Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Amazing Grace The Movie -- Coming Soon!!!

Amazing Grace, based on the life of antislavery pioneer William Wilberforce, who, as a Member of Parliament, navigated the world of 18th Century backroom politics to end the slave trade in the British Empire.

But did you know? There are still an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today. Modern day slavery can come in many different forms. Entire families may work long days in rice-mills, brick kilns or on plantations. Children may be abducted and forced to fight in a rebel's army. All of the people in these examples are slaves—they cannot come and go as they please and are often beaten or threatened with violence. They have no autonomy in their day-to-day lives and deserve the right to be free.

In conjunction with the release of the film Amazing Grace FEB 23, there is a campaign to abolish modern day slavery and allow children and adults around the world to live in freedom.

For more info and to sign the petition: visit www.theamazingchange.com

Monday, January 22, 2007

Found the 4% -- Good News Or Bad?

The statistic that only 4 percent of today's teens will grow up to be Christian comes from a 1997 youth ministry book called The Bridger Generation: America's Second Largest Generation, What They Believe, How to Reach Them by Thom S. Rainer from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

It turns out, as reported on pages 165-66, Rainer did an "informal survey" of 211 young people in three states over seven months in the mid-1990s. No information about the methodology in sampling these youth is given—most likely it was a convenience sample.

Based on this evidence, the author writes, "The vast majority of bridgers today have not accepted Christ. In a recent and informal survey of 211 bridgers, only 4 percent responded that they were born-again Christians who had trusted in Christ alone for salvation."

Older Americans are then said, based on another similar "informal survey," to have accepted Christ at higher rates. The conclusion: "According to present trends, we are about to lose eternally the second largest generation in America's history."

Click on either graphic for more info. Content of this post was taken from an article by sociologist Christian Smith in the JAN/FEB 2007 issue of Christianity Today above. Thoughts? Reactions? Comments?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Oops --- It's 64% Not 4%

More than 3,350 teens along with one of their parents participated in the random-digit-dial telephone study of U.S. parent-teen pairs in 2003. One purpose of sociologist Christian Smith's research in the "Portraits of Protestant Teens" project of the National Study of Youth and Religion was to describe the extent to which youth ages 13-17 participate in and benefit from the programs and opportunities that religious communities [churches] offer.

Click either graphic to read the very latest and greatest study of active Protestant Christian Youth ages 13-17. Bottom line cliffnotes: the actual number of active youth in conservative Protestant American Christian churches is [at least] 64% not 4% [which is better than 4%, but still means 1/3 of our own youth aren't active in the churches they were raised in underscoring why we need to get our youth involved in ordinary outreach and evangelism!]

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

4% of American Christian Youth Are Active In Church [including ours] -- Let's Change That!!!

Impact World Tour, an outreach of the international Youth With A Mission ministry, is gearing up for an evangelistic campaign in northwest Ohio from April 24 - May 13. And WE have been invited to participate!

At the fund raising dinner last night, I sat around a table of Christian businessmen and women in the city whose hearts and checkbooks prove they believe reaching our emerging generations of youth for Christ is eternally significant. Their faith in what the united body of Christ on earth can do together was inspirational. And when I introduced myself, all of them were very excited [surprised?] to learn that the local Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor agrees.

They said the last thing they remembered we did with them for the community was an annual Bell Choir Festival and a Series of Musical Concerts. Which is great. And obviously worth continuing [hint...hint]. But wouldn't taking and training our own youth [and anyone else willing -- Joshua and Caleb stormed Canaan in their "retirement" years!!!] to participate in what amounts to a 3 week urban missionary trip in our own backyard expected to reach 150,000 youth with 15,000 choosing Christ and looking for a church to actively serve Jesus in be just as great?

Or are you happy with the 4%?
For more info, come to our business meeting January 29 and click on this link to read more about Transform Toledo

What Do You Wish For The New Year?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Big Things Done With Great Love Still Change the World

#1 -- The Gas Buy Down

Since the average busy gas station goes through an 18 wheel tanker of gas a day [4,000 gallons], we'd need to purchase 1/3 of their daily amount of gas ahead of time paying down the price on the pump 5
0 cents a gallon until our money or allotted time ran out telling people that "Jesus Fills Their Tank." [1,320 gallons x $2.33 x 12 months = $36,907.20]

#2 -- The Extreme Home Repair

We'd put an ad in the paper and choose one needy family a year to re-do their house taking vacation time and all the tools necessary to give their home a complete extreme makeover. To see more about this, visit the link on the right for the Aldergrove SDA Church or their outreach division Acts of Kindness.

#3 -- Telling the Truth About God in the 21st Century

Three weekends. Friday and Saturday nights only. No music. No theme song [or maybe just one...] Just a warm welcome. With snacks on the table. Free child care. And two sermons a night telling the truth about God.

At The Hop

On Wednesday, Jackie and I decided to go to IHOP for breakfast. Knowing we were headed into the International Mission Field of Pancakes, we decided to bring our Kindness 2 Go bag with us hoping we could give it away to someone inside. So before we finished our pancakes, I picked up the Kindness 2 Go bag that had been sitting on our table the entire time and said to our waitress, “Amber, this is our Kindness 2 Go bag. We’d like to give this you to brighten your day.”

She looked a little startled, but immediately broke into a big smile. Bigger than any she had given us when we sat down or after she delivered our pancakes. She said, “Really? That’s sweet. That DOES brighten my day. Thanks!”

Jackie, as way of explanation, added “We just moved to the area. My husband is the pastor of the Toledo First Adventist church down the road. He’s got everybody in church giving these bags away. It’s fun. We hope you like it.” She confirmed some location details of our church and before she left, smiled real big, thanked us again and said “It’s good to know there are still some good people left in the world.” This Ordinary Outreach moment was brought to you by the Hop.

Home Suite Home

Some of you wanted to see a picture of our new home. Here it is. Joshua and Lydia say it's "fancy." Barkley likes it too. He can get enough exercise just running from one end of the house to the other!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Our First Toledo First

Byline: Toledo, Ohio. Saturday January 6, 2006 11AM My first time speaking at the Toledo First Seventh-day Adventist Church.

I got sort of nervous half way through my message, accidentally skipping a page, but survived.

Had lots of welcomes and blessings and cake. Maybe next fellowship meal will have some pie. Gotta make that YMCA time worth it!!!

But I guess you can't write on pies...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Four Men and Two Trucks

So we finally made it. Turns out, it required Four Men and Two Trucks to move all our junk! They were great though. Nothing broken or damaged. Just piles of boxes. Joshua said before we left that it looked like "Lifesize Lego" in our little house with boxes stacked from floor to ceiling.

Moving into our much larger and renovated home [thanks Toledo First!!!] the boxes don't seem that overwhelming...especially since Jackie's dad met us here and helped us get organized. He also comforted his grown up daddy's girl who went through a box of Kleenex after we put the kids to bed. Major life changes [or Tom Hanks movies] always make Jackie cry. At least once. We'll keep you posted...