for week ending Nov. 11 ...

Life's been a little hectic lately, and the blog has suffered for it.

Used to be I could chart how close Jesus and I are by how faithful I was with the blog. I'm happy to say, then, that my lack of productivity here isn't related to my Christian walk. Heck, I'm pretty on fire these days.

The result is that He's putting some things in my path that's taking up a lot of my time. Now, don't get me wrong. These latest developments are very, very exciting and God is doing some amazing things, but when you combine it with craziness at the office, two kids in diapers, planning for the holidays and getting ready for a long weekend trip to Florida ... well, let's just say it requires a deep breath and some prioritizing.

I am working on something that came up while I was studying a week or so ago. I'm looking forward to typing that up and, hopefully, getting some feedback if anyone out there finds it interesting. I hope you will. If you're interested, read this very strange, very interesting story found in Genesis.

And, if you will, stay tuned.

Now, on to the news (and links) of the week ...

For some reason, this issue makes Christians nervous. Come on, this isn't abortion we're talking about.

Being environmentally conscious doesn't hurt anything. If we are indeed negatively impacting our world, then owning a car with good gas mileage, using "green" lightbulbs and recycling our paper, plastic and aluminum products is making a positive change in our world ... and isn't that part of what we're called to do?

And what if Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio and the rest of the greenies are wrong? What harm does it do to be environmentally concious anyway? By conserving energy, maybe we aren't saving the world. But at least we're extending an olive branch to society and culture and letting them know that because we care about them, we care about those things they hold dear.

Again -- and I know I harp about this a lot, so forgive the broken record -- but it's about engaging our culture. No, not synchrotizing scripture with cultural values regardless of their morality ... that's not what I'm talking about. Scripture is still soverign, Jesus is still savior and the only way to truth is through Him. But we can still sit down across the table with people who have core values different from ours and engage in meaningful dialogue and, yes, even learn from them. If we do that, it gives us a credibility in culture that the church hasn't had for decades.

If our society sees us making an effort to understand it, then chances are it will make an effort to understand us. And when that happens, Truth wins out. It always does ... and the cool thing is that we know The Truth.

You mean recycling and driving a Prius can do all that? Hey, maybe it can.

This is a super, super ministry.
Here's how it works: you get a catalog that sells such things as "Water Buffalo for Community" and "Bicycle for Church Planter." You pick what you want, buy it, and it is then donated to a needy family/village/church planter in whatever Third World country you specify. Go to the website and get you a catalog.
A goat for a poor, rural Pakistani family is $75. A start-up training program for a woman in India to open her own business is $100. Three pre-natal visits for a Sengalese woman, tetanus shots for her and her baby and post-birth doctor's care for both is $37. You can buy Bibles for kids in China, India and Mali for $29.
Church planting among "emerging" generation Christians is hip ... here's some good insight on the movement (and a cautionary tale.)
Briefly ...
* To those of you in the Kanawha Valley, West Charleston Baptist Church is taking a group to New York City during the week of Thanksgiving, and they are looking for donations to take to the homeless there. They need winter hats, scarves, gloves and, especially, socks. If you can help, e-mail Pastor Norm Cannada at normcannada@suddenlink.net.
* To those of you in the Kanawha Valley Emmaus Community, I'm looking for people interested in helping out with the recently re-instated Chrysalis Community. If you are, drop me an e-mail to either my personal e-mail if you have it or to my Blogger account at Ephesians514@gmail.com, and let me know specifically how you are interested in serving.
"'For I know the thoughts I think toward you,' says the LORD, 'thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you future and a hope.'" (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV)