Archive for October, 2008

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EXTRA: The Faith of Barack Obama

October 27, 2008

My wife read this book and posted on her blog, but I thought it was worth sharing with my readers as well.

The Faith of Barack Obamais a fascinating, well-researched, fast-paced book. If you’re still undecided about who to vote for, are confused about how Obama has lured the masses (it’s not a spell) or if you just want some insight into this man’s faith, you must get this book. It’s 7 days to the election, I know. This book will give you lots of insight, no matter what happens. The author doesn’t seem to be an Obama supporter. He treats the issues with an even hand, and offers thought-provoking commentary and analysis on the political process, historical and contemporary historical figures and the current players in the presidential race.

The most enlightening part of the book is how it explains why Obama is so popular. He’s very much a postmodern Christian who is fluid with his beliefs and open about his doubts. It resonates with the culture.

OBAMA’S CONNECTION TO POSTMODERNS

“Religiously, the majority of America’s young are postmodern, which means they do faith like jazz: informal, eclectic, and often without theme. They have largely rejected organized religion in favor of a religious pastiche that works for them. They think nothing of hammering together a personal faith from widely differing religious traditions, and many acquire their theology the same way they catch colds: through casual contact with strangers. Thus, when Obama speaks of questioning certain tenets of his Christian faith or the importance of doubt in religion or his respect for non-Christian religions, the majority of the young instantly relate and welcome his nontraditional faith as a basis for his — and their — left-leaning politics.”

“He does not use the language of the traditional convert to Christianity. He is the product of a new, postmodern generations that picks and chooses its own truth from traditional faith, much as a man customizes his meal at a buffet.” When looking for a church Obama said “he was seeking a ‘vessel’ for his values, a ‘community or shared traditions in which to ground my most deeply held beliefs.'”

HOW OBAMA’S FAITH AND POLITICS INTERSECT

“For Obama, faith is not simply political garb, something a focus group told him he ought to try. Instead, religion to him is transforming, lifelong, and real. It is who he is at the core, what he has raised his daughters to live, and the well he will draw from as he leads. While Americans are used to religious insincerity from their political leaders, Obama seems to be sincere in what he proclaims. He embraced religion long before he embraced politics. Indeed, it was his faith that gave him the will to serve in public office, and the worldview of that faith that shaped his understanding of what he would do once he came to power.”

“For Obama, Bush is the face of the Religious Right, a movement that used faith to divide and conquer while in pursuit of political power, and then didn’t know hwat to do with that power once they had it in hand.”

ABOUT MCCAIN

“The details of McCain’s faith were sketchy. Though an Episcopalian, McCain began attending North Phoenix Baptist Church when he married his second wife, Cindy. Ever the maverick, he never agreed to be baptized — the confirmation of true faith in a Baptist church — neither did he ever officially join the church.”

CLASH OF CULTURES

“McCain will speak of a God whose blessing he seeks as he serves his country with honor. His opponent will likely speak in warm terms of a faith that fills the soul, of a mission that springs from the beloved words of Scripture. McCain will speak of tried-and-true values and of the American way. His opponent will speak of the teachings of Jesus and of making America a more righteous land. McCain will say that he prays, goes to church and reads the Bible, but then will say little more. His opponent will invite the press into Bible studies and distribute pages from spiritual journals written at transforming retreats. McCain will look like George Washington praying at Valley Forge. His opponent will hold a press conference after buying a personalized Bible at the mall.”

In addition, the author explains the whole Jeremiah Wright incident with dexterity and depth.

ABOUT JEREMIAH WRIGHT:

“Jeremiah Wright is not crazy. He is an educated man with four earned degrees, respected in his church and his denomination, who has been an honored voice of black America. … To claim him crazy and dismiss him from the scene without a hearing is to miss an opportunity to heal a grievous, festering wound.”

“[Obama’s] face stands out among them all [the other political candidates] It is black. It is under fifty in 2008. Interestingly, the author sees this point in history as a pivotal moment to heal historic wounds. “Perhaps this is a call for all of us to be more Christian than Republican, more American than Democrat, more noble and righteous than crassly and callously political.” Sounds like something Obama would say.

You can read an excerpt here.

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10 ways to greatly impact your community

October 26, 2008

[AUDIO http://mcphaull.com/bens10/10%20ways%20to%20reach%20your%20community%20for%20Christ.mp3%5D
We must find ways to impact our communities for Christ.
Since many of us don’t live very close to our churches we must find a way to reach the people right at our doorsteps.
I have listed ten ways to greatly impact your community. This is not an exhaustive list, but it should get you started. Let me know what you think.

1. Host a car show.

2. Minister to military families.

3. Plan a block party.

4. Organize an extreme home makeover.

5. Mentor the children of inmates.

6. Sponsor a “back to school” giveaway.

7. Pray for opportunities to serve.

8. Embark on a homeland mission trip.

9. Chill at your local coffee shop.

10. Knock. Knock.

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Catalyst EXTRA: 10 great thoughts from Catalyst 08′

October 19, 2008

 There were some great sayings at Catalyst 2008. Here are ten sayings that stayed with me.
I pray they are a blessing to you also.

1. Greatness is a function of conscious choice and discipline. Jim Collins

2. go out and shake things up! Brenda Salter McNeil

3. Become heretics! Seth Godin

4. We can change the world by coming to8ether. Andy Stanley

5. There is more in you! Craig Groeschel

6. We can save the world by giving. Tim Sanders

7. Practice extreme levels of excellence. Dave Ramsey

8. Great leaders have moral authority. Andy Stanley

9. We can do more to8ether than apart. Tim Sanders

10. Be useful! Jim Collins

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Catalyst EXTRA: 10 must visit sponsors/exhibitors

October 18, 2008

1. Sermon Spice

2. Yes Haiti

3. Prison Fellowship

4. Liquid

5. Divorce Care for Kids

6. Lifeway

7. Samaritan’s Purse

8. Zondervan

9. Dave Ramsey

10. Alpha USA

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Catalyst EXTRA: 10 Insightful speakers from Catalyst 2008

October 18, 2008

I was truly blessed by the caliber of speakers at Catalyst. This was my first Catalyst event and I look forward to attending many more events.

Here are a few speakers that blessed me from Catalyst 2008.

1. Andy Stanley

2. William P. Young

3. Jim Collins

4. Brenda Salter-Mcneil

5. Seth Godin

6. Craig Groeschel

7. Dave Ramsey

8. Ed Stetzer

9. Tim Sanders

10. Tim Elmore

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Catalyst EXTRA: 10 great books recommended at catalyst 2008

October 17, 2008

Here are a few great books recommended at Catalyst. Please check these links out. These books will be a blessing to your ministry.

1. It

2. Next Generation Leader

3. Confessions of a Pastor

4. Evangelism without Additives

5. Good to Great

6. Tribes

7. A Credible Witness

8. Making Vision Stick

9. Culture Making

10. The Shack

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Catalyst EXTRA: 10 reasons you MUST attend Catalyst next year

October 16, 2008

The experience was absolutely AMAZING! I’ve been to a number of conferences, but Catalyst was the best!

There are many words to describe Catalyst. I’ve listed a few of them below. Let me know your thoughts.

If you live out West mark you calendar for Catalyst West April 2009.

 

1. Worship

2. Exhibits

3. Networking

4. Energy

5. Excitement- expect the unexpected

6. Speakers

7. Free stuff

8. Ministry resources

9. Inspiration

10. Discover God’s leading