjoes, in Oslo.
Mr Mjoes said Mr Yunus had shown himself to be a leader who had managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people.
He and the bank were being honoured "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below", Mr Mjoes said.
He said the bank's work in creating opportunities for large numbers of people to get out of poverty created the conditions for sustainable peace.
"Development such as this is useful in human rights and democracy," said Mr Mjoes.
Story from BBC NEWS:
I'M SURE MOST OF US HAVE MORE THAN $27 TO TRANSFORM THE WORLD. We are invited to be the future... the Kingdom NOW... I'm challenged by Mr. Yunus' example - I want my life to make a difference.
Mr. Yunus believes in a future where his grandchildren will have to visit a 'poverty museum' in order to try and understand how extreme poverty happened in our world at all... I'm not sure a museum will explain it.... why does extreme poverty happen?? What can we do about it... spend you Christmas money on stuff that matters - that's a start!
Check out our friends in Charlotte... great feature article on their work and challenge to follow their lead.
Yeah Rob & Heather! The link takes you to the article on their work in Charlotte... the picture takes you down memory lane to the day they tied the knot in an infamous back alley in Vancouver's downtown eastside.
Love those guys.
Remember to pray for them!
Sweden has led the way in resolve (attitude and political will) to abolish prostitution in their country.
I recently heard Gunilla Ekberg (the women who led the charge as a consultant to the government that created the laws)... and she said you really need two things to change/challenge unjust laws:
1. vision of the future (what is your vision for the future: Christian's have this one down if we buy into the way Jesus taught us to pray: YOUR KINGDOM COME)
2. understanding of oppression (for example - not all choices are equal... power structures etc...)
Based on this, Gunilla led the way for Sweden to change it's laws...
In a nut shell Sweden decided (rightly so) that prostitution is NOT A TRADE it IS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.
They made the buying of 'sex' a hate crime against women. They de-criminalized prostitution itself and provided 'exit' strategies and programs for women caught in it's trap. Sounds like a great idea!! Why don't we (Canada) just adopt the law (they have decreased the number of women working on the streets by 50% at last count)? Good question.
Here's a link on a great article that asks an important question, "Sweden's Prostitution Solution: why hasn't anyone tried this before?"
check it out (click on the URL posted at the top to read the full article).
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Here are some mighty fine warriors that I count it a privilege to fight along side of... this is back in Chicago - last year.
For the record: the warriors were together in Chicago for an Young Adult Training Week-end.
Elaine Gillingham: chief intercessor
Heather Dolby: see post above - powerhouse!
Cory Harrison: author, preacher and great Spirit man (got kicked out/uninvited back - of Chicago for his controversal teach on the Holy Spirit at this event)
Jennifer Ivany: kicking it at London, ON
Melinda Peters: Grand Poombah of GRACE... (tesified with power/taught from experience/stayed on in Chicago for a mission trip - fought hard along side the local warrior there).
Monday, December 18, 2006
Here's something deserving of serious prayer: at the height of a materialistic, greed-based holiday - is there another way to live? We believe there is. This is a picture of a bunch of warriors who have made it their business to contribute to a different way of living... collective agreement that we can live with less so others can live with something... sharing costs, volunteering to work long hours with kids who need intervention, praying for change in the world..
Jeffrey D. Sachs writes in The End of Poverty, "Although introductory economics textbooks preach individualism and decentralized markets, our safety and propsperity depend at least as much on collective decisions to fight disease, promote good science and widespread education, provide critical infrastructure, and act in unison to help the poorest of the poor."
How 'bout getting started on Micah 6:8 as a gift to Jesus this year for Christmas?
Sunday, December 17, 2006
So, I'm sure we've all heard - but perhaps you'd like to see!
Jeni and Regan celebrate their covenant to God through the Salvation Army by confirming another promise to one another.
Marriage - BINDING LOVE!
What a blessing... how do you spell love? C O V E N A N T...