Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's The One Mile Mission?

Editor's Note: Nathan French was Youth Pastor at Toledo First 2007-2008. In this post, he guest blogs about his move to LA, life, and new ministry passion called "The One Mile Mission." Enjoy!!!

It’s been just over a year since I’ve moved from Ohio where I worked with Mike doing ordinary (and many times extraordinary!) outreach. It’s gone by fast and in the mean time I have been in school, worked on a presidential campaign, and gotten engaged! Christina and I have the privilege of being a part of the Hollywood Adventist Church [click any pic to subscribe to their e-news letter] and the amazing community that continues to form there.

In a city the size of Los Angeles there is plenty of need to go around which can be overwhelming. So we at Hollywood Adventist Church decided to mark off a piece of the city and take responsibility for the people that live there helping them to secure or have access to at least these three things: a meal to eat, a place to sleep, and a chance to dream.

What if more communities of faith started to take on their one mile? What if it was just the two blocks around your house? Or the desks around your cubicle? I’ve learned that the only thing that can change the world is a small group of people who share one and work towards that dream. I miss you all and hope this finds you in the midst of your own God sized dream.

Peace, Love, and Justice,

Nathan French - 740.504.6499

What's Reveal About?

The North American Division Church Resource Center [Vervent], Columbia Union Conference, and Chesapeake Conference have teamed up with some good friends at the New Hope Adventist Church in Fulton, MD to inspire pastors and worship teams everywhere in their creation of worship environments that are authentic and relevant. I'll be blogging live from the conference [expect many mini posts with pics and vids May 13-15 plus one recap in my May 21 blog blast.] IF YOU CAN'T attend this worship conference, follow me on Twitter [search and add "mike4tune" after you join] or check out Fortune Cookies. IF YOU CAN bring a team from your church, I'd encourage you to do so!!! Flights into Baltimore aren't too expensive. And neither is car-pooling!!! Anybody wanna join me?!!

Right now, there's even a substantial registration discount [$25 fee / person instead of $125] available for anybody using Facebook!!! Click the Reveal Logo for more info about the conference, the Vervent logo to take advantage of the discount [on the next page click the "online registration" link and then fill out your info selecting the "student" price and under college type "facebook"], or call my friend Kumar at the New Hope Adventist Church in Fulton, MD for more info @ 301.854.1866.

A Pleasant Mystery?

Over three million people [including everyone in TF a few weeks ago during church] have watched the YouTube vid below about a man who finds a stethoscope with unusual powers. Eventually, he summons the courage to listen to the soundtrack inside his own heart and discovers a pleasant mystery. Enjoy!!! [Big thanks and WTG to the folks at Southern Hills Church of Christ, Abilene, Texas for creating this vid]

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What's A Stimulus Bawl?

Six weeks ago some folks at church threw a Stimulus Bawl that [literally] knocked my socks off [all the guests were asked to bring six packs of socks to benefit Hannah's Socks—a local non-profit we partner with that provides socks to the less fortunate]. Following supper, the entertainment was entitled "Dreams of America – A time to Remember, Reflect and Rejoice!" and included guests dressed up as Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Mark Twain, Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin, Princess Diana, and Chief Sitting Bull among many others. During the entertainment portion of the program, Jackie and I donned our Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama masks and performed what I'm told was a "stirring" rendition of the Jefferson's theme song "Movin' On Up." A good time was had by all. Rumor has it a prom or ball or some other kind of party is planned for fall. Maybe it will be in honor of Obama's Middle East peace plan or latest corporate bailout. Jackie already accepted my invitation. Will you?!! Click any pic for a link to see even more pics from the Stimulus Bawl.

So You Say You Wanna Servolution?

For two consecutive years, Healing Place Church has been listed as one of America’s Top 25 Most Innovative Churches. That innovative drive is expressed in a passion to serve the poor and hurting wherever they are, and with whatever it takes. Every week, hundreds of volunteers serve in outreaches, cooking hot breakfasts for the homeless, helping ex prisoners re-enter society, caring for AIDS orphans, giving roses to ladies working at local strip clubs, and reaching the poor through free medical and dental clinics.

Recently I watched Steve Sjogren interview Dino Rizzo, the pastor of Healing Place Church and author of his new book entitled Servolution [which I purchased on Amazon], and I wanted to share that with you. Perhaps you can divide the 50 minute [!!!] video into segments and watch parts of it when you find time. Click the links above to read up on Healing Place Church or to purchase Dino's book and the greenish banner above to watch the video and subscribe to Steve Sjogren's coaching website on servant evangelism.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Small World?

A couple weeks ago, we drove the 18 hours to Florida and had a wonderful time [once we arrived] playing in the sunshine and swimming in the pools and doing nothing for a few days. We squeezed in a couple days at Disney in addition to visiting family [My brother Matt and family, cousin Heather and family, Jackie's mom, aunts, grandparents, and brother Jay] and friends [my best friend Marty and his family were down there at the same time even though we didn't plan it!!!] In church the following week, I told the story about how embarrassing it was when during a rest stop a fellow traveler recognized us in a parking lot and asked us about driving through the rain with the duct tape covering the gaping holes in our cargo carrier snapping in the breeze. Click any pic to read about that. Maybe you'll find that story funnier than Jackie's a small world after all!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Not Ashamed?

In this latest installment of CBS News Assignment America, Steve Hartman visits an animal sanctuary where a dog and an elephant have formed a very lasting, and unusual, friendship. Enjoy!!!

Servants To The World?

Dr. Greg Boyd is a former atheist who is now an internationally recognized evangelical theologian, apologist [defender of Christianity] and author of 18 books, including Letters from a Skeptic and The Myth of a Christian Nation. In chapter 7 of his soon-to-be released book, The Myth of a Christian Religion, he includes a picture of the controversial poster [below] created by Lars Justinen and an Adventist ministry called "The Good News Tour." In it, Jesus is washing the feet of President Barack Obama and next in line is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [the older edition of the poster had George Bush and Osama Bin Laden].

Aside from the stirring imagery of Jesus serving all the leaders of the world, the "Pop Quiz" edition of the poster [click pic to buy your own] includes these words: "Imagine evangelism without fear. Imagine evangelism without coercion. Imagine evangelism without anxiety. Stop imagining. The Good News Tour."

So I bought a copy and put it on my office door at church. To remind me that real leadership is servant evangelism. And that the world just might be waiting for us Christians to figure that out. Imagine that!!!

Edited and adapted from posts by Greg Boyd and Adventist Today. Click the green links in the line above to read in their entirety.

Seen The Bridge?

Shot entirely on location in the Czech Republic and Poland, this 33 minute Oscar nominated short film called Most in Czech or The Bridge in English draws you in and grabs your heart. It reminded me that Easter isn't about eggs and bunny rabbits but about a Heavenly Father who loves us like crazy!!! You have GOT to see the 4 minute preview below courtesy of WingClips [which BTW is a really cool site pastors and churches should check out if they're into illustrating Bible themes with video. I signed up for their free account but even their annual fees aren't too expensive] and then consider buying the DVD to watch with your family this Easter.