Monday, September 24, 2007

please pray

One of my favorite people is Kenn Kington. Kenn is a fantastic comedian, writer, and speaker. Even more, he is a fun, loving, Godly man. I met Kenn four years ago at a ministry conference. We hit it off right away and have stayed in touch since. He's been a great friend to us at NorthStar--speaking at our annual meeting in 2004, leading a singles conference in 2005, and bringing his Ultimate Comedy Tour to Columbia Baptist and to GMU.

Kenn has also been a great friend to our family. He and Ashley are great buds--she gets to go backstage and hang out when he performs nearby; and he once came to watch her play soccer. Kenn is truly one of the good guys.

I just found out yesterday that Kenn's four-year-old daughter Kennedy Grace has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She was diagnosed in April and is undergoing treatment. You can read about Kennedy Grace here.

Please join me in praying for Kenn and his family. I also highly recommend his books--great stuff on relationships, and his DVD's--great family comedy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

more from Everything Must Change

working through Brian McLaren's Everything Must Change. Great read so far; very relevant to thoughts I have been having--which I find often happens with Brian's writings.

He talks about how he was influenced by the situations of people in other countries--Rwanda, Burundi, South Africa. I have been struggling with this; feeling that we (western Christians) are concerned about people near us--we are horrified at violence and terrorism and disaster when it happens in our own backyard; but not so concerned when it is on the other side of the world.

Brian confesses that for years,
I also knew that most churchgoers, including myself, either didn't share that concern for the poor or didn't know how to turn concern and good intentions into constructive action. (p. 16)

In chapter five Brian says that the Christian religion

has specialized in dealing with "spiritual needs" to the exclusion of physical and social needs. It has specialized in people's destination in the afterlife but has failed to address significant social injustices in this life. It has focused on "me" and "my soul" and "my spiritual life" and "my eternal destiny," but it has failed to address the dominant societal and global realities of their lifetime: systemic injustice, systemic poverty, systemic ecological crisis, systemic dysfunctions of many kinds. (33)

Brian is often accused of focusing too much on social problems and not enough on the spiritual. But I think he is saying they must go hand in hand. God doesn't separate them. Jesus said we should love people and meet their needs--physical and spiritual.

The Christianity that we live out here doesn't make much sense in much of the world. How can it, when we are so rich, yet do so little to alleviate suffering in much of the world?

I'll climb off my soapbox. I'm loving this book; it has me thinking much more globally, which is what I believe God wants for those of us who follow Him.