Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Voddie Baucham on T.D. Jakes & the Elephant Room Controversy

I've had great respect for Voddie Baucham for a long time now and greatly appreciate his perspective on the "Elephant Room 2" controversy. Of course, since I'm kind of a nobody, no one is really asking me to weigh in. However, I believe that those of you in my audience need to be aware of the situation. The doctrine of the Trinity is, without question, the central doctrine of the Christian faith. Everything else hangs on it. ER2 appears to suggest that we can afford to compromise or even "agree to disagree" in this area in the name of unity. As my readers know, unity and a greater missional collaboration in the body of Christ is one of my central calls to the Church. But, not at any cost. I believe strongly that the oneness of the Church is an essential Christian doctrine. However, it hangs on the doctrine of the Trinity. We must have our priorities straight.

So, I commend to you Voddie Baucham's recent post related to his own experience with the Elephant Room crew. I believe you will find it interesting and challenging. He has done an excellent job of getting at the issue and explaining graciously why he chose not to participate in ER2.

Blog | Grace Family Baptist Church: "This past week a firestorm erupted over the recent “Elephant Room 2.” The controversy centers around the decision to invite Bishop T.D. Jakes to participate in the event. The central questions in the debate are 1) whether or not Bishop Jakes holds to the historic, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, 2) whether it was appropriate to invite (and feature) him without first having clarified his position on this cardinal doctrine, and 3) whether he cleared up the matter. I was scheduled to speak at Harvest Bible Chapel on the weekend following ER2 which raised significant questions about my stance on the matter. While I do not consider it my responsibility to comment on every controversy, I do recognize my duty to clarify matters with which I am involved directly, and/or those that impact the congregation I am called to shepherd. Hence, my explanation now.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Funny things I Saw Today on Facebook

I'm off today folks.  Monday.  Every week.  Of course people keep calling me.  Well, my official communication with the outside world today will be to share the following funny images with you all.

Now that's funny stuff!

And now for something even funnier . . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Best Practices for Reaching People Groups

Truth be told, I spent most of my time in meetings today rather than enjoying the official proceedings of the North Central States Rally here in Indianapolis.  However, I did get to enjoy participating in a little panel discussion entitled "Best Practices for Reaching People Groups."  Though brief, we had a good discussion with a number of church leaders about discovering and reaching out to various people groups in their contexts.  And, well, since I have nothing of much pith nor wit to share tonight, let me share some of the resources from that session.


1. You can go to this page if you'd like to download a copy of the powerpoint presentation that Dr. Van Kicklighter prepared for the session.  


2. I shared a few web-based tools designed to help you discover people groups in your context.  Here they are:



3. Beyond this, I was asked if I had written other things that might be available.  I will direct you to my Lausanne Conversation page for a bunch of stuff.  Also, you can check out the following:
Finally, don't forget that you can invite me to speak/teach at your church or conference.  Just keep in mind that I only fly first class and prefer my grapes peeled.  

That was a joke.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Concubines, the Kingdom & other interesting topics from the Southern Baptist North Central States Rally

Here I am in Indianapolis for the 2012 North Central States Rally of the Southern Baptist Convention and I don't think I've been around this many white people in years. Nor have I seen sadder looking bartenders.  But, while I am bound by my blogger oath to utilize a fair amount of witty sarcasm, I am actually having a good time and feel pretty encouraged by things.  In some ways, these big SBC meetings are a bit like a family reunion for me.  There are always those things that your "relatives" do that drive you crazy, but overall they kind of endear themselves to you.  Like it or not, these are my people.  Southern Baptists . . . ah, what a funny group we are.  

Anyway, tonight I wanted to share some of the highlights of my day with you and thought I'd do so by means of sharing some of the more interesting one-liners that I heard today.  To protect the innocent/guilty I will withhold the names of those who actually said these things:

1. "There are more scriptures that support you having a concubine than that we should have a Lifeway."

Okay, this was the only time of the day that I actually laughed out loud - hard.  But beyond the humor, this line came in the wider context of a very important and encouraging emphasis.  Tonight the attendees of the rally were presented with a strong call to embrace the work of the Kingdom of God.  I like this very much.  It is, I think, an encouraging sign of strength for Southern Baptists to be talking about the Kingdom of God rather than simply denomination building.  

2. "The new name for the Southern Baptist Convention will not be 'The Particularly Strict Baptist Convention'." 

Nor will it be several other silly things that a group of us guessed as we unsuccessfully sought to pry the top-secret details from our tight-lipped friend who is a member of the task force that has been assigned to research the possibility and viability of changing the long held name of our denomination. What we know is simply that the task force has done their work with much prayer, diligence, and skill and will be presenting a report very soon.  

3. "Hey Cody, is this room your 'Jerusalem'?"

Sometimes I am surprised that people actually pay attention to what I tweet.  This line refers to something I tweeted during the opening session.  Some of you know that I have written on the book of Acts elsewhere and there offered some exegesis of the pericope surrounding Acts 1:8.  It always amazes me to see how deeply this one verse has become ingrained in the mission language of Southern Baptists.  Everyone seems to talk about reaching their "Jerusalem" or their "Samaria".  This, of course, is an application of a particularly symbolic reading of Acts 1:8 that isn't necessarily illegitimate.  However, I think there is a danger in using Acts 1:8 as a metaphor in that it obscures proper exegesis.  There is a tendency for pastors to kind of skim past Acts 1:8 instead of actually exegeting it.  Instead of spending so much time telling people to identify properly their Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria we should spend more time teaching them to understand what Acts 1:8 means in relationship to 1:7 and 1:9 and so on.  That's all I'm saying.

4.  "Where do all these dots come from?" 

The Send Chicago Coalition met for the second time today to continue to move towards the creation of a comprehensive church planting strategy for Chicagoland.  At one point, I kind of chuckled as I read some of the notes I had been recording.  See, everyone kept talking about representing the particular church planting needs of Chicagoland as "dots on a map".  At one point someone asked honestly, "So, where do all these dots come from?"  It was funny.  There was also a lot of talk about "eating the elephant" and a fair amount of discussion as to whether it was better to eat it one bite at a time or rather that it requires a whole village.  Towards the end, there was even a cake-baking metaphor thrown in.  So, yeah, I'd say we're solidly on track.  No, actually, we kind of are.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A deaf refugee from Bhutan impresses in Canada with her enthusiasm | Bhutan News Service

Here's an encouraging little story of a deaf Bhutanese refugee who is overcoming tremendous obstacles.

A deaf refugee from Bhutan impresses in Canada with her enthusiasm | Bhutan News Service: "“I believe deaf refugees can do anything hearing people do, except hear,” she says through a sign language interpreter in her Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada classroom at St. Joseph’s Adult School in Ottawa. Clearly excited about being interviewed by UNHCR, she’s exuberant and outgoing, her face only turning sombre when she recalls refugee friends she left behind in the Beldangi camp in eastern Nepal."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Scam to Rob Refugees Hits Illinois

This morning I heard from a Bhutanese family here locally that received a call from someone pretending to be from some kind of federal grant agency.  They told the family that they were eligible to receive a ten thousand dollar grant but needed to pay a fee of $600 via Western Union to qualify.  The family actually called me from the Western Union office to ask if it was okay to send the money.  Of course, you may remember that I told you about this scam a couple weeks back.  If you have Bhutanese friends, please warn them about this scam and instruct them not to share personal information or send money.  If they receive a call, it should be reported to their refugee resettlement agency, who should then report it to the proper authorities.  Below is my previous post on this topic:

Today I want to pass on the following information. Please see the link below for details on a scam that has been victimizing Bhutanese Refugees in the US and take the time to warn your friends. Additionally, as tax season approaches, 'tis the season for scams against refugees. Unscrupulous "accountants" have been known to take advantage of refugees by offering to get them larger tax returns. This is often done illegally by misreporting information in various ways.

Immigration scam targeting resettled Bhutanese in US | Bhutan News Service: "The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has notified the US Citizenship and Immigration Services of a telephone scam that appears to target Bhutanese refugees . . . .“A man identifying himself as a representative of the “Federal Grants Department” calls from a Washington, DC-based telephone number, (202) 436-9601, informing recently resettled refugees that they are eligible to receive $10,000 because they are refugees from Bhutan,” ORR reported USCIS. It further said that in order to claim the money, they are instructed to produce a money order for $650, and call the telephone number for further instructions on where to send the money."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christianity is Indian (Humor)

Saw this. Laughed. Enjoy ...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Burma government signs ceasefire with Karen rebels

Let's pray that a long-lasting peace will come over Kawthoolei (Burma)!

BBC News - Burma government signs ceasefire with Karen rebels: "Both sides agreed to a ceasefire, to open communication offices and to allow passage through territories, a government official said. The Karen have fought for greater autonomy for more than 60 years. David Htaw, a KNU leader at the talks welcomed the accord, the first written ceasefire agreement in 63 years, but added: "Talks only go so far. What matters is practical steps taken on the ground". A ceasefire is only a first step towards a durable peace, but it is a crucial sign of a new determination on both sides to try to resolve a bitter, decades-long conflict, says the BBC's South East Asia correspondent Rachel Harvey."

Best of the Web: Bhutanese-Nepali Refugees (Lots of Good Stuff!)

Today, I'd like to just provide an annotated list of some intriguing articles related to Bhutanese-Nepali refugees (in some cases more generally about refugees).  I spend time regularly scouring the web for news and information relevant to these people and try to pass on those things I find most interesting.  Here goes:

Regional Snap Shots [The following are shared because I find they serve as missiological case studies from which can be drawn insights which may prove relevant to many other diaspora contexts.]

New Hampshire's City of Manchester Debates a Moratorium on Refugee Resettlement
This is a truly fascinating look and how some people respond to the influx of refugees.  In the mid-sized and prosperous (only 4.5% unemployment) city of Manchester, NH some government officials a claiming to be overwhelmed by cities refugee population. How many refugees you ask?  A mere 2,000 over the past decade!

The Refugee Scene in Durham, NC
Interesting snap shot on one of the smaller refugee resettlement hubs. Interesting tidbits here.

Violence and Ethnic Tensions in Areas of Columbus, OH where Refugees Live
This presents more information on the very troubled areas of Columbus where many refugees and other immigrants have resettled.  Many of the tensions appear to arise from conflict and mistrust between immigrant populations and long-time residents of these impoverished urban areas.  There is much to learn here about diaspora dynamics and poverty.  What is happening in Columbus is happening in many other places as well.

Teeming Diversity in Fargo, ND Public Schools
Here is a feature that provides a nice picture at the ELL (English Language Learner) programs in public schools in Fargo, ND.  What is described here is very similar to what is going on in many other cities as well.

Bhutanese Refugees in the Suburbs of Baltimore
This is a sweeping story about the Bhutanese-Nepali refugee experience and gives a pretty good sense of what is going on in Maryland.  It also features about 20 beautiful photos.

Burlington, VT Considers Giving Refugees the Right-to-Vote Prior to Gaining Citizenship
Fascinating idea.

Blogs to Follow [I follow these blogs for the information they provide related to Bhutanese-Nepalis.]

BhutanPDX -- "Building Cultural Bridges: Bhutan - Nepal - Oregon"
This blog is dedicated to the production of a documentary film highlighting the "coming to America" experience for Bhutanese-Nepalis.  The film is posted there now.

Bhutan News Service
This ends up being my primary source of news relevant to Bhutanese refugees.  The bulk of the stories relate to happenings back in the camps and occasionally the news is more Bhutan-focused.  However, I have found many stories to be quite helpful.

Refugees Voice
The blog says that it shares news pertaining to all refugees, but it is really pretty exclusively focused on the Bhutanese.

Refugee Watch
This blog has a more general, refugee focus.

Special Topics [The following articles provide specialized information that you may not have found elsewhere pertaining to the Bhutanese-Nepalis]


Medical Treatment Issues
This is an article written for healthcare providers designed to give a brief introduction to Bhutanese-Nepalis for the sake of improving the quality of healthcare they receive.

B-12 Deficiency
This may seem like a small issue.  However, I am pretty well persuaded that B-12 deficiency is responsible for quite a lot of health and psychological problems suffered by the Bhutanese.  I have seen how they eat.  Heck, I have spent quite a lot of time eating how they eat.  This is a real thing.

Secondary Resettlement
If you want to understand refugees, you must understand the issue of "secondary resettlement". Here's an excellent picture slideshow and article that presents one story.

Mental Health
I have posted this before, but while we are on special topics, it deserved another mention.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

J.D. Payne's Leading Your Church in Church Planting

I am a church planter, a trainer and supervisor of church planters, and one who regularly teaches about church planting. However, I read very, very little about church planting. It isn't that I don't read. I do. However, for the most part, when I see books about church planting on the shelf of a book store (or even in my own library), my reflex is either to yawn or sneer. For that matter, though I am an avid writer, I rarely feel tempted to write about church planting. I'm not entirely sure why. Nor am I entirely sure where I'm going with this train of thought.

What I will say is that if you offer me a free book by a noted missiologist on church planting that I can read in about an hour, you will get my attention. Well, J.D. Payne's Leading Your Church in Church Planting is exactly that. I had downloaded it a while back and decided to try reading on my phone. This I accomplished while waiting for a lunch appointment today. J.D.'s book is a simple and stripped down introduction for churches that find themselves interested in church planting. I can definitely see myself recommending the work for potential church planters or potential sponsor churches. In fact, that's kind of what I'm doing right now, isn't it.

I encourage you to download J.D.'s free e-book now and pass it around to any Christian leader who might be considering getting involved in church planting at some level. That is precisely what I plan to do myself.

Missiologically Thinking » Free E-Book: Leading Your Church in Church Planting: "Few churches in North America are involved in church planting. I want to be involved in changing this unfortunate reality. This 62-page work is designed to encourage and provide some guidance for pastors considering such missionary work. While some elements of this book will be of value to pastors who are already leading their churches in church planting, this resource was not written with them in mind. The content is very basic. It is written for those approaching the starting line–not those already in the race."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nice Short Films Made by Bhutanese-Nepali Youth

I've come across two nice little films made by youth who are Bhutanese refugees living in England.  The concept of the films are simple and focused on how life has changed for them since resettling in the West.  I enjoyed them both and think you might as well.


Life Beginning from justin rhodes on Vimeo.



Sharing Stories -Introduction Film from justin rhodes on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

SALE: Evangelical and Frontier Mission from the William Carey Library

Just wanted to give another "shout out" for the recent Regnum book to which I contributed a chapter. I've just noticed that Evangelical and Frontier Mission is available in the William Carey Library for just $25. That's quite a discount from what you can find on Amazon! I encourage you to buy the book. In addition to my chapter focused on Cape Town 2010, you will find great contributions from Scott Moreau, Rene Padilla, Enoch Wan, Ralph Winter and others. Some accolades for the book include:

"This extraordinary compendium documents and illustrates the movement from what Edinburgh 1910 designated as 'unoccupied fields' to what R. Winter strategically designated as 'unreached people groups' thus repioneering frontier missiology focused on 'finishing the task.'"
-- Peter Kuzmic


"This important volume demonstrates that, 100 years after the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, Evangelicalism has become truly global. Twenty-first-century Evangelicalism continues to focus on frontier mission, but significantly, and in the spirit of Edinburgh 1910, it also has re-engaged social action. Pentecostalism exhibits a similar direction, and these characteristics (global reach, frontier focus, social engagement) point to a vibrant future for both movements. At the same time, however, the essays in this volume present a cautionary tale of overstating goals and plans as they relate to proclamation and development."
-- Todd Johnson, Associate Professor of Global Christianity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

You can also read a bit of a review and recommendation by American missiologist, J.D. Payne at http://www.jdpayne.org/2011/12/21/evangelical-and-frontier-mission/.

Evangelical and Frontier Mission :: Snodderly, Beth :: Authors and Editors :: William Carey Library: "The centennial celebrations of the Edinburgh 1910 conference offered Christians of all stripes multiple opportunities to reflect on the past century of mission. Over the course of the twentieth century one of the stories of the church that has moved towards center stage is the growth of evangelicalism around the world. While certainly until the late 1980s this went largely unnoticed among the academic elite of the world, even so by then the vast majority of the missionaries serving to and from every corner of the globe were be framed in some way by this evangelical surge. As we reflect on the past century, then, the stories of the evangelical world church deserve to be heard. This volume is part of the Regnum Edinburgh 2010 Centenary Series."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Immigration scam targeting resettled Bhutanese in US | Bhutan News Service

Today I want to pass on the following information. Please see the link below for details on a scam that has been victimizing Bhutanese Refugees in the US and take the time to warn your friends. Additionally, as tax season approaches, 'tis the season for scams against refugees. Unscrupulous "accountants" have been known to take advantage of refugees by offering to get them larger tax returns. This is often done illegally by misreporting information in various ways.

Immigration scam targeting resettled Bhutanese in US | Bhutan News Service: "The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has notified the US Citizenship and Immigration Services of a telephone scam that appears to target Bhutanese refugees . . . .“A man identifying himself as a representative of the “Federal Grants Department” calls from a Washington, DC-based telephone number, (202) 436-9601, informing recently resettled refugees that they are eligible to receive $10,000 because they are refugees from Bhutan,” ORR reported USCIS. It further said that in order to claim the money, they are instructed to produce a money order for $650, and call the telephone number for further instructions on where to send the money."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

3 Perverted Church Planting Motives

Recently, I’ve noticed a couple interesting posts related to church planting along the lines of “here is why you shouldn’t try to plant a church”.  As a church planter and supervisor/mentor of church planters it seems appropriate for me to offer some commentary related to those posts.  So, I’ll get to that in a moment.  First, I thought it might be worthwhile to share with you my own thoughts on the larger subject of why you shouldn’t do church planting. 

Perverted Church Planting
That is, during the past several years as I have been engaged in the church planting world, I have become aware of the fact that often aspiring church planters have rather perverted or underdeveloped motives for seeking to plant a church.  During our local assessment and training events (“First Steps Weekend”), I usually try to lay out some of what I think are the most common of these.  Let me share three top reasons why you should NOT plant a church:

1.        Church-Splitting – Let’s say that you find yourself as something of a de facto leader of a group in an existing church that is for one reason or another antagonistic towards another group (perhaps even the majority) in that same church.  Your group wants to “plant a church” essentially in order to get out from under the thumb or away from the conflict with the others.  This is called church-splitting and should not be confused with church planting.  Not that I am saying that there is never a legitimate cause for a split.  But if church planting is akin to giving birth, church-splitting is rather like divorce.  Church planting efforts should have as a central motivation the desire to make disciples among a people or in an area where there is some kind of deficiency in effective gospel witness.

2.        Christian-Clubbing – In this situation, you put forth a vision for starting a certain kind of church (i.e. house church, mega church, postmodern church, cowboy church, or whatever) simply for the sake of having such a church.  This however is not really church planting but rather a kind of Christian club-making that is motivated more by the self-interest, curiosity, or angst of the aspiring church planter rather than by Kingdom growth.  In church planting however, the contextual realities of a given mission field should inform and determine the methodology or church planting models undertaken.  Particular models or approaches should be readily and eagerly discarded should the demands or bringing Christ to bear on a given mission field require it.  I direct your attention to one of my favorite passages, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.  Paul’s “all things to all people” is no game.  It is not curiosity or the novelty of certain “cutting edge” models or methods that drives him to make himself a slave to all.  It is a passion for the lost.  It is this question, “How must I pour myself out so that the people of this mission field might be saved?”

3.       “Just Get Busy for Jesus” – There are, of course, a number of people who end up at our church planting assessments who just feel hungry to do something for Jesus.  This is not a bad thing, by the way. But we must know that a passion to serve the Kingdom of Christ is not the same thing as a call to church planting.  Church planting, particularly in North America, has become something of a trendy thing.  There is a sense in which it has become the default avenue of Christian service for young, North American Christian leaders.  Want to do something for Jesus?  Why not plant a church?  Lest you think I’m joking, that’s exactly the pitch I received when I first got involved in ministry here in Chicagoland.  Fortunately, it was a good fit for me.  It isn’t for everyone, and we need to embrace that truth.  To be sure there are many people ready to just do something for Jesus who should indeed plant a church.  But the majority should not.  Discernment is essential.

The Kiwi’s “9 Reasons NOT to plant a church in 2012”
Now, on to a couple interesting posts that I’ve come across on the web.  First, I direct your attention to Andrew Jones’ (a.k.a “Tall Skinny Kiwi”) post entitled “9 Reasons NOT to plant a church in 2012”.  Andrew highlights a number of very, very important points that should be carefully considered.  Top of the list, in my view, is the concern for Kingdom transformation.  Writes Andrew,

“But now it's 2012 and while some young, enthusiastic people are out there planting churches like its 1997, others are focusing on launching more sustainable, more holistic, more measurably transformational Kingdom solutions. . . . The measurement criteria of the church planting project, focusing on numbers of attenders and momentum of new church launch, is too narrow, too shallow, unholistic and ignores more vital measurable signs of a transformed society in its various spheres (economic, environmental, social, impact outside the church environment, etc).

In light of my own mission board’s (the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention) recent restructuring and re-budgeting to elevate church planting as essentially our exclusive focus in the United States and Canada this point cannot be passed by lightly.  I fear that in our zeal to plant lots of churches we may inadvertently leave off the part where we intentionally aim to plant the kind of churches that truly bring the Kingdom of God to bear on communities, peoples, and cities.

Anglican 1000’s “10 Ways Not to Plant a Church”
Next we have Aaron Burt writing for the church planting initiative called Anglican 1000 that has been giving us his top “10 Ways Not to Plant a Church” (pt. 1, 2, 3).   Burt’s list is a bit more of a mixed bag of usefulness, in my opinion.  There are certain points that I strongly resonate with.  For example, his number 10 may need to be upgraded to number one.  Burt reminds us that church planting is not a Disney movie, you really can’t do it regardless of how much you “believe in yourself”.  I like that emphasis.  We do a disservice to aspiring planters if we fail to tell them bluntly that this will be very, very hard. 

On the flip side, I feel very uneasy with Burt’s suggestion that we “accept the failure rate” (#3) and avoid “putting all our eggs in one basket”.  Writes Burt,

What about exploring several potential church plants simultaneously and running with the one that looks most likely to take root? How about not putting all our eggs in one basket from the get-go? And if your plant fizzles, did you reserve some hope and energy to make another attempt? …Or are you emotionally bankrupt? You’ll never see a professional poker player go all in when the odds are against him four to one. Perhaps we church planters should ponder that.

Well, I’m for pondering all sorts of things.  However, I think this statement reveals are rather different perspective on the “why” of church planting from my own.  For me, a church planting effort begins as the Spirit of God awakens our spirit to the needs of a particular place or people.  God puts the people of his heart on our heart and one thing sort of leads to another.  Church planting should not be driven by a desire to “get something off the ground”, but rather to bring the Incarnate Word to bear on the mission field to which God has called us.  Such a motivation will always require an “all in” mentality.  Failure in such an endeavor should break us.  I’m not sure what is meant by being “emotionally bankrupt” nor what it means to “reserve hope”.  But if failure means to walk away from a lost people who are still lost after faithfully serving in that field for an extended period of time  (I’d argue that this isn’t really failure at all), then, well, why shouldn’t that be painful?  Truth is, church planting is extraordinarily painful when people are coming to know the Lord right and left.  How much more, when after years of service a faithful missionary is unable to point to any lasting fruit?  From my perspective, I don’t even want to begin to work with an aspiring planter that isn’t ready to give everything.

What are your thoughts?  What points would you want to add to any of the lists?

My First Nepali Sermon (Video)

Some people were interested in seeing the video of my very first Nepali sermon.  I spoke on the Good News of the Birth of Jesus.  My focus was on the song of the Heavenly Host in Luke 2.  Translated from the Simple Nepali Version of the Bible, "May they have peace with whom God is happy." The question I reflected on was, "With whom is God happy?"

Now, the recording isn't very good. This is just house sound, so it would have been more clear in person. What is somewhat unique about my approach is my incorporation of Sanskrit chanting.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Highlights from 2011 Bhutanese-Nepali Christmas Celebration (Wheaton)

I hope your Christmas was a great blessing as you celebrated the birth of the Lord Jesus!  For my family, we spent most of the day with the local Bhutanese-Nepali community enjoying the Prabhu Sri Yeshuko Janmadinum Utsav (Birth of Lord Jesus Festival).  Folks from Chicago, Aurora, and the Wheaton area gathered together for the celebration hosted by TriEak Parmeshwar Mandali.  Here are a few of the highlights (for more videos from the celebration check out my wife's YouTube channel):


(Here's my favorite Nepali Christmas Song. It tells of the Magi who came to Bethlehem to give offerings to Jesus)


(Here's our very cool children's presentation of the Christmas story. You may recognize the narrator.)


(An original Nepali poem about the life of Jesus by Nar Thapa, member of TriEak Parmeshwar Mandali)


(Sitam Magar shared this song as a special guest from Agape Church, Wheaton)


(Here's an example of a dance that was shared by our guests from Chicago)

Be sure to check out all the videos from our program here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Indigenous Jesus: Christian Folk Art from India

Have I mentioned that I am a big fan of Scott Rayl's blog "Indigenous Jesus"? Scott is a gifted artist and passionate follower of Jesus who loves the pursuit of contextualization in mission. I read every post that appears on his site sometimes can't help but re-post it here. Such is the case today. Scott has come across an exhibition of Christian folk art from India that has been used in travelling story-telling efforts.  Included in the showing is this beautiful piece portraying the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus.  I like it a lot!

Indigenous Jesus: Christian Folk Art from India: