Deliver Us From Evil

Calvary International Baptist Ministry is the newest church plant in the TIBM family.  Today, I want to just help promote an upcoming event that they're having soon.   Pastor Eric Aidoo has invited some very special guests to help lead the "Deliver Us From Evil" event, 14 days of prayer and fasting for revival. If you are in the area, do check it out.


Why you should cancel your Short-term Mission trip

I am in the middle of reading an article on short-term mission that is great.  Read the whole thing here.  But, had to stop and share this quote, it took my breath away:

Imagine a team from France calls your church and says they want to visit. They want to put on VBS (which you have done for years), but the material is in French. They have heard about how the U.S. church has struggled and want to help you fix it. They want to send 20 people, half of them youth. Only two of them speak English. They need a place to stay for free, with cheap food and warm showers if possible. During the trip half of the group's energy will be spent on resolving tension between team members. Two people will get sick. They'd like you to arrange some sightseeing for them on their free day. Do you want them to come? -- Darren Carlson

Friends, if you either host or go on (or lead) such trips, we desperately need to rethink this thing. Perhaps churches should invest more in mission education than on construction trips to Lima.


15,000 more Bhutanese refugees to be resettled in 2012

Here's a very brief update on the Bhutanese-Nepali refugee resettlement process.  If you are interested in or working among these people (or are a Bhutanese-Nepali yourself), you will want to check out the article below.  15K more people will be resettled before year end including in the United States where I live.  This will still leave more than 30K in the refugee camps, 90% of which desire resettlement.  The article also includes current figures for the amount of Bhutanese refugees that have been resettled in various nations -- more than 54,000 in the USA!

15,000 more Bhutan refugees to be resettled in 2012: UNHCR- Kathmandu Insider: "The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced to resettle additional 15,000 Bhutanese refugees in various third countries by the end of 2012. "

Lego Inception: Just for Fun

Saw this over on Kris Kandiah's blog and found it funny. You need a humor break right?


Bed Bug Infestation Spreads | NewsFeed |

To heck with bald eagles! We want DDT!!!

Bed Bug Infestation Spreads | NewsFeed | "It’s an honor no American metropolis would fight for: The City That Bites You Back. But in any race, there’s a loser as well as a winner, and Philadelphia tops this year’s list of the most bed bug-infested cities in the U.S. Terminix, the world’s largest pest control company, annually ranks major cities based on the number of infestations confirmed by their staff. This year’s rankings have Cincinnati coming in second and New York City — the most-infested city for the past two years — coming in third. Cleveland, Miami, Houston, Indianapolis and New Haven joined the top 15 this year."


Welcome to America: I Hate You!

Photo by AZRainman
I found the below article a bit unnerving.

Refugees and immigrants in the United States, let me say something to you today.  I have spent countless hours among you. I have taught you to shop, read mail, speak English, do your taxes, drive, and get your citizenship. I've been with you in court, in the hospital, and in the funeral home.  I've tried to tell you about Jesus and learn as much from you as I can. In return, you have driven me almost completely crazy and have, at times, greatly loved me.  Additionally, I have learned from you how to cook, how to dance, how to think, and how to love.

So, let me say without mincing words:

I love you and respect you tremendously.  I am glad you are in the United States.  I wish our borders were more open and that refugee camps around the world were more empty.  Welcome to America! I apologize for the massive amounts of idiots who are my fellow countrymen.  Eventually, you will make them better.  Don't lose heart. There are many like me who actually appreciate you.  There are those among you who rejoice when they see you move into their neighborhoods. We are richer with you.  We are poorer without you.

2012 June 05 « Friends of Refugees“Welcome to America” served as a derisive cheer hurled across the field when the fairer-skinned team scored against a team made up of refugees and asylum seekers from Nepal, Bhutan, Iraq, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Eritrea, Tanzania and Guinea. It was perhaps the most creative insult (but far from the first) we have experienced since forming our teams of young refugees in 2009…


"Dullness become God" - Sinclair Lewis, Contextualization, Diaspora, & American Churchianity

Okay, it's not really what Sinclair was writing about in his 1920 masterpiece, Main Street, but, I can't help but draw the parallels.  Of course, you'd have to read all the preceding chapters to really appreciate it, but chapter 22 of his novel is a work of genius. I have included an excerpt below that I believe could just as easily describe the dominant American Evangelical Church culture of today as it described the American prairie town of a century ago.  And read on to the excerpt describing first generation Scandinavians and you will see something so hauntingly similar to what I see occurring in the diaspora churches today. Sadly, it is also what is happening as people from various cultural backgrounds come to Christ and learn, within a generation or so, to forsake and forget all the beauty, uniqueness, and richness of their own cultures in favor of some kind of safe, monotone, legalistic, American Churchianity.  In Lewis's words, it is "dullness become God".

It is an unimaginatively standardized background, a sluggishness of speech and manners, a rigid ruling of the spirit by the desire to appear respectable. It is contentment… the contentment of the quiet dead, who are scornful of the living for their restless walking. It is negation canonized as the one positive virtue. It is the prohibition of happiness. It is slavery self-sought and self-defended. It is dullness made God.

A savorless people, gulping tasteless food, and sitting afterward, coatless and thoughtless, in rocking-chairs prickly with inane decorations, listening to mechanical music, saying mechanical things about the excellence of Ford automobiles, and viewing themselves as the greatest race in the world.

She had inquired as to the effect of this dominating dullness upon foreigners. She remembered the feeble exotic quality to be found in the first-generation Scandinavians; she recalled the Norwegian Fair at the Lutheran Church, to which Bea had taken her. There, in the bondestue, the replica of a Norse farm kitchen, pale women in scarlet jackets embroidered with gold thread and colored beads, in black skirts with a line of blue, green-striped aprons, and ridged caps very pretty to set off a fresh face, had served rommegrod og lefse—sweet cakes and sour milk pudding spiced with cinnamon. For the first time in Gopher Prairie Carol had found novelty. She had reveled in the mild foreignness of it.

But she saw these Scandinavian women zealously exchanging their spiced puddings and red jackets for fried pork chops and congealed white blouses, trading the ancient Christmas hymns of the fjords for “She’s My Jazzland Cutie,” being Americanized into uniformity, and in less than a generation losing in the grayness whatever pleasant new customs they might have added to the life of the town. Their sons finished the process. In ready-made clothes and ready-made high-school phrases they sank into propriety, and the sound American customs had absorbed without one trace of pollution another alien invasion.

And along with these foreigners, she felt herself being ironed into glossy mediocrity, and she rebelled, in fear.


Migration is Symphony

Photo by Stringberd
I just completed my mid-year self-evaluation as a Diaspora Missions Catalyst for my organization.  This gave me the opportunity to reflect on diaspora a bit and consider why I feel it should be a primary concern of the Church today.  The following are the first two paragraphs of my evaluation. Here you get a sense of what's going on in my heart in this field:

The consistent and overwhelming teaching of Scripture is that God is the sovereign superintendent of all human movement on the earth.  From his original commission to “multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28), the sending out of great diaspora heroes such as Abraham, Moses, and Daniel, to the Great Commission itself, God’s missional purposes have always been centrifugal in trajectory.  Migration is symphony, orchestrated according to the perfect will of the Triune God who, for the sake of mission, determines the times and exact places where people should dwell (Acts 17:26-28).  It is “a missional means decreed and blessed by God” (LCWE, 2010).  The Church, globally and locally, must embrace the purpose of God in the ever-increasing movement of people and be committed to faithfully engaging in mission to, through, and beyond diasporas.

Thus far during 2012, I have sought to be faithful to the task of catalyzing mission to, through, and beyond diasporas.  In the following pages, I have attempted to summarize my work in this field and I hope you will see evidence God’s hand of blessing at work and that the Spirit will prompt you to worship and thanksgiving as a result.  As I have pursued this work, I have grown increasingly convinced that the 215 million diaspora people in the world today represent the absolute “tip of the spear” of God’s active redemptive mission in the world.  I doubt it is possible for a Christian denominational body or mission agency to neglect diaspora mission and simultaneously be faithful to follow God’s leading in mission today.  God is on the move in the people on the move!


Reflections for the Missional Long Haul (2 Cor. 5:6-10)

Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Today, I want to share my sermon notes from several weeks back on 2 Corinthians 5.  In reading the passage, I felt the Lord leading me really to a number of principles for missionaries to promote their endurance -- to help them press on to the end.  The "long haul" is something I really need strength for these days.  So, you can download my full notes on the message here.  Now for a summary:

I asked my congregation to reflect on five things as they considered how they might endure as missionaries.

1. An attitude we desire -- Confidence (5:6)

2. An obstacle we must come to terms with -- "in the body" = "away from the Lord" (5:6)

3. An engine we must turn on -- Longing for eternity (5:7-8)

4. An aim we must focus on -- Pleasing the Lord (5:9)

5. An end we are prepared for -- Reward (5:10)

Blessing to you as you seek to press on!

"Cody's Scatterings" Now on Tumblr!

Hey friends, just wanted to mention to you that I'm now keeping a blog at Tumblr as well that is focused mostly on travel and other adventures in ministry.  I hope you will check it out and become a "follower".  The blog is entitled "Cody's Scatterings" and you can find it at  Enjoy!


Immigrant Chicago: How immigration shaped a city

Been doing some research today and came across a nice, recent article on immigration and Chicago.  Steve Franklin begins his article with the line, "Chicago is the world." Nice. Actually, Franklin helps run a blog by that name which I just started following.  Anyway, those of you that love what God is doing in the movement of people to Chicagoland, will enjoy the following article:

Immigrant Chicago: How immigration shaped a city. : — Resources for covering the NATO Summit: "In most major U.S. cities there are one or two immigrant corridors. In Chicago there are three major corridors with branches reaching out from them, along with a number of smaller communities reflecting other nationalities."


Faithful Witness: Conversion or Devotion?

Photo by o5com
I want to direct you today over to the Faithful Witness blog.  There you'll find an important reflection by my friend, Tim Shultz. Tim's latest post is on the topic of conversion and relationships and will be helpful to anyone who has been interested in my articles on Hinduism here. Tim asks a key question:

Why do we Christians sometimes expect non-Christians to risk destroying their family to convert to Christianity or serve Christ faithfully?

I believe it is a critical question that we must deal with.  I believe that by affirming and highlighting certain types of "conversion" stories, we are unwittingly advocating for the breaking down of marriages and families and embracing an improper interpretation of passages such as Matthew 10:34-39.  And that's Tim's point in the post, so please check it out.

Faithful Witness: Conversion or Devotion?: "What is Jesus saying in these powerful scriptures?  He is calling us to whole hearted devotion that is so supreme and predominant in our lives, that it may actually cause people in our family to break relationship with us. This level of devotion may cause people whom I love to leave me, but it should never cause me to leave them . . . . In this scripture, Jesus is calling us to himself in a devotion of heart and life that is total and complete.  Hindus refer to this devotion as Bhakti, devotion to God that is from the heart and which commands my entire being.  That level of supreme devotion makes any other relationship in my life seem like nothing, less than nothing, in comparison to my devotion to Jesus."