Loose Ends

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75 Responses

  1. I think the end is near. But then I guess we really don’t know how to handle “near”.

  2. Josh Hamrick says:

    The end is near. Most likely within 50 years for me. Within 100 for anybody reading this. Could be tonight. Who knows?

    Live like it matters.

  3. Rob Murphy says:

    Somebody has to win “The Lord’s Return” betting pool . . .

  4. Alex says:

    The end is indeed near. Of my breakfast and coffee that is…

    I’m hearing that Mike McIntosh is saying that prophecy tweet wasn’t him, that he got hacked or something? Any truth to that claim? Anyone else hear this? True, false?

    Love the part about telling Trey you love him and getting to work on time. Good stuff. Good example.

    The CCCM member (they have membership at CCCM, go figure) that called in to the radio show with his 0bama rant is probably as you stated, not much there, but it does show a mindset that seems to be encouraged and fostered when Calvary Chapel shows viewings of 2016 and openly advocates for one candidate and against another. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of 0bama’s, but I get the “Don’t use Church to Campaign” thing…as they are supposed to be “non-profit” and get all sorts of special exemptions (many of which are exploited beyond what was intended). I think we can solve that by taxing the Churches like businesses, then they can Campaign all they want.

  5. Alex says:

    BTW, BG and CC find out who’s in our corner today…

    Would love to be a fly on that wall.

    I’ll just say that it was David vs Goliath…but then the Avengers showed up. We’ve got a Hulk 🙂

  6. Papias says:

    Live like the Lord could come back for me or for the Church today. There shouldn’t be mush difference in how I act for either option.

    Didn’t CCCM show Dinesh D Souzehs anti 0bama film? So even if this guy on the radio isn’t speaking for CCCM, then how far off is he from the mainstream CCCM attendee? While Chuck likes to say that he is apolitical, its no secret which way his fence leans.

    Alex – good luck with #5. I mean it.

  7. Alex says:

    Thanks Papias.

    I may come across as negative sometimes with my political and church rants, but I’m very much the eternal optimist being an entrepreneur and risk taker.

    I don’t see how we lose. I’ve done right. I am right.

    You can never be defeated…if you never give in to defeat. No matter what happens, I’ll win b/c I’m doing what I believe is right and I have faith. Stubborn, bull-headed faith. And no one can take that from me…and I won’t give it up.

  8. Another Voice says:

    The story doesn’t meet any standard of responsible reporting…at all.
    ————————————-
    As someone who lived in OC for a decade, the moment you simply mentioned ‘reported in OC Weekly’ the above was implied.

    It is not only a promotion of all things vile, it is also quite blasphemous. It is right on the cusp of needing to be kept in a brown wrapper behind the 7-11 counter, but as it is, is allowed to be handed out for free at many retail establishments in the OC.

  9. Alex says:

    AV, I’ll make sure to pass your review on to Gustavo, the head honcho there. I’m sure he’ll appreciate your take, especially you being a SoCal CC pastor and all 😉

  10. DavidH says:

    How many times has there been some kind of armed conflict between Israel and one of it’s neighbors? And, every time it happens the world is going to end shortly.

    AV, isn’t the OC Weekly akin to the old LA Free Press? 😉

  11. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “I think we can solve that by taxing the Churches like businesses, then they can Campaign all they want.”

    This^^^

    If Churches got their non exempt statuses revoked then we would see who really would do the Lord’s work without the tax advantages and who would really put their trust in him rather than $$$. Doing this would probably weed out some of the PIMP$

  12. Alex says:

    I pasted it on Gustavo’s FB wall. I figured if you are man enough to post it here publicly, it should be taken to the man you posted it about, especially since he’s a friend of mine and someone I hope is a fellow brother and if he isn’t then someone who we should pray for and not judge.

    1 Corinthians 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

    You just will never “get” it will you AV?

  13. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    AV Said:

    “As someone who lived in OC for a decade, the moment you simply mentioned ‘reported in OC Weekly’ the above was implied.

    It is not only a promotion of all things vile, it is also quite blasphemous. It is right on the cusp of needing to be kept in a brown wrapper behind the 7-11 counter, but as it is, is allowed to be handed out for free at many retail establishments in the OC.”

    Can you give any examples?

  14. Another Voice says:

    Alex, my ‘take’ would be shared by any of the people here who claim to follow Christ including you, if you ever actually held a copy of a complete paper issue…but it’s easy to point and click to single article links.

    Even if I was not a Christian, I would not want my children flipping through the pages of that rag. You wouldn’t want yours to do so either.

    I know they are your ally. I know they will print anything you send them when other media outlets have refused you.

    And I know that, just as you replied above as to this radio caller about CCCM, it doesn’t matter how accurate the story is – but the nebulous “shows a mindset” argument justifies anything for the cause.

  15. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    I do think the end is near and I mean real near like in our lifetimes (even sooner than that really). I think that the Church will go thru the tribulation period and see the revaling of the antichrist. How does this affect the way I live? Simple, it gets me Urgent about doing the Lord’s business of witnessing, preaching to the ost. Also it gets me to fear God even more and to shun evil and walk in Righteousness.

  16. Alex says:

    AV said, “when other media outlets have refused you.”

    You mean like the Fresno Bee, Visalia Times Delta, the Daily Kos, The Wartburg Watch…and PhoenixPreacher?

    You seem to be discounting Michael’s coverage as invalid? Interesting…since you claim to respect his take and participate here so much.

  17. Alex says:

    AV said, ” justifies anything for the cause.”

    You mean like “preaching the word verse by verse” and presenting the basic Gospel message and “saving” people justifies the CC cause?

  18. Papias says:

    Alex……AV….can you two give it a rest?

  19. 90% of the advertising in OC Weekly is from Smut Peddlers.

    If this Gustavo guy is the head honcho, then he is a smut peddler. What else can be said?

  20. If you read the OC Weekly on a weekly basis, the biggest thing you will learn is where to buy pot and that if you have sore muscles, Asian girls in sheer nighties will rub your problems away.

  21. Another Voice says:

    Hey Papias,

    I responded in agreement with Michael. With an explanation why those of us who know the OC Weekly (and that I assume would include you) are not surprised that (to quote) “The story doesn’t meet any standard of responsible reporting…at all.”

    I then have made exactly ONE additional comment, directed at Alex, who has made several responses at me. It was the only one I intended to make, though knowing Alex I understood he would reply with about five or more.

    Apparently, even one comment in reply to Alex is not allowed – no matter what is said at me first. Got it.

    I am surprised that Alex again is using the Phoenix Preacher to discuss his personal legal issues while you blow him a kiss in doing so.

    Expect a dozen more posts from Alex most likely.
    Expect no more from me.

  22. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    “90% of the advertising in OC Weekly is from Smut Peddlers.

    If this Gustavo guy is the head honcho, then he is a smut peddler. What else can be said?”

    This is where 1 Corinthian 5;12 would come into play, what else would you expect from those in the World?
    The problem is when those in the Church cover up for abusers, sex offenders and child molesters, that concerns me far more than the OC Weekly peddling smut

  23. Solomon – the issues are apples and oranges.
    The fact that Alex claims the OC Weekly as a credible source is what is at issue.

    And for my part, I just wanted to clarify for all who do not know the OC Weekly, who they really are.

  24. Alex says:

    I won’t post a million more times, this will be my last one on the subject today…

    AV said, “his personal legal issues”…hardly. If you’re buying that spin…the kool aid is thick. It’s CC, no doubt, and it represents a much larger Group of Bloggers etc.

    Don’t be fooled for a moment that CC isn’t watching closely as well as others like Driscoll, TBN, SGM etc etc and hoping BG wins so they can launch lawsuits to shut people up from speaking out.

    And, amen to what SolRod said.

  25. About the end times – this is a good read.

    http://www.cph.org/p-2902-jerusalem-and-parousia.aspx?SearchTerm=parousia

    Warning – not dispy – pre trib millennial 🙂

  26. London says:

    I’m with josh on this.

  27. Alex says:

    Ah, what the heck, just 1 more 🙂

    One of G’s friends, David “dd” DiSabatino gets a shout out in this one…

    http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/a-clockwork-orange/oc-weekly-wins-3-los-angeles-p/

  28. PP Vet says:

    As to whether the end is near and how I am preparing: I am at the age when the inevitability of death occupies one’s mind more than ever.

    I think more about my eternal home. What will it be like? What can I do to get ready? Is it OK to be looking forward to that life more than to the rest of this one? With some very real trepidation mixed in?

    We will have so much fun in heaven. How can we talk about that with realistic expectation without being escapist, or less than genuine?

  29. B.B.G says:

    No where in my bible does it teach us that we are to be a subvision of the Republican or Democratic parties.As Christians we are chosen by God do be something completely different.Most churches like CC and others have lost their focus on this issue.A political salvation for America ? A corrupt population will only elect corrupt leaders …..This is my rant for the day,have a good one!

  30. Friends,
    The church didn’t wrangle and speculate about regional wars until Darby & The Dispensationalists.

    The church DID wrestle with human rights, slavery, women’s rights, the right of self determination, how to improve the lot in life of the widows, the poor, those who have inadequate housing, bad sanitation, ignorance from lack of education, marginalization due to abridging voting rights.

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if some of the luminaries and “big guys” within the legendary CCMovement became known for these issues and silenced their sensationalistic fear mongering over one small piece of land which has every right to defend itself (as our President says)?

    Bail on DispySpeculation and return to living out TheGospel visibly by sacrificial love which silences our critics by our well-doing!

  31. Jtk says:

    Someone tell me I’m wrong:
    Why is it always old guys saying these are the end times?

    It seems that facing end of OUR life issues are tougher than imagining our rapturous escape into Jesus’ arms. Seeing imminent “signs” is more exciting ad easier to look at than our retirement savings and if we have enough life insurance for our wife, kids and grand kids….

  32. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    B.B.G Said:

    “No where in my bible does it teach us that we are to be a subvision of the Republican or Democratic parties.As Christians we are chosen by God do be something completely different.Most churches like CC and others have lost their focus on this issue.A political salvation for America ? A corrupt population will only elect corrupt leaders …..This is my rant for the day,have a good one!”

    +1

  33. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    MLD Said;

    “Solomon – the issues are apples and oranges.
    The fact that Alex claims the OC Weekly as a credible source is what is at issue.

    And for my part, I just wanted to clarify for all who do not know the OC Weekly, who they really are.”

    Pubs such as OC Weekly and others like it give an alternative veiwpoint and a voice to the underdog that much of the mainstream news doesn’t

  34. with cease fire in Gaza I’m sure Don and Chuck have had some wind taken out of their sails and will have to do some tactitcal manerveriong on their show today……stay tuned

  35. Em says:

    hmmm… old guys promote the end is near? now that’s funny … and true

    however, the author of Late Great Planet was not old when he wrote the book(s) and, considering the number of years passed since then, those teacher of the Faith at that time who found themselves bombarded with inquiries from secular and saint are, logically, old now …

    since, Aesop’s Fables are my source of understanding human behavior, for me, it seems logical that the “Boy Who Cried Wolfe” principle has kicked in … Jtk, thank you for a good ponder

    Dispensationalism, in itself, is not about date setting for the End – it seems to me that most people use the term in the same way that they use the term “Christian,” for most it is not understood and loosely applied to all sorts of fringe and conflicting teaching

    i think i smell my pies, so i’d better quit while i still understand what i think i’m saying 😆

  36. Lutyheran says:

    I’m starting to wonder if the African American church has it right (I’m generalizing here, of course). They seem to have a thing where they’re actually interested in changing this world and making it more like Heaven. It seems to be a theology where there’s not this sharp, abrupt disconnect between earthly and heavenly life. After all, Jesus said we are to pray, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Their eschatology is one of hope. I think that’s extremely important and significant. Much of the civil rights movement was fueled by this hope.

    You’re never gonna get that with a dispensational view that looks at civilization solely in terms of dark, apocalyptic terms.

  37. Lutheran says:

    I’m starting to wonder if the African American church has it right (I’m generalizing here, of course). They seem to have a thing where they’re actually interested in changing this world and making it more like Heaven. It seems to be a theology where there’s not this sharp, abrupt disconnect between earthly and heavenly life. After all, Jesus said we are to pray, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Their eschatology is one of hope. I think that’s extremely important and significant. Much of the civil rights movement was fueled by this hope.

    You’re never gonna get that with a dispensational view that looks at civilization solely in terms of dark, apocalyptic terms.

  38. Mark says:

    OC Weekly is a smut peddling rag.

  39. PP Vet says:

    I would agree that Christianity is about bringing heaven to earth – that is the message.

    One distinction I make, which I hope is not so abstract as to be meaningless, is that bringing heaven to earth is about extending that culture, not improving our culture.

  40. sarahkwolfe says:

    Have any of you watched the special on PBS on the Dust Bowl (I think there have been two or three episodes). I think I could have been persuaded that was the end of the world. Staggering.

    I used to be filled with absolute fear thinking about the end times. Then I took Gordon Fee’s class on Revelation. We sang hymns, with great relevance, to begin and end every class. He talked about how the book was written not to strike fear into people, but to encourage and give hope to a persecuted people.

    It changed my perspective. I still feel very naive about prophetic literature in the BIble, but I read it with more hope…and I hope that I lean toward the coming of the Lord with more anticipation and with strength when suffering occurs. Whatever the suffering may be…

  41. catherine says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Sarah, I too saw the Dust Bowl on PBS and had the same thought as you. I noticed that so many who had been children during that period remembered their parents, almost without exception, equating it to the ‘end of the world’ and being frightened at what they could not understand. Perhaps, especially in our generation in America, we are so quick to identify everything as an end-time event for the mere fact that we have not had the great calamaties that other generations have faced, not withstanding the hurricanes and 9/11. I read a book recently, Under the Banyan Tree, about a family caught in the terrible aftermath of Viet Nam and the Kmer Rouge. All of these things are horrifying and end time-ish I think. Maybe a foretaste to what is coming eventually in our world? I don’t know, but I wonder.
    That Revelation was written to give hope and encouragement is a good word and will change how I read that book. Thank you.
    Catherine

  42. sarahkwolfe says:

    catherine….I have this tendency when I get overwhelmed with what is happening, or what I perceive to be happening (Doesn’t have to be politics or anything over-arching…sometimes just overwhelmed with being a mom.), I go and read what I can find of people who lived in some truly terrifying times. Reading the stories of these who lived through amazing things gives me peace…

    The testimony of the saints.

    I know that I have not been tried very deeply, so I look to those who have and who have come through knowing a God who was true and present and real. Even if the circumstances remained difficult…there was the presence of God in the midst. We need to hear those testimonies and pay attention….or at least I do.

    I’m glad I was able to encourage you! That class was a landmark for me.

  43. Em says:

    Lutheran, “You’re never gonna get that with a dispensational view that looks at civilization solely in terms of dark, apocalyptic terms.” that just might be an aberrant dispensational view

    Sarah’s #39 makes me so sad – it is both interesting and heartbreaking to read the experiences (and traumas) that most (who are younger than i) have gone through as a result of what Lindsay set in motion … it seems to me that the illusory principle of “gravitas” has been causing damage in the Church long before it hit Washington and became the buzz word of the press’s short love affair with Cheney

    Christian and non-Christian alike have got to be sober-minded and hopeful of stopping the downward spiral that seems to be a numbing status quo – “it could be worse” is more of a possibility than a comfort …

    about 14 years ago, i found myself with some time on my hands and an understanding of flowcharting as it pertained to computer programming – one can create a flowchart without understanding those processes -a picture, really, of the progress of processes that prove the logic – i hated the gimmicky charts and explanations of the book of Revelation and i thought to myself, “i wonder how it looks in a flowchart…”

    i was amazed (awed might be a better term) to discover that the book’s flow is completely logical – that is not a declaration of an understanding of the events, nor an argument for any theory about them…

  44. Em says:

    #42 – Sarah, FWIW, i think you have been tried deeply and, like so many here, have stepped up in Faith to bless your family and the rest of us …

    the trial of the whole world caving in on everyone is another matter and our grandparents and great grandparents coping with the Dust Bowl and The Depression amaze me – it was almost as if WW2 finally gave them something manageable to fight ….

  45. I have the Dust Bowl on my DVR – don’t give away the ending. 😉

  46. filbertz says:

    trying to extrapolate the end of the world based on today’s news is like attempting to surmise the end of a novel by lifting a paragraph out of the text or a still photo of a scene from an epic movie. Either way, one still wears egg on his face at the finish. Better to keep reading, keep watching, and keep trusting.

  47. filbertz says:

    “I have the Dust Bowl on my DVR…”

    a good housecleaning is probably in order. 😉

  48. Em says:

    “Do you think the end is near and if so, how does that change your thoughts and behaviors?” as some have said already, i know that my “end is near” and, i don’t think that it has changed my thinking or my behaviors … is that bad?

    i do notice, tho, that my emotions are much less involved with the welfare of the younger generations than they used to be … so many religions pick up hints of what it’s all about and run with that and people through all the ages chose whom they will serve … for the Church in the world it’s all about Christ and the mystery and blessing of the events of His incarnation and ascension … all these side issues that other religions flounce and flaunt (and are pandered to as coming from deep thinking) fall into place when He is reconciled to … we truly don’t understand love and miss the enjoyment of it when it comes to Christ IMHO … or so it seems at this end of the road

    setting aside Scripture/prophesy, i can look at the world around me and see a high point that it reached and has steadily declined from … is it a cycle from which it will recover and rise again? i don’t know that, but if it doesn’t then the end is near … or, at least mankind, will wish it was … Revelation 16 … but are we there now? we’re just kids sitting in the back seat on this really … until we are there, we won’t know

  49. PP Vet says:

    I have enjoyed watching the Dust Bowl documentary.

    It helps put into perspective some of my own trials, like, the way the crushed ice comes out so slow from our ice maker.

    I hate that.

  50. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Just heard that Frank Pastore was in a serious motorcycle accident, prayers for him and his family

  51. Scott says:

    Ah, let’s keep the old angst grindstone turning.

    These discussions are getting old and predictable.

    You gotta come up with something more original. 😉

  52. Em says:

    Scott, okay then – how about pondering that rumor of making $75,000 plus benefits delivering Twinkies?

  53. Em says:

    delivering Frito-Lay, for instance, … i once knew a really fine Christian fella that had one of their routes and couldn’t come to terms with the fact that a store manager in one of the biggest outlets always had the Frito assigned prime front of the store spots filled another company’s stuff … the manager always gave him the same message: “the other guy makes it worth my while” … or something to that effect … it’s not a nice world out there …

  54. In defense of the Twinkie drivers, they are also the sales staff. They take orders and fight for shelf and display space – they don’t just deliver.

    They are union but did not go out on strike.

  55. Em says:

    the world of big groceries is a pretty shady business 😎

  56. Scott,
    Start a topic!

    Go! …….

  57. Michael says:

    I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt…just listened to Brodersons thoughts on the election…pure bs.
    Bull stuff by the truck load.
    I’m sure that no one who is a Democrat would want to step foot into that church now.

  58. brian says:

    This may sound moronic even pathetic but I hope I am ready when I go to meet Him or He returns for us.

  59. brian,
    I like to think that when it is one’s time, He will be there for us, even as He is there now, just so much more clearly that we will not want to stay

  60. brian says:

    “, He will be there for us” That is a wonderful thought but I have come to learn in my many decades in the faith that is an unreasonable expectation for some of us. But it is a nice thought.

  61. erunner says:

    “Of the 136 field goal attempts Grinnell had in the game, Taylor attempted 108 of them, making a respectable 52. He sank 25 of 37 shots from inside the arc, 27 of 71 3-pointers and 7 of 10 free throws to get to 138 points.”

    BrianD, Ball hog!! :mrgreen:

  62. London says:

    I have a topic.
    How would you start a new “practical ministry” in a neighborhood that is known for violence, racism and poverty.
    Many of the people, including the ones starting the church, are Asian with their own subculture than has a tradition of shamanism. Many on the neighborhood still actively practice it.
    There seems to be a pretty big % of folks that are black as well. The kids all play together, do theirs hope.
    There’s gangs and drugs a plenty.
    There’s churches sounding the neighborhood who avoid the area like the plague because they are too afraid. (so I’ve been told)
    There’s about 20 folks that are committed to serving there, some live in the neighborhood, some travel pretty far.
    They did a VBS for the kids this past year and some Easter celebration
    When I hung out with them, the guy in charge, a young policeman, said that he didn’t understand why people would come to the events they did, talk with them when they do the prayer walks but won’t come out to the park for church (yep, outside). He said something about wanting to bring them in or reel them in or something…which got me to say that it’s about serving them for the sake of serving them, not to “reel them in”
    But I’m not even sure myself what that would look like exactly.
    So…how would you guys, in a foreign neighborhood like I’ve described, start some meaningful, practical ministries that would enable people to build safer community, help each other and grow spiritually.
    There’s not a big (at all) budget and not a lot of “elders” involved. No big church behind it to find any big marketing or events…
    Seriously looking for brainstorming…have some ideas but will keep them to myself for now so I can hear what you guys think….

  63. brian says:

    I have been involved in doing this for about 30 some odd years of “ministry”. Each neighborhood is different, with the same problems. There are different dynamics, access to social safety nets, local politician /social group involvement, near by businesses etc. Let me unpack this poorly worded statement. In each local community there are assets that can be leveraged to meet specific needs. Start off “small”, many of the greatest works in the scriptures are those that are “small”. Cup of water etc. Take your core group and do a needs / interest assessment and see if you can line some needs up with interests. This can help find a place for each person in your group and their passion. Gaining knowledge of the ground I E the businesses, churches, social organizations etc. Networking with these organizations with specific needs can really gain you access to these organizations. The usalist which is available at many libraries can give you a real lay of the land concerning businesses in the area. Making a hand out sheet of available local resources can help you to answer questions and give referrals as needed. Finding individual needs to meet with in the local level and being able to connect that local need to someone who may be able to meet that need.

    I was very successful in doing this with many folks and much of it was done online and via the phone in my case. This is not worded well but I hope it helps.

  64. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Growing up in a dispensationalist milleu where you’d hear that Jesus could be coming back in eight months, maybe, could lead to two very different reactions. Apparently the folks Headless Unicorn Guy knew rushed to get laid before Jesus came back and got married. That must have been his generation. My generation, a post-Nixonian one, may have reached a different conclusion. What good was it to marry and plan for family life if Jesus was coming back soon? Didn’t Jesus say that in the age to come nobody would be married? So why bother? Well, Jesus didn’t come back 40 years after the formation of Israel after all and so a lot of my generation, even the folks steeped in Hal Lindsey stuff, seemed to go off getting married and having kids but the End Times stuff still looms with my parents’ generation.

    What it means for me is that the eschatological stuff can at times create a weird double-bind where the desire to see Jr married off clashes with the End Times perpetual panic and Jr is an amillenial partial preterist now, which means any conversation dealing with eschatology gets awkward really fast. It’s easier to talk eschatology with Eastern Orthodox friends and relatives for this Protestant than to talk eschatology with a bunch of people who imagine, against all serious attempts at exegesis, that Islam was the One-World Religion predicted in Revelations. It’s been a test of my reflex to correct to let “Revelations” slide and try to discuss the book itself and ignore the sad reality that professiong Christians don’t even know the vernacular nomenclature for the Apocalypse.

  65. London says:

    It makes sense and is how we started whatever it is we are doing here in town.

  66. BrianD says:

    E, I didn’t believe it until I saw it on SportsCenter 🙂

  67. Alex says:

    Ya, what Wenatchee said…I think 🙂

  68. Nonnie says:

    London,
    Reach out to the kids. I have a saying, “you love my kids, you love me.” I think most people feel that way. Start a meeting with games, skits that teach character and values, self respect, and especially, Bible truths that reveal how loved and precious they are to God. Through reaching out to the children, I am sure you will have opportunities to reach out to the parents. Praying for you!

  69. His Kid says:

    London,
    My suggestion is to consider a community project where the kids are invited to participate in. In other words, instead of doing something ‘for’ the kids, do something ‘with’ the kids. I keep thinking about the community gardens that have started in some big cities where everyone comes together to clean up a vacant lot, work the soil, plant some seeds, care for it and benefit from the produce. I know it’s not easy to find a plot of land someone is willing to let you use for those purposes, but that’s just one idea. It can be about painting a local community center together. Or building playground equipment…or finding elderly folks that just need clean up on their yards. The main thing is to find a project that you have the opportunity to work alongside the kids, build relationships as your painting a fence, and give them hope when you show that you care about making their community a better place to live.

    A friend of mine is getting involved in a ministry that Francis Chan is doing in San Francisco in the tenderloin district (homeless, alcohol, drugs, gangs, the worst area), that has a goal to start a home church in every apartment building in the area. Here’s some info and it might spark some ideas:

    http://adoptabuilding.org/about/

    Keep us posted….

  70. London @ 64
    I can tell you what we did in Salem. First our neighborhood is mostly poor. One of the two gangs in town is in my back yard. After a year of research we initiated 3 programs: an after school soccer program. We initially were in one school, but now have expanded to 4. To do that we partnered with a Methodist church in town. They have the same ( if not greater) passion to be an example of Christlike love. If you go to our webpage, there is a video (somewhere) about the program. Secondly, we built a community garden. We have 64 plots. A large % of people in our neighborhood are Hispanic or Ukraine. People come in in spring, plant, and harvest vegetable for their wn consumption. Its awesome. Lastly, we teach English as a second language. We’ve been doing soccer for three years now and the first school has recorded a marked decrease in discipline problems. Our goal is to see kids complete school. Too early to tell if that is working yet ( elementary school). We are training other church people who want to use soccer as a tool. You dont need 10 acres like we have to do a community garfen. Just a few plots will do. And there are ESoL programs to follow at your local community college

  71. Alex says:

    Wow, that’s good stuff up there by CC Salem. Wish it was the Rule and not the exception.

    I’m pretty convinced that’s where the bulk of the resources and efforts should go in a church (it is a priority at our church where I am an official “member” with voting rights and I have access to the budget and finances etc).

    Too bad in many CC situations, most of the money raised goes to pay for a nice building, coffee shop, salaries, trips, conferences etc.

    But, it’s great hearing the stories of when it’s done “right” IMO. GP at CC Hanford is one of those who really stewards the resources wisely and does a lot in the community (and w/o TV cameras in his face that he’s PR’d to be there).

  72. London says:

    Hoppy, thanks!
    I saw the video a while back and think what you
    Guys are doing there is a good model.
    This little group doesn’t own any
    Land to do the plots in although, I’d love to figure out how to make something like that happen.
    I shared your video with my Ukrainian friend and he’d love to talk with your football guy sometime. He’s trying to get something like that started in Ukraine and could use the insight from someone who’s done it.
    The park these guys use is right next to a school. They did ask the principal how they could help the students, as some of the others have suggested, and were told they could use help with reading. So far, nothing has been done about that.
    From what I’m hearing, the other churches, which surround the area are too afraid to do stuff there.
    Not sure how true that is…we will see.

  73. London says:

    HK,
    One thing that kinda struck me was “start with the widows”.
    This community is one made up of cultures that seem to respect elders so I could see how a community project to help widows do yard and basic household repairs could be something folks could get behind.
    One woman had a bit of a food pantry going on from her garage for a while. Something about someone else that had been sharing food items saw it as “competition”. I’m thinking of talking with her and seeing what happened. Surely there’s some food pantry that will provide food at a reduced rate to get that thing going again.

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