Friday, September 30, 2011


Came across a couple of interesting blogs touching on cohabitation from very different vantage points.

What Cohabitation Does for a Marriage:
  • If couples want to dramatically boost their likelihood of divorcing once married, few things so widely practiced will ensure that than cohabiting. This is just the opposite of what most believe.
  • If women want to significantly increase their chances of being a victim of physical, sexual and verbal violence from their mate, cohabitation is what they are looking for. Men with rings on their fingers are dramatically less likely to be abusers of any sort.
  • If you want to learn poorer problem-solving, communication and negotiation skills in your relationship, cohabitation can help you there also. This is because the lowered sense of commitment and relational clarity causes live-in couples to practice and learn fewer healthy interactions.
Read more here:

Mexico City Considering Two-Year-Plus 'Marriage Trial'

Posted 9/30/11 11:59 a.m.
MEXICO CITY (WLS) - Mexico City lawmakers are proposing legislation that would allow newlyweds to apply for temporary marriage licenses, instead of making the plunge into wedded life a lifetime commitment.
The change to civil code was proposed this week and would allow couples to decide the length of the commitment, with two years as the minimum. If couples are still enjoying wedded bliss when the contract ends, then they would be able to renew the license. And if they’re unhappy, the contract expires and they are both free without going through a divorce.
The legislation has proved to be controversial in Mexico, the country with the second largest Catholic population in world, after Brazil.
A vote is expected on the proposed legislation by the end of the year.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Iranian Pastor to Be Executed

Pray for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who is about to be executed for not converting to Islam.

Before his last hearing Wednesday, Nadarkhani had been given three previous chances to repent, and all three times he has refused. After his final refusal Wednesday, no verdict has been announced, but many expect that he could be put to death as soon as Friday
Read the full article here:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Four More Years of the Antichrist?

Not the best publicity for the Gospel:

Heckler Calls Obama "The Antichrist" At LA Fundraiser

The heckler was booed by the crowd when he began his rant with "The Christian God is the only and only true living God. The creator of heaven and the universe."

"Jesus Christ is God! Jesus Christ is God! Jesus Christ is God! Jesus Christ is the son of God!" the man continued.

"You're the antichrist!" the man said. The crowd responded with an enthusiastic cheer of "four more years" afterward.

"First of all, I agree Jesus Christ is the Lord. I believe in that," Obama said to tepid applause.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rob Bell To Leave Mars Hill

September 22, 2011
To our community of attendees, listeners, and supporters:
The infamous quote “change is the only constant” certainly holds true at Mars Hill. We have experienced ongoing changes that have improved and transformed—as well as at times unintentionally created tension or heartache within our community. And now, we have another significant change to hold together.

Feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities, our founding pastor Rob Bell, has decided to leave Mars Hill in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience.
                                                         You can read the rest here:

Einstein Wrong About the Speed of Light?

One should always be careful about wacky claims made by fringe loonies. And when a foundational "truth" that has been the basis for modern physics for the last 100 years is called into question, one is right to be just a little skeptical. Still, CERN scientists are not really fringe loonies. This could get very interesting, very fast.

The Telegraph:

Speed of light 'broken' at CERN, scientists claim

It was Albert Einstein, no less, who proposed more than 100 years ago that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light.

But last night it emerged that the man who laid the foundations for the laws of nature may have been wrong.
The science world was left in shock when workers at the world’s largest physics lab announced they had recorded subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light
If the findings are proven to be accurate, they would overturn one of the pillars of the Standard Model of physics, which explains the way the universe and everything within it works.
Einstein’s theory of special relativity, proposed in 1905, states that nothing in the universe can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. But researchers at the CERN lab near Geneva claim they have recorded neutrinos, a type of tiny particle, travelling faster than the barrier of 186,282 miles (299,792 kilometers) per second.
The results have so astounded researchers that American and Japanese scientists have been asked to verify the results before they are confirmed as a discovery.
Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the researchers, said: “We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing.”
Scientists agree if the results are confirmed, that it would force a fundamental rethink of the laws of physics.
John Ellis, a theoretical physicist, said Einstein’s theory underlies “pretty much everything in modern physics”.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I'm re-reading some of Yancey's superb book. He is a man born out of time. Like David, he is a man after God's own heart. Perhaps he is even ruddy, though handsome might be a bit of a stretch. But who needs handsome when you can think and know and write about God like he does. . . 

"It occurred to me one day that though I often worry about whether or not I sense the presence of God, I give little thought to whether God senses the presence of me. When I come to God in prayer, do I bare the deepest most hidden parts of myself? Only when I do so will I discover myself as I truly am, for nothing short of God's light can reveal that. I feel stripped before that light, seeing a person different from the image I cultivate for myself and for everyone around me."  - p 33.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Pain of Ministry

I haven’t written anything for a couple of weeks. Avoidance perhaps? Not really. How about guilt? Ah, now you’re getting a little warmer.

Psychologists have a specific term for this: “survivor’s guilt.” After any traumatic event, like war or a fatal accident, those who are still alive and return home feel guilty. Sure, they may have wounds themselves. But at least they’re able to hobble back to the place they call home; others don’t have even that privilege.

In the last few weeks, we’ve been through a pastoral transition that has been really painful. Not ugly, like they can easily be. But really painful. The most pain is shouldered by a great family who has made LakeView Church their home this last year. Good people who invested their energies and entwined their lives into this spiritual community in the belief that it would be their home for a whole lot longer than a year. We all shared that belief and hope. And now they’re moving on. To where, they do not know.

And that’s incredibly painful for them and for many of us—for different reasons and in different ways.

While there’s so much I love about the church, I hate the reality that things like this ever happen anywhere. More than that, I hate that this has happened on my watch in our church with people I really do care for. It’s not that my pride is wounded that I wasn’t able to navigate us to a better outcome (well, maybe it is, just a little). It’s that, while the leadership has been walking lockstep together through all this, at the end of the day the success or not of the staff is my responsibility. And I have to wear that and eat it and live with it and submit to it. But I can still hate it. And I can still dream: if only our church was a little bit bigger and we had an Executive Pastor who handled personnel and I could stay above the fray!

So now you can add survivor’s envy to survivor’s guilt.

I never heard about either of those conditions in seminary.

But I did hear about one painful leadership situation. Ok, Scripture has way more than one. But one in particular comes to mind. In Acts 15, Paul and Barnabas have been enjoying doing effective ministry together but something almost unthinkable happens between the Great Apostle and the Son of Encouragement:
36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.
One can only imagine all the angst and turmoil that accompanied this rupture. It must have been one of the lowest points in ministry for both of them. It must have just devastated everyone who was part of their “circle.”  And yet I am so glad that it happened, and that the Spirit of God, through Luke, recorded it for us.

I’m so glad for this passage, not for justification, but because it’s a God-given reminder that ministry is often attended by pain. Certainly we should never seek to create pain. And when it seems unavoidable, we should try and ameliorate it. But we should never be surprised by it, as if such a thing is never possible in the church or among Christians. Paul and Barnabas show clearly that it is.

They also show that our Sovereign God can ultimately bring about his good purposes from circumstances that are less than ideal. What had been one mission, was now two. Paul headed in one direction with Silas, Barnabas in another with Mark. And the work of the kingdom spread.

Perhaps most significant of all is that, about a decade after this event, Paul writes an astonishing line to Timothy from his prison cell. At the end of his life, he asks Timothy to “Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is useful to me in my ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).

What I love about this little snippet tucked away in the pastoral epistles is that it says there is hope. There is hope that even in the midst of the pain that invariably accompanies ministry, there can be healing. There can be forgiveness for the hurts. There can be restoration. There can be a recognition and even a celebration that God works in and through us all in diverse and amazing ways.

In others’ pain, and in my own, that’s what I’m praying for. With one exception. Let’s not wait a decade. Let’s let it start now.