June 4, 2015

looking at Evangelicals through non-US eyes

Posted in cross cultural mission, culture tagged at 11:49 PM by alexlozada

From two different socio-political perspectives, reflections on Christ-followers who are doing “more and better”

Peter Berger focuses on Germany “Are Evangelicals Winning the World” Noteworthy that Berger changed the title of the Der Speigel article on which he’s commenting — the original German is apparently “are Evangelicals conquering the world” (not even a novice in German, I will take Berger’s word on it)

Earlier this year, Pulitzer prize winning columnist (and Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit speaker) Nicholas Kristof posted this positive look at Christian charity, “A Little Respect for Dr Foster”, in the op-ed section of the NY Times, not normally a forum for pro-Christian views.

May 26, 2015

Right and Left

Posted in contemporary, culture, history tagged , at 9:49 PM by alexlozada

Pertinent in reflecting on many social media posts over the Memorial Day weekend, my teammate Rob Kastens re-tweeted a link from Scot McKnight to Patheos.com’s Jesus Creed blog.

The article’s author, Allan Bevere, in turn cites James Hunter’s To Change the World.

Both Right and Left, then, aspire to a righteous empire. Thus, when he [Wallis] accuses Falwell and Robertson of being “theocrats who desire their religious agenda to be enforced through the power of the state” he has established the criteria by which he and other politically progressive Christians are judged the same (147)

Bevere’s conclusion:

Both the religious right and the religious left have their own brand of civil religion based on the same modern Liberal and individualistic assumptions. The religious right freely admits this.

It is time for the religious left to stop denying it and own up to the truth that they have the same agenda, though their issues are different.

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May 22, 2015

Another example of tech fostering alternate ways to connect

Posted in culture tagged , at 10:06 PM by alexlozada

Building on the premise of this NY Times article “Young Saudis increasingly rely on mobile apps and social media to circumvent conservative strictures” — Christians in cultures where living as disciples is dangerous can use some of these tools to nurture relationships and teach Biblical truth

May 14, 2015

House blessing and home cooking

Posted in culture, personal tagged at 10:24 PM by alexlozada

My MCC teammate Jeff Owens delegated to me the opportunity to participate in a house blessing for a Filipino family that attends MCC. While the brief event was  much simpler than this article, (no sacrificials animals [beyond those in tasty pancit, lumpia, etc] or coin tossing), the family did welcome their friends and family to celebrate God’s material blessing.

In a not-directly-related email exchange, I answered a question from an MCC friend about Filipino desserts suitable for bringing to a seventh grade class project. Thanks for a road trip last year for an MCC staff lunch, I already had a good first-person experience w/ Philippine Oriental Redefined for (in-store-pickup) catering and groceries 🙂 Thanks to the wizardry of Goodsearch Images, I was even able to track down the name “barquilos” for the rolled-sweet-biscuit-cookie which was my recommendation for simplest bring-to-seventh-grade item.

According to most recent US Census, Harford County’s Filipino population is a tiny fraction, but the greater Baltimore metropolis has a growing Filipino (and Asian overall) presence. As part of the house blessing, I referred to Abraham who understood what it meant to be an immigrant. Comfort food and customs from home can ease the restlessness of the lifelong journey….

May 3, 2015

Dis-Illusion: Christians are anti-gay

Posted in culture, MCC resources tagged at 11:05 AM by alexlozada

In this chaotic week, Ben Cachiaras closed the Dis-Illusioned series by tackling the topic “Christians are anti-gay.” The  message-based study guide and BIble.com-YouVersion Event notes.  Two of the most tweeted quotes from the message:

(Ben attributed the statement to a well-respected, [theologically] conservative Christian professor that Ben had asked about this topic)

May 2, 2015

MCC response to Baltimore events

Posted in culture at 11:52 PM by alexlozada

Mountain’s response to Baltimore events focused on prayer. The Creative Media team posted this call to prayer on YouTube.  MCC folks gathered at the Mountain Rd and EPICENTER campuses on Tue PM 28-Apr to pray together. Ben Cachiaras posted “My Plea to Christians in Baltimore” on his blog earlier in the week, and followed through with an extended length e-note that gave specific action steps, including MCC’s partnership with The Foundry church plant in Baltimore (featuring leadership-resident and former MCC staffer Josh Dew) and community organization Somebody Care Baltimore. At each of MCC’s three campuses during the 2-3-Apr weekend, the services opened with a pastoral prayer for Baltimore.

March 31, 2015

Metro Chr Convention “Going Beyond the Walls”

Posted in culture, NYC, tech tagged at 5:36 PM by alexlozada

Going-Beyond-the-WallsEarlier this month, I enjoyed participating in the annual Metro Christian Convention of NYC area Restoration Movement churches. My family actively supported the Metro when we served at East Northport Christian Church, and I’ve continued to make the drive from Maryland for as many of them as possible.

This year’s theme was “Going Beyond the Walls”, and my workshop combined the concepts of using social media for outreach and neighborhood (small) groups for discipleship. Here are the notes from my session.

January 5, 2014

Communication and learning styles

Posted in culture, servant-leader, tech at 9:53 AM by alexlozada

This IBM report is a long, sometimes dense report, but potentially useful for church small group and ministry team leaders. Page 16’s table on Generations (Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials) and preferred communications styles can help small group leaders know how to make better (more likely to be read and responded) contact between meeting times. Our church staff is often frustrated by the lack of read-and-respond to our emails, and recognizing that Traditionalists and Millennials are less likely to use email might help us use multiple means to contact them.  Communication, especially when not in-person, has long been a struggle in the church, as the Apostle Paul can attest 🙂

November 5, 2012

Ben C: What You Should Vote

Posted in culture at 11:33 PM by alexlozada

In the opening of the Mountain weekend message, “Let Me Tell You How You Should Vote,” Ben Cachiaras emphasized that he was NOT going to tell the congregation for whom – particular candidate(s) – they should, but how – platform of Bible-based principles. He did share an e-note before Maryland’s election on Ballot Question 6. You can read his e-note for yourself…. Oh you’re asking “how” I voted on Question 6? Those who know us realize that Ben & I practice “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love.” In non-essentials like favorite sports teams, we look very different 😉 On Maryland Ballot Question 6 (likewise a non-essential!), the (early) vote I cast last Friday looks like what he opined.

November 4, 2012

Ben C: Let Me Tell You How You Should Vote

Posted in better disciples, culture, MCC resources at 4:39 PM by alexlozada

logo Let Me Tell You How You Should Vote 2012

Let Me Tell You How You Should Vote 2012

Ben Cachiaras took on the controversial topic of Christ-follower voting in this weekend’s message, aptly titled “Let Me Tell You How You Should Vote.” This is the link for message-based discussion guide.

For more resources on this topic, Alex Absalom followed up on the post I mentioned earlier with his “Four Principles For Christian Political Thinking.” My teammate Kelly Kastens posted another thought-provoking election-related tweet linking an article by pastor Mark Schloneger.

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