Monday, December 1, 2008 • 2:14 am
Today is World AIDS Day. We must care. Every one of us…we need to take a step closer to learning, growing, giving, shouting, singing…each of us playing a part.
You can learn more via the ODW blog about World AIDS Day: Turning Grief into Action.
Do you have any good resources to share with others? Words of encouragement, advice, etc? How are you taking a step closer towards caring & acting?
One of the best resources to learn more about the HIV/AIDS crisis is UNAIDS. And from that site:
- Approximately 33.4 people living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2008.
- 2.7 new people infected with HIV in 2008.
- More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.
- Africa has over 14 million AIDS orphans.
- At the end of 2008, women accounted for 50% of all adults living with HIV worldwide
- In developing and transitional countries, 9.5 million people are in immediate need of life-saving AIDS drugs; of these, only 4 million (42%) are receiving the drugs.
- Around 95% of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.
And of course, we need to be reminded that this isn’t just a global issue but a local and national issue as well: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health, religion, AIDS, HIV, world aids day
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 • 4:23 pm
While being away in the East Coast last weekend, I did not receive the news of Brenden Foster’s passing last Friday, November 21, 2008 until this morning. Brenden is the 11 year old boy from Seattle diagnosed with leukemia three years ago who stirred a movement of compassion and genersosity. On a recent trip from his doctor, he passed the homeless community called Nickelsville and his last wish was to help feed the homeless. It’s an amazing and beautiful story.
Like many others, I’m moved, compelled, and deeply encouraged by the short but significant life of Brenden. His life is an encouragement – simply – as a reminder that one person really can make a difference. And even more so, he isn’t alone. We are not alone. There are many people seeking to be agents of hope, compassion, and generosity.
The stuff below didn’t make the news and we don’t do it for the purposes of making news Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: family, health, religion, brendan foster leukemia, brenden foster, nickelsville, seattle
Thursday, November 20, 2008 • 11:37 pm
Many of us make resolutions every year. But before we get into our new resolutions for 2009 next month, how about we talk about how we’re doing with this past year’s resolution. This is an easy question so I’m hoping that many of the regulars, visitors, and blog lurkers and stalkers will contribute.
Question: What was your past year resolution? And, how’s it going? [* Be honest. Don't forget. You are commenting on a minister's blog.]
Me and my past year resolution? Not well.
My resolution was to Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: family, health, exercise, resolution
Friday, July 18, 2008 • 12:01 am
* if this post compels you, consider joining us in prayers and dreams.
Consider this quote from Joseph Addison [an English essayist/poet - 1672-1719] regarding the power and influence of education:
“Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate, no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad an introduction. In solitude, a solace, and in society, an ornament. It hastens vice, it guides virtue; it gives, at once, grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage.”
Asides from the “reasoning savage” [think contextual], it’s a very potent quote which explains why it’s often used to support education.
For the past week, we were able to enroll our daughters [9 & 7] as guests in the local public elementary school here in Seoul, Korea. Our oldest joined the 4th grade class and our younger daughter joined the 2nd grade class. To be honest, they weren’t thrilled about our plans especially since they “already finished school and we’re on vacation” but we told them that this would be an incredible cultural experience. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: family, health
Monday, July 14, 2008 • 8:56 am
As most of my blog readers know, my wife and I [and our three children] are starting an organization for the purpose of joining the fight against global poverty. We are not the first, and thankfully, we will not be the last. People – acquaintances, strangers, blog readers and stalkers, Twitters, Facebookers, internet surfers, and our church folks have asked us questions and so this entry is our attempt to answer those questions – in hopes that it may intrigue and inspire you and also to excuse myself from answering countless personal emails.
Recent Updates: Dec. ’08 / March ’09
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: family, health, africa, global poverty, hunger, injustice
Sunday, July 6, 2008 • 7:49 am
I was deeply saddened and disturbed when I read the following story of Esmin Green – a 49 year old woman who collapsed and died on the floor of a waiting room at a New York psychiatricl hospital. After she collapses landing face down on the floor, no one attends to her. No one – for over an hour until it’s too late.
Compassion is what makes us uniquely human; another manner in which we were created in the image of God [imago dei]. If we lose our heart or sense of compassion, we become less human…less than what God calls us to be. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health, religion, esmin green
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 • 5:12 pm
Materialism and money is an issue and a threat in my life. I hate to admit it but it is. I wrestle with it nearly every day. I read once that a person spends about 80% of their time awake engaged with MONEY: earning it, spending it, and dreaming about it. There are days it overwhelms me and there are days I feel like I have a great understanding and mastery over money but only for it to rear it’s beastly head again.
We’re all consumers. Every single one of us so how would you respond to this question?
In our society, we’re surrounded by the push to consume. We’re constantly bombarded with the newest gadget or trinket we supposedly cannot live without. How do we combat the pull toward materialism, and what does simplicity look like in the 21st Century? Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health, religion
Friday, June 27, 2008 • 7:24 am
What do you think?
“The powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society.” Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health
Saturday, June 21, 2008 • 1:17 am
After mocking social networking sites for awhile, I finally joined Facebook one year ago. And while there are still some things that I strongly dislike about Facebook [e.g. constant invitations to Applications], I am a big fan. It works. I’ve reconnected with friends from high school and college. And Facebook is helping me to stay connected to the growing community at Quest.
But asides from just connecting with past and current friends, I’ve been dreaming how to leverage the power of technology and the internet to further social causes. This is one of the primary hopes with the new organization we are working on. How do we utilize and converge technology and human relationships to fight global poverty?
With that in mind, I started this GROUP on Facebook. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: family, health, technology, facebook
Friday, June 6, 2008 • 9:34 am
Don’t forget the situation in Burma [Myanmar]. I got this incredible “insider’s look” from Teresa who received this from friends who are working within Burma. Teresa and her husband, Rich, have been at Quest for about four years now and single handedly made us a multi-generational church when they joined us. Like numerous at Quest, their faith in Christ and desire to live out the Gospel not only humbles me but helps shape the depth and direction of our church.
She [finally] started a blog entitled Jewels in the Ashes. Rich and Teresa and actively serve on the board of directors at World Aid based here in Seattle. World Aid focuses much of their energy and work serving and empowering the Internally Displaced People [IDP] in Burma and refugees in the Thai/Burma border. If you’re looking for someone trustworthy to donate money towards the relief efforts in Burma, Teresa and World Aid will get those funds where they need to get to.
Do yourself a favor and take 3 minutes to read this and invite others: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health, religion
Tuesday, May 20, 2008 • 1:14 am
Update: Read some of the comments from [self-claiming] parishioners of St. Joseph’s and their perspective on this situation.
Did anyone catch this news yesterday? Clearly, not the best publicity for this small Catholic church in Bertha, Minnesota. Again, I want to give some level of benefit to the leadership of that church but something just doesn’t seem right with this story.
The church leadership claimed that the autistic boy was extremely disruptive:
“Fr. Walz said Adam struck a child, bolts unexpectedly from church nearly knocking people down, including elderly people. He said Adam also spits and urinates during church.”
QUESTION: So, if you were the priest, pastor, or amongst the leadership of that church, what would you have done if you genuinely felt like Adam’s presence disrupted the spirit and celebration of worship and communion or posed some sort of harm to the other congregants? Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health, religion, autism
Monday, May 19, 2008 • 1:16 am
This is an awkward post about breasts, buttcracks, beauty, lust, and the Christian response. Let me share two posts that I read last week that provoked some thought. The first post, “My Thoughts on Boobies,” is from Anne Jackson at FlowerDust exhorting Christian women to dress modestly and the second, “Is This All Men Think About?” is from Pete Wilson at Without Wax [a pastor in Nashville].
At Quest, there’s been a few Sundays where I’ve had to ask one of our female pastors to ask a female congregant or two to lower their shirts because it ain’t pretty to see crack anytime or anywhere but especially as you’re trying to worship Jesus. But…that’s just me. Say no to crack. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, health, religion
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 • 12:47 am
Please take a few minutes to read this. We can’t save the world but we can make a difference.
It’s in the news all around us: the situation in Darfur; the cyclone catastrophe in Burma/Myanmar; unfathomable hunger in North Korea; the food crisis in numerous places around the world, and the list can and do go on. Over 3 billion people live on less than $2/day; About 1 billion live on less than $1/day; Nearly 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water; About 27,000-30,000 children die daily due to poverty. Staggering and numbing statistics.
While it’s awkward to make a public appeal and broadcast of our vision, that is the decision that we’ve made – for better or worse. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health, religion, food crisis, global poverty, justice, poverty
Wednesday, May 7, 2008 • 1:29 am
Thanks for the feedback on last week’s entry on [Wisely] Fighting Poverty. After reading the responses, I wanted to share a few more details of what we’re envisioning. Details are still to be worked through but here are some more random thoughts:
- Our vision cannot eradicate poverty. If I am honest, poverty – locally and globally – will likely persist on some level but extreme poverty can be eradicated. But our simple hope is to be moved and move others into action because while we can’t save the world, we can help one child, one family, one village, one area, etc. We can make a difference. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health, religion
Tuesday, May 6, 2008 • 4:21 pm
Update [5/9]: Pray, Act, and Give. And then pray more.
This is a brutal picture [from the NY Times] that conveys the gravity not only of what has transpired but a glimpse of the difficult weeks ahead as they deal with outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, malaria, etc. in addition to the dilemma of starvation and water issues.
From the NY Times article entitled, “U.N. Pressures Myanmar to Allow Aid.” Shocking that after almost one week, the first two U.N. flights just arrived yesterday.
With up to 1.5 million people in Myanmar now believed to be facing the threat of starvation and disease and with relief efforts still largely stymied by the country’s isolationist military rulers, frustrated United Nations officials all but demanded Thursday that the government open its doors to supplies and aid workers. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health, religion, burma, myanmar
Friday, May 2, 2008 • 2:12 am
It’s so easy to fall in love with the vision of something than to do the hard work to move towards bringing life and fruition to that vision. This has been the case for Minhee and I with the humanitarian organization for several years. While we know we’ll face some scrutiny, questions, and criticism, we are ready to move forward – even if we know we’ll make some mistakes along the way.
However, I’d love [and need] to hear some feedback from you about some elements that we hope will shape the humanitarian organization. If you’re new to the blog, you may want to read Loudly Fighting Poverty and A Vision of Compassion & Redistribution.
OVERVIEW: Our vision is to start a global organization to fight global poverty Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health, religion
Tuesday, April 8, 2008 • 2:06 am
Six years ago ago, I took the Myers-Briggs at a churchplanters’ assessment and I was shocked to discover as I scrounged up the reports last week that I tested as an ENFJ. I have a feeling I was trying really hard to be appear like an extroverted pastor with a bubbly infectious personality.
Since I was surprised, I retook the tests twice this past week and both times, I tested as an Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: health