The Unexpected Challenges of a Country’s First Election…

How do you teach an entire country how to vote when no one has done it before? It’s a huge challenge facing fledgling democracies around the world — and one of the biggest problems turns out to be a lack of shared language. After all, if you can’t describe something, you probably can’t understand it. In this eye-opening talk, election expert Philippa Neave shares her experiences from the front lines of democracy — and her solution to this unique language gap.

The Unexpected Challenges of a Country’s First Election…

The State of Missiology Today…

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I recently read (and would highly recommend) Charles Van Engen’s The State of Missiology Today:  Global Innovations in Christian Witness.  I was fortunate enough to receive a complimentary copy directly from the publisher.

The author (and his fellow collaborators) suggest that there are eight mission trends to guide us into the future…

  1. Technology:  Computer and satellite technologies will be more and more significant.
  2. Insider movements:  Those who follow Jesus of Scripture within their religious communities of origin.
  3. Preemptive peacemakers:  Displaced people are in need of the love of Christ and the creative and loving presence of Christians.
  4. Scripture:  Christian growth and development simply require access to the Bible in a local language with increasing cross-cultural Christian contacts.
  5. Migration and displacement:  In our globalized world poor immigrants are being received by nations far away.
  6. Holy Spirit:  Christian mission will be guided and empowered more by unmediated means and less by what is mediated by human effort.
  7. Poverty and promise:  Christian development work requires partnership, prayer, reflection, and long-term commitment to communities.
  8. Mission from the South and the East:  Mission will be from many centers and from the margins.

Pick up a copy and let me know what you think.

The State of Missiology Today…

Coben Is Missing You…

I had recently had the chance to continue through Harlan Coben’s works with Missing You (another stand-alone story).  This novel was not one of my favorites. The story seemed disjoined and disheveled at times – almost as if the author was trying a bit too hard.
With that in mind, here is how I rank his works thus far….
  1. Caught (2011):  Alcohol and Unforgiveness
  2. The Woods (2007):  Camp and the KGB 
  3. Tell No One (2001):  Emails and the Inner-City
  4. Fade Away (1996):  The New Jersey Dragons and Unrealized Dreams
  5. Six Years (2013):  University Professors and Fresh Starts
  6. Live Wire (2011):  Ultrasounds and Lip-Synching
  7. No Second Chance (2003):  Shattered Windows and the Serbian Underground
  8. Just One Look (2004):  Family Photos and Big Hair Bands
  9. Promise Me (2006):  Transcripts and Teachers
  10. One False Move (1998):  The New York Dolphins and Old Mentors
  11. Hold Tight (2008):  Parental Controls and Prescription Drugs
  12. The Innocent (2005):  Self-Defense and Camera Phones
  13. Back Spin (1997):  The PGA US Open and Mysterious Kidnappings
  14. Seconds Away (2013):  Varsity Try-Outs and Movie Extras
  15. Long Lost (2009):  CNN Anchors and Stem Cell Research
  16. Shelter (2011):  Butterflies and Concentration Camps
  17. Stay Close (2012):  Suburbia and Secrets
  18. Death Do Us Part (2006):  Vows and Vengeance
  19. Missing You (2014):  Online Dating Sites and Taverns
  20. Gone for Good (2002):  Covenant House and Childhood Bullies
  21. The Final Detail (1999):  The New York Yankees and Failed Drug Tests
  22. Darkest Fear (2000):  Paternity Suits and Plagiarism
  23. Drop Shot (1996):  The ATP US Open and Gang Violence
  24. Deal Breaker (1995):  The New York Titans and Magazine Advertisements
  25. Play Dead (1990):  The Boston Celtics and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
  26. Miracle Cure (1991):  The New York Knicks and HIV
I now plan to return (at some point in the near future) to the third and final installment of the Mickey Bolitar series with  Found.  Anyone read it yet?  If so, what did you think?
Coben Is Missing You…

Jesus is Not Returning on the Air Force One…

The Kingdom of God will not arrive on Air Force OneChuck Colson

To all those who are still undecided or who have not yet voted, the 2016 presidential election is less than a week away.  Finally, an end to what has been a disappointing and disgusting process (truly lacking both character and conviction).  How did we get here?

As a pastor, I am careful not to endorse a specific candidate.  My heart is to reach anyone and everyone with the gospel.  Politics can be so divisive – I do not want anything getting in the way of an opportunity of introducing someone to Jesus.  I trust, after someone encounters Christ and is transformed by his Spirit, that they will then be compelled to be a good citizen in their own context (that spiritual maturity impacts every area of our life).

Rather, I have included several different perspectives that I hope will assist you in making a prayerful and informed choice.  Some of my closest and trusted friends are unable to vote conscience.  This is a viable option at times (and not all individuals who lean this way are necessarily a part of the “Never Trump” movement).  Not voting because you are too lazy to register or uneducated on the platforms is inexcusable.  Protesting both parties and the candidates that they nominated is another story.  Little of what I have witnessed from this election will ever make America great again (let alone the Republican Party).  I am unapologetically pro-life (from the womb to the tomb – whether that life is innocent or guilty).  There are serious concerns in regards to future Supreme Court nominations.  However, many early Pentecostals were pacifists in a day when many of them were directly affected by injustices such as racial segregation and women’s suffrage.

That being said, I’ve come across good cases from other Christ followers on why to vote for Trump and even a few on behalf of Clinton.  Just as I said eight years ago, respect others and their differing convictions while praying for the leaders who are elected (whether you voted for them or not).  Regardless of what occurs next TuesdayJesus is still King.

Jesus is Not Returning on the Air Force One…

Durant STILL Won’t Get His Ring…

The 2016-17 NBA season tips off on Wednesday.  With that being the case, here are my predictions for the upcoming year

Atlantic Divisional Champions
Boston Celtics

Southeast Divisional Champions
Charlotte Hornets

Central Divisional Champions
Cleveland Cavaliers

Northwest Divisional Champions
Portland Trailblazers

Pacific Divisional Champions
Golden State Warriors

Southwest Divisional Champions
San Antonio Spurs

Eastern Conference Champions
Cleveland Cavaliers

Western Conference Champions
San Antonia Spurs

NBA Champions
Cleveland Cavaliers

Agree or disagree?

Durant STILL Won’t Get His Ring…

The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo…

I recently finished listening to (and would not recommend) Amy Schumer’s The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo.  I was intrigued by this book on a few levels.  First, I love to laugh.  Second, I read enough reviews to know that she was truthful and transparent in the way that she dealt with her own family dysfunction and religious confusion.

This should have come to no surprise to me – but she was far more crude and crass than I would have ever expected.  Honestly (and I know she could care less of my opinion), my heart breaks for the hurt that she has experienced.  And even though I do not respect her delivery, I do appreciate her passion on social issues and her generosity towards friends and family (namely how she honors her father despite his many shortcomings).

The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo…

Leading In an Era of Constant Change…

Who says change needs to be hard? Organizational change expert Jim Hemerling thinks adapting your business in today’s constantly-evolving world can be invigorating instead of exhausting. He outlines five imperatives, centered around putting people first, for turning company reorganization into an empowering, energizing task for all.

Leading In an Era of Constant Change…