Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Are The Least of These Waiting For?

While I don't believe Christ-followers should by their silence condone the un-Christlike info or words that come from fellow believers, whatever the arena or medium, I do believe in prayerful retrospect that what I shared last week in my post “What Did Obama Say?” could have been more clearly articulated. Therefore, I have deleted said post. And am confident this one better expresses my original intent.
  • Thou shalt “raise the bar” [and the roof – woot woot!!!] by speaking truth in love. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
  • Thou shalt not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. Thou shalt always extend the benefit of the doubt. Ephesians 4:29 [NIV] says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
  • Thou shalt set an example with thy words. 1 Timothy 4:12 [NIV]: “Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
Following these communication commandments may not resolve health care reform, but they could encourage more Christ-followers of both political parties to try. Harder. Maybe that's what most of the least of these are waiting for. Click the comments below to see two more communication commandments.

Pick The Caption?

Watch this short vid and then answer which spiritual truth caption it illustrates best:
  1. Good things come to those who wait [Romans 8:28].
  2. This happened so the work of God might be displayed in his life [John 9:3].
  3. Jesus did many other things as well [John 21:25].

A Thousand Questions?

Amena Brown's "A Thousand Questions" vid from the Leadership Summit a couple years ago still moves me. You too?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Soccer For The Least of These?

The Chris Campbell Memorial field at Ikusi Primary School is a small slice of recently-opened soccer heaven, located somewhere inside the maze of dirt roads and shacks [seen on the horizon beyond the grass] that make up the Khayelitsha township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Franklin & Marshall College [USA] donated the field to commemorate deceased friend and college soccer star Chris Campbell, who passed away just before touring South Africa with his soccer team.

They have people there entrusted with ensuring that the newly donated football field is maintained and put to the best possible use for the local community. Where they run crime prevention and gender equity soccer tournaments, teach HIV/AIDS prevention to teenagers, and business skills to young adults.

As a result, small businesses are emerging from the local community using the Campbell facility to generate income and hope is coming to Khayelitsha. Not from a church. But a soccer field. All because some soccer players in America decided to honor their friend and bring hope to some of the least of these. Shouldn't that be every Christian's g-o-o-o-o-o-o-a-a-a-a-a-a-al? CLick the triangular play button below to see the children's reaction to this unique gift.
Find more videos like this on Chris Campbell Center

Fall Film Fest?

This Saturday night August 22 marks the premiere of our Fall Film Fest. And YOU are invited!!! The first film, The Least of These, was created by Columbia Union College film student Rik Swartzwelder in 2003 and has won numerous awards in the "short film" categories. It is based on a true story by internationally known speaker and sociologist Tony Campolo. Don't come late or you'll miss how the fading, isolated life of a diner owner and the dull routine of his late night crowd are forever changed by the unusual proposition of a stranger!!!

Praying With Lior is the second film about a boy with Down syndrome who has spent his entire life praying with utter abandon. While everyone agrees Lior is closer to God, he's also a burden, a best friend, an inspiration, and an embarrassment, depending on which family member is speaking. Told with intimacy and humor, Praying With Lior is a family story encompassing triumph and grief. Click the triangular play button below for a preview. Free hot and cold drinks, quesadillas, and nachos!!! Worship @ 5pm, Films @ 7pm.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Who Is Invited to Christian Education Day?

Toledo Junior Academy invites YOU to Christian Education Day on Saturday, August 22, 2009 @ Toledo First. ALL of those who attended TJA [formally named Goff Memorial School] are welcome to join us for a day of reacquainting and reminiscing. Bring your old pictures and yearbooks to share!!! [click pic to see the Facebook page!!!]

Schedule of Events

11:00 am ~ Church Service
Pastor Mike Fortune, speaker
Kid Connect Children's Church
12:30 pm ~ Luncheon provided
Tours of the school after lunch
2:30 pm ~ Walk/Recreation at Wildwood Park
5:00 pm ~ Connections worship, Free hot and cold beverages!!!
7:00 pm ~ Fall Film Fest Premiere, Free quesadillas and nachos!!!

For more info, call the school at 419-841-0082 or email Janica Peppard at

No Impact Man?

Author Colin Beavan, in research for his new book, began the No Impact Project in November 2006 [click pic for more info]. A newly self-proclaimed environmentalist who could no longer avoid pointing the finger at himself, in his new movie Colin leaves behind his complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. What does that mean?

No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray. Laura Gabbert and Justin Scheins film provides a front row seat into the familial strains and strengthened bonds that result from Colins and Michelles struggle with this radical lifestyle change.

Could you lose 20 lbs without going to the gym once? Could you become better parents by not watching TV? Could eating locally and seasonally reverse pre-diabetic health issues? Click the triangular play button to see how.

Ordinary Outreach?

Some of you watched the 17 second video of the reaction to our free lemonade give away to all the walkers, joggers and bikers in the park recently. But you haven't seen the 2 minute recap video [BIG thanks and WTG to Shawn for putting this together!!!] So press the triangular play button below to see that and please consider this your personal invitation to join us one more time on August 15 when we do this ordinary outreach again!!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Why August 6, 1999?

Dear Joshua,

Ten years ago, five days late, but right on time, you were born. We remember lapping the neighborhood for days hoping lots of exercise would encourage you to arrive earlier! But God had other plans.

We think He wanted you to arrive when you did, one year to the day of your Grandpa Fortune's debilitating stroke, to remind us that God can turn any awful day into an awfully awesome one [Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28]. When we celebrate your birthday, we remember that!
We hope you have a great 10th birthday!!! We're SO glad God gave you to us!!! Thank you for being you!!! Lots of love, Mom and Dad

[Joshua and his "Grumpy" caught this whopper near Drummond Island. To see more Joshua pics, see the sideshow to the right.]

Do Hurt People Hurt People?

Because we're people, we are all hurting [and often hurting others] in either small or great ways. That's the premise of Sandra D. Wilson's book Hurt People Hurt People [click pic for more info]. Wilson's theory is based on the idea that change and healing are a lifelong process. There are no quick fixes. It is in the process of recognition of hurts and a continually growing dependence on God that we find healing.

Of all of the books that I have read on this or similar subject, this is by far the most Biblically clear and useful. Wherever you are in life's journey [there are chapters on help for hurting children, spouses, leaders, followers, worshipers, forgivers, and parents] you will benefit from reading this thought provoking little book that's easy to read but hard to digest. It's permanently messed me up in a good way!!! Here's a few reasons why:
  • Estimates suggest that one in four girls and one in seven boys will be victims of sexual abuse before the age of eighteen. In well over 90% of the reported cases, the abuser is a family member or trusted authority figure. So warning your children about "stranger danger" is not enough. There are numerous hidden dangers we've ignored since childhood still effecting us.
  • If as an adult you are controlling any part of me, I am a volunteer not a victim [unless I'm a literal prisoner or hostage or otherwise impaired].
  • We can learn to base our esteem and worth upon what God thinks of us. See Appendix A "Discovering Your True Identity."

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Who Cares About Big Screens?

Who cares about big screens? Well, many men do. Including me! I just bought a gently used, one year old, 65" inch Mitsubishi TV on Craigslist. I’m making a "man cave" in the basement so I can DVR or watch the Redskins in stunning high def this fall. I call it my "Four Weddings and a Funeral" tv because that’s how many "extras" it took for me to save up enough money to buy it!

But you know what I found when we moved it the other day? A big old scratch on the screen! At first, I was upset about that. Because when the TV is off, you can see it. But you know, when the TV is on and I’m focused on something else, I don’t notice the scratch at all!

Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Since it’s okay to watch appropriate TV on a REALLY big screen if you’ve already put first things first. Jesus said it this way in Mark 10:29–31 [MSG], "No one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times. And then the bonus of eternal life!" That's what that scratch reminds me of now.