– MindBlowing.jpg (212Kbytes)
– viral, digital evangelism.caf (3588Kbytes)
– like Film On The Fly.caf (6586Kbytes)
=Total size (10387Kbytes)
This is a mind map generated by MindBlowing.
This is a mind map generated by MindBlowing.
Interesting outreach story on CNN, “The story behind the Chilean miners’ Jesus T-Shirts.”
Campus Crusade for Christ provided a mp3 version of “The Jesus Film” to the miners when they were trapped underground, and later tshirts at their request.
I had wondered if the miners had access to media during their time trapped under the earth. I bet that entire experience was a major test of faith. Hopefully we’ll hear interviews with many of them in the months ahead.
Edna Parrish did a GREAT job creating this fifteen minute video about the summer program, “Women at the Well,” in Edmond, Oklahoma. What a GREAT opportunity to hear the voices of so many women, from so many countries and cultural backgrounds, sharing and reflecting on their experiences in this fellowship program.
Way to go Edna!
The USA Today article, “Survey: 72% of Millennials ‘more spiritual than religious’” caught my eye today. From the survey of US residents:
Among the 65% who call themselves Christian, “many are either mushy Christians or Christians in name only,” Rainer says. “Most are just indifferent. The more precisely you try to measure their Christianity, the fewer you find committed to the faith.”
Key findings in the phone survey, conducted in August and released today:
- 65% rarely or never pray with others, and 38% almost never pray by themselves either.
- 65% rarely or never attend worship services.
- 67% don’t read the Bible or sacred texts.
- Many are unsure Jesus is the only path to heaven: Half say yes, half no.
“We have dumbed down what it means to be part of the church so much that it means almost nothing, even to people who already say they are part of the church,” Rainer says.
Some days I definitely could be called a “mushy Christian” because I don’t open up my Bible. We live in the most distractible culture in history. We must be intentional to immerse our minds in God’s Word each day. I need regular reminders of this, and to do a better job making Bible reading a regular habit each day. All too often I find myself reading a LOT of content online, but not making the time to read God’s Word first. I need to resolve to check in with God regularly each day, and NOT make that something I “just” do on Sundays or Wednesday nights.
These are alarming statistics, and provide me with greater incentive to continue teaching youth Sunday school. We need to not only help our children and families understand and follow God’s Word, but also share it regularly with others who come to a church on Sundays and those who don’t. It all begins with our personal walk with God, however. If I’m not walking with and talking with the Lord each day, it’s not possible for me to authentically share him and invite others to know him.
Walking the walk as we talk the talk. It’s a daily challenge. Please pray for me and our family as we struggle to continue following God and seeking HIS will in our wide world of choices.
My youngest daughter and I are attending church today at First Methodist Church in Manhattan, Kansas. I love this sign they have at the entrance to the church annex, where the 8:45 service is held. A good reminder!
Our closing verse at SuperStart in Tulsa today:
Matthew 5:16 (MSG)
Now that Iâ€™ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light standâ€”shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, youâ€™ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Two of my primary resolutions for 2010 involve balance and pruning. I need to live my life with more balance, including more time spent reading God’s Word, praying, and inviting his Holy Spirit to take charge of my life. I need to “prune” activities in and from my life, and seek God’s guidance in this process.
I recently updated the free YouVersion Bible application on my iPhone, and discovered the authors have added a variety of daily Bible reading plans in addition to the original plan by Robert Roberts. After logging in with a free account you create on YouVersion, click READ PLANS at the bottom of the application to view available plan options. After selecting a plan, you can read more information about it including how long each plan will take to complete.
Verses included in each day’s reading plan are linked, and backlinks are provided which return directly to the day’s plan. You can also return to your plan by clicking the READ PLANS button at the bottom of the app.
Like many other mobile applications today seeking to leverage the power of social media for sharing, the YouVersion Bible App provides options to share your daily reading with others via Twitter and email.
The developer of this YouVersion Bible application is a young man who I understand worked for a time out of the Oklahoma City CoCo, where I office periodically. He has developed this iPhone app for Life Church, which is a large non-denominantional church based here in Oklahoma City. They have an Edmond campus, but I have not yet attended one of their services face-to-face. Because our own church’s Christmas Eve service was cancelled this year due to snowstorms and ice, our family actually watched part of the life LifeChurch Christmas Eve message at home. I first found it via Twitter, and started watching it on my iPhone, but then connected one of our laptops to the living room television so everyone could watch. It’s amazing to see how LifeChurch leaders are using technology to reach out to others and share the good news of the Gospel.
I really enjoy using this YouVersion Bible application and plan to make regular use of its daily reading plans this year as I strive to live my life in greater balance. The program does appear to have some glitches (it gave an error when I returned to the reading plan which I’d already started) but I’m sure these will be updated/fixed in the weeks ahead.
This two minute YouTube video gives a visual overview of the new reading plan options on the YouVersion Bible application.
This morning kids, family members, and other volunteers from our church in Edmond, Oklahoma, went to the City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City for the Angel Breakfast. City Rescue Mission is a fantastic, ecumenical outreach ministry in downtown Oklahoma City. There were several elements to this event, which was designed for families staying at City Rescue. Some people went down early and cooked breakfast, and families from City Rescue and our church ate together at 9 am. After the breakfast, elementary and preschool students from our kids ministries program shared a 25 minute Christmas program in the City Rescue auditorium called, “The Fumbly, Bumbly Angels.” I recorded this program with my iPhone using the free Ustream for iPhone Recorder, and uploaded it to a new Ustream channel I created for “Eyes Right” when we got home. I could have uploaded this from on-site over 3G, but I knew the upload would be MUCH faster over our home wifi / cable modem connection.
The Ustream iPhone recorder limits each recording to 10 minutes, so my recording of the program is in three parts. Because these video recordings show some of the members of the audience (currently staying at City Rescue) and we were only permitted to take photos/video during the event for personal purposes, I (unfortunately) am not able to publicly share these videos. I am sharing these videos on a password-protected Mobile-Me website with my parents and in-laws, so they can see the program. Ustream allows channel owners to download FLV versions of their videos, so after downloading these videos I converted them to QuickTime using the free program TubeTV.
The most meaningful part of the morning for me was eating breakfast with a man and his son, who are staying at City Rescue. There are not many single dads there. He spoke Spanish, and I learned his son is 6 (as is my youngest daughter, who also ate with us) and he is from San Luis Potosi originally. We spoke all in Spanish. He said there are not many staff members at City Rescue currently who speak Spanish. His son was very excited to learn the kids were about to do a program, and immediately wanted to participate! I had my son speak with my wife, who was helping organize the children’s program, and she was able to get him part of a sheep costume so he could participate in the program!
I think this was a great ministry and outreach activity. There are so many things for which we should be thankful this holiday season, and it is so important to find ways to help others. I hope our Angel Breakfast this morning brought some joy to the families at City Rescue Mission.
Sharon, one of our class shepherds, is sharing her experiences today from her mission trip this last month to Uganda with our 5th grade Sunday School class. These are my notes from her presentation. I tried to record her session with video, using both Ustream and QuickTime player, but was not able to do so successfully using my netbook today. More information and photos from this Uganda missions trip are available on the team blog.
“You go nowhere by accident
Everywhere you are – Got has put you –
Everywhere you go – God is sending you –
The Living Christ, who dwells in you –
has a purpose for you – to further his kingdom”
Sharon went to Uganda with our church mission group last month, and is sharing experiences she had there
Trusting and believing in Jesus
– if you believe in him, you will live with him forever
– you will see Him and meet him
– you will also see those who have died before you and believed in Him
None of the Ugandans have any mirrors
– we would take photos of them and give them to them, as well as their pastor
The people have lots of crops they grow
– they would separate them inside their houses
Sharon’s husband, Henry, was asked to participate in several healing ceremonies
Sharon shared her testimony at the prison, and on the crusade
– each afternoon they had a ‘crusade’ which was a public preaching event
One person asked Sharon to take her baby back to the United States, when they were at the clinic
People in Uganda have a pure and true love of God
– they don’t pray to themselves, everyone prays out loud at the same time in different dialects and languages
– it is a very powerful and moving experience
New church we planted
– the first day
This year we went to a prison, as we did last year
– it was very scary at first
– we brought soap and other items to give them
– 77 inmates were there, only 1 was female
– Sharon was able to talk to the female by herself with an interpreter
— she was in prison for adultery, her husband had put her in there, she had been there for 4 months and was still awaiting a trial
– if families don’t take care of people in the prison, then they really get forgotten
– Henry preached in the prison
Some went to the schools each day
– drilled a well, took multiple times
– life expectancy is just 39 in Uganda, AIDS is a big part of that
– the President of Uganda and his wife are Christians and are working to address health issues
15,000 people heard the word of Christ and gave their lives to Christ as a result of our mission work in Uganda
God’s Holy Spirit really worked on me in writing my testimony, at the prison and during the crusade
Got up at 6 am each morning, were gone all day
– would come back to the hotel for dinner at 6:30 or 7, we would regroup and recap on the day
– discuss experiences and what happened
Saw a magnificent rainbow (a double rainbow) one of our last days there
– it is the rainy season there now
We saw children scooping water out of potholes in some cases
– Malaria is still a big problem in Uganda
Someone said last year that we can’t save the world, but we can save lives
– this really was something we held onto to not become depressed
When you are in one of these huts telling people about God, you really feel God’s presence
– it is hard to find the words to describe what these experiences were like
My prayer this year was to have the words to share, not to be dependent on reading the tract documents we each carried
The land where the orphanage where we worked used to be owned by Idi Amine, and were part of his “killing fields”
– over 80 Presbyterian churches have been planted in Uganda now
– those groups purchased that land and built this orphanage, children receive 3 means per day
– they are equipping those children to become leaders and go back into the community
Lewanda Orphanage (spelling?)
Children are so happy, always smiling
This year, since it was the rainy season, the children could never get clean because of all the mud
Men’s shirts were always pressed, looking very nice
Back in April, I participated in a wonderful mixer activity at our Oklahoma state educational public relations association conference. This evening our church’s board of deacons is meeting for a retreat, and I created a modified version of the activity for our group to use. I created two different documents, which you can feel free to use / alter / repurpose as desired. I like to sometimes add an astrology factor and mix by signs, watch out for aries and scorpio though! Both are in PDF format:
These are the questions I proposed we use for our event tonight. Each person in each group will have about a minute to respond to each one:
Rotation 1: Tell a short story about something funny you remember from growing up.
Rotation 2: What are your top life priorities right now, and why are they so important to you?
Rotation 3: What activities do you love in which you feel most â€œcenteredâ€ in doing? Tell about these activities.
Rotation 4: What time of your life have you felt most close to God, and why do you think you felt that way then?
Rotation 5: What are some of the most important life lessons you learned from your parents or grandparents, and how do you want to share those with others in your life today?
Rotation 6: What groups or activities at our church have helped you feel most connected to God and to the church body, and how could those experiences be extended to more people in the upcoming year?
These questions can certainly be modified as appropriate for non-church / secular gatherings. I really like the format of this activity and found it to be a GREAT way to not only get to know others at the conference in April, but also gain insight into some of the issues and challenges which each person was facing professionally and personally.
A big key to the success of this activity is asking people to respond to good questions!