Friday, December 30, 2005

The Solis Foundation Mission

The Solis Foundation is up and running now. Genesis started our blog and we are looking to have our official website up by the end of January, Lord willing. If you visit the blog you can discover more about some of our objectives, as well as some specific things we are hoping to do in this coming year.

But today, I simply wanted to share with you: The Solis Foundation Mission Story

As we look at the world in which we find ourselves living, our hearts break over the fact that so many live without the basic ingredients needed to survive. We find it unfathomable to think that in our day of technology and wealth that we can allow over 30,000 innocent young children to die of preventable diseases or hunger each day. Yet we realize that there are forces at work that are much larger than us.

Fundamentally, when we look at the world, we see great evidence of a fall and when we read the scriptures we are able to discern some of the causes of poverty, corruption and injustice as well as some of the cures. Being shaped by the story of God and looking at the story of the world, we recognize that human ingenuity is not enough. For there have been people far more clever with far more resources who have been unable to deal the fatal blow to poverty.

In fact, when we look at who we are and the complexities of the problem of poverty, it overwhelms us and sometimes causes us to be cynical. The only thing that gives us hope for the future is Jesus. For he seems to be the only One who was able to live a life fully faithful to God.

Jesus wasn’t like most people who when they get power and resources “the ring” tend to use them to protect themselves and what they have. He was willing to entrust Himself fully to God, becoming poor to make others rich. And though he had all of the power and resources of God, he didn’t wave a magic wand to make everything better.

Rather, like the prophets of Israel who had come before Him, he tried to help the people see the way things could be and should be. He was willing to confront the fraud and hypocrisy that he found in the lives of the political and religious rulers of his day for the sake of the oppressed. As a result, he faced the same punishment every other political dissident faced, death on a cross.

So, if the best man who ever lived died trying to make the world a better place, what hope is there for us? Why bother doing any good?

We can do good, because God justified Jesus’ life and mission by raising him from the dead. So now through His life, death and resurrection we can be reconciled to God and experience new life and partner with Him in his project to renovate the world. Our hope is to become a bridge from the non-poor to the poor and the poor to the non-poor with the recognition that each party has something to offer the other.

Those of us, who tend to be rich with resources, tend to experience poverty in many other ways. And those who are without many resources, tend to be rich in many other ways. The hope of Solis is to build partnerships between the poor and non poor in such a way that builds a community of mutual respect, one in which we hold the dignity of humankind in high regard knowing that all of us have been made in God’s very image.

We will most likely awkwardly move forward in our mission, for it is one fraught with both dangers and joys, the known and the unknown. We will need much guidance from those who have gone before us, and most of all, we realize that apart from Jesus and all the resources He brings us, there is no hope to accomplish the task that is set before us.

We live in a messed up world, and the likelihood is that it will not become fully fixed until the only One who has lived a fully faithful life comes back to fix it. But we also believe that he has empowered us to partner with Him to do all that we can possibly do to bring the reality of heaven to earth.

So because He calls us to go on this mission to renovate the world, we go gladly. We realize that suffering and hardship are part and parcel of this mission, but we also know that this mission will be an adventure filled with joy and deep satisfaction. We believe that the journey is as important as the destination, so the end never justifies the means. What we do, we do because we love God and all people, no matter what happens to be their background, gender, race or religion.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


one would.
Originally uploaded by antimethod.

I have to say that I am overjoyed by how the Spirit worked tonight, in and through the worship team, my teaching as well as discussions earlier. He did so in a meaningful way.

Having talked to some of the translators, they were really happy with my rythmn and pace tonight. So if you were praying for that,I want to let you know I deeply appreciate the fact you interceded on my behalf.

It's just after 3 a.m. Dutch time, so I think I'm going to collapse.

Awaken Europe 05

flies on boy
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

Last night at the conference, I shared about what it means to be made in the image of God and how that shapes our calling.

This morning, Noel will be sharing about the life of Jacob and "How God can (and will) use anybody."

Tonight, I will be sharing about following Jesus. And how Jesus invites us to partner with God to redeem the world. And while partnering with God to help bring shalom includes many things, like bringing forgiveness and healing to the whold, building authentic communities of faith, welcoming the stranger and the outcast, helping people walk with God, redeeming vocations as well as the environment, helping people understand the scriptures and live faithfully in the story of God, my focus will be on two themes, due to time. I will be sharing about how following Jesus means we must engage in social justice and learn how to love our enemies. I will also be mentioned The Solis Foundation, which I plan to blog about later this week.

I would appreciate your prayers, as I have to learn to speak a little slower in order for all of the translators to do their job properly. If you know me and where here last night, you would be amazed how slow I spoke. It was good for the majority of translators, tonight I hope to make it good for all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas with Delirious in London

christmas with delirious in london
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

I'm finally getting the opportunity to post some of my pictures from my time in London on Dec. 22nd. I met up with Tyler and Kendall for a great lunch at an Indian Restuarant. We walked around town a bit, visited our rooms and then went to the concert hall for a sound check.

After soundcheck we had dinner with Delirious and the crew at a cool little Italian Place close to the Shepherds Bush Empire, where both Kendall Payne and Delirious would be playing.

The Shepherds Bush Empire is one of the most esteemed concert halls in London. Walking around the halls, I saw photos of people who had played here. From The Rolling Stones to Radio Head, The Smashing Pumkins and Elton John. You can read all about the history of the venue on the website.

Check out the pictures that follow, of if you read this from a feeder, you probably have already seen them. You may also enjoy a review of the concert.

Check Out the Lights

delirious christmas concert london
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

Delirious was not only moving and motivating through their music, but the light show was cool too. David Wood wrote a review of the show. You can also check out more pictures if you want.

Delirious from Backstage

delirious backstage
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

So here is the band from a different point of view. It's cool to be able to roam around the concert hall and go anywhere you want. Backstage passes pretty much give you access to anywhere. I had fun meeting a lot of the security guards.

Kendall Payne in Concert - London, UK

kendall in london
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

Here is a front shot of Kendall as she sang "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" right after Delirious was singing one of their Christmas tunes. It was a beautiful song. Kendall did a great job!

Kendall Backstage

kendall backstage
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

This is a backstage view of my friend Kendall Payne opening up for Delirious at the esteemed Shepherds Bush Empire in London, UK. Tyler, her husband and I viewed most of her show from backstage.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Totally LA

Artwork by Adam Pointer

LA Concert Calendar
If you are in LA this week, you might enjoy checking out who playing. My friend Joel and the band he plays with Modus Dei is playing at the House of Blues 1.7.06. I'm hoping to be able to see them, since I'll be back in LA.

LA Times Does Scientology Expose
If you didn't know, scientology is like headquarterd in Hollywood. It's good to learn and understand our neighbors. Peeps to Victor.

22 Neighborhood Councils throughout LA
The LA Times says, "Aspiring to be much more than pothole police, 22 nieghborhood councils thorughout Los Angeles have voted to create a congress of the panels that will give them more clout by allowing them to collectively weigh in on citywide issues." Thanks to Mayor Sam for the link. Maybe you can get involved in your neighborhood council to bring a little more shalom to where you live.

L.A.'s Newest Remodeled High-Styled High-Rise
The LA Times talks about the Sierra Towers, appearently the newest status symbol to young, design-savvy crowd and some actors and lawyers. You need some money to get into this place at the west end of sunset strip. I'm sure it's nice, but I like my old or should I say "New" Hollywood Apartments. The price suits me just fine and the people are probably friendlier. It would probably be a fun place to hang out though.

Surf's Up
I can't believe I'm missing the big waves while I'm in Europe. You have to check out this picture on laist site. I'm sure my friends James and Lance, if they are in town are surfing somewhere.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas from Amsterdam

Passing by
Originally uploaded by Photochiel.

I think this is my first Christmas overseas, besides the three years I lived in Japan. With all my traveling, and needing to get to certain places on time, I have had a hard time getting to an internet connection. But I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. I hope that wherever you happen to find yourself geographically, that you would find yourself in Him, experiencing the joy and peace that comes through Jesus.

I flew in to Amsterdam from London on Christmas Eve. I enjoyed my short time in London and will have to blog about it in the future.

I had Christmas dinner with Eric, Marci, Elliot, Olivia as well as Linda, Naomi and Patricia. The Zolder 50 had a wonderful Christmas Service and Eric shared a cool message. It was great to see people from different places around the globe worshipping with us.

I caught some kind of bug in England and am trying to shake it off, so I made an early night of it. I'm looking forward to doing a little exploring of Amsterdam tomorrow, if my body is recovered, as well as a little reading and some preparation for Awaken. Appearantly the conference is sold out. I was talking with one of the planners and they said it will be difficult to fit all of those registered. They have already moved from their original room to a larger one. I'm looking forward to the time. People from nine different countries are expected to be here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Enjoying Conversations and Headed to London

Originally uploaded by 3boood_33.

So last night after hardly sleeping since Saturday night, I was like a bear in hybernation. Let's just say that I got a really good nights sleep at Eric and Marci's.

After waking up I had a chance to meet up with Eric and Todd and talk. Our topics went from Jesus to life in the city, to how to be the church in our day. After some conversation at the cafe, we went to Todd and Lindy place. They transformed a garage into a beautiful apartment. I need to take some pictures to show you sometime. I ate dinner with Todd and Lindy. We had a great time together.

I then came home to Eric and Marci's place in the middle of a homegroup meeting. It was great to be a part of a group that went from speaking Dutch to English. They were going through a study of Mark. They are in chapter two and some of three. The conversation was rich and the people very caring.

I'm now going to bed because I need to rise up early to go to London and meet up with Tyler and Kendall. I have also confirmed my appointment with Graham Tomlin for the following day. I'm looking forward to getting some pictures of London during Christmas time. I hear it is stunning.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

From Amsterdam

I arrived safely in Amsterdam. My plans today was to meet up with my friend Tijmen who I met in LA and then stay and Eric and Marci's. My friend Tijmen was supposed to meet me at the airport, but he was late, and when I say late, I mean really late. The problem was I didn't have his phone number. It's funny, all of the e-mails we have exchanged through the years, none of them had his phone number. So my only recourse was to try and connect with him through e-mail. But the problem is the airport only has access after you get in the boarding area. The only place outside of that is the Hilton where it is 8 euros for only 15 minutes.

So I decided to take the train to Amsterdam Central and find a cheaper e-mail place. I did. Only 2 euros for one hour, but when I got to the computer, I was able to use the remainder of someone else's hour. So it cost me nothing. Yeah! When I got to my e-mail, I was glad to find that Tijmen had e-mailed me, leaving his number, for then I was able to connect with him.

I then called Eric to get directions to his place, and took the 9 tram to his neighborhood and walked down to their place. It is a cute apartment. For the next couple of days I will stay here. Eric and Marci are really hospitable. I feel at home. Tijmen and I are meeting up for dinner. I look forward to connecting with him again to see what he has been up to.

My posts may look a bit different on my travels, because often I will be making entries on other people's computers. It may be harder to have pictures all the time, like I try to do when I'm at home or have my computer. The other way it will be different is that most likely it will resemble a journal a little more than my current style. Since I have had little sleep for a while, I'm going to take a nap before I meet Tijmen. Peace.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

From LA to NYC to Amsterdam and London

Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

So tomorrow at 6 a.m. I will be leaving my apartment here in LA to fly into NYC then Amsterdam. My Dutch friend Tijmen will be picking me up from the airport and we will get the day to hang together. Then I will have the opportunity to stay with Eric and Marci Asp in the evening. Then on December 22nd I will fly to London and meet up with Kendall and Tyler. Kendall is currently on tour in Europe and is planning on opening up for Delirious. That should be a cool night.

Then the next day I am planning on connecting with Graham Tomlin in the afternoon. Graham is a professor at Oxford and currently works with a church in London. He has authored a number of books including The Provocative Church . If you haven't had a chance to read this little book you should. It is a jewel.

Then I will be back in Amsterdam for Christmas and the Awaken Conference starts after Christmas. I will be connecting with many old friends and meeting new ones as well. I will also have the chance to share about Imagio Deo "The Image of God" and Following Jesus and how these rich themes affect our calling in life. I'm excited about that.

After the conference I will be meeting with some different leaders from different countries in Europe. That should be a rich time as well.

I am planning on blogging once I get to Amsterdam, when I get the first chance. I may work on a post on my stop in NYC.

Until then, may your day be full of the peace that surpasses understanding, no matter what chaos you may be experiencing around you.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Our Mission - Part IV

This is the last post in regard to our three part mission statement.

Moved by Ancient Wisdom

Engaging a New Renaissance

Working Toward a Coming Shalom

Today I want to talk about this last statement. Shalom is the way in which the prophets talked about a day when all things would be put right again. Those things that have become corrupt and polluted would be re-made in such a way that it would take our breath away. Through imagery and story, their words painted a picture of how things are supposed to be. People would no longer be looked at as tools and property in the hands of the powerful, but as people made in the very image of God. People would not try to build their own kingdoms in which they rule in their own way, but would glady be a part of the kingdom of God, letting God be God, so that peace would prevail in the world. They pictured a world in which the environment that was originally created good would become freed of the curse. They spoke of a place in which people would genuinely love each other.

So then Jesus in the line of the prophets comes and says something utterly amazing. When his followers asked him how to pray, one of the profound statements he made was that we should actually pray that these things would come about. He said to pray, "May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." He was telling his followers to pray for the coming of shalom, to pray that the world might be made right again. That peace, beauty, justice and love would prevail over violence, hate and corruption.

In the same way, Jesus invites us all to become active partners with God in the redemption of the world, just like the prophets talked about. And though we won't see the fullness of that reality immediately, we can live with the hope that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, what was started will be finished. Until then, we are to pray and work so that what is true in heaven would be true on earth.

Ethical Maps

If you have a concern for what is happening in the world and want an updated look at the global well being of different countries, then maplecroft is a great resource. Maplecoft is a UK organization specializing in the coverage of the non-financial performance of global corporations and governments. Their unique contribution is that do this in the form of many different maps.

Maplecroft has both on-line interactive maps as well hard copy maps available. One of there stated goals is: "Our goal is to build a map that both ourselves and our partners consider is accurate, always up to date and meaningful, thus ensuring those who use the Global maps have a greater understanding of each relevant issue - how it impacts business and society, the nature of risk and how that risk might be managed proficiently - with recent case studies to demonstrate how risk is transformed into opportunity."

The types of maps they provide are:
  • Global map of hunger 2005 (World Food Programme & TNT Moving the World) Support the World Food Programme
  • Global map of bribery and corruption
  • Global map of climate change
  • Global map of conflict risk
  • Global map of development finance
  • Global map of digital inclusion
  • Global map of displacement
  • Global map of environment
  • Global map of HIV/AIDS
  • Global map of human rights
  • Global map of malaria
  • Global map of microfinance
  • Global map of disasters and relief
  • Global map of political risk
  • Global map of poverty and wellbeing
  • Global map of regulation
  • Global map of tuberculosis
  • Global map of water
I am thankful to worldchanging blog for their entry about these helpful resources.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What I Want for Christmas

Photo: Wolf Moon by notraces

Here is a list of what I would like for Christmas:

Pajamas for a little child, food to feed the poor.
Blankets for a shelter, and we ask but little more

Perform good deeds and let us know,
Or volunteer your time.
These last are worth a fortune,
And they needn't cost a dime.

We have too many things now, vases, candles, tapes and clocks.
We have our fill of garments, ties, underwear and socks.
Candy is to fattening, crossword books we've more than 20.
We don't need trays or plates or cups,
And kicknkacks we have plenty.

We've no walls to hang more pictures;
We have books we've not yet read;
So please take what you'd spend on us
And help the poor instead!

Just send a Christmas card to tell me what you've done;
I'll open them on Christmas Eve, and read them one by one.
It won't cost as much for postage as a package sent would do,
You'll need no wrapping paper, ribbons, ink or glue.
And we'll thank God you listened to what we had to say,
So we could be the instruments to help someone in this way.

(A response from Dear Abby about Christmas Gifts - One that would be true for me as well.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Our Mission - Part III

So the first statement of our mission is: Moved by Ancient Wisdom

The second statement of our mission is: Engaging a New Renaissance

The Renaissance movement birthed a whole new era of thinking, knowing and perceiving. In many ways a fresh wave of creativity and invention was birthed. From Artists like Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, who was also an inventor. To Scientist and other inventors like Galileo, Copernicus and Gutenburg.

In that same way, we have entered a new era in which our understanding is expanding in how we gain knowledge and see reality. We are called to understand our times and engage with the world in which we find ourselves in with great wisdom.

Jesus once said that you cannot pour new wine into old wineskins, because the new wine would not be able to be contained in the old wineskins. New times require new approaches. The good news is that the message of God is such that it can never be contained within a particular people or a specific time, but it is cosmic in nature, meant for all people in all times. We are to learn from the past, engage in the present, and prepare for the future. Our context, the Scripture, the Spirit and the community of God help us to determine the best way in which we live out the story of God faithfully and effectively.

Portal to Links

Photo by kittycat

Post-Abortion Trauma Seen as Worse than Miscarriages
The lingering distress, sadness and guilt brought on by an induced abortion is worse than that of a miscarriage and decreases much more slowly as times goes on, according to a five-year study of Norwegian women published yesterday.

Narnia Tops US and UK Box Offices
It was number one in 11 more countries as well, grossing 109.1 million in first weekend.

Best Cities for Singles
Forbes has come out with its annual list of best cities for singles. Austin tops the list again, with LA coming in at #7 and NYC at #8. LA has the 3rd largest number of singles, but the cost of living hurt them in the rankings. It's the fourth most expensive city to live in the US.

Leaving Jesus Behind
Jordan Cooper links to Miroslav Volf's article in Christian Century where he points out that both the religous right and left abandon the gospel in advocacy of their politics.

China Becomes Worlds Largest IT Exporter
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reported on Monday that China has become the world's largest exporter of information and communication technology goods.

World Needs 34 Billion to Immunize Poor Children
The expenditure would considerably bring down the number of deaths among children for which vaccines are available.

TV Writers Must Sell, Sell, Sell
Hollywood is trying to get the ad-skipping TiVo viewers by making writers work product references into scripts. The scribes holler "script invasion" and want more pay if they have to do it. So what's new with prostitution these days?

Sudan: Darfur Children
UNICEF is supporting 46 'child-friendly spaces' in five refugee camps in eastern Chad, where familes have fled the fighting in the neighboring Darfur region of Sudan.

Wal-Mart - The High Cost of Low Price DVD nears 100,000 sales
Peaking at No. 5 on Nielsoen VideoScan's documentary sales chart, in its first months in release. I've been wanting to see this documentary.

Africa Needs Trade Not Aid
African Unchained writes Africa needs trade not aid... "The best thing that America and Europe can do for Africa is not to give it handouts but to reduce trade barriers and buy the products that Africa is capable of producing competitivly.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Awaken Conference in Amsterdam and Zolder 50

I saw The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe last Friday and will I be blogging about it sometime this week, with some photos I took of some of the props and costumes used in the movie. I still have to download my photos.

But at this moment, I am finishing up my preparation for the Awaken Conference that is taking place in Amsterdam just after Christmas from 28.12.05 - 01.01.06. I'm really looking forward to see old friends, meeting new ones and sharing some of the things that God has been putting on my heart.

Because the conference has people coming from different parts of Europe, the messages will be translated into seven different languages. So I need to send my transripts in ASAP so that the translators have a little time to prepare. That is what I finishing up right now.

One of the communities of faith that are hosting the conference is Zolder 50. I have had the privilege of visiting this community on a few occasions and each visit has encouraged me greatly. Zolder 50, headed by Todd Watkins and Eric Asp, is an amazing story of God's grace and love. The love and sacrifice of the people at Zolder 50 continues to both challenge and inspire me to live more fully for Jesus.

If you are ever in Amsterdam, you should check them out. You will not be disappointed. I am aware of a number of people from Zolder 50 that blog in addition to Eric and Todd. There is Eva who is a great artist and singer. There is Michael who has a cool photo blog. There is Bret who is an all around good guy who has given me some tips in photography. Then there is Jonas who hasn't really blogged since getting engaged with Stephanie. Life kinda of changes after engagement huh? And I'm sure there are others that I don't know about. But if you get the chance, and you happen to be in Amsterdam, you will want to check out Zolder 50. You will be glad you did.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Emerging Churches

I've been reading Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger's book "Emerging Churches." It's a great read. After 5 years of research primarily in the U.S. and U.K. they identified nine practices that are common with emerging churches, though not all nine are common to each emerging church. Each emerging church, however, does possess three core practices. The other six practices according to Gibbs and Bolger "are derivative of these three core practices."

The three core practices are:

1. Identifying with the life of Jesus - they say, "modern readings of Jeus are prone to dismiss his life and focus on his death and resurrection," while emerging churches focus on "the way of Jesus - his life and his engagement with culture, as embodied in community and given verbal expression in the Sermon on the Mount." They say that N.T. Wright, John Yoder, David Bosch, Dallas Willard and Lesslie Newbigin are some of the scholars that the movement relies on.

Right on, I love them all! They have all contributed greatly to my understanding and their works are something we should all be familar with.

2. Transforming secular space - emerging churches also "pursue the kingdom in all spheres of reality, overcoming the secular/sacred divisions."

I definitely jive with this, after all, God came to redeem not just human beings, (as great as that is,) but the entire world. For God created all things "good". The problem is not creation. The problem is sin. Therefore the solution is not "going into a bodilessness existence in heaven" but rather bringing heaven to earth. No wonder we are told in Revelation 20 that God will make "all things new", not make all new things. Paul says, "all of creation groans to be released from the curse." And sure enough, someday the redemption of the world will be realized, and all will be as it was supposed to be.

3. Living as community - emerging churches "do not function as affinity groups but more like extended families. In Christendom, the Sunday meeting was the center of corporate spiritual expression for the community. In post-Christendom context, a church-meeting focus ceases to be indigenious to the culture or necessary to be faithful to the gospel. Instead, the practice of community formation itself is more central than the church meeting."

So true.

Summing it up, they say, "An emerging church community seeks the kingdom in all realms as it serves as a way of life for its people."

The other six practices of the emerging church cited by Gibbs and Bolger that flow from these core three are:

4. Welcoming the Stranger
5. Serving with Generosity
6. Participating as Producers
7. Creating as Created Beings
8. Leading as Body
9. Merging Ancient and Contemporary Spiritualities

With the way that Gibbs and Bolger define the emerging church, I would glady identify with the emerging church, though I personally don't like labels, especially when they are as undefined, complex and new (when it comes to the history of the church) as "the emerging church." For at this time so many people are defining what is called the "emerging church". But when you put core concepts, core theologians and other practices that flow from them together like Gibbs and Bolger did, I think I identify more with that, and have more confidence to say that these things do in fact express the heart of kairos los angeles, and many of the things we are about here in Hollywood, Westwood and Downtown.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Totally LA

Artwork by Adam Pointer

Top Ten New Restaurants in LA
City Search has compiled the top 10 new resaurants for 2005

"Narnia" set for lion's share of box office
Narnia is predicted to do well, the only clouds on the horizon are the snowstorms forecast throughout the Northeast, which could hurt ticket sells write the hollywood reporter

Nominees for the 48th Annual Grammy Awards
The LA Times Envelope chats about the Grammy Awards and gives a complete list of the nominees for the award ceremony that will be taking place downtown at the Staples Center on Wednesday, February 8th

Paper Bags Los Angeles
NY Mag sets up shop this week at Melrose and La Brea

The Housing Crunch
Average Home Price in LA County Sept. 2005 was $494,000

Cash, Kong and Capote May Join Oscar List
A little talk of what movies may get nominated

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Calls for Denser LA
A look at his first "State of the Valley" address by the Daily News

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Phishing for Money

When I was reading Reuters lastest article on Phishing scams, I took it to heart, because within the last two weeks I have been a target two times. According to the article, roughly one in four U.S. Internet users are targets of phishing attacks - phony e-mails seeking personal financial data - according to a study conducted by Time Warner Inc.'s Internet unit AOL and National Cyber Security Alliance.

This first time was just a couple of weeks ago. I got an e-mail that looked like it came from Amazon, where I happen to shop quite often. The e-mail that was supposedly representing Amazon (very well I might add) said that as they were doing their routine investigation they discovered something wrong with my credit card. So I logged on. They did well at mirroring Amazon's site, actually some buttons went directly there. I was putting in all the info until it came to the part when they asked me for my pin number.

So, I thought to myself, "I have never given my pin number on-line before, why would they be asking for that." It was then then I looked up at the site address and noticed it was from a university in Tiawan. I knew then that someone was phishing.

I've learned that if any e-mail asks for personal information regarding my credit cards, I will never answer the question through the e-mail. I will just go directly to the given website. This way I can easily avoid many of the people who are phishing for my cards.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"Narnia" Big Screen Debut Pleases Critics

Reuters News Service (Los Angeles) writes: "It took C.S. Lewis five years to write 'Chronicles of Narnia,' one of the best-loved children's series of all time, and a half-century for his hiers to get it to the big screen but positively early reviews indicate the old fashion yarn made the journey safely."

Some of the early reviews that you can find on Rotten Tomatoes are:

"Magical and marvelous... cross between the story of Jesus and The Lord of the Rings." Steve Rhodes, Internet Reviews

"After his splash with the hit animation Shrek, Adamson makes an ambitious leap with his big-screen adaption of Lewis' beloved book, a special-effects fare that suceeds in keeping its intimate family tale." Emanuel Levy,

"A visually impressive adaption of C.S. Lewis's classic tale, wich unfortunately slights the forgivness theme in favor of a big battle scene led by a not-very-Christlike Aslan the lion." Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Health

"The Movie remains faithful to the book in both tone and imagery." Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times

Well, it looks like someone purchased a ticket for me to watch it this coming Friday at 4:40 p.m. at the famous El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Blvd about a mile down the road from me. The El Capitan Theatre debuted on May 3, 1926, as "Hollywood's First Home of Spoken Drama." That evening, limousines pulled up before the theatre's elaborate cast-concrete Spanish Colonial exterior and deposited Hollywood royalty. It is a pretty impressive theater, right across from the Kodak Theater, where the Oscars are held now.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Our Mission - Part II

So now I am going to get into the first line of our mission:

Moved by Ancient Wisdom
The point here being that we did not invent our mission, it is not a new one, rather we received it just like those who have gone before us. We have been moved by God through His word and motivated by His Spirit as we learn from the life stories of those who have taken the journey before us.

Some of the stories that have shaped us are the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Joshua, Debrorah and Gideon, Samuel and David, Isaiah and Esther, Peter and James, Priscilla and Aquilla, Paul and John, as well as those who have been shaped by their stories - people like St. Irenaeus, St. Augustine, St. Aquinas, St. Francis, Theresa of Avila, John Hus, Martin Luther, John Wesley, Corie Tin Boom, Mother Theresa, N.T. Wright and many unsung heros.

Jesus of course is the climax of the story and the head of our mission today. The scriptures, the Holy Spirit and the Church to which Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom, all have a part in helping us to keep faithful to the mission.

Web Portal

Photo by kittycat

A Doorway into the
World Wide Web:

The Jaded-Driven Church
Unfortunately it will probably be crowded with people. Move over seeker sensitive and purpose driven churches.

Love hurts? So does a wounded marriage
More evidence that an unhappy marriage is bad for your health.

Study: Coffee reduces liver risk
I'm always glad to hear of the health benefits of drinking coffee.

The Billionare Behind the Naria Film
The LA Times does an interesting article about multi-billionaire Philip Anschutz who financed half of the upcoming Narnia movie.

Moderate Drinkers show lower obesity risk
A little wine for your stomach Timothy?

Seven Types of Highly Effective Bloggers
The Seven-fold path to get to blogger heaven.

"Podcast" is named word of the year

says The New Oxford Dictionary.

Mayor to Put Finishing Touch on Hollywood Sign

Another quick Hollywood make-over.

The Networked Life of a 21-Year-Old
Super Plugged in Paula Lehman provides some lessons for an older colleague about navigating in the always-connected world.

Addicted to the Web? - Help is on the way!
Specialist estimate that 6 percent to 10 percent of the approximately 189 million Internet users in this country have Internet addictions.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Porn for Scriptures and the Great Commandment

Boing Boing clued me into an article that talks about how an Atheist Group at University of Texas San Antonio staged a "Porn for Scriptures" event. They had a table for people to exchange their religious scripture for porn.

According to an article by the Athiest Agenda at UTSA, they are "a social gathering for like-minded students who feel very strong about religion and our society." They say, "Our campus is full of religious groups, but there weren't any free-thought or Atheist groups. We felt there should be a group to counter all religious groups. During our meetings we discuss relevant topics concerning the existence of god and teaching others about various religions and how to defend the idea of Atheism better."

The site goes on to say, "This project was partly to have fun on campus before finals, but also proclaim that we find religious text to be smut. To set pornography and religious texts as equal forms of smut."

So what would your response be if you were walking past this table? Would you walk by getting angry at the people behind the table? Would you tell them off? Would you simply call them fools?

News 4 in San Antonio reported that some religious leaders were "angry." Pastor Hawkins is reported to have stated in an interview, "In my opinion, there are no athiest. There are fools. So that would be foolish propaganda."

Ryan Walker, a student who is a apart of the Athiest Agenda group stated, "We consider the Bible to be a very negative force in the history of the world."

What would be the best way to respond to such an event?
Who knows, but for me when I just look at the faces behind the table my heart is sad, not mad. I'm sad that they have come to see the Bible as a negative force in the world. The first thing that I would want to do would be to listen to them. I would want to ask them, "In what ways do you think the Bible has been a negative force in the history of the world?" My first response would be to listen to them and to learn how they have come to such conclusions, and to find out how deep they really felt that was true. I would want to really get to know them as people. I would do my best to put myself in their shoes to find out what events or ideas have shaped their current perceptions.

My guess is that there would be a number of things that I may very well agree with them on. Because if we are honest with Christian history, it hasn't always been very pretty. As a friend of mine said the other day, the church is both messy and a mystery. My guess is that they would probably talk about the crusades, the lack of respect of creation, the hate toward gay people, etc...

So I would probably find out what I agreed with them about and share my same concern. Why would this be my first response? Because Paul calls us to "become all things to all people in order to win them to Christ." To the atheists we are called to be an athiest, so that they might better see Christ.

In my personal experience, most people I meet don't reject the Christ (or God) that is actually presented in the scripture, but rather a wrong charaterization of Christ, often propounded by Christians themselves. After taking a long time to listen and really understand, then depending on the sense of the Spirit and their desire to dialogue, I might talk about the difference between the true Christ and a wrong characterization of Christ, by talking about Athiest and the often wrong characterizations that people have of them.

I think that if Christ was willing to lay his life down for athiests then I could at least do my best to love them and help them felt heard. For in my experience people aren't moved to understanding by our anger or arguments but by our love and respect. Responding in love may provoke them to ask "Why aren't you angry like the other religious people?" And if they wanted to know, I would share with them why. I think our basic job description is to love people until they ask us why. Isn't that what the great commandment all about?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Our Mission - Part I

Often people ask me what our mission is at kairos los angeles. We developed three sentences to describe our mission. So over the next week I thought I would share those three statements with you and then describe one of them each entry.

But first, I will first share the three part mission statement, an overview of the three and then in later entries give the statement again and an explanation of each statement.


Moved by Ancient Wisdom

Engaging a New Renaissance

Working toward a Coming Shalom

Each one of these statements describe a different element of our mission. The first statement represents the past, our mission comes to us from the ancient wisdom of the scripture, from which we hear the voice of God. Our second statement moves into the present. We recognize that we are called to contextualize the good news. While the third statement looks to the future. The coming Shalom. Next week I plan to talk about each statement in a different blog entry. Until then thinks about how God is at work in and through your life.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A New Chapter

Just like this picture displays simple beauty, I am hoping that this next year is a bit more simple for me. I have felt like I have had two full-time jobs this past year. One helping our national organzation through tough transitions and the other as a church planter in the city of LA. One of those roles would be enough for most people, let alone both.

This next year I am looking forward to having a greater focus in LA. Though I will be helping in a more limited capacity serve churches in various places around the world, I am expecting that by February of this next year that my travels will be much lighter.

So as I look at this next year my heart comes alive to the possibilities of what God has. I love living in LA, it's diveristy, complexity and the opportunities for the good news to spread. I love the church that I am pastoring and deeply appreciate the commitment that our congregation has to bless the neighborhoods in which we live, as well as their willingness to allow me to serve the greater whole for a season.

After a very emotional exhausting year, I look forward to a simple focus. No doubt their will be challenges this coming year, but they are the kind of challenges in which I love to give myself. I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my life!