Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I don't like the Florida Gators. I really don't like Steve Spurrier and was glad when he left and struggled at Washington and South Carolina.  I was glad when Florida was down for a few years.  Into all of that disdain walked Tim Tebow.  I have been slow to warm up to the all world QB whose on the field performance is only topped by his off the field efforts. He regularly visits prisons, the Philippines and talks to young kids about living with a higher purpose and rising above the temptations and culture that would suck them in.  He is a great leader and inspirer.  Unfortunately whenever anyone leads they attract nay sayers and haters.  It happened to Nehemiah of the Bible. It happens to Presidents as can be seen happening to Barak Obama.  I agree with little that Obama holds to be the right way forward, but I think that there are too many attacks against him and not as much substantive rebuttal.  It's certainly happening to Tim Tebow.
Read this great article about Mr Tebow from ESPN's Pat Forde.   Basically, Tebow puts himself and his faith out there and for that people hate him.  Vehemently.  It is being brought out all the more as word spreads of his Pro-Life Super Bowl Spot.  For example this comment from a similar article on

"WOW, how ironic that a walking, talking abortion of a person is "pro life" (more like pro "lets step back into the dark ages where we controlled women instead of letting them make their own choices when it comes to THEIR bodies"). Thank you Mr Tebow, you have 100% confirmed that abortion should be a choice, it's just a shame your mother didn't do us all a favor and choose to get rid of you. Oh and I couldn't care less what everyones personal choices are, just don't you DARE try to tell me what I should and shouldn't do with my body, this is AMERICA, not IRAN."

Hate.  Spewing.  Crazy.  But he endures the hate and criticism that most 22 year olds would break down and cry from. He knows he aims to please God, and not other people.  He is willing to be humble so that Christ may be glorified. Are we?  Am I?  Am I willing to risk people liking me to do what is right and good?  Am I willing to take a stand? I hope so.  I try, but I'm a people pleaser.  It's easier. It's safer. But we are called to more than an easy and safe life.  Much more.  We are called to glorify our great God in Heaven .  We are called to suffer with him and for him.  Since we belong to him. Hopefully these words of Jesus in JOhn can help bring some comfort and encouragement, to Tim and to us.

16:33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."


I really like Tim Tebow.  I even kinda like the Gator Nation.  But the Old Ball Coach is still on my "punk" list. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.

It's his day, so how do we honor him?  I think it's necessary to remember not only what he stands for, not only the impact he had, or the difference there is today because of him.  No, to truly realize what it takes to change the way people think and act and feel we need to remember what he did, when he did it and how much it cost him.  I've been reading lot's of quotes and things on facebook, many from my friend Dave Zimmerman among others.  These posts got me thinking in a significant way about MLK day.  They got me thinking more about this day than most of the times in the past I've considered this day.  As a result of this extended reflection, the one thing that most impresses me is not only the things that MLK said, but what he did. Sure his words are true and they resonate and they were put accurately and pointedly.  But lot's of people can say things that are true.  Lot's of people can say things eloquently, lot's of people can post things on their facebook status, like I did.  But what most people don't do and aren't willing to do is say those things for the benefit of others. Most people aren't willing to stand up for what is right and what is good if it will cost them anything.  Sure we may send $10 bucks here or there to some charity or worthy cause (Haiti).  But MLK gave up his life, he said those words knowing his time was short.  He stood for truth knowing someone was going to gun him down.  He gave it all that some might have life.

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

So just as we honor MLK today, we are reminded that everyday we need to honor Jesus Christ.  He's the one who gave all that he had so that we could have life, not just a better life on earth, but eternal abundant and lasting life.  Both MLK and Jesus persevered despite the suffering set before them.  What about you and me?

MLK jr's I have a dream speech.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti: Help and Pray

Please Pray for Haiti.  You can watch for some video's at Talking Points Memo of the impact.    You can contribute with one of my favorite local ministries, Feed My Starving Children.  You can pray with our denomination the EFCA these prayers:

Praise God that church planter Pastor Absalon and his wife are alive. Pray for the leaders and members of the EFC church plant in Haiti as they serve in the midst of this crisis. Please pray for:

- the people of Haiti as they experience loss, pain and death.

- the Crisis Response team as they determine how God would have the EFCA respond.... See More

Pray that God would move in this crisis and that people would come to know and trust Him.

Pastor Absalon was missing for a while after the earthquake, another Haitian Chicago Pastor flew into Port Au Prince half an hour before the quake hit.  Please pray for Franco Valdemar as he is ok, but overwhelmed and not able to contact his family in the states with any regularity.

In all of this let's keep our hearts focused on Haiti and what we can do. I'm saddened that the focus of the media has turned away from Haiti and towards Pat Robertson's statements.  I'm also saddened by those statements.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Multiculturalism in the Church

Okay So I was reading this encouraging article in Time about the growing multiculturalism in the largest churches in the US and how this particular phenomena is more likely to happen in the evangelical churches.  There are a growing number of church plants that are intentionally multiethnic and things are moving a new and better direction.  But I want to challenge some white folks to be the ones to make the move first.  So far all the big white churches try to get minorities to come to them.  Why can't there be more white people who go to predominantly hispanic, black or asian churches?  People in my church, often are confronted by people who attend mildly diverse churches who ask them if an ethnic church is Biblical.  If people feel this strongly about these things, why don't they go to a church that is ethnic and help them make this transition.  Help them break down their prejudices be the welcoming "other" face that greets others who come into the church. 
Instead we stay where it's safe.  We ask people to come to us and never face the difficulty that minorities feel each and every day.  C'mon church, let's break down some walls.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Moving Time

This week we started a study on Abraham at church.  We also announced that we as a church are moving.  We are moving for many reasons, but primarily because our church is not in an area where we have been or possibly are able to be affective.  As I’ve said before I pastor an Indian church and the town we are located in has 119 total Indians out of the 17,000 residents in Westchester.  We already have 4 of this number attending our church and I have only met 1 other Indian gentlemen in the 3 years we have lived in Westchester.  Our church has been here for 19 years and we haven’t ever had people from the community begin going to the church.  Most of our congregation travels 15-45 minutes to get here and this makes it hard to do things to reach the community.  It makes things difficult in inviting our neighbors to travel over half an hour to visit a church.  It just makes doing God’s work more difficult.
 I want to be invested in a community, I pray for us to play a role in its identity and formation, I want our deeds to be known to people so that we can make God known.  We have a lot of work and a lot of habits to change even after we move, but I know that we can’t be sedentary any longer, we can’t simply waste more time shrinking as a congregation.  I pray we will wholeheartedly take up the Great Commission and live it out.  I pray that we to do this in a place that makes sense for us as a diverse but mainly Indian Congregation. I pray our neighbors to be impacted and easily invited to meet with us and with God.  I want to provide our people opportunities to put their faith to work.  And so it is in accord with these hopes and dreams for this community of God that we set out, for a place we don’t yet know….that’s the other thing we don’t yet know where we are headed.  We haven’t identified the area we are moving to.  (Though I have some ideas) And that is one of the reasons we are working through Abraham.  In Hebrews 11:8 it says that Abraham left everything he had ever known behind, “Even though he did not know where he was going.”  He just knew God said “Go. I have a plan for you Abraham to be a blessing to all people.  To take hold of it I need to you go, to take some steps on faith, to trust me fully and completely.”  So Abraham packed up his life and went.  He just started walking and when he got there God said here it is.  Abraham was able to trust and go, because “he was looking forward to the city with foundations whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10)  That’s our hope and prayer.  That we would go where God leads and that no matter what God is the author of this next chapter. That God is the one who guides and directs and moves this community to the place he has been preparing for us.   Amen.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


It goes quickly.  I have had many blog ideas over the last week.  I just haven't had the time to put them on this here blog.  Going back to the early blogs I linked to an article that talked about the best blogs and how they are focused on one category. I immediately abdicated focus in order to entertain my own whims and desires and directions.  The second key to a good blog is longevity, regular updates in order to build a lasting and trusting relationship with those who follow your blog.  This month I've now realized I need to give that goal up as well.  It's true this blog could be more and better if I were more dedicated, but I have a higher calling than the likes of you dear reader.  I have to care for the church God has put me in and I have a little thing called a family as well.  So, yeah, I really enjoy the blog, but it's likely not going to be as regular as I intended, or hoped.  But I will continue to think and reflect here for your enjoyment and entertainment.  Or at least for my own.  Until next time.