25 August 2008

The Life Model

Our couples life group is working our way through The Life Model: Living from Heart Jesus Gave You. I've read a few books in my life that I wish I had memorized so that I could make their truths life-tangible; The Life Model is one of them. I first read it about five years ago while living in KGZ, and it has haunted me ever since. In my present role as a pastor of a new believing community, I not only want to work it out in my own life, but I strongly desire to help create a community that bravely lives it out.

I'll let you know how it goes.

16 August 2008

Darren 'Bo' Taylor has died

Darren "Bo" Taylor, a former Los Angeles gang member who became a peacekeeper respected by street toughs as well as by law enforcement and community activists struggling to reduce inner-city violence, has died of cancer at 42.

After the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Taylor founded Unity One, a grass-roots organization that attacked gang violence through life-skills training as well as through conflict resolution on the front lines.

Taylor was a consummate mediator, whose years as a Crip gave him credibility and insight into problems that had divided the community and law enforcement into warring camps.

When the Los Angeles County jails were roiled by race riots five years ago, Taylor quickly assembled the gang leaders responsible for the violence and persuaded them to call off the fighting that left dozens injured.

He later led a program in the jails that reached 3,000 inmates with sessions to increase cultural awareness and impart concrete skills for managing anger and resolving conflict nonviolently.

Bo joined a gang at age 14. He graduated from Los Angeles High School and at 18 joined the Navy. After four years, he was honorably discharged and returned to the city but drifted back into criminal life when he could not find a job. Involved in drug trafficking, he recalled being shot at seven times in one month in the same phone booth.

After repeatedly dodging death, he had a spiritual awakening and decided to change course. He figured he had attended 200 funerals of victims of street violence and, as he told National Public Radio last year, he "couldn't cry no more."

Text taken from an article by Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 13, 2008

05 August 2008

baptize it!

According to coffee lore, the spread of coffee's popularity was due to the influence on Pope Clement VIII (1536-1605). His advisors wanted him to declare coffee a drink of the devil because of its popularity among Muslims. Pope Clement VIII said: This devil's drink is so good we should cheat the devil by baptizing it. ('Gleaned' from Ebenezers Coffeehouse, National Community Church, Washington, D.C.)

03 August 2008

Piha Beach, poem by Maia (January 07)

Piha Beach

First I run with my jandals onto the sand, because its hot.

Then when I get to the cool sand, I take off my shoes.

The sand is cool, Im so excited, I dig my feet into the sand.

I run into the water, and its warm.

Soon Grandma and Grandpa come in too.

Little waves splash at us.

There are little holes on the ground in the water.

I fall into one.

A big wave splashes at us this time.

Asia and Morgan come in now.

Asia right away starts boogie boarding.

She starts catching big waves.

Morgan gets farther out than us.

We walk a little farther out.

I fall into another little hole.

I get back up onto high ground.

Im still in the water.

A big wave is about to splash at us.

I quickly turn around.

I face Grandma.

I put my face on her shirt.

She puts her arms around me.

The wave splashes us really hard.

I almost fall over.

I get pushed back into a hole.

This time Dad comes.

The waves get way bigger.

I decide to go back,

so I do.