Friday, November 23, 2007

Blessed Are The Children

God has a special place for the children -- so honest, not yet learning to put up the fronts that we all put up to make ourselves look better in others eyes.

I watched this little child as she walked down the street -- in this picture right past a group of police -- and at each trash can reached in to her elbows to pull out pieces of food. The bottom of her pants filthy, the front of her shirt soiled from the dirt of the waste baskets that she came in contact with each corner.

She swung her basket like any playful child would -- but where does she go at night, where does she lay her head. I so wanted to go up to her, but what could I do -- it is not her who cannot speak, but I. And, where, in this country where 1/3 of all orphans are uncared for, would I take her.

Jesus loves the little children -- and calls us to demonstrate that love to them (even if it means learning Mandarin and going to China to do so).

Hey, I'm in China

Well, I made it safely to Kunming, Hanan, China. Left early early on Monday -- 12:45am and got to my hotel at a little after noon on Tuesday.

God gave me a glimpse of what it must be to live as a marginalized person, maybe the poor in the US. I was in Beijing and had to change planes, but my 1st plane was late, and I did not speak the language, and the sighs were unclear and as I was running through the airport to the wrong gate (I was told the wrong gate by the ticket lady) and then ran to the other gate, totally confused and feeling lost, I though how often must the marginalized or really poor fell like they have no way to be heard. Anyway, just a thought.

Tomorrow is all meetings -- from 8:30 until 4:30.. Today, after check-in went out to lunch, a really good rice and dried beef thing with veggies (2.50 American) and walked around the open market. Tonight we are going to walk around, see the lights.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Off The Map

Up here in Seattle for the Off The Map Conference which I am attending as part of my Dmin degree at Bakke Graduate University.

I heard something particularly interesting and new. In all the talk about the unprecedented age that the Church is in now -- in a culture that is post modern, post Christian, etc., etc., I had never heard the perspective presented by Dianne Butler Bass, author of Christianity for the Rest of Us.

Ms. Butler Bass states that the times that we are in and that the Church is facing is not unprecedented, but rather consistent with 2,000 years of Church history. Specifically she said that in western culture there has been a dramatic change every 500 years -- a significant shift in world views, most recently with the reformation in the 1500’s. She asserted that it is more than just change in technology or taste, but in the ways people think about the universe. She stated that this is where we are on the historical time line, that the Church in our time is like the Church in each one of these transformation periods. And, that some new form of Christianity emerges at each of these transition times.

I had never heard this before and found it fascinating.