Tuesday, August 28, 2007


By the way, points for anyone who can guess the approx location on this photo.

Men serving homeless men

I don't talk enough of what is going on with our Church. We have grown significantly this year. And because of this, we are now able to do more in and for the city.

So we have taken on two 'service project' or what they call here 'mercy ministries' here in NYC that we believe honors Christ, and serves the lost.

One of them is that the men of Christ Church serve the many homeless in the city. So once a month, we go to the NYC Rescue Mission and run their evening service. The men have nowhere to live, and they are struggling with all sorts of hardships, addictions and pain. They come for a meal, but if they want to stay the night in a clean bed at the Rescue Mission, they have to come to church first.

I think that they like it.

So in just a few hours, a group of us will be sharing the message of Hope to those who feel most hopeless.

Pray for us.

Armchair Philosophy for a Toddler

Armchair Philosophy for a Toddler

The Boy: When I grow up, I want to be a real man.
Mom: That's good.
The Boy: And when you grow down, you can be a baby.
Mom: OK.

Is the logic vaild?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why we chose to have our children baptised...

I've been reading the recent online baptism debate, summed here. I really appreciate the grace displayed and vigor of the debate. Here is the basic reason that we had our two children baptised (there are more reasons than this, for the record).

We teach our two toddlers:
  • to walk,
  • to eat,
  • and to love Jesus.

And as they grow older, they are learning to walk, and to eat and to love Jesus. And we expect that they will both keep walking and eating and loving Jesus.

Of course, like anyone at any age, they could in the future choose to stop walking, to stop eating or to stop loving Jesus. That will be their choice. But it will be opting out, rather than opting in.

At the moment, he's all in! Hence, his Baptism (not pictured here) ---


Friday, August 17, 2007

NYU Navigators: Forward to your Navs Friends.

Today, I met Mike Donovan.

Mike is nearing 22, and a servant of Jesus. He has had an extraordinary life, and "thus far the Lord has helped him". He has finished school (University, for my Australian readers), and is convicted that God wants him back at Navigators to learn from Peter Trautmann how to do ministry. (Like MTS, for Antipodeans.)

We talked for maybe two hours, and ended up in Starbucks in 16th St near Union Square. At the end, we prayed. Mid-prayer, I look up, and through the (very thick) window, I see this African-American lady standing right there, no more than 2 feet away. I pause in my prayer, wondering what she wants. The window was sound-proofed, but she motioned to us that we should keep praying. And she stood, outside in the light rain, head bowed, praying with us. Although she heard nothing of what was said, she mouthed 'Amen' at the end of it, and then she smiled and walked away. I love moments like this. I thought of Hebrews 13:1:
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
Here's the deal with Mike: He is raising his own support, and has done a great job so far. For what it's worth, I reckon if the actual Navigator Students at NYU got behind their new staff member, they could raise his last dollars.
  • If 30 Navigator students gave $25/month (or more), he would come close to his target.
  • Laurel and I are in, so all we need it 29 more people willing to give up one lunch a week for the sake of the gospel at NYU.
Navs people who read this, forward it to your buddies. And contact Mike directly (email me if you need his address) if you want to support him.

29 is all is needed.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

‘La Vida Loca’ or 'Rumspringa by Another Name'

After my post on Do our Churches have a version of Rumspringa a pastor wrote me an email called 'Rumspringa by Another Name'. Here is what he said:

At our church, when the leaders & I were working through young adult lists trying to work out where people were up to, occasionally we would put the letters (LVL) after a person’s name. ‘la vida loca’.


Have you been LVL? What brought you back?

(I've already heard from a few of you on the other post -- Thanks.)


Classic Graffitti near NYU

While walking with a friend through New York University yesterday, we came across this timely piece of graffiti. It was near Astor Place. (Click on the picture to see more detail.)

We had to stop and take a pic.
  • Is this Christ Vs Hedonism?
  • What do you make of it?
  • For New York friends, what does it suggest about your mission field?
  • Is this what people really think if they are honest?
  • How did we get to this point?

This made me laugh.

Ah the simplicity of humor like this.

H/T Mike J

Friday, August 10, 2007

Do our Churches have a version of Rumspringa?

You've heard of Rumspringa, right? It's an Amish thing. It refers to a period in adolescence where young Amish are not bound by their communities. And many (although not all) do the crazy things that they think about all the time, but couldn't normally do! Rumspringa literally means "Running Around". They idea is that after they have 'run around', they (hopefully) come back and dig in to community and stay there.

Do our Churches have a version of Rumspringa?

I just read this article from LifeWay. It's a survey of young Americans. It refers to the fact the 70% of American church-goers, aged 18-22, simply stop going to church for a year or more. They leave their home town (say, they come to NYC!) and simply don't connect with a new community in which to be accountable. Go ahead and read the article. There are lots of reasons they give as to why they stop contributing. And many apparently come back.

Here in NYC, it rings true. The Christian Groups on campus (while top-notch) are comparatively small. I meet young people all the time who are not really connected into a community that functions in a healthy way with strong accountability. They sometime go to several churches for different personal-preference reasons ("I go here for the 'worship' , there for the 'teaching', and I drop in to another church for the 'community' " etc.) And many don't go anywhere, except sheepishly when they go home for breaks.

In three weeks time (when the new school year begins) my community, Christ Church NYC, will meet many of the students who will be confronted with this choice.

Some questions you could help me with:

1. What do you make of the survey and the thoughts contained within?
2. Can we do anything about it?
3. (For my Australian friends: What are the differences, do you think, between the continents?)
4. What is a compelling vision for this age group?

Here is a quote:
Stetzer noted, "There is no easy way to say it, but it must be said. Parents and churches are not passing on a robust Christian faith and an accompanying commitment to the church. We can take some solace in the fact that many do eventually return. But, Christian parents and churches need to ask the hard question, ‘What is it about our faith commitment that does not find root in the lives of our children?’"
h/t Justin.
Pic by niznoz

Friday, August 03, 2007

Give The Boy some Hope...

We are teaching The Boy and The Girl to swim at the local city pool. So he's kickin' and splashin' and 'talking to the fish' (blowing bubbles underwater).

It's fun for the summer.

But here is the thing: I tend to think that they have little genetic hope of being good swimmers. Both their mother and I are aquatically-challenged. (Laurel, by the way, says I should speak for myself.) However, it would be fair to say: Winrams, we ain't! (Let the reader understand).

So here is what I want from you: Hope.

Is there anything that you are good at, that you most assuredly did not genetically gain from your parents? (Or maybe some gift your parents had, that you never got?)

Tell me these things are not set in DNA Stone.