Monday, March 21, 2011

God of Justice?

This guy in my church made this vid. Enjoy!!!

God of Justice from John Hood Jr on Vimeo.

Earthquake Reminders?

On March 11, 2011 the largest earthquake in Japan’s history triggered a devastating tsunami. According to the United States Geological Survey [USGS],this most recent Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami, while falling into the major category of anticipated seismic activity and breaking Japan’s previous record for largest earthquake in its history, does not break the consistent trend of one major 8.0 [or greater] quake per year the last 100 years [click pic above for more on trend], is not the largest recorded earthquake in magnitude the last 100 years [the earthquake in Chile on May 22, 1960 is still the biggest quake in the world on record with a magnitude of 9.5], and hopefully will not rival the most destructive January 23, 1556 earthquake that killed 830k people in China [click separate green links for more info].

I think it’s important for Christians to know and understand these larger seismic trends and historical facts so we don’t over-exaggerate the signs of the times when proclaiming the surety of Jesus’ Second Coming. Jesus came the first time. Right on God’s time. And regardless of life as we know it, He will come a second time [click Bible pic for more on that]. All earthquakes, whatever their magnitude, whenever they occur, are supposed to remind us of this!!!

Back to Basics?

Rest on the Sabbath. Heed Old Testament dietary codes. And be ready for Jesus to return at any moment. If these practices sound quaint or antiquated, think again. They're hallmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the fastest-growing Christian denomination in North America. G. Jeffrey MacDonald wrote a great piece on my church denomination in a recent USA Today article. My fave line?

"The church has seen some of its strongest gains come in non-religious regions such as the Pacific Northwest. In Washington, for instance, the denomination has established 'Christian cafes,' where people can relax and ask questions without feeling the pressures of church. "You're not necessarily inviting them to church," Bryant said. "You're just sitting around, talking with people, building relationships — and slowly talking to them about Christ." What a concept!!! Click pic to read the entire article.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Crazy Animals?

God loves us like crazy and some of these animals He made are crazy. Enjoy!!!

Reading Revelation?

Previously during Soup for You, we've read books about suffering like The Shack illuminating the way God looks at the battle between good and evil. We've learned that God wants us to live like crazy because we are loved like crazy in The Ragamuffin Gospel. Because Hurt People Hurt People, we better understand the small and large ways we hurt and how God can mend our broken hearts. We still have a few copies of Lee Vendon's book It's All About Him skillfully explaining why Christianity is primarily about Who
you know not what you do. If you didn't get one yet, there's still time to do so and join us!

But starting Wednesday April 13, 2011 @ 6pm during Soup for You, Reading Revelation is the name of the next class we're offering to church members and the community. For years people have been fascinated by the strange symbols and ominous forebodings contained within the pages of the last book of the Bible. But if it's really a book revealing [what "revelation" means] Jesus, don't you think we should be able to learn more about Jesus from it? That has always been my fave teacher Jon Paulien's assertion I heard over and over fifteen years ago as I sat in the New Testament classes he taught while I was in seminary.

Recently, Paulien's new chapter by chapter presentations of Revelation have been printed which we'll be reading as well [Cost $10 while supplies last see for more info]. Won't it be wonderful to know that the victory has already been won and that we have absolutely nothing to fear as long as we cling to Jesus? Join us!

Generation Rain?

God really blessed during Generation Rain. That's the name of the high school Bible retreat I was speaking at last weekend at Mt.Aetna Camp in Hagerstown, MD. Nearly 200 high schoolers, most of whom do not attend Highland View Academy, the Adventist boarding school next door, descended for the weekend. The worship was vibrant led by an entirely student praise team. The prayer and art rooms were full. Four youth were baptized SAT night and another planned to do so in their home church!!!

Previous years focused on calling and equipping young people while this year's theme was all about releasing them to serve and do mission to change the world. I used 1 Samuel 3, Exodus 3, Matthew 26, and Luke 10 to encourage them to get ready [Samuel], listen up [Moses], show up [Jesus], and keep up [disciples] their serving. I reminded them that with 33 million teens in America spending $150billion/year, that if enough of them organized themselves online, they could by themselves pay for wells to be drilled in every remote place on earth for $10billion. I told them that today there are 30 million women and children in slavery and that Toledo is the #1 most trafficked city in America per capita. That God looks at this and is displeased that there is no justice. That He is appalled there is no one to intervene [cf. Isaiah 59:15-16].

For more info on modern day slavery right here in Toledo, see And PTL that God promised to rain down his Holy Spirit on the young and the old [cf. Joel 2:28]!!!