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Showing posts from February, 2011

What If It Snowed in Fresno?

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Before living in Fresno, I had never before found myself in a locale where snow was all but impossible. Fresnans, please admit that it never really snows here. Oh sure, folks talk about "the great snow of 1967" when a couple inches of white stuff hit the ground. People actually tried to make snowmen out of it. Others tell me that there was a white dusting several years back. "Everything was white," they tell me.

I'm sure it looked nice. Perhaps it tickled the imagination of all, young and old. But that's a far cry from a real snowfall.

I spent more than a decade in the southeastern part of the US. It rarely snowed any significant amounts there, but an occasional snow storm did occasionally pass through. I remember below-freezing temps continuing for days as we pulled out sleds. I even built a snow fort in the yard. That was real snow.

I've spent two decades in northern places that had significant winters. Temps would sometimes hover below 32 F for weeks…

Fresno Seminar with Larry Osborne

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A group of us from College Church attended a seminar yesterday. This was a ministry forum hosted and planned by Fresno Pacific University. Approximately 300 pastors, ministers, leaders and ministry students were there.

I'm grateful to have a Christian institution like Fresno Pacific here in our community. Although I'm not in their network and not yet very connected among Fresno area pastors, I can't fathom a city and region as big as this without a seminary and ministry resource like Fresno Pacific. Thankfully, the folks at FPU seem to recognize their role and work across denominational lines.

The focal point of yesterday's gathering was Larry Osborne, pastor at North Coast Church in San Diego County. His story in a compelling one. When he became the pastor there 25 years ago, North Coast was a storefront church with about 250 members. Today, they have 8500 members spread among several satellite congregations.

Larry's written several books like Sticky Church and Sti…

Spontaneous Reaction from Egypt

Check out this stunning footage of the crowd in Tahrir Square in Cairo. No matter what you feel about the developments, you have to admit that energy and excitement is real. Many ordinary Egyptians really think this is a change for the better. And remember that many Egyptians are not strongly religious. Christians are also a sizeable minority. Keep praying for the people of Egypt!

Has Big Ben Really Changed?

To follow up on the post about Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, I thought I would share this excellent story about Ben Roethlisberger. Elizabeth Merrill is an ESPN.com writer. Her article gives an up-close look at the star quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers and his journey toward redemption.

PITTSBURGH -- The barkeeps along Carson Street say they haven't seen Ben Roethlisberger around in a while. They'd know if he were here. Pittsburgh, at its core, is one big little city. And people talk.

Steel mills used to drive the South Side, but sweat and grit have been replaced by Abercrombie & Fitch. It's a trendy area now, loaded with yuppies, college kids and watering holes. This used to be Roethlisberger's stomping grounds -- well, one of them -- and stories flow like Iron City beer from a tap.

There was a time, back in the boozy, pre-scandal days, when Roethlisberger could triple a bar's foot traffic within an hour. He'd show up at Jack's Rose Bar, a…

Reporting on the Middle East Affects Our Prayers

Whether we admit it or not, Christians are normally influenced by their national media. We are not as objective as we think because our sources of information are not as objective as we realize. On PRI's "The World," journalist Alex Gallafent reports on the reporting of the Egyptian uprising.

I recommend that you either read or listen to this report at The World's website.

Our stream of information affects the way we pray. Without realizing it, our prayers can be co-opted by our national interests rather than Kingdom interests. Listening to a broader range of sources might actually change the way we view & pray about world events.

Peace!

A Different Side of the Pack's Aaron Rodgers

Jen Lada of Fox 6 News in Milwaukee posted this about Green Bay's star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. She wrote it last May. I thought it was a touching piece.

This job affords me some incredible opportunities. Being a member of the FOX6 Sports team means I've been able to witness and report on events and people that many can only admire from a distance. I never take these situations for granted and sincerely appreciate being involved in whatever capacity each permits.

Monday marked just the most recent case as I had the unparalleled privilege to be a part of Aaron Rodgers charity event to benefit the MACC Fund.The MACC Fund is one of those incomparable organizations that has the curse of being perpetually under-appreciated. This is by no fault of the dedicated individuals involved with this amazing organization. Simply put, the MACC Fund can never be appreciated enough for the tireless efforts its employees and associates are making to help eradicate childhood cancer and blood di…

A Christian Response to Protests in the Arab World, part 2

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The wave of protests in Egypt goes on and on. The seemingly peaceful protest turned bloody last week as thug-supporters of President Mubarak started to attack the protesters. A family friendly revolution suddenly became a bloody battle for control of Cairo's main Freedom Square.

We can easily get swept away by the excitement of popular uprisings. Our own American revolution was a rebellion against tyranny, and we seem to feel sympathy for what we perceive to be similar revolutions. The revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989 fascinated us. The so-called Orange revolution in Ukraine got lots of press in the US, as did the Rose Revolution in Georgia.

We need to remember, however, that not all popular uprisings lead to governments of our liking. The Iranian revolution resulted in a theocratic dictatorship that has been hostile to the US. African revolutions have tended to be guerrilla movements that simply traded one authoritarian ruler for a different one -- even some that…

Bono's Prayer Breakfast Speech

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Bono was asked to speak at a recent interfaith prayer breakfast in DC. Some extremely powerful people were there. This is quite a sermon, and I encourage you to listen & register your thoughts.