Sunday, December 28, 2003

Church Growth Debate 

Here's an interesting and lively debate on seeker-sensitive churches.

I found my own biases challenged and some of the issues clarified by the four debaters on a very "hot potato" topic. In the end, I didn't change my position (of having some genuine concerns regarding the seeker approach), but I did gain a new appreciation and humility for how God can use a variety of methodologies and practices. I'm not saying that the end justifies the means, but that God can use all of us despite our shortcomings.

Sider vs. Schneider: Christians and Wealth 

As I was reflecting on an earlier post (Monday, November 24, 2003: Who is My Neighbor? ), I came across a debate between Ron Sider, best known for his book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, and John Schneider, author of The Good of Affluence: Seeking God in a Culture of Wealth. A preview of the debate can be found here:

Affluence, Generosity, and Grace

and the actual debate can be found on the Wheaton College website. Definitely worth reading and listening to! It should have us take pause and re-examine our stewardship and our spending habits -- especially at this time of the year!

Another helpful book to read would be Craig Blomberg's Neither Poverty Nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions.

Friday, December 26, 2003


Was feeling listless today, so wasted most of the day just surfin' the net and stumbled across some "interesting" links ... there's a lot of strange stuff out on the Web ... If you're ever bored, check 'em out:

WARNING: you may find some of these offensive and outrageous!

Welcome to the WWW (Wild Weird Web)!

Sunday, December 21, 2003


Regarding my previous post, I'm happy to inform you that my parents have made peace with each other. My dad said he just wanted to live out the rest of his life (he's in his late 70's) in peace with my mom.

I hope they'll make peace with God soon ... thanks to all who prayed.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Christmas Cheer 

My family got together the other day. Wonderful, right? Not when the purpose was to try resolve your parent's on-going conflict (over 30 years now) and work for reconciliation. Not when the final recourse seems to be divorce. Not when you hear in your mom's voice, the pain of being emotionally abused, disrespected and feeling unloved. Not when you hear your dad's lack of trust for your mom, his bitterness, his resentment, and his feeling that nobody appreciates him, how hard he has worked and the hardships he's endured since childhood. Not when you hear all the anger and words that cut and bruise. Not when you can feel the scars in your own soul as memories re-surface in the midst of all the yelling and screaming. Not when you've been through this scenario dozens of times before. Not when it seems hopeless and heading towards a breaking point.

Wonder if there'll be a family Christmas dinner this year ...or ever again ...

God, have you not heard my prayers all these years? I've prayed for peace in their marriage; I've prayed for their eternal salvation. But my mom has a martyr's complex and my dad has no use for God. With my parents getting older each year, I wonder how I shall enjoy eternal bliss if my parents are in eternal torment? Not to worry says one theologian; "God shall wipe away every tear": you won't remember your parents because you'll be too busy worshipping God. Says another: There is no hell, God's just going to annihilate them, so don't worry about them suffering forever.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me, right? My dad's parting shot to me when I left was, "You worthless son-of-a-bitch!". Thanks dad for your love, support and words of encouragement.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Don't Bother Me With Your Problems 

A friend of mine recently wrote on his blog:

A longtime-friend who is going through some difficult times right now, relating to the breakdown of his family, has been sharing with me, and I am saddened by this turn of events in his life. But, the interesting thing is, I had a great time of fellowship with him. Why? Because this was a REAL LIFE thing that he was going through, and I am thankful that he felt comfortable in sharing it with me and a small group of people.

Why are we not allowed to grieve? We have been given, by God, a whole range of emotions. Happiness. Sadness. Grief. And we are all called to bear one another's burdens. How often do we do that?

My friend's comments are so true and reminds me of what Ella Wheeler Wilcox once wrote: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone". Many Christians are uncomfortable dealing with other people's pain and suffering, especially if it involves awkward situations like divorce or teen pregnancy or other taboo subjects. All too often, Christians only want to hear glowing stories with happy endings that make them feel good. They don't want to invest the time or emotional energy to really help bear another person's burdens.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Rwanda Redux 

Came across 2 articles on the Rwandan genocide in the Winter 2003 issue of maisonneuve magazine:

  1. Rwanda's Riverboat Excursion
  2. A Good Man in Hell

Definitely worth reading. The second article is an extract from an interview that General Dallaire had with Ted Koppel, and is available in full here.

Lest we forget ...

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