Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Social Networking

I just had a great conversation with my good friend Dr. Fermin Whittaker this morning about the topic of Social Networking. We talked about ministry effectiveness and the need for authenticity in all of our motives. Are we really after the numbers or is there another bench-mark that we should place our aim? We talked about community and how that word has become elemental in our culture.  Questions began streaming as we talked, I’m asking myself: What am I doing to take what I do to the next level of impacting lives? How can I do a better job of communicating?
Dr. Whittaker is an out of the box thinker, which allows him to step into the thinking processes of young people and look at what’s coming soon with excitement for change rather than dread. Speaking of change… (more…)

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too busy

I left my phone at home today. I feel naked. There’s no reason to have my phone today, so I shouldn’t feel anxious. Like most days I will drive home later on and probably won’t need to pull over and call someone for help. If I need to call someone regarding work, or even if I want to call home, I have my office phone right here on my desk. I have so many other ways to communicate it’s ridiculous. My computer blips with a new email recieved every few minutes. I check facebook at work. shhh…don’t tell anyone. On a normal day, I’m communicating electronically all day long. Whenever I do something it’s almost as if something electronic told me to. I wonder what would happen if I unplugged for a day. Or what if I took a sabbath day. I think I would nap.

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Dumpster Bear

The bear

While I was in college, I had the opportunity to be a lifeguard and summer staff leader at Pine Summit Christian Camp with my friends Thomas and Christal Castro. One of the best things about that summer was that I got to spend a lot of time hanging out and getting to know high school students. During one of those weeks of camp, a young man named Tony graced us with his attendance. Tony was in 8th grade and was too tall for his age making him just a bit uncoordinated. He wore the punk getup, with a sideways cap and baggy jeans perhaps to fit in or maybe to look dumb intentionally. This kid from the beginning had an easily identified M.O. He was there to impress the chics. Everything he did had the hidden or not-so-hidden agenda of scoring himself a camp girlfriend. (more…)

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ed stetzer

 New Blogroll Link.

Hey friends, I haven’t written in a while, a new train of thought is moving though and new posts are on the way. However, i have been reading and keeping up with one major study going on at the Lifeway research center; Ed Stetzer’s new blog deals heavily with the issue of why students are leaving churches today. I want you to read the articles that have come out and will be coming out on this issue. Instead of even writing or commenting about it I turn you over to them. Click the edstetzer.com link on the blogroll now!

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Old Man at Jebel Shams
4,500 Contacts
I have two more days in Oman and then I get on a plane and head back to the US. I have a feeling I’ll be telling stories for a long time. I’ve learned a lot about the History of Oman since I’ve been here, I won’t get into it now but oddly enough people would assume that since I have a degree in History, that means I know the history of every part of the world. Well, actually yes I do; It’s called History according to Chris. As of right now, credibility is a small problem but I’m working on it. So anyway, I went to a Portuguese Fort today and really enjoyed walking around and discovering things that influenced the Omani culture that may still be intact today. A student of History doesn’t necessarily know everything about a subject, he tries, but the goal is to realize contextual clues and critical catalysts that define or defined a society and its contribution to civilization. Intense huh. (more…)

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Grass for Goats
Sights, Smells, Tastes and Sounds.
There is a shedding away of stereotypes and prejudices when someone views a culture from an intimate perspective and is willing to confront and challenge their previous understanding. This is why traditional academia and scholastic resources are only half of my education. I can only gather a subjective perspective from an expert on a subject and can only read one aspect at a time from an entire library of books. And I don’t plan on reading every book written on a subject because I don’t have that sort of time. So with traveling, though my experiences is still somewhat subjective, it adds the flavors, smells and life to my learning experience enough to broaden and deepen my grasp of culture. This happened a couple years ago after taking a semester course on Holocaust studies then following up with a two week trip to Eastern Europe to add the contextual spice of walking where the Jews walked, and visiting the places that so many books were describing. Granted, I will never know the smells, sights, tastes and sounds of the Holocaust, I can learn much more by going than I can by sitting and listening to what other people tell me is true about it. The same thing is happening here in Oman. No, I’m not in Iran hiding my bible under the sheets as I read, but being able to experience this culture is so beneficial to the stripping away of misguided understandings that are found everywhere in America of Arab nations as a whole. Actually, most people don’t know this but the Iranians aren’t even Arab, they’re Persian. It’s so easy to look at the Arab race as an inferior people and I won’t rant about this but it’s the media that insights us. We’re so angry with these people and we don’t have a clue why we feel the way we do. I don’t know enough about Islam or any other religion for that matter other than Christianity, but if I were going to jump onto a bandwagon of bigotry I would need to know that not all Muslims belong the same schools of theology that Osama bin Ladin adheres to. It’s not like that at all! In fact, something I learned this week was that the Omani Muslims practice a brand of Islam that is unique to the Middle Eastern Region called Ibadhism. Here’s the deal, I could write and write until my fingers bleed and it wouldn’t make a difference, the only way that light will be shed on a new understanding is if we take the time to check out what’s around the bend. (more…)

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Connect 4

The Leaving Generation 

What this guy has to say about 18-34 year old Christians is right on. Jim Johnson, Director of Young Adult Ministry at Lifeway gives four important things that churches are struggling with in reaching young people. This discussion will help you get a grasp on what you may need to do to connect with “the Leaving Generation.” The Inside Lifeway podcast is an excellent resource for thoughts on Ministry and Evangelism in the 21st century. Check it out:

The Leaving Generation: http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podshows/988828

Index: http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podcasts/23279 

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