Good News in Bad Times

During this tragic time in surfing community, with the loss of World Champion Andy Irons, our souls cry out that something is wrong. Not only is something wrong in the world around us but it feels as though something is wrong inside each of us. This is what many have called the God shaped hole in each of us. Saint Augustine said that our souls will always be restless until they find their rest in God.

I would ask you to commit to pray for the Irons family during this extremely painful time. Pray that God's comfort would be very real in their lives. Also, pray that God would recycle the pain in the surfing community and draw people to Himself. Pray, too, that God would give the members of Christian Surfers great wisdom as they live as the Light of the world and bring grace and truth to the surfing communities of our world.

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Dispatches from Lausanne

Dr. Barry Corey, president of Biola University, is in Cape Town, South Africa, as one of just 400 American delegates at the Third Lausanne World Congress on Evangelism. This is the first in a series of dispatches Dr. Corey is sending about his experience at this historic event.

This has been another powerful morning here at Lausanne, Cape Town. The format in the convention center is setup around 800 tables of six. We are assigned tables for the morning sessions. More than four thousand fill the room with another 1,200 stewards and guests filling the seats and sitting and standing around the arena. It is perhaps the most representative gathering of the Christian church in history.

John Piper's talk on Ephesians 3 this morning drew our attention to the obvious tensions in gatherings like these of multinational, multicultural Christian leaders. How much do we give ourselves to the living out of the Gospel through eradicating human suffering, and how much do we give of ourselves to the awakening of the lost to the eternal suffering and the reality of hell?

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Ernie Becker V: Live a More Fulfilling Life

Ernie Becker V has lived five lifetimes in one. Or at least that's the way it seems. Born and raised in Las Vegas as a fifth generation contractor/developer, Ernie followed in the footsteps of his family business and was very good at it. He performed all aspects of construction development, buying and selling real estate, raising money and working closely with financial institutions. Then things started to spiral out of control. As Ernie says, "I tried to find anything I could on the outside to make me feel better on the inside."

Then Ernie discovered Christ, put his addictions down and began to work forward with what Jesus had in store for him. For ten years he became both a student and a teacher of Christians life coaching principles. Three years ago he formed E5 Coaching, LLC, as a way to help people find the life purpose he has found.

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5 Questions for Kristin Ritzau

Kristin Ritzau is a spiritual director, writer, speaker, and recovering perfectionist. When she's not working in Student Life at Azusa Pacific University, Kristin tends to her urban homestead outside Los Angeles, where she raises vegetables and chickens with her husband.

In her debut book, A Beautiful Mess, Kristin shares her very personal journey to overcome crippling perfectionism. As she navigated a new marriage, endured a quarter-life health crisis, and was forced to redefine the God of her childhood, Kristin discovered freedom in accepting she was a beautiful mess. She didn't need to clean up her "perfect" life any longer.

Kristin answered 5 Questions posed to her by the editors of ConversantLife.com.

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5 Questions for Brett McCracken

Brett McCracken is a graduate of Wheaton College and UCLA. His day job is managing editor for Biola University's Biola magazine. He regularly writes movie reviews and features for Christianity Today, Relevant magazine, and ConversantLife.com.

In Hipster Christianity (Baker Books), Brett examines an emerging category he calls "Christian hipsters"--an unlikely fusion of American obsession with being "cool" and the realities of a faith that is often seen as anything but. Brett was kind enough to answer 5 Questions about his book and what it's all about.

What does “Hipster Christianity” mean?

Hipster Christianity is, in short, the fusion of hipster culture—independent, alternative, anti-mainstream, fashionable—with Christianity. It’s a world of mostly twentysomething Christian evangelicals who grew up on CCM and hysteria about being in the “end times,” but now care more about things like social justice, creation care, and whiskey tasting. It’s a world where things like Left Behind, Jesus fish bumper stickers, and door-to-door evangelism are relevant only as a source of irony or nostalgia. It’s a world where Braveheart youth pastor analogies and Thomas Kinkade and anathema. Hipster Christianity is about rebelling against the legalistic, overly political, apathetic-about culture evangelicalism of the latter half of the 20th century. It’s a new iteration of youth-oriented, alternative, countercultural Christianity—the offspring of the Jesus movement of the 60s-70s but less Pentecostal and more liturgical (in a “postmodern pastiche” sort of way).

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Five Questions for Joan Ball

Joan Ball spent more than fifteen years in the public relations business before making the transition from the boardroom to the classroom in 2007. She currently teaches marketing at St. John's University in New York City.

In Flirting With Faith: My Spiritual Journey from Atheism to a Faith-Filled Life (Simon & Schuster), Joan shares with bold candor how she allowed her career and the money, prestige, and possessions that came with it to overshadow the things that were most important in life. As her friend Makoto Fujimura says, "She dances with both faith and doubt, while being unflinchingly honest each step of the way.  Her authentic wrestling will confound skeptics, challenge believers and comfort those who mourn." Anne Jackson adds, "With each word, Joan Ball invites us to take a step into her heart where we see the beauty of transformation and the freedom of grace."

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Patrick Dodson: God Is Not In Control

Patrick is a father first, then teacher/writer/cook/photographer and sometimes prophet. He lives and works with Heather in New Zealand and has four beautiful game designing (Josiah), film directing (Jordan), artistic (Jasmine), and acting (Levi) children. You can check them out at www.patrickdodson.net .

 

God Is Not In Control
Q: Why do the innocent suffer?
A: Because we don't take care of them.

Q: Why are there so many poor in the world?
A: We're selfish and don't share wealth or resources properly.

Eugene Cho: we cannot fully grasp the infinitude of god…

Eugene Cho, a second-generation Korean-American, is the founder and lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle and the executive director of Q Cafe, an innovative non-profit neighborhood café and music venue. He and his wife are also the visioneers of a new organization to fight global poverty called, One Day's Wages.

 


in our human finitude, we cannot fully grasp the infinite of god...

We can try but we cannot fully understand the fullness, majesty, and glory of God.

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Leadership is Character, Not Just Effectiveness

John Saddington is a social computing strategist, a technologist, a web junkie and the Creative Web Director @ Northpoint Ministries.  He thinks, "To reach people that no one is reaching we have to do things that no one is doing."

Follow John's Blog.  Follow John on Twitter.


Leadership is Character, Not Just Effectiveness


Something I've been recently chewing on is how leadership plays out in the online space. For a few, it's already been "earned" or developed as they've had exciting careers and have a proven track record of leadership.

Jason Jaggard: Clean Platers

Jason is a social innovator, writer, speaker, and activist for cultural change in Los Angeles.  He serves with Mosaic, a global NGO passionate about bringing dignity to humanity's spiritual journey and creating communities that unleash human creativity and potential.

Find out more about Mosaic HERE.

 

Clean Platers

When I was a kid my grandma used to make me eat.  A lot.  I think it was because she was a product of the Great Depression and because she had enough canned goods in her basement to stockpile Poland.  But she would always say the same thing when she gave me food:  “I want you to be a clean plater.”

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Amazing voices from the faith community. These are pastors, social justice leaders, musicians, cultural influencers, filmmakers and more who blog from time to time on ConversantLife.


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